The COVID Retail Playbook: Mitigate disruption from COVID-19

The omnichannel commerce was rapidly reducing the physical store, pushing it into an app on a smartphone. The COVID-19 pandemic, brought a further 25% surge in e-commerce led by online grocery and brought new cohorts into the digital marketplace, viz the boomers and Gen-Xs. The change in behavior is now here to stay.

The current situation has also brought in a sharp focus on the supply chain as our lifeline. To meet consumer demand, we have come to expect  frontline people to be available at the store like never before, even as retailers are setting up express delivery services to cover the last mile.

It is important to keep the supply lines running to meet customer demand while ensuring the safety and security of the customers and frontline people. The retail industry also has a burning platform for digital transformation, changing investments for a predominantly online business.

Here are six operating solutions that leverage the power of AI, data engineering, and human-centric design to enable efficient operations in the short term; also find a series of transformative solutions and ideas for pivoting to the novel economy.

  • Operating intelligence and BCP during COVID

    Intelligence for store operations during lockdown

    • Epidemiological models to identify risk of infection to frontline staff
    • Store traffic management, early warning for hazards and choke points
    • Trial Run: Merchandise management for essential categories

  • Behavioral science

    Behavioral science interventions for social distancing and safety

    • Establish behavioral norms that help slow the spread, are easy to implement and have large reach
    • Nudge to drive voluntary participation and responsible behavior by shoppers
    • Data to identify hot-spots and high product-browsing aisles, and behavioral science to drive required norms

  • COVID adjusted demand forecasting

    COVID-19 adjusted demand forecasting

    • Store level forecasts, adjusted for stock up, increased consumption
    • Online customer demand; returns prediction
    • Anomaly detection

  • Efficient product supply

    Efficient product supply

    • Real time monitoring, predictive and prescriptive maintenance of plant and machinery
    • Ship on workbench: Risk mitigation for outbound shipping during COVID-19 ship
    • Donate/Destroy/Trigger promo optimization for near end life products

  • Financial forecasting

    Financial forecasting

    • Working capital & cash flow projections
    • Available investment for SKU support
    • Instrument valuation and hedging

  • Integrated business performance from the home office

    Integrated business performance from the home office

    • Enable executives to self serve and make data based decisions from home with human centric design and cognitive tools

Our Thinking

Case Studies

  • Enabling dynamic order fulfilment with inventory optimization
    4 min. read

    Enabling dynamic order fulfilment with inventory optimization

    Find how one of the biggest US sporting goods company optimized its inventory and improved the speed-to customers with timely delivery, reducing fulfilment costs using Fractal’s inventory optimization solution.

    The Big Picture One of the biggest US sporting goods company wanted to understand the inventory placement in the network with ever-increasing complexities of retail fulfilment for BOPIS and e-commerce orders. With...

  • A retailer targets offers to increase redemption revenue by 230%
    2 min. read

    A retailer targets offers to increase redemption revenue by 230%

    A 360-degree customer view enables retargeting campaigns with personalized promotions.

    The Big Picture A leading specialty retailer wanted to better understand its customer base to design more personalized and relevant pricing and promotions. Additionally, the company identified its localized store...

  • Use AI to enhance customer experience and drive digital sales
    1 min. read

    Use AI to enhance customer experience and drive digital sales

    A retailer used an AI framework to improve digital journeys, driving up sales by more than 25%.

    The Big Picture For most legacy brick-and-clicks that sell mid to high complexity products, conversions on digital continue to remain sluggish, and businesses face a high degree of customer drop-off, cart abandonment,...

  • Run systematic remodeling experiments to optimize retail store sales
    2 min. read

    Run systematic remodeling experiments to optimize retail store sales

    A specialty retailer ran experiments to boost lift and prioritize store remodeling efforts.

    The Big Picture A store remodeling exercise is a significant investment, sometimes ranging into millions of dollars. Additionally, at times, store operations need to be put on hold for a few days, which further impacts...

Our People

  • Amit Gupta

    Amit Gupta

    Client Partner

    • Consulting, design and delivery of large analytics engagements.
    • Expertise in driving marketing effectiveness, price & promo strategy, business intelligence and digital transformation
    • Cross-industry exposure: CPG, Retail, Tech
    Amit Gupta
    • Consulting, design and delivery of large analytics engagements.
    • Expertise in driving marketing effectiveness, price & promo strategy, business intelligence and digital transformation
    • Cross-industry exposure: CPG, Retail, Tech
  • Manish Mahajan

    Manish Mahajan

    Principal Consultant

    • Help organizations realize scaled top/bottom line impact from analytics
    • Expertise in scaling test & learn CoE for rapid business experimentation
    • Areas of interest: Retail store operations, order fulfilment optimization
    Manish Mahajan
    • Help organizations realize scaled top/bottom line impact from analytics
    • Expertise in scaling test & learn CoE for rapid business experimentation
    • Areas of interest: Retail store operations, order fulfilment optimization
  • Amitabh Bose (Ambo)

    Amitabh Bose (Ambo)

    Chief Practice Officer

    • Thought leader, digital transformation in CPG and retail industry
    • Guide solution design and client value realization for industry practices
    • Coach and mentor
    Amitabh Bose (Ambo)
    • Thought leader, digital transformation in CPG and retail industry
    • Guide solution design and client value realization for industry practices
    • Coach and mentor