From Aisles to Profits
A Blueprint for Unleashing Growth: Store-level Data
HIVERY's CEO, Jason Hosking, shares his wisdom on deciphering and harnessing growth potential at the critical store level
Could you provide us with an overarching perspective on the distinctive challenges encountered in various retail environments and the pivotal role of data analysis in effectively addressing these challenges?
Since its founding in 2015, HIVERY has experienced nearly a decade of operation. Can you highlight key milestones and transition points the company has encountered during this period? As a leader, how have you managed to balance the development of a cutting-edge platform with expanding the business? What motivates and drives you in your role as a leader?
Retail environments have unique challenges, from shifting consumer behavior to supply chain complexities and competition – there are too many variables impacting retail for humans to analyze all of them sufficiently. Therefore, data analysis is pivotal to illuminate patterns and insights that guide effective decision-making. We believe that DATA HAS A BETTER IDEATM, that our customers have the data they need to be successful – therefore, HIVERY’s vision is simple: Unleash the transformational power of data. Shoppers vote with their wallets in stores, and when you can analyze that in-store data at the most granular level, it enables CPG brands and retailers to efficiently identify ideal assortment, pricing, and promotional strategies to meet consumer demands. This enables them to make decisions and deliver locally relevant, effectively merchandised, and operationally efficient plans.
Since its inception in 2015, HIVERY has marked several milestones, notably developing and refining our HIVERY Curate platform. Balancing cutting-edge platform development with business expansion has been achieved through a diligent focus on innovation, customer-centricity, and a robust operational framework. Additionally, hiring the right people has been instrumental, and this is an aspect I take great pride in. My motivation stems from our mission to transform decision- making in commerce for the world's retailers and brands to propel their retail strategies to new heights of effectiveness, efficiency, and customer-centricity.
We believe that DATA HAS A BETTER IDEA™, that our customers have the data they need to be successful – therefore, HIVERY’s vision is simple: Unleash the transformational power of data.
AI has had its impact on every facet of the retail operation. Why did you choose to focus on Assortment Optimization and Category Management compared to other facets of retail where AI could potentially have an impact?
What are the prevailing trends in store-level analytics, and how does HIVERY effectively tackle the persistent challenges retailers face in this domain? Could you elaborate on the leadership role that HIVERY has undertaken in collaborating with retailers to redefine their assortment strategies?
The focus on Assortment Optimization and Category Management was a deliberate choice to address a critical need in retail. The company started as an experiment in helping Coca-Cola Bottler in Sydney, Australia, optimize their vending machines with AI. Unlike category management in-store retailing (i.e., supermarkets, convenience retail, superstores), there is little customer research data or shopper insights. The Coca-Cola Bottler only had sales data from vending machines. The challenge was to optimize the assortment in vending machines with just sales data and a set of complex vending machine products and space constraints. This was very successful. The success of this initiative paved the way for expanding into category management; after all, a physical store can be perceived as a giant vending machine. We disrupted category management with input from stakeholders - category managers, advisors, and merchants. Retail tech has remained stagnant for 20+ years. We provided a better way to approach assortment decisions. AI's capability to harness vast store-level data to generate actionable insights makes it a powerful tool for these domains, enabling retailers to maximize sales, reduce stockouts, and enhance shopper satisfaction.
The key challenge is balancing how to serve local shippers best while living within the very real constraints of maximizing the productivity of existing space, ensuring the right breadth and depth of assortment, and working within supply chain/operational constraints. To do this, retailers and those working with them must understand patterns that can only be uncovered through store-level analytics, such as the store-level impact of demand transfer across the product portfolio or the financial impact of various cluster strategies (macro, micro, or store- specific). HIVERY is at the forefront of tackling these challenges, enabling nuanced, store- specific assortment strategies. Our collaborative approach with CPG brands and retailers’ aids in redefining assortment strategies, ensuring alignment with evolving market dynamics.
Data analysis is crucial in elevating customer experiences and enhancing operational efficiency, and HIVERY's solutions significantly contribute to transforming the retail landscape into a more customer-centric and efficient ecosystem.
The success of any retailer hinges on the ability to make data-driven decisions that cater to specific store needs. How does HIVERY unlock store-specific insights like never before?
HIVERY Curate unlocks store-specific insights by leveraging AI to analyze every store/item combination and uncover micro-trends, enabling retailers to serve their customers better. It then stimulates and qualifies dynamic strategies against real-world constraints, providing a clear and operational pathway for retailers to optimize assortments and align with brand and retailer goals, thus achieving locally relevant, effectively merchandised, and operationally efficient category plans - using AI essentially as a co-pilot to answer critical questions once deemed impossible.
From your perspective, how does data analysis play a pivotal role in elevating customer experiences and enhancing operational efficiency across the entire spectrum of the retail industry? Furthermore, how do HIVERY's solutions contribute significantly to the retail value chain, ushering in this transformative effect?
Data analysis is crucial in elevating customer experiences and enhancing operational efficiency. It provides the lens through which retail operations can be refined and customer needs can be better identified and met. HIVERY’s solutions significantly contribute to the retail value chain by enabling retailers and suppliers to quantify the revenue and volume impact of strategic, operational changes and evaluate them against the return on the change and, for example, evaluating the revenue impact of increasing holding power on shelf vs adding wider assortment or the profit impact of reducing the number of clusters to be more operationally efficient. Enabling precise analytics and actionable insights drives informed decision-making, transforming the retail landscape into a more customer-centric and efficient ecosystem.
What lies on the horizon for HIVERY? Could you provide insights into the strategic direction you envision for the company and its future initiatives and endeavors?
The horizon for HIVERY is laden with opportunities to evolve our AI-driven solutions further and expand our global footprint. Our strategic direction is anchored in continuous innovation, deepening retailer collaborations, and expanding our solution suite to address a broader spectrum of retail and assortment lifecycle challenges, positioning HIVERY as an indispensable partner in the retail industry's evolving narrative.
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