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Three big ideas from Shoptalk 2023: AI, data, sustainability

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At this year’s Shoptalk conference, Kin + Carta had the opportunity to connect with many innovators and industry leaders in the retail space to share ideas and insights on the latest technologies, trends and business models. Now that the doors have closed, we’ve had a chance to reflect on our top takeaways from this year’s event.

Artificial Intelligence is a big deal

From data analysis and personalization to online and instore customer experience strategies, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing a pivotal role in retail - and will continue to escalate in importance. AI solutions promise to deliver benefits like improved operational efficiencies, deeper customer engagement and reduced customer acquisition costs.

Take, for instance, the pervasive problem of search abandonment on retail websites. According to recent research by Google, an astounding 95% of customers have experienced disappointment with search on a retail website in the last six months. Online retailers are at risk of losing customers due to subpar product search functions that don’t leverage AI to its full potential. While most search engines can find products for one or two-term queries, longer queries require the use of generative AI to deliver truly meaningful search results.

Analysis by Kin + Carta shows that by deploying technology such as Google’s Cloud Retail Search (CRS) solution - a next-generation, machine-learning based platform - it’s possible for brands to uplift revenue by $2m by converting just 1% of customer searches. CRS delivers a Google-quality search experience by using generative AI to match shoppers’ intent to precise products. Here’s more about how CRS can lift revenue.

Data-led transformation, everywhere

From supply chain to store check-out, retailers collect a wealth of data every day. But data collection is not enough. Only by having the right technologies, trained people and automated processes in place can real data-led transformation occur. Data-driven insights can then be leveraged to make measurable impacts across the organization, including the creation of digital marketing strategies that engage shoppers inside and outside the store, uncovering competitive intelligence and driving sustainability initiatives.

Kin + Carta delivers practical solutions that reduce barriers to adoption, enable Data-as-a-Product, are built with governance, and sustain momentum to accelerate
data transformation into insights. Find out more about how we accelerate time to value by building data products and intelligent experiences at scale.

Get serious about sustainability

Sustainability - and more specifically environmental, social and governance (ESG) - is a theme that’s having a considerable impact on retail organizations.

Today’s environmentally savvy consumers are demanding more sustainable products and seeking greater transparency about how goods are manufactured and distributed. Suppliers, partners and employees are also sitting up and taking notice of how serious retailers are about their corporate social responsibility.

In terms of how to advance sustainability across the organization, these four ideas were presented at Shoptalk:

  1. A company can’t manage what it doesn’t measure and track.
  2. Sustainability regulations are real and enforced.
  3. Everyone in the company has a role to play in regard to sustainability.
  4. Value chains drive accountability, making them a crucial part of any sustainability initiative.

The sustainability theme really resonates with us at Kin + Carta. We’re focused on balancing the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit - in fact, we became the first business on the London Stock Exchange to achieve B Corp Certification in 2021. Since then, we’ve made great progress in scaling our methodologies and skills to incorporate non-financial KPIs, Sustainable Development Goals, commitments and carbon-intensive practices into our clients’ solutions.

Kin + Carta is one of Microsoft’s most highly-trained partners for Microsoft Sustainability Manager (Microsoft’s proprietary GHG measurement tool). Data is central to greenhouse gas measurement and reporting, especially for large enterprises looking for full, accurate and auditable reporting. With our data chops, we help companies report now and develop a data strategy that will support them along their entire net-zero journey.

Also, by using the Carbon Software Intensity Specification designed by Microsoft-founded Green Software Foundation, we’re helping clients understand the sustainability benefits of every type of work we do. This supports our long term initiative to save clients 1,000,000 metric tons of CO₂ using data and technology by 2027 - this is particularly relevant to retail since it is such a high-emissions sector.

Want to learn how we can help your retail enterprise transform customer experiences, drive digital growth and establish operational excellence? Talk to our team about scheduling a free Zoom chat or remote workshop with one of our retail experts.

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