Our team of Ivy experts share their knowledge on the top rends that will impact consumer goods organizations.  As the technology paradigm is shifting to‘AI First’, most of the companies that lead the consumer goods industry best practices and technology are upgrading their Sales Force Automation applications with the Next Generation of products, powered by AI.  Artificial intelligence has been a transformative force across industries and sectors. Its capabilities are renowned for being able to automate processes, increase efficiency, predict, and allows businesses to create a laser-focused strategy for growth.

Long-term success within the consumer goods industry is incredibly dependent on the technological infrastructure of the companies that are taking products to market. Without the right technology, consumer good businesses risk falling behind and reducing their market share in an increasingly competitive landscape.

One investment that consumer good companies must be thinking about, both in the long-term and the short-term is artificial intelligence. The latter is able to improve worker productivity of consumer good reps in the field and allow for automation. Automation has the potential to help consumer good businesses scale and grow at unprecedented rates, but it is absolutely essential that automation tools are deployed early on. This allows businesses to understand where automation is genuinely needed, and how to balance these tools with overall growth.

Coca-Cola: A Case Study

Consumer good companies are increasingly feeling the need for innovation, and even retail heavyweights such as Coca-Cola are not immune to that. Their latest development involves transforming the vending machine into a more digital, interactive experience – complete with chatbots.

The machine, found in Masterton, New Zealand is cloud-connected. This allows consumers to order cokes using their phone, regardless of their own location. The vending machine is also structured to offer remote pricing, special offers and deals for consumers. It also provides information to the company itself on key metrics such as restocking and sales numbers.

However, one of the most innovative functionalities of this new vending machine is its integration with digital tools. Customers are able to chat via Facebook Messenger to a Coca-Cola bot, and really engage with the brand.

“Consumers could jump into personalized chats with Coca-Cola, as if they were communicating with a familiar bodega operator…Using data gathered through the consumer’s Facebook activity, current location and tone of conversation, the AI bot will adopt a local dialect and attitude tailored to each user.”

This is where the artificial intelligence aspect of the machine takes on full force, and it has the capability of transforming the consumer experience from both the company and the customer end. Artificial intelligence in the vending machines allows them to offer greater personalization with their products while continuing to build loyalty with their audiences. The data made publicly available allows brands to use artificial intelligence for maximum engagement, and the results have the potential to be transformative.

Using AI To Transform The Experience

One of the key reasons why Coca-Cola has dominated its market share is because they have adopted a data-driven strategy to drive business and long-term success. It is also instrumental to invest in artificial intelligence early on in order to maximize its potential for innovative research and development.

Coca-Cola is “known to have ploughed extensive research and development resources into artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure it is squeezing every drop of insight it can…” 

And that is how they differentiate themselves from the marketplace. These insights are used to develop new products that consumers actually want while monitoring data to see its effectiveness. For example, they developed Cherry Spire based on “on monitoring data collected from the latest generation of self-service soft drinks fountains”

Okay, So How I Do This?

Artificial intelligence might seem like a product only major corporations and brands can afford, but that is not necessarily the case. The insights gained from brands like Coca-Cola are valuable no matter the size of the business.

Finding products that allow you to leverage data, and create personalized experiences while automating key operations is a fundamental process of digital transformation. Key software solutions allow for reduction of manual data entry, and have predictive analysis capabilities will make retail operations that much easier.

The most important aspect that your business must consider is where artificial intelligence will have the most value. For Coca-Cola, it was personalizing the user experience but is that the same priority for your retail operation? If it is data that you are struggling with, and how to wield that into an effective strategy, then that is where you should invest artificial intelligence capabilities.

It is also important to understand what enterprise solutions are offering in this realm, and how you might be able to leverage your existing technology to match these growing demands. Having enterprise solutions in place that offer flexibility, and adaptability are fundamental during the growth process since they will allow you to scale and grow at your pace…without being hampered by inefficient technology.

For example, Salesforce has been growing leader in this industry and they are continuing to bolster their product offerings. Salesforce Einstein allows for lead scoring and analysis. This function will use your own data to predict leads and opportunities with the highest likelihood of conversion. A system that allows you to prioritize the opportunities needed is a key factor, and it allows you to understand your data from another perspective.

Using enterprise solutions as a Salesforce application provides the best of both these worlds – while still giving your business the technological edge it needs. Simple integration will allow for custom objects and workflows that can streamline operations such as orders, inventories, assets, and billing just to name a few. It will also allow a flow of data, and this will be the critical element needed for increased personalization and automation in order to solidify the route to market.

Whether you choose to use Salesforce, or other solutions that offer similar traits and integrate well with others, investing in artificial technology is pivotal to thriving in an increasingly competitive retail market.

Continuous innovation is necessary, both in terms of the technologies adopted as well as in strategy to really thrive. Artificial intelligence can automate the route in the market and dominate market share. Being able to have the solutions in place to leverage new trends and emerging technologies is absolutely essential in order for successful strategy deployment.

If you have questions or would like to see what we have done at Ivy Mobility, please contact us.