Sustainable retail demands robust analytics - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Monday, March 14, 2022

Sustainable retail demands robust analytics



  • The New York State Senate is considering Assembly Bill A8352, which outlines sustainability and ethics requirements for large retailers and manufacturers operating within the state.
  • To keep up with changing laws and sentiments around sustainability in the retail industry, enterprises need to rethink their business priorities.
  • Robust, comprehensive data analytics programs that offer actionable insights will lay the groundwork for long-term sustainability within retail enterprises worldwide.

The full story

The New York State Senate is in the process of passing a bill that holds fashion retailers who don't prioritize ethical practices accountable. The bill, which is currently in committee, would require large fashion retailers and manufacturers operating in New York to map out at least half of their supply chain and identify any possible environmental issues in their processes. If enacted, Assembly Bill A8352 would be the first bill of its kind in the USA and would reflect changing sentiments regarding retail's sustainability as well as set the stage for potential similar bills in the future.

Shopper preference for sustainable retailers and products has risen sharply over the past few years. Over 80% of consumers think it's important for companies to design environmentally friendly products. Furthermore, over half of Americans are willing to pay more for sustainable products. With all of this in mind, it's time for retailers and manufacturers to consider more sustainable retail practices, and robust data analytics solutions can help them do it.

The value of data

Good source data is the backbone of retail, feeding systems of record to guide informed decision-making at every level of an enterprise. Analyzing how consumers behave can help enterprises reduce shrink, plan layouts, identify problem areas and staff appropriately—all of which lead to more efficient stores with less waste and better customer experiences. However, in addition to the impact on operations and a retailers' bottom line, engaging with data can be a value-add for other purposes, like responsible retail.

Reliable data can help decision-makers optimize operations with sustainable retail practices in mind, reveal ways to improve employees' experiences, and cultivate brand trust. Even better? These systems leverage existing in-store technologies to collect source data from store environments and analyze it alongside third-party and proprietary information.

Becoming more sustainable

With sustainability at top of mind for consumers, retailers who want to compete must reconsider their approach to business—and pursuing a digital transformation journey that focuses on actionable,
data-driven insights can help them do just that. Retailers can implement cutting-edge technology—like artificial intelligence enabled video technology, RFID sensors, and item-level inventory solutions—to facilitate the sustainable outcomes-based SaaS solutions that allow retailers to meet the industry's modern challenges. Robust data collection sits at the heart of this endeavor, helping enterprises develop sustainable approaches to omnichannel retail that fit their businesses' unique needs.

Waste often comes from redundancies and inefficiencies on the floor, in stockrooms or at the source in the supply chain—and a comprehensive analytics platform can help businesses address these issues. SaaS providers' integrated services—like professional and retail and technology consulting, design, deployment and integration, management and support services, learner services and customer success—can help streamline operations across complex technological environments with sustainable practices in mind.

Prioritizing in-store analytics isn't the only step a retailer can take. Examining supply chains and partnering with sustainable manufacturers, brands, suppliers and distributors may also become a necessary part of the equation—especially if New York's upcoming bill spawns similar legislation throughout the country or around the globe. With possible regulations looming, retailers might be wise to make more widespread adjustments to their operations. For some, rethinking the supply chain or considering a new model might be the path forward. For others, it might mean changing day-to-day operations by adding intelligent lighting, energy-efficient displays and other waste-reducing products.

The next step

Meeting the demands of a more eco-conscious consumer base will mean something different for each business. However, data will remain the beating heart of the industry. As such, retailers need access to a comprehensive, scalable analytics platform that provides precise, actionable insights and transformative services retailers need to fast forward their sustainability journey.

Sensormatic IQ, an intelligent operating platform from Sensormatic Solutions by Johnson Controls, can help retailers incorporate sustainable practices at every level. Sensormatic IQ can help retailers begin their digital transformation journeys, whether sustainability has been a past goal or is a brand-new undertaking. Sensormatic IQ's ever-evolving platform integrates existing technology with new sensors and data streams as they become available, providing valuable insights to facilitate sustainable retail for decades to come.


Bjoern Petersen, Managing Director, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer, Sensormatic Solutions, Khareem Sudlow