Where does your enterprise stand on the AI adoption curve? Take our AI survey to find out.
Join retail leaders at the industry’s premier AI digital event, Transform 2021, hosted July 12-16. Transform gathers thought and action leaders from established enterprise brands and retail businesses for highly informative sessions, focused roundtables, and unbeatable networking opportunities.
Hear from top retail industry experts on strategy and technology in the main application areas of AI/ML Automation Technology, RPA, data analytics, conversational AI, intelligent AI assistants, AI at the edge, IoT, computer vision, AR/VR, & robotics.
Register today to join retail leaders at Transform 2021. Find the full agenda online, or keep reading to discover all of the retail vertical’s key topics throughout Transform 2021.
Monday, July 12, 2021
9:15am – 9:40am (America/Los Angeles)
From crawl, to walk, to run: key strategies to put your AI/ML into production
Matt Marshall, CEO – VentureBeat
Matthias Keller, Chief Scientist – Kayak
Monday, July 12, 2021
10:05am – 10:30am (America/Los Angeles)
Data & AI strategies in the new age of telecommunications: How Verizon is leveraging data and AI to deliver an exceptional ‘Phygital’ customer experience.
Verizon is building a physical and digital (or “phygital”) ecosystem to meet the needs of the consumer journey – showing up where they are. To do this, they are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to inform decisions on how to build that ecosystem and effective solutions for customer service, CX, products, and experiences that differentiate Verizon and deliver for their customers and the communities they serve.
Verizon uses a digital-first strategy for the customer journey. The preferred entryway is through the MyVerizon App which houses a customer’s history, journey context, and digital propensity. AI-led technologies direct customers to the best channel to meet their needs – chatbot or a live customer service rep for questions about solutions, live telesales rep for purchase, or, if the customer prefers, a store visit with an appointment created through the digital channel. AI then stores the necessary records, creating a single view of the customer or “Customer 360” for future personalized interactions. This experience has contributed to a 76% increase in digital interactions in 2020. In response, Verizon introduced the industry’s first video chat function. An expanded pilot revealed 80% of customers stated their needs were resolved and 60% stated it saved them a trip to the store.
Ronan Dunne, CEO, Consumer Group – Verizon
Shuchi Rana, VentureBeat & Women in Big Data
Monday, July 12, 2021
11:35am – 12:00pm (America/Los Angeles)
How a 167-Year Old, Iconic Company Like Levi Strauss & Co. Is Upskilling Its Workforce to Embrace Data and AI
LS&Co. recently embarked on a journey to transform its iconic brand and company into a digital, data- and artificial intelligence-powered business that will lead the company into the future. LS&Co. knows that its transformation is powered not just by technology, but by people — people skilled in machine learning and versed in agile ways of working. Being 167 years old, LS&Co. has an incredible amount of data it can utilize by leveraging technologies like AI and machine learning. But in order to tap into that data and fully put it to use, there’s a cultural shift that needs to happen given how new data and AI is to the retail and apparel industry.
In response, the company’s Digital Enterprise Office launched LS&Co.’s digital upskilling initiative and completed the program’s first training, the Machine Learning Bootcamp. With the broader initiative and various training programs, LS&Co. is upskilling its workforce for the future by offering its employees the opportunity to master a brand new, in-demand skill set and focus on learning full time for eight weeks, all paid for and encouraged by the company’s leadership. Upon graduation, some of the graduates will join LS&Co.’s AI team as it continues to grow in support of the company’s broader digital transformation. Others will return to their jobs and practice their new skills and knowledge, thus upgrading their current roles and expanding digital knowledge throughout the company – fueling the cultural shift that is required to fully take advantage of what data and AI have to offer.
LS&Co.’s Chief Global Strategy and Artificial Intelligence Officer, Katia Walsh, will discuss the business, technology and operational challenges LS&Co. has faced in starting the cultural shift and transition to digital across the company, detailing the steps she has taken to overcome those challenges through initiatives like the digital upskilling program. She will provide real-world tips for companies facing a similar need to embrace digital and AI to become a data-first company, as well as how to build a team and get the right training in place to achieve digital transformation from the inside first.
Katia Walsh, Chief Strategy and Artificial Intelligence Office – Levi Strauss & Co.
Mike Hendrickson, Vice President of Technology and Developer Products – Skillsoft
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
9:40am – 10:05am (America/Los Angeles)
Closer to you: How Nordstrom built its AI-powered analytics platform called NAP that is transforming its business in fundamental ways
Nordstrom has been using machine learning for nearly a decade in certain parts of the business, but many of its practices were siloed, rules-based, and channel-specific, which were disjointed from the real-time needs of the enterprise. To address this, Nordstrom had to reimagine not only its platforms but also how it was leveraging data. In fact, they put data at the forefront when building their platform. The retailer first focused on setting clear definitions and standards for the data that its source systems generated. This approach required that business, product management, analytics, and engineering collaborate on exactly what data and how sources would emit that data before designing an application. No longer would it be acceptable for any source system to generate any arbitrary format of data. This approach eliminated the need to perform technical transformations on data coming into the analytics platform. Nordstrom knew approaches like data lakes wouldn’t meet the business needs for analytic velocity since it required manipulating data at rest – it needed an approach that reflected the needs of the entire business in a standardized way to help get the insights it needed in real-time.
The company identified four foundational principles of data architecture to address: Common data language (business events), common data format, universal key mapping, and stream all data. This common set of principles was then applied and used across all applications, and all of the data could be shared into a centralized platform called Nordstrom Analytics Platform (NAP). NAP is the central streaming analytics ecosystem by which Nordstrom can reason about the behaviors of customers, partners, and the business at large across merchandising, experience, productivity, and fulfillment. By leveraging open-source event streaming platforms, database management systems and more than 70 different machine learning algorithms the retailer is able to generate real-time business insights across the company, drive personalization, and enhance search and discovery.
NAP is composed of 4 platforms. An enterprise streaming platform through which all of Nordstrom’s data is streamed. A streaming analytics and data storage platform where business events are curated into -ready-to-use business objects, immediately upon arrival. An enterprise business analytics and reporting platform, and a machine learning platform (MLP). Data science and business intelligence use the same data and same data engineering tools. In the NAP architecture, analytics starts the instant data objects are emitted from the source systems and it provides NRT through strategic business analytics.
In this session, Nordstrom CTO Edmond Mesrobian will discuss how NAP was created, the company’s journey to create a digital-first and data-driven approach to innovation, and how the company is finding new ways to translate its heritage of service from one-to-one to one-to-many in a digital world.
Edmond Mesrobian, CTO – Nordstrom
Hari Sivaraman, Head of AI Content Strategy – VentureBeat
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
12:10pm – 12:40pm (America/Los Angeles)
Understanding consumer behavior with big data & delivering AI-powered products that offer personalized recommendations
Alok Gupta, Head of Data Science & ML, DoorDash
Emily White, VP, Enterprise Data and Analytics – Nike
Lan Guan, Applied Intelligence Global Solutions AI Lead – Accenture
Rajeev Chand, Partner, and Head of Research – Wing Venture Capital
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
1:50pm – 2:20pm (America/Los Angeles)
How one of America’s most popular fitness brands, Orange Theory, is taking first steps towards prescriptive and predictive analytics in a greenfield environment.
Orangetheory Fitness is a science-backed, technology-tracked, coach-inspired group workout designed to produce results from the inside-out. From proprietary heart rate monitors and connected fitness equipment to marketing engines across 1400 locations, Orangetheory fitness generates a formidable amount of data on a daily basis. The company has started by putting down strong foundations leveraging AWS, Snowflake, PowerBI, and open-source solutions like Airflow. The data organization facilitates the democratization of information, insight, and knowledge over data and, at its core, believes that the currency of a strong data shop is trust. Orangetheory’s CDAO will talk about his first year starting in the greenfield environment and the decisions and trade-offs involved in strategically distributing the companies’ data investments. In this fireside chat, we will discuss the value of a shared language, the value of data visualization and business intelligence over ML and AI solutions, and the first hires and organizational structure of a young data and analytics team.
Ameen Kazerouni, Chief Analytics Officer, Orangetheory fitness
Jaime Fitzgibbon, Founder, and CEO – Ren.ai.ssance Insights
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
8:50am – 9:15am (America/Los Angeles)
From automated Pizza delivery to better health outcomes; the Role of Intelligent Virtual Agents in the New Digital Workforce
Faced with increased service demands from more customers across more channels, brands are rapidly deploying digital workforces to augment and assist their human service agents. Businesses want to manage service costs and ensure that they retain more customers by providing them with the kind of conversational experience they have become accustomed to when speaking to their smart speakers and devices.
In the ICMI survey, 42% of respondents said they plan to launch new services/offerings to focus on digital customer engagement, and 42% plan to enhance self-service functionalities. Gartner also predicts that 85% of customer interactions will start with self-service by 2022, and 70% of self-service interactions will start with speech interfaces by 2023.
During this session with Pizza Hut and in conversation with Callan Schebella, EVP of Products at Five9 and Former CEO and Founder of Inference Solutions, the worldwide market share leader for IVAs, you will:
- Learn what a digital workforce is and understand best practices for using IVAs that harness the power of speech recognition and natural language understanding to automate many service tasks.
- Understand the latest advances in IVAs
- Hear first-hand how Pizza Hut Australia uses IVAs to route calls to local stores and provide automated ordering
- Find out how Alivi has deployed their virtual assistant (AVA) to help healthcare organizations schedule rides to and from facilities for patients
Callan Schebella, SVP and GM – Five9
Patrick Branley, Director Of Technology – Pizza Hut
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
11:10am – 11:35am (America/Los Angeles)
The Optimizer: How Kohl’s is using AI and ML to empower its people, optimize its supply chain and transform the customer experience, while also delivering higher profitability
Kohl’s had the vision to integrate its Technology and Supply Chain/Logistics teams to create a world-class supply chain network, leveraging its digital and stores businesses to strengthen inventory management, boost customer satisfaction, and improve profitability. With the continued acceleration in digital sales, which has only increased during the pandemic, Kohl’s has been laser-focused on finding even more opportunities to get products to customers in the most convenient and cost-efficient ways. To do this, the Kohl’s team has been leveraging the Digital Sourcing Optimizer––a critical tool that uses AI to optimize the cost of shipping and the return on inventory, while delivering a faster, more seamless experience for customers. The Optimizer was especially important when stores were closed during the pandemic, as it was able to be adjusted to drive markdown avoidance when inventory was trapped in closed stores.
In this conversation, hear from Paul Gaffney, Kohl’s Chief Technology and Supply Chain Officer, on how his team has built a more seamless and best-in-class integrated supply chain to better serve customers and fuel growth for the business. He will also share some lessons learned along the way from a technology, business, and organizational standpoint.
Paul Gaffney, Chief Technology Officer – Kohl’s
Sage Lazzaro, Senior Reporter – VentureBeat
Thursday, July 15, 2021
9:15am – 9:40am (America/Los Angeles)
Seeing is believing: How eBay’s Computer Vision technology is transforming the shopping experience for consumers and benefiting sellers
eBay continues to build on the AI ecosystem that it has created with Krylov – a proprietary centralized end-to-end AI platform – to build and deploy the state-of-the-art Computer Vision (and Natural Language Processing) capabilities at scale. These capabilities are leveraged across a breadth of product experiences driving endless innovation on behalf of buyers and sellers. From enabling shoppers worldwide to find exactly what they are looking for among the 1.7 billion listings on eBay to making accurately listing an item as easy as snapping a photo, eBay’s advances in computer vision are helping the company realize its goal to become the platform of choice for sellers and to build lifelong, trusted relationships with buyers.
Shopping is a visual experience, and through computer vision, eBay is turning camera phones into eCommerce devices. For example, a new image listing feature launched this Spring for eBay’s massive trading card community leverages computer vision technology to create a listing in half the time and ensures the accuracy of crucial data. Last year alone, over 41 million new trading card listings were created in the trading card category on eBay with an average of 90 cards sold per minute. The new listing feature not only creates a faster and more convenient experience for sellers but will also provide more robust trading card inventory for shoppers – all while ensuring that the information in card listings is more accurate so buyers trust what they’re purchasing. For eBay, computer vision is facilitating a frictionless experience and greater trust between buyers and sellers in the marketplace
Mazen will discuss how eBay achieved these milestones, building on the flexibility and agility Krylov has enabled for his teams, detail the technological and organizational choices made, and share how he builds and empowers the eBay team to continue innovating to deliver delightful shopping experiences for all.
Maribel Lopez, Founder & Principal Analyst – Lopez Research
Nitzan Mekel-Bobrov, Chief AI Officer, eBay
VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact.
Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
- up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
- our newsletters
- gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
- networking features, and more
Become a member