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How Salesforce’s New AI-Powered Solutions Tackle Retail Challenges, Opportunities

Solutions for retail media, theft, employee productivity, and real estate will help retailers create new revenue streams and better manage operations


Retailers are battling inflation, retail theft, and high employee turnover at the same time they’re facing smaller margins and calls for higher revenue. With the power of data, trusted AI, and CRM, and built on the Einstein 1 Platform, Salesforce’s new retail solutions give retailers the tools they need to solve their most significant challenges while boosting productivity, driving profitable growth, and maintaining customer trust. 

Salesforce perspective: “Retailers often operate on thin margins where efficiency and collaboration are key to staying profitable,” said Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail and Consumer Goods. “These new solutions — powered by data, trusted AI, and the Customer 360 platform — help retailers address some of the challenges and opportunities they experience on a daily basis so they can profitably grow loyalty and market share.” 

These new solutions — powered by data, trusted AI, and the Customer 360 platform — help retailers address some of the challenges and opportunities they experience on a daily basis so they can profitably grow loyalty and market share.

Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail and Consumer Goods

For details on how Salesforce innovations help retailers, click on the following sections:

Generate new ad revenue with Salesforce for Retail Media

Retail media ad spend is predicted to reach $100 billion by 2026 — up from $45 billion in 2023.

  • With innovation in Salesforce for Retail Media, retailers can generate new ad revenue and scale media operations by using Einstein Media Planner to deliver AI-generated media plans for brands looking to advertise on the retailer’s digital properties.
    • For example, a large drugstore retailer looking to sell a millennial skincare brand advertising space on its website can use Salesforce for Retail Media to create a media plan specific to the skincare brand’s needs. By using Einstein Media Planner, the retailer can analyze its audience data and past RFP results to auto-generate a plan that recommends the best ad placements to reach females between the ages of 25 and 35. They can then use Data Cloud to generate audience segments and activate the campaign.

Gain visibility into inventory shrink with Salesforce’s Retail Theft solution

In 2022, shrinking inventory, including theft, accounted for $112.1 billion in losses across North America, up from $93.9 billion in 2021.

  • With the Salesforce Retail Theft solution, retailers can better understand inventory data and gain insight into what categories and locations are impacted by using capabilities from Tableau, MuleSoft, Commerce Cloud, and Slack to integrate relevant data, analyze it, and initiate workflows to act. Salesforce’s broad ecosystem of ISV and SI partners, like PwC, Forter, and ThinkLP, provide powerful solutions to help address these challenges, including fraud and loss prevention, case management, incident management, compliance audits, and more.
    • For example, an employee at headquarters can now track and review data such as store sales and returns at a regional and individual store level. If an inventory problem occurs, they can initiate a workflow to notify leadership and store managers and recommend actions to address the situation.

Boost operational efficiency with Retail Employee Productivity

Employees who are engaged are a catalyst for growth — accounting for a 53% increase in revenue per person, per hour worked, and a 45% increase in profit. And, on average, retail frontline associates use 12 systems every day for their job.  

  • With the Salesforce Retail Employee Productivity solution, retailers can simplify onboarding and training, optimize operations and employee helpdesks, and enhance productivity and collaboration. New Service Cloud and Slack AI innovations help employees generate message thread and conversation summaries, update customer sales records, and use AI-driven conversational search to find answers to customers’ questions.
    • For example, a retail sales associate can get up to speed on the company’s flash sale from an AI-generated Slack summary and remind a customer of a current promotion while using AI-powered search to quickly surface answers to detailed product or brand questions 

Streamline location and facility management with Retail Real Estate

Specialty contractors, including retail contractors, report that about 20% of workers’ time is currently spent on low-productivity tasks, such as tracking down information or documenting information on paper.

  • With the Salesforce Retail Real Estate solution, retailers opening new locations, refurbishing stores, or managing facilities operations can integrate project management, collaboration, and workflow automation into a single platform.
    • A retailer can use Slack to speed up coordination of different aspects of a store launch, such as construction, permits, and merchandising with third parties. This enables streamlined teamwork and communication for completing projects or repairs faster.  
    • Using AI-driven conversational search in Slack and Service Cloud, a regional operations manager at a fitness retailer can easily access and share information that service techs need to complete onsite jobs, such as installing new fitness equipment or fixing broken machines.

The partner perspective: “We’ve seen an uptick in retail customers asking for help in removing the silos and slowdowns within their real estate and facilities operations. These new Retail Real Estate solutions have been paramount to our ability to optimize cross-functional communication, franchise management, pipeline, and more for retail brands around the U.S.” – David Rosenbaum, Managing Partner, Rosetree Solutions

These new Retail Real Estate solutions have been paramount to our ability to optimize cross-functional communication, franchise management, pipeline, and more for retail brands around the U.S.”

David Rosenbaum, Managing Partner, Rosetree Solutions

Availability:

  • The latest innovations for Salesforce for Retail Media are in pilot and will be generally available in fall 2024.
  • Retail Theft is generally available today.
  • The latest Slack innovations for Retail Employee Productivity are in pilot and will be generally available in spring 2024. 
  • Retail Real Estate is generally available today.

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