Prior to Luminate, suppliers working with Walmart had access to Retail Link, a free service that offers access to “a decent amount of data to suppliers, from a day to day business management perspective. Beginning in October of this year, companies can transition to Luminate until Retail Link's removal on March 1, 2024.
Moving beyond point of sale data
Platforms like Retail Link rely on point of sale data sets to identify trends, Joji explained in a blog post for Insite AI.
“[It] will show you [data] by store, by day, how much product you’re selling, historical week dollars per store, per week, inventory; it shows you what sold with your items, what modular it was pulled from, what your marked down percents were,” she explained.
Suppliers use multiple data points to drive their business, she added. One of those is panel data which can be misleading due to the smaller sample size.
“The panel data is tens of thousands of households, and the data is months old. Brands have done excellent work with panel data but it can also be tricky. The results rely on how the panel responds, and sometimes people say what they want you to hear, or the subset of people in the panel isn’t very broad,” she wrote.
As the next iteration of data platforms, Walmart's Luminate offers more data-rich insight, providing suppliers with deeper insights into their business and helping them make better decisions.
Understanding consumer actions
However, brands can often struggle with implementing the data into actionable solutions that give products on shelf the best possible sales outcome -- which is where Insite AI can help.
“I think a lot of brands struggle with the ‘I can tell you what happened,’ but ‘I can’t tell you why it happened.’ That’s another thing that Insite AI does is … decompose all of those numbers and say, ‘here’s why it happened.'"
To give brands a more holistic understanding of these data points, Insight.ai customizes its solutions for each client through its AI-driven data harmonization optimization tool to maximize and grow their business.
For example, choosing price points are often a complex process with multiple factors to consider, including product assortment, transportation costs and how often consumers switch between brands, among others.
"So that's what this [Insite AI] model does. It will show all of the price elasticities, the [brand] switching, and then it will show based on what products you put out there, how much volume you will drive." The model will provide the best possible price point and how much product should be produced to support it, Joji explained.
Insite AI creates a dashboard and interface specific to its client's needs, enabling brands to have full transparency on all aspects of their product portfolio. The company offers bespoke one-time and subscription services, including the creation of enterprise solution tools such as assortment applications, price modeling, and trade optimization, among others.
“Our goal is just to help people drive their businesses and solve any challenges that are keeping them from meeting their goals … Every supplier has got a different set of challenges … What we do is customize all of our solutions, specifically to [their] challenges. It’s bespoke to them. They can say ‘These things are important to us, this is the data we want to ensure is included’ and everything is [built] custom to them," Joji added.
*Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Retail Link uses panel or qualitative data. This is incorrect. The platform uses point of sale data, which limits a brand's ability to gain comprehensive insights into their business.