Summit 2024: Retail and CPG Data Insights and Trends from Modernization to AI

Explore some of the biggest retail and CPG data insights, themes, and takeaways from Data Cloud Summit 2024, including data stack modernization, monetization strategies, and game-changing AI use cases.
June 13, 2024
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Reflecting on the dynamic events that unfolded last week in San Francisco, I felt compelled to share some key themes that my team and I observed in the Retail/CPG and Supply Chain verticals at the Snowflake Data Cloud Summit 2024In this blog, we will talk about some retail and CPG data insights, trends, and takeaways that surfaced during Data Cloud Summit 2024, starting from the highest level of data maturity and working our way backward from AI and ML use cases, to monetization strategies, to Snowflake migrations and the modernization of enterprise data stacks. 

Monetization Strategies

The second main theme we witnessed this year was organizations focusing more on monetization strategies. How do they add new revenue streams to their business by capitalizing on the data they have at their fingertips. This is one I am thrilled to see taking shape, as I’ve always viewed data & analytics as a Profit Center, not a Cost Center through which it has been traditionally seen. 

My favorite Retail/CPG monetization example at this year’s Snowflake Data Cloud Summit was K.T. Terry presenting on behalf of US Foods, one of America’s great food companies and a leading foodservice distributor. K.T. showcased the ‘Shared Table’ concept, a powerful embedded analytics platform built on Snowflake & Sigma that gives their customers valuable insights into what products are needed and when. Recently awarded Hakkoda’s Modernization Champion, it was great seeing US Foods sharing their ‘Shared Table’ with the world! 

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AI and ML Use Cases

I was thrilled to see real-world AI applications that not only make sense but also add substantial value. For any Data Team, taking a project from conception to implementation can be daunting, especially when you’re dealing with new tech, emerging risks, and increasing pressure from leadership to deliver results. I’ve seen this play out many times in my career. Value realization from AI can be a roll of the dice in many ways, especially without proper upfront planning. With more intentional focus on these projects from the beginning, we’re starting to see more of these initiatives land. It’s even more impressive when these advanced projects are delivered within two brands each founded in the 1800s! 

Coca Cola hosted a session detailing their newly developed AI-powered Route Optimization tool, built with SnowPark and Cortex. Collecting historical data around fuel consumption, variances in fleet size, warehouse and client locations, and more, Coca Cola took descriptive analytics and turned them into the next day’s delivery recommendations. Further enhancing the tool using weather, traffic patterns, topographic maps, and more, they’re already ahead of the curve in “optimizing the optimization!” The tool has led to faster delivery times, reduced fuel costs, and happy customers.

Another example at this year’s Summit was when Snowflake RVP Ross Armstrong asked Annalise Wittenberg Konst, a retail panelist from Stanley Black & Decker, how they incorporate AI into their analytics strategy, the last thing I would have guessed her response to be was ‘Product Manuals.’ As simple as that sounds, it could be revolutionary. Imagine a world where you can chat with your power tools? Well it’s here! By combining the power of LLMs with years of product user manuals, SB&D is taking the hassle out of troubleshooting on the job site. This is a great reminder that when prioritizing projects, technical complexity is not always correlated to ROI. 

Modernization of Data Stacks

Modernization is not in itself a new concept, but more and more companies are seemingly playing catch up,  perhaps out of fear of missing out on the AI landscape that is promising to take hold. CTOs and other tech leaders are realizing without sound data strategy, governance, and the right tools in place, building successful AI products is just not possible. 

This particular retail and CPG insight was brought to the forefront by Fei Wang, CTO of Saks OFF 5th. During the same Retail Panel mentioned above, Mr. Wang expanded on his organization’s approach to building out its data strategy, consolidating its tech stack, and implementing new provisioning guidelines. Without these foundational steps, it’s hard to realize your data’s true value. And it’s not only AI that is causing this reaction, but modernization is taking hold in how brands attract new customers. 

The Customer 360 is also not a new concept, but leveraging modern tools, and harnessing the power of comprehensive 1st party data inside Snowflake is emerging. Companies like Topgolf Callaway Brands (TC Brands) – recent winner of Hakkoda’s Customer Excellence award – and AXS Tickets, held sessions on explaining how they broke down silos to execute campaigns and deliver value to their customers. TC Brands focused on how they consolidated customer data from each of their subsidiaries into a common data model using Snowflake. With the help of Hakkoda, TC Brands presented how they are now increasing collaboration, decreasing time to action, and enabling secure data sharing across the organization. A true single-source-of-truth customer experience! 

Conclusion: Actualizing Summit Retail and CPG Data Insights with Hakkōda

As we wrap up our thoughts on retail and CPG data insights at Snowflake Data Cloud Summit 2024, it’s clear that the industry is at a pivotal moment. The integration of AI and ML, innovative monetization strategies, and the relentless push for data modernization are not just trends—they are the new standards driving business transformation. 

Witnessing AI being applied effectively in legacy brands like Coca-Cola and Stanley Black & Decker was inspiring, proving that even the most established companies can leverage cutting-edge technology to stay ahead. The focus on monetizing data as a valuable asset is reshaping how organizations view their analytics departments, transforming them from cost centers into profit-generating hubs.

Moreover, the modernization efforts highlighted by industry leaders like Saks OFF 5th and TC Brands demonstrate that having a robust data strategy is crucial for future success. Breaking down data silos, ensuring data governance, and fostering collaboration are now essential practices for any business aiming to thrive in this data-driven era.

In conclusion, the Snowflake Data Cloud Summit 2024 has underscored a fundamental truth: the future belongs to those who can harness the power of data to drive innovation, efficiency, and growth. As we move forward, embracing these themes will be key to staying competitive and delivering unparalleled value to customers. 

For CPG and retail businesses looking to accelerate their journey from modernization, to monetization, to advanced AI use cases, Hakkoda’s data consulting services can help them design and implement a data strategy roadmap that meets them where they are and propels their business forward. With deep industry experience and certifications across the modern data stack, our teams are equipped to help CPG and retail enterprises get more out of their data faster while delivering stronger returns on their data technology investments.

Ready to learn more about how you can unlock the full potential of your data in a data stack centered on Snowflake? Let’s talk today.

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