AI in retail

AI-powered returns processing in futuristic retail warehouse with holographic displays

parcelLab Unveils Returns Forecast AI: Revolutionizing Retail Returns Management

parcelLab unveils Returns Forecast AI, a groundbreaking tool that leverages artificial intelligence to revolutionize retail returns management, offering unprecedented visibility and control over the returns process.

Talk Commerce - Mike Micucci

The Future of Omnichannel Commerce: Insights from Fabric CEO Mike Micucci

I recently had the pleasure of hosting Mike Micucci, CEO of Fabric Commerce, on the Talk Commerce podcast. With his deep experience in ecommerce, including leadership roles at Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Mike shared fascinating insights into how composable commerce and AI are revolutionizing the omnichannel retail experience. In this post, I’ll highlight some of the key takeaways from our conversation.

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The Power of Composable Commerce

Mike explained that composable commerce provides retailers the flexibility to build the experiences they want while still benefiting from a unified backend platform. Fabric’s composable platform allows retailers to seamlessly manage the full commerce lifecycle, from merchandising to order fulfillment.

As Mike put it, “Commerce doesn’t stop at checkout. It’s just getting started.” I couldn’t agree more. Composable commerce empowers brands to craft unique customer journeys that extend beyond the buy button.

Accelerating Omnichannel with Fabric

For retailers looking to enhance their omnichannel capabilities, Mike outlined two key approaches with Fabric’s platform:

  1. Incrementally add discrete services like real-time inventory or advanced promotions to their existing tech stack
  2. Implement a comprehensive omnichannel solution by leveraging Fabric’s pre-built “primitives” – mini-apps that accelerate time-to-market and reduce complexity

Having seen many retailers struggle with siloed systems and inconsistent experiences, I’m excited by Fabric’s vision for a unified omnichannel platform. It’s a game-changer.

The Transformative Power of AI

Mike and I also discussed the transformative potential of AI in commerce. While many retailers have adopted basic machine learning for product recommendations, Mike envisions AI driving significant operational improvements.

By harnessing data across merchandising, fulfillment, and returns, AI can enable dynamic pricing, intelligent inventory allocation, and proactive decision-making. As Mike noted, this was previously only possible for retail giants like Amazon. But with platforms like Fabric democratizing access to advanced AI, every retailer can now unlock this potential.

The implications are vast – I believe we’ll see AI fundamentally reshaping how brands operate and engage customers in the coming years.

Unifying Digital and Physical Retail

Finally, Mike emphasized the importance of blending digital and physical experiences into one cohesive customer journey. Fabric’s platform empowers retailers to offer seamless omnichannel scenarios – browse online, purchase in-store; buy on mobile, pick up curbside; endless aisles in fitting rooms – all on a single platform.

This unified approach powered by robust APIs is key to meeting modern customer expectations. I’m thrilled to see composable commerce and platforms like Fabric making this level of integration achievable for retailers of all sizes.

Boosting Performance and Flexibility with Fabric’s Ethos

One aspect of Fabric’s approach that stood out to me was their ethos of “boost what’s there, make it better and faster.” Mike explained how this allows retailers to incrementally adopt Fabric’s services to enhance their existing infrastructure, rather than ripping and replacing everything at once.

This modular approach, enabled by composable architecture, gives brands the agility to tackle their most pressing needs first, then layer in additional capabilities over time. From my experience, this agile mindset is essential for success in today’s fast-moving retail environment.

The Symbiosis of Composable Commerce and Omnichannel

Throughout our discussion, it became clear that composable commerce and omnichannel retail are intricately linked. The modularity and flexibility of composable architectures perfectly align with the demands of omnichannel selling.

As customer journeys increasingly criss-cross between digital and physical touchpoints, retailers need the ability to rapidly compose and recompose experiences. Fabric’s platform, with its comprehensive suite of APIs and pre-built components, makes this level of agility possible.

Empowering Store Associates with Clienteling

One exciting use case Mike highlighted was clienteling – equipping store associates with tools to deliver personalized, high-touch service. Historically, clienteling has been challenging due to disconnected systems and data silos.

But with a unified platform like Fabric, associates can now access customer profiles, past purchase history, product information, and inventory data in real-time. This empowers them to deliver the kind of consultative, omnichannel experiences that drive loyalty and revenue.

As brick-and-mortar retail rebounds post-pandemic, I believe clienteling will be a key differentiator. Composable commerce makes it achievable at scale.

As I reflect on my conversation with Mike, I’m struck by the vast potential of composable commerce to reshape retail. By breaking down monolithic systems into modular, API-driven components, retailers can finally achieve the speed and flexibility needed to thrive in the omnichannel era.

Moreover, the convergence of composable architectures and AI opens up exciting new possibilities. From dynamic pricing to predictive merchandising, retailers can now harness data and intelligence in previously unimaginable ways.

Of course, technology is just one piece of the puzzle. Retailers must also foster a culture of agility, experimentation, and customer-centricity. But with platforms like Fabric providing the technological foundation, I believe we’ll see a new generation of retailers redefining what’s possible in omnichannel commerce.

If you’re as passionate about the future of retail as I am, I invite you to listen to my full Talk Commerce podcast episode with Mike Micucci. And if you’ll be at Shoptalk, swing by the Fabric booth to see their technology in action.

The retail renaissance is here – and it’s composable. Let’s embrace this exciting new era together.

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Erica Guider

Harnessing the Power of Data Analytics in Retail: A Conversation with Erica Guider

In this episode of Talk Commerce, Brent and Madeleine interview Erica Guider from 42 Technologies about the importance of data analytics for retail brands. They discuss the role of data analytics in making informed decisions, the benefits of using an analytics tool versus building one in-house, and the challenges of using Google Analytics.

Erica explains how 42 Technologies helps unify data from different platforms and provides accurate and readable data for analysis. They also touch on the role of AI in data analytics and share success stories of brands that have made an impact with unified data. The episode concludes with discussing key strategies for the upcoming quarter and a shameless plug for 42 Technologies.

Introducing Erica Guider from 42 Technologies

Our episode kicked off with a warm introduction of Erica Guider, a key player in the sales team at 42 Technologies. Erica’s role involves managing accounts and ensuring that clients’ data is clean and organized on their visual dashboard. Her passion for retail is evident, and she is driven by the goal of giving people more time by streamlining their data processes.

The Importance of a Unified Data Spot

One of the main topics we discussed was the importance of having a centralized data source. Erica explained how 42 Technologies works with platforms like BigCommerce, NetSuite, and Apparel Magic to combine different data points from various channels, such as e-commerce and point of sale (POS). The aim is to clean and scrub the data to ensure accuracy and make it readable for humans. This approach overcomes the limitations of Google Analytics and provides more accurate numbers through daily snapshots of data.

The Role of AI in Data Analytics

Our conversation also touched on the potential role of AI in data analytics. Erica shared their plans to develop a chatbot that can provide quick answers to retail teams. This innovative approach is set to revolutionize the way retail businesses access and interpret their data.

The Impact of Data Analytics on Brands

Erica highlighted the impact that data analytics has made for clients like Figs, a scrubs brand. By providing real-time updates on inventory and sales, 42 Technologies has helped brands like Figs to streamline their operations and make more informed decisions.

The Importance of Granular Data Analysis

Erica emphasized the importance of analyzing data at a granular level, such as specific attributes like color, to make informed decisions about stocking items. She also discussed the negative effects of markdowns on a brand and customer expectations, highlighting the need for careful inventory management and understanding sell-through rates.

A Special Offer for Shopify Clients

As a Shopify certified plus partner, 42 Technologies is offering a free trial for Shopify clients. This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to experience the benefits of a unified data spot and make more informed decisions based on accurate, granular data.

Wrapping Up with Some Light-Hearted Moments

Our conversation wasn’t all business. We shared some light-hearted moments and jokes, including a discussion about our experiences at Costco. I concluded the segment by thanking Erica for her time, humor, and invaluable insights into the world of retail data analytics.

In conclusion, our conversation with Erica Guider highlighted the importance of data analytics in retail businesses. By harnessing the power of a unified data spot, businesses can make more informed decisions, streamline their operations, and ultimately drive their success.


  • Data analytics is important for businesses of all sizes to make informed decisions.
  • Using an analytics tool can save time and money compared to building one in-house.
  • Unified data from different platforms provides accurate and readable information for analysis.
  • AI tools can help with predictive analytics and answer specific questions quickly.
  • Strategies for the upcoming quarter include focusing on sell-through and right-sizing inventory.

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