The death of the retail industry may have been greatly exaggerated – but that doesn't mean the industry isn't currently going through major disruptive and fundamental changes. For this special series, Yahoo Finance Canada will look at how the retail scene is developing, what companies are doing to adapt, and what could come next. Click the image above to see our full coverage of what the future holds for the Canadian and global retail scene.
Kerry Liu could have harnessed the power of AI for just about anything, but he set his sights on solving problems retailers face with his company Rubikloud.
“Consumers expect a frictionless, personalized experience that provides the right product, at the right time, in the right price,” Kerry Liu, co-founder & CEO at Rubikloud, told Yahoo Finance Canada.
“The reality is that meeting this expectation is only achievable through the successful application of AI.”
The suit of software helps manage things like inventory, supply chains, and promotions. In doing so, it helps companies cut down on waste by making better stocking decisions. It also helps keep more fast-fashion clothes out of landfills. Only the oil industry creates more pollution than clothing and textile.
Liu says a deep bench of retail expertise helped get Rubikloud’s foot in the door because his company knows what keeps retail executives up at night.
“We’ve also intentionally built and designed our product with a laser focus on solving some of retail’s most complex challenges whereas many of our competitors have spread their solutions across multiple industries (i.e. financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, etc.) expecting that the same methodology will address their business challenges,” says Liu.
“We understand that each industry has its own nuances to consider, and a one-size-fits-all solution will not work.”
Liu says Rubikloud has processed around $200 billion in transactions and 400 terabytes of data, making it third behind Amazon and Walmart, and first among non-retailers.
“For a large global retailer, Rubikloud helped them achieve an 11 per cent uplift in revenue and a gain of $15 million in incremental sales,” says Liu.
Despite Rubikloud’s success on the big stage, Liu says he plans to keep the company’s headquarters in Toronto, because it is among the best locations for tech firms.
“The city's lively ecosystem has created more technology jobs than the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. combined in the last year,” says Liu.
“We are an attractive place for global talent, we continue to be the epicentre for some of the world’s most exciting technological advancements and we have a strong support system for the startup community that continues to create an environment where tech talent can thrive and make an impact.”
Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains