Q&A: Richard Potter, CEO at Peak and Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019 sponsor
Peak is an artificial intelligence (AI) firm on a mission to help its customers ‘do great things with data’, by providing them with the technology and skills needed to achieve success in today’s world.
What does your company do?
We specialise in helping retail businesses to compete in these uncertain times, leveraging their data with our own AI and machine learning algorithms to help them grow revenues, optimise processes and get ahead of the competition.
What’s special about the platform and your approach?
We believe that bringing AI into your enterprise doesn’t have to be complex. Our pioneering Artificial Intelligence System – a new category of enterprise product – takes any data, from any source and unifies it, before rapidly making sense of it to deliver invaluable business recommendations to our clients.
To ensure this happens as smoothly as possible, our fully-managed service approach means that our customers are supported by our team of data scientists, engineers and customer success specialists to help them get the most out of their AI journey with Peak.
Alternatively, for those larger businesses who may already have a data science function in place, our Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering provides them with full access to the Peak AI System and our library of out-of-the-box AI and machine learning solutions.
What does a product/service implementation actually look like and how do you measure success?
Our first step with any customer is to run a series of workshops to look at their data and see what’s possible. We help retailers overcome a wide range of business problems, from improving efficiencies through stock reduction to the hyper-personalisation of marketing communications. Once we have a project lined up, we’ll run a proof-of-concept to demonstrate how we will deliver value before entering into a live service. Success is measured on an ongoing basis by our team of customer success specialists, who deliver regular insight reports to our clients.
What advantage does it add?
We’re of the belief that all retail businesses, not just the major players, need to be able to leverage their data to full effect – and the only way to do that successfully is by bringing AI into their operation. Our own research on the UK sector shows us that those retailers who are employing AI in their business are growing 30% faster than the non-AI competition. On top of this, their profit margins are also 50% higher. With growth and profit crucial to businesses in such a turbulent industry environment, it’s imperative that retailers are doing what they can to buck this trend – and becoming AI-driven is the perfect place to start.
For an example of what AI can do in practice, look no further than our work with leading streetwear retailer Footasylum. We’ve been working closely with the brand to start making more of the wealth of customer data (historical and transactional) it had at its disposal, using AI to improve the quality of marketing communications sent to its customer base. Through AI-driven hyper-personalisation and with a clearer view of each customer’s preferences and requirements, Footasylum is now able to send the right content to the right people at the right time – and has enjoyed a 28% uplift in revenue from email marketing as a result.
What challenges are retailers facing in 2019? / How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?
The main challenge for the majority of retailers this year will be ensuring that they don’t fall further behind the competition. Today’s headlines are, of course, dominated by stories concerning the death of the high street and the doom and gloom surrounding the sector, but if you look closely at the macro trends and the bigger picture, you’ll actually see that the industry is thriving, with strong year-on-year growth enjoyed by many. However, it’s those companies who are embracing new technologies such as AI – the likes of ASOS and Boohoo, for instance – who are driving this encouraging growth. These kinds of businesses have taken a data-centric approach to their operations from day one, and are now reaping the benefits. It’s up to the rest of the industry – the more traditional, bricks-and-mortar retailers – to try and catch up, and AI is the only way to achieve is.
What is on the horizon for you as a company?
We’ve grown rapidly since being founded in 2014, now with a team of just over 60 and offices across the UK, as well as in Jaipur (India) and Brisbane (Australia). A key priority for us this year is to continue to increase our presence over in the United States, as well as continuing to scale the team and our capabilities in our current Manchester headquarters.
Find out more by visiting Peak here
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