Adapting Retail Practices to the Post-Pandemic
We will work with Alimentation Couche-Tard (ACT) to adapt retail practices to the post-pandemic world. Consumer behaviour has dramatically evolved due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are spending less time shopping and they aim to minimize physical contact. This shift in purchasing behaviour will generate unique data that may allow us to develop new ways to predict consumer demand. Looking at data before, during, and after the pandemic, we will investigate how to properly adapt some of the existing demand-forecasting methods and tailor these to the new, post-pandemic landscape. We aim to collect detailed customer data through our McGill Retail Innovation Lab (in partnership with ACT). This will allow us to analyze various customer shopping behaviours (e.g. where in the store they spend more time, which products catch their attention), and use these features to develop new demand forecasting models and evaluate their accuracy. We will also explore how these features can give rise to different customer profiles that can be used for personalization purposes (e.g. customized marketing and product offerings). Our hope is to identify key features related to purchasing behaviour that can help retailers better predict customer demand in the current uncertain times.