Manmit Shrimali

Founder & CEO, Dextro Analytics
Manmit Shrimali is founder and CEO of Dextro Analytics. He co-founded the company with a motive to extract knowledge by seeking clarity, applying cognitive and artificial intelligence techniques to solve marketing, operations, and risk related problems differently. He helps clients be more competitive by providing foresight through differentiating analytics and to help them see customers in a way as never before. His approach to augmented human learning + machine learning has helped clients in the financial, pharmaceutical, retail, CPG, and technology spaces see measurable bottom-line impact. With post-graduation in research and analytics, Manmit Shrimali holds certificates in analytics and management science including advanced analytics, economic theories, balance scorecards, machine learning, behavior science, and cognitive science.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2017

    Will personalized pricing only lead to more discounting?

    Interestingly, different surveys yield different insights. One such survey says that personalization has not been very successful -- just about 8 percent of customers say personalization fosters loyalty. In our retail pricing audit, seven out of 10 SKUs were priced incorrectly mostly because the model used for personalized pricing was making many incorrect assumptions. Personalized pricing only works when the retailer has enough information or loyalty from the customer (not all customers are frequent shoppers). Most retail pricing models currently in practice require a new method of price optimization. So even if they discount the product, they are going to hurt their bottom-line or under- or over-price their customers.
  • Posted on: 03/08/2017

    Is the sole proprietor toast?

    If small business owners want to remain small with lackluster growth they will not see the impact of digital, provided they are able to serve the niche market. But if they are hoping for growth and scalability (the primary drivers of big retailers), then for sure they will. In the long run they will benefit greatly from digitization and automation because at some point in time there will be just too much digital noise and technology that will make consumers want to go somewhere else for a more human experience. Our study shows that implementing technology (like Watson) that can replace humans as part of the in-store experience actually would do much bigger damage to brands in the long run.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2017

    What does it take to drive a top-down plan for customer-centricity?

    A culture shift is the biggest hurdle for any change -- analytics, customer-centricity, and change management. Talking the talk is not sufficient. Show financial impact to C-suite. Reflecting from past engagement, combining organization data and building model that quantifies impact of customer experience and centricity are the sure fire way to walk the walk. When you can show impact of customer centricity efforts on sales and revenue, you no longer need to do any convincing.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2017

    Will free two-day shipping give Walmart an edge over Amazon?

    This would temporarily get traction because Walmart's price optimization model is really weak. We recently revamped the price optimization at the SKU level for a retailer for whom we benchmarked Walmart vs. Amazon vs. client. Walmart won on only 13 percent of SKUs in terms of pricing. It will not take long for a consumer to compare the prices and weigh their options -- even for quickly-consumed items. For example, Pampers Baby Dry diapers, size 5, 160 count, available for two-day free shipping from Walmart is priced almost 20 percent higher than that for Amazon's Prime members. We did this type of analysis across 80,000 SKUs -- Walmart really needs to reevaluate their pricing model.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2017

    Can AI resolve customer service disputes?

    Sourcing data from publicly available information, etc. ... these are precisely the reasons why seven out of 10 so called Big Data-based AI projects fail to show an impact on the bottom-line. Nobody is even looking under the hood on the accuracy of these predictions -- which is really sad. Recently, we conducted an analysis on AI technology and concluded that it actually did more harm than good as it was wrongly interpreting the social feed data -- there were many data holes for which AI was making incorrect assumptions. The future is more about how AI can help self-serve using historical interactions. We built an AI engine where we took the past call records and created self-serving servicing that replaced 70 percent of agents. Even after analyzing data from the last four years, our accuracy is still at 84 percent which is good but still not 100 percent. We highly encourage retailers not to blindly rely on publicly-available data and so-called data fusion without careful considerations. Bottom-line -- the tech mentioned in the article will actually do more damage.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2017

    Amazon offers yet more perks for Prime members with a cash-back card

    One cannot estimate effect at the aggregate level. The card will be highly successful in few customer segments: Low-ticket repeat purchasers (for diapers, etc.) and infrequent but high-ticket purchasers. These segments will see HUGE ADOPTION as Amazon already has low price and 5 percent cash back with Prime shipping is no-brainer. It is the other segments that Amazon needs to capture the attention of and appeal to for loyalty. They have all the right ingredients. Most importantly, through this card Amazon would access additional data which can be used to guide and refine pricing, placement and the recommendation of products.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2016

    How are manufacturers failing retailers?

    It is less about what one side is doing vs. other, but more how both can work together. Data sharing between them is one of the biggest pain points. The single most important thing we have been encouraging retailers and manufacturers to do is to work together for co-creating insights around how to grow a category and not just focus on the SKUs.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2016

    Will the newest Walmart c-store concept be the one that sticks?

    I don't think so. They are targeting to fix something which is really not broken. This is the classic example of misjudging how and why consumers buy.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2016

    How can retailers prompt customers to write product reviews?

    1. More reviews do not necessarily translate into sales but the quality of reviews does. Our recent analytics on millions of reviews uncovered a) Alarming number of fake reviews b) Low variation in reviews — for example, most ratings were in the range of 4 or 4.5 stars which plays a limited role in the choice making. 2. Use psychology triggers to motivate write review. It is well-known fact that incentives or loyalty works in short-term but not necessarily in long run. Retailers needs to leverage human learning aspects to encourage write reviews. There are several academic papers on this.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2016

    Could digital advertising be replaced by a subscription model?

    There's no doubt about the effectiveness of digital advertising if done right. In our recent analysis, 93 percent of ads shown were irrelevant. If publishers and advertisers can use next-gen models not just to target by demographics but by also by emotives, ads will be more effective in long run. Additionally, the publisher has to provide solid content so that visitors see value in a give-and-take relationship. For example, I don't mind seeing ads on Harvard Business Review online because they have rock-solid content. Visitors always make trade-offs, it is up to publisher and advertiser to prove their side is more valuable.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2016

    How important is convenience to motivating online holiday shoppers?

    Retailers don't need to sell on convenience because by virtue of online shopping it is already rooted among shoppers. I don't think retailers will be able to differentiate at all on this proposition. How is convenience a proposition to shop at specific retailer? Indeed, this will do more harm than good. Retailers need to find a way to increase basket size and it is a well-known fact that online shopping basket size tends to be much lower than in person. Just because some sample of consumers say what they think they want does not mean it is the fact.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2016

    Retailers go beyond (below) price-matching for the holidays

    Absolutely. It works really well, especially when you see the percentage of customers who actually take the pain to compare it. It plays on the same psychology of self-confirmation. But this is where brand loyalty would be a big challenge, as the price is no longer an incentive to retain the customers. As such, retailers should also think about what else they can do on top of the price-war to retain the customers. It could be as simple as simplifying one of the shopping touchpoint.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2016

    Who destroyed American Apparel?

    Pricing team, creative, fashion, etc., all divisions are responsible for the unfortunate outcome. If we were to attribute the failure to one reason — it would be organization culture and agility.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2016

    Will adding off-price shops lift Macy’s full-price stores?

    It would only help if they learn from their data and put the right item on the shelf with the right price among 1000s of SKUs. Most retailers are failing primarily because they don't know what to put on the shelf because of the customers' fast-fashion and use-and-throw tendencies.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2016

    What should stores do about BOPIS abandonment?

    Given what we learned by leveraging human learning + machine reasoning, we see in-store pickups less favorably to drive sales. This is because in-store pickup works against the shopper's psyche on why they do what we do. Regardless, here are few tips to reduce BOPIS rate: 1. PREDICT: Use information theory modeling to predict which item(s) consumers abandon. Do this as a multi-layer segmentation approach — segment consumers and SKUs. This exercise would also require data from the supply chain, consumer proximity, consumer segment, etc. 2. PRESCRIBE: Run revenue optimization models to find thresholds of profitability and loss. Find the cost of lost sale and then offer an additional incentive to pick the item. 3. TACTICAL: Through our human learning modeling, we have learned that when you show a customer how much effort went behind the offering, they are far more likely to appreciate it. Using this approach, alert them at every stage of the supply chain — when the item is getting prepared, packaged, leaves the warehouse, in transit, reaches to store, and waiting for pick-up. Note that each segment requires a different kind of messaging — a GEN Y would receive a different type of alerts vs. GEN X or Boomer. We recently implemented the above strategies and were able to reduce the abandonment rate by 4%. But as an organization, we believe in-store pickup is not a sustainable model to drive sales.
  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.
  • By submitting this form, I give you permission to forward my contact information to designated members of the RetailWire staff.

    See RetailWire's privacy policy for more information about what data we collect and how it is used.