C-Level Coke and Nike execs back NY and London-based AI firm bringing predictive analytics to brick-and-mortar retail

Nike’s former Chief Operating Officer Eric Sprunk and Coca-Cola’s former Chief Growth Officer Francisco Crespo have announced that they are joining the board of New York and London-based pass_by, a start-up aiming to help revive brick-and-mortar retail using AI-powered predictive insight and analytics.

Pass_by crunches over 100bn data points each day to give business owners real-time insights to help them drive footfall, cut costs and better understand what sort of physical footprint they need.

It was recently awarded AI Product of the year by Product Hunt and has signed up more than 350 early adopting businesses ranging from craft-store owners through to fast-food outlets.

Founder & CEO Sam Amrani believes that once the pandemic is through, there will be a rebalancing of physical retailing across the West.

Sam Amrani said: “E-commerce has increased exponentially in most markets, but that doesn’t mean physical retail is dead. It’s true that some areas — like fast-fashion — won’t return in the same way, but brands like Brooks Brothers have had their day and firms like J.C. Penney were badly run businesses that failed to innovate. Plenty of firms are innovating and they are the ones who will benefit from using big data to map out recovery, work out where they should be positioned and how they maximize the potential of a physical presence.

“Convenience retail, leisure and luxury are all extremely resilient sectors and the post-pandemic landscape will doubtlessly see a flight to quality – both in terms of the locations picked by major brands and in terms of the type of stores and service provided.”

Eric Sprunk said: “The pent-up demand we see emerging from this pandemic makes it clear physical retail will be as important as ever, yet will face new challenges with the acceleration of e-commerce.

“The convenience and efficiency that comes with online experience must be met and integrated head-on by brick-and-mortar business through the use of data and predictive analytics to make their most significant decisions. Reducing the inefficiencies that exist in inventory, labor, pricing and customer experience will give retailers the resources to transform their business.

“Having acquired a predictive analytics start-up for Nike in 2019, and understanding the power this can bring from an inventory perspective, I believe Olvin is uniquely placed to help retailers optimize decisions on driving sales, saving money and maximizing working capital with its AI platform, Almanac. This will be critical for their e-commerce business as well as their brick-and-mortar business. I’m proud to be associated with them as they build Olvin into a powerhouse platform for the future of retail.”

Francisco Crespo said: “The big weapon physical firms need to employ is data. Unifying systems and having a singular interface with customers is key. Many brands still have no way of telling that the customer in their store is the same one who’s ordered online.

“After decades of product-centric industries being successful in their ability to master economies of scale, digitization is rapidly demanding that success needs to be related to deeply understanding customers’ needs, desires and behaviors.

“Olvin has built an impressive way to map consumer behavior in a way that allows retailers and CPG brands to start the journey towards predicting demand. The implications are huge, in terms of costs, prices, assortment and resource allocation; brands with the power to really own the entire customer journey will be the ones who flourish. I am proud to be part of this journey with Sam and the whole Olvin team.”

Notes to editors:

About pass_by:

  • pass_by is an AI-powered solution focused on predicting consumer behavior.
  • On a daily basis, pass_by crunches billions of real-world data points from location and demographic through to weather and events in a powerful yet easy-to-use platform – Almanac. This enables businesses of all sizes to gain a deeper understanding of their shoppers in the real world.
  • Its award-winning platform, Almanac, leverages powerful AI + ML to predict consumer behavior. This is made accessible in our easy-to-use platform that informs predictive seasonality, identifies trends in a direct and actionable way and gets a snapshot of the competitive landscape.
  • We believe physical retailers, brands and chains can utilize Almanac to thrive in the post-pandemic world by helping them to save costs, grow revenue and increase loyalty.
  • Its novel approach to insight and analytics gives all retailers, regardless of size or scale an ability to affordable and actionable insights.
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James Ewen

James is the VP of marketing at pass_by.

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