This is a co-authored article between AlixPartners and NAX Group. Alongside Sonia Lapinsky and Angela Zutavern, Sid Shah contributed from a NAX perspective. 

Parents have enough on their to-do list during the holiday season. Thanks to AI advances, it’s now easier than ever to cross off one major item: choosing the right toys for their children.

As AlixPartners’ head of AI Angela Zutavern recently discussed on NBC’s “The Today Show,” AI now allows you to compare product features, discern when the best deals will be available, and stay ahead of the latest trends by simply asking platforms like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. 

Retailers that know which toys will be hottest ahead of time can shift assortment to ensure popular products are in stock and available. AlixPartners and NAX Group can help. 

Together, we have built a unique platform that leverages NAX’s proprietary AI software to drive growth and unlock AI-enabled insights. NAX’s core AI capabilities and methodology include:

  • Data sources: NAX pulls conversations, videos, posts, comments, likes, and more across social media to inform its machine learning models. 
  • AI extraction: NAX’s ML models extract features from the data through computer vision (image & video), NLP (natural language processing), and network analysis. NAX deploys methods such as sentiment extraction, topic modeling and extraction, named entity extraction, object and action detection, and affinity extraction.
  • Analysis: The extracted features are indexed and semantically connected in a knowledge graph. From there, metrics are turned into actionable insights.

Companies rely heavily on social media as a crucial marketing and sales channel to connect with customers. NAX’s software efficiently combs through tremendous amounts of social data across TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, X, YouTube, and Reddit to unlock trends and insights. These tools can even aid in product development and design, expediting the discovery and launch of new products and features.

For retailers, the potential benefits are boundless. AI forecasting analyzes trends, seasonality, customer preferences, sales data, and more to accurately predict demand, preventing inventory issues like overstocks or shortages. During the busy holiday season, AI systems can automatically boost reorders to meet demand surges, optimizing inventory to reduce expenses.

Ahead of the festive season, AlixPartners and NAX evaluated 57,000 relevant social posts over a 30-day period to unearth the hottest holiday toys across age segments. The trend analysis tells us they will be:

Last-minute shoppers, take note. If only the rest of parenting could be so simple.