The weekly Retail Tech Roundup compiles technology news across the supply chain, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, logistics and fulfillment sectors.
American Eagle Outfitters/Radar
American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is planning to launch inventory-tracking technology from Radar in about 500 U.S. American Eagle stores over the next year.
Radar uses a combination of RFID and computer vision to track and locate in-store inventory in real time with 99 percent accuracy, enabling retail store employees to know what product is in-store, and where, so they can efficiently serve customers, replenish items on the sales floor and fulfill in-store and curbside pickup orders.
The technology company has secured more than $50 million in funding to date from investors that include large global retailers, funds including Y Combinator, Align Ventures, Sound Ventures and Founders Fund, and the family offices behind Michael Kors. The company is currently piloting its platform with two additional Fortune 500 retailers, Radar said.
By providing the technology that enables retail employees to know exactly what is in stock in their store at the SKU level, and precisely where each product is located, Radar says it helps brands ensure no customer ever walks out empty-handed because the item they were looking for couldn’t be found. The Radar app also enables timely replenishment and more efficient in-store fulfillment. In addition, the platform’s analytics capabilities reassure brand decision makers that the right inventory is in stock, regardless of day, season, current trends, staffing level or other factors.
“AEO is extremely proud of the exceptional service that we provide to our customers, and we are always exploring new technologies and innovative ways to empower our brand teams to deliver a seamless shopping experience,” said Michael Rempell, executive vice president, chief operating officer, AEO Inc., in a statement. “Our initial test with Radar provided visibility into inventory availability and placement with impressive accuracy. Based on those results, we are excited to begin implementing RFID technology to unlock operational and inventory efficiencies, while arming our associates to best serve the needs of customers.”
While many retail brands have used RFID tags in the past to track and manage inventory, RFID often still cannot accurately identify where items are located in a store, meaning employees must continually hunt to find items that are in-stock, but have been misplaced or overlooked. In addition, handheld RFID scanners require store staff to hold product tags at just the right angle, leading to errors and inaccurate inventory counts. Radar’s system aims to eliminate these challenges by automatically locating items in 3D with 99 percent inventory accuracy in near real time and feeding the data to an app and dashboard that let store staff see where every item is at all times.
Obsess, an experiential e-commerce platform enabling brands to create immersive 3D virtual stores, has launched a self-service version of the solution called Ava by Obsess.
The content management system (CMS) leverages proprietary 3D editing and rendering technology that can makes it easier to add and place products, embed rich media content and customize merchandising and styling in virtual stores. Obsess’s technology powers more than 200 virtual stores where tens of millions of shoppers engage with brands and purchase products across global brands such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Alo Yoga and beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury.
According to Neha Singh, founder and CEO of Obsess, the company had been building the Ava platform for two years based on partner data and feedback. Singh compared Ava to Shopify and the DIY storefront capabilities it provides for small businesses, noting that the platform helps brands to dynamically change merchandising, content and styling within their own 3D storefront.
The debut comes as more fashion, beauty, media, entertainment and CPG brands incorporate 3D experiences as key parts of their overall digital selling strategies.
As virtual stores become an always-on, year-round sales channel for brands, they often require more accessible tools for dynamic merchandising and store management. In enabling brand teams to create and optimize their branded virtual experiences at a faster pace, Ava by Obsess can help drive more engaging customer experiences and boost loyalty and lifetime value.
Once Ava users upload a standard 3D media file into the CMS, Obsess’s patented rendering technology converts it into a proprietary, web-compatible format for large-scale 3D environments. Brands can also integrate SKU-level data and product imagery from their e-commerce stores and dynamically place products throughout the virtual store environment.
In addition, brand teams can add clickable content hotspots to showcase immersive offerings such as in-scene videos, games, educational content, social media integrations and avatars. All Obsess brand customers can access the tool as part of their annual platform subscription and can choose to use it on their own or work with their Obsess account team to manage their virtual stores.
E-commerce checkout platform provider Bolt said its One-Click Checkout solution is now an SAP Endorsed App, deepening the company’s relationship with the enterprise technology firm and integrating its offering within the SAP Commerce Cloud.
SAP Endorsed Apps are premium certified by SAP, meaning they go through in-depth testing and measurements against benchmark results. The SAP partnership is the latest in Bolt’s expansion of its headless checkout offering to enterprise customers, following recent partnership announcements with Fanatics and Casper.
Bolt’s solution is built to enable a one-click checkout experience for shoppers, allowing SAP merchants to enhance their customer experience by integrating Bolt One-Click Checkout with their e-commerce stores. These sellers can offer one-click checkout by either using Bolt APIs while keeping their existing SAP commerce technology or implementing Bolt’s end-to-end checkout solution.
The app can help retailers improve their native checkout experience, increase conversion, repeat purchases and increase the lifetime value of the customer.
One-Click Checkout is available for digital discovery and purchase on the SAP Store. SAP Store gives its customers real-time access to more than 2,300 solutions from SAP as well as partner solutions that complement and extend their SAP applications, enabling digital transformation of their business.
Bold Commerce, a company that powers tailored checkout experiences for omnichannel retailers and DTC brands, has launched its headless checkout integration with Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce. Bold collaborated with PayPal to create the new integration.
By introducing a composable headless alternative to Magento’s native checkout, Bold can enable brands using Adobe Commerce to deliver checkout experiences without the risk, cost or complexity of replatforming. The composable checkout solution integrates a customizable checkout experience on top of brands’ existing technology. For many brands, adopting this new checkout would be their first step toward a composable SaaS e-commerce infrastructure.
As brands work to address the nearly half (48 percent) of shoppers that abandon checkout before completing a purchase on e-commerce sites, they’re simultaneously pursuing options to make other digital channels shoppable.
With Bold Checkout and PayPal, brands can activate and use most payment methods without the need to add plug-ins. This can ensure more payment flexibility for both brands and consumers. The new integration also can remove potential performance and security issues that threaten brands’ potential to scale as traffic and transactions increase over time.
Bold Checkout enables retail brands to customize their entire checkout experience with checkout flows. Brands can continually build, test and iterate multiple custom checkout flows based on shoppers’ profiles and the device, channel, preferred shipping and payment, and location they’re shopping from to increase conversion.
With Bold’s API-first technology, open architecture brands can customize the checkout experience or opt for pre-built templates and integrations with payment gateways, and tax, fraud, shipping, and marketing solutions.
Brands including Vera Bradley, Harry Rosen, Staples Canada and Sitka Salmon have already adopted the checkout experience that is now available to brands using Adobe Commerce.
Supply chain visibility
Third-party logistics (3PL) provider Ceva Logistics has selected Overhaul, a software-based supply-chain visibility, risk, compliance and insurance solution, as its partner in improving and optimizing real-time cargo visibility and security for high-value goods.
As cargo volumes increase and the capacity crunch continues to strain the global supply chain it causes freight to sit, making it vulnerable to theft. To help protect this freight, Overhaul’s end-to-end solution will provide Ceva proactive, real-time risk alerts on every shipment. If the shipments move off course, the platform has the ability to lock down cargo for an added layer of security. An early lock down exit initiates an instant escalation to Overhaul’s proprietary LE Connect network for recovery.
In the event an in-transit theft was to occur, Overhaul’s intelligence and response team will help aid in the recovery of lost cargo. The intelligence and response team leverages LE Connect to send pertinent shipment details, location tracking, and more via a secure link to law enforcement, facilitating the successful retrieval of stolen goods.
Cargo theft has further intensified within certain commodities on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic as thieves capitalize on supply shortages and target high-value goods and other hot commodities, according to Barry Conlon, CEO of Overhaul. These monetary losses from theft, along with the danger to drivers and the impact on a 3PL provider’s reputation if goods don’t make it to the end destination, makes it more important to strengthen current supply chain vulnerabilities.
ShipStation, a cloud-based e-commerce shipping solution, has released ShipStation 3PL, a feature designed to give 3PLs the power to streamline client onboarding and management through a self-service portal. The portal allows 3PLs to automate manual fulfillment operations and eliminate client friction.
Many 3PLs still perform client onboarding, integration and support manually—typically through email, file transfer or directly through their clients’ shipping platforms. Manual client onboarding can cost 3PLs up to 10 labor weeks per client, and manual client management processes can make 3PLs prone to human errors and costly mistakes. Outdated onboarding and management processes can limit the number of customers a 3PL can serve, and can frustrate existing clients who are accustomed to immediate visibility and control of their order fulfillment processes.
ShipStation 3PL is built to directly address these challenges by automating manual client communication processes and reducing new client setup to less than one day. It functions as a single platform for 3PLs to manage their carrier integrations and receive, manage, and ship all of their clients’ orders. Additionally, it offers automatic status, tracking, and inventory updates that are sent directly to clients once orders are fulfilled by the 3PL.
The solution offers 3PL access to ShipStation accounts, which can allow them to offer their clients hundreds of sales channel integrations and order routing, branding, and self-fulfillment capabilities.
OneRail, a provider of solutions in last-mile omnichannel fulfillment, has launched the OneRail app on the Shopify App Store. The OneRail solution is designed to allow retailers and sellers of all sizes to access same-day delivery with end-to-end tracking and visibility directly from the Shopify App Store—tapping into OneRail’s network of over 12 million drivers without leaving Shopify, and with no integration required.
The Shopify integration further cements OneRail’s commitment to helping SMBs level the playing field by offering delivery as a competitive advantage. OneRail says it offers an on-time delivery rate north of 98.6%
The initial launch, which includes a 14-day free trial, benefits merchants looking for a same-day delivery option. Through the OneRail app, merchants will have immediate access to the company’s network of same-day delivery assets, from sedans and sprinter vans through box trucks.
Additional capabilities to be rolled out throughout the year include: multiple service-level agreements such as same-day, 90-minute and two-hour delivery; parcel shipping capabilities; enhanced customer experience notifications; and role-based access management,
The Shopify integration is the latest milestone in OneRail’s growth trajectory. OneRail closed on a $33 million Series B funding round last year, and was deployed from 10,000 unique shipper locations. OneRail’s Logistics Partner Network of 12 million drivers, seamlessly benefitting shippers and couriers, grew by 4 million 2021-2022, up 66 percent year-over-year. Since its Series A in 2021, OneRail has grown revenue YoY by 312 percent and has expanded service to more than 350 U.S. cities.
Men’s underwear brand Shinesty has migrated its subscriber experience to Ordergroove, a provider of subscription solutions for retailers and direct-to-consumer brands.
In a recently released case study, Shinesty said that Ordergroove, in partnership with e-commerce agency Scoutside, enabled the brand to deliver a bespoke subscriber enrollment experience, boost its average order value (AOV) and decrease subscriber churn.
As a subscription-first brand, Shinesty prides itself on its customizable subscriber experience, in which subscribers can access more than 40,000 product combinations and are guaranteed never to receive the same design twice.
Shinesty elected to move to Ordergroove because of its extensive experience powering subscriptions for enterprise brands, along with its expertise with migrations, ensuring subscribers aren’t inadvertently lost in the switchover. Additionally, Ordergroove’s APIs further allowed Shinesty to continue building on its personalized shopping journey.
“Because of our large subscriber base and the complexity of our subscription experience, small changes can have a significant impact—both positive and negative,” said Jens Nicolaysen, chief marketing officer and co-founder of Shinesty in a statement. “Ordergroove delivered a seamless migration and, even better, elevated our subscriber experience. We’ve improved our subscriber retention by thousands of subscribers per month.”
Another way Ordergroove improved Shinesty’s subscriptions was by increasing the apparel brand’s AOV with Ordergroove’s Instant Upsell feature. The tool is designed to make it easier for subscribers to add new products, as either a one-time purchase or as a subscription, to their recurring orders. After three months on Ordergroove, Shinesty’s recurring subscription AOV had increased by 5 percent, resulting in a significant lift in revenue.
In addition, Scoutside, an Inc. 5000 award-winning agency, used Ordergroove’s APIs and their proprietary software to build a custom subscriber dashboard for Shinesty that can ensure subscribers receive the correct order no matter how many times they adjust it. Within three months of launching the dashboard, Shinesty reduced its subscriber churn by thousands of customers, the brand says.
Nfinite, a next-generation 3D visualization solution for retailers, has unveiled a set of new features including the release of Dynamic Display, a new capability of its SaaS platform. Dynamic Display is designed to enable retailers and brand owners to embed interactive, shoppable showrooms on any webpage.
To date, Dynamic Display has shown significant improvements on website and conversion performance, including a 2.5X increase in clickthrough rate, a 53 percent increase in conversion rate and a 2.8X improvement in repeat customer engagement.
In a recent report from Nfinite, shoppers report increasing expectations around e-commerce product visuals. Eighty-eight percent of people say high-quality product imagery is important and 77 percent said product image capabilities increase their confidence in purchase decisions on websites they’ve never purchased from before.
The Nfinite e-merchandising platform is built to eliminate the physical, scaling and financial barriers that retailers and brands typically face in creating advanced, visually stunning e-merchandising experiences. The company says it serves three of the world’s top five retailers and also offers 3D visual assets compatible with VR and AR applications.
Kasheesh, a digital payment platform that allows consumers to split payment for online purchases across multiple combinations of debit and credit cards for free, has introduced Mobile Wallet Dashboard, its first mobile wallet feature.
The Mobile Wallet Dashboard allows anyone with a Kasheesh account to generate a one-time use Visa card to use anywhere at brick-and-mortar retailers that accept mobile payments.
The dashboard allows users to add their Kasheesh account to their mobile devices, which generates a unique card number every time they use it for in-store purchases. Similar to how Kasheesh can maximize rewards across cards when making online purchases, this new dashboard feature allows the same experience and reward optimization its digital experience provides across the cards.
In 2022’s Mobile Shopping Report, 79 percent of Generation Z and 77 percent of millennials said they are shopping more often with their mobile devices. As mobile wallets have gained more traction in purchasing goods, access to secure payment details and better control of which cards are used becomes crucial. This access can become even more important when users aim to maximize card rewards across their cards versus forced to selectively choose just one per purchase.
Kasheesh’s platform is built to assist U.S. consumers across three spending areas: reduced cost burden on individual cards per purchase; sustainably building credit scores and card rewards by using any combination of cards versus just one; and maximizing financial privacy through unique auto-generation of a new encrypted Visa card number to use per purchase.
Dispatch, a distributed commerce solution leveraging web3 technology to connect brands and consumers, has unveiled new e-commerce capabilities in collaboration with brands like Lacoste and fashion footwear company Marie Laffont.
Showcased at a retail event at Showfields in New York City from April 11-13, Dispatch’s solutions are built to enable global brands to effectively onboard, engage and sell directly to customers on-chain.
The technology was built to fill the holes in much of today’s brand marketing experiences, especially as consumers are bombarded by messages and mistimed promotions. And in many cases, buyers are overlooking their advertisements amid too much noise. The emergence of Web3 solutions like Dispatch are designed to help marketers cut through that noise, enabling brands to better engage customers, build deeper and more personalized relationships and deliver relevant offers at the crucial moment when purchasing decisions are made.
Dispatch is a blockchain-based solution that leverages web3 capabilities to help brands sell physical and digital goods through their own portable marketplaces by connecting with existing order management and consumer relationship management systems.
Whether it be a display ad, a website, the metaverse or a physical location, brands can leverage Dispatch to reach their audience, where they are.
The company uses blockchain technology to safely and instantly settle transactions with lower fees. In addition, through Dispatch, brands can leverage blockchain technology to build social graphs and send targeted cards, enabling a more engaging and in-depth community experience via customer polling for feedback and voting.