The weekly Retail Tech Roundup compiles technology news across the supply chain, textiles, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, logistics and fulfillment sectors.
Searchspring, a provider of intelligent site search and merchandising solutions for online retailers, revealed it is a partner of personal styling and plus-size subscription fashion retailer Dia&Co. As a result of the partnership, shoppers who use search on Dia&Co are now 10 times more likely to make a purchase than those who don’t, according to Searchspring.
Visitors who engage with the site’s search bar now account for 12 percent of the site’s overall revenue.
Dia&Co worked with Searchspring agency partner Verbal+Visual to redesign its site to better reflect the brand’s mission. Because of the subscription-based nature of the business, many customers visit the Dia&Co e-commerce store to re-purchase specific products or brands from their curated style boxes, but the previous site search experience did not fully cater to these shoppers.
Additionally, Verbal+Visual sought to upgrade the site’s filtering and sorting capabilities, so that shoppers could more quickly locate the right styles, colors and sizes. With frequent stock updates and inventory changes, the latest arrivals and best sellers on the Dia&Co e-commerce store needed to be easier to find.
The team implemented Searchspring’s Search and Category Navigation solutions on the Dia&Co site, as well as a new denim sizing quiz. The quiz helps customers to find the perfect pair of jeans by asking a series of questions about fit, color and style preferences. Based on the quiz, Searchspring added new data fields to Dia&Co’s products to produce more relevant results in response to customers’ answers. If, for example, a shopper expresses a preference for classic denim styles, they will not receive results that include more trend-driven finishes like bleached or ripped jeans.
David’s Bridal has partnered with Popwallet, a mobile wallet marketing automation platform, to engage directly with customers through digital wallets like Apple Wallet and Google Pay.
The Popwallet platform will enable David’s Bridal to deliver connected and tailored experiences to customers with dynamic coupons, offers, rebates and more, meeting clients wherever they are in their shopping journey.
David’s Bridal’s partnership with Popwallet is the latest announcement coming from the bridal wear company, which also recently announced Virtual Stylist and Virtual Appointment activations, as well as the new-to-market Wedding Planning Toolkit and Vision Board to assist customers through their entire wedding planning journey.
WeCommerce, which operates companies focused on delivering products and services within the Shopify e-commerce ecosystem, has acquired Foursixty Inc., a social commerce company that deploys user-generated content for brands on Instagram, for an undisclosed sum.
Foursixty works with direct-to-consumer brands such as Fashion Nova, Pura Vida Bracelets, Knix, MVMT Watches, Mejuri, and Skims to help them monetize their Instagram content. Foursixty joins Pixel Union, Rehash, Out of the Sandbox, Supple and Yopify in WeCommerce’s growing portfolio of Shopify-related businesses.
Like all of WeCommerce’s acquisitions, Foursixty will continue to operate independently.
Katalyst Technologies Inc. has launched Celero 2.0, the latest update to its Celero warehouse management system, which is designed to bring a high level of customization and advanced data analytics capabilities to the supply chain.
“Celero is a next-generation warehouse management solution with many innovative features inspired by our experience with various apparel and fashion customers,” says Nixon Xavier, vice president of Innovation at Katalyst Technologies. “The key differentiator for the Celero WMS is that it includes general warehouse functions for products with multiple dimensions,” including style, color and size that many competitive warehouse solutions are unable to properly handle.
Celero 2.0 includes Katalyst’s patent-pending pick path optimization algorithm, co-designed by senior software engineer Wayne Ma and chief systems architect Dave Schuler. This algorithm is designed to enable faster, more efficient picking in warehouses by automating the process and creating the best possible path based on bin distribution.
Geek+, a China-based provider of advanced robotics for logistics, has closed a Series C funding round of more than $200 million, bringing the company’s total fundraising to nearly $440 million. The company previously secured $150 million in Series B funding in November 2018.
The first part of the funding was led by GGV Capital, D1 Capital Partners and Warburg Pincus in Summer 2019, while the second part, finalized earlier in 2020, was led by V Fund, along with Redview Capital and Vertex Growth Fund.
Geek+ says it is the world’s largest autonomous mobile robotics company, with more than 10,000 robots deployed worldwide, 300 customers and projects in over 20 countries. Its range of logistics robots covers robotics categories and scenarios in both warehousing and factory environments, including goods-to-person picking, a bin-to-person roboshuttle system, disinfection robots, sorting, moving and a forklift. The company also provides fully integrated solutions for automated smart fulfillment centers and smart factories.
With the funding, the company will focus on deploying its CARE strategy: customer focus, artificial intelligence, “robot as a service” and ecosystem-enabling. The strategy is designed to bring concrete, immediate and long-term value to customers with efficient, flexible and scalable solutions, develop innovative AI applications to robotics and software in logistics, ramp up robots-as-a-service as an accessible business model for businesses and boost relationships with technology and logistics ecosystem partners to lead a digital supply chain.
Kibo, a cloud commerce solutions provider specializing in omnichannel fulfillment, revealed that its retail clients saw a 563 percent increase in buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) orders at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in April. Momentum is still high for BOPIS, with retailers seeing a 374 percent year-over-year increase in orders from June.
Kibo included curbside pickup in the statistic since it gained massive consumer popularity once social distancing regulations went in effect and non-essential stores were forced to close.
In total, Kibo saw a 193 percent increase in online ordering in April and a 184 percent increase in May.
Honeywell unveiled several new software solutions designed to help companies enforce COVID-19 site health and safety procedures across stores and warehouses.
The features, offered through the Honeywell Operational Intelligence asset management platform for the workplace, are designed to monitor on-site social distancing compliance, help enforce customizable device cleaning procedures and deploy software to digitally trace who has handled each device.
These features provide employees and managers with real-time data to better respond to critical factors for businesses re-opening under modified conditions due to rapidly evolving health and safety guidelines. Honeywell is currently making this expanded functionality available to Operational Intelligence customers, and Honeywell device users can rapidly deploy these features on the platform.
The features include:
- Social Distancing Proximity Detection, which monitors the proximity between Honeywell devices and logs alerts, allowing frontline workers to promote social distancing and adherence to safety guidelines.
- Check Out/In and Device Cleaning Management establishes processes to check out and in devices during a worker’s shift, giving employers device tracing data and alerting workers on when to clean workplace assets.
- Remote Control and Remote Wipe, which enable IT administrators to take control of a device in any location to investigate and fix issues remotely and digitally wipe devices to original factory settings.
- Customer Counter devices, which share real-time data to employees at multiple entrances of a store to remain in-sync and count as customers enter and exit.
Retail Pro International (RPI) delivered expertise from its Retail Pro Professional Services team during the COVID-19 pandemic to upgrade and tailor their Retail Pro POS software for footwear and apparel brands like Puma, Under Armour, Payless, Stella McCartney and Mothercare.
During the pandemic, Retail Pro International also offered its retailers free access to full online training for its current solution and legacy products, empowering retailers to deepen their knowledge of the point-of-sale software they rely on to optimize the efficiency of their operations.
To ensure timely support for reseller partners and retailers during the pandemic and beyond, RPI hired additional staff members for its tech support and software quality assurance teams, and partnered with four new resellers to offer focused support for new markets including Poland, Sweden and the Nordics, Kenya, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
In addition, the company launched a special liaison effort to provide avenues for retailers to get in contact with their Retail Pro Business Partner if they did not already have established contact.
Checkout.com, a U.K.-based payment solution provider that enables retailers to build checkout experiences accepting multiple forms of payments, has secured a $150 million Series B funding round, tripling its valuation to $5.5 billion. The high valuation reflects the continued shift toward online shopping spurred by the COVID-19 crisis, in which Checkout.com saw e-commerce transactions increase 250 percent year over year in May 2020.
The Series B funding was led by Coatue, along with participation from existing investors, including Insight Partners, DST Global, Blossom Capital and Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, GIC.
Checkout.com will use the funds to further strengthen its balance sheet, bringing available cash to over $300 million. The company will also invest in the development of new products, including its upcoming advanced Payouts solution. The Series B round follows the company’s $230 million funding in May 2019, which was Europe’s largest fintech Series A round of funding ever.
The company’s single, unified integrated platform is designed to give enterprise businesses better performance and more control of their payments processes through advanced data features, fraud management tools and comprehensive reporting.
Checkout.com processes more than 150 currencies and offers access to all international cards and popular local payment methods to merchants through its proprietary integrated platform. The company already has acquired two payments businesses this year, France-based ProcessOut in February and Australian startup Pin Payments in May.
Fattmerchant, an integrated payment technology provider that simplifies the payment processing experience for business owners, has released Contactless by Omni. This all-in-one contactless payment solution is designed to enable business owners to go touch-free and virtual overnight, allowing their business to begin accepting payments however their customers are most comfortable.
A Fattmerchant survey shows nearly half of respondents are uncomfortable with making purchases at stores that do not offer a contactless payment option, while 55 percent are now more likely to shop at businesses that offer contactless payment options.
Contactless by Omni includes features such as:
- One-click instant online shopping cart, which allows retailers to create an online shopping cart to sell products with a single click and no configuration or technical skills needed.
- Text 2 Pay, in which retailers can send a payment link to customers via text message and customers can complete the payment through their mobile phone.
- Touch-free mobile and countertop terminal devices designed to enable customers to tap their card, phone or smart watch on the reader to complete a transaction.
- Virtual portal for keying in phone orders for curbside pickup or delivery.
- Email invoicing.
- Omnichannel payments reporting housed in a single dashboard.
SmartMetric has added a biometric fingerprint scanner that can be placed inside a credit or debit card and scan a shopper’s fingerprint as they reach across to wave their card over the card reader at checkout. The biometric technology is designed to make the card safer for shoppers than the alternative of typing in a PIN number when checking out.
Shoppers can either use the cards by inserting them into a card reader or tapping the card reader via the contactless RFID/NFC feature.
The card’s security measures are designed so that it is unable to be used unless there is a 100 percent fingerprint match with the card user’s fingerprint. The card’s contactless RFID/NFC feature is only activated following the biometric fingerprint match.