The weekly Retail Tech Roundup compiles technology news across the supply chain, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, logistics and fulfillment sectors.
Luxury fashion retailer Saks renewed its partnership with omnichannel commerce solutions provider Lightspeed Commerce for another four years. The retailer says the platform has streamlined previously manual processes, slashing time spent on order creation by 50 percent and reducing time spent on purchase orders and item creation by 90 percent.
By adopting NuOrder by Lightspeed, Saks says it has modernized how it connects with brands and buyers. This collaboration enables Saks to digitize its buying and merchandising processes, make data-driven decisions and accelerate its go-to-market strategy, improving customer experience. Further, NuOrder by Lightspeed can increase assortment visibility and empower merchant teams to curate buys dynamically.
“At Saks, we are committed to delivering the best of luxury both on Saks.com and in Saks Fifth Avenue stores. NuOrder by Lightspeed has enabled us to unlock new levels of efficiency as we continue to offer an unmatched assortment expertly curated for the lifestyles of the full range of luxury consumers,” said Tracy Margolies, chief merchandising officer, Saks. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with NuOrder by Lightspeed and leveraging this innovative technology for the benefit of our customers, brand partners and merchandising team.”
The platform allows Saks to visualize and develop assortments in real-time, and can cater to different markets and offer consumers the most sought-after, high-quality merchandise. The technology also fosters collaboration between marketing and digital teams, ensuring alignment on a single vision for featured items in marketing campaigns.
The B2B NuOrder by Lightspeed platform includes virtual showroom technology, visual assortment and merchandising tools and integrated payments solutions. Today, more than 3,000 brands and more than 100,000 retailers use NuOrder by Lightspeed to streamline the wholesale buying and selling process.
Fabletics has partnered with Salesfloor, a customer engagement platform for retailers that combines immersive virtual shopping, clienteling and conversational AI to power shopping experiences.
With the Salesfloor solution, Fabletics aims to empower its associates to personalize customer experiences for shoppers, both in-store and online, by creating connected conversations across channels.
Fabletics in-store stylists can use the technology to manage their relationship with customers and personalize recommendations for VIP customers via text, email and video chat.
The partnership will help the Kate Hudson-fronted business to deliver expert sizing, style advice and stock availability across all channels from its most qualified store associates.
Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) is launching an official branded resale program with resale technology provider Archive called DVF ReWrap.
DVF ReWrap offers a search feature called “Missed Connections” where shoppers can connect personally as they search for specific pieces. The Missed Connections section will include a “Diane in Search Of” list where the designer puts out a call for the pieces she wants to add to her own closet, including items from the 2014 Andy Warhol print collection. The search feature is designed to encourage potential sellers to come back often to see if they might have an in-demand item in their closet.
“ReWrap makes room for everyone—those who have loved DVF over the years can give their pieces new life and younger generations can discover pieces from the past,” said Diane von Furstenberg in a statement.
Brands such as DVF, Oscar de la Renta, The North Face, Sandro, M.M.LaFleur, Marimekko and Cuyana are merchandising their recommerce channels and leveraging Archive’s technology to elevate their branded resale experience. The peer-to-peer ReWrap program, which will also feature some items from the brand’s own archive, is custom designed and editorialized to reflect DVF brand aesthetic.
“We are so excited about the launch of ReWrap,” said Talita von Furstenberg, co-chairwoman, DVF. “The site has been created to celebrate DVF’s unique history, with imagery from our iconic archives and a name that specifically honors the wrap dress.”
Archive’s platform supports a variety of resale models, including peer-to-peer, in-store or mail-in takeback, brand-owned returns or damages, and vintage supply, allowing brands to seamlessly scale their programs over time and ensure an end-of-life plan for every item.
Electronics manufacturer Kyocera has released Forearth, a new inkjet textile printer that aims to eliminate virtually all water usage from fabric printing. The company expects this printer to help eliminate printing-related water pollution, an ongoing problem in the textile and apparel industries.
Traditional analog textile printing consumes a large amount of water, especially in the washing and steaming processes. In addition, waste resulting from the mass disposal of overstocked clothing is also an environmental concern, and the textile and apparel industries are under pressure to alleviate this issue.
Kyocera developed the new inkjet textile printer, Forearth, combining patented inkjet, ink and printing equipment technology to address these environmental problems.
Forearth’s All-in-One printing system uses a new proprietary pigment ink, pre-treatment liquid and finishing agent, which are constantly discharged in the same sequence from the inkjet head. This system eliminates the pre-and post-processes required of conventional dye printing and can reduce the water consumption of textile printing by 99 percent.
Also, this new printing solution can contribute to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions because it does not need large-scale equipment used for the pre and post-treatment processes of textile printing.
Conventional dye digital printing generally requires different types of dyes for various fabrics made from different fibers. Forearth solves the typical problems of pigment printing, such as less color development, fastness and hard hand-feel, by using Kyocera’s proprietary ink technology and knowledge in a new, All-in-One printing system. This enables highly detailed printing on fabrics ranging from cotton, silk, polyester, nylon and blended fabrics with a single machine.
Also, the printer is adaptable to a wide range of categories, from women’s wear and sportswear to babies’ apparel and home textiles.
Since Forearth needs only a small amount of water for printing, the production site of the printer can be located anywhere, whether it be on-shore, nearshore or in suitable places closer to consumers. Plus, Forearth’s two-step printing and drying system drastically shortens the number of steps from design to production.
As a result of this streamlined processing, Forearth supports optimized production and location setting and therefore can handle small-lot printing and shorten delivery times, helping reduce logistic costs and surplus inventories. Moreover, Kyocera says that Forearth can complete print production within a small area footprint compared to conventional textile printing, which often requires many more printing processes with separate equipment.
Kyocera will showcase Forearth at ITMA2023, an international textile and garment technology equipment exhibition held in Milan, Italy from June 8-14.
Freight forwarder Kuehne+Nagel has incorporated a new Container Dashboard in its MyKN online platform, which enables customers to track all their containers in real-time. The dashboard is designed to reduce manual effort in identifying milestones and current deviations from the planned schedule.
Additionally, the dashboard not only increases accuracy and productivity by eliminating previous white spots in supply chain transparency, but enables early preventive measures for the cargo.
The Container Dashboard also offers notifications on the next milestones, such as pick-up or departure, which can improve the transparency of the customer’s door-to-door transport chain. This includes pre- and on-carriage, demurrage and detention, as well as transshipments. A new user interface lists container flows and dwell times and highlights deviations from the initial carrier schedule. Long-term analytics allow customers to reorganize routes that consistently exceed dwell times.
The underlying real-time geo system collects and includes telemetry and multiple internal and external industry data sources, such as carrier data, terminal information, route maps and vessel trackers, to improve the accuracy of the Estimated Time of Arrival.
Stord, a provider of fulfillment services and technology for omnichannel midmarket and enterprise brands, has expanded its order management system (OMS) software offering.
Stord One Commerce is an OMS software for high-volume brands that need to manage orders and inventory across multiple facilities and sales channels. To better support brands as they expand into new DTC and B2B channels, and add fulfillment locations, Stord is announcing additional capabilities designed to foster smarter and more cost-effective order routing, multichannel inventory management, and last-mile optimization.
Currently, many brands store product inventory across a network of locations and rely on a static, rules-based approach to determine which facility fulfills an order. This can increase their overall fulfillment costs—including last mile—and decrease their customer satisfaction with out-of-stock messages or lengthy delivery timelines. This approach prevents brands from adapting to external changes such as 3PL failures, carrier surcharges, supply delays or changes in demand.
The Order Routing add-on aims to help brands with a multi-node supply chain network continuously meet rising consumer expectations. Stord’s Order Routing automatically routes orders to the fastest, most cost-effective fulfillment location with “ship full” availability based on facility capacity and total inventory. It can direct orders to be fulfilled from a specific location, eliminate the need to pre-determine fulfillment locations and automate order splitting based on a brand’s preferences.
Stord also wants to help brands fulfill orders for multiple sales channels. Typically, brands will physically separate inventory in their warehouse(s) or 3PL facilities in order to fulfill orders for each sales channel, and even create distinct channel-specific SKUs. This can lead to unnecessary out-of-stock messages, substantial operational inefficiencies and added complexity and cost from increased SKU count.
The Stord One Commerce Multichannel Inventory add-on can improve and optimize this process by letting brands easily reserve inventory per channel, specify minimum inventory availability levels for certain SKUs or channels, and gain visibility of their inventory to meet channel-specific customer promises. With Multichannel Inventory, brands can also prioritize fulfillment for specific accounts or partners and set automated fulfillment workflows for specific channels, such as how to handle backorders and inventory shortages.
With Multichannel Inventory, brands can increase sales revenue and capture more demand by eliminating missed sales opportunities from out-of-stock inventory across channels while controlling inventory availability on a channel-by-channel basis.
Finally, Stord One Commerce introduced a Last Mile Optimization feature, which enables brands to save up to 12 percent to 15 percent on parcel spend through advanced modeling and optimization that automatically identifies the right carrier service level for each order based on billions of historical data points. This way, brands can stop spending on a higher service level than is actually needed while still meeting customer expectations for fast delivery.
MadaLuxe Group/Digital Wave
MadaLuxe Group, a North American distributor of luxury fashion and accessory brands, has gone live with Digital Wave Technology’s PXM and Maestro AI solutions, months after the businesses first unveiled their partnership.
The MadaLuxe team is using Digital Wave’s AI capabilities to streamline operations and improve customer experiences. The platform helps the retailer to gain quick insights into products with inventory that is not available for sale, auto-assign product attributes, write compelling copy in brand voice, drive product discoverability and elevate quality control.
MadaLuxe team could update items with missing data, view products that weren’t available on digital channels, surface and solve costly discrepancies and more.
“We are extremely impressed with Digital Wave’s AI-powered platform. The implementation was seamless, and the team provided excellent white-glove service. Their AI capabilities are exceptional and were up and running in a matter of weeks,” said Robert Seaborn, vice president, systems and business applications at MadaLuxe Group. “My team is now able to automate processes and bring products to market faster and at a higher quality level than ever before.”
Digital Wave Technology assists brands and retailers in accelerating omnichannel growth and direct-to-consumer digital sales, marketing and merchandising. Digital Wave’s AI-powered omni-experience platform unifies the entire product journey from item creation, product information enrichment, management, syndication (PIM/MDM), planning, pricing and merchandising.
OneRail, a provider of last mile omnichannel fulfillment solutions, has launched the OneRail Driver application to power efficient delivery management operations for fleet owners.
The OneRail Driver app was developed to solve logistics providers’ and fleet managers’ need for reliable real-time visibility, the ability to dispatch and communicate with drivers, track deliveries and automate billing and operations while powering a real-time customer experience.
A significant challenge of fleet ownership is balancing the supply of fleet assets with annual and seasonal shipping demand. OneRail Driver can solve this problem by providing fleet operators with instant access to more fleet assets through a network of more than 12 million drivers, while also providing demand from OneRail’s roster of Fortune 500 shippers across retail and wholesale distribution channels.
The standalone solution features driver onboarding and access to elastic capacity in all 50 states and in more than 350 cities in North America.
The OneRail Driver app features a smart-matching API to right-size deliveries to vehicles, route optimization, real-time chain-of-custody tracking, proof of delivery, customer experience and communication and notifications with drivers and customers.
This can lead to greater levels of customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and efficiencies; increased driver retention; additional revenue opportunities; elastic capacity without hiring additional drivers or purchasing more vehicles.
OneRail’s last-mile delivery fulfillment solution is built to automate last-mile logistics, and select the right shipping mode and courier or carrier network to optimize each order. The platform features an open API for integrations to deliver enhanced operational data with other business systems and advance digital transformation initiatives.
Delivery management platform FarEye has launched Grow, a solution aimed at empowering logistics businesses to accelerate customer acquisition, improve customer satisfaction and drive growth.
FarEye Grow is built to help merchants to self-serve, get quotes, create orders, generate labels and manage transactions. It also offers shipment-level visibility and in-built exception management, enabling retailers and shippers to save time and effort, which ideally would lead to increased customer satisfaction. In addition, automated invoice generation and payments with digital wallet capabilities allow logistic companies to reduce payment delays and improve cash flow.
Grow is equipped with built-in plug-ins with major e-commerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, allowing shippers to connect and start delivering quickly.
FarEye Grow is a part of the FarEye product portfolio that is built to support companies through the complete order-to-door delivery journey. It has products like Ship, Track, Route, Execute, Experience, Analyze, and now, Grow.
The portal allows self-onboarding to complete order entry, get quotes, generate labels, real-time status updates and proof of delivery on one platform. From there, the technology can provide real-time track-and-trace visibility and address validation to merchants for booked orders.
The platform also tracks merchants’ growth, runs campaigns based on orders and transactions, and makes recommendations for merchants to transact more for revenue and business growth. In offering self-service merchant order booking directly from the platform, this helps couriers, express and parcel services (CEPs) track revenue and reduce lost revenue.
And with digital wallet management, customers can purchase credit for their shipping needs. Grow provides complete visibility into all transactions, and enables users to book and pay for shipments by multiple payment modes, including directly by wallet.
TaylorMade Japan, a subsidiary of TaylorMade USA, a manufacturer of high-performance golf equipment and apparel, integrated AI-based AR/VR fitting room Perfitly into its online experience.
The Perfitly virtual fitting room is designed to enable TaylorMade’s apparel collection to be tried on before buying in an interactive visual experience.
Perfitly created a widget that will be accessible on each garment’s product page, so users can view their items on body shapes most closely representing their own in a virtual fitting room setting. They can try on multiple garments concurrently to build outfits. This immersive and personalized process has been created to help alleviate challenges across e-commerce including low conversions, high returns and a lack of personalization.
“Partnering with Perfitly provides shoppers a fun, interactive and immersive experience,” said Jason Maitland, director of consumer direct at TaylorMade, in a statement. “The solution allows our customers to visualize clothes, sizes and styles on their personal body shape and buy with confidence.”
The company says its reduced return rates and increased conversion rates can create a significant impact on both profitability and sustainability.
Cognizant debuted its enterprise-wide platform, Cognizant Neuro AI, designed to provide enterprises with a comprehensive approach to accelerate the adoption of generative AI technology and harness its business value in a more flexible, secure, scalable and responsible way.
The platform leverages Cognizant’s consulting, advisory, ecosystem partnership, digital studios, solutioning and delivery capabilities, in conjunction with industry expertise, to help clients transition into the era of generative AI.
The Cognizant Neuro AI platform will guide businesses on this journey, from identifying company specific-use cases and operationalizing AI, to data engineering and continuous improvement. The platform enables AI and software engineering teams to design conversational and generative user experiences, embedding AI models to create fully functioning apps—all supported across multi-platform, multi-cloud ecosystems.
The launch of Cognizant Neuro AI builds on years of AI research, development, and client-facing commercial AI applications at Cognizant. This includes deep learning, evolutionary AI and deploying generative AI techniques in industries like life sciences, retail and healthcare. Cognizant’s AI teams have enabled AI-guided decisions in areas such as price optimization, predictive healthcare analytics and crop science optimization.
Cognizant Neuro AI includes a library of reusable generative AI models and agents, development tooling and control components including API and access management, versioning and auditing.
The platform is designed to provide meaningful business benefits for clients, including: discovering new business innovation vectors; creating pathways to differentiated customer and employee experiences; the ability to reimagine and digitize business processes; reliable governance, visibility, control and compliance; faster access to a holistic library of curated solutions; and improved time to market at enterprise scale.
Built on Cognizant’s Responsible AI principles, which promote inclusivity, accountability reliability, and community benefit, Cognizant Neuro AI provides a practical, business-focused pathway for companies to confidently navigate the AI landscape in all its dimensions.