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Retail Tech: Adidas Taps AWS, Klarna Adds ‘Pay Now’ and Credit Card, Klevu Bows New Analytics

The weekly Retail Tech Roundup compiles technology news across the supply chain, textiles, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, logistics and fulfillment sectors.

Search

Klevu

Klevu, a provider of artificial intelligence-powered search technology for retail e-commerce sites, debuted enhanced analytics tools including Live View, Word Graph, and Filter Analytics in the Klevu Merchant Center. Retailers can utilize these tools to optimize their marketing campaigns with actionable, real-time data based on shopper behavior with the goal of boosting conversion and elevating the customer experience.

Live View offers real-time information on searches and their origins—from a global heat map identifying where searches originate to a ticker tape of live searches—showing retailers the number of searches and product clicks in the last minute. This detail helps e-commerce merchants drive more revenue by fine tuning and geotargeting their marketing messaging. In addition, Live View displays long-tail searches, offering greater search analytics specificity.

Word Graph helps retailers connect the dots between keywords. Users can build out high-conversion product copy, find elusive longtail keywords for paid marketing, and discover products for cross-selling.
Filter Analysis helps consumers find what they are looking for more quickly with fewer clicks. Retailers can use this tool to identify commonly clicked filters on product listing pages and then make those products appear more prominently in search results.

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Research has shown that presenting hyper-relevant products to consumers has been shown to improve conversion rates by more than 25 percent. While average online conversion rates range from just 1 percent and 3 percent, shoppers are three to five times more likely to convert when they can find in-stock and relevant products quickly.

Digital transformation

Adidas/SAP/AWS

Adidas has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the preferred cloud provider for the SAP workloads platform, enabling the athleticwear and footwear company to digitize core business processes across its value chain to provide better consumer experiences, become a more data-driven business and support new business models such as its expanding direct-to-consumer channel.

Adidas is migrating its SAP environment to AWS shortly after one of its top competitors, Under Armour, had a similar integration with the two tech companies. As part of the migration, Adidas will implement a modern SAP S/4HANA platform.

In modernizing its ERP system with SAP, Adidas aims to better connect its data across its entire global operations. This new cloud-based system will support the company’s physical sales channel by enabling SAP environments to be integrated with AWS capabilities, such as machine learning and analytics, to streamline supply chain, inventory and merchandising operations for its global retail stores.

By creating a cloud-based consumer experience, Adidas can offer personalized discounts, early access to new releases and collaborations, priority consumer service and the ability to personalize experiences and offers.

AWS’s SAP experience allows Adidas to integrate its SAP S/4HANA environment with the cloud provider’s technologies, ideally enabling advanced analytics capabilities, data science, and enterprise reporting. By building a cloud-based data lake on AWS, Adidas can gain visibility across its internal and consumer-facing operations to deliver new business and consumer insights.

Using machine learning capabilities such as Amazon SageMaker—AWS’s service that helps developers and data scientists build, train and deploy machine learning models—Adidas’ data scientists can better predict seasonal demand for products. Ultimately, this can ensure the right product is available at a specific warehouse or retail store at the right time to increase customer satisfaction.

Additionally, Amazon SageMaker can also be applied to sales data to enable the sports company to provide personalized product and fit recommendations. This capability will help the Adidas e-commerce site to match individual consumer’s style preferences and provide a more personal experience that deepens brand loyalty.

Using high performance computing on AWS, Adidas can run complex workloads simultaneously for its global design teams to modernize 3D design capabilities at scale. This capability is built to speed up the design and creation process, cut costs and allow for greater collaboration with consumers and designers. Additionally, AWS enables the sportswear brand to create digital twins, virtual representation of its product lines, that can speed up the design and creation process, reduce costs and allow for greater collaboration with consumers and designers.

Overall, incorporating these technologies into the design process will ideally result in faster product creation and design for athletic apparel and shoes, enabling designers to quickly incorporate consumer feedback at the early stages of the creation process.

In addition, AWS sustainability programs will help Adidas reduce the environmental impact of its cloud usage. The programs’ architects, who are experienced advisors on sustainable infrastructure and software design, will evaluate current and future cloud architectures, and determine which technology decisions will support Adidas’ overall sustainability goals.

“We want to drive innovation across our business, which includes everything from how we design our products to how we engage with the consumers who buy them. By committing to cloud infrastructure, we have the scalability and elasticity we need to handle the seasonality of our business during peak demand, and support the projected growth in our e-commerce business in the years to come,” said Markus Rautert, senior vice president, technology enablement at Adidas AG.

“Deploying SAP environments on AWS isn’t just about transforming our technology,” Rautert said. “It’s about transforming business opportunities and using AWS’s wide range of cloud capabilities to create efficiencies and bring us closer to consumers.”

Buy now, pay later

Klarna

Swedish fintech giant Klarna has added “Pay Now” to its range of U.S. payment services, enabling consumers to pay immediately and in full at any online retailer where the company’s payment option is available.

Additionally, the nearly $46 billion payments platform will also soon introduce the Klarna Card to the U.S. market, bringing Klarna’s interest-free, “buy now, pay later,” Pay in 4 service to a physical card format.

While Klarna is best known for the Pay in 4 service in the U.S., “Pay Now,” was already offered across select Klarna markets globally. When selecting the platform at a retailers’ checkout, U.S. consumers can now pay in full immediately with Pay Now, or instead opt to pay over time with the company’s Pay in 4 and Pay in 30 solutions—all without interest.

Like Pay Now, the Klarna Card is already established in Europe, so with the card, consumers can use the installment payments method both in-store or with online purchase. The card will also be connected to Klarna’s loyalty program, Vibe, which rewards consumers who pay on time with exclusive deals and discounts.

The Klarna Card can also be added to Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The launch of Pay Now and the Klarna Card services are part of the company’s continued growth in the U.S., which includes partnerships with Macy’s, Ralph Lauren, Under Armour, Lululemon and Tapestry among others.

Over the past year alone, Klarna has nearly doubled its U.S. customer base to over 21 million customers. The Klarna Express checkout button is now live at Macy’s and Coach, as well as the recent launch of Klarna’s subscription service, which enables consumers to pay for quarterly and annual subscriptions and memberships in four, interest-free payments.

Resale

Reissue

A new resale marketplace for high quality, previously worn men’s and women’s designer, streetwear and vintage clothing and footwear has hit the market. Reissue, which brands itself as a sustainable luxury commission-free marketplace for, is seeking to address a void relinquished by existing high-commission marketplaces and those that focus solely on men’s wear.

The online Reissue marketplace recently completed a beta-testing phase, which saw more than 4,500 individual users from 65 different countries successfully access and navigate the web app, which is now accessible by web browser and available for download on mobile and desktop.

The testing proved to be effective in identifying and solving more than 250 bugs and small design improvements to enhance the user experience, the company said. Furthermore, during this beta phase, users created more than 3,300 listings, totaling nearly $1.5 million in value.

Reissue has a dedicated team of experts that review each listing to make sure items listed on the marketplace are authenticated prior to publication. The company is driven by the goal of matching up previously worn high-quality garments with new owners, in order to reduce waste and the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

In order to process sales safely and securely, the marketplace has partnered with PayPal to be the exclusive payment processor for all transactions on the marketplace. The website, Re-issue.com, requires all users to sign up and log in to the application through their verified PayPal account via a PayPal gateway. By requiring login through PayPal, the marketplace aims to reduce the amount of sensitive personal data stored by Reissue and reduces the risk of fraudulent listings as every verified PayPal account is linked to a bank account.

Additionally, this exclusive partnership ensures that every single purchase is covered by PayPal’s authenticity guarantee. If a buyer does not receive a purchased item, or if the item is inauthentic or not as described, PayPal will issue a full refund.

Re-issue.com does not charge users a fee for posting listings or facilitating sales, but the marketplace does offer additional paid features to promote listings that range in price from $1 to $10.

Additionally, the marketplace is planning to deploy a content delivery network in the near future as part of its comprehensive global expansion strategy to access additional markets.

E-commerce

Modcloth/Nogin

ModCloth says the work done with its new parent company, Commerce-as-a-Service platform Nogin, is already paying dividends for the women’s wear brand.

The vintage-inspired brand is gearing up for a robust holiday season with limited-time, sitewide savings in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with sales from its 2021 Gift Guide already running 9 percent above 2020 levels.

ModCloth CEO Mary Jimenez said the switch to Nogin’s Intelligence Commerce platform has allowed the company to leverage intelligent algorithms and smart promotions to provide an “immediate competitive advantage” in areas such as increased sales and cost savings.

ModCloth cut expenses by approximately $17 million in the last six months, but at the same time was pivoting to provide more products and promotions to its customer base.

“We couldn’t be happier with the improvements we’ve seen in our overall business and our bottom line too,” Jimenez said. “Nogin’s CaaS approach has been a game changer for ModCloth. Their advanced data-driven analytics have helped drive down our costs, retain our loyal customer base, and cultivate new fans. We no longer have to manage a vast network of vendors and can focus our efforts on what makes our brand so special to so many. Our relationship with Nogin has resulted in significant growth gains, especially in light of the worldwide issues during Covid scarcity.”

Nogin has provided its Intelligent Commerce” solutions to brands such as Honeywell, Hurley, Bebe, Lululemon and most recently, Kenneth Cole, Frye, Justice and Charming Charlie. The agency offers AI-based, predictive data analytics-powered services to help brands grow digital sales. Nogin offers a range of e-commerce services from strategy and creative to logistics and performance marketing with the goal of making e-commerce sites profitable within 90 days.

Robotics

Nimble Robotics

Nimble Robotics, a robotics and e-commerce fulfillment technology company, publicly unveiled its fleet of robotics, which the company says has picked and packed more than 15 million objects, picking and packing hundreds of thousands of customer orders in production each day.

The robotics company works with many of the world’s largest and most well-known brands including Best Buy, Victoria’s Secret, Puma, Adore Me and others. Nimble robots are picking in warehouses developed by solutions integrators like AutoStore, Opex, Bastian Solutions, Swisslog, TGW and Kuecker Pulse Integration (KPI).

Nimble has deployed fleets of robots in production within warehouse environments across the U.S. this year with both existing and new contracts that are projected to grow its total fleet with more than 200 additional robots in 2022.

Nimble Robotics

Since raising a $50 million investment in March 2021, Nimble has increased its team from 25 to 75 employees alongside the expansion of its customer base.

The Nimble robots have picked more than 15 million objects, across 500,000 unique products ranging from eye-liners, belts, body wash and loofahs to keyboards, mice, USB sticks and game-consoles, as well as lingerie, hoodies and footwear.

“Nimble partnered with us last year during the Covid outbreak to help us safely fulfill orders in our warehouse,” said Gary Bravard, co-founder and chief business officer of Adore Me in a statement. “The robots now handle more than 25,000 SKUs and can pick over 30,000 units per day.”

The product offering is built to solve some of the warehouse’s biggest challenges, in that individual products come in different sizes, shapes, weights, textures, stiffnesses and fragility. Additionally, the technology’s integration into warehouse ecosystems is often considered a painful process that can take up to a year, and cost thousands of dollars.

The robots use a variety of different grippers and supervised autonomy designed to handle nearly any object or product that fits into a bin. Nimble’s AI can learn what grippers work best on different objects and automatically switch them gripper to properly pick, pack and handle each object.

According to Nimble founder and CEO Simon Kalouche, the technology is 99.9 percent accurate in picking and packing. The AI-based integration requires no changes to the warehouse software, and has no additional implementation costs.

RFID 

Nedap Retail

RFID technology provider Nedap launched ID Cloud Loss Prevention, a cloud-based solution that helps retailers detect, quantify and prevent losses. This solution is part of Nedap’s ID Cloud Platform, an integrated suite of SaaS solutions to enable improved inventory visibility that is connected with over 10,000 stores.

ID Cloud Loss Prevention enables retailers and brands to track unique items at critical areas in their stores, like at the point-of-sale or the store entrance and exit with the use of RFID technology.

The smart algorithm of ID Cloud Loss Prevention can automatically detect suspicious events such as items leaving the store in bulk, items leaving outside of store opening hours or spotting items more likely to be stolen.

The algorithm was designed to recognize theft and fraud patterns over time, so that brands can know which items have a higher theft risk and discover shrinkage trends that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.

Furthermore, the technology can then enable retailers to introduce more shopping experiences for customers like mobile checkouts, BOPIS or receiptless returns without worrying about uncontrollable shrinkage levels.

Checkout

Bolt/Adobe

Bolt, the checkout provider that raised $393 million in October, has partnered with Adobe to give the platform’s merchants access to its one-click checkout capability. In particular, Bolt will be accessible to all brands that use Adobe Commerce, an end-to-end commerce application for B2B, DTC and hybrid users alike.

Adobe Commerce merchants will be able to embed Bolt’s checkout capability in an effort to bolster their customer experience in their digital storefront. In addition, Adobe merchants can soon join Bolt’s merchant network, which will provide access to the company’s pool of 10 million recognized shoppers who can complete their checkout in just one click, and without logging into an account.

Adobe Commerce merchants in the U.S. will be able to take advantage of the embedded Bolt checkout experience in the Spring of 2022. The new checkout solution will also be accessible to merchants using Magento Open Source.

The integration comes as more consumers expect a quicker checkout experience regardless of where they shop online.

Nearly 70 percent of shoppers abandon their shopping carts, according to Baymard Institute, resulting in lower conversion rates for retailers. By enabling one-click checkout, Bolt’s merchant partners have increased conversions 50 percent higher than guest checkout and offer checkouts that are 40 percent faster than guest checkouts, the company said.=

“The checkout is the final interaction point that brands and retailers have with their customers pre-purchase, making it critical for merchants to get the checkout experience right and drive customer loyalty,” said Jordan Jewell, research director, digital commerce for IDC. “Adobe’s partnership with Bolt is designed to help merchants improve upon the native checkout in Adobe Commerce by removing friction and reducing abandoned carts, so they can better compete in today’s fast-growing digital economy.”

Influencer marketing

LTK

Influencer marketing platform LTK has secured $300 million from the SoftBank Vision Fund 2, gathering a valuation of $2 billion. The company, formerly known as Rewardstyle and LiketoKnow.it, has been profitable for multiple years, touting strong top-line growth spurred by the demand for LTK’s creator-guided shopping experiences.

In the past year, consumers purchased more than $3 billion in fashion, beauty, fitness, home and lifestyle products from LTK creators, including sales generated through LTK Creator Shops, the LTK shopping platform, blogs and social media.

More than 5,000 retailers employ the LTK Brand Platform for performance-driven campaigns, paid collaborations and content licensing, and invested more than $1 billion in influencer marketing through the LTK platform by summer 2021.

The investment will be used to expedite growth initiatives, the platform provider says. The company plans to aggressively hire across the entire organization to accelerate growth of its technology platform to develop new products for creators, brands and shoppers and to scale its international presence.

Upon the closing of the transaction, Angela Du, investment director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will join the company’s board of directors, which includes the founders, as well as directors from Maverick Ventures and Bonanza Capital.