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Retail Tech Roundup: RewardStyle Launches Video Shopping, Tulip Acquires Blueday

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

Inventory visibility


SmarterHQ, a personalization platform built on a customer data platform (CDP) infrastructure, has launched Store Product Alerts. This feature enables retail marketers to send automated messages alerting shoppers of inventory availability at their preferred store based on their unique interests and shopping behaviors.

With SmarterHQ’s Store Product Alerts, brands can increase visibility of their buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) programs and curbside pickup programs by letting customers know when products are available at a store nearby.

Additionally, the platform helps customers avoid shipping fees and delays by ordering available products via BOPIS while allowing brands to maintain their margins without taking a hit on shipping costs. The program encourages quick pickup options for last-minute holiday shoppers and is designed to market products with local stock issues, letting customers know when popular items are immediately available.

Store management


Tulip, a provider of cloud-based retail mobile solutions serving retail clients like Mulberry, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ferragamo, Kate Spade, Coach, and Michael Kors, has acquired Blueday, a store performance management platform provider, for an undisclosed sum. With the acquisition, Tulip can enhance its retail omnichannel solutions offering with a system focused on monitoring brick-and-mortar store performance designed to empower retail associates and increase store efficiencies.

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Blueday’s SaaS solution offers retailers a centralized suite of data-driven tools designed to help finance, operations and in-store management teams improve the performance of store teams and increase sales productivity. By providing real-time data and insights, retailers should be able to create the right labor budgets, schedules and daily action plans needed to boost performance.

Blueday’s CEO, Graeme Grant, will join Tulip as executive vice president of analytics. In the role, Grant will lead retail analytics and business development for Tulip’s in-store performance solutions.

E-commerce personalization


Button, a mobile commerce technology company, has partnered with AI-powered money management assistant Plum. Button’s technology can provide shoppers with offers tailored to their preferences via a personalized commerce program in Plum’s app on iOS and soon Android.

Through this integration, Plum can create an additional revenue stream while also increasing the utility of its app to drive engagement, loyalty, and retention with its users.

In the Plum iOS app, users can find the platform’s Cashback feature to shop and save money with brands such as Farfetch and Asos, powered by Button’s technology. Through Button’s Personalization API, brand offers are surfaced to Plum users and then tailored to them, increasing their relevant shopping experiences. This fall, the Button-powered commerce program will be available in Plum’s Android app.

In teaming with Button, the Plum team has been able to leverage the rich transaction data it has on its user base to help them put extra aside even when they are spending, according to Victor Trokoudes, CEO and co-founder of Plum.

Through Groupon’s launch on this integration, the brand has already achieved a 66 percent tap-to-install rate and a 17 percent purchase rate based on Button platform data. All the while, Plum benefits from driving higher engagement with its users and fueling its continued growth in the U.K.

Video Shopping


RewardStyle, a content monetization platform for premium lifestyle influencers, launched LTK Shopping Video in its contextual shopping app, The news was announced virtually to nearly 9,000 influencers at the eighth annual RewardStyle Conference and was immediately made available on the iTunes store.

At launch, 5,000 retailers are integrated for LTK Shopping Video, making hundreds of millions of products across fashion, home, beauty, fitness and family searchable, discoverable and shoppable by consumers, and commissionable for LTK influencers.

Partner brands include mass retailers like Walmart and Target; global beauty retailers such as Sephora, Ulta and MAC; fitness brands like Nike, Adidas and Lululemon; department stores including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Net-a-Porter; and luxury brands like Chanel, Gucci and Saint Laurent.

Shopping Video performance data and analytics will also be available immediately in RewardStyle’s free influencer marketing management dashboard, where brands already manage proprietary performance information like insights into Revenue Producing Influencers (RPI), channel performance, app statistics and campaigns reporting.

In the first half of 2020, consumers purchased more than $1 billion worth of products from original RewardStyle influencer content, and are projected to purchase nearly $2.5 billion by the end of 2020, the company says.

Today, the shopping app is responsible for driving 50 percent of that, with sales across blogs and other social platforms contributing to the balance. With this expansion into shopping videos, RewardStyle influencers can now produce, monetize and share up to two-minute videos in the shopping app, including beauty how-tos, home tours, expanded outfit-sharing and product reviews.

Within, videos will be visible in consumers’ following feeds, on influencers’ profiles, categorized within discovery sections of the app, and indexed in search—all in the context of real, influential people’s lives.

3D/Augmented reality


Threekit has launched its 3D and augmented reality (AR) tools on the BigCommerce Apps Marketplace, giving 60,000 merchants access to the tools to customize their experiences in 3D and AR.

The Threekit platform is designed to create 2D, 3D and AR visual assets for retailers, and allows those assets to be sent to stores in just a few clicks, further enabling retailers to save money by not having to hire creative agencies. ThreeKit says it can help a customer create 50,000 images in just one week, versus the more typical month it would take five photographers to complete a project of this size.

Through the Threekit and BigCommerce collaboration, brands can enable customization, personalization and configuration in real time and show millions of potential product configurations in AR, right in their browser.

Additionally, merchants can use the Threekit Virtual Photographer, a program launched in August, that creates product images for e-commerce that are designed to look real but are completely computer-rendered, to create images at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional photography.

The collaboration also is designed to reduce returns as customers can better view, explore and customize products and quickly integrate their website with a customized product experience. The apparel and footwear categories could benefit from the customization features ThreeKit brings to the table, whether it is visualizing a suit jacket with two buttons versus three or getting a closer look at stitch quality.

Site search


Searchspring, a provider of site search and merchandising solutions for online retailers, announced that In the first month after implementing its platform, luxury apparel retailer Badgley Mischka saw an 85 percent increase in search conversion rate, and revenue per visit with search more than doubled on the brand’s e-commerce site.

Badgley Mischka integrated Searchspring on its search and category pages to improve product discoverability and enhance the online shopping experience. For site merchandising, the Badgley Mischa team makes use of boost rules, promotional badges to highlight new arrivals and the platform’s drag-and-drop functionality.

Through Searchspring’s technology, the brand can now tailor its category landing pages to match email campaign messaging. For example, Badgley Mischka can feature a product in an email and then have that item be the first one the shopper finds when they visit the linked category.

Searchspring’s reporting has also enabled the Badgley Mischka team to build tailored landing pages based on common search terms, and redirect shoppers who had previously encountered “no results found.” With a significant international customer base, synonyms have also proved useful to account for variations in spelling and product naming conventions.

“The second we plugged Searchspring in, everything just got so much easier. We’re constantly getting feedback that our site is now easier to manage, easier to navigate, and people are finding their products faster,” said Katie Ouaknine, owner at Badgley Mischka Web. “We have more reporting tools than we ever expected, it’s really opened our eyes about how people use our site. We recently had an issue where customers couldn’t tell when we had items in more than one color and the [Searchspring] team took care of it. We have now found solutions that we didn’t even know were possible.”

Last-mile delivery


USPack, a same-day final-mile delivery company, has acquired two companies in an effort to further expand its omnichannel retail logistics capabilities and national footprint. The company has acquired Gumro & Associates, a national provider of pool distribution and store replenishment solutions, as well as Freight Rite, a regional home delivery service.

With the acquisitions, USPack aims to offer a comprehensive stack of technology-enabled services all under one roof, enabling efficiency and scalability to meet growing customer demand in a strong delivery economy.

As a result, the firm welcomes large national retail partners to its customer roster in apparel, appliance, furniture, cosmetics, value merchandise and home improvement verticals. The company’s expanded retail service capabilities include store replenishment, parcel, deliver from store, white glove service and professional in-home installation. USPack will continually focus on network growth, industry-leading technology solutions and adding new capabilities to further strengthen its service offering.

The Orlando, Fla.-based USPack has a network of independent delivery professionals on-call 24/7/365 and operates across 40 facilities nationwide.

In-store safety auditing

SAFE Certification

SAFE Certification, the creator of an accountability and compliance tool used by businesses, facilities and establishments to help keep employees, guests and the public as safe as possible, has debuted its new SAFE Certified solution.

SAFE Certified, a membership-based solution, guides its member entities through the provision of detailed, current relevant information for safely operating. SAFE Certification fosters compliance with local, state and federal mandates, such as those created by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The U.S. Department of Labor and The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

SAFE Certification uses these official mandates to develop all its stringent protocols for entities to appropriately adhere to the latest requirements and continually revises these, based on updates from these agencies.

The tool supplies members current relevant information for safely operating, including guidance surrounding sanitation guidelines, Personal Protective Equipment, physical and social distancing, disinfecting processes and best practices as well as training on handling certain infectious disease situations and more. Checklists are customized for specific businesses and/or locations.

Businesses can register and an initial audit is conducted. Audits are then randomly conducted to ensure adherence to today’s new non-negotiable standards. Planned quarterly inspections are conducted to assure the entity continues to meet current government guidelines and standards. Inspections are performed through videoconferencing with a member of the staff and are performed by SAFE-Certified trained personnel.