The weekly Retail Tech Roundup compiles technology news across the supply chain, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, logistics and fulfillment sectors.
Footwear retailer Rack Room Shoes partnered with software intelligence company Dynatrace to improve conversion rates by 25 percent and accelerate revenue. With Dynatrace’s Digital Experience Monitoring and Digital Business Analytics modules, Rack Room Shoes teams get a better understanding of how their online services are performing from the end user’s perspective, and how this impacts business KPIs such as e-commerce conversion rates and revenue.
These abilities, combined with the Dynatrace AI engine, Davis, have enabled Rack Room Shoes to continuously improve user experience and accelerate delivery of new online functionalities.
Using Dynatrace Session Replay, which is designed to deliver a movie-like review of a shopper’s online session, teams can better understand a shoppers’ visit to their website and view these sessions for conversion.
Connecting digital experience and business analytics capabilities to full-stack observability metrics has also enabled greater collaboration between IT, DevOps and digital experience teams. This has created significant efficiency gains, freeing up approximately 30 percent more time for these teams to focus on customer-facing innovation projects.
Bolt, an e-commerce checkout technology company, has raised $50 million in a Series C round of funding led by Laurence Tosi at WestCap. This new raise brings the company’s total funding to just shy of $140 million, and with it, the company unveiled its Checkout Experience Platform, which is designed to give retailers and consumers more choice, control and flexibility over their transactions.
Bolt will be using its new funding to expand the size of its engineering team and develop smarter checkout conversion products, improve the transaction approval engine and expand partner integration. The company has tripled its transaction volume year over year, although this year’s tally is already up 2.5X only six months in. Bolt also says it has cut average checkout times on its customers’ sites nearly in half.
The technology integrates with e-commerce tools, shopping carts and payments processors including BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, PayPal, Apple Pay, AfterPay, Stripe, and Braintree, with more coming this year.
The investment also included participation from existing investors Activant Capital, Tribe Capital, Glynn Capital and Human Capital.
Logility, a supply chain optimization and retail planning platform, unveiled the latest release of Logility Price and Promotion, a solution designed to use machine learning to predict the impact of promotion activity on inventory by helping planners understand changes in demand. Ultimately, this leaves room for better replenishment and inventory allocation to meet variances in expected sales.
Logility Price and Promotion is designed to complement traditional demand planning capabilities by managing pricing scenarios and generating a price-adjusted forecast to align inventory decisions with marketing campaigns. This use of machine learning and price elasticity models can help identify the expected lift in demand, which aids in identifying the ideal price to maximize revenue potential while staying within supply constraints.
The new release also features a predictive model and interactive visuals to speed adoption and ensure planners can understand the impact of pricing changes across several key dimensions including product category, SKU, region, customer or warehouse location. With the solution, planners can isolate price as the key variable in a multivariate scenario and create a promoted forecast.
Vuzix Corporation, a supplier of smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) technology and products, announced it has been recently granted of a series of patents and patents pending, focused on wearable computer and AR smart glasses. The Vuzix patent portfolio has grown from 90 patents and patents pending to 166 over the last 36 months. The portfolio encompasses a range of IP including waveguides with holographic optics, laser and micro LED display integration and fashion-forward industrial designs and optics. Vuzix smart glasses can enhance manufacturing and supply-chain operations and workflows by giving wearers hands-free access to critical information.
Salvatore Ferragamo, the Italian fashion and luxury goods brand, has gone live with Centric Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).
Seeking to bring a modern touch to its tradition of craftsmanship, Salvatore Ferragamo launched a business initiative called “Innovation and Tradition, Together.” As part of this strategy, it decided to invest in a PLM solution.
“Our main objectives were to obtain the greatest possible visibility into product development, to streamline the design and manufacturing processes in alignment with modern best practices and to establish a platform that allows teams to collaborate,” said James Ferragamo, brand, product and communication director at Salvatore Ferragamo. “Salvatore Ferragamo is a family-like company where creativity is of the essence—as was our need to improve productivity. We started a PLM selection to identify a powerful, out-of-the-box solution that would give our teams time to focus on creativity and customers, rather than administration tasks and data entry for multiple systems.”
NewStore has announced that Burton Snowboards is running its stores on the NewStore Omnichannel Platform, giving the outdoor apparel and equipment retailer access to a mobile point of service (mPOS) and inventory and fulfillment solutions available on iPhone apps. The mPOS is designed to enable associates to deliver personalized brand experiences through mobile checkout, endless aisle, store fulfillment, inventory management, and clienteling.
The NewStore platform also connects into Salesforce Commerce Cloud and is designed to offer Burton staff a unified view of its e-commerce and store operations at both the retail store and HQ level.
“Our associates are able to give customers the best possible experience with customer, product, and inventory data at their fingertips,” said Josee Larocque, senior vice president, DTC and digital transformation, Burton Snowboards. “As we reopen stores in North America following the COVID-19 pandemic, they will all run on NewStore—a strategic roadmap item in our plan to focus on our DTC business and the omnichannel customer experience in 2020 and beyond.”
Sky I.T. Group
Sky I.T. Group, a retail SaaS analytics provider, has extended its Skypad platform to EMEA users. The platform is designed to share, report and collaborate on in-season product sales and inventory performance, demand and trends across retail.
Skypad EMEA is a regional offering designed to modernize the way sell-through information is shared and analyzed between retailers and brands in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Skypad EMEA adopts features designed for the U.S. market combined with added functionality to support users across Europe, The Middle East and Asia, such as multi-currency toggles, country and region reporting, area manager views, calendar integrations, data-availability timing and more.
Since 2018, Skypad user growth has expanded 400 percent, 35 percent of which is attributed to Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions. Today, the platform is currently utilized by more than 2,000 brands and buyers across the globe including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, LVMH, Kering and Tory Burch.
The Skypad EMEA platform launch follows a recent expansion by Sky I.T. Group establishing its second headquarters in London.
SimplyRFiD has debuted its solution designed to help small entrepreneurs manage complex asset management situations, such as verifying shipment accuracy and delivering end-to-end inventory visibility. Additionally, SimplyRFiD is designed to enable customers to scale accordingly depending on business needs and in terms of how much information is necessary for the assets being tracked.
“SimplyRFiD’s solution allows us to track inventory location in real-time,” said Akash Bajaj, owner of Advance Apparels and SimplyRFiD customer. “As our business began growing in terms of number of SKUs, and more specifically warehouse locations, it became more challenging to track inventory levels and more importantly tracking inventory location. Inability to locate a specific SKU in a timely manner resulted in loss of sales and efficiency.”
Bajaj also indicated that a simple scan of a small area within the company’s warehouse with SimplyRFiD’s handheld scanner reveals all SKUs that are stored within a pallet rack. In addition, a scan as boxes transfer between the company’s multiple warehouse locations can automatically keep track of stock movement.
“Now I can open up the Wave mobile app and know exactly where a specific box is, as shown on Google Maps,” Bajaj said.
Reflektion, an AI-powered personalization platform for retailers, added 12 new companies as customers over the past two quarters. Apparel and footwear brands that have onboarded the platform included Levi Strauss & Co., Chico’s, PVH, Calvin Klein and Boston Proper.
The platform is designed to listen to the behaviors of each individual shopper, using AI to calculate their preferences and intent, and then respond to every moment-to-moment interaction by displaying the relevant content and products in real time and across various digital touch points including preview and site search, product recommendations, category and landing pages and email.
In addition to new customer growth, Reflektion saw strong adoption of the full Reflektion Platform from current customers. For example, HanesBrands added features such as Full Page Search, Dynamic Category Pages and Content Management to their existing Preview Search and Recommendations footprint.
MomentFeed, a provider of search optimization solutions, introduced the release of a new Proximity Search Optimization Dashboard designed to allow multi-location brands to easily monitor and manage how well their local marketing efforts are performing. The dashboard aggregates a brand’s data across hundreds or even thousands of location review pages, social media platforms and listings in one place.
As unbranded proximity search continues to grow (i.e. “coffee near me” “grocery store near me”) and competition for local search ranking heats up, it’s imperative that multi-location digital marketers have an easy way to track how they are performing.
Locations can optimize for proximity search rank by monitoring and managing performance across the five controllable signals that impact proximity search rank, including Local Listing Accuracy, Local Profile Completeness, Ratings and Reviews, Local Facebook Publishing Activity and On-Page Local SEO.
The release of the new Proximity Search Optimization Dashboard is designed to help multi-location retailers deliver local marketing efforts that can impact reach, engagement and new business by delivering a snapshot of brand performance against industry averages with a simple letter grade—A to F—indicating performance against industry benchmarks on the five key signals that impact local search rank.
The dashboard also includes actionable insights that reveal opportunities for quick local search wins such as “15 locations have potential inaccuracies” or “23 locations have new customer reviews that have not been responded to.”
Users can gain an at-a-glance view of brand prominence in Google searches, giving multi-location marketers a way to prove the value of local marketing in a way that every level of the organization can immediately understand. Additionally, the dashboard includes filterable views by keyword or location to showcase to users where they can improve local search rank.