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Retail Tech Roundup: Blue Yonder Acquires Yantriks, Shopify Partners with Affirm

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

E-Commerce

Avatria

Avatria, a developer of e-commerce solutions, has released an update to its flagship Avatria Convert offering, which is designed to help online retailers increase their conversion rates by helping shoppers better find what they’re looking for online via category and search results pages.

New features in the update include real-time search result rankings for short- and long-tail keyword search results, which are designed to improve relevance and conversion, a plugin made to simplify integration with the Solr open-source enterprise-search platform.

Users can import additional product or sales data from external sources for use in search ranking models, as incorporating custom data improves the quality of Convert’s recommendations. Users also can build ranking models around groups of categories or search terms that feature similar products, attributes or behavioral patterns. These targeted models can improve Convert’s ranking performance.

Additionally, the platform now generates onsite recommendations such as “You May Also Like” and “Customers Also Bought.” Recommendation carousels are designed to improve product findability, conversion and upsells.

And Convert also now includes a product performance report function, which displays the sitewide performance of all products, regardless of category, search query or carousel. This can also inform other decisions, such as which products to highlight in emails, or how many products need inventory replenished.

Avatria Convert works by using a company’s existing analytics data and machine learning to identify the products that are most likely to be purchased, then updates the site to ensure that customers see the most relevant results at the top of the page. Convert generates its rankings via a proprietary algorithm that looks at over 80 different product, sales and customer behavior metrics.

Omnichannel Fulfillment

Blue Yonder

Blue Yonder, a provider of fulfillment and supply chain solutions formerly known as JDA Software, has acquired Yantriks, a SaaS provider of commerce and fulfillment microservices. This acquisition combines real-time transactional systems with supply-chain planning, forecasting and fulfillment solutions. The combined offering is designed to enable companies to integrate all their supply chain assets to deliver a differentiated experience to their customers right at the beginning of the shopping process.

The supply-chain software giant will integrate the Yantriks order fulfillment solutions into its Luminate portfolio. From click to collect, Luminate Commerce is designed to deliver real-time visibility and actionable insights to source, promise and fulfill orders. Luminate can also help profitably fulfill consumer demand, via real-time inventory visibility, omnichannel fulfillment and personalized customer experiences.

The portfolio enables retailers to make real-time sourcing and order promising decisions, based on inventory across the network, predict daily and intra-day customer orders across every channel, and source customer orders.

Additionally, the portfolio is designed to deliver the right product, at the right price and time, to the customers’ channel of choice with the ability to orchestrate the pick, pack and ship process and fulfill customer orders from a store, micro fulfillment center, dark store or distribution center.

Retailers also can use the platforms to predict accurate customer order status, pickup/drop off availability and enable “click-to-get” e-commerce with inventory availability and fulfillment capabilities, prescriptive workflows and integration to a network of last-mile providers.

Shipbob

Shipbob, a tech-enabled third-party logistics provider that fulfills e-commerce orders for direct-to-consumer brand, launched the ShipBob’s Apps & Integrations Marketplace. Within the app store, clients can see all software solutions, e-commerce platforms and marketplaces currently integrated with ShipBob to help grow their business.

Users can discover integrations that were built by ShipBob as well as integrations that were built by external partners. The difference between the two is that for third-party integrations, ShipBob does not own or maintain these integrations and makes no guarantee as to performance. In addition, while the installation of ShipBob-built integrations is done directly from the dashboard for third-party apps, users will be directed to the partner website for further instructions and information.

Shipbob has an extensive partner ecosystem including e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Walmart, eBay, BigCommerce, Squarespace, Wix and WooCommerce, inventory management platforms like Skubana, Cin7 and Trade Gecko, returns management platforms like Happy Returns and Returnly, and freight and shipping solutions such as FedEx, UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, ShipStation and Flexport, among other solutions.

‘Buy Now, Pay Later’

Shopify/Affirm

Installment payments platform Affirm will exclusively power Shopify’s Shop Pay platform in the U.S. Starting later this year, Shopify merchants in the U.S. will be able to offer Affirm’s “buy now, pay later” financing to consumers. Affirm and Shopify will begin testing in “the coming months,” according to a statement.

At checkout, approved Shop Pay customers will be able to split their total purchase amount into four equal, bi-weekly, interest-free payments. Customers will not be charged any additional fees.

Eligible U.S. Shopify merchants that elect to offer Shop Pay Installments will not have to worry about collecting future payments from customers, because they will receive the full purchase amount upfront and Affirm will handle payment collection.

Affirm says merchants that offer consumers a similar pay-over-time option today see an increase in average order value and overall sales. The company said the new payment option and partnership reflects how small businesses must reinvent themselves with e-commerce strategies and meet young shoppers where they prefer to buy. Affirm says its existing payments alternative to credit cards is available at over 6,000 merchants in the U.S., and is used by 5.6 million people.

Livestreaming

Bambuser

Luxury fashion retailer Moda Operandi has partnered with Bambuser to launch Live Video Shopping for retail. Last week, Moda Operandi debuted Moda Live with a 30-minute live stream hosted by designer Johanna Ortiz, showcasing her Resort collection of party dresses from her Colombian base.

The livestream will be open to the public via Moda Operandi’s website, with viewers able to comment and interact similar to an Instagram Live, and also shop products they see on the screen. The video, and the items for sale, will be accessible as long as the pre-sale is active on the site.

The agreement initially runs for six months and is based on a fixed monthly license fee, as well as a variable cost depending on numerous parameters related to customer usage. The parameters included are the number of markets, brands, viewers and view length, broadcasts and broadcast length, transmitted data volume, stored data volume for previously performed broadcasts, desired video quality, and any additional services.

The majority of the contract value is expected to be derived from the variable costs. As a result, Bambuser cannot today assess the size of the fixed part in relation to the total contract value.

Fit Tech

MySizeID

My Size, Inc., a developer and creator of smartphone measurement solutions, and Penti, a Turkey-based apparel brand with 600 retail stores in over 35 countries, announced that apparel sales among customers using the MySizeID platform were three times higher than those customers that did not use MySizeID for size recommendations during a three-month period of March, April and May.

Penti also reported that returns dropped by approximately 50 percent for customers using MySizeID during the same period.  Additionally, MySizeID has been added to Penti’s sleepwear apparel line following the successful rollout within lingerie and swimwear.

As of May, nearly 8 percent of Penti customers used MySizeID, according to My Size CEO Ronen Luzon, who reported a “dramatic increase” in conversion rates and total purchases among customers that used MySizeID, as well as a “significant reduction” in returns.

The MySizeID solution uses three proprietary applications to provide apparel size recommendations to shoppers: MyDash, MySizeID App and Widget.

Penti’s size charts for each apparel item were uploaded into MyDash, where the information is combined with a proprietary database of aggregated measurement data for body sizes. The MySizeID App was made available to Penti users to record their body measurements, with their smartphone and create a personalized size profile. The Widget was also integrated into the relevant lingerie and sleepwear product pages to make personalized size recommendations based on the apparel input into MyDash and their personalized size and fit from the app or the online sizing wizard.

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