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Retail Tech Roundup: Salesfloor Preps COVID-19 Bundle, Exenta Launches Innovation Hub

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

Store tech

Salesfloor

Salesfloor, a developer of mobile apps for store associates, announced the launch of a new product bundle to help retailers following the COVID-19 pandemic, adding features such as live voice and video chat, event management and all-in-one appointment management to its clienteling suite.

Live voice and video chat are designed to help store associates bring the in-store customer experience to online customers. Shoppers initiate a live voice or video chat through Salesfloor Connect on a retailer’s e-commerce site, where they already have the option to connect with a local store associate via live chat, e-mail, SMS and appointment request.

The appointment management feature allows associates to create and manage appointments and send the invite to customers through any digital channel. Appointments can be in store, over the phone, on live chat or video chat. Event management allows associates to create in store or virtual events, invite selected customers via all Salesfloor digital channels and capture RSVPs.

Salesfloor says that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers using the platform have seen “significant” increases in online customer engagement, such as a jump of 310 percent in digital interactions through live chat, email and text messaging. A store associate is now able to serve, on average, 94 online customers per week and convert 12 percent to 15 percent of them to purchase.

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The new bundle can be combined with Salesfloor’s other features, including mPOS and other available assisted selling apps. The launch is designed to enhance customers’ online experience, drive sales and support management of traffic in stores.

Logistics

FarEye/Blue Yonder

FarEye, a predictive logistics SaaS platform designed to help predict, plan, manage and optimize supply chains, has partnered with digital fulfillment platform provider Blue Yonder to bring predictive and real-time visibility across manufacturing, retail distribution, logistics and e-commerce.

The partnership is designed to offer a joint solution that can be accessed through Blue Yonder’s Luminate platform. Powered by Microsoft Azure, the Luminate platform combines rich internal and external data from across a customer’s digital supply chain assets to enable more actionable artificial intelligence- and machine learning-based business decisions.

FarEye’s visibility platform, carrier library and last-mile dynamic routing solution aim to underpin the Luminate platform and Blue Yonder’s transportation management capabilities to provide solutions for end-to-end logistics challenges.

The FarEye solution, which includes real-time dynamic routing, can now be accessed through Blue Yonder’s Luminate platform.
The FarEye solution, which includes real-time dynamic routing, can now be accessed through Blue Yonder’s Luminate platform. FarEye

Virtual Assistance

Numa

Numa, an AI-powered virtual assistant and concierge platform created to help local businesses deploy SMS messaging, has revealed its merchants can now engage in messaging with customers using Google’s Business Messages platform. Numa already enables its merchants to sent text messages as picture messages, as well as use Facebook Messenger and voicemail.

The new platform is designed to improve customer connection by allowing “Main Street” businesses to offer a “message” button from within Google Maps and Google search, enhancing the conversation to drive purchasing, scheduling, upsell and loyalty.

Numa enables texting with a business phone, even if it’s a landline, allowing merchants to send and receive text messages from an existing phone number and catch calls when the business can’t immediately respond. This is invaluable for SMBs juggling phone calls from customers and clients as they reopen or plan to reopen.

Making a business number “textable,” Numa handles and responds to every voicemail, text or Facebook message with its AI-based platform, which continuously adapts to and learns from employee-customer interactions—and adjust answers automatically in a voice uniquely tailored to each business.

Payments

Adyen

Global payments platform Adyen has launched its acquiring solution in Malaysia to help businesses achieve higher authorization rates, improved customer experience and deeper data insights as the Malaysian market transitions to online payments.

With the expansion, Adyen aims to provide insight around local payment regulations and payment methods to help North American merchants better serve Malaysian shoppers.

Adyen already offers local acquiring in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore. The platform manages the entire payment flow, including gateway, risk management and acquiring for its merchants.

PLM

Exenta

Fashion supply chain software provider Exenta has launched a new Innovation Hub to help apparel and soft goods brands and manufacturers facilitate the collaborative power of their employees, customers and partners throughout the product innovation lifecycle.

The Innovation Hub is designed to assist companies along the product lifecycle at a time when organizational success is more reliant than ever on bringing new ideas to market quickly.

The Innovation Hub’s key features include guided navigation to support the refinement and rating of ideas, survey tools, an innovation challenge portal, a 40-step workflow leading to a pitch deck and business plan, IP tracking capabilities and expense reporting.

Inventory Visibility

PriceSpider

PriceSpider, a data and consumer behavior analytics technology company, has acquired Commerce Connector, a Germany-based SaaS platform that provides brands with live information on where a product is currently available based on product availability data, for an undisclosed sum.

This acquisition is designed to improve PriceSpider’s global presence to serve brands both domestically and internationally. Combined, the two companies serve nearly 2,000 brands worldwide.

With the integration, PriceSpider and Commerce Connector aim to help global brands better understand consumer buying patterns to optimize their digital touch points and capitalize on increased online traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic. PriceSpider data shows e-commerce traffic outpaced last year’s Black Friday nearly every day in both April and May, with a 227 percent increase over average traffic last year during these months.

PriceSpider’s platform, including solutions such as Where to Buy, Inventory and Stock Availability, and Minimum Advertised Pricing, is designed to protect brand integrity online by delivering deeper insights into how and where a brand’s products are sold.

The deal comes less than one year since PriceSpider acquired ORIS Intelligence, which developed the Minimum Advertised Pricing technology.

In-Store Safety

Gunnebo

Gunnebo, a Sweden-based provider of smart access control solutions, has launched a new occupancy management application, OccuLinq, for stores and malls.

This family of social distancing tools is designed to support the smooth return to a safe shopping environment by providing automated occupancy control, ensuring the number of customers in a physical space never exceeds a maximum limit.

With Gunnebo’s OccuLinq software, retail managers get real-time data on store occupancy numbers at their fingertips. When a maximum occupancy level is reached, gates lock temporarily until another customer has left the store, after which a new customer is free to enter. The automated customer flow can maximize social distancing and thereby minimize infection risk.

The OccuLinq platform provides live occupancy data direct to a mobile phone app, tablet or PC screen. The app works in combination with OccuSense stereo cameras that count people without storing personal data, making them fully GDPR compliant. It also works with OccuSign digital display to inform waiting customers of occupancy availability.

Additionally, users of the platform can access control speedgates that regulate the flow of customers or exit control to prevent shoplifters from leaving the store without paying. These features are included to eliminate the need for staff at store entrances.

PIM

Threekit/InRiver

Threekit, an online product visualization company, has partnered with product information management (PIM) company InRiver to enable retail clients to store and produce 3D and augmented reality (AR) product content across the web, email, marketing and offline.

In a blog post, Threekit CEO Matt Gorniak said PIM systems have made it easier for companies to serve up the relevant information, data and images related to their product lines. But he also noted, “90 percent of what we process is visual and a few pictures and a wall of words isn’t going to convert.”

The InRiver platform connects via a Threekit API and can then serve up the 3D and AR assets through the Threekit player. With Threekit’s technology, no code and no app is needed for AR to work.

Category Management

ProfitTrax AI

Smart Retail Solutions, creators of the ProfitTrax AI system, has introduced The Merchant, a category optimization module designed to help retailers to enhance category management and SKU rationalization capabilities.

The Merchant module is designed to provide retailers with intuitive, actionable direction to improve store availability of top selling items, reduce out of stocks and support smart ordering/production planning and display space allocations in all departments while optimizing inventory turnover.

The module serves buyers, merchandisers and category managers across the retail enterprise to optimize the retail selling mix and provide single-click drill-down to support SKU rationalization initiatives, ultimately to increase category profitability at the company, store and department levels from the ProfitTrax AI Command Dashboard.

Within the ProfitTrax AI Command Dashboard, users can compare store-to-store, item-level variety sales and shrink loss to improve profitable selling mix; rationalize SKUs within every department to adjust shelf and case space allocations; identify their top 1,000 profit-losing products using the Shrink Reduction Analyzer; and adjust shelf sets to help assure in-stock conditions and reduce missed sales of top-selling items.