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Retail Tech Roundup: Salesforce Acquires Mobify, Fanatics Integrates QuadPay

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

E-commerce

Salesforce/Mobify

Salesforce has acquired Mobify, an online storefront technology, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is an extension of the companies’ multi-year partnership, in which Mobify launched its API-driven Front-End as a Service technology on Salesforce’s AppExchange in 2019.

Mobify’s Front-End as a Service is designed to help businesses speed up time to market by reducing the need to build and run costly and time-consuming custom experiences from scratch, instead offering developer tools to build, test and deploy experiences with progressive web apps, accelerated mobile pages and native apps on a single codebase.

With the acquisition, Salesforce aims to beef up its Salesforce Commerce Cloud offering with a modern storefront solution that helps brands customize their commerce experiences more frequently, enhance the shopping experience across channels and increase conversions and revenue.

Mobify offers more than 75 product integrations outside of Commerce Cloud including various custom and legacy e-commerce platforms, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Dynamic Tag Management and content management systems such as Amplience, CoreMedia and eSpirit.

Salsify

Salsify has launched the Commerce Experience Management (CommerceXM) platform for brand manufacturers to improve e-commerce experiences. The expanded CommerceXM platform combines Salsify’s existing Product Experience Management solution (Integrated PIM, DAM and Experience Builder) with core commerce capabilities designed to enable sales both across retailer/distributor channels as well as marketplaces, social media platforms and direct-to-consumer sites.

By integrating the capabilities brands need to support and transact commerce experiences through one technology stack, Salsify CommerceXM gives brands tools to move faster than their competition to optimize digital touchpoints for discovery, conversion and brand affinity.

“Both B2C and B2B brand manufacturers are now expected to engage with their customers on retail sites, direct to consumer channels, digital marketplaces, social media, mobile apps, print, in-store media, and a growing list of new interfaces,” Jordan Jewell, research manager at International Data Corporation (IDC), said in a statement. “In the coming years we expect ‘channel explosion,’ with the number of channels and digital touchpoints to continue growing. It is essential that brands can effectively manage and optimize their commerce experience, including product data, content and supply chain data, across all of those channels, and do so in a way that scales.”

Alongside the expanded CommerceXM platform, Salsify also has unveiled the general availability of Salsify for Marketplace Commerce. This offering is designed to provide customers with the unique ability to manage product experiences as well as order and inventory data through a centralized listing exchange. CommerceXM marketplace connections currently include Amazon, Google, and Facebook, with more planned in the coming months.

Salsify also announced Mike Milburn, former chief customer officer at Salesforce, as president.

Alternative payment/checkout

Fiserv/QuadPay

Retailers using digital commerce technology from Fiserv, a global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, can now enable customers to pay for their purchases with interest-free installment payments through buy now, pay later platform QuadPay.

Fanatics, an online retailer of licensed sports merchandise and apparel, will enable customers to pay in installments through digital commerce technology from Fiserv in relationship with QuadPay. Fanatics customers will be able to use installment payments when shopping across the company’s owned roster of online stores, including Fanatics.com, FansEdge.com, SportsMemorabilia.com and international properties, or via the Fanatics mobile application by choosing QuadPay as a payment option during checkout. Fanatics customers paying with QuadPay will be able to split payment into four interest-free installments spread over a six-week period, giving them the flexibility to budget purchases.

KodyPay

KodyPay, a new mobile point-of-sale app and payment aggregator designed to allow users to pay for goods in store without waiting in a line, has raised 1.8 million pounds ($2.3 million) in funding.

At 20 years old, CEO Yoyo Chang co-founded KodyPay in the final year of high school. Chang is currently working alongside co-founder Jack Howell whilst studying at the University of York.

The platform will be running on IBM Z Systems, with the company working with IBM partners TES Enterprise Solutions and Cognition Foundry. KodyPay has also entered into a partnership with Cybersource, a Visa solution. With their support, KodyPay has built a modular payment stack that enables merchants to efficiently work with their preferred payment method.

Leading the financing was Cognition Foundry and Hank Uberoi, the managing director of HU Investments, alongside a group of high-profile private investors. These include former members of senior management from Legal and General, Verifone and HP.

Tiliter/FutureProof Retail

Tiliter, an AI-powered product recognition technology, has partnered with FutureProof Retail (FPR), a provider of line-free mobile checkout solutions, to deploy a self-service scale with product recognition integrated with scan-and-go payments in the U.S.

FPR’s solution is designed to enable customers to use their smartphones to scan and bag items while they are shopping. They can then pay on their phone and skip the lines at checkout. FPR’s mobile platform integrates with the Tiliter Scan&Go Scale that assists shoppers in adding weight items such as produce and bulk foods to their shopping basket. Instead of entering a price look up (PLU) number, Tiliter’s software automatically identifies the item and shows a barcode on the screen that the customer can simply scan with FPR’s Scan and Go app.

The first integration has been deployed in New York City’s Westside Market and a range of supermarkets across the U.S. will follow this year, overtaking competitor checkout-free solutions.

The technology is powered by Tiliter Vision Software, which uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to recognize any product without a barcode. Shoppers do not need to manually search for the desired items or enter a PLU, which ensures a contactless and hygienic checkout experience.

Merchandising

First Insight

First Insight, a provider of technology that helps retailers make product investment and pricing decisions, has expanded its partnership with John Lewis & Partners. The announcement follows a successful validation test program that John Lewis conducted across its fashion and home categories.

The initial pilot enabled John Lewis to improve buy depths and optimize assortments in its women’s wear and home categories. In addition, First Insight’s testing revealed insights about raw materials: the company discovered strong customer preferences on bedding fabric content and leveraged those insights in finalizing their line.

First Insight uses online social engagement tools that gather real-time preference, pricing and sentiment data on potential product offerings. The information is filtered through First Insight’s predictive analytics models to determine which products customers like best.

Carbon tracking

CoGo/Hurr Collective

British peer-to-peer fashion rental service Hurr Collective has partnered with sustainable living app, CoGo, to launch a real-time carbon footprint tracker that calculates the kilograms saved in carbon emissions when consumers rent an item of clothing instead of purchasing new.

CoGo, a free-to-use app that acts as a powerful eco-conscious conduit for people and the planet, has added the positive impact tracking from renting clothes as a standalone function in its app, sitting alongside an existing feature that measures the climate impact when users shop secondhand or from vintage retailers.

CoGo requires three pieces of data to calculate carbon footprint: the company, emission factors and transactions.

For instance, each time a 150-pound ($193) dress is rented, Hurr’s Footprint Tracker will calculate the carbon emissions saved. In this case, 147 kg (324 lbs.) in carbon emissions would be saved, which is the equivalent of 367 car miles, or two trees being cut down.

“Showing our customers their positive climate impact harmoniously bolsters the founding principles of peer-to-peer fashion renting while promoting circular consumption models in the fashion industry and beyond,” said Hurr Collective co-founder Victoria Prew.

Social commerce

Astute/Socialbakers

Astute, a customer engagement and voice of the customer platform provider, has acquired unified social media marketing platform Socialbakers for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition enables global brands to manage research, content, engagement and social listening in a single software-as-a-service platform.

Socialbakers’ AI-powered social media marketing platform is used by more than 2,500 enterprise and mid-market brands around the world, and is designed to enable brands to reach and engage with audiences across all major social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google and VK.com via one unified platform.

Astute’s current AI-driven solutions cover a broad range of applications, including an omnichannel customer engagement platform, a voice of the customer tracking and analytics platform and a CRM system. Astute is an end-to-end solution for interacting across all channels where today’s consumers want to engage with brands, eliminating friction while capturing first-party data to drive insights across the business.

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