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Retail Tech: Shopify Collabs, SwatchOn 3D Library, Narvar x Fillogic

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

Creator Economy

Shopify

Shopify has launched Collabs, a new feature giving creators a way to discover and partner with millions of merchants and brands selling via the e-commerce platform.

Collabs helps creators monetize their content by allowing them to share product recommendations, while merchants can potentially access a new consumer base. And for consumers, that could mean more awareness into independent brands and products from creators they trust.

With Shopify Collabs, creators can discover and partner with merchants to build curated shops and share products that reflect their own interests, potentially accelerating their path to entrepreneurship.

Creators can apply for a Shopify Collabs account to start browsing for Shopify merchants that align with their audience. Once they find brands they love, creators can partner with those merchants and use Linkpop, Shopify’s link-in-bio tool, to curate a selection of products to share on their favorite social and entertainment platforms.

The creator gets paid when someone purchases a product using the link that influencer has shared, Shopify said.

Once merchants install Collabs and make their store and products discoverable, creators can apply to join that merchant’s community. Shopify Collabs can then be used to manage the relationship with that creator, supplying everything they need, like unique links or discount codes, to share that merchant’s products with their audiences.

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Because Collabs is built on Shopify, the entire process is managed centrally from the merchant’s Shopify admin, which means inventory, order, and customer information are kept up to date, giving a real-time view of the merchant’s entire multichannel sales.

Fit technology

Temperley London/MySizeID

British luxury fashion brand Temperley London is now leveraging the MySizeID apparel sizing solution from AI-driven measurement platform provider MySize, Inc.

Founded by British fashion designer Alice Temperley, the brand is available at luxury department stores worldwide, as well as standalone Temperley London stores. Stores include its flagship store in Somerset, as well as locations in the Chelsea and Fitzrovia areas of London, and in Marbella, Spain and Dubai.

MySizeID will help Temperley London’s customers generate highly accurate measurements of their body to select the optimal Temperley London size through a mobile app. MySizeID syncs the customer’s measurement data to the brand’s sizing chart and only presents items for purchase that match their measurements to ensure a correct fit.

“We make timeless fashion designed to last, enveloping our customer in luxury with the principle of sustainability at its core,” Temperley said. “By implementing MySizeID, we are helping our customers optimize fit and reduce the potential for returns, resulting in associated financial and environmental benefits.”

Digital fabrics

SwatchOn

Wholesale fashion fabric aggregate SwatchOn has launched its sister service, VMOD 3D Library, to fully digitize the 200,000 fabrics on the company’s sourcing platform.

SwatchOn’s members-only, B2B platform is built to connect the South Korean textile industry to fashion brands around the globe. A member of the CFDA Materials Hub, SwatchOn’s wholesale fabric offering of 200,000 SKUs has made the platform a global resource for independent labels, mid-size brands, and the largest apparel manufacturers in the world.

The VMOD 3D Library is the largest digital fashion fabric library with thousands of hyper-realistic, customizable 3D materials created from real life fabric twins.

The VMOD 3D Library is a digital fabric library with thousands of hyper-realistic, customizable 3D fashion materials created from real-life twin fabrics. VMOD uses the latest technology from Vizoo to achieve high-resolution surface scanning, capturing PBR texture maps. The library currently provides 3D materials in compliance with both Adobe Substance 3D, as well as CLO3D and Marvelous Designer. CLO is one of the world’s leaders in 3D Design Software—and SwatchOn’s partner and investor.

The VMOD 3D Library materials are created with a wide range of customization features. With VMOD, 3D fashion creators can iterate efficiently using superior quality fabrics created with the latest 3D technology embodying accurate physical parameters of twin fabrics.

Returns

Narvar/Fillogic

Narvar, a platform designed to enhance the post-purchase customer experience, has partnered with retail logistics-as-a-service platform Fillogic to help retailers and brands simplify and expedite product returns. The partnership will leverage the combination of Narvar’s end-to-end returns management solution and the Fillogic Hub Network as well as Fillogic’s proprietary sortation and segmentation technology.

Narvar aims to make product returns and exchanges easier and more convenient for shoppers by providing 200,000+ locations where they can drop off merchandise. Fillogic helps retailers improve service levels, reduce costs and emissions, and optimize asset utilization through strategically located, tech-enabled distribution hubs at shopping centers and other properties.

Under the new partnership, Fillogic will be able to pick up merchandise from Narvar drop-off locations to aggregate and intelligently sort packages for efficient, consolidated pickup and delivery in the middle and final mile, helping retailers get returned inventory back in stock 70 percent faster than normal, the companies claim. Fillogic says that its Delivery Marketplace, a proprietary multi-carrier network and sortation and segmentation solution, helps retailers save up to 65 percent in time and costs on transportation while reducing carbon emissions by up to 80 percent.

Fillogic’s localized logistics network and Narvar’s post-purchase platform together can better enable retailers to better serve customers who need to return or exchange merchandise. This partnership aims to make it easier for shoppers to find a convenient Narvar drop-off location and Fillogic’s platform will ensure that each item is efficiently shipped to where it is most needed in retailers’ network, whether that’s a store or a fulfillment facility.

Payments

BigCommerce/Affirm

BigCommerce has entered a multi-year partnership with Affirm positioning the “buy now pay later” provider as the e-commerce technology company’s preferred pay-over-time solution partner.

Now, BigCommerce merchants of all sizes can use Affirm’s Adaptive Checkout product and provide eligible customers with the flexibility and control to choose which payment schedule works best for them.

Accessible within the BigCommerce Control Panel, merchants can enable and display Affirm’s pay-over-time solution at checkout. Once enabled, eligible customers will see bi-weekly and monthly payment options side-by-side. This is powered by Affirm’s proprietary technology, which makes real-time underwriting decisions and surfaces customized payment schedules.

Affirm says it does not charge late or hidden fees, so consumers will not owe more than they agree to upfront.

Merchants can now deliver custom payment options on purchases ranging from $50 to $17,500.

Sellers can also tap into Affirm’s shopper network of more than 12.7 million consumers, and maximize marketing efforts with promotions and messaging tools to attract new customers.

Brands that offer Affirm at checkout have reported as much as 85 percent higher average order values (AOVs), a 26 percent increase in cart conversions and 20 percent repeat purchase rates when compared to other payment methods. Merchants can also create more purchasing opportunities for customers with merchandising features like prequalification and dynamic price messaging, helping drive conversion and average order value.

BigCommerce merchants that elect to offer Affirm to their customers do not have to worry about collecting future payments from customers who checkout with Affirm. They will receive the full purchase amount, minus fees, upfront (within one-to-three business days of a purchase), and Affirm will handle payment collection.

Supply chain planning

Kinaxis/MPO

Kinaxis Inc., an integrated business planning and digital supply chain technology provider, has acquired fellow supply chain software MPO for approximately $45 million. MPO offers a cloud-based SaaS platform for multi-party orchestration of orders, inventory and transport.

The combination of Kinaxis Rapid Response planning and MPO’s multi-party orchestration execution is geared to deliver a complete real-time picture of every order across the life cycle—from planned commitment through ultimate delivery. Instead of treating these areas as separated teams, planners will be able to react to disruptions in transportation and dynamically respond, and logistics teams will be able to incorporate the strategic impacts of their execution activities. This full digitization can unlock supply chain agility and resiliency to improve the end-to-end customer experience, sustainability and financial outcomes for manufacturers and brand owners as well as logistics service providers.

MPO will continue to operate as a standalone company after the deal.

Customer data

C&A/Mparticle

European fashion retailer C&A has selected the Mparticle Customer Data Platform (CDP) as its customer data management infrastructure, with the company planning to use mParticle to understand customer engagement and bridge in-store and e-commerce retail experiences.

C&A maintains multiple customer touch points, including at brick-and-mortar retail locations, online and on social media. By adopting Mparticle CDP, C&A aims to consolidate customer data from across these touch points to create a comprehensive picture of consumer needs and desires.

“The customer is at the heart of everything we do, so understanding customer needs is essential,” said Julian Wilden, CDP manager at C&A. “As an omnichannel retailer, we need to make sense of customer interactions across all interactions to create actionable insights. Using Mparticle CDP, we can create a data exchange within our marketing stack. Our goal is to break the boundaries between in-store and online retail to create seamless omnichannel journeys for our customers.Mparticle’s approach closely aligns with C&A’s customer-centric approach, with the platform standing out to the retailer as the most experienced CDP provider with a platform built around customer data rather than specific applications and use cases. C&A also believed Mparticle’s CDP offered the flexibility and scalability required to support C&A’s growth.

Unlike data management platforms (DMPs), MParticle says its CDP integrates data across all available channels and data repositories, mapping records to individuals to track transactions, interactions and web behaviors. The Mparticle CDP can also ingest offline data held in the CRM to create a 360-degree view of the customer.

Cross-border commerce

Dianxiaomi

Dianxiaomi, a China-based e-commerce platform provider with a company name that roughly translates in English to “shop assistant,” has secured $110 million in a Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund II and Sequoia Capital China.

This round of financing will support Dianxiaomi as it accelerates the iteration of products and services, continue to deepen the international strategic layout, and strive to create greater value for global e-commerce sellers and make global business more efficient.

Other prominent investors, including Tiger Global Management, GGV Capital and Huaxing Growth Capital, also participated in the funding round. The round comes just six months after the company procured $100 million in Series C funding.

Digital transformation

Globant

Globant, a company focused on reinventing businesses through innovative technology solutions, has launched its Retail Studio. With this new service, Globant aims to help retailers stay ahead of industry changes, with tools for complete supply chain visibility and automation while reinventing retail through a hybrid of physical and digital experiences that boost customer engagement.

With the Retail Studio, Globant seeks to offers customers a comprehensive view of this industry value chain. Additionally, the company aims to boost new business models by creating impactful customer experiences and empowering integrated, scalable, open technologies to facilitate changes and new services.

The Retail Studio also will use data analytics and artificial intelligence to automate business decisions that can ensure a more flexible and adaptable organization. In addition, the Studio can help customers create a digital business culture, empowering talent to accelerate transformation and adoption.

According to Dariyus Setna, senior managing director and head of Globant’s Retail Studio, said the center will work on the automation of tasks and processes and the integration of touch points across brands, all while increasing use of real-time analytics and the metaverse. The Studio will also focus on deploying Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and chatbot technology for routine and menial tasks.

Retail joins the Reinvention Studios portfolio, which focuses on transforming specific industries, including gaming, media and entertainment, life sciences and automotive studios, among others.

Buy now, pay later

Sezzle/Klaviyo

Sezzle, a “buy now pay later” platform, has launched a new direct integration with Klaviyo, a marketing platform designed to help more than 100,000 paying users maximize revenue, increase repeat sales, and improve retention with personalized emails and SMS.

With Sezzle’s integration, Klaviyo merchants are able to launch email and SMS campaigns with flexible financing messaging.

The companies cited Baymard Institute data that 69.6 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned. With this integration, Klaviyo merchants can offer their customers Sezzle’s flexible financing options when they abandon their cart. Sezzle’s payment solution is built to open the door for shoppers to increase their purchasing power and gain financial freedom.

Sezzle’s integration on Klaviyo is available to all Klaviyo users.

Marketing

Northbeam

Northbeam, a machine learning-powered marketing measurement platform for DTC and e-commerce brands, has closed $15 million in Series A funding led by Silversmith Capital Partners. The company will use the funds for further product development, including expanding its machine learning capabilities.

As the digital marketing and media landscape becomes more complex and fragmented, Northbeam’s platform is designed to allow marketers to maximize the efficiency of their ad spend. The company wants to solve a specific problem many brands face today—they often run campaigns concurrently across platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, Amazon, Facebook and Instagram, and Google and YouTube, but struggle to determine which spend is truly driving business results.

Northbeam aims to help customers understand the ROI of their marketing and then deliver actionable insights to drive profitable growth. Brands can user the platform to view customers’ buying behavior across all channels, including influencers, owned media, TV, podcasts, press and direct mail.

The Series A announcement comes as many startups and publicly traded companies are reevaluating budgets and strategies across the board, particularly in marketing departments amid the current economic uncertainty. Northbeam seeks to help companies improve customer acquisition cost (CAC) ratios, reduce cash burn and drive better outcomes even with smaller marketing budgets.

Northbeam has enjoyed 37x year-over-year revenue growth from July 2021 to July 2022, and says it tracks $4.4 billion in revenue, $1.2 billion in ad spend and 4.3 billion page views annually.

Fraud protection

Signifyd/Vtex

Signifyd, a specialist in e-commerce fraud and consumer abuse protection through big data and machine learning, and Vtex, an enterprise digital commerce platform for brands and retailers, have launched a strategic alliance to promote, strengthen and protect retailers and online businesses in Latin America.

Vtex customers now have access to Signifyd’s Commerce Protection Platform module through the Vtex App Store. This means that they will be able to install a plug-in within the Vtex ecosystem and thus optimize their transactions, protect their profits and better prevent abuse and fraud attempts.

The partnership comes as the Latin America region still has plenty of room for e-commerce growth, with Emarketer estimating that annual sales will reach $167.01 billion in 2022 on 18.8 percent growth. However, in the face of this growth, businesses face challenges such as the increase in online fraud.

The Signifyd module complies with all the programming and review parameters of the Vtex platform. By integrating Signifyd solutions, Vtex clients can automate the review of transactions within their e-commerce platforms. Not only will they be able to detect fraud attempts but they will also access technology that has increased approved orders by an average of 5 percent to 9 percent.

Signifyd’s machine learning model is designed to adjust to new tactics and techniques deployed by professional scammers and fraud networks. It sorts fraudulent from legitimate transactions, detects cases of policy abuse and provides a financial guarantee on approved orders against all types of chargebacks.

This strategic alliance is part of Signifyd’s expansion plans in the region. The company’s April 2021 funding round of $205 million is fueling expansion of its product, customer success and data science teams, as well as its engineering teams.

Loyalty

Quivers

Quivers, a collaborative commerce platform for specialty brands and retailers, has added Ambassador Relationship Management (ARM), an update to its Collaborative Sales feature that allows brands to track the impact and return on investment (ROI) of ambassadors, prosumers and influencers.

ARM is designed to give brands access to vital data from their influencers and prosumers, including individual breakdowns of sales and ROI.

The feature incorporates tracking of exclusive programs and locates this alongside Quivers VIP Stores, the area where these campaigns are launched. Brands are able to leverage current data to monetize the influencer channel accurately and effectively. The data ARM provides also can help brands make key decisions and shape strategy for future ambassador programs. Not to mention, ARM helps ambassadors, pros and influencers to drive more traffic to your website resulting in increased conversion rates.

Ambassador Relationship Management enables brands to launch a comprehensive portal for ambassadors to learn about the brand, purchase discounted products and refer consumers. Additionally, users can benefit from incentivized ambassadors competing against each other on the gamified Ambassador Portal leaderboard.

With the technology, users can analyze the revenue ambassadors are driving through shopping environments and monetize the influencer channel accurately.