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SAP.iO & Publicis Sapient partner to mold the next generation of consumer engagement startups

Early stage strategic incubator, SAP.iO has joined forces with digital business transformation company Publicis Sapient to help shape the upcoming  SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv – startup accelerator program – batch of startups. The program  will focus on advanced marketing and commerce solutions that offer new ways for brands to improve consumer engagement. “For startup companies that develop relevant solutions, this is a unique opportunity to grow and go global ” says Lior Weizmann, who leads SAP.iO Foundry in Israel.

“A significant springboard for startups”

The SAP.iO Foundries are SAP’s global network of equity-free startup accelerators that help promising startups integrate with SAP solutions and accelerate their entry into a curated, inclusive ecosystem whose offerings can be easily accessed and deployed by SAP customers. Current locations of SAP.iO Foundries are in major startup hubs, including Paris, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Munich, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Tokyo and Bangalore.

Publicis Sapient, which is part of the advertising giant Publicis, and an SAP client, will help SAP identify suitable startups from the global landscape to participate in the SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv – a 12 week program focused on elevating the very best startups with the very best solutions to the next level.

“In addition to partner with SAP and Publicis, which is a strategic achievement by itself, the start-ups that will participate the program and the joint solutions developed in it will be introduced by SAP and Publicis to their joint clients, which include some of the largest brands in the world. The initial exposure will be to the major consumer product companies, where we identify a strong need to strengthen the relationship with the end consumers,” Weizmann added.

The program is intended for enterprise software startups after their Seed or A round, that offer one or more of the following solutions: Personalized marketing, product discovery, social engagement, improved segmentation, consumer experience, 1st party consumer insights, new business models for direct-to-consumer marketing, and innovative integration use cases with Emarsys, SAP’s latest acquisition and a leading omnichannel customer engagement platform.

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Blank Canvas: Fashion Forward Featuring EON

From footwear to jeans to high fashion, the industry is making positive environmental changes due to pressure from passionate consumers who are demanding change. With profiles of companies such as Allbirds, Adidas, Levi’s, and Gucci, plus interviews with supermodel Karlie Kloss and CEO Natasha Franck, the show takes an in-depth look at how the fashion business is changing.

Watch here…

Every Return Saved Is a Win for Consumers, Brands, and the Planet

If the CEO of Presize has his way, clothing returns will be a relic of the past, and online retail brands will not sacrifice business for the sake of the environment.

The startup’s cloud-based app uses artificial intelligence (AI) to calculate clothing sizes for individual online shoppers. Much more than welcome relief for anyone who has ever hesitated to buy clothing online because they were uncertain of their size, the tool reduces size-related product returns by 50% on average.

“Sustainability is core to our mission,” said Leon Szeli, co-founder and CEO. “Every product return we save is a win for the consumer, the brand, and the planet. Every item of clothing that consumers scan using our app means fewer returns. This contributes to a lower carbon footprint for the planet, less time wasted for shoppers, and greater cost-savings for retail brands.”

Sustainability Is the Perfect Fit for Online Shopping

Based in Germany, Presize serves well-known clothing apparel brands in that country and throughout Western Europe. Its online sizing tool has provided half a million recommendations to delighted consumers. Instead of second-guessing ambiguous size charts, shoppers simply click on the “find my size” button, answer basic questions that include their height, weight, and gender, upload a video of themselves if they choose, and then the algorithm provides their best size for that product. Behind the scenes, AI-fueled algorithms learn from dynamic data analyses.

“We constantly train the algorithm using data from hundreds of thousands of human shapes and other variables, plus stock-keeping units (SKUs) from clothing manufacturers, and layer that with product return information,” Szeli said. “Once someone saves their size ID, it can be applied to any brand that uses the Presize app, making shopping much easier. Shoppers can even share their size information with family and friends.”

According to Szeli, online retailers that use the Presize app on their website have increased conversion rates, meaning consumer sales, by up to 25%. As with any AI-based tool, user adoption is critical for calculation accuracy. Szeli said that approximately 10% of shoppers use the tool when it is available on a brand’s site.

“A big part of sizing uncertainty is the diversity between brands, Szeli explained. “Every product is different, and we want to help consumers regardless of what brand of clothing they buy.”

Digital Insights for Sustainable Results

Presize is the culmination of Szeli’s two major career passions: conducting research and having a positive impact on the world. As a university student in the U.S. and the UK, he focused on human trust in AI-based technology. However, he quickly realized that he wanted to accomplish much more than producing papers for niche audiences. When he met his co-founders, who were working with computer vision and AI, they embarked on a journey to literally change the world – beginning with online shopping.

“I wanted to do something entrepreneurial that would have a much wider impact and change people’s lives for the better,” Szeli said. “I saw the problem of product returns as a sustainability issue that wasted environmental resources, as well as time and money for businesses and their customers.”

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Video-Powered Virtual Storefronts Fuel Next E-Commerce Boom

According to Gartner researchers, live commerce is one of the hottest digital selling trends as retailers and even business-to-business (B2B) companies engage customers with personalized sales through streaming video.

To be clear, these are not yesterday’s social brand ambassadors. TVPage has pioneered this latest trend, offering an artificial intelligence (AI)-based cloud platform that brings together store associates, approved influencers, and products for the most dynamic online e-commerce machine to date.

“We are at the forefront of social e-commerce, using video to put virtual yet personalized salespeople directly in the online store,” said Allon Caidar, co-founder and CEO at TVPage. “It’s a full-cycle marketing engine for customer engagement and online shopping, turning companies into their own social media destination that pops up as people search for products.”

Bustling Virtual Storefronts

Large retailers and other companies worldwide are using TVPage to replicate the kind of expert selling consumers crave. For example, when a retailer signs up, it gains a virtual storefront for its own sales associates – as well as independent influencers – all of whom serve as social brand ambassadors. Using a mobile app or web browser, these ambassadors keep consumers engaged by uploading videos, photos, and other information about products on the retailer’s website. They use social media to share their content, answer customer questions, and invite interested consumers to special online events.

“Consumers can chat with social brand ambassadors anytime to find out if a product comes in a different color or size,” Caidar said. “Ambassadors might decide to schedule beauty makeovers based on the questions they’ve received or spotlight gaming releases that reflect breaking trends. Customers can purchase products directly from their videos.”

Companies can set and monitor social ambassador metrics from one dashboard, paying their own employees based on individual performance goals. TVPage also helps its customers find and manage independent influencers, including sourcing and paying freelance social ambassadors.

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E-commerce Made Human Through Virtual Shopping and Brand Experience Innovation w/ Natasha Franzen of HERO

Experts predict that retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.13 trillion in 2020 and it is expected that mobile commerce will take a market share of e-commerce of 72.9% by 2021. As we enter the holiday season navigating COVID, retailers face unprecedented opportunities to reimagine brand experiences and bridge the storefront’s physical to digital continuum. While adapting an agile supply chain, increasing conversion rates, reducing wastes, including decreasing returns are front of mind, 1 company is transforming virtual shopping, where the online shopping experience is made human, again.

Meet HERO