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Sampler enters grocery retail with UNFI deal

Sampler is launching a grocery retail offering by partnering with UNFI, North America’s largest grocery wholesale distributor.

Since the pandemic disrupted the retail environment over 18 months ago, brands have been left to find new and innovative ways to reach consumers outside ambient in-store sampling. Sampler’s digital product sampling platform allows brands to send physical product samples, typically in the form of a regular box of new products to the homes of digitally targeted consumers, bringing the in-store sampling experience right to their doorstep.

Now, major grocers, including those the U.S., will get the opportunity to add a sample to a consumer’s order through a pop-up that appears at the end of a pickup or delivery order, the Sampler experience pops up and asks if the purchaser wants a product sample, part of a shopper marketing program move into the digital space.

“Food is one of the hardest things to sample…and has always been a pretty big category for Sampler,” says Marie Chevrier, Sampler’s CEO and founder. “We’re looking to food entrepreneurs find new ways of distributing.”

The UNFI team up comes on the heels of May’s Sampler / Dentsu Canada partnership, granting one another more access to startups and established CPGs.

“Dentsu was our way of showing that large media companies understand the importance of what we call ‘digital product sampling’ or ‘incentive-based marketing,’” Chevrier says, adding that and UNFI is another big supporter of that message.

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Airport retailer deploys MishiPay mobile self-checkout

Airport retailer and restaurant company Paradies Lagardere is expanding its fleet of MishiPay Scan, Pay & Go mobile self-checkout technology to 20 more airports in the U.S. and Canada.

During a successful pilot in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Paradies Lagardère saw the clear impact of MishiPay’s technology: by enabling shoppers to scan and pay for their desired products using their own devices, store associates were able to repurpose a portion of their shift from manning a cash register to other valuable tasks such as restocking, sanitizing high traffic sections, and assisting customers.

The technology is being embraced by customers, according to the release, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.85 out of 5, with over 90% of shoppers making a purchase when they have opened the app, which does not require a download.

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Presize Reveals the State of Sizing in Fashion E-commerce in Report

As E-commerce continues to become the preferred shopping method for fashion consumers, the most common approach to uncertainty over fit and sizing has been overordering.

According to a new report from Presize, the size solution company with the goal of bringing one billion perfectly sized garments to shoppers by 2023, currently only 2 percent of online fashion shoppers buy perfectly sized garments.

The insights study, which analyzed the top 100 European retailers including Zara, Adidas, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Sezane and Asos, among others, aimed to understand the issues with sizing in the digital fashion industry. Of the companies, 77 shops have size charts on their product pages, 34 shops use size recommendation technology and nine shops do not offer any help with sizing.

Notably, data from Presize shows that not even 1 percent of shoppers click on size charts — finding them outdated. Of the 77 companies with a size chart, only 45 included measuring guides to explain how to navigate finding personal measurements to determine size. The authors of the report noted, by not having these guidelines, the companies made the size charts “meaningless.”

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Breinify Accelerates Momentum in Second Half of 2021 for funding

Breinify, the leading lightweight personalization platform, is pleased to announce continued momentum following a $11 million round of seed funding in April 2021. The company has seen strong continued growth, meeting key milestones set for 2021 including tripling its headcount and 4.3x revenue, adding four new customers, and experiencing zero product downtime, among other drivers of operational success.

“It’s incredible to see how Breinify has grown,” says Diane Keng, co-founder and CEO of Breinify. “We’ve done an amazing job setting the foundations for scaling as we raised $11M in unheard of speeds. Our ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach really resonates with our customers and we’re beyond ecstatic to see how we’ve jump started their personalization journeys.”

New Notable Customers & Partnerships

In the last few years, retail/CPG brands have made quite a shift to become more digital-centric and data-driven. To successfully move the needle for these industries, these brands have to find ways to implement smart personalization. Unfortunately, unless you are Amazon, Google, or the top one or two brands in your industry, these companies face several challenges to enable even the most basic personalization capabilities. Breinify is democratizing data science by finding ways to make predictive capabilities accessible to non-technical, yet data-driven marketing teams. The company’s AI solution enables enterprise marketers to deliver predictive personalization at scale.

“2021 has shown us that brands are hungrier than ever for predictive personalization,” says Keng. “More of the brands we see in our kitchen pantries or bathroom cabinets embrace the importance of relevant personalization, but struggle to get effective experiences up and running. Through word of mouth, we organically quadrupled our customer base and expanded our partnership with more than 80 percent of our existing customers. The time to access data science powered personalization is now.”

Breinify customers include BevMo!, Duraflame, Sally Beauty, and many more to drive $125M in new revenue, 20x results (between split testing) for page visits, and +105% in CRM growth.

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The Business of Marketing Featuring Eric Allen, CEO of LISNR

During this episode, you will hear from Eric Allen, CEO of LISNR, the leading ultrasonic proximity platform enabling secure and seamless data transmission via a secure and scalable software solution. Learn how they leverage technology to drive growth and business transformation and what they see are some of the biggest future obstacles that they will have to overcome.

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Mercaux Named a Top Retail Tech Startup for 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic put retailers in a challenging and unchartered situation to navigate. Businesses everywhere have had to learn how to stay afloat while keeping up to date with government guidelines – taking care of both customer safety and satisfaction with the service provided.

In many ways, retail tech has become crucial in fostering retailers’ relationships with their customers, helping businesses to operate in innovative, socially-distanced ways throughout 2020-2021. Celebrating this area of tech, TechRound have created our list of the top retail tech startups for 2021.

Top Retail Tech Startups 2021:

  • Stint – Founded by Sam and Sol Schlagman
  • Mercaux – Founded by Olga Kotsur and Alexey Petrov
  • Futr – Founded by Andrew Wilkins and Lee Skyrme
  • Tire Agent – Founded by Jared Kugel
  • AfterShip – Founded by Andrew Chan, Dante Tsang and Teddy Chan
  • SellersFunding – Founded by Alessandro Rodrigues Novaes, Fabio D. Knijnik and Ricardo Pero
  • JTB Custom – Founded by Jud Barr
  • SharpEnd – Founded by Cameron Worth
  • SalesDuo – Founded by Arjun Narayan
  • Perfitly – Founded by Dave Sharma and Raghav Sharma
  • Oriient – Founded by Mickey Balter & Amiram Frish
  • Loyalize – Founded by David John
  • Edgify – Founded by Ofri Ben-Porat and Nadav Israel
  • Wevat – Founded by Raphael Chow
  • Soundtrack Your Brand – Founded by Ola Sars
  • eDesk – Founded by Ray Nolan
  • Farly – Founded by Farleigh Hungerford
  • Swift – Founded by Lorenzo Alessi
  • Swapi – Founded by Pete Howroyd

Mercaux, an SAP.iO startup participant, is on a mission to help re-invent physical retail stores by connecting them to the digital world. It’s new generation modular in-store platform connects stores to all the backend systems that ecommerce currently benefits from (such as order management, customer relationship management, product information management and payments), in addition to ecommerce itself. It then surfaces all this rich information into the hands of store associates through the Mercaux app, which is displayed on tablet or smartphone devices. This then allows the store associate to facilitate a much improved shopping experience by using assisted selling, digital styling, and mobile payment solutions to serve the customer.

Original article found here…

SAP Startup Spotlight: Wisy

SAP invests in a lot of promising startups, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of them. E-3 Magazine has selected the most interesting companies to showcase in our SAP Startup Spotlight Series. In this article, we will take a look at Wisy.

Min Chen is the CEO of Wisy, a startup that solves a $1.9T problem in the CPG and retail industry by optimizing operations, reducing out-of-stocks and waste with artificial intelligence. She is an award-winning serial entrepreneur and software engineer with 20 years of experience. In this interview, Min Chen will explain what problem Wisy is trying to solve, what makes her company different, and what’s next for the startup.

E-3 Magazine: What problem is Wisy trying to solve?

Min Chen: Wisy is solving a problem that affects everybody who shops at a store. All of us have had the inconvenience of not finding the product we want to buy, and this problem causes a $1.9T annual loss in the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry due to stockouts and waste. While stockouts can happen for several reasons, one of the most common causes is the lack of actionable data at the point-of-sale for CPG and retailer personnel to take timely, correct actions and prevent the problem in the future. Stockouts lead to losses in sales and waste as products are not sold before their expiry date because they are not being restocked on shelves in a timely manner.

Why is this such a difficult problem to solve?

Chen: Imagine a dairy company with over 100 different products sold at thousands of stores or the dairy department in a grocery store with thousands of products to choose from. Keeping track of product rotation, inventory, planogram compliance, assortments, and pricing of every product and every store is a daunting task that is still done manually. Manual retail execution processes rely on the memory and eyeballing capabilities of employees. It is no surprise that error margins are high, data are inaccurate and not actionable. High personnel turnover adds more challenges as new employees take longer to execute the same tasks and could make more mistakes due to their unfamiliarity with the company’s myriad of products.

How is Wisy helping to solve this problem?

Chen: Wisy has developed an artificial-intelligence solution that works in any mobile device to empower field employees to quickly identify retail execution issues and perform corrective actions quickly and consistently. Instead of verifying out-of-stocks manually, employees just have to snap a picture of the shelf and Wisy will identify issues such as out-of-stocks, planogram compliance, unauthorized products, and pricing issues. Employees won’t have to rely on memorizing the hundreds of products and their right quantities for each store to identify issues. Wisy will do that for them in a matter of seconds. It is likely to increase efficiency by at least 25 percent and accuracy to 90 percent, leading to potential combined benefit of 3 to 10 percent of revenue.

MishiPay Gains 20 More Airports And Takes On ‘Just Walk Out’ From Amazon

Travel retailer Paradies Lagardère will have more than 20 stores in airports around the U.S. and Canada deploying MishiPay’s mobile self-checkout technology in time for Christmas and the expected surge in holiday traffic.

The UK-based technology company’s in-house developed Scan, Pay & Go system has been selected by Paradies—part of the second-biggest airport retailer in the world Lagardère Travel Retail—after a successful test at two locations, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in Florida and Charlotte Douglas Airport, in North Carolina.

The airport rollout includes some key hubs with high footfall such as Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Phoenix Sky Harbor, plus Vancouver and Toronto airports in Canada. A total of 26 Paradies stores will offer MishiPay from an estate of more than 950, including restaurants, in about 100 airports. Gregg Paradies, president and CEO at Paradies Lagardère, described the current expansion as “phase two” suggesting that further openings were possible.

The decision to expand was based on several factors including customer satisfaction levels in the test stores. They averaged 4.85 out of 5, with over 90% of shoppers making a purchase when they opened the app.

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Circular Economy Becomes Reality For Retailers Thanks To This French Startup

Need a new outfit for a party, a wedding, or an awards ceremony? Want something special to perk up a grey day? Don’t buy it – rent it. By doing so, you’ll be part of a circular economy revolution to use more and own less.

Imagine having a wardrobe full of clothes you only wear once or twice – but instead of discarding them in landfill, you just return them to the brand you got them from and rent a whole new set for the season ahead.

Imagine renting just about everything else you only use once in a while – equipment for camping, sports or home workouts, tableware for a Christmas bash, musical instruments and clothes your kids will soon abandon or outgrow anyway, medical devices, tools, luggage for your next world tour – you name it, if it’s not perishable, rent it.

A Circular Vision

That’s the vision of Lizee, a French startup providing eCommerce and logistics software as a service. They believe that the manufacturing of goods will be cut in half during the next 25 years.

“Together with our supply chain partners, we offer a turnkey solution for brands and retailers that want to quickly transition into the circular economy by renting and reselling their products,” said Tanguy Frécon, the company’s co-founder and chairman. “Brands are realizing that it makes business sense to produce fewer goods but make them more robust so they last longer. Producing for reuse derives a different type of margin. The products become the resources.”

Lizee’s offering comes just in time as retailers are facing groundbreaking regulations in France that forbid the destruction of clothing, cosmetics, electrical items, and other goods that haven’t been sold. The ban is part of a wide-ranging anti-waste law passed by the French parliament last year.

Tanguy Frécon is convinced sustainability and profitability go hand in hand. The rent and resell business model is a new channel for brands to interact with their existing customers and reach new target audiences.

“With these new circular business models brands and retailers can deliver their sustainable transformation, clear inventory without discounting, target new consumers, and boost margins,” said Frécon.

A Skyrocketing Business Model

The market is massive. Back in 2019, Tanguy was inspired by McKinsey’s State of Fashion Report which named end of ownership as one of the key consumer shifts retailers should prepare for. The report stated that “the lifespan of fashion products is being stretched as pre-owned, refurbished, repaired, and rental business models continue to evolve and consumers have demonstrated an appetite to shift away from traditional ownership to newer ways in which to access product.”

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Munich-based SaaS company commercetools acquires Frontastic: Here’s why

Commercetools, a Munich-based cloud-native headless commerce platform, announced that it has acquired Frontastic, developer of Composable Frontend Platform that unites business and development teams to build e-commerce sites on headless fast.

The acquisition comes two months after securing funds in a Series C round as the company focuses on broadening the reach of its commerce technology to support global enterprises and reinvent e-commerce.

“We’ve been partnering with the Frontastic team since the very beginning and see a huge market opportunity for their Composable Frontend Platform around the world,” says Dirk Hoerig, CEO and co-founder of commercetools.

“With this powerful combination, we’re bringing the MACH (Microservices, API, Cloud, and Headless) movement to the mid-market as well as to digital business teams so that more companies can benefit from modern commerce experiences,” he added.

Frontastic: What you need to know

Founded in 2017, Frontastic provides modern front-end technologies for commerce sites.

The company’s “Composable Frontend Platform” enables merchants and brands to build websites easily and fast on top of headless by removing complexity for developers. It is used by international brands such as Universal Music, Flaconi, and APG & Co.

“We’re excited to become part of the impressive commercetools growth story,” says Thomas Gottheil, CEO and co-founder of Frontastic.

He adds, “We created Frontastic to help enterprises build the best shopping experiences – regardless of which commerce platform they use. By joining forces with commercetools, we can support even more brands on a global scale.”

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The Business of Marketing Featuring Ashley Crowder, Co-Founder and CEO at VNTANA

During this episode, you will hear from Ashley Crowder, Co-Founder and CEO at VNTANA, a SaaS platform that makes 3D asset production and distribution fast and scalable for apparel, footwear and furniture. Learn how they worked with SAP to transform their business, the major obstacles they faced as a startup in the 3D space, and how they are leveraging technology to drive their growth.

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Why Renting Is The New Buying – Industry Insights by SAP

In this episode, Tanguy Frécon, Co-Founder & Chairman at Lizee shares how Lizee helps brands and retailers reach both their growth and sustainability goals by expanding their rental business and extending the use of their products.

Consumers want to engage with brands that are sustainable — but there can be no sustainability without profitability. Lizee, one of the startups in the SAP.io Sustainable Futures program, enables brands to produce fewer, more durable, more sustainable goods and reach even more customers without sacrificing revenue. Tanguy Frécon, Co-Founder & Chairman at Lizee, speaks with host Tom Raftery about the real and potential benefits to retailers as they shift from a linear to circular retail economy.

Catch the episode here…

Israeli startup EasySend raises $55.5m to help enterprises build, maintain digital customer journeys with its no-code platform

EasySend, a no-code digital customer journey platform announced a $50.5 million Series B funding round led by Oak HC/FT. Existing investors Vertex IL, Intel Capital, and Hanaco Venture also participated in the round. The company also secured $5 million in venture debt from Silicon Valley Bank.

The announcement follows a year of accelerated growth; the company expanded its US revenues by ten-fold as it supported digital transformation for insurance, banks, and credit unions such as Cincinnati Insurance, NJM Insurance Group, PSCU, Sompo, and Petplan. The funding will accelerate EasySend’s growth in the US and other geographic regions as well as support expansion into new verticals and product use cases.

Tal Daskal, Chief Executive Officer, EasySend: “COVID-19 led to a massive shift in the way people interact with businesses online. EasySend helps enterprises accelerate their five-year digital transformation plans in just three months, making it simple for them to offer exceptional online customer experiences. We are grateful for the support we’ve received from Oak HC/FT and our other investors and are excited to continue helping more businesses make the digital leap forward.”

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A third Of CMOs Don’t Trust Their Marketing Data According To Adverity Research

Over one-third of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) don’t trust their marketing data according to the latest research from leading marketing data analytics platform Adverity. What’s more, there is a growing divide between data analysts and marketers when it comes to trusting their data.

A third (34%) of marketers don’t trust the data they are given to inform campaigns. A number that rises to 41% among their data analyst colleagues—posing a new challenge for the C-suite charged with driving marketing results. Yet, the very same divide deepens at the leadership level—with 51% of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) & Chief Data Officers (CDOs) lacking trust in the data compared to 34% of CMOs.

The new “Marketing Analytics State of Play 2022: Challenges and Priorities” research commissioned by Adverity surveyed 964 marketers and data analysts across the U.S., U.K., and Germany, identifying the key strategic challenges faced by marketers and data analysts as well as their priorities for 2022.

For businesses, such a trust divide that becomes greater the more senior you go should cause significant alarm. Teams are failing to communicate mistrust, which results in key strategic decisions regarding spending, budget allocation, and campaign optimization being made without accuracy or confidence, potentially resulting in huge amounts of the marketing budget being misused or ultimately wasted.

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