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Cashierless checkout company Zippin raises $30M

The cashierless technology shift continues apace with today’s news that Zippin has raised $30 million in a series B round of funding. The San Francisco-based company is one of several players in the space to gain traction for a technology that seeks to not only make supermarket queues obsolete, but also generate big data insights for retailers.

Founded in 2018, Zippin leverages AI, cameras, and smart shelf sensors to enable shoppers to place items in their cart and walk out without waiting. The company opened its first checkout-free store in San Francisco back in 2018, and it has since entered into partnerships with the likes of Aramark, Sberbank, and the Sacramento Kings’ Golden 1 Center to power cashierless stores globally.

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UK experienced largest peak season parcel growth in Europe, finds report

Parcel Monitor, the sister site of cloud-based e-commerce delivery platform Parcel Perform, has published a study outlining the e-commerce logistics performance of different regions including the UK, Germany, France and Poland. According to Parcel Monitor, Europe’s e-commerce revenue is projected to exceed US$450bn by 2021, with e-commerce users surpassing the 500 million mark – the equivalent of nearly 60% of the region’s population shopping online.

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Unity Acquires OTO to Foster Safer Gaming Environments

Unity announced the acquisition of OTO, an AI-driven acoustic intelligence platform that can be leveraged to build and foster safer gaming environments with voice and text chat environments. OTO will be integrated into Unity’s industry leading Vivox platform as a cornerstone for solving one of gaming’s global challenges: the rise of toxic behavior that leads to poor player experience, and ultimately, lost revenue for game creators.

“Over the past year, we saw how people all over the world found respite in gaming, due to the desire to connect with friends and family,” said Felix Thé, VP of Product Management, Operate Solutions, Unity. “The findings of our survey being released today also illustrate that with the rise in cross platform, multiplayer gaming, most players also felt there was a surge in toxic behavior. With OTO’s integration into our portfolio of gaming services, we aim to empower creators with a simple, scalable solution to design safe virtual environments that promote friendly experiences and detect problematic social behaviors.”

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The Future of Shopping – Insights From Elias Guerra

Raydiant’s new series, the Future of Shopping, interviews experts and thought leaders with a goal of better understanding what organizations can do to prepare themselves for what lies ahead.

The following is an interview we recently had with  Elias Guerra, Founder and CEO of Popwallet.

HOW HAS CONSUMER SHOPPING BEHAVIOR EVOLVED OVER THE PAST 5 YEARS?

Consumer behavior has changed a lot in recent years, but those changes have never compared to what we’ve seen over the past year.

Largely due to safety reasons, over the past 16 months, the shift to online shopping has dramatically increased. This shift extends beyond eCommerce into shopping experiences found on mobile devices–especially through mobile apps.

However, while eCommerce has resolved many consumer demands, it’s not a one size fits all approach. In fact, there are various aspects of the in-store experience that cannot be replaced.

For example, while online shopping experiences have been amplified over the past year through personalization tools to boost buyer purchasing decisions, online shopping still bars consumers from physically examining products before making the purchase, can call for extended wait times, and can lead to additional shipping and handling fees at checkout.

That said, with ever-evolving consumer demands, brands and retailers have been forced to rethink the in-store experiences they provide, with safety and convenience at top of mind. Over the past year alone, services such as buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS) and digital coupons, gift cards, and loyalty programs have all witnessed an uptick in demand.

Over the past 16 months, brands and retailers that never considered or were slow to adopting such offerings, are doing it now. And the ones that fast-tracked their experiences to consumers were the ones that thrived during the pandemic.

Take it from retailers like David’s Bridal who looked to create a mobile-first loyalty program around a category that is more or less known for one-time purchases. Not only was the timing of their solution impeccable, but it was also brilliant in the sense that it encouraged brides and their bridal parties to share promotions and perks while accumulating rewards points.

Then there was MARS, who got crafty and rewarded front-line healthcare workers during the height of the pandemic with a free SNICKERS® bar through a mobile wallet gift card. The offering was innovative in that not only was it timely, but it also created more awareness around the brand and created increased foot traffic for Walmart, in which they partnered with so consumers could redeem their free Snickers.

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Conga Acquires Contract Wrangler

Conga, the global leader in Commercial and Revenue Operations transformation, today announced the acquisition of Contract Wrangler, a leader in applying AI and ML to understand the terms and obligations in contracts that impact revenue, risk and cost once the contract is executed. With the combination, companies of all sizes will be able to holistically manage all of their contracts, whether on the company’s or third-party paper, to manage risk while optimizing revenues.

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SoftBank Invests in Adverity in $120M series D round

Vienna-based marketing analytics startup Adverity has raised $120 million in an equity funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund 2, helping it to tap growing demand for consumer data.

The startup sees an opportunity in allowing sellers to improve their marketing as Apple Inc. and Google make it harder for brands to track consumers, increasing the value of other sources of information on how people behave online.

“It’s a great opportunity for marketing teams to get ahead again because it’s leveling the field for everybody,” Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Alexander Igelsbock said in an interview.

Established in 2015, Adverity says it pulls in data from more than 500 sources to offer analysis and insights on a brand’s marketing efforts across platforms such as Amazon.com Inc. and ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok.

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The Business of Marketing Featuring Elias Guerra, CEO of Popwallet

Throughout season 2 of The Business of Marketing podcast, there will be a spotlight featuring a selection of startup companies working with SAP.iO to accelerate their business. This episode, you will hear from Elias Guerra, CEO of Popwallet and participant in SAP.io Foundries Program, and shares some of the biggest drivers that impacted the growth of his company and the ways that SAP.iO was supportive through this process for growth in the future.

 

Listen to podcast here…

Too Good To Go Partners With Waze to Fight Food Waste

Too Good To Go is an app that connects users to stores and restaurants with unsold surplus food and offers it at a discounted price. This week, the company announced that it has partnered with Waze, a GPS navigation software app, to fight food waste.

The partnership is called Waze for Good initiative, and it will last throughout the month of August. On the Waze app, the map will feature 100 Too Good To Go partner businesses in the metro areas of Washington D.C., Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, and Portland. Some of the featured stores will include Just Salad, Auntie Anne’s La Colombe, Juice Press, PLNT Burger, Café d’Avignon.

Waze users will see dropped pins on the map for Too Good To Go business partners. When selected, these pins will give information about the business and the initiative. The participating partners will offer “surprise bags” of surplus food, costing around $3.99-$5.99 each, that users can pick up. Earlier this month, Too Good To Go partnered with JOKR, a ghost grocery store chain to offer similar $5 surprise bags of surplus products.

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Customer Experience Is Key As Consumers Share More Online Reviews

While many things changed in 2020, in the e-commerce industry things may have shifted particularly drastically, with an impressive spike in online shopping on a global scale. Pandemic lockdowns catalyzed a process that was already underway in pre-Covid times — the transition from in-store to online shopping.

As consumers get increasingly more comfortable with researching and purchasing products online, they are also becoming more used to expressing their feedback through online product reviews and social media. Recent research indicates that in 2020 there was a surge in product reviews in multiple markets; more on that to follow.

What does this change mean for e-commerce companies? How can businesses leverage this change? In this article, I’ll share a bit about what our company noticed while doing research on the beauty industry and what I think e-commerce executives can do to make sure their brands stay relevant.

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Quickly leverage rich external data to improve decision making using Explorium

The need for companies to leverage external data is no longer a nice-to-have, but critical to success. Extracting quality data from a variety of reputable sources is extremely labor-intensive, costly, and manual. Looking to streamline and more effectively leverage external context to feed into your analytical models and improve decision making? Meet Explorium.

With Explorium, SAP Sales Cloud & Customer Data Cloud customers can tap into their first-party data and dynamically integrate it with outside sources, extracting powerful context-based signals to inform more precise acquisition, conversion and retention decisions, across channels & markets, in far less time. Explorium will help SAP customers increase revenue, streamline operations, reduce risks, and automate model performance, model prediction, and model training.

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Drive Meaningful Consumer Engagement with SundaySky

It’s official: Brands who do not incorporate real-time content rendering will be left in the dust. Today, digital is no longer a “nice-to-have,” but critical to a company’s success. As more and more brands turn to video as a means to connect with consumers, they are realizing how difficult and costly it is to create and maintain engaging and scalable video experiences as well as measure their impact.

Enter SundaySky.

SundaySky built a real-time content rendering engine in the cloud with infinite scale that intelligently versions video relevant to each individual viewer, activated by optional data. SundaySky empowers brands to deliver video experiences at critical moments along customer journeys in order to engage, educate, and inspire.

Rethinking Video

Whether operating in CPG and retail, or insurance and telecommunications industries, SundaySky gives marketers and CX business leaders the tools to simply drag and drop creative assets into video templates order to weave together a beautifully branded, relevant video. Users can build their own experiences from scratch and get inspired by existing industry templates with SundaySky’s easy-to-use modules, no video or after-effects experience needed. After the video is created, users can deploy the experience on commerce sites and distribute through email and mobile apps.

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Grow Your Online Sales with Algopix — Product Intelligence Platform for E-commerce

With increased competition in all areas and markets across the e-commerce world, the never-ending shifts in online marketing, and the gaps between brick-and-mortar and online stores, brands are really feeling the heat. In order to thrive and gain market share, brands need access to actionable, real-time data.

Enter Algopix, a product intelligence platform for e-commerce.

Analyze and benchmark your market share gain and loss by platform or competitor

Using Algopix, brands can understand the sales volume of every product in the e-commerce market across all countries and channels. How does it work? Algopix receives data from over 70,000 brands and online sellers, aggregates and anonymizes the data, and then informs CPGs and brands the sales volume, how market share changes over time, and what causes these changes, for every brand, product category, or product.

A solution for various business leaders across the organization

Using Algopix’s solution, marketing managers can understand what campaigns work and drive market share up, and brand and product managers can realize what products are high demand in the market, what products their competitors are selling, and what product launches are successful. C-level executives working with Algopix can better understand the gap between what is happening in brick and mortar vs. what is happening online, and gain a comprehensive understanding of what works, what doesn’t work, and who is taking market share in real time.

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Harness the power of brand enthusiasm among your consumers with Mention Me

Today, when consumers are looking to make a purchase, social proof is king. Recommendations from friends (and even strangers — think influencers!) are key in creating consumer trust and influencing a consumer’s decision to buy. While more and more brands are experimenting with referral marketing, many find themselves locked in to simple referral systems that do not deliver. Looking for a referral marketing platform where brands can turn their customers into their most powerful marketers? Enter Mention Me.

Mention Me creates a deeply data-driven program based on the context and behavior of buyers, helping brands identify each customer’s likelihood to refer, and at which point in the lifecycle referral is most likely to succeed. How does it work? Referral programs incentivize existing customers (referrers) to introduce a brand to their friends (referees). Ultimately, everyone wins: Rewards (think discount or free gift) are given to referrers for successful introductions that convert new customers, and are also given to referees when they make their first purchase. Mention Me’s Referral Engineering™ outperforms ‘simple’ referral systems, increasing customer acquisition by up to a third. The proof is in the pudding: Mention Me has delivered over $1 billion in revenue for clients, and over 22 million customers have shared their referral programs.

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Capture 1st Party Data at Scale with Jebbit

With the fierce competition to capture consumers’ attention that is only heating up, brands are desperately searching for ways to successfully interact with and convert consumers. With the endless amount of digital noise, brands are struggling to communicate authentically with their target audience and get the insights they need. The solution? Jebbit!

Which herbal shampoo is right for you?

Jebbit helps companies create all different kinds of interactive experiences without needing to touch a line of code. Whether it be a product match or a trivia game, these creative experiences get consumers to interact and answer questions in a way that is much more engaging than a typical survey. The average Jebbit experience sees an 85% completion rate, and takes a consumer two minutes to complete: these are two minutes where the brand has the undivided attention of the consumer, and is able to capture essential first party, self-declared data.

Taking control of how CPGs engage with consumers

Most of Jebbit’s customers are large enterprise brands in CPG, eCommerce, travel or the entertainment space. When brands consider working with Jebbit, they have often already built some kind of quiz, whether in-house or with an agency, and have begun dealing with how costly and time intensive it is to keep the experience maintained and optimized. By working with Jebbit, brands can take control of the experiences, and build and edit them in real-time. Brands who have run traditional surveys in the past view Jebbit as a way to create something much more engaging to the consumer, and in parallel, can use Jebbit data to validate market research, optimize marketing campaigns in real-time, and build audiences for personalized retargeting.

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