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

Video-Powered Virtual Storefronts Fuel The Next E-Commerce Boom

According to Gartner researchers, live commerce is one of the hottest digital selling trends as retailers and even 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 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, they gain a virtual storefront for their 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,” said Caidar. “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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UK-based WeGift raises £6.7M to create world’s first real-time digital incentive platform

Rewards and incentives are considered one of the most effective ways to encourage workers to put forth great efforts and work efficiently. Every year over $620 billion (approx £462 billion) of gift cards is issued globally, with half of this value being purchased by corporates to reward or incentivise their employees or customers. This market is growing strongly and is expected to reach $1.9 trillion (approx £1.4 billion) by 2027.  

ending rewards, incentives, and non-cash payouts are manual, expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone. And this is where London-based WeGift comes and changes the broken process. WeGift is a cloud-based, open API solution that allows businesses to transfer value to consumers in real-time and globally. 

Raised £6.7M Series A round

Recently, the digital incentives platform raised $8 million (approx £6.7 million) in a Series A extension led by AlbionVC. Existing investors including Stride.vc, SAP.iO fund and Unilever Ventures also participated in the round. Following the fundraise, Ed Lascelles, General Partner at AlbionVC, will join WeGift’s Board of Directors.

Founder and CEO Aron Alexander commented: “Historically businesses had to spend thousands of hours a year manually buying and distributing digital rewards. WeGift helps companies intelligently automate this process to power new customer acquisition and retention campaigns. We give them instant access to a huge choice of rewards and payouts, an ever-growing network of more than 700 brand partners, across 30 markets and 20 currencies. We are disrupting a broken market on a global scale, and this investment, together with our partnerships with Albion VC, Unilever Ventures, SAP.iO Fund, and Stride. vc, is an instrumental step forward in achieving our vision.”

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SAP.iO Startup Cuéntame Supports Mental Health in the Workplace

In 2020, the global pandemic and the related economic uncertainty have increased stress levels for employees around the world. The loss of productivity caused by the surge in mental health disorders is estimated to cost companies a trillion dollars per year. We sat down with Regina Athie, the founder of SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco startup Cuéntame, to discuss mental health and better understand Cuéntame’s solution, which supports the mental health of Spanish-speaking employees in Latin America and North America.

Q: What does Cuéntame do to support mental health?

A: Cuéntame provides personalized mental health services and resources for all employees at their convenience. By using questionnaires and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, we are able to place employees on tailored tracks that suit their needs best because mental health solutions are not one-size-fits-all. Cuéntame offers a full spectrum of tools, lessons, and coping techniques, including mediation, webinars, podcasts, and psychotherapy.

Q: Why did you found Cuéntame?

A: Each of Cuéntame’s co-founders has a unique experience with mental health in their personal life. For me, I realized there was a need for more creative mental health solutions when my dad was diagnosed with depression, but our insurance refused to pay for any treatments. Depression is just like a physical illness, such as cancer, yet society and employers do not make it a priority. Cuéntame provides a tailored digital solution to meet mental health needs for Spanish-speaking employees at any company.

Q: How has the importance of mental health in the workplace changed since the beginning of the pandemic?

A: Before the pandemic, mental health was seen as a luxury. It didn’t focus on preventative measures–instead, it focused only on providing support to employees in a crisis. Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, mental health is largely about providing tools to support employees and their families cope with the symptoms of our current situation, whether it is depression, anxiety, loneliness, or burnout. Our treatments to these problems include providing tools to overcome these symptoms, teaching resiliency, and creating communities of support in and outside of work.

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Beyond Smart Cities: How Drones And Robotics Revolutionize Building Inspections

Underneath the gleaming surface of modern megacities is an archaic patchwork of antiquated building inspection processes long overdue for a 21st Century makeover. Meet H3 Dynamics, a cloud-based inspection services platform that’s using drones and ground robots as the eyes and ears of engineers currently grounded by the pandemic, and long hampered by last century norms.

h a level of safety, efficiency, and accuracy not possible before.”  

Perfecting the human plus machine equation

Headquartered in Singapore, H3 Dynamics’ customers include companies and government agencies worldwide across a long list of sectors such as smart cities, real estate, maritime, oil and gas, utilities, renewable energy, and mining. Customers might be private equity firms that own facilities, insurance companies, site operators, safety inspection and certification organizations, or regulators involved in legislating safety mandates. H3 Dynamics also has clients that resell its digitized visual monitoring services to their own customers. What customers have in common are hard to reach sites, from the tallest skyscrapers to remote industrial outposts that defy the most intrepid human being’s effort to scale. But this isn’t a story about machines replacing people.

Drones and ground robots, as well as people, can capture information from buildings with video and other camera images, bringing this data into the H3 Dynamics platform. The system uses technologies including AI and 3D modeling to create an interactive map that displays defects on the scanned structure surfaces, classifying potential risks, whether aesthetic anomalies or unsafe areas that require repair. Civil engineers or other recognized industry experts review and validate the automated findings. Customers can generate a written report that details safety risks. In addition, the company has created shelter systems where drones and other robots can get batteries recharged, and upload data to the H3 Dynamics cloud.

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SAP Startup Spotlight: Supervizor

Alban Clot, co-founder and Managing Director (Sales & Operations) of Supervizor, is a graduate of ESCP Europe. Alban began his career in the consulting industry. He held several positions until he became a partner within an independent consulting firm. He then co-founded Supervizor with Cyrille de Gastines and held the position of Director of Operations. Alban is now leading all business development, marketing and operations teams and is in charge of the international expansion of Supervizor. In this interview, he talks about what his company offers and what’s next for Supervizor.

E-3 Magazine: Why did you start Supervizor to begin with?

Alban Clot: Supervizor is a financial audit and internal control software for CFOs of mid-market and large companies. They usually need to get rid of accounting errors and comply with anti-fraud regulations but rely today on inefficient manual internal controls and outdated external audits that waste time and money. Supervizor is the first automatic financial anomaly detection software dedicated to corporate finance that leverages AI to analyze 100 percent of transactions and instantly highlight anomalies and frauds, remotely and on an ongoing basis. Supervizor was created in order to resolve a pain every company encounters. The technology is the result of more than 10 years of research. The goal is to respond to a problem that companies encounter during their audit process. Indeed, the need to bring auditors to the premises and the long and costly processes are difficult for many of them. Supervizor has created a remote and automated audit solution to facilitate the audit process. After several years of use, 100 percent of the accounts analyzed revealed significant anomalies.

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FindMine for SAP Commerce Cloud Now Available on SAP® App Center

FindMine, a New York-city fashion tech start-up, announced that its FindMine app for the SAP® Commerce Cloud solution is now available on SAP® App Center, the digital marketplace for SAP partner offerings. FindMine for SAP Commerce Cloud allows brands and retailers in fashion, beauty, and home goods to help customers answer the age-old question, “How should I use this?” for every product.

Providing guidance to e-commerce shoppers in choosing outfits has historically meant lots of manual work. FindMine learns to mimic a company’s stylists through Artificial Intelligence to truly scale outfit guidance. This lifts online revenue and shopper engagement. For consumers, it recreates the experience of getting styled by a personal stylist. FindMine for SAP Commerce Cloud achieves significant revenue gains by showing shoppers three different ways to wear each item, resulting in higher CLTV, AOV, UPT, conversion, and margin.

Achieving this experience without automation is physically impossible for most retailers. With FindMine, every outfit, furniture/decor set, or makeup look can feature in-stock products, maximizes revenue lift, and looks like it’s been hand-picked by the company’s merchants or stylists. Most importantly, it reinforces what the brand stands for and differentiates it from competitors. FindMine for SAP Commerce Cloud has reduced time around this activity by more than 90% for merchandisers.

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SAP Startup Spotlight: Recotap

Recotap is an account-based marketing and advertising platform. It offers B2B marketers a better way to run personalized and multi-channel ABM campaigns. Using Recotap, marketers can make data-driven decisions to improve marketing and advertising performance and deliver better marketing ROI. In this interview, we will take a look at how Recotap works, how it is connected to SAP, and what’s next for the company.

How does Recotap work?

We offer a fully integrated and automated ABM platform that customers can use to manage their end-to-end ABM workflows. Recotap’s Identify module can help teams to quickly build the account list, which is usually a very time-consuming process. All Recotap-identified accounts come pre-loaded with purchase intent to design effective campaigns. Using our core advertising solution, marketers can precisely target their audience on social media
and major ad networks and engage them with personalized ads. They can also increase ad performance and website engagement using our smart pages module that dynamically alters web content based on the visitor profile. Lastly, Recotap can track and measure the audience interactions across ads, emails, and website activity to build an engagement score that acts as an indicator of account readiness for sales activation.

What are the customer-side requirements? Do they need special technology to use your service?

Recotap is a plug-and-play platform; if the customer has an account list, Recotap can import the data from their CRM systems. We offer out-of-the-box integration with major CRM systems, including Hubspot and Salesforce. If customers need help in building their account list, they can use the Identify module for it. They can also upload their creatives and content into Recotap and use them in advertisements.

Why did you start Recotap to begin with?

As a company, we are passionate about enabling marketing teams with relevant tools, data, and AI capabilities that can bring a significant difference to their daily job. We had a first-hand experience from our previous startups on how handicapped marketers’ roles can become in the absence of proper tools and processes, and that they often have to resort to guesswork. We want to eliminate guesswork and light up the path to success.

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Impact Manager from Soley Now Available for Purchase on SAP® App Center

Soley announced that its Impact Manager application is now available for online purchase on SAP® App Center, the digital marketplace for SAP partner offerings. Soley’sImpact Manager integrates with SAP S/4HANA® and delivers insights into a customer’s product portfolio and the value chain issues it affects.

Discover and Manage Critical Business Impacts on Your Product Portfolio

Soley supports decision makers in the industry who work under time pressure and enormous complexity. By organizing the whole product portfolio in one comprehensive KPI dashboard, Soley unveils analytical insights and shows where decisiveness is required. The tool, thereby, allows its users to prioritize work on business-critical topics along the value chain that add real value to their customers.

“We provide data driven insights that cut right through complexity and transform them into actionable tasks. That’s how you unlock potential in the millions with a click of a button” says Maximilian Kissel, co-founder, Soley GmbH.

At SAP App Center, businesses can discover approximately 1,600 innovative partner solutions that integrate with and extend SAP solutions. There, customers can find the SAP-validated partner apps they need to grow their business. And for each purchase made on SAP App Center, SAP will plant a tree. Find, try, and buy SAP partner solutions digitally at www.sapappcenter.com.

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How an Ecommerce-Insights Company Uses AI to Understand Customer Sentiment

Boaz Grinvald is the CEO at Revuze, a firm that helps businesses win their markets by mining unique insights from unstructured market opinions, both public and internal. Revuze performs sentiment analysis by personalizing the automated process to maximize accuracy and its success rate. 

Also known as opinion mining or emotion AI, sentiment analysis helps a business understand the social sentiment of their brand, product or service by mining text that identifies and pulls subjective information from the source material. An automated process, algorithms classify statements as positive, negative and neutral through machine learning and text analytics. 

Revuze emphasizes personalization as the key to learning consumer sentiment regarding certain product features. With their AI algorithms, the big-data consumer-analytics firm can extract unique topics ranging in specificity from the general, including price, to the specific, such as softness. 

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With a SAP collaboration and a round A underway, Pico comes out punching from Covid-19 crisis

The Israeli startup is currently working with over 60 sports teams globally from some of the biggest leagues in the world and was selected to take part in SAP’s first-ever fan experience–focused startup accelerator program.

It is no secret that there are many tech companies that benefited from Covid-19. For Haifa-based startup Pico, which has created a technology to turn engaged, anonymous sports and entertainment fans into identifiable customer profiles to support business objectives, the pandemic has not only been good for business but has helped validate what the company has been preaching for years.

“Covid-19 accelerated our growth tremendously. In the last two years we were running around with our sales pitch that you have to know who your digital fans are because most of your fans are online and not at your stadium and you don’t have data about them and need to start building this database. Now it isn’t us doing the pitch, it is the teams and the leagues doing it,” Pico CEO Asaf Nevo told CTech. “Everyone in the industry now says we have to understand who these people are. They suddenly realize there is a void, sometimes of tens of millions of fans, that they are spending tens of millions of dollars a year to engage with, but have no idea who they are. In these rough times when we don’t know when people will be back at stadiums, we have to understand who they are, start monetizing them, and begin to look at digital engagement as a new revenue stream.”

Pico is currently working with over 60 sports teams globally from some of the biggest leagues in the world, including the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, German football Bundesliga clubs Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund and several NHL teams.

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Announcing the Seven Startups in SAP.iO’s Utilities Accelerator

After two months of examining more than 100 candidates from 20 different countries, this week SAP.iO announced the 7 companies that will participate in the program that will be seasoned from Israel. Under the current program, SAP is also collaborating with two of its customers – the European energy company E.ON and the Israel Electric Company, which were also partners in selecting the startups for the program. The program will run for 3 months during which the selected startups will work together with SAP on defining the common solution for the market, on integration with the company’s systems and on addressing SAP customers worldwide.

Original article here…

SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv Leads Innovation in Utilities

SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) announced early this week its first utilities-focused accelerator program. The seven early-stage startups to participate in the SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv program will focus on innovative solutions that address some of the biggest imperatives and challenges in the utilities industry, such as collaborative customer relationships, enterprise asset management and managing transmission and distribution.

The SAP.iO zero-equity-ask program is designed to accelerate innovation and drive new business models for SAP’s utility customers. To be intelligent enterprises that deliver sustainable futures, utility companies need to undertake a digital transformation, which now includes environmental sustainability and energy transition. During the 12-week program, the seven selected startups will work closely with SAP’s industry experts to develop new joint offerings that will allow new capabilities and functionalities on top of SAP’s current solutions to the utilities industry.

“SAP’s utilities customers are looking for intelligent solutions to help them succeed in delivering safe, reliable and sustainable energy products and services,” said Peter Maier, SAP president of industries and customer advisory. “This cohort of early-stage startups will help us connect our customers with the most cutting-edge solutions from around the world and enable them to rapidly respond to new business requirements.”

This cohort will collaborate with SAP longtime customers E.ON Innovation, part of Germany-based E.ON SE, and Israel Electric Corp. (IEC). The collaboration aims to identify breakthrough technologies, providing E.ON Innovation and IEC opportunities to be beta sites for pilots of the selected startups.

The following startups are participating in SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv:

  • FSIGHT offers state-of-the-art artificial intelligence software solutions that allow the end user to predict, optimize and trade energy.
  • Future Grid enables the renewable grid of the future to deliver safe and reliable electricity.
  • Lemonbeat offers a scalable end-to-end Internet of Things–enabling solution, building a seamless experience journey from device to cloud.
  • NET2GRID delivers a platform for utilities to gain powerful energy insights and run value-added services using machine learning algorithms on smart meter data.
  • OXYGEN TECHNOLOGIES provides digital value-added services to private and commercial “prosumers” with an operating system to monitor and control distributed energy devices.
  • PexaPark provides the operating system for postsubsidy renewable energy sales.
  • Raycatch’s AI-driven digital asset management system automates and optimizes solar photovoltaic plants.