Category Archives: Retail

Cloud backup could save phone retailers days of support time – study

contentCloud-based backup and transfer systems could save 7.3 wasted lifetimes, according to recent 451 Research into the time consuming inefficiencies of modern phone sales, reports Telecoms.com.

American consumers lost 4.5 million hours waiting for their content to be transferred between their old and new smartphones in-store this holiday season, according to the study conducted on behalf of Synchronoss Technologies. That wasted time converts into 187,500 days, 514 years or 7.3 wasted human lifetimes. Cloud based backups, which run in the background, will give smart phone users their lives back, Synchronoss claims.

As 59% of Americans buy new smartphones in physical stores, and each customer now has an average of 10.8GB of picture files, videos and games to transfer over the in-store Wi-Fi connecting their old and new devices, waiting times are likely to get increasingly long, according to Synchronoss. The picture is largely the same in Europe, with 64% of sales in the UK being conducted in store and with an even bigger proportion, 67%, in France. The store channel was used by 62% of Germans, 51% of Italians and 65% of Spanish phone purchasers.

In the study, conducted independently by 451 Research over the holiday season, 33.3 million devices were sold in that period throughout the US and 19.6 million of them were bought in a shop, with 23% of these shoppers asking the sales reps to transfer their personal content for them. At a transfer rate of 10.8GB per hour, that equates to a 4.5 million hours of waiting time.

Device financing, leasing and accelerated upgrade programmes will only make the demand for upgrades – and the subsequent waiting time situation – worse, according to Synchronous, which argued that its new cloud based Backup & Transfer service is the answer.

“Carriers and retailers must deploy backup and transfer solutions so customer content is securely hosted in the cloud before they walk into stores and can be ported to a new device at any time,”

said Daniel Rizer, Synchronoss’s EVP of Product Management.

Adobe, Software AG and Wipro show how cloud can manage retail detail

Three major retail technologists have unveiled how the cloud could make retailers more responsive.

German retail technology specialist Software AG has launched a cloud based Smart Store Monitoring systems to give retailers the word from the high street in real time. By interpreting large volumes of data streaming in from sensors, tills and apps in their brick-and-mortar stores, it will help them react quicker to market conditions in the stores and instantly avert problems.

The instant insights could help retailers see how in-store promotions are working and make timely interventions to boost their impact. The intelligence will also help retailers work the Internet of Things (IoT) to maximum effect and move staff to busy areas when needed, according to Oliver Guy, Retail Industry Director at Software AG. The cloud based technology could “persuade marketing managers to fine-tune promotions on the fly and improve their response to different consumers in a particular location,” said Guy.

That calls for more flexible management of the flow of data, which would be enabled by the cloud and the IoT according to Guy. “To benefit from the store’s shifting purpose and growing shopper expectations, retail managers must be able to track, monitor, analyse and optimise all in-store activity in real-time,” said Guy.

Though retailers are optimistic about the value of IoT three common technology barriers were cited in the report: blending a disparity of data sources, choosing the best response to events or expectations and dealing with mass data diversity in real-time.

Software AG claims its Digital Business platform solves these problems by connecting all IoT-enabled data sources, briefing store staff and head-office merchandisers, instantly adjusting

signage and other automated store peripherals and modelling predictions to take pre-emptive action – such as staff or stock replenishment – to nip problems in the bud.

A Wipro study conducted with Planet Retail, which said 82% of retailers it interviewed feel that investments in digital technology and operational improvements would help them target customers as individuals. Those who fail to react to feedback and hyper-personalised offers and promotions will fall behind, it said.

To this end, Adobe has added new services to its Marketing Cloud to help retailers improve the customer experience. The additions include new ‘shoppable media advancements’, advanced push notification and extra Adobe Experience Manager Screen options.

A new emphasis on data-driven remarketing means retailers can connect consumers’ behaviour online with contextual data. Acting on this intelligence they can create user-defined remarketing triggers, such as an email, push notification or SMS, to increase the likelihood of purchase. If a consumer views women’s footwear for several minutes, for example, the retailer can send an email highlighting that product and incentivising the customer with a discount.

Infor invests $25 million in cloud-based retail analyst Predictix

Cloud app provider Infor has invested $25 million in data scientist Predictix with a brief to use its powers of analysis to solve the problems troubling modern retailers.

Infor will become a reseller of Predictix, incorporating its applications in the Infor cloud and its CloudSuite offering aimed at the Retail sector. Atlanta-based Predictix had 40% growth in SaaS subscriptions in 2015, has five of the top 15 global retailers as customers and manages $60bn in weekly forecasts. Its technology platform LogicBlox, which underpins all Predictix applications, has attracted funding from DARPA, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Infor cloud has 40 million users.

The addition of Predictix to CloudSuite Retail brings modules that support demand forecasting, merchandise financial planning, assortment planning, category management, network flow optimization and optimisation of allocations and markdowns.

Cloud based demand forecasting could be 50% more accurate for retailers, claims Predictix, since it is more elastic and can apply self-learning algorithms to unlimited amounts of data. The improvements in forecasts leads to higher sales and greater profitability for retailers, it claims. Merchandise financial planning, meanwhile, increases the retailer’s powers of diversifying and creates more revenue out of existing product lines, according to Predictix. Assortment planning and category management, on the other hand, can create up to $20 million in annual benefit for every one billion dollars in sales.

Network flow optimisation, meanwhile, saves retailers money by modelling their entire supply chain network, analysing the wastages and offering new more efficient alternatives. The allocation and markdown optimisation services promise to give retailers up to 20% greater revenues and profit. Predictix is suitable to all types of global retail including online, brick-and-mortar, social, mobile, fashion, hardlines, mass-merchant and grocery, the vendor says.

Software AG and sys integrator arvato to partner on app integration

Software AG and arvato are partnering on application integration for the retail sector

Software AG and arvato are partnering on application integration for the retail sector

Software AG and systems integrator arvato Systems announced a partnership this week that will see the two companies jointly develop application integration offerings for the retail and digital commerce sectors.

The two companies plan to offer an integrated digital business solution that uses arvato’s order management system, which connects all of the data and systems needed to manage customer relationships across various channels, and Software AG’s digital business platform, which offers real-time integration capabilities between different channels like websites, in-store apps and POSs, warehouse inventory databases.

“We are delighted to join forces with Software AG in enterprise application integration, and to be able to provide our customers with an even more extensive integration portfolio,” said Axel Mattern, director of arvato Systems. “We are now able to offer a complete solution to help our customers in retail to become masters of their digital transformation.”

As brick-and-mortar and online shops become increasingly being woven together the companies claim apps and databases are becoming siloed and more challenging to link together, a problem this partnership intends to address. The challenge seems quite acute in some sectors – like food retail – and has even contributed to the rise of platform companies looking to whitelabel their sophisticated, highly-integrated offerings for sector-specific marketplaces and back-end systems.

JDA Releases Customer Engagement Cloud Solution for Retail

JDA Software Group, Inc. today announced the release of JDA Customer Engagement Cloud, a single solution that addresses omni-channel commerce and optimization logic in real time. It not only helps retailers deliver goods to customers, but also aligns real-time supply processes and inventory to profitably source those goods.

“The retail industry is at a critical juncture in its history. Consumers today — empowered with mobile technology — have instant access to information that shapes what they buy, when and where they buy it, and at what price,” said Hamish Brewer, President and CEO, JDA Software. “These connected consumers determine which retail enterprises succeed and which fail. With JDA® Customer Engagement Cloud we have developed a comprehensive approach to address this challenge now, helping retailers to avoid becoming a victim in this rapidly changing retail environment.”

JDA® Customer Engagement Cloud is designed to help retailers profitably achieve customer-centricity in every interaction through the following key capabilities:

JDA® Customer Engagement Cloud enables enterprise visibility to critical information like inventory levels, product information, customer history – including access to a customer’s universal online shopping cart – and customer preferences to associates who interact with the omni-channel customer. Providing this type of customer information in real-time enables in-store associates to better convert in-store visits into sales.

More and more, commerce is happening not just in the checkout lines, but in the aisles of today’s retail stores. Empowering associates with full access to enterprise data and point-of-sale (POS) capabilities in the aisle is critical to creating the ultimate in-store customer experience. Store associates can maximize their ability to help customers by using the JDA® Customer Engagement Cloud associate app on a mobile device. In addition to accessing information and standard POS capabilities, the associate app supports guided price negotiation and alternate delivery options.

GXS Ups Retail Supply Chain Efficiency with Catalogue-Based Web Ordering

GXS, a  provider of B2B integration services, today announced that GXS Intelligent Web Forms (IWF) allows manufacturers to quickly and easily enable their smaller retail customers to issue purchase orders electronically. IWF creates forms to digitise the full lifecycle of supply chain transactions with the customer community from purchase orders and order changes to electronic invoices and remittance advices. By integrating directly with GXS Catalogue, the retail industry’s leading data synchronisation application that supports product, price and image information, web forms ensure that retail buyers can only select valid, preauthorised SKUs for inclusion on purchase orders.

Most large retail chains issue purchase orders to their suppliers electronically using EDI (Electronic Document Interchange) but smaller, independent store owners often lack the budget, resources and expertise to support these B2B integration technologies.  As a result, a high percentage of the purchase orders issued from smaller retailers are transmitted via fax, email or spreadsheet, creating an efficiency drag on the operations of large suppliers.  Using GXS web forms, suppliers of food and beverage, apparel and footwear and other consumer products can offer their customers the option to issue purchase orders online. As a SaaS offering, GXS IWF does not require small retailers to license, install or maintain software. The web-based forms mimic the paper equivalents making the application easy to use without training or technical expertise.

By integrating with GXS Catalogue, the web forms can present users with a preloaded list of available and authorised items for each customer.  Catalogue integration ensures that users do not mistakenly request SKUs that are unauthorised, discontinued or non-existent.  Retail SKUs consist of long alphanumeric strings which can easily be transposed or mistyped in an electronic ordering system.  Some SKUs have special characters such as hyphens or spaces which further complicate the order entry process. Catalogue-based web forms reduce the amount of exception processing and order handling expenses for suppliers.  Higher quality purchase order data also reduces the likelihood of shipping delays and out-of-stocks for the retailers.

“Leading suppliers of consumer products and general merchandise have automated many of the order-to-cash and demand planning processes with their larger retail customers. These large suppliers have struggled to gain the same efficiencies with smaller retail chains and independent stores,” said Melanie Nuce, director of retail industry marketing for GXS.  “Catalogue-based web ordering offers a cost-effective approach to quickly achieving supply chain efficiencies with small retailers and opens up the opportunity for better customer service.”


Revionics Acquires Retail Optimization, Inc. to Offer End-to-End Merchandise Optimization Solutions

Image representing Revionics as depicted in Cr...

Revionics, Inc. and Retail Optimization, Inc., a provider of cloud-based assortment and micro and macro space optimization solutions, today announced that Revionics has acquired Retail Optimization’s business and related assets. This acquisition extends Revionics’ Life Cycle Price Optimization Solutions with the addition of Retail Optimization’s cloud-based Assortment and Micro and Macro Space Optimization Solutions.

The combination of these two solutions brings all the merchandise planning levers – price, promotion, assortment, space – together to deliver the most powerful End-to-End Merchandise Optimization Solution available in today’s market. Together these solutions help retailers breakdown merchandising organizational siloes and improve demand forecasting to better meet shopper needs and ensure retailers have the RIGHT product, price, promotion, placement and space allocation for optimal financial results and improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. Offered on a highly scalable, high performance cloud-based platform, the solutions future-proof retailers from Big Data/Fast Data challenges, while providing speed-to-ROI.

“The key to becoming demand driven lies in the ability to effectively manage the intersection of demand, supply and product,” said Kevin Sterneckert, a Gartner Research Vice President. “Demand-driven retailers gather information at each customer moment of truth, and utilize five interrelated strategies to translate demand insight into effective response and shaping activities, delivering higher return on assets, more inventory turns and greater revenue growth than their peers.”*

The new Revionics products that are now immediately available from the acquisition include:

  • Revionics® Assortment Optimization
  • Revionics® Macro Space Optimization
  • Revionics® Micro Space Optimization

For more information about these new offerings, please visit: www.revionics.com/merchandise-optimization

Retailers are battling intense competition and price-conscious, informed shoppers that rapidly shift their buying behavior. To compete effectively, retailers need to be more responsive to their shoppers’ product needs ensuring their assortments are tailored to the individual store and space, and are on-shelf available. Doubling in the last decade, out-of-stocks have been one of retailers’ largest headaches and profit loss areas, estimated to be a $107B problem in 2012. Studies show that a typical retailer loses 40% of intended purchases when a shopper encounters an out-of-stock, resulting in a 4% yearly revenue loss.**

According to a 2011 RSR Research study, retailers indicated that out-of-stocks remain a top retail challenge. Assortment and space optimization technologies that can effectively provide simultaneous top down/bottom up recommendations are required to enable a shopper-centric merchandising strategy that protects against out-of-stocks while reducing excess inventory and carryings costs. Improving shelf-availability at a lower cost helps to maximize return on inventory and store real estate while improving customer satisfaction.

“This acquisition underscores our commitment to continually innovate with cloud-based solutions focused on addressing retailers’ most critical business challenges,” said Marc Hafner, Revionics’ President and CEO. “Retail Optimization has the same approach we do, which is to incorporate next-generation predictive analytics and demand-based science into our offerings to ensure our customers have best-of-breed solutions that drive a competitive advantage.”

Leveraged and proven by tier one retailers and manufacturers throughout North America, Retail Optimization’s solutions deliver advanced predictive analytics and demand-based science that incorporates macro and micro spatial constraints and tradeoffs into assortment planning and optimization to determine the right product, placement and space allocation at the store/aisle/category/SKU level.

The solutions bring together otherwise separate but critical information in determining an optimal merchandising execution program – shopper demand information, loyalty data, market data, market basket data, store layouts, planograms, business rules and strategy, and financial objectives. Real-time ‘what-if’ scenario planning capabilities allow retailers to compare and contrast the optimized results of different strategies before selecting one for implementation. Using a proprietary simultaneous ‘top down/bottom up’ optimization approach, retailers can now boost productivity of existing shelf space by determining the highest benefit product mix while simultaneously reducing both the out-of-stocks of that product mix and cutting its inventory requirements.

This acquisition is part of Revionics’ master product roadmap and vision to be the first and only vendor that can offer retailers a next-generation, fully integrated end-to-end merchandise optimization solution, which eliminates the remaining siloes in the merchandising organization by infusing price and promotions into the assortment and space decisions. Bringing assortment, space, and pricing together requires two critical integrations – Space-aware Pricing and Price-aware Assortment. Combined with the existing integration available today, Revionics’ integrated end-to-end merchandise optimization will be able to deliver a Coordinated Master Demand Plan.