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Local Roots

Local Roots

We design, build, deploy and operate the world’s most productive indoor farming solutions. We believe the key to a more sustainable future requires eliminating supply-chain risks and undoing the commoditization of the food industry. That’s why our Local Roots Family is building a distributed network of cutting-edge farms throughout the world to grow the freshest, healthiest food possible.  We bring the Farm to you. We deliver turnkey TerraFarms, to your location, operated by our experienced farming team.   +MORE

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CART'S INNOVATION PROGRAM

Gary Hawkins, CEO , Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

CART’s Innovation Program, done in partnership with Retail Tomorrow, is a unique offering that works for retailers and solution providers alike. Designed for national and larger regional retailers, the CART team works with the retailer’s executive team to identify 2-3 specific areas of interest like automation, in-store experience, etc. With interests established, the team then goes to work identifying the leading solution providers in each area, filtering through and curating the most appropriate capabilities. That process often entails talking with each solution to ensure applicability and set expectations. Amongst the many factors we evaluate is making sure the size and scale of the retailer is aligned with the solution provider’s resources. Connecting a young solution to a massive retailer might sound exciting, but if the solution provider lacks the resources to pilot and then scale deployments it leads to frustration on all sides. Once the appropriate solution providers have been identified we all go on-site to the retailer’s HQ to spend a day with their executive team focused around education as each solution is given an opportunity to present to the group and talk about what they do. The format allows for Q&A along with opportunity to start building relationships as everyone networks over coffee breaks and lunch. From the solution provider’s perspective, the opportunity to get time with the senior exec team from prominent retailers is invaluable. Once a solution provider is selected to participate, the CART team will work with you to review your presentation materials to make sure you’re providing the most powerful and relevant message possible about your company and what you do. The CART team will provide some coaching for the presenters to make sure you deliver your message in the time allotted (these events are pretty tightly scripted to accomplish everything).  Expectations are clearly identified on all sides early in the process. From the retailer, CART is looking for executive level commitment and engagement with the process, the executive team’s commitment to spend the day with in the on-site meeting with all the solutions, and a commitment to seriously consider piloting appropriate solutions. From solution providers, CART is looking for new innovative capabilities to help the retailer address challenges they have or provide new capabilities that are beneficial to the retailer. This involves having a good understanding of retail and how retail works and helping educate everyone in the meeting as to the technologies involved. Retailers interested in learning more about the CART Innovation Program can get more information here Solutions interested in participating can learn more here +MORE

Mobile App Pain Points

John Kangas, CEO, FwdMbl Solutions

Your current in-house system works great within your four walls.  The pain starts when you walk out that door and it can give you a full-on business migraine by the end of the day. We can ease the pain by targeting these five major sources when your workforce hits the road. Breakdowns in Communication When an Account Manager, Sales Rep, Delivery Driver, or Customer directly needs information, they need it NOW!  It should not require phone calls, strings of emails to and from the office or multiple warehouse locations to find product, invoice information, aging or account information, upcoming orders, etc. It’s frustrating and time consuming for everyone involved.  You should not require an Internet connection to give this to your customer when you are standing in front of them. FwdMbl Solutions gives Account Managers, Sales Reps, Delivery Drivers all this information right at their fingertips. It is available without the need for Wi-Fi or a cell signal and can be printed, emailed or faxed right there. There’s no need to track down items or pricing, looking up inventory and pricing is immediate. Pricing Errors Let’s face it, pricing can be complicated. If updates in pricing don’t make it to the ones that are selling in the field you can lose money. If incorrect information is given it can turn into an embarrassing situation.  Pricing can be different per customer given contracted pricing or discounts. Sales may be given leeway to adjust pricing on the fly within reason.  There are many scenarios as there are companies.  Pricing needs to be up-to-date and correct each and every time FwdMbl Solutions handles all pricing scenarios. All pricing updates can be real-time saving you money and confusion. Workflow Issues The system you are using doesn’t match your workflow.  You need to hunt for your tasks and weed through things you don’t use.  You are jumping from one item to another just to complete these tasks.  This takes precious time and leads to frustration. FwdMbl Solutions gives you role-based programming.  It gives you only your work for the day and one task seamlessly flows to the next. It’s so efficient, before you know it, your day is complete with time to spare! Internet Connection/Equipment Problems I see it almost every day while going to the grocery store, convenience store or my favorite restaurant.  Account Managers, Sales People, and Delivery Drivers trying to connect to Wi-Fi, or get any Internet connection.  Once they do, connection is slow and they have wait for webpages to display on their screen.  When it does finally appear, the information is hard to read or cannot be given to the customer. Printers disconnect or jam. Old devices just giving up the ghost. FwdMbl Solutions’ Apps are native apps that work connected or disconnected. They are not merely a webpage you are trying to display on your phone.  We use our unique technology to make sure your employees are never waiting for the information they need.  Once the information is pinpointed it can be printed, emailed or faxed to give immediate access to your customer. Training is Difficult FwdMbl Solutions’ Apps are robust, yet simple and elegant.  The screens are not busy or hard to read.  The workflow is intuitive and training is a breeze. The PAIN IS REAL!  When your software is in your employees’ hands and doesn’t work disconnected, has missing or inaccurate customer or order information, has printer or scanner malfunctions, or is cumbersome to use it is a recipe for unhappy employees and unhappy customers. At FwdMbl Solutions we can enhance your customer experience and improve employee satisfaction with our Mobile Apps and Portals.  We do this by connecting to your existing systems, so there is no need to change everything you do, only what they see.  We interface to your backend ERP, POS or other systems and display your information in a Mobile App or Portal that is fast and truly mobile. It is easy to use and best of all, it runs on the mobile phone you already own. Don’t own a phone? You can use an affordable Android device from our hardware partners. +MORE

Five Predictions for Retail Transformation in 2019

Gary Hawkins, CEO , Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)

As we begin 2019, tomorrow is no longer going to resemble today. The pace of tech-fueled innovation continues to grow, bringing with it increasing change across the supply chain and greater impact on traditional retail operations and models. 2019 is going to be a year of even greater change. Here are five key areas to watch this year: Frictionless shopping: The Amazon Go store with its cashier-less shopping experience has gotten the industry’s attention and this year we will see a great deal of activity in this space. There are several tech companies working to bring similar capabilities to the retail industry along with cost-effectively scaling the technology to work in traditional supermarkets. I believe the proliferation of retailers’ mobile apps having some kind of self-shopping capability - the shopper scanning their products as they shop using their smartphone and then an expedited payment process - is an interim step to a completely frictionless shopping environment. The whole idea of the Amazon Go store is to make buying products as easy as possible; the shopper having to use their app to scan and pay makes it easier to buy but not as easy as just walking in, picking up what you want, and walking out. Automated fulfillment: Kroger’s partnership with Ocado to build and operate twenty automated grocery eComm fulfillment centers is on track. We are seeing several other retailers enter into agreements with Takeoff Technologies to build mini automated fulfillment centers that can sit in the backroom, automatically fulfilling high-velocity packaged goods ordered online. Walmart is working with a partner to build an automated fulfillment center that is designed to sit alongside their stores, fulfilling high-volume products. In 2019 we are going to see even more activity in this space as other retailers will be forced to follow these leaders as automation brings efficiency and lower fulfillment costs, opening up a productivity gap. We will be seeing other technology providers step into this space as the market expands. Automated delivery: Kroger’s partnership with Nuro to use automated, driverless delivery vehicles to deliver online orders to the shopper’s home is already in pilot. Udelv and other solutions will be gaining more interest as retailers begin to focus more attention on the final mile delivery. While many retailers have signed deals with Instacart or Shipt to handle actual delivery, we’re going to see growing interest in Uber and other services to handle deliveries and fast growing interest in automated solutions like Nuro and Udelv in search of cost efficiencies. Health & Wellness gets personal: The wearables market is growing fast as Apple’s Watch and similar devices provide even more functionality to monitor key health indicators in realtime. The explosion in health data coming from these wearables will become increasingly tied to food guidance, helping the individual understand what specific food products to purchase and consume based upon the individual’s health condition and realtime data. As an example, Dexcom recently released a device that provides realtime glucose monitoring for people with diabetes. The ability to use knowledge of an individual’s glucose levels at that specific time - for example, while they are standing in front of the shelf - will inform guidance to beneficial foods. This movement is already underway as the massive food and healthcare industries converge, driven by Amazon’s ownership of Whole Foods, PillPack, and other activity in healthcare. Kroger’s Opt-UP app enables the shopper to easily understand the quality of the foods they are buying and easily filter the store’s product selection based upon the shopper’s interests, needs, and preferences. Look for a lot more activity around this space in the coming year. Melding of digital and physical retail: While most industry activity has been focused around eCommerce and automation of fulfillment and delivery of orders, I believe we are going to see growing attention to the melding of digital and physical shopping. This encompasses bringing augmented reality into the store and shopping experience; we’ll also see growing activity in virtual reality shopping as VR tech gets better and cheaper. Digital signage will spread across the store and get smarter, not only using demographic info to present messaging relevant to the person standing in front of the screen, but engagement will be far more personalized. Kroger’s new shelf Edge system is moving in this direction, lighting up as a shopper moves down the aisle to call out relevant products. Obviously there are many more areas where technology is going to transform retail but these are five key areas to watch. Each of these fundamentally changes the game: Frictionless shopping and automating fulfillment and delivery remove significant costs and will put growing pressure on competing retailers as companies using these technologies scale deployments.  Personalization will move quickly, not just in marketing but in linking an Individual shopper’s health to her favorite store’s product assortment, guiding the shopper to products to improve her wellbeing.  Lastly, shopping is about to become far more interesting and truly immersive as technology really begins to impact the shopping experience, whether you are in the brick & mortar store or sitting at home. +MORE

Pseudo Customer Centricity: Fool’s Gold

Gary Hawkins on Winsight Grocery Business, CART

Retailers must employ a customer-first philosophy into organizational culture Many regional retailers are (at last!) intent on becoming customer-centric, more than a decade after The Kroger Co. led the way and more than two decades after early loyalty pioneers proved the value of a true customer focus. But too many retailers believe that customer centricity can simply be bolted on to their organizations without realizing that true customer centricity is far more involved. Like the intrepid gold miners of the 1840s, these retailers awaken to the realization that what they’ve taken for retail gold is in actuality a false promise, seduced by the fools gold of pseudo customer centricity. I can recount meetings with senior executives from well-known retailers who espouse their customer centricity efforts; spending massive sums on consultants and solutions powered by a decade’s old approach based on customer segments integrated to the retailer’s category planning processes, and even personalized offers to shoppers. Countless of these retailers remain anchored in a product-focused world, even those who tout using technology to discover what products should be put on offer to their customers rather than starting with a vendor-funded offer pool.  True disciples of customer centricity deeply embed a customer-first philosophy into their organizational culture, extending it to every part of the enterprise. These companies realize that providing savings on products relevant to the shopper is only the beginning. Leading companies such as Amazon and Kroger are investing heavily in taking customer centricity to the next level: comprehensive, seamless user experiences across channels and devices, integrating personalized product recommendations with an understanding of the individual shopper’s specific health conditions, and laying the technology foundation for immersive shopping experiences melding the physical and digital worlds. Customer first disciples understand the dynamic flow of customers and their shopping behavior over time, putting in place capabilities and processes attuned to providing contextual relevancy inside and outside the store. And personalization—driven by past purchases and recommendation algorithms—is fast evolving to what I think of as strategic hyper-personalization, leveraging vast intelligence about each individual shopper to power a mix of recommendations to win the shopping trip, grow baskets, maximize retention, and foster customer advocacy—one customer at a time, in real time. Many regional retailers are based in more rural areas where company executives believe their shoppers are less tech savvy, relieving pressure on digital imperatives. According to Pew Research, 95% of Americans own a cellphone in 2018, with 77% of Americans owning a smartphone. Pew also calls out that in 2018, 89% of Americans use the internet. Location is no longer a proxy for customer technology illiteracy.  This year, Amazon is projected to realize over $258 billion in U.S. retail sales, an estimated 49% of all online retail spending in the United States. With this kind of penetration, and the ability to ship products anywhere overnight, traditional supermarket retailers would do well to remember that their shoppers are increasingly expecting (demanding!) the seamless and comprehensive user experience provided by Amazon, and increasingly by Kroger and Walmart. Yet, too many retailers remain mired in digital purgatory, constrained by capability silos and the inability to bring piecemeal capabilities together in a seamless fashion for shoppers.  Lastly, many seasoned grocery executives have spent their careers being rewarded for following, letting someone else bring innovation to market and only following when it has been proven successful. Years ago IT executives would buy IBM, even if it wasn’t the best choice, but because it was the "safe" choice. This practice continues today as retailers sign deals with "established" providers because they believe it is the safe choice, failing to understand that today’s environment rewards fresh, forward-looking thinking. Retail executives need to look beyond yesterday’s approach to customer centricity to capabilities and platforms that actually position the retailer for future success. The cost of failing to provide a seamless shopping experience, for failing to provide true individual shopper personalization, and failing to provide real time contextual relevancy, can rapidly obliterate any savings or security from yesterday’s "proven" approach. Tom Furphy, a former Amazon executive and the originator of Amazon Fresh, in a recent interviewspeaking to the challenges retailers face today, especially a reliance on past practices, says it all: “What seems safe is actually destructive. That’s a recipe for longer term disaster.” This article originally appeared on Winsight Grocery Business and can be viewed here +MORE

The Top Five Ways Retailers Benefit from Industry Trade Shows

Courtney Muller, Chief Corporate Development & Strategy Officer, Clarion UX

When was the last time you attended a retail or food and beverage trade show? If you have to pause to think of the answer – or know immediately that the answer is, “Never” – then it might be time to find a show or expo near you. Trade shows are the best places for those within the industry to get out of their stores and network; find new products and stay abreast of the cutting edge technology offerings; and gain invaluable education in the areas you need it most. In short, even if you spend time every day trying to stay current, you could never see it all – or know what to search for. There is no better place than a trade show … from seeing new products, meeting new people, becoming educated on a new way to engage your customers, or finding out about technology … this is the place to find what you don’t know!   Here are some of the top reasons you should attend a trade show this year: Network with Decision Makers When you think of networking, perhaps the typical “mixer” scenario comes to mind with people you don’t know awkwardly milling about a bar or restaurant, trying to strike up conversations with random people in the hopes that you might be able to benefit one another in some way. Networking at a trade show couldn’t be any more different. As an attendee, you can specifically find exhibitors with the products you seek; attend educational sessions that pertain to topics you are interested in, therefore attracting other audience members who share the same challenges; and be assured that your peers in the same industry as you are seeking similar solutions as you.  And you might even run into a colleague you haven’t seen in years! Find New Products and Foods You subscribe to industry periodicals and get Google Alerts in your inbox every day, but have you seen that new robot that identifies out of stock items and potential slip and fall hazards? Have you read about leveraging data to establish loyalty and trust with food delivery customers? A trade show is the perfect venue to scope out all that is new in the retail world from tech products to new foods and services – all in one place – to help you use technology to create a seamless customer experience. As you look for new technology innovation to keep you competitive, you may find the perfect partner for online ordering, rapid delivery, or rapid checkout through customer’s smartphones.  No matter what you want to go to a trade show to find, you will likely be pleasantly surprised by discovering even more than you thought along the aisles. See New Trends in Action Are vegan offerings a must-have? Should you offer chef demonstrations to showcase meal ideas? Are international flavors high on consumer’s minds? What chef dishes are they trying replicate at home? Be on the front line of this year’s and next year’s trends so you can bank on what your customers will be looking for in the near future. You’ll walk away with new products and great ideas you can implement immediately in your store operations. You may even realize that you are on the verge of creating an entirely different trend yourself that has yet to appear on the market – good information that you can capitalize on in the year to come. Receive Best in Class Education If school is a distant memory – or perhaps you learned hands-on in a family business and worked your way up the ranks – one of the best perks of most trade shows is the educational content provided to attendees and exhibitors alike. Whether you’re interested in operational excellence, developing your workforce, building bigger baskets, or sessions dedicated to those hot new tech trends we previously mentioned, trade shows like The NGA Show (presented by the National Grocers Association) in San Diego this coming February will have you covered on all fronts. What’s more, you can connect with presenting industry specialists to gain even more valuable insight into the topics that interest you most. Gain Immediate, Actionable Ideas The bottom line … your time is valuable and you want to spend any time out of your store obtaining the cream of the crop ideas - from new products, growth strategies and tech trends. Hear what the experts have to share, sample emerging products, uncover new technology, and refresh your enthusiasm for the business. You’ll walk away with a plan to bring all of these new ideas and initiatives into your store operation to drive profits, growth and innovation.   No matter where you are in your retail career, a trade show will no doubt provide you with opportunities, education and inspiration as you progress in the business. Interested in learning more? Check out the upcoming NGA show: National Grocers Association Show, San Diego, CA, February 24-27, 2019, www.thengashow.com  Each year, The NGA Show brings together independent retailers and wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food/CPG manufacturers and service providers for unparalleled opportunities to learn, engage, share, network, and innovate.  Given today’s ever-changing marketplace and evolving advancements in innovation occurring in the food retail industry, The NGA Show is a must-attend event, providing over 40 educational workshops, an expo floor featuring innovative and game-changing products and solutions and countless networking opportunities.  Registration is open at www.thengashow.com – early bird registration rates in effect through December 10, 2018.  +MORE

NGA Show 2019: The Epicenter of Grocery Industry Innovation

CART, Advancing Retail

In a special event leading up to the opening of the new NGA Show 2019, CART will bring together unique education, an impressive line up of speakers, and cutting edge innovation to make San Diego the epicenter of grocery industry innovation during Feb. 24-27, 2019. With a focus on regional retailers and dynamic independent operators, the CART team will present an innovation tour de force designed to help attendees not only stay in the game but help them win. CART is coming together with leading retailers through-out the industry to provide attendees a new worldview for the future of retail where transformation and disruption are the new normal: iRetail. Focused on five ‘i’s, iRetail will give attending executives a framework for evaluating their existing capabilities and provide a roadmap to closing the innovation gap. In a time of declining and disappearing industry events, the NGA Show has become a beacon of light for the industry as it has grown each year, even outgrowing its longtime home in Las Vegas, spurring the move to San Diego this coming February. CART has had a long time partnership with NGA and is taking the relationship to a new level this year, building on the success of CART’s Innovation Event at last year’s show.  Make sure to put Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, on your calendar and plan to attend the CART special event at the new NGA Show! +MORE

Technology's Profound Impact on the Supermarket Industry

Peter Larkin, President & CEO, National Grocers Association

Often cited as the one of the greatest catalyst of change within the retail grocery industry, technology is an area that independent supermarket operators must understand, and embrace.  Technology continues to have a profound impact, where virtually every detail of the supermarket industry is being touched by new solutions and platforms. I see three technology threads, each entwined with the other. One is the explosion of mobile applications and programs that are turning grocery shoppers into high information consumers. According to Pew research, smart phone adoption among Americans has more than doubled since 2011. Not only are shoppers becoming more sophisticated, but they are using technology as a way to gain more information, transparency, and convenience. At the touch of a mobile screen, consumers can instantly access to updated information on locally sourced perishables, competitive promotions, price checks and recipe ingredient lists. In turn, this migration to the digital space is shaping customer relationships with retailers. Today’s shopper does not want to be talked to but instead wants to be a part of the conversation. Consumer product manufacturers and marketers make up a second technology thread. By analyzing large chunks of customer data and retail sales, manufacturers, retailers and service suppliers are exploring innovative ways to touch their target audiences. Big data though can be vast and hard to harness. Whether it’s social media, a mobile payment system, or loyalty programs, technology can effectively create many new opportunities for savvy retailers to learn about and to connect with their shoppers to better serve their needs. A good place to see and learn about a number of these innovative solutions is right here at www.advancingretail.org. The third thread is in the store itself, where technology is increasingly employed to improve overall store productivity to program more effective lighting, to boost checkout efficiency, to track shopper traffic flows to improve layout and sales per square foot, or to offer customers immediate cost savings via real time wifi connections as they shop. A great, and very recent, example of this is Sedano's Supermarkets launch of a “robotic supermarket,” which entails an automated fulfillment center where AI-enabled robots will assemble full supermarket orders of up to 60 items. While the landscape is quickly evolving, many independent grocers are taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies to engage with their shoppers, find efficiencies, and reach new and existing customers where, how, and when they want. Independents have been making their move into digital. They are hiring dedicated staff, dedicating marketing budgets to digital initiatives, more effectively leveraging social media platforms, and integrating the latest technologies into their business strategies.  With the dramatic pace in which new apps and tech solutions are coming on to the market, it can all seem a bit overwhelming, but technology will play a defining role in the supermarket industry.  Those retailers that are on the forefront of implementing new technology and embrace the hyper-connected, tech-savvy consumer are positioning themselves for success. I’m one who is convinced that these threads will weave into a pattern of rising sales and profits. And that’s why the 2019 NGA Show will kick-off with a new educational event, spearheaded by our partners at CART, entitled “iRetail: Technology Innovation Reshaping the Grocery Industry.” The event is designed to give supermarket operators a framework for navigating fast-paced innovation while maintaining a focus on the importance of people and physical stores as we move into the future. Despite increased competition from all angles, it is an exciting time for the supermarket industry – and we at NGA are bullish about what the future holds for the independent grocers! Known as the true entrepreneurs of the industry, independents are nimble enough to quickly overcome obstacles, and are finding innovative ways to respond to changing consumer preferences, which is something they’ve always been good at given their close ties to their communities and the consumers they serve. +MORE

Customer Touchpoints and the Human Experience

Gary Hawkins, CART

I was visiting someone in the hospital the other day and, looking about the room, noticed an Amazon Echo installed on the wall opposite the hospital bed. There was a sign under the device telling patients that they could ask Alexa to call their nurse or make other requests. In speaking with the nurse I learned that Amazon is working with the hospital in a pilot to test the application of Alexa in the hospital environment. Beyond the hospital, Amazon is pushing Alexa into the hospitality industry where a growing number of hotels are putting the digital assistant in rooms so guests can request services just by asking. While this alone is fascinating, and illustrates just how far and how fast voice-based technology is moving, it really opens up a larger discussion on customer touchpoints. Retailers today have a fast growing number of ways to connect with a shopper, inside and outside the store. And, more than ever before, retailers need to be mindful of the human experience they are providing across those myriad touchpoints because in today’s digital world, user experience is everything. Consider the myriad ways a retailer can touch a shopper: In the digital world that includes the website, mobile, email, text, social media, and more. A Deloitte study calls out that “more than 60% of customers interact through multiple channels and irrespective of time, place, device, or medium, they expect consistency.” In the store, retailers can engage using kiosks, mobile, and the POS. We can’t forget about print, including the weekly ad and direct mail, along with television, radio, and other mass channels. And of course, just like in the hospital, voice will soon be everywhere. A good exercise for retail marketers to go through is to create an inventory of all the touchpoints they currently use, and then alongside that create a list of other touchpoints that could be deployed or used. Once the list of existing touchpoints is created, work to understand which shoppers are using each and why. For example, do high-value shoppers regularly use your mobile app? Do more convenience shoppers gravitate to your website?  Don’t forget about your associates; oftentimes they are the only interaction the shopper has with your business. The Wall Street Journal had an article recently about how airlines are arming their flight attendants with extensive data on their flyers to facilitate service on board. As a very frequent flyer I have experienced this firsthand, the attendant addressing me by name and asking if I would like my usual drink. Retailers have untapped potential to arm in-store associates with product and customer intelligence via smartphones to help them provide better service. One of the largest challenges traditional retailers face is having disparate capabilities and an inability to provide the seamless digital experience across devices and touchpoints that today’s shoppers are expecting… and demanding. Another Deloitte study (Customer Ambitions Delivered) states “research shows 89% of market leaders expect to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience - a number that has jumped from 36% four years ago. As more companies realize the benefits of engaging with their customers along every touchpoint, customers are growing accustomed to top-of-the-line experiences. Modern customers expect a tailored experience— one with flexible purchasing options, painless technology integrations, and ample opportunities to provide feedback if they receive stellar or sub-par products or services.” Retailers can then extend the inventory of touchpoints exercise, thinking through the ‘mission’ of each touchpoint and its role in growing (retailer brand) awareness, shopper acquisition, growth, and retention. Core to this is making every interaction across each touchpoint contextually relevant to the shopper. Again, the human experience is critically important. Every customer engagement at every touchpoint provides an opportunity to learn more about the shopper and, for digital touchpoints, provide a more personalized experience. To do this requires identifying the shopper as quickly and easily as possible so that you respond with relevant offers and information. Increasingly we are seeing digital displays and signage in the store incorporate cameras and other sensors able to provide additional analytics and insights to customer behavior. Best practices: Create and maintain a list of customer touchpoints used. Consider grouping the touchpoints such as digital, print, in-store, etc. to better understand your capabilities Create a ‘mission’ for each touchpoint which forces you to think through how it can be used to support shopper acquisition, growth, and retention Work to create a platform infrastructure that ‘feeds’ each touchpoint to create the seamless - and relevant - experience shoppers want Use every touchpoint and customer engagement to learn; improving the relevancy of the engagement and learning to make the touchpoint more valuable Any digital touchpoints should be fed by realtime intelligence reflecting the latest interactions the shopper has had with you _____________________________ To learn more join the CART team along with Kate Favrow, Corporate Marketing Manager for AWG, and Roger Marin, CIO of Draeger’s, for the upcoming Customer Touchpoints webinar on Tuesday, July 24, at 2pm Eastern. View article on Winsight Grocery Business here   +MORE

The One Technology Every Grocerant Needs to Know

Tebo Store Fixtures

Digital signage isn’t just a pretty display, it is a tool to boost sales, customer experience and more; The use of digital signage in your grocerant deli will inform and persuade customers. The use of eye-catching imagery and content will drive sales, allow you to cross promote within your store, and excite your guests. Every day more and more grocery store delis are adopting the use of digital signage and seeing the benefit from this increasingly affordable technology. In the Deli environment, this is not only a resource for customers but is a great resource to engage your employees as well. It brings your daily menu to life with promotions and specials.  Not only does this increase dwell time, it will also help your customers get to know your brand better than static boards leaving lasting impressions. The Benefits of Using Digital Signage: Remotely update menu boards with no ongoing printing or labor costs Offer service to non-English speakers Boost sales 8-22% by simply placing the screen in your deli space Reduce perceived wait time Cross promote within store Employee engagement The Deli grocerant has many challenges that digital menu boards can help solve, but the key to success is to have a clear objective for your digital menu boards. Asking yourself how to correlate to your customer base, store branding, and employee involvement are the steps necessary for a successful relationship with digital signage. Regardless of the size of your grocery stores (multiple or single locations) with the use of digital signage, it will increase the effectiveness of communication in the work environment. A little-known fact is having engaged employees there is a positive correlation to above average productivity. With a raise in productivity leads to more sales and customers walking through your doors. Bringing digital signage to your space is a great start for positive growth of your grocerant deli. +MORE

Pace of Innovation -- Shattering the Status Quo

Gary Hawkins, CART

Retailers are shellshocked by the increasing pace of technology fueled innovation that is transforming and disrupting the industry. It seems not a week goes by that we don’t read about yet another new competitor entering the grocery space or some new innovation being rolled out by an existing competitor. Case in point: Kroger’s recent announcement that it is deploying its Shop, Scan, and Bag self-shopping solution at 400+ stores. This in response to Amazon’s cashier-less Go store pilot and Walmart’s similar self-shopping solution. Supermarket retailers are challenged on several fronts relative to innovation. It is nearly impossible for a retailer to be aware of all the new innovation entering the market. As an example, CART reviews an estimated 100 new solutions each month. Beyond awareness though is the challenge of deciding what areas to focus on (supply chain, distribution, marketing, store operations, etc.) and deciding what specific solution to pilot. And then having to decide what new capabilities to deploy across operating stores. Having efficient operations, quality foods, and great pricing and service is simply the cost of entry to supermarket retail. The new battleground is innovation. This is a new world for retailers to navigate. As an example, we see too many retailers implementing different digital capabilities in a piecemeal fashion rather than working towards a cohesive and comprehensive platform. The self-shopping capability mentioned earlier is a great example. Some retailers are trying to implement this kind of capability through a third-party app or a separate app rather than bundling it into one mobile app for their customers. Shoppers are after an omni-channel, seamless experience, not being forced to interact with different apps or systems to do business with a retailer. CART is here to help. We’re able to leverage our strong retail experience, industry knowledge, and unique insight to new capabilities and innovation flowing into the market to help retailers understand where they are today relative to their competitors and best-in-class retailers. Developing an innovation roadmap is important to help in prioritizing what new innovation to focus on and to create a foundation capable of adapting to new capabilities and technologies as they come into the market. +MORE

Profitable Delivery with FwdMbl Solutions

John Kangas, FwdMbl Solutions, LLC

Whether an Independent Grocer or a Wholesaler successful product delivery is a key part of a successful bottom line. FwdMbl Solutions (pronounced Forward Mobile) provides Proof of Delivery and Picking software options that are configurable, role based and give insight into the process.  Our delivery software manages and provides answers to 5 W’s of delivery. What needs to be delivered? Who needs to pick, stage, and deliver? When do I need to pick and deliver? Where do I need to pick and deliver? Why was this picked or delivered? Insight and options coupled with an experienced software provider gives you the best delivery solution. INDEPENDENT GROCER Once customers place an order for delivery or curb side pickup, our software guides employees thru the picking, staging and delivery process. Picking is the process of employee going down the aisles of your store and gathering product needed to fill the order. Staging is the process of bagging and boxing the picked products and preparing them for delivery.  Delivery is the process of getting the product into the hands of the consumer. Picking App Order information is transferred from your POS or eCommerce Website provider to our server. Our software reads in this information and lays out a picking plan. Picking plans can be configured for your location but generally group orders within a delivery window, batch up like products, and lay out an efficient walking path thru the store.  Our solution allows picking plans for a single picker, multiple pickers, runners, department pickers, and any amount of orders at the same time. Delivery App After picking and staging is complete, orders move to the Delivery App.  Orders are assigned to a Curb Side or Home Delivery route. The Delivery App tells users when to deliver the order, where to deliver the order, and how to deliver the order. The Delivery App lists the orders, any substitutions that were made to the order, and any special instruction provided by the consumer.  The Delivery App allows for collection of a Signature, GPS Tracking, and emails delivery confirmation of the order. Complication & Exception Handling We also handle the exceptions and complications that arise in the delivery process. Complications could be, the customer is not home to accept delivery, customer calls and wonders when the order is coming, or a customer refuses some or all of the product when the delivery person is attempting delivery. The Delivery App allows the driver to contact the customer by phone or text, allows managers and service staff in the store to view delivery status to answer questions, and allows refused product to be recorded and returned to the store. Having a way to handle exceptions and a way to quickly see into the process is key to building a profitable process. Customer Awareness Our solutions are open and offer a robust API allowing us to integrate with anything and everything. We can integrate or create a Chatbot that allows customers to lookup delivery information from Facebook Messenger on your store’s Facebook page.  This same level of integration allows us to add commands to Alexa and Google Home devices as well as integrating with your current website allowing customers to see delivery status. WHOLESALERS & DISTRIBUTORS Optimized Delivery Orders and Route Information is passed to our software from Routing Software or an Enterprise Resource Planning solution. The Delivery information provides our software with information about when the route needs to start, the stops to make, estimated time of arrival at each stop, and what is to be delivered or picked up. The Delivery App guides the driver thru a verification process and captures a signature to complete the stop.   Delivery App The Delivery App is configured by route, truck type and operational requirements setup by the company. Users start their day by opening the Delivery App and viewing route information. Route information identifies the truck and trailer to take, what warehouse to be at to start the route, and how long the route is going to take. Stop location details include contact information, ETA, and mapping options. Stop item details can be a list of items to be delivered at the stop.  Stop pallet information is a list of pallets and license plates that need to delivered to the stop. The Delivery App contains pallet verification process used by drivers to scan pallets to verify deliver. Stop returnable information track pallets and other returnable shipping materials exchanged between the wholesaler and the customer. The Delivery App allows driver to record left and picked up quantities of returnable items. The Delivery App captures GPS position, signature and received by name of the person accepting the order for the customer. Delivery notifications are sent to the customer and to the company letting everyone know the status of the delivery. Complication & Exception Handling Our Proof of Delivery solution understands that not everything goes as expected. We handle refused product, returned product, and can give drivers more information about customers if the company decides they need it. We provide insight into ETA versus Actual Delivery times, timeline and duration reporting, and customer service reporting. Having a way to handle exceptions and a way to quickly see into the process is key to building a profitable process.​​ +MORE

FwdMbl

FwdMbl Solutions, LLC

Account Management, DSD, Route Sales, & Proof of Delivery Apps Mobile Sales & DSD Customer, Leads, Prospects Orders, Credits, Invoices Aging, Statements Receive On Account, Credit Cards GPS Tracking & Signature Capture Print, Email, & Fax Documents Items, Availability, Inventory Images DEX, NEX & EDI Warehouse Transfers & Scrap Multi-Language Works Offline Proof of Delivery Delivery List Stop List Route & Stop Status GPS Tracking Signature Capture Returnable Container Tracking Asset Tracking Pallet Tracking Customer & Stop Documents Multi-Language Works Offline Account Management Customers, Leads, Prospects Quotes, Estimates, Notes Orders, Credits & Returns Receive On Account Aging, Statements Documents Sales History Warehouse Inventory Customer & Item Documents Multi-Language Works Offline Route, Inventory & Order Management Inventory Management Items, Kits Serial Number, Lot Tracking Expiration Date, FIFO/LIFO All Types of Transactions Reason Codes, Notes Pick, Pack, & Ship Reorder Points & Planning Barcode Labels & Scanning Multi Site, Warehouse, Bin Mobile Inventory App Order Management Customers Sales Orders Credits, Returns Dispatch Orders Work Orders Invoicing Quotes Inventory Integration Accounting Systems Integrations Mobile Sales App Route Management Driver & Route Setup Customer Assignment Inventory Assignment Cash Settlement Inventory Settlement Route Reports Signature Reviews Timeline & GPS Tracking Integration With Other Systems Mobile Management App   +MORE

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OOS Alert

GlobalWorx

Finally, a practical and effective solution to the most pervasive drain on sales, shopper experience and profits in fast-moving consumer goods retailing — store Out-of-Stocks. With OOS Alert from GlobalWorx, success-oriented retailers have a great opportunity to enhance in-stock position, shopper experience and associated sales and profit results. OOS Alert supports superior shelf practice with reliable detection and streamlined vendor communications. The benefit is a sales increase of 2-3 percentage points. OOS Alert is specifically designed to connect the retailer’s vital OOS information with its supplier ecosystem. The objective is to deliver notifications directly to suppliers in the field that are accurate, timely (daily), and actionable (by retailer, by store, by item). Our premise is simple – suppliers covet this information and will use it to improve their in-stock positions thereby benefiting the retailer, the consumer and themselves. Service at no cost to the retailer; clear benefit for the vendors.  +MORE

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Digital Signage Solutions

Tebo Store Fixtures

Tebo Store Fixtures, after years of listening to America’s Independent Grocer, have developed a Digital Menu Board System designed to drive sales at a very affordable price. Once installed, your marketing team can control screens in single and multiple stores from a central point, and store personnel can make on the fly changes from any web enabled device. The complete system includes one commercial grade LG screen (49", 55" or 65"), PingHD signage player, 3 year warranty, two 1 hour training classes, and 24/7 technical support.  +MORE

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Date Check Pro

Pinpoint Software, Inc.

Stop expired food loss before it happens. Date Check Pro notifies you exactly when and where a product is expiring, giving you time to take action, avoid the loss, and better serve your customers with always fresh, always quality food. Anything with an expiration date and UPC can be tracked. +MORE

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Omni-Channel Merchandising

IBM

Improve the accuracy and speed of your merchandising decisions and actions using consumer insight-based planning and analytics solutions. Create a comprehensive view of product, supplier and location attributes that can be integrated with operational and customer-facing applications. Build demand forecasts and assortment recommendations based on buying behavior at the SKU, cluster and location level. And optimize pricing and promotions across the lifecycle of each product resulting in personalized offers delivered via preferred channels. Benefits include increased sales, improved gross margins and improved inventory turnover. +MORE

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FoodLoop System

FoodLoop Inc.

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FoodLoop provides automated, location based, real time marketing of your in-store discounts. Marking down perishables that are overstocked or reaching their best before end has been common practice for decades. Despite this, on average 53 Kg of food items per day per store, still ends up as write-offs and waste,which could have been avoided if it was communicated in time to the right customer. This common practice has remained stagnant despite technological advances. Retailers willing to change, are able to receive large returns. We at FoodLoop are here to facilitate that. We set out to create an efficient way to market goods in danger of not being sold within their shelf-life. Now, with FoodLoop, mobile customers can explore all your discounted products and services and quickly plan their meals with ease. With personalized offers, all streamlined to the palm of our hands, you'll be driving more businesses to your stores. What's more, they'll be proud to spend! They'll know, they're reducing the CO2 footprint. The FoodLoop system builds on the increased adoption of connected devices like smartphones: On average two thirds of people in an industrialized country own a smartphone. More than half of these users, check shopping options on their smartphones before making purchase decisions. So why not take the information of individual store discounts and clearance sales beyond the door and into the customers’ pocket? The FoodLoop System is available to all retailers and wholesalers. The system has also been developed to support the new GS1 DataBar; the new barcode standard which can incorporate best-before-date information on a product level. So as retailers upgrade to the GS1 DataBar, they'll be happy to receive seamless integration (and further improved results like cutting labour hours) with the FoodLoop system. +MORE

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Canopy

Advantage Solutions

One Platform for Omnichannel eCommerce Analytics Content Health Perfect your ecommerce presence by measuring your content against best-in-class benchmarks, gaining visibility into your complete product portfolio, and leveraging specific, actionable guidance for improvements on a per-item basis. Shopper Engagement  Supercharge your interactions with your customers by discovering their sentiment towards your brands, pinpointing review trends and keywords, and identifying important (or overlooked) questions that require your attention.  Sales & Inventory Monitor your in-stocks and product rankings with SKU-level, real-time alerts to status changes. Plug into your portal data for rapid analytics of your sales business metrics.  Pricing & Offers Know who is selling your products. Defend your brand presence by learning what price others are setting for your items and by tracking your wins and losses in the buy box.  Search & Category Deeply understand the search ranking and and share trends for your products. Analyze your data via keywords and category, and on organic vs. sponsored items.   +MORE

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VYPIN

Vypin LLC

Overpass reSeal™, a reusable electronic seal solution that delivers real-time visibility into shipment integrity.  An unique Vypin product – reSeal provides asset management, tampering and loss prevention to logistic managers. Key capabilities of this Overpass system include automated gate access to distribution centers, en-route notifications when seal is compromised, location-based yard management, and a delivery date/time stamp for contract audit support.  Keeping the cargo safe, lower waste of fuel in idle time and quicker turn times for loading and unloading your cargo.  reSeal ROI ►  Elimination of Headcount at guard gates ►  Reduce OS&D claims with hard data, proof positive confirmation with timestamps that there was to tamper of a shipment 1. Insurance policy on each shipment ►  Improve efficiency of carrier base, Example: in/out 2 hours or less 1. Decrease accessorial costs 2. Ability to negotiate more attractive linehaul rates ►  Intermodal shipments-reduce daily rail detention charges 1. Hard data in/out rail ramp, drayman can take advantage of mobile gateway ►  Increase efficiency of yard jockey with reSeal yard management capabilities  IoT Software Suite Our fleet management solution is quickly adaptable, highly scalable and uniquely easy to use.  Our software “IoT Software Suite” makes it easy to track your shipments via tablets, phones or gateways. You have direct access to your data, so you can track your cargo from start to finish.  Our dashboard or Mobile APP gives you instant, online access to your data.  Blockchain Technology reSeal can be integral to improving workflow and real-time visibility on the status of shipments Reduce risk of collusion, tampering, fraud and cyber-crime. The opportunity for people to fraudulently tamper with or remove contents from a container or trailer is eliminated. In addition, the opportunity to make mistakes – through accidental omissions in the paper trails and record keeping is eliminated. ►  Seal integrity-once latched a unique encrypted 8-digit alpha/numeric lock code sent to cloud database ►  Cutting strap or disconnecting breached circuit sending an alert (latched, tampered, etc.) ►  SMS text message to customer and/or carrier ►  Time in transit (lock time) stored in reSeal database reSeal ensures trusted record-keeping. By design, no one party can modify, delete, or even append any record to the ledger without the consensus from others on the network, making the system useful for ensuring the immutability of contracts and other legal documents. By enabling the real time exchange of original supply chain events such as the date and timestamp of a trailer or container when attaching or removing an electronic seal (reSeal) and documents through a digital infrastructure, or data pipeline that connects the participants in a supply chain ecosystem, blockchain promotes sustainable transport by integrating shipping processes and partners, and establishing evaluation frameworks through increased transparency and trusted access.     +MORE

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e4score

e4Score

Supply Chain Digitization Solutions  e4score is a supply chain innovation leader providing shippers and their business partners, both carriers and customers, with supply chain digitization and visibility solutions. These solutions enable on-time shipment and on-spec assurance. Additionally, we offer operational efficiencies such as easy warehouse check in and out as well as rapid, accurate return authorization approval. Our solutions focus on reducing transportation waste and keeping drivers moving on-schedule so that shippers can become the “shipper of choice”.  TrackAssured Complete shipment visibility TrackAssured provides users with visibility to the location and condition of all of their shipments. Not only can users track the location of the shipment, but the condition as well. With TrackAssured, you can have complete confidence that your shipment is on track and intact. We provide you with peace of mind and the knowledge to take action before a shipment goes off track.  EZCheck-In Distribution center check-in & check-out automation e4score can track and provide data from the time a truck leaves a facility to when the shipment is delivered. Our technology also increases the efficiency of Welcome Centers operation. Through our app, attendants can electronically check shipments in and out on a tablet, eliminating manual transactions and accelerating the pick-up and delivery process.  If the trailer is sealed with a Vypin RE-Seal, then the shipment can be recognized electronically, thereby enabling “no touch” check-in and check-out.  ExpressRA Return Authorization automation. Returns and refusals can be a logistical nightmare. We have established a system that takes the frustration out of managing  returns and refusals.  The e4score ExpressRA system makes it easy for customers to return unwanted products and for carriers to handle the refusal process. +MORE

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Alphabot

Alert Innovation

Alert Innovation is proud to introduce the Alphabot® Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) and Automated Each-Picking System (AEPS), the most capital-efficient and broadly scalable design of each of these solutions ever developed. At the heart of Alphabot technology is a mobile robot unique in its ability to operate in all three dimensions within a multilevel storage structure. A fleet of these robots operates within a given system under control of a single Master Control System (MCS). In an Alphabot ASRS, the bots are the only moving part—there are no lifts, conveyors, or any other material-handling mechanism—hence the capital-efficiency.  The addition of a highly innovative picking workstation creates the world’s most advanced “goods-to-picker” each-picking technology in which the bots themselves flow product and order containers through these workstations, where pickers transfer eaches from product containers to order containers. Since the robots move vertically, workstations can be arrayed at multiple vertical elevations, enabling unprecedented space efficiency in high-throughput systems. Alphabot technology makes possible a new-type of supermarket featuring automated-service rather than self-service, which we believe will become the next paradigm in food retailing. Our name for this type of supermarket is Novastore.   ROBOTS (BOTS): Like a conventional shuttle robot, Alphabot robots operate within a storage structure, running linearly within storage lanes on rails that are also the beams supporting stored containers (totes) of products to be picked. Also like shuttle robots, Alphabot robots transfer totes between their payload bays and storage locations. Unlike a shuttle robot but like many other mobile robots, an Alphabot robot can travel in x/y horizontal dimensions on a planar surface such as a floor or deck. However, unlike any other robot on the planet, an Alphabot can also move itself vertically in the z-dimension to any elevation within the structure and then transition back to moving horizontally at that elevation. It is a true “transformer” robot: at any vertical elevation, the robot can transition between being a mobile robot and a lift, or vice versa. In comparison to conventional shuttle-based ASRS and AEPS solutions, then, the Alphabot performs all of the transfer and transport functions of not only the shuttle robots, but also the lifts and conveyors, and the picking workstation mechanisms as well. It is this capability which enables Alphabot to be so capital efficient and so broadly scalable from very low-volume to very high-volume systems. Alphabot robots have their own vertical-drive mechanism which engages with vertical tracks, or "towers" in the structure to move the robot from one elevation to another, and a wheel-retraction/extension mechanism that enables it to transition between vertical and horizontal modes at any point and travel horizontally at any storage or workstation level.  The robot transfers totes between its payload bay and storage-rack locations using a very simple mechanism that has a single drive motor, without any telescoping mechanisms or additional actuators typically found on other robots (like shuttle robots). This design is both less expensive and more robustly reliable than those competitive designs. One other noteworthy feature of the Alphabot robot is its energy-storage subsystem that uses supercapacitors instead of chemical batteries. Supercaps charge and discharge far more quickly than batteries, have much longer useful lives (literally millions of charge cycles), and suffer no loss of storage capacity in low temperatures (compared to significant loss in chemical batteries). The reduced power density of supercaps compared to chemical batteries doesn’t penalize Alphabot because bots recharge while they climb and descend towers, which they must do on every trip. Since not very much energy needs to be stored, relatively few supercaps are needed. Alphabots are thus capable of operating at 100% duty cycle during peak demand periods, and there is no expense for battery replacement, so total cost of ownership is significantly lower than with chemical batteries.  STRUCTURE: There are four forms of structure within which the bots operate within an each-picking system: (1) storage modules that hold totes in storage, within which the bots move linearly and at relatively high velocity, (2) tower modules containing vertical tracks with which the bots engage to move vertically, (3) decks on which bots move two-dimensionally to access aisles and workstations, and (4) picking workstation modules in which bots present totes to pickers who transfer eaches from product totes to order totes. Aisle and tower modules are assembled quickly and precisely at ground level through the use of assembly fixtures, and are then raised into place, stacking one on top of another. The entire structure is thus erected very quickly and with high dimensional precision.  WORKSTATION: The picking workstation takes advantage of the robot’s vertical capability by having it enter the workstation from a lower deck, ascend into transfer position in front of the picker, and then exit to an upper deck. This design allows for a high rate of flow of robots and totes through the workstation, as well as nearly ideal ergonomics for the picker. Ultimately, this enables the system to achieve sustained pick rates of 800 or more picks per hour. To ensure accuracy, the workstation controller uses an overhead projector to illuminate both the pick and put locations (pick-to-light and put-to-light), and sensors detect the location of the picker’s hand when making a pick or a put. Since robots are instructed to move only after the picker’s hand clears a tote, the picker effectively controls the flow of robots with the motion of his/her hands, usually without even being aware of it. MASTER CONTROL SYSTEM: The most complex part of the Alphabot system is the Master Control System (MCS) software. To accelerate our development and reduce technical risk, Alert Innovation has licensed from Romaric Corporation the source code for the Romaric Automation Control Engine (RACE TM). RACE is a field-proven software system used primarily to control automated semiconductor factories, and by licensing the source code we have been able to adapt it to create the MCS for our Alphabot technology. MCS is responsible for processing all orders, scheduling all bot tasks, managing all bot moves to optimize flow and throughput while preventing collisions between bots, and interfacing to the world outside of the system. +MORE

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Inspectorio

Inspectorio

Efficiency, transparency, and accuracy  Through the use of robotic automation and artificial intelligence we are building an autonomous system that eliminates the need of manual, low-added value interventions, so quality and compliance personnel can focus on high value-added tasks as remediation and continuous improvement. Our comprehensive modules and workflows allow for flexibility and unlock collaboration, real-time data sharing, and predictive-recommended actions for more than 2,500 companies, including some of the world’s largest retailers, brands, vendors and factories.  Improve efficiency, accuracy and quality by replacing traditional, manual processes. Booking Assignments Inspection Execution Report Management Corrective Action Request +MORE

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Retail Software Solutions Group

Retail Software Solutions Group

Built specifically for the independent retail market, RSSG solutions deliver the kind of data analytics previously available only to national retailers. Our technology-based solutions churn through the massive amounts of data your store generates every day, filtering out the noise to deliver critical information to store owners, managers, price coordinators, and other key staffers. RSSG solutions are “self-driving”, meaning they run autonomously and unobtrusively in the background to deliver highly-focused, actionable intelligence on the most complex aspects of store operations, including TPR processing, price management, and loss prevention. Our solutions integrate seamlessly with existing POS and back-office systems. They are easy to implement, run automatically, and deliver proven results. Deal-W!se  TPR AUTOMATION Finally, an efficient way to process TPRs — from receipt of the TPR file, to updating shelf labels, to tracking sales at the register. Our software automatically matches TPRs to your inventory, calculates new prices, passes information to your label system, verifies prices at the register, and tracks sales of TPR and related products so you can see their full impact on profitability. Price-W!se  YOUR PRICING WATCHDOG Managing prices just got easier. Our software collects and analyzes warehouse prices, deals, store prices and product sales to provide you with daily notification of price, cost and margin changes. We do the detailed analysis so you have the information you need to adjust store prices for maximum profitability. You'll receive daily pricing alerts — delivered straight to your inbox. Loss-W!se  LOSS PREVENTION ON AUTOPILOT Operating quietly under the hood, our software analyzes every transaction made in the store to identify suspicious and potentially fraudulent activity. You’ll be able to determine, at a glance, where to direct efforts and resources to improve store operations, correct unwanted behaviors, and reduce loss and theft. +MORE

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ContentSquare

ContentSquare

Contentsquare helps you understand how and why your users are interacting with your app, mobile and websites. Solutions for All  While SaaS products are usually offered with minimal capabilities beyond a single functionality, Contentsquare offers more encompassing behavioral insights platform. It helps you get more ROI from a variety of platforms, as it supports integrations and understands the specificities of each platform.  Through the prowess of our UX analytics software, we can help you meet your conversion goals with all the tools you’ll need to understand customer behavior and carry out focused optimizations.  Our robust suite of solutions spans across device types, access points, integrations and compatibilities. Tailored for a broad range of businesses, our solutions provide unique insights for the unique needs of each industry. They also empower a host of positions in each of our covered verticals, not just those seasoned in data analysis.  Mobile & Desktop Delve into highly visualized customer journey analytics, zone-based heatmaps, AI insights and much more. Understand digital consumer behaviors on desktop and mobile.  CS for Apps Be prepared for a mobile-first world. Explore all of your visitors’ behaviors on your mobile app, with KPIs specific to apps.  CS Live The first in the SaaS sphere, our pioneering technology comes as a Chrome extension that gives you instant data on a variety of metrics. With this plugin, you’ll see all the metrics overlaid on the elements of any page of your website.  Ecosystem Integrations We proudly stand by understanding how and why your visitors interact with your site in a particular way. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick with us, as we enhance UX analytics via 3 different integrations. You can integrate our system with other heavy hitters in the analytics field.  UX Performance Center Save yourself the time and capital by focusing on what matters most. Our performance center is AI-powered, sending you alerts and recommendations most pertinent to the well-being of your site. Our machine learning based insights show you the top priority issues to address. +MORE

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StealthMatrix

StealthMatrix

The StealthMatrix ARC™ is a groundbreaking inventory control device that will forever change the way retailers track merchandise.  Next Generation Disruptor for Real-Time Inventory Location Systems The StealthMatrix ARC can locate merchandise in a department store or warehouse within three feet using Internet of Things ( IoT ) sensor technology. StealthMatrix ARC is compatible with Android and Apple (iOS) smart phones for use by customers, sales associates and store operations.  The product suite includes an all-encompassing IoT sensor device with an indoor location application and way-finding capabilities, for finding the exact location of merchandise  Enhances Experience with Augmented Reality Employs gaming tech to guide sales, operations or a customer to easily pinpoint the location of an item anywhere in the store. By leveraging AI for an entire organization, including retail customers, StealthMatrix increases efficiency by 67% of total items sought and found. Boosts Sales and Reduces Shrinkage That last pair of black jeans the customer came to buy is in stock, but nowhere to be found? StealthMatrix tracks it down, even if it’s under a counter. Visually KNOWING, size, quantity, exact location, provides greater picking efficiencies by increasing the rate of hard- to-find, single units. Returns 20x Every Dollar Spent Effortlessly integrates brick-and-mortar with e‑commerce. No onsite infrastructure or special installation is needed, providing a low entry and operating cost. What makes StealthMatrix unique is that it does not require any additional IoT sensors, or special hardware to be installed – just the stand-alone prosumer device, the ARC. +MORE

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Zig Zag Global

ZigZag Global

We offer a range of services to help you manage, track and resell your stock.  We can sell your returns on over 25 different online market places.  We provide a suite of technology tools that integrate with the returns page on your site.  Integrate ZigZag with your eCommerce store ZigZag will provide you with an online portal, branded with your logo for mobile, tablet and desktop. This can be integrated with your website in minutes by using an iFrame or URL redirect. The customer can use this portal to submit a request for items to be returned. The customer then enters the order number and  their postcode or zip code for verification. The portal can also be accessed from a QR code on a dispatch note or from a link in an order confirmation email. The customer will be taken to a generic site hosted by ZigZag which can be also branded (e.g. yourbrand.zigzag.global/returns)  Your customers submit their returns The customer is then shown their shopping basket and they can select the item(s) they wish to return and select the reason for return from a customised list – we support over 25 languages. The customer can then be offered a list of courier options depending on the options that you wish to make available to the customer. This might include: Free or paid options for the customer Express & standard delivery options for the customer Pick up options from the customer’s home or place of work PUDO locations where the customer can drop off items to be returned The ability to print off a label to stick on the package and post to a local address  Track, manage and resell your stock Returns are fully tracked or part tracked wherever possible, and the ZigZag returns platform will give visibility on what’s coming back and how much it will cost before it has even left the customer. Once the item has been returned by the customer, ZigZag can open and inspect the goods to check they are as described. We can redirect the return to the place where it has the highest propensity to sell or send back via the most cost-effective route. Or if you’d like, we can list your returned stock on over 20 global marketplaces in many different languages until sold, on a revenue share basis. Once the item sells, you will be credited for the sale, turning your returns into cash without you having to lift a finger. +MORE

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S5 Stratos

S5 | Stratos

RETAIL SOFTWARE REIMAGINED. A MODERN APPROACH TO RETAIL SOFTWARE. Software engineered specifically for the challenges that Retailers face in the New Age of Retail. New Problems Require New Solutions. We are industry veterans who have decades of experience in leading successful transformational programs in Supply Chain and Merchandising.  We understand the challenges of the new retail environment, and have used this understanding to design holistic solutions that are built from the ground up, specifically to address the modern challenges the industry is facing.   OUR SOLUTIONS Assortment Planning & Merchandise Financial Planning Solutions that give your business the Competitive Advantage S5 | ASSORTMENT Complement the Art of Merchandising with algorithms and recommendations that help your teams determine what products should be offered, where, when and how much, down to the size level.​ ​S5 | MERCHANDISE FINANCIAL PLANNING  Empower your teams to create better in-season and pre-season financial strategies.  Capitalize on opportunities, anticipate and react to changes in Customer trends - Now with S5!​ Complement the Art of Merchandising with algorithms and recommendations that help your teams determine what products should be offered, where, when and how much, down to the size leve MACHINE LEARNING & AI Gain deep insights into Customer behavior with Recommended assortment offerings, curated based on your Customer’s preferences, and recommended actions your teams should be taking UNMATCHED PERFORMANCE S5 Apps were designed from the ground up with a focus on performance and scalability, so our solutions can grow with your business.  Distributed and parallel computing paradigms deliver lighting fast response times.  Ask us how we compare with anyone in this market. ANALYZE, PLAN, & EXECUTE Analyze, Plan & Execute all in one holistic solution. Gain insights into recommended actions, and then take action (Pre or InSeason) - all in one tool.  Eliminate silos and increase productivity FLEXIBLE & CONFIGURABLE S5 Solutions are highly configurable and can adapt to almost any business model:  Retail, Wholesale, E-Commerce, Omni-Channel.  S5 solutions adapt to your data model and your unique business. GENERATE SMARTER BUYS Generate Smart Buys with Easy to Understand, yet powerful lifecycle sales estimation models,  stochastic models for optimal inventory planning, & constraint-based flow models QUICK TIME TO VALUE S5 is bringing the concept of rapid prototyping to Merchandising Solutions.  Our simplified integrations and quick implementation model means quicker ROI for your business. +MORE

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Maxerience

Maxerience

Linking Retail Shelves To Production Lines New Consumer Packaged Goods(CPG) & products need not just sit in retail shelves – without having a link back to their production lines. Our solutions, through a patent pending process, create a feedback link between retail shelves, manufacturing entities & distribution channels - to enable processes that solve out-of-stock issues in retail shelves and also understand customer behavior at the shelf level in real time.  Helix as the CPG product training platform creates digital copies of products right at the production line in a matter of minutes, and creates an AI model in less than 30 minutes! as a global database of CPG products holds CPG product AI models and directs them to the appropriate shelves for product recognition, on any retail shelf around the planet! as a retail shelf data report generator gives real time shelf stock and event data access to sales managers, merchandizers and associates! +MORE

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Webgility

Webgility Inc

Automate Your Ecommerce Operations Integrate Everything and Put Your Business on Autopilot  MULTICHANNEL SELLING Unify Your Multichannel Business - Simply put, we make ecommerce easier.   Multichannel Selling Bye-Bye Chaos, Hello Profits Easily sell on multiple stores and marketplaces from one dashboard. Integrate with leaders in shipping, inventory, point of sale, and QuickBooks, NetSuite, or Xero. With no data entry, post all sales data, fees, expenses, and sales tax to accounting. See financial reports, track orders, and sync inventory for your entire business.  Accounting Sync - No More Data Entry Automatically post all sales directly into accounting and know it is timely, accurate, organized, and tax compliant. Post all revenue, expenses, and fees to keep track of finances from one dashboard. Record and validate sales tax, too.  Inventory Management - Never Oversell Sync and track quantity and price of products and know what’s selling across all sales channels—Webgility will even tell you when to order more. Easily add sales channels and product listings from your master inventory list. Automate operations and improve workflows.  Order Tracking Sync & Track To Your Heart’s Content Manage all orders, inventory, and shipping from one dashboard. Eliminate manual data entry and increase efficiencies. Manage order statuses across all sales channels—filter, search, import, export, sync, track, and schedule automatic posting into accounting, create phone orders, and instantly process returns.  Financial Reports - Finally, Insights You Can Use See all channels, expenses, inventory, and financial data to optimize margins and increase revenue. Strategize sales forecasting and drill down on specific areas like customer behavior and shipping fees. See your whole business in one dashboard.  Tax Compliance - Eliminate Your Tax Worries Record sales tax in your accounting so you know how much has been collected and what’s owed. Validate and track sales tax across all sales channels to the local level.  Shipping and Fulfillment - Get It Out The Door Automatically connect orders from any sales channel to shipping carriers to compare rates. Just click to print a label or pick list, sync inventory and accounting, validate addresses, track shipments, and notify customers. Eliminate data entry altogether.  Streamlined Workflows - Come Together, Right Now Streamline operations with no effort and save money with multi-user access. Increase efficiencies by connecting stakeholders and minimizing errors with one set of data from orders, inventory, shipping, and accounting. INVENTORY MANAGEMENT Error-Free, Multi-Channel Inventory Management Minimize inventory mistakes and control products, prices, and profits from one central dashboard   Multichannel Inventory Sync to Run Your Business Use QuickBooks, NetSuite, or your online store as the master inventory for your entire business. Instantly track and sync orders, inventory quantities, and prices across all stores and marketplaces. Easily list new products from QuickBooks or NetSuite to stores and marketplaces. Easily add and subtract stores and marketplaces to increase profits and control costs.  Control Your Products from One Program Track inventory levels by sales channel. Automatically match existing products and catalogs or do bulk mapping of products. Instantly update inventory in QuickBooks or NetSuite for cancelled or refunded orders. Never oversell and have confidence that your inventory is always up-to-date and accurate.  List Products across All Channels Easily list products from QuickBooks or NetSuite to Amazon and your stores, including price, description, and condition. List products on Amazon by searchable ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). Transfer product details—name, description, images—from accounting to your store. Bulk list new products with preset values. ORDER MANAGEMENT  Multichannel Inventory Sync to Run Your Business Use QuickBooks, NetSuite, or your online store as the master inventory for your entire business. Instantly track and sync orders, inventory quantities, and prices across all stores and marketplaces. Easily list new products from QuickBooks or NetSuite to stores and marketplaces. Easily add and subtract stores and marketplaces to increase profits and control costs.  Control Your Products from One Program Track inventory levels by sales channel. Automatically match existing products and catalogs or do bulk mapping of products. Instantly update inventory in QuickBooks or NetSuite for cancelled or refunded orders. Never oversell and have confidence that your inventory is always up-to-date and accurate.  List Products across All Channels Easily list products from QuickBooks or NetSuite to Amazon and your stores, including price, description, and condition. List products on Amazon by searchable ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). Transfer product details—name, description, images—from accounting to your store. Bulk list new products with preset values. SHIPPING  Automate and Centralize Ecommerce Shipping Webgility Makes Shipping Faster, Easier and Cheaper  Speed Up and Automate Shipping Pick, Pack, Print, Track Print shipping labels for all stores/marketplaces with one click. Automatically email tracking updates to customers. Optimize drop shipping, process returns faster, print picks lists, and create automated custom rules.  Compare Rates and Save  We Integrate with All Major Shipping Carriers Save up to 40% with USPS and compare rates with FedEx, Stamps.com, UPS, and Endicia. Pass your savings on to customers or reap higher profits.  Compare Rates to Ensure Greatest Savings NEW: Save up to 40% with USPS. Best rates guaranteed. Compare and choose rates from different carriers to optimize profit margins. Confirm rates and validate customer addresses before printing labels. Strategize pricing options for “free shipping” to maximize promotions and protect your profits margins. Post, track, and sync shipping costs with QuickBooks or NetSuite and easily generate shipping reports for better insights.  Batch-Print Packing Slips and Pick Lists Add multiple users to increase efficiency and speed up processing. Generate customizable packing slips with your logo and preferred fields. Print pick lists for selected orders so you can pull items and ship faster. Get bulk rates and batch print pick lists and labels for high-volume orders. Eliminate mis-shipments with barcode verification.  Enable Fast, Easy Dropshipping Instantly create purchase orders, notify vendors directly, and sync data directly into QuickBooks or NetSuite to streamline data entry and increase accuracy. Expand your catalog and operate your entire business from one location by automating your dropship operations. Eliminate dropship data entry and improve your vendor relationships. Reduce fulfillment delays and errors with streamlined workflows.  Quickly Process Returns to Keep Customers Happy Generate return shipping labels with one click. Automatically restock returns and sync inventory to your master list. Instantly record refunds into your accounting.  Set Up Custom Rules for Greater Speed, Ease, and Efficiency Set up shipping rules based on multiple criteria—including Shipping Method Requested, Order Weight, and other order details—to automatically configure shipping labels. Add packaging dimensions to your Webgility library for easy selection when printing labels and packing. Customize rules for each of your sales channels. Easily duplicate and apply rules you’ve already created across shipping processes. Reduce fulfillment delays and errors with streamlined workflows. ACCOUNTING  Automated Accounting Sync Simplify your accounting & bookkeeping with automated accounting solutions  Accounting Automation Hands-Free Data Entry Automatically post, track, and sync all orders, expenses, fees, and shipping costs directly into QuickBooks, NetSuite, or Xero. Post orders to accounting individually—or group several into a summary.  Summary Posting - Don’t Get Lost in the Details Post orders as a single transaction or group them together on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis. Easily select, by store, groups of orders and post as a batch. See revenue and expenses in your accounting for financial accuracy without excessive detail. Record transactions against a standard customer in accounting or track individual customers.  Fees and Expenses - This Is Where Profits Hide Sync and track fees from Amazon Settlement Reports and eBay Invoice Reports into QuickBooks, NetSuite, or Xero. Track payment processor fees—from PayPal, Shopify Payments, Stripe, and Square—with your accounting. Track shipping costs from third-party shipping applications.  Refund Management- Got Returns? No Problem Easily manage refunds and cancelled orders. Cancel an entire transaction or just part of it. Generate a refund check automatically in accounting.  Automatically and instantly update inventory for refunded orders.  Tax Compliance - Eliminate Your Tax Worries Automatically track and validate sales tax—right down to the state and jurisdiction level—for each online order. Post orders to your accounting with the sales tax. Have full confidence in your tax compliance and financial reporting across all sales channels. Save money on outsourced bookkeeping and accounting. ANALYTICS  Financial Reports Make selling easier with better insight into your entire business.  Financial Reports - See It All On One Dashboard Get insights on—and deeper understanding of—revenue and expenses across all stores and marketplaces. See key metrics to learn which platforms and marketplaces are working for you (or not). Monitor business-wide marketplace fees, expenses, revenue, order trends, and profit and loss. Learn total revenue after shipping costs and the all-in profit of your entire business to improve profit margins.  Customer Reports - Learn More About Your Biggest Fans Bridges the gap between your stores and customers with strategic insights. Keep order-level notes about customer interactions, discounts, promotions, and more. Customize customer marketing to move inventory faster based on who they are, where they live, and what they spend and buy. Build brand value and loyalty by bolstering your customer service, strategic marketing, and sales.  Inventory Reports. - Take Stock In An Instant. Easily learn gross profit, post-shipping profit, and total profit, and know for sure which SKUs are your true money makers. See what is selling on what stores and quickly adjust vendor orders and fulfillment strategies. Get insights on what inventory and/or warehouse locations cost you the most in shipping and adjust accordingly. Fine-tune supply-chain orders and sales strategies according to trends and patterns. EDI  Automate and Integrate EDI into Your Ecommerce Operations  Streamline your supply chain with trading partners  Automate tedious data entry for purchase orders and eliminate mistakes in inventory and accounting  Centralize shipping and EDI processing for all your ecommerce, wholesale, and retail channels  Integrate Flawlessly with SPS We've partnered with SPS Commerce so you can have access to thousands of trading partners. Whether you're new to SPS or are already a customer, we can help you streamline your operations.   +MORE

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