Drug & Pharmacy

Would You Like to Delight and Inform Your Online Shoppers

John Hoyne, SYNQY Corporation

Last week, SYNQY was named as a finalist in CART’s Virtual Pitch Event. We’re among an impressive few chosen from hundreds of applications. So, who are we and what does SYNQY do for retailers? SYNQY provides a managed service for retailers to bring online shoppers rich content from manufacturers. We do that at the point of sale, which is the critical piece. To do this, we match manufacturer-branded content to the products on the retailer’s site and then pay the retailer a revenue share. If we think about what shoppers want, they’re looking for basic product information, but also rich product content. That can take the form of videos, product comparisons, as well as promotional content like new products, innovations, and in grocery, recipes and the upcoming SmartLabel content. Delivering all of this at the exact time that consumers are making buying decisions is key. It’s also very important to provide that content to the consumers on the retailer’s website because more and more consumers are going to leave and find it somewhere else – and maybe never come back. But there are numerous challenges in providing content on the retailer site, one of which is that the content typically resides with the brand and not with the retailer. In addition, the content is always changing. As a result, it’s almost impossible to keep it up-to-date.  So, what if you could crowdsource from manufacturers the content customers are looking for? And what if it wouldn’t cost you anything? And what if it would enhance the buying experience and increase product consideration and sales? And you got paid for it? Well, SYNQY can deliver on those promises. SYNQY delivers enhanced content to delight and inform the shopper. SYNQY has a proven track record in the retail space.  Tony Mercado, Marketing Development Manager, Car Electronics Sector at Kenwood said, “ The appeal of SYNQY is it allows us to give shoppers on our retailers’ websites a branded, rich media content experience that we can easily update to stay fresh and reflect our latest products and promotions.  It also keeps the shoppers on our retailer’s website, encouraging them to execute their buying decision with that retailer.” The key is that retailers deliver rich brand content at the point of sale and shoppers never leave the site.  The way this works is that the manufacturers upload their content into the SYNQY system and the retailer simply installs one line of code on their website. It takes about 10 minutes and it’s up and running. Last year, we ran a test of about 14 tier-1 CPG products and for those users who clicked on the SYNQY, we experienced a 65% increase in consideration and a 40% increase in purchases. Those are significant increases and SYNQY is definitely having a positive impact on sales.  We are working with clients in the grocery space, such as Albertsons, Safeway, Nestle, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Unilever, WhiteWave, VONS, Randalls, PepsiCo, and Pavilions – some of the leading CPG manufacturers and retailers. With our business model, we collect fees from the brands to post their content onto a retailer’s site and then we pay the retailer a revenue share from that fee. Seems like a no-brainer for retailers. SYQNY brings the retailer an enhanced shopping experience for consumers. We increase product consideration and sales and bring a new high-margin site-monetization capability. And we do all of this at low risk, with minimal effort, and at no cost to retailers. +MORE

IoT Technology Tackling FSMA Regulations

Naeem Zafar, TeleSense

2017 is bringing new requirements to cold chain monitoring and food safety as the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) regulation deadlines approach, requiring the food industry to keep better records of their operations. With the help of Industrial Internet of Things hardware and user-friendly software, businesses can easily implement compliance in preparation of audits. What is Required to be Compliant Depending on the size of your business, the new regulations will become law over the next two years. FSMA mandates rigid plans for monitoring food products and taking corrective actions. By law, every registered food operation in a variety of industries, including meat, poultry, seafood, and produce, must perform a hazard analysis of their facilities and distribution assets to (1) Identify areas that can potentially jeopardize food safety, and (2) Determine what preventive controls to systematically implement and scientifically measure to monitor regulated food products. How does this translate to action? Food businesses need to keep temperature and/or humidity records up to 2 years back to prove that they were operating within the correct temperature range. This includes food in-storage and in-transit. Moreover, such records need to be easily retrievable upon the request of an inspector during an audit. At a glance, it may seem like a big hassle to get an entire business up to compliance, but with the help of modern technology, an operator’s job can become easier than it was before the FSMA was ever implemented. Bridging FSMA and IoT: By incorporating new web-based software with wireless sensors, a food processor or distributor can manage both the FSMA regulations and gain better insight into its operations. No more clipboards and manual time recording! There are many plug-and-play sensors that can be installed within 30 minutes. They usually come with a software subscription that allows facility managers to: Monitor facility and equipment health Determine critical control points Establish critical limits and alerts Dispatch immediate corrective action Automate record keeping and report generation Keep record database in the cloud for easy retrieval Insure facility with backup system Within the past year, many options have popped up within IoT for monitoring food. However, more does not necessarily mean better – more variety means confusion and frustration when sensor and software shopping. Hardware solutions range from Bluetooth sensors, industrial thermocouples, wired sensors, RFID labels, USB data loggers, cellular gateways, WiFi gateways, and the list goes on. The right sensor to purchase is dependent on which operational process one focuses on. The sensor chosen must withstand the working conditions of the facility for it to last. Most importantly, getting good communication between the sensor and gateway is dependent on the layout of the facility and sensor placement. Sometimes, the sensor of preference does not provide optimal connectivity. Without proper research, thousands of dollars can be waste on a solution that just does not fit. Bottom line – speak with an expert before diving in. Many IoT companies provide free consultations or 1-month free trials, which are all meant to make regulatory compliance as hassle-free of an experience as possible. +MORE

Amazon and Whole Foods: 3 Disruptions Coming Fast to Traditional Brick and Mortar Retail

Gary Hawkins, CART

The just announced Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods is sending shockwaves through the online and traditional supermarket industries. While the reverberations from this deal will be playing out in the years to come we can already see three major disruptions that will impact traditional supermarket operators in the near term: Disruption #1: Omni-channel retailing has just been accelerated. Amazon acquiring Whole Foods represents the first true melding of the online and brick & mortar shopping experience at scale. Amazon will be leveraging Alexa’s shop-by-voice platform, its rapidly growing delivery capabilities, and Prime membership into fuzing together the online and physical store experiences. The first loser may be Instacart as Amazon reclaims the Whole Foods’ online shopping experience so it is able to extend marketing relevancy and personalization into the Whole Foods online experience. While some speculate that Amazon may just acquire Instacart I believe that Amazon will ultimately cast the service aside. If Amazon were to buy Instacart most other retailers using the service would bolt, viewing Amazon as key competitor. Further, to some degree, Amazon already has delivery capabilities in some number of Whole Foods’ markets. Disruption #2: Amazon’s marketing relevancy and personalization will transform brick & mortar marketing. Amazon will quickly extend its industry-leading expertise in online marketing relevancy and personalization into the brick & mortar experience. Amazon is a master at helping its customers navigate the millions of products sold through its site; imagine how they can help customers navigate the 40,000 or so SKUs stocked by the typical store. Amazon’s pricing algorithms tied to personalization should be scaring the hell out of brick & mortar supermarket competitors. And don’t think it is not going to happen. This is Amazon’s forté and after spending $13 billion Amazon is going to push it for all its worth. Disruption #3: Amazon will enter the payment business in a big way. Consider that Amazon has payment information stored for hundreds of millions of customers, especially the estimated 60+ million Prime members it has. Now think about Amazon letting customers pay at Whole Foods with their Amazon account. The company is already doing this at the Amazon Go store it is piloting. +MORE

The Morning After: Supermarket Retail Wakes Up to the Mother of All Hangovers

Gary Hawkins, CART

Like the proverbial morning after hangover, supermarket retail wakes up today with a pounding headache as the implications of the Whole Foods acquisition by Amazon settle in.  The astounding loss in market value as share prices dropped on the news of the acquisition has retail executives nauseated as they contemplate their changed future. One article this past Friday called out that the top 20 traditional retailers collectively lost nearly $40 billion in market value. This, while Amazon actually gained an estimated 3% in value, approximately the cost of the Whole Foods acquisition. That’s adding insult to injury for traditional retailers.  Certainly the most obvious threat is that the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon will greatly accelerate the industry’s move online. And the knee-jerk reaction of brick & mortar retailers will be to accelerate their plans to put online shopping capabilities in place as fast as they can to protect top line revenue. This is the type of tactical reaction that supermarket retailers excel at. See threat. React to threat. Next. The problem for traditional retailers is that Amazon’s move into physical retail carries with it much broader strategic implications than just growing online shopping. Amazon’s acquisition portends a vast transformation of the industry that will play out over the next several years. As I called out on the day of the announcement, Amazon is positioned to leverage its vast technological capabilities to meld the digital and physical worlds and innovate the future of retail at massive scale… and speed. Traditional retailers simply do not have a clue what’s coming at them. Consider that Amazon can now tie Whole Foods to its Alexa virtual assistant platform and the Dash replenishment services. Not only can the vast array of Whole Foods products be available via a simple Dash button ‘click’ but Amazon will let shoppers simply ask Alexa ‘what’s for dinner tonight from Whole Foods’ and then deliver it. Amazon’s Dash replenishment service, integrated into smart appliances for the automated replenishment of things like laundry detergent, will extend to the refrigerator and pantry. Amazon will be glad to relieve you of the burden of creating a list and going shopping or even placing an order online; your pantry and fridge will just be automatically replenished for you. Amazon will bring its supply chain prowess and efficient distribution operations to Whole Foods, lowering costs across the board. Amazon has already claimed a 20% reduction in operating costs at its distribution centers through the use of robotics; those same or similar robots will quickly find their way into Whole Foods distribution centers, and eventually even into the stores. And lest we forget, it is not just retailers that are threatened. Major CPG brands are also being put on notice. Amazon can leverage its scale to lower product costs at the same time it repackages Whole Foods private label products to make them easier to ship and deliver, taking WF private label products online through the Amazon platform and quickly growing sales volume, further lowering costs. All this at a time consumers are searching for healthier alternatives to major CPG brand products. No wonder the markets drove down the share price of manufacturers like Kellogg and General Mills after the announcement. The reduction in product costs will be used to change the perception of ‘Whole Paycheck’, Amazon growing physical store sales through more competitive pricing. Compounding the impact, it is expected that Amazon will leverage its tech know-how to lower store operating costs, such as using the self-shopping technologies being used in the Amazon Go store to eliminate the need for cashiers.  And while it grows physical store sales, Amazon will build further synergy between the online and physical worlds by letting shoppers pick up merchandise ordered online from the local Whole Foods store. Few have talked about Amazon entering into the payments world but the acquisition also tees up that opportunity as it is not much of a stretch to enable Whole Foods customers to pay via their Amazon Prime account at checkout. Shares of traditional payments related companies like First Data, Verifone, and Blackhawk Network Holdings took hits as analysts ponder the impact of Amazon on how customers pay in brick & mortar retail. First National Bank of Amazon anyone? It’s going to take more than a couple aspirin to make this hangover go away. +MORE

5 Steps to Optimizing the Brick and Mortar Store

Gary Hawkins, CART

Traditional retailers have already lost online momentum but have an opportunity to win the in-store battle. There is no doubt that Amazon’s proposed acquisition of Whole Foods is going to accelerate online grocery shopping, putting increasing pressure on optimizing the performance of the brick & mortar store. Beyond growing online sales, Amazon will bring its data science to the physical store, analyzing shopper behavior just as it does behavior across its digital properties. Merriam Webster broadly defines ‘genome’ as the genetic material of an organism. The retail industry has a unique opportunity to decode the brick & mortar store ‘genome’ and leverage improved understanding and new capabilities into dramatically increased store performance. And like the human genome project, the benefits are substantial and wide-ranging. As one of the first supermarket operators to deploy video analytics years ago we found that specific products would invariably drive increased aisle traffic along with associated product sales. We learned the impact of on-shelf vs. off-shelf displays. Imagine doing promotion planning — or strategic personalized marketing — with a goal of maximizing shopper traffic across the store, knowing that as department, aisle, or category traffic increases, the sale of adjacent products also increase. In-store analytics represent a powerful opportunity for brick & mortar retailers to optimize store performance. Here are five steps to optimizing the brick & mortar store: Step 1 - Conversion rate scorecard: Ask nearly any store manager what their department, aisle, or category conversion rates are and you’ll probably get a blank stare. Even the best retail operators have very little understanding of true customer behavior in the store, let alone how it can be positively impacted. There are a growing number of solutions using mobile device detection or digital video available to retailers to analyze the flow of customers in and around the store, including dwell time in specific areas and even purchase conversion. Retailers should create conversion rate scorecards showing customer traffic entering the store and then the percentage of shoppers going to departments, aisles, and categories. These scorecards can also reflect dwell events (the number of shoppers spending more than a specified amount of time in front of a category) and purchase conversion. Digital video solutions using anonymous facial recognition are able to measure customer sentiment, measuring how many customers are happy, sad, frustrated, angry, etc. in different parts of the store. Other solutions using 3D motion sensors are able to understand behavior at the category, knowing what specific product a customer picks up and from what shelf. Step 2 - Overlay with merchandising activity: Each year brand manufacturers and retailers pour billions of dollars into in-store merchandising events from special displays to special signage and more. Rarely is the impact of this promotional activity measured let alone the larger impact to customer behavior. Retailers need to consistently and accurately track merchandising activity in each store each day and week. This would include location of on-shelf and off-shelf displays, special signage, endcap displays, and other merchandising activity. Step 3 - Customer-intelligent product selection: Kroger and a (very) few other retailers leverage customer intelligence into store-level product assortment plans but the vast majority of retailers continue to stock their shelves with products that have always been carried, that their vendors ship in, or that syndicated data shows are good sellers in the market. No heed given to an understanding of the customers actually shopping the store. Retailers can gain these insights either through loyalty programs which provide customer-identified purchase data or by using anonymous facial recognition capabilities which provide customer demographic data (gender, age, ethnicity). Step 4 - Automate out-of-stock notifications along with merchandising and pricing compliance issues: There are a rapidly growing number of solutions available to help retailers automate and quickly discover product out-of-stocks, promotion compliance failures, too little or too much product inventory and even pricing issues around the store. Robots equipped with a full range of cameras and sensors are able to roam the aisles, neatly avoiding customers, to peruse the shelves. Cart mounted devices provide similar information and notifications as customers shop. And fixed camera deployments on high-volume categories or areas of the store add another layer of data. Step 5 - Tie to realtime in-store marketing: Retailers such as Coborns, Foodtown, and Niemann Foods already have the ability to message a customer in the store based on realtime location. Imagine the power of knowing that if traffic in aisle 5 is lower than usual on Tuesday afternoon, communicating a promotion on a relevant product in that aisle to customers in the store can help drive aisle traffic along with sales of adjacent products. Ignorance of true shopper behavior in-store will no longer stand as Amazon leverages its vast technological prowess to understand and then optimize the physical store. As the market stands today, traditional operators are behind the curve in online sales but the battle for physical store optimization is just getting started. Decoding the store genome will help retailers gain significant advantage as they leverage new understanding paired with new in-store marketing capabilities to pull ahead of traditional competitors and better position themselves for Amazon’s entry into brick & mortar retail. +MORE

Upping the In-store Technology Game in Grocery: A Do-or-Die Proposition

Alex Goodwin, Aila Technologies

“The grocery business truly is at a digital tipping point, where every aspect of the shopper’s journey will soon be influenced by digital, and increasingly enabled by digital platforms.”                                                                                     — Chris Morley, President of U.S. CPG & Retail, Nielsen, January 2017 The summer of 2017 has seen retailers making moves to add new digital capabilities at a frenzied pace. Albertsons is revamping its e-commerce systems. Publix has declared that it will offer home delivery at all locations by 2020. Kroger is piloting “digital shelf-edge” technology that it hopes will enhance efficiencies in pricing and data collection. And that’s just to name a few. Spurred by Amazon’s surprise announcement that it would acquire Whole Foods in June, grocers and mass retailers in the food and beverage space have been racing to get a leg up on the competition by investing in technology that can capture data, create enhanced customer experiences, and activate new processes such as delivery and in-store online ordering. Amazon is a real threat to existing grocery chains, but it’s not the only one: Target is expanding its commitment to food and beverage, and the nation’s biggest retailer, Walmart, is “gaining [grocery] market share at an accelerating pace.”  With so much at stake in what amounts to a technology arms race, grocers must be strategic in the experiences they craft and the processes they enable. On the other hand, an overly cautious approach may also prove costly: as digital-first consumers are increasingly influenced by technologically sophisticated industry giants, retailers who fail to act decisively risk losing hardfought market share in this ultra-competitive industry. As the grocery world braces for increasing demands for e-commerce capabilities, grocers would be well served to consider enhancing those in tandem with their in-store digital offerings.  The Online Challenge To date, online ordering only accounts for roughly 3% of grocery sales in the US, according to the Shelby Report, although that number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. While the last-mile logistical hurdles continue to be problematic, the one big edge that e-commerce gives retailers comes in the realm of data collection.  Every digital transaction provides a wealth of sortable data about shopping habits such as purchase history and frequency. It also provides an array of opportunities for personalizing the interaction. For instance, digital platforms offer numerous options for delivering product recommendations based on past purchases or to pair with products already in the virtual shopping cart. In addition to creating a more pleasant shopping experience, these are proven ways to drive revenue: a recent Mckinsey report indicated that cross-selling can increase sales by 20% and profits by 30%. Similarly, Amazon admitted way back in 2006 that 35% of its revenues come from its cross-sales and upselling efforts. While simple apps can provide automated cross-selling capabilities online, grocers must find ways to bring these and other revenue-generating opportunities into their brick-and-mortar locations. A Seamless Buying Experience, Online and In-Store With 97% of the reported $600 billion in grocery transactions each year taking place in physical locations, it is imperative that grocers provide a seamless experience across all shopping channels. Brick-and-mortar stores must be able to deliver the same capabilities that customers are increasingly expecting when they order online — ever smoother and more efficient transactions, as well as product recommendations, loyalty rewards and discounts, and enhanced brand interactions.  The future of grocery will be built upon an in-store digital infrastructure made up of a series of connected devices capable of bringing the convenience and personalization of the digital world into the supermarket aisle. This infrastructure can solve discrete problems for consumers — wayfinding, detailed product information, line-busting, product recommendations, couponing, and more. At the same time, it will serve more broadly as a platform for innovation for retailers, to experiment with exciting new brand experiences and digital efficiencies.  The traditional, bulky, custom-built legacy hardware systems simply don’t have the versatility to keep up. Furthermore, in an industry in the midst of transformational changes, investing in expensive, single-purpose devices risks locking companies into operational workflows that might soon be obsolete. Instead, the infrastructure of the future will likely be built upon powerful consumer-oriented mobile devices. Today’s tablets and smartphones possess the features and functionality to enable solutions that solve current needs, such as in-store price checking kiosks, ordering stations, and POS systems, while also providing the hardware capabilities and flexibility to enable a nearly limitless array of future experiences and use cases.  Retail stores today must act as showroom, warehouse, and fulfillment center, providing both product and information wherever and however their customers need it. To enable this, retailers will be well suited to have the following components in place:  A digital infrastructure (from price checkers to point-of-sale terminals to associate handheld tools) that delivers a seamless digital experience throughout the store, while also tracking data for analysis and optimization of the customer experience, inventory management, store layout, product location, and more. Smart handheld devices that empower associates with full access to product information and customer needs, improving efficiency and productivity. In-store kiosks that offer a branded, user-friendly interface that will make the in-store experience as convenient as shopping online, maximizing next-gen technologies. These tools are available now, and the grocery tech race is already well underway. To maintain the status quo or move slowly is to sink into obsolescence. Bold, decisive action to infuse brick-and-mortar supermarkets with the best elements of the digital experience will be critical to surviving grocery’s ongoing transformation. +MORE

Avoid Digital Confusion: Create A Technology Roadmap

Gary Hawkins, CART

I am shocked by the number of multi-billion dollar retailers I speak with that spend hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars on technology solutions without a clear plan or even understanding of how they fit together. Its almost like these retailers have created a shopping list - we need an online shopping solution, digital coupons, customer segmentation tool, analytics platform, mobile app, and promotion optimization - and then seemingly contract with the first solution they come across that appears to provide that capability. Checking that box they then move on to the next item on the list. Its like walking through the grocery store, list in hand… milk ‘check, eggs ‘check’. After securing all the items on their list, and spending even more resources on implementation, deployment, and training, the executives then realize that some of these solutions actually need to be integrated or, even worse, the executives realize that they have just spent a fortune for multiple solutions from different providers that have a large degree of overlap.  And then there is my favorite: “I’ll outsource my marketing personalization and digital strategy to our online shopping solution provider.” Does it really make sense to handover your marketing personalization strategy to a solution provider who touches only a small portion of your shoppers (those shopping online)? Especially when strategic personalization is quickly supplanting mass marketing as the most effective go to market strategy when competing with Amazon and Kroger, long known for its personalization initiatives. Digital marketing and the requisite strategic personalization are not ‘bolt-on’ capabilities, this strategy goes to the heart of how retail goes to market in today’s marketplace. The number of retailers who actually develop a well constructed roadmap of required capabilities seems to be small. And even fewer retailers give thought to how different solutions come together to provide the capabilities required by today’s marketplace let alone tomorrow’s.  Technology-driven capabilities are mission critical for retail success today and the importance of having a comprehensive digital strategy grows by the day. To be fair, navigating the world of technology is challenging as new innovation entering the industry with new capabilities grows by the day, established companies move too slowly, and the practice of ‘vapor ware’ continues on.   CEOs and all senior executives at retail companies need to understand the need for a tech capability strategy focused around providing a comprehensive, engaging experience for shoppers while providing core business capabilities all brought together to minimize vendors and capability overlap. CART’s involved in a project with a well known regional retailer to create a scorecard helping the retailer understand how their digital capabilities compare to key competitors and best in class retailers. Growing from that is putting together a roadmap of needed or recommended capabilities that serve as a plan for identifying potential solution providers and clearly identifying what capabilities are needed and how they fit together. This is an approach that can be used by other retailers to minimize the expensive mistakes that too many are making. +MORE

You Snooze, You Lose. The Time for Grocery Innovation is Now

John Hoyne, Synqy Corporation

Some grocers today are still reluctant to really commit to the online grocery experience. But if you read the headlines, you know that Amazon and Walmart are poised to gain unprecedented online grocery market share. “2017 may be the year for supermarket digital experience,” “Wal-Mart Takes Another Step Forward With Chinese E-Commerce Giant JD.com,” and “AmazonFresh drops to $14.99 per month for Prime members” are what we’re reading these days and it’s clear that online grocery is a hot and evolving market. Online grocery shopping needs to be more than just a shopping cart. That’s a start, but not a way to win. Grocers should consider the omni-channel way people want to shop and build a flexible approach to meet those needs. For example, how do grocers use content to help information-hungry millennials reading nutrition labels to look for GMO- or allergen-free products in-store or online? What about impulse buys? How are those opportunities fostered in ecommerce? Bringing relevant and persuasive content to online grocery shoppers is not just important, but imperative over time. So the options of “wait and see” or having a simple online shopping cart really aren’t options at all. Bringing branded content from manufacturers to online grocery shoppers, along with more nutritional data, and perhaps recipes or suggested products, are all ways to engage shoppers, provide better and cross-merchandising, and grow each shopping cart. This requires that grocers embrace ecommerce and make it a better consumer experience, as opposed to just an online experience. Consumers are savvier today and demand more of online retail; they are now doing the same in grocery. And with more options like AmazonFresh, Walmart and others now participating in the online grocery market, shoppers aren’t limited to local stores. If grocery chains snooze, they’ll lose for sure. +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

Personalized Wellness

Gary Hawkins, CART

The massive food and healthcare industries in the United States are largely disconnected, though they touch nearly every consumer every day. Imagine the person who goes to the doctor and receives a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, given a prescription for Metformin, and told to exercise and watch their diet. Returning home, the same person finds a mailer from their local supermarket with special prices on soft drink, ice cream, and potato chips. This concerning scenario and similar others play out every day for millions of Americans.  The result of this institutional schizophrenia? Exploding healthcare costs and poor health conditions for millions of people. The Milliman Research Report 2017 states that annual medical costs for a family of four will be $26,944 this year. For the first time in over 20 years life expectancy in America has declined. The bottom line is that healthcare costs are no longer sustainable at the individual, business, or government level. Something must give. Technology is powering a new paradigm in which healthcare and food are merged together to improve the human condition: Personalized wellness. Personalized wellness bridges the chasm by leveraging nutrition science, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and consumer technology to guide each person to foods and products beneficial to their individual health condition and aligns food manufacturers, retailers, employers, and managed care organizations to a singular focus: Improving and maintaining the well being of the individual. It is only now that the data and the technologies are available to create the personalized wellness paradigm envisioned here. Deconstructing nutrition information to countless data attributes enables powerful linkage between health conditions and the hundreds of thousands of food products available across the United States. The ability to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to personalize, at a product level, food recommendations that are beneficial to each individual is only recently available. And what makes it all work is the ability to convey personalized food guidance to the individual via the smartphone in hand while in the store aisle. “Food is the area consumers really want to deal with the most,” states Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, health economist for Think Health. “Nobody really wants to take medicine. People would rather project-manage health through food as prescription. A recent meeting with a physician group highlighted the shortcomings of efforts to date as doctors explained patients forget nearly everything within 24 hours of leaving the office. Perhaps what is most powerful about the personalized wellness vision is that everyone across the food-healthcare supply chain benefits from improved outcomes and quality of life for the individual. Retailers gain stronger customer relationships as they come to be viewed as true partners in wellness and consumer goods brand manufacturers have a path to redemption from the processed foods abyss. Employers and managed care organizations who shoulder a substantial portion of healthcare cost finally have an ability to link improved eating to performance based measures, providing the foundation for meaningful incentives to encourage the sought-after healthy behavior.  The vision of a new model joining together the massive healthcare and food industries is powerful. The data and the technology needed to make personalized wellness a reality are available today. Participants across the food-health supply chain - managed care organizations, employers, providers, food manufacturers and retailers -  are already coalescing around the personalized wellness vision, bringing it to life and improving the human condition. +MORE

Imagine Having What Every Grocer Need to Know...In Your Pocket!

Bradley A. Zenger, Pivotal Tools

Independent Grocers are experiencing significant competition from sophisticated, technology-empowered competitors.  Chain retailers, highly targeted brick and mortar formats, as well as on-line grocery retailers are competing effectively for shoppers and shopping trips historically bound for Independent Grocers.  Independent Grocers, with their preferred locations, experienced teams, and long established customer relationships have inherent advantages.  However, they must respond effectively to gain market share as the market evolves. Successful Independent Grocers are leveraging their inherent strengths by empowering their most valuable asset, their team.  New business intelligence tools, purpose built for Independent Grocers, can empower teams to deliver amazing results. Pivotal Tools was formed to provide tools to Independent Grocers to help them compete more effectively in this increasingly competitive environment. PivotalView, from Pivotal Tools, is the emerging leader in this new category of tools.  Prior to PivotalView, the common Business Intelligence tools used by grocers included back office systems and category analysis tools. These tools, accessible only through a desktop computer, typically present lots of data frequently in printed, static reports.  Such reports are often difficult to understand and are not responsive to the demanding needs of fast moving, experienced merchants; merchants who are not analysts.  These merchants don’t need data; they need Actionable Insights delivered by tools that are available wherever and whenever merchants need them.   Actionable Insights, like those provided by PivotalView, are not presented in static reports.  Actionable Insights is engaging, interactive, information generated through advanced analytics techniques, delivered in a way that is easy to understand, easy to implement and easy to evaluate.  Actionable Insights deliver real results.  For owners PivotalView is a solution that is extremely affordable, can be deployed easily and quickly without an IT team or traditional hardware or software resources.  PivotalView allows merchants to really understand their business, respond to changing customer trends and ultimately deliver better results for customers.  Teams using PivotalView start with key business metrics, like sales, customer count, and basket size delivered automatically to their smartphone or other mobile device (or desktop computers) every morning by 5:30 a.m.  These business metrics are color coded, based on the retailer’s own targets; so that department managers, store managers, buyers, category managers as well as executives can easily prioritize efforts.  With PivotalView if a department is underperforming, its indicators are red!  Easy.  You can then “drill down” to see which sub-departments or items are driving the underperformance.  If categories are implemented, you can easily look at sales, customer count and even basket by category and then drill down to see which items are driving performance within those categories.   If you want to evaluate a particular item or group of items; maybe items on ad, placed an endcap, or on a TPR, or some other promotion; there’s an easy search feature, using either the description or the UPC/PLU.  It’s easy to find any item in the store.  Then with just a click you can see a trend chart to quickly evaluate the effectiveness of any promotional effort for that item.  Drill down to the item detail and you’ll see average selling price as well as item movement.  Want to see a movement report for a department, category, a group of items, just one click – all on your smartphone.   For multiple store chains, PivotalView allows members of each store team to easily see how their department, category, or item is performing compared to other stores in the chain.  Making this information easily available unleashes healthy competition, highlights best practices, and can even identify store voids or out of stock situations.  For chains with more centralized planning, there’s the ability to see chain level roll-ups of department and categories allowing easy identification of the stores with the best performing departments or categories within the chain.  PivotalView has been deployed in independent grocery chains up and down the West Coast for nearly 3 years and has proven that Empowered Merchants, using  PivotalView, deliver outstanding results.  Here are a few examples: Deli Manager:  Carol is the Deli manager for a store in a multi-store chain.  While she quickly acknowledges that she’s not a “technology person”, she has embraced PivotalView quickly and uses it with great impact. Carol’s results (for the last year):  Deli department sales up 6.9% vs. store sales growth of 1.9%.  Basket size growth of 5.2%. Successful introduction of several new items and quick termination of items that didn’t work for her customers. Carol’s Quote:  “I’m competitive and this tool makes me even more competitive.” Carol’s PivotalView Usage Profile:  Carol is a daily user, always before arriving at the store.  She aggressively uses PivotalView to monitor top selling items and track the performance of new items.  She also compares the performance of items in her department to other deli departments in the chain to leverage best practices and identify store voids.   The Wine Steward: Joel is a first time wine steward for a single store Independent Grocer. Joel’s results (for the last year):  Wine Department Sales: up 14% (store sales growth:  4.5%).   7% increase in customer count  - compared to 1.6% customer growth for the store.   7% increase in wine basket size compared to store basket growth of 2.8% Joel’s Quote:  “I am obsessed with Pivotal Tools. I look at it in the early morning hours. I like seeing my daily, weekly, monthly sales. If sales are in the red, it motivates me to do more selling and merchandising.” Joel’s PivotalView Usage Profile:  Daily usage, often including days off, always before arriving at the store, also used throughout the day in the store.  Joel recently integrated a category structure which, when used with PivotalView, provides more effective visibility for assortment and promotion monitoring. The Grocery Manager:  Larry is the Grocery Manager at a single store that is part of an Independent Grocery chain.   Larry’s results: Frozen sales up 6.8%  Frozen Basket size growth of 3.6%  Increased customer count of 3.1% Larry’s PivotalView Usage Profile:  Larry is a daily user, always before arriving at the store.  He uses PivotalView to aggressively pursue assortment optimization, through tracking top items and slow moving items.  He performs extensive comparison to other stores in the chain to feed his competitive spirit and ensure that he’s the top performer in the chain. Technology developments in cloud based computing, analytics techniques and smartphones now make it possible to provide team members of Independent Grocers easy access to highly relevant information, including at the item level, right on their smartphone.  Deployment of tools like PivotalView unlock the competitive nature of grocers, resulting in better performance, without additional investments in supervisory personnel, merchandisers, reports, or audits.  Actionable Insights available all the time through mobile devices, means merchants, such as department or store managers, spend more time in their departments with customers and less time in the office running reports; leading to higher levels of ownership and accountability.   For store managers and executives, PivotalView allows them to stay in touch with their stores, wherever they are, and engage with their teams, either celebrating victories or problem-solving challenges.  Using mobile devices coupled with cloud based analytics and automation virtually eliminates the support burden on IT personnel or POS coordinators, while delivering a huge cost advantage to owners. In summary, there’s never been a better time for Independent Grocers to leverage new business intelligence tools, like PivotalView from Pivotal Tools, to empower their teams to drive more shopper trips and sales in an increasingly competitive market. +MORE

Turn "Pesky Donation Requests" Into a Customer Loyalty Goldmine

Drew Honeycutt, Planet Fundraiser

In a 2017 study put out by Cone Communications, research shows that 90% of customers are more loyal to, trusting of, and have a more positive image of a company that supports a charitable cause. It’s not a PR headache, it’s a massive (and largely untapped) opportunity for businesses willing to invest in their communities. Not only that, but it’s increasingly important for retailers to be able to understand how marketing spends can be correlated with in-store purchases.  Community engagement and charitable giving now closely parallel an effective customer loyalty strategy. That’s why it’s vital for businesses to start turning those “pesky donation requests” into tools to attract and retain customers. The donation request problem Donation requests are difficult to manage, at scale, for three primary reasons: 1. )  A burden on store owners and managers Store owners, managers, and employees are often asked the same question, “Will your business make a donation to our school or non-profit?” And it’s not just once or twice a week. Some of the retailers that we work with at Planet Fundraiser claim to field something like 15-20 requests per week, per location. Not to mention the requests that come in at a regional or corporate level. It’s an administrative burden for store managers and employees. When you have to say, “No,” it’s a missed opportunity to connect with customers on a personal level. Think about it - when a customer is taking time out of their day to track down a manager or decision-maker and ask for help, that’s when your business can provide tangible, personal value. Most businesses would love to have this sort of customer engagement and feedback, but the lack of a process deters a deepened relationship. These are the types of customers that you want coming back to your grocery store or restaurant - they’re committed to their community and they frequent your business. Simply having a process in place could make all the difference. 2.) Tracking, Admin, and Analytics It’s understandable to see why store owners and managers might choose to focus on other aspects of their business that more clearly affect your bottom line. The trouble is that charitable giving can be a significant driver of customer loyalty, which directly affects your bottom line. If your business lacks insights about its charitable giving, you might be missing out on the bigger customer loyalty marketing picture. Many times, businesses have a system in place, but the burden falls on a single person like a store manager or regional marketing manager who lacks a solution or the time to properly analyze its effectiveness. Tasking out an entire community engagement system to a single person, who might not have an analytical background, isn’t exactly a process. What’s more, most charitable giving that’s done by businesses isn’t tracked as thoroughly as it could be. For many businesses, it’s not worth the investment to look into what was paid out and to which community groups. This has a negative effect on reporting and all you’re left with is a line item at the end of the year. 3.) Online to Offline (O2O) Marketing Return on investment from marketing and advertising efforts has always been difficult to measure, regardless of medium. For traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, it’s particularly hard to understand how marketing dollars spent on advertising build customer loyalty. The same is true of promoting the good that your business is doing in the community - you might have some ways to promote your partnership with local community groups, but it’s hard to measure the impact and tell the story.  All your efforts should answer the question: How will this affect our relationship with our customers and drive sales? Charitable giving is the hook The silver lining: Charitable giving will distinguish your brand. The traditional way to handle donation requests doesn’t work for businesses or charitable groups. Nobody likes asking for money. Businesses hate saying ‘No’ to customers. However, while donation requests might seem pesky and a chore for your staff to handle, they’re actually the solution. There are also new tools that take the hard work out of handling donation requests. For example, we at Planet Fundraiser have created a software as a service solution that provides businesses with a way to easily track and manage their charitable giving.  Here’s how businesses like Piggly Wiggly, Chick-fil-A, and New Balance use Planet Fundraiser to maximize their charitable giving dollars and create loyal customers: Customers shop and redeem charitable giving donations - When a customer shops at your store, they submit a picture of their receipt and we handle the hard stuff We handle the admin work and distribute payments to schools, nonprofits, and other community-based groups Store owners and managers view analytics and get insights into their charitable giving A charitable giving promotion allows your business the flexibility to give as your customers shop, establishing a direct correlation to sales. New and returning patrons begin to choose your store(s) over the competitor because you’re investing in something that hits home. Translation - now you have a message that resonates, on repeat.  It’s an incredible way for you to meet your customers where they are, create a distinct competitive advantage, and increase basket sizes.  What other businesses are saying Planet Fundraiser works with thousands of businesses that are implementing our solutions into their stores and demonstrating their commitment to their communities: “We love how Planet Fundraiser gives us a performance-based way to support local schools and charities while allowing our customers to choose which cause they support.” - Andy Virciglio (Piggly Wiggly Operator) / Birmingham, AL “Planet Fundraiser has been a game changer in the way we support and develop community relationships. It’s made my job easier and allowed us to host better fundraising events and drive more traffic to our store.” - Blake Smith (Marketing Director) / Chick-fil-A (Gardendale & Fultondale, AL +MORE


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


Profectus USA

Profectus Group US

Profectus is an international technology and services company that provides leading technologies for rebate and deal management, contract compliance and accounts payable audits. The niche technology is designed to create transaction certainty and help businesses make better decisions. The Profectus USA team supports many industry verticals including grocery and foodservice wholesalers, grocery and clothing retailers, financial institutions, mining and many more. Our technology provides a road map for your success! RDM (Rebate & Deal management)  The Rebate Management system is designed for retailers, wholesalers and large organisations and delivers best practice rebate and deal management, resulting in better returns for business.​ The Rebate Management system is a secure web-based system that stores unlimited rebate and deal agreements.​ The Rebate Management system guarantees accurate rebate calculation, journal creation and claiming.​ Clients and their suppliers value the transparency of a shared web system where there is clarity on all of the details related to rebates.​ In addition, the Rebate Management system creates insights and opportunities to generate increased revenue.​  CCS (Contract Compliance Software)  The Contract Compliance (CC) system enables a full compliance framework to identify overcharges or over payments prior or post payment. It ensures contract terms originally negotiated for indirect/ GNFR (Goods Not For Resale) expenses or key contracts actually occur.​ The CC system is a secure web-based and centralized contract management system providing secure visibility of all critical contract terms.​ The CC system automates the detailed cost checking of invoices; supplier queries workflow and transaction approval process with the click of a button.​ In addition, CC creates insights and opportunities to reduce spend and improve contract terms.  Merchandise / Terms Audits  Every merchandise, sales, AP transaction and trading term agreement is audited for accuracy. The Merchandise Audits provide a detailed review of your rebate and deal agreements against claims and transaction data to identify under-claimed rebate and deal income.  Accounts Payable Audits  Every AP transaction is audited for accuracy by Profectus technologies and the audit team. The Accounts Payable audit will identify and recover duplicate and over payments, GST processing errors and aged vendor statement credits.  Contract Compliance Audits  Contract Compliance audits identify all rate errors and service type errors within invoices. Contract Compliance Audits enable clients to have full compliance framework to check invoices at line item level against agreed contract terms to identify overcharges or over payments prior or post payment. +MORE


Wonder Rewards

Wonder Rewards

Wonder Rewards is a global provider of end-to-end digital customer loyalty and engagement solutions that drive incremental sales, serve up a better understanding of customer shopping behavior and actionable insights, and personalize the shopping experience. We offer an Alliance Loyalty Marketing Platform with millions of shoppers engaged in the "spend", "earn", "redeem" transactional cycle, with greater redemption value and spending power, than any other rewards program. Add value, not lower price, to transaction: NO Startup Costs, NO Recurring Fees 100% digital, proven technology.  No cards. No keytags Integrate online and offline sales Best CRM Analytics that drive and increase sales Strengthen the relationships with customers  POS Integration – Plug-in application, compatible with any POS                              (Eliminate Integration Costs) Intelligence-Based Marketing Wonder Rewards analytics is based on Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud, providing data-driven insights that guide business decisions and optimize marketing campaigns.  Supercharge your customer acquisition, retention, upsell and cross-sell strategies.  Gain a deep understanding of your customers and build stronger relationships with analytics that are automated, smart and predictive. +MORE


Planet Fundraiser

Planet Fundraiser

Planet Fundraiser is a philanthropy management platform that streamlines community giving for businesses of all sizes. With the Planet Fundraiser app, our merchant partners give back a percentage of their customers’ purchases to local schools or nonprofits of the customer’s choice - deepening the relationship with their community and their customers. Joining the Planet Fundraiser network opens up merchant partners to an expanded customer base of our charitably minded customers, creating the opportunity to increase revenue while supporting your community. How It Works Customers shop at participating businesses Snap a picture of their receipt A % of their purchase is given to a cause of their choice!  +MORE



Pivotal Tools

The Information Every Grocer Needs…on Your Smartphone PivotalView from Pivotal Tools is a mobile business intelligence tool designed specifically for grocers.  PivotalView provides store and department managers Actionable Insights and performance information right on their smartphones empowering them to deliver better results! PivotalView Empowers your Merchants to Deliver Greater Sales! Unlike traditional grocer tools, like paper movement or sales reports, PivotalView delivers Actionable Insights that are: Easy to get, Easy to understand, and Easy to evaluate Merchants using PivotalView deliver higher sales growth, less shrink and have better job satisfaction.   Designed first as a mobile tool, PivotalView delivers Actionable Insights wherever members of your team find themselves.  It’s always in their pocket! Results are available first thing in the morning, generally by 5:00 a.m..  With the color-coded scorecard feature, each merchant knows where they exceeded target and where the opportunities are.   Now with PivotalView your team knows their results before they get on the sales floor.  Unlike traditional grocer tools, they don't run reports, they "drill down" to understand why...right on their smartphone.  With a click they can view their department results, another click categories and another individual items. Merchants using PivotalView know if the Ad is working or that endcap is delivering expected lift without ever going into the office and printing out a report.  They get to the sales floor or a vendor meeting with the information they need to build on success and address opportunities.  That's an Empowered Merchant! Why consider PivotalView to Empower your Merchants?   Empowered Merchants use PivotalView every day to deliver faster sales growth, higher customer counts, and bigger baskets.  Here’s what Empowered Merchants are saying about PivotalView: “I’m using this to track two different packaging strategies on single serve cake offerings in the two stores I’m responsible for. “  -Tammy - Bakery Manager “If sales are in the red, it motivates me to do more selling and merchandising.”  - Joel - Department Manager “I love that in an Independent store, I can pull up sales data on a vendor and see the same sales data at one of my other stores to see if it is feasible for me to carry the product.  Love this app!! - Michelle – Store Manager “I'm competitive and this tool makes me even more competitive  - Carole – Deli Manager With PivotalView it's Easy! PivotalView is designed by Grocers for Grocers.  That means, it's easy to use.   Implemented by experts, PivotalView is easy to deploy, as a simple Software as a Service (SaaS) offering, with no investment up front.  It's easy to afford. +MORE


IBM Watson


Welcome to the era of cognitive business From Watson apps to full-scale solutions, IBM's cognitive technologies understand, reason and learn. Watson products and APIs can understand all forms of data to reveal business-critical insights, and bring the power of cognitive computing to your organization.  Watson APIs  Use Watson language, conversation, speech, vision and data insight APIs to add cognitive functionality to your application or service.  Watson Discovery Rapidly build a cognitive search and content analytics engine. Watson Discovery helps developers quickly ingest data to find hidden patterns and answers, enabling better decisions across teams.  Watson Conversation Quickly build, test and deploy bots or virtual agents across mobile devices, messaging platforms, or even on a physical robot to create natural conversations between your apps and users.  Watson Virtual Agent Quickly configure virtual agents with company information, using pre-built content and engage customers in a conversational, personalized manner, on any channel.  Watson Knowledge Studio Teach Watson to discover meaningful insights in unstructured text without writing any code. +MORE


Interactive Kiosk

Aila Technologies, Inc.

INTERACTIVE KIOSK With scanning technology that’s second-to-none and customization that caters to any retail environment, Aila’s Interactive Kiosk is the industry standard for tablet kiosk solutions. ADDITIONAL FEATURES TrueScan™ Technology: The industry's best integrated image-capturing solution Wi-Fi Transparent: No matter where you place it in your store, the Interactive Kiosk is designed to maximize signal transmission Compatible: Designed for seamless compatibility with Apple's suite of iPad devices +MORE


SYNQY Brand Engagement Platform

SYNQY Corporation

SYNQY uses cloud-based technology to transform manufacturers’ brand experiences across their reseller networks. We combine a network of intelligent touch points called SYNQYs (pronounced sync-ee) with a SaaS Brand Engagement Platform that makes it easy to create and manage these SYNQYs. SYNQY’s patent-pending matchmaking technology dynamically associates high impact, manufacturer-provided content with their corresponding products – without the need for custom coding by the retailer. With a single line of code inserted through a retailer's tag management platform, SYNQY solutions automatically identifies which products get rich-media, persuasive content and adds that content next to the correct product at the point of sale. As a result, retailers can roll out the solution in minutes and shoppers will have access to the information they are seeking to make better product purchase decisions. We have proven evidence this works in both low-involvement purchases such as grocery and high involvement products such as generators, stereo equipment and even semiconductors.  SYNQY can be used on dynamically-driven ecommerce retail sites. It can also be used across dealer networks, blogger sites, factory-direct retail sites and public relations.  The SYNQY Brand Engagement Platform is the underlying technology that allows SYNQY to run many retailer/application-specific offerings.  SYNQY has launched SYNQY | PROMOTE, which is an application that delivers rich media promotional content onto loyalty/coupon pages, product listings, product detail pages and independent dealer networks.  SYNQY recently launched SYNQY | SMARTLABEL retailer solution that automatically identifies which products have associated SmartLabel content and adds that content next to the correct product at the point of sale. As a result, retailers can roll out the solution in minutes and shoppers will have access to 350 product attributes, including GMO information and allergens on thousands of products. +MORE



Smart Market

Smart.Market is an innovative marketing tool; using Patent Pending technology to deliver cost effective, highly customized offers to each household within a user defined Custom Trade Zone. Our platform, enables advertisers to message their shoppers via print and digital methods, with or without an installed loyalty program. Clients can also use their existing customer data to upsell and influence increased purchases based on a combination of relevant and highly personalized offers that are tailored to EACH household...THEN Smart.Market provides detailed response analytics to show the performance of each messaging campaign. Further, advertisers finally have a real time mapping tool that shows them their shoppers, and most importantly, how many other shoppers in the market look just like them. The process is simple, powerful, and delivers results.  +MORE



Dor Technologies

The tool you need to thrive in an evolving retail landscape. Meet Dor, a wireless, thermal-sensing people counter and analytics dashboard that helps you save money on staffing, maximize your marketing return and make proactive decisions about external events that impact your store.  Sleek Hardware: Sensor and hub Gather accurate foot traffic data without violating customer privacy or enduring installation nightmares. Smart Software: Dashboard and API Visualize your data to optimize marketing efforts and save on labor costs.  +MORE


Ant Hill Retail Product Consulting

Ant Hill Retail Product Consulting


Ant Hill currently owns and operates the largest and most up-to-date retail buyer database in the world.  Ant Hill Retail Product Consulting specializes in rapidly growing a newer retail product or line to the United States or international market place.  With nearly 100 retail brands built, we have the expertise to guide you through the retail world. +MORE


Retail Strategy Experts U. S. & Canada

Better Sales & Brand Management Group

PLANNING Planning for a market in the U.S. or Canada—regional or national—requires a methodical approach. Multiple elements come into play, from product to packaging, pricing and promotion. The right partners are crucial and a roll-out plan that is fiscally responsible is essential STRATEGY The key to success is a sound go-to-market strategy. We work with you to define your goals, priorities and expectations. We then recommend the best course of action based on resources and opportunities. All retail placements are backed with consumer marketing strategies to deliver sales results. BRAND MANAGEMENT Understanding the distribution and retail landscape while implementing proven brand management techniques only comes with years of hands-on experience and the right partners. We eliminate the learning curve and costly mistakes by providing a comprehensive service. Positioning – brand strategy and pricing Analysis – to decide on best distribution model Territory Management – Regional / National US and Canada Distribution Channels – set up and manage Broker Networks – set up and manage Corporate Accounts – set up and manage Sales Support – set up and manage sales teams/demos Reporting – setting goals and monthly reporting PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Brand Concepts  We Help brands clarify & Define: A unique brand vision Positioning in the current marketplace Key Messages through ingredient stories Demographic of target audiences Formulation Development Custom formulations are developed specifically to fit the brands marketing concepts and target the desired demographic. We always keep a critical eye on budgeting and timelines throughout the process, providing frequent tracking reports of the project for your review. Specialized Formulation Development Services Include: Natural & Organic Formulations  Sophisticated, efficacious, and original formulas for the personal care industry Full Stability and compatibility testing services Wide range of ingredient claim information USDA Organic and Eco-cert Certified Cosmetic Ingredients Proprietary natural fragrances for unique, custom formulations Internationally compliant formulations Packaging Development We bring innovation and experience to cosmetic product packaging and design, key components  to the success of your brand. Our knowledgeable, experienced professional team can assist in coordinating all aspects of the development and sourcing process, creating a seamless collaboration between packaging design, formulation and functionality.  We have a strong global network of packaging suppliers, which enables us to help brands source the packaging of their choice. If we are unable to find the exact packaging to meet the needs of the brand, we develop customized packaging solutions. Strategic Planning for Timelines and Product Launches When taking the brand/product rom development to market, we develop a strategic plan, budget and timeline to achieve your goal launch date.   REGULATORY SERVICES Whether you are looking for assistance in becoming compliant in the United States and or Canada, Better Sales & Brand Managment Group can help. United States OTC Regulatory Compliance FDA Compliance Ingredient List Quantitative qualitative Prop 65 compliance Claims Review Dossiers Cosmetic Product Safety Assessments (EC) 1223/2009 Annex I, Part A and Part B EU Regulatory Compliance 1223/2009 EU Regulation Packaging Labeling: Claims & Compliance - Domestic & International INCI (International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients) Ingredient Labeling Claims Substantiation - Review packaging verbiage for compliance Canada Cosmetic Registration Natural Health Product  Drug Identification Number LOGISTICS We are specialists in logistics, calculating every detail to provide customized service to our clients with a reliable consistent relationship. Skilled in U.S. and Canadian Order Fulfillment Services, working with our partners servicing all classes of trade we are able to deliver seamless operational expertise. Fulfillment Pick and Pack Light Assembly Mailing services Cross Docking Same Day Shipping Inventory Management  Web tracking EDI set up and Management Order Processing Accounts Receivable/Payable Returned goods processing    Warehousing  We can organize central warehousing, establishing a base of business in the US and or Canada and provide state of the art facilities for all of our clients warehousing needs  +MORE


Warehouse Automation

IAM Robotics

IAM Robotics Has Built the World’s First Mobile, Autonomous Piece Picking Robot Mobile Picking Robot: Introducing Swift, an autonomous robot that navigates your warehouse aisles to pick products or retrieve goods. Online grocery shopping is poised to take off. Automation is making it cost effective for grocers, and morme importantly, consumers are finally ready to adopt online grocery shopping on a larger scale. Grocery items have a high percentage of SKUs that can be easily picked by our robots. Race past your competition and delight your community of e-grocery shoppers with IAM Robotics solutions. +MORE


Social and Mobile Referrals Platform


Each of your customers have 100+ friends. Do you want them to be your customers as well? See how our social and mobile referrals platform can work for your business! +MORE


Real-Time Temperature Monitoring


The Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) is increasing the focus on operations and quality control for every U.S. food processing plant, distribution company, and supplier. Food-borne illnesses have been attracting increasing media attention. Maintaining your products at a correct temperature is a critical control point at every stage of the food cold chain. TeleSenseTM real-time monitoring solutions can help your company with third party temperature verification, FSMA compliance, and quality assurance so you can sleep soundly at night knowing your products are safe. +MORE


SKIN semantic wall


Imagine you walk by a wall and the wall starts to react on you, presenting you information based on your interests and allowing you, as individual or group, to communicate easily. The information contextually evolves based on your interest and interaction. The umaSKIN platform provides customers with a unique experience. The innovative approach of SKIN® is the combination of interactive and social media and multitouch installations into one highly adaptive and intelligent wall. The social web has shifted power to your customers, allowing them to express resonance. Retail: We want to help you to leverage this shift and use it actively to your advantage. Service, recommend, communicate Automatic mashup product database and social media   Personalize with RFID, NFC, Barcode   Leverage multi channel strategy   Sell ad space and content channels   Connect to loyalty and rewards systems   +MORE


Point of Sale (POS) Solutions


Use PayPal to accept credit and debit cards in-person, at the counter or on the go. Grow your business by accepting all major payment types, including mobile payments, using PayPal Here. The quick and easy way to accept in-person payments. Accept any form of payment with PayPal Here, the simple and easy way to accept credit and debit cards. So wherever your business goes, your sales can go too. PayPal Here is available on iOS®, AndroidTM and WindowsTM devices. Sign up is fast and easy – you’ll be accepting card payments in no time. PayPal provides an extensive range of tools for your business. From daily transactions to expanding your business, we can help you handle it all with ease. PayPal Debit Card: Access your PayPal balance and earn unlimited 1% cash back benefits. Web Payments: Accept e-commerce payments of all kinds, from any device. PayPal Online Invoicing: Get paid faster by generating professional invoices with ease. PayPal Working Capital: Fund your growing business in minutes. +MORE


Mobile Payments


Get paid anywhere. PayPal Here is the easiest way to accept any form of payment. Wherever your business goes, your sales can go too.  Clear, simple pricing: 2.7% per US card swipe. 3.5% + $0.15 to key in cards. 2.9% + $0.30 to invoice. 1% for cross-border transfers. Accept all payment types: Accept credit and debit cards instantly, or send an invoice to get paid later. You can send invoices online or even record cash and check transactions. Live customer support: Our knowledgeable team is here to help whenever you have a question, available on either your phone or via email. It’s your choice. No long-term commitment: Download the app, get set up quick, and pay as you sell. There are no monthly fees, setup fees, cancelation fees, or processing minimums. +MORE