News Briefs

04/07/2022

Former Wall Street Journal Exec Joins EnsembleIQ

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craig lowe

Path to Purchase IQ parent company EnsembleIQ has tapped new talent as it invests in new enterprise membership and subscriptions initiatives by leveraging its unique market expertise across grocery, drug, convenience, retail technology and consumer goods channels. The company has appointed former Wall Street Journal executive Craig Lowe as senior vice president of membership and subscriptions. In this newly created role, Lowe will be responsible for the overall strategy and delivery of these offerings.

“Today we have two high-value membership products – Path to Purchase Institute and Restaurant Technology Network. By bringing Craig into EnsembleIQ, our goal is to create new, innovative membership and subscription experiences that leverage our actionable intelligence and connections across key retail channels. Craig will provide strategic leadership to ensure that we are tailoring our solutions to fulfill the needs of our business decision maker audiences and new constituencies seeking to grow their businesses,” said Jennifer Litterick, CEO of EnsembleIQ, in a news release. 

Lowe brings vast international membership and subscription experience from across both B2B information services marketplace and consumer media. He has created paid subscriptions and membership programs, transformed a conferences business as well as led controlled circulation, news trade sales and marketing initiatives. He was most recently vice president, global audience marketing at Dow Jones, where he was responsible for delivering audiences for the Wall Street Journal’s global events business and developing membership growth strategies for all WSJ Professional membership propositions. Earlier in his career, Lowe was with BMI Research, Espicom Business Intelligence, Saga Publishing Ltd, Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc and Centaur Media Plc.

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04/05/2022

Immerss Tests Live Video Shopping for Salesforce

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Dallas-based Immerss has introduced a "Shop Live" mobile app for Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud solution.

Immerss is a shoppable live video and chat platform aimed to help Salesforce retailers of all sizes generate incremental revenue by creating an in-person, virtual shopping experience while shopping online. The mobile app connects online shoppers to a sales associate via live shoppable video that guides them through their purchase from product selection to checkout.

According to a news release from Immerss, the platform provides one-to-one digital “clienteling” and one-to-many live online shopping similar to television network QVC. Immerss is a white-label solution that is fully integrated into Salesforce Commerce. Key features include:

  • Live chat and video co-shopping enables merchants to shop face-to-face with online shoppers and provide a higher level of service with no downloads required for the customer.
  • Outbound clienteling enables merchants to contact their customers via SMS messaging, share products and schedule one-on-one calls.
  • Live shopping QVC-style is the most effective way to reach the masses with a singular effort, according to the release, which enables merchants to utilize the power of social platforms while having full control over their data.
  • Data tracking and reporting are key differentiators. All activities performed by brand associates are tracked for commission and performance, in an effort to enable merchants to hire and retain a stronger workforce.

"What's missing from e-commerce is a human-to-human interaction," said Arthur Veytsman, co-founder and CEO at Immerss, in the release. "Live video commerce is rapidly emerging and redefining how brands and retailers interact with their customers to provide an elevated online shopping experience."

Immerss Shop Live for Salesforce is currently in beta and is expected to be generally available in the coming months.

04/01/2022

Meijer to Hold First Sustainability Supplier Summit

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meijer

Meijer will hold its first Sustainability Supplier Summit for vendors nationwide to showcase sustainable products across categories to Meijer merchants.

The event will be held virtually June 20-23, and is Meijer’s latest in a series of efforts to embrace sustainability. The retailer recently conducted a survey to identify environmental issues relevant to the retailer and its shoppers. Key topics covered in the survey include the importance of sourcing from companies with a strong commitment to sustainability and expanding the retailer's offerings of sustainable products.

In addition, Meijer launched its first sustainable private-label clothing lines made from recycled polyester and 100% organic cotton in 2021. The retailer also uses post-consumer water bottles that are ground into chips, melted into a fiber filament and turned into fabric to make apparel. A “Better Products” web page within Meijer.com also details its efforts supporting local products, Meijer True Goodness, and its goals on sustainable packaging.

In a news release from the retailer, Meijer dog supplies merchant Katy Petzak said she's specifically looking for products that have sustainable packaging; cleaner and less ingredients; and recycled content in dog toys, leashes and collars; at the upcoming summit.

Meijer is partnering with Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) and its subsidiary product discovery tool, RangeMe, to host this event through the company's ECRM Connect virtual platform. Certified vendors with retail-ready products should apply by April 26 for consideration.

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03/30/2022

Kroger Expands Access to On-Site Ad Inventory

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kroger

Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM), Kroger’s retail media business powered by 84.51, has expanded access to its on-site advertising inventory with new partnerships. Advertisers may now use one of three preferred advertising management platforms to buy product listing ads on Kroger’s e-commerce sites. Pacvue, Skai and Flywheel Digital are the inaugural platforms with access to the application programming interface (API), according to a news release from the retailer.

The new capability aims to make it easier for brands and agencies to manage on-site Kroger search campaigns through popular platforms used to manage media with other retailers. KPM’s retail media service also offers closed-loop advertising measurement by matching household ad exposure to actual purchases at Kroger.

Nearly 2,000 brands use KPM product listing ads to reach in-market shoppers on Kroger e-commerce sites. These placements inspire purchase at the digital shelf where product visibility is constrained by small screen sizes, according to the release. Product listing ads are also important for brand growth with 38% of clicks coming from households that are new to a brand, according to 2021 internal research from 84.51.

“Our data science creates an easier shopping experience – while also empowering shoppers to discover new products. This new capability makes it easier for brands to influence the millions of daily product searches happening on Kroger sites,” said Michael Schuh, vice president of product strategy & innovation at KPM, in the release. “With shopping routines under disruption, it is more important than ever for us to help brands be seen in the digital aisle.”

GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, is an early partner of KPM to test the capability.

03/29/2022

BP to Pilot Touchless Checkout Tech

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ampm

BP will roll out touchless checkout technology at four ampm stores in Northern California with Mashgin's artificial intelligence (AI) self-checkout system. Part of a move to modernize the convenience store experience, the system uses computer vision to scan items for purchase instantly.

This is BP’s most recent step to nearly double earnings from its global convenience and mobility business by 2030 from around $5 billion in 2019, according to a news release from the retailer.

BP will test Mashgin's self-checkout technology at ampm stores in the Bay Area between April and June before the retailer explores options to roll it out wider.

03/28/2022

Frank Mayer Weighs in on Self-Service

Within the last few years, the buying experience has undergone incredible change. As consumer needs have evolved, the ways in which businesses respond to those needs have evolved as well. And as Frank Mayer’s Cheryl Lesniak writes, self-service has made its way into the spotlight, and it’s not going anywhere. But what can be attributed to the rise of self-service? In a Frank Mayer blog, Lesniak details the reasons behind the rise, and why the technology is here to stay.