Solution Provider News: September 2021


App-Free Rewards Platform Enables Instant Payouts
Aisle, an emerging rewards platform, offers instant cash back via Venmo on exclusive deals from top brands and retailers such as Whole Foods and Ahold Delhaize’s Stop & Shop. Unlike the market norm, no mobile app download is necessary to receive Venmo payouts for qualifying grocery receipts as all communication takes place through a live texting feature on the Aisle website (, accessible via desktop or mobile device.

Aisle differentiates itself through its platform functionality and intended ease of use. Consumers text a photo of their grocery store receipt and if a cash-back offer is found via the Aisle platform, they are rewarded immediately with a direct Venmo cash payment. If no reward is found, Aisle will make “reward-worthy” product recommendations from its brand partner network that can be redeemed on a future grocery store run. Since the company’s soft rollout in April 2021, Aisle has paid out more than $150,000 to consumers as a way to recognize their brand loyalty and willingness to try new brands based on Aisle’s suggestions.

SmartCommerce, Resonate Drive E-Com Performance
SmartCommerce and Resonate have partnered to enable SmartCommerce Click2Cart CPG clients to unlock deep e-commerce audience and performance insights. Resonate, an AI-driven consumer data and analytics company for top CPG and retail brands, leverages a proprietary methodology to provide unique insights on shopping behaviors and intent, brand and retailer selection, and product purchase drivers, as well as detailed information on demographics, psychographics, media consumption, life stages and sentiment about recent events like the pandemic and social justice movements.

SmartCommerce already partners with CPG clients and their agency partners using Click2Cart to transform existing digital touchpoints (ads, social media, email) from awareness builders into e-commerce performance engines. Last year, consumers carted more than $1 billion of products using Click2Cart, according to SmartCommerce. Through this partnership with Resonate, SmartCommerce clients and their agencies can now receive more than 90 new relevant data points on carting consumers that will help them better understand, reach and engage their highest-value audiences, with the goal of increased conversion and brand loyalty.

Publicis Groupe Acquires CitrusAd For Identity-Led Retail Media
Publicis Groupe acquired CitrusAd, a software as a service (SaaS) platform optimizing brand marketing performance directly within retailer websites. With more than 50% of its activities in the U.S., CitrusAd is present across 22 countries and six industries. CitrusAd provides its technology to more than 70 major retailers globally such as Target, ShopRite and Petco. More than 4,000 brands are utilizing the self-serve platform.

In 2023, e-commerce sales for CPG brands will have doubled compared to 2019 levels, according to Publicis. In this context, retail media is undergoing exponential growth. Worth roughly $30 billion annually already, it is set to double in the next 5 years, and will represent one of the biggest channels of CPG media spends in the next few years, according to Publicis.

CitrusAd’s onsite expertise complemented with Epsilon’s offsite retail media offering, both powered by the CORE ID, uniquely positions Publicis to lead the new generation of identity-led retail media, with transparent measurement validated by transactions, the holding company claims. Publicis says clients will gain three competitive advantages in e-commerce – growth, customer understanding and consolidated measurement.

CitrusAd is an Australian-based company founded in 2017 by Brad Moran and Nick Paech and gathers 130 engineers and retail media experts around the world. The company will act as a standalone business within Epsilon, being closely integrated into Epsilon’s technology to achieve market-leading synergies.

Study: H-E-B, Publix, Aldi Among Leaders in E-Commerce Experience
Global research firm Ipsos has released the findings of its latest “E-Commerce Experience Report,” a mystery shopping study ranking nationwide brands on their fulfillment of online orders for pickup. The study found that many consumers remain drawn to the convenience and speed of contactless e-commerce offerings from grocery chains and restaurants. The third iteration of the report demonstrates how grocers and the food and beverage industry continue to make waves in online order fulfillment and which brands emerge as the frontrunners.

Relying on consumer feedback across 14 grocery chains, Ipsos found the top companies fulfilling online orders through pickup include H-E-B, which leads among all grocery stores largely due to in-stock availability, ability to schedule pickup times and good instructions on order pickup. Perfect accuracy, no fees or minimums and excellent communication help the retailer lead the category. 

Publix comes in a close second to H-E-B due to its ease of ordering and superb communication. In addition, Publix excels in order accuracy and contactless handoffs. 

Aldi also excels in pickup scheduling flexibility, in-stock availability, and order accuracy and overall satisfaction.

The report showed that 78% of Americans have increased their use of in-store and curbside pickup options since the start of the pandemic. 

Neptune Retail Solutions Enhances In-Store Experience
Since being acquired from News Corp. in May 2020, Neptune Retail Solutions’ focus has been strategically leveraging its proprietary first- and second-party data mix to deliver a more personalized and engaging experience for how brands and retailers influence shopping behaviors. Recent in-store innovations that have driven positive results include: Personalized digital offers, connected at-shelf signage and digital in-store kiosks. 

Extending beyond the in-store environment, NRS continues to identify additional omnichannel opportunities at scale to digitally engage shoppers. The most recent example is FSI+, which leverages the incremental volume power of the FSI to deliver a truly integrated analog and digital experience. It gives shoppers the flexibility to choose how, when and where they want to save, while offering brands rich data on incentive redeemers.