News Briefs

  • 5/4/2022

    Publicis Group Acquires e-Commerce Platform Profitero

    puzzle pieces depicting merger and acquisition concept

    Publicis Groupe will be acquiring Profitero, an SaaS global ecommerce intelligence platform that provides services to more than 4,000 brands and 70 million products on more than 700 retail websites. 

    The purchase will allow users to leverage predictive intelligence to deliver improved product experiences, optimize content, increase organic search results, compare competitor pricing, monitor product availability, and track consumer ratings. 

    According to the company, Profitero will enable brands to track their performance compared with competitors across dozens of metrics, including paid and organic search placement, product content, pricing, stock availability, and reviews. Additionally, users can manage ad placement while leveraging Publicis Groupe’s consulting, design, engineering, and marketing services. 

    Profitero will remain a product-focused company within Publicis, led by CEO Bryan Wiener and president Sarah Hofstetter. Wiener will report to Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun.

    Sadoun stated that adding Profitero to its portfolio allows the company’s clients to capture an “unfair share of the exponential growth in online sales” by optimizing their online product catalog with Profitero, maximizing their online spend with CitrusAd, and leveraging the scale of Publicis Media. 

    Wiener stated the partnership marks the best of both worlds “as we retain our entrepreneurial spirit as a product-led organization while benefiting from the Publicis Groupe's diverse capabilities and scale.”

    This article first appeared on the site of sister publication CGT. 

  • 5/4/2022

    Levi's Pilots Two Online Features to Prevent Returns

    levi's

    Levi Strauss & Co. is piloting two new capabilities on the Levi’s website to prevent online returns stemming from size and fit issues, while promoting an inclusive experience.

    The new See It In My Size feature helps shoppers to better relate to who is modeling products through authentic and inclusive representation, while the new What’s My Size? pilot is a sizing tool recommendation algorithm.

    “One of our key innovation priorities is to enhance the online shopping journey and create truly personalized, seamless experiences for our consumers,” said Lara Lasisz, direct-to-consumer innovation lead at LS&Co. “With online shopping, one of the biggest obstacles the industry faces is how to transfer the fitting room experience to a digital environment. We’re dedicated to finding the right technology that will help our fans find the perfect fit from the start.”

    See It In My Size

    Often, retailers’ product pages feature one model for each product, lacking a diverse preview of sizes and body types. With Levi’s new featureonce consumers click the See It In My Size button on the website, they can select their size and an image of the garment will appear on a person more similar to their size, height, body shape and/or skin tone. This experience aims to cultivate an inclusive experience and give consumers a more accurate preview of the item.

    To gather all the necessary images, the Levi’s team organized several initiatives with both employees and micro-influencers. Earlier this year, the retailer launched a companywide contest asking employees across the globe to submit photos in specific Levi’s products that would be featured on the website. The team also conducted photo shoots with micro-influencers across Northern California, the U.K. and Brussels, as well as a pop-up in North Carolina, to get a robust photo library across a diverse range of sizes.

    The See It In My Size pilot is available on the desktop now in the U.S. and will be available across Europe — including France, the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Spain — in the coming month.

    What’s My Size?

    The pilot of What’s My Size? recommendation algorithm allows consumers to click a button and add their height, weight, and gender. From there, the algorithm will recommend the best size to select. After the consumers does this once, the recommendation will follow the consumer throughout their shopping journey and suggest the best size for each product being viewed.

    What’s My Size is available on the desktop in six countries in Europe (France, Germany, the UK, Netherlands, Spain and Italy) and will be available on the U.S. mobile app in June 2022.

  • 5/3/2022

    Francesca’s Streamlines Workforce Management, Levels Up Frontline Employees

    Francesca's storefront

    Boutique retailer francesca’s has locked in tech that will revamp its workforce management, allowing the company to streamline its operations, improve the employee experience, and provide frontline workers with the tools they need to perform their jobs in a more efficient manner. 

    The company has partnered with YOOBIC ONE to power its workforce update across its full network of 470 boutiques. This will give 3,000 frontline employees access to two-way communication, learning, and tools to optimize their productivity. The tech will also help automate simple or repetitive tasks, implementing real-time learning to garner solutions for more complex processes. 

    [Listen: Empowering Your Employees with Microsoft’s Jim Eckart]

    Additionally, local, district, and regional managers will be able to tap into AI-powered data with full visibility into company performance across all stores. Managers will be able to generate and share information such as safety procedures and in-store promotions, leaning on AI-intelligence to get a deeper understanding of operational performance and big-picture trends. 

    Chris Kaighn, francesca’s SVP of boutiques, real estate, and strategic partnerships emphasized the complexity of running a brick-and-mortar store.  “Investing in frontline teams is the key to delivering amazing experiences — and that starts with giving employees the resources they need to work smarter, share their ideas, and win over the hearts of our valued guests,” he stated.

    According to sister publication Chain Store Age, other specialty retailers have implemented the solution, including U.S. footwear brand Johnston & Murphy (a division of Genesco) across its 168 company-owned retail locations. The retailer is using this tech to modernize its operations, improve the employee experience, and deliver improved consumer experiences.

    [Read more: UNTUCKit’s Scale-Up Sees Workforce and Training Optimization]

    Fabrice Haiat, YOOBIC co-founder and CEO, stated the company’s solution is enabling associates to bring their best selves to work every day, which creates value for the organization and helps to deliver “stellar” experiences for consumers. 

  • 5/1/2022

    Kohl’s Enhances Rewards Program

    kohl's

    Kohl’s has completed a nationwide rollout of its new Kohl’s Rewards program enhancement that will offer more value on their purchases.

    All Kohl’s Rewards members that use their Kohl’s Card for payment will now get an elevated earn rate of 7.5% Kohl’s Rewards on every purchase. Kohl’s Rewards members also receive personalized deals and perks throughout the year, and a special birthday gift.

    Previously, all Kohl’s Rewards members would earn 5% Kohl’s Rewards, regardless of payment method, making this enhancement a new benefit for the millions of Kohl’s Card cardholders who are also Kohl’s Rewards members. Any Rewards member that chooses an alternate payment method will continue to receive 5% Kohl’s Rewards. Kohl’s Rewards balances are converted and issued in $5 increments of Kohl’s Cash coupons on the first day of the following month, valid for 30 days. All Rewards customers will continue to earn $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent on qualifying purchases during Kohl’s Cash promotional events to use during designated redeem periods.

    “Customers love our simplified Kohl’s Rewards program that leverages personalized offers and Kohl’s Cash,” said Greg Revelle, Kohl’s chief marketing officer. “We partnered closely with store associates and customers to understand how we could make our benefits even more robust. Now, we’re taking our industry-leading Kohl’s Card to the next level by offering customers 50% more in Rewards every time they use their Kohl’s Card, providing them stronger everyday value when they shop at Kohl's.”

    Over the past year, Kohl’s has been piloting the enhanced cardholder Rewards offering in more than 100 stores across eight markets and has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response from Kohl’s Card cardholders earning more and getting the best value from their card on every purchase. In the pilot markets, Kohl’s saw an increase in Kohl’s Rewards enrollments, more Kohl’s Card acquisitions and usage, and an overall sales lift. The success of the pilot program led to the company’s decision to roll out the benefit to all markets nationwide.

  • 5/1/2022

    Duluth Trading Company Introduces AI-Powered POS Flexibility

    Duluth Trading Company storefront

    Duluth Trading Company has overhauled its POS system, replacing its traditional tech with a single commerce platform for all in-store commerce, including POS, MPOS, Scan and Go, curbside pickup, and more. 

    The company’s new system, powered by Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) OmniStore, allows Duluth to expand its existing channels and consumer touchpoints by introducing flexible, omni-channel consumer journeys. 

    Store associates will be able to access a real-time view into universal carts, promotions and orders, and item information and inventory in order to upsell and cross-sell and offer personalized recommendations.  

    The company has implemented the tech to improve checkout speed and simplified return capabilities in order to provide a better consumer experience. 

    [Read more: Duluth Trading Makes Its 'Largest' Investment Yet, Automation Plays a Big Part]

    Christopher Teufel, senior vice president of IT and logistics at Duluth, said the company can now provide a broader offering at the register. 

    “This was an important part of our successful selling approach this past holiday season,” he added. “We’re excited to roll our mobile solution across the retail chain in early 2023 and to learn more about how we engage our customers in new ways within our store fleet.”

    Shankar Narayanan, business group head, retail cluster, at TCS, said it is working with Duluth to reimagine in-store consumer experiences. 

  • 5/1/2022

    Kroger Hiring Blitz Looked to Fill 23k Open Roles

    Kroger storefront

    The Kroger Family of Companies recently launched a spring event to support a hiring blitz, looking to fill 23,000 open roles across several departments, including retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, supply chain, merchandising, logistics, corporate, pharmacy, and healthcare. 

    On April 30, the company hosted its third nationwide hybrid hiring event, holding virtual interviews from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET for virtual interviews, and within the same time period, on local time, nationwide for on-site interviews. 

    [Read more: Kroger and Bed Bath & Beyond Launch Multi-Category Omnichannel Experience]

    Kroger has made changes to its hiring strategy, bolstering benefits and increasing hourly wages. The company highlighted the following:

    • $1.2 billion invested in associate hourly wages and training in the last four years, and more than $450 million in 2021 
    • Average hourly wage increased to $17, totaling more than $22 per hour with benefits
    • $21,000 available for tuition reimbursement for part-time and full-time associates, covering GED to PhD 
    • Free counseling sessions and access to BetterHelp, Whil, and the Well-Being Assistant, powered by Magellan Health
    • Role-specific training and resources, including leadership, career development, and diversity, equity and inclusion training
    • Flexible scheduling, an advance pay option, and discounts on groceries, electronics, streaming services, travel, and more

    "After our successful fall hiring event, we are eager to once again open our doors — virtually and in-person — to welcome new members to our our organization," said Tim Massa, Kroger senior vice president and chief people officer, ahead of the event. "Hosting a hybrid event allows us to reach and interact with more candidates in the way that works best for them while also showing them the many fresh, uplifting career opportunities available across our company."

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