News Briefs

  • 10/16/2022

    Walmart To Offer Supply Chain Partners Free Basic-Level Data Insights

    a sign on the side of a building

    Last year, Walmart launched Walmart Luminate, a system that analyzes data from Walmart’s hub of consumers and offers insights into audience behavior, perception, and channel performance for the various brands at Walmart. Now the retailer said it will be providing a Basic package free of cost to select suppliers.

    Basic subscribers will gain access to a subset of Channel Performance insights, including the standard operational metrics needed to run their business. Walmart Luminate Basic is expected to become available in 2023.

    Walmart said in 11 months it grew revenue over 80% quarter-over-quarter. Earlier this year, Brett Biggs, Walmart’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the new data monetization business had over 75% growth quarter-over-quarter “as more supplier partners collaborate with merchandisers to utilize new customer insights in our platform.”

    While Walmart will move to give some insights away for free, Charter-level subscribers will continue to receive the full suite of Channel Performance insights, in addition to Shopper Behavior and Customer Perception insights. Access to a dedicated account team and engineering support for API ingestion will still only be available to Charter subscribers. Charter-level subscribers will also get additional incremental data sets as Walmart adds them. For example, digital product transactability (i.e., insights regarding items added to cart and purchased via grocery pick-up and delivery) has been added to the roadmap for the upcoming fiscal year.

    Walmart also said it’s exploring new ways to embed Walmart Luminate insights into other areas of its business.

    “For example, we are working to directly integrate Walmart Luminate insights into existing merchandising tools to better facilitate data collaboration with suppliers. We are also piloting ways for actionable Walmart Luminate insights to be deployed, automated, and scaled across Walmart Connect’s advertising ecosystem, and have seen positive results to date.

    Walmart said it will be communicating with suppliers directly about how to receive exclusive access and updates to the Basic package, but those interested in learning more about Walmart Luminate Charter can get in touch today.

  • 10/16/2022

    Rite Aid Gives the Pharmacy Experience a Modern Upgrade

    Rite Aid storefront

    Rite Aid is looking to elevate the pharmacy experience, modernizing its vision by implementing improved insights, increased agility, and overall better customer experiences. 

    The retail pharmacy has entered into a multi-year agreement with Google Cloud, migrating key applications to Anthos, the software’s platform for application deployment. The technology will provide Rite Aid’s 2,350 pharmacies with cloud computing capabilities on-site. 

    Through the upgrade, Rite Aid can ensure elevated care even through volatile events such as natural disasters, ensuring robust patient information, advanced prescription management, and continued recommendations without having to connect to a centralized, legacy mainframe. 

    [Read more: Rite Aid Opens New Modern Headquarters in Philadelphia]

    As part of the partnership, Rite Aid will migrate its enterprise data to Google Cloud using BigQuery, allowing the pharmacy to improve visibility into its finances, inventory, and customer information. 

    Rite Aid customers will experience an improved search functionality, providing more precise results on the e-commerce site and mobile app. In the back-end, Rite Aid will have a better understanding of customer intent. 

    Additionally, Rite Aid will update its current pharmacy benefits management application suite to a cloud-first experience with artificial intelligence- and machine learning-driven capabilities. This will help the pharmacy benefits manager better manage prescription benefits on behalf of health insurers.

    "The power of pharmacies, and the important role pharmacists play in the health of their communities, greatly expanded during COVID. Realizing that potential means making strategic investments in technology that can truly help our customers and maximize the capabilities of our pharmacists," said Justin Mennen, executive vice president and chief digital and technology officer at Rite Aid. "Google Cloud's solutions are uniquely positioned to run at each pharmacy location to allow our store teams to help our customers to achieve whole health for life."

    "As a healthcare company with a retail footprint, Rite Aid is at the intersection of two quickly evolving industries and making strategic technology investments to meet rising customer expectations," said Carrie Tharp, vice president of retail and consumer solutions, Google Cloud. "Through these innovations, Rite Aid is defining the modern pharmacy."

  • 10/11/2022

    Saatva Sees Significant Results From Digital Experience Analytics Investment

    saatva teaser

    Luxury mattress brand Saatva has seen a notable uptick in exposure rates, conversion rates and overall engagement through their new digital experience analytics investment. 

    Over the last 10 months, Saatva has been working closely with digital experience platform Contentsquare, running A/B tests, conducting zone-based heat mapping to pinpoint certain trends, carrying out merchandising analysis and looking into customer journeys. 

    [See Also: Saatva Brings Its Online Retail Experience to Brick and Mortar] 

    Contentsquare is now also the primary platform Saatva uses for digital analysis and quantitative/qualitative testing. The mattress company says they have gleaned particularly useful insights from Contentsquare’s “Session Replay” tool, which essentially recreates an individual user's visit time on a webpage. Using this information, Saatva can look into visitor engagement with certain design elements and rearrange the page based on these findings. Data gathered on key metrics such as hover, clicks, time spent, scroll rates, and bounce rates have also helped Saatva optimize their conversion rates, the company said. 

    “Based on Saatva’s 3-5 year trajectory goal, Saatva needed tools that were able to handle our growth while simultaneously adapting to our growing digital landscape,” said Natalie O’Flaherty, vice president of analytics, Saatva, adding that Contentsquare’s capabilities integrated well with their existing tech stack and has allowed the company end-to-end visibility into the consumer journey. 


  • 10/9/2022

    Kroger to Recognize New Brands at Inaugural Innovation Summit

    kroger teaser

    The Kroger Co. is inviting submissions to their first-ever Our Brands Innovation Summit. In launching the event, the grocer hopes to expand their offerings, bolster their product roster with new brands and remain up-to-speed with evolving market trends. 

    Applications are open to private brand suppliers in a range of segments, including food and beverage,  general merchandise, hard goods, textiles and apparel, packaging and health and beauty. Submissions open October 10th, 2022 and close October 31st 2022. The two-day summit will take the form of virtual meetings, held in the new year between January 24 January 26, 2023.  The plan is for accepted brands to showcase their services, connecting directly with potential buyers to discuss their products and build up their networks. 

    [Read more: How Kroger Revamped Loyalty Program Following Expansion] 

    In 2019, Kroger unveiled a new logo along with an updated tagline — “Fresh for Everyone” — and the messaging around the Our Brands Innovation Summit seems to align with the underlying vision of this recent rebrand.  

    “At Kroger, we're constantly innovating, studying customer data and working to stay ahead of trends so we can provide customers with the highest quality products they're looking for at affordable prices,” said Juan De Paoli, Kroger's vice president of Our Brands, adding that the initiative would help the store to “find fresh ideas and innovative products to expand our portfolio of offerings and support the growth of new businesses we bring into our supplier network.” 

  • 10/5/2022

    Walmart Acquires Robotics Automation Company Alert Innovation

    walmart teaser image

    As part of their plan to expand omnichannel fulfillment capabilities, Walmart has acquired robotics automation developer Alert Innovation. The goal is for Alert Innovation to help the retailer to streamline their warehouse space and reach more customers, faster.  

    The two companies have been working together since 2016, with Alert Innovation developing autonomous bot technology specifically for Walmart’s market fulfillment centers (MFCs). In 2019, Alert Innovation rolled out their Alphabot System in Walmart’s first MFC in Salem, NH. The investment will bring Alert’s tech capabilities in-house, with a view to reaching customers faster through the deployment of MFCs with greater speed and agility. Alert’s bots also take up less space and are able to move vertically and horizontally without lifts or conveyors. 

    “Further investing in this technology will enable us to leverage our store footprint — 4,700 stores located within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population — for storage and fulfillment,” David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart U.S., said in a post on the company’s website. “For customers, this means orders can be fulfilled quickly and conveniently through pickup and delivery, giving them the items they want, when and where they want them.”

    In a press release, Alert said they will continue to work in the Boston area under the Alert Innovation name. 

    “Our mission to improve people’s lives through innovation will now be dedicated to Walmart customers and associates which is an inspiring undertaking,” said John Lert, Alert Innovation Founder and Executive Chairman.

  • 10/4/2022

    Woodman’s Markets Improves On-Shelf Inventory With Autonomous Robots

    Woodman's Markets storefront

    Woodman’s Markets, which owns 19 retail stores throughout Wisconsin and Illinois, is leveraging autonomous robots across its grocery stores to improve processes across pricing and inventory. 

    Using Badger Technology robots, Woodman’s Markets has been able to cut down on timely tasks, such as verifying prices at each store. So far, the grocery company has shaved the 40-hour-per-month task to just eight hours. Additionally, the company is leveraging the tech to automate shelf scans to ensure price compliance. This is helping to cut down the time required to hang price tags in half. 

    Also, through robotics and retail automation, the brand has been able to improve on-shelf availability, helping to relieve the burden from staff who are struggling with increased constraints due to labor shortages. 

    [Read more: Levi’s Works Smarter With Automation Bots, Shrinks Manual Workload]

    By also tapping into the power of product location data through BRdata’s enterprise software, Woodman’s has been able to expedite order fulfillment and warehouse management and improve pick-list management. 

    “Our automated shelf scans have not only improved Woodman’s inventory strategies, but we also gain critical trending insights to better forecast and manage third-party suppliers,” said Kristin Popp, executive vice president at Woodman’s Markets. “Combining the data gathered by the Badger robots with the capabilities across the BRdata cloud ecosystem will enhance our mission to provide the widest variety of grocery items at the best prices.”  

    The combined technology from these solution providers allows Woodman’s to gather actionable data and aggregated analytics that improve store profitability, operational efficiencies, and shopping experiences. 

    Woodman’s will be showcasing its use of robots at the BRdata World user conference.

    “We are excited to collaborate with BRdata to provide grocers with a comprehensive view into what’s really happening on their store shelves every day,” said William “BJ” Santiago, CEO of Badger Technologies. “Independent grocers, in particular, will benefit from the integration of our robot-collected data and dashboards with BRdata’s enterprise retail software to maximize sales and profits.” 

    John Abbene, president of BRdata Software Solutions, said that through its collaboration with Badger Technologies, the company can “ingest the latest pricing and product data into our software to quickly identify and easily resolve product and price discrepancies across order fulfillment, warehouse, inventory, POS and e-commerce systems.”

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