Sidekick Platform Aids in Product Discovery

Vendaria Media, Inc., a provider of digital merchandising tools and services to leading manufacturers and retailers for more than a decade, introduced its Sidekick Product Discovery Platform to leading multichannel retailers at the inaugural Future Stores Conference in Dallas.

Sidekick solves the retailer product discovery problem, enabling shoppers to find the right product for their needs, and arming in-store sales associates with mobile tools that make them product experts across all SKUs within retailers' ever-expanding product assortments.

"Mobile adoption by consumers has exacerbated the challenges associated with shoppers trying to research and educate themselves about the most relevant products based on their personal preferences. Solving the 'product discovery' problem across all customer touch points may be the single most important future battleground for retailers," said Vendaria CEO Jennifer Hurshell.

"Based on years of serving leading retailers like Walmart, Home Depot, Staples, Best Buy, Costco, and extensive usability testing, we found that 95 percent of mobile shoppers prefer a product discovery experience that they equate to conversing with a product expert, one that filters individual preferences through natural language terms, and that enables them to confidently purchase the most relevant product for their specific needs," Hurshell added. "Until now, multichannel retailers had no mobile tools to provide such an experience for shoppers or to assist their sales associates."

Sidekick is a cloud-based platform incorporating guided selling logic and a rapidly growing database of use-based product attributes across millions of SKUs in hundreds of retail categories including Home Improvement, Consumer Electronics, Office Products, Sports, Outdoor, Club Stores, Toys, Performance Apparel, and others.

Sidekick is licensed as a turn-key solution to retailers, and is managed, hosted, and maintained by Vendaria. Designed to complement rather than replace current retailer technology infrastructure, it creates a uniform product discovery experience across all shopper touch points. Sidekick is configured to include each retailer's entire product catalog across three versions:
  • Sidekick Pro - Makes every retailer sales associate a product expert for all SKUs in every category, leveraging company-provided mobile devices or BYOD. Includes lead generation features that capture every customer conversation as well as other capabilities that increase sales conversion, customer satisfaction, and employee productivity.
  • Sidekick Mobile - Guides retailers' shoppers to discover and buy the perfect products using their smartphones and tablets. Integrates into retailer's buy flow at the "add to cart" button.
  • Sidekick Web - Complements retailers' faceted search by guiding website shoppers to discover and buy the perfect products using desktop and laptop computers. Proven to increase sales conversion and average order value, while reducing product returns.
In addition, Sidekick captures "Big Data" that will improve retailer decision-making in merchandising, custom product development, assortment planning, pricing, and employee productivity. And Sidekick is a fully extensible platform that already includes third party services such as ratings and reviews, manufacturer and retailer rebate and incentive processing, utility energy savings and rebates, competitive price comparison, loyalty plan integration, re-targeting and suggestive selling integration, and more.

"Our rapid innovation of the Sidekick platform will help our multichannel retail customers re-balance the competitive landscape vis-À-vis pure play eTailer competitors," added Hurshell. "Deploying Sidekick increases the value of physical stores, sales associates, and fulfillment capabilities, and provides an overwhelmingly preferred and cohesive omnichannel customer experience for multichannel retailers."
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