🗂 Link: Restaurant Birdcall, looking to add 10 locations in two years, raises $9M for tech

“The goal is to continue building the engineering team to focus on building technology that allows restaurants to operate at a higher efficiency,” he said.

Most of the technology focuses on back-of-house operations, though Newlin declined to share details about that technology. On the front end, customers place orders using kiosks or its mobile app. A large screen then displays the customer’s name next to a countdown, which indicates exactly when an order will be ready.

“The general idea is figuring out how to run a restaurant based on statistics,” he said. “In the long term, we’re going to be running every piece of technology that touches on the customer and employee experience. We’re building a technology platform that will be the entire Birdcall ecosystem.”

Source: Restaurant Birdcall, looking to add 10 locations in two years, raises $9M for tech – BusinessDen

🗂 Link: Experimenting with the UK’s first till-free grocery store

Take-up was as we had expected – at peak times better than we’d expected – and it’s clear that not all our customers are ready for a totally till-free store. Some customers preferred to pay with cash and card, which sometimes meant they were queuing to use the helpdesk, particularly at peak times of day. This is why we’ve added a manned till and two self-checkouts back into the store so those looking to pay by cash and card can do so quickly and conveniently. We want to be the most inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop, so it’s really important to us that our customers can pay how they want to…. We’ll take the learnings from this experiment to develop our technology even further to help make shopping easier and more convenient for all our customers.

Source: Experimenting with the UK’s first till-free grocery store

🗂 Link: Alternative Payment Methods Enable International Purchases

If people from other countries already visit your site and make purchases, you might think it isn’t necessary to adjust your payment methods for them. But you’d be wrong. For each international customer that makes a purchase, there could be others who abandon checkout because they aren’t comfortable with any of the options available.

Source: Alternative Payment Methods Enable International Purchases

Link: DICK’S Sporting Goods Poised to Continue its Successful Digital Transformation Journey

Another important aspect of the new retail experience is buy-online, pickup in-store. This is an easy way to bring consumer gratification that even free two-day shipping can’t match. Shoppers are using stores as pickup points at record rates during the holiday season, especially those on a time crunch or placing orders too late for on-time delivery.

Anticipating the percentage of e-commerce orders placed for pickup in-store would skyrocket as the holiday grew closer, DICK’S wasted no time revamping elements of its buy-online, pickup in-store option and began running them on PCF. Now, store associates spend less time running around and picking pack slips because the experience is integrated into an app on the mobile devices they carry known as “MerchSearch.”

Source: DICK’S Sporting Goods Poised to Continue its Successful Digital Transformation Journey

Link: Instagram Is Changing How You Shop

When you browse select posts from those brands, you’ll now see a blue “Checkout on Instagram” call-to-action. Click it, and you can select your size, color, billing and shipping details. Instagram will take an undisclosed cut of sales.

Makes a whole lotta sense:

For fashion brands in particular, Instagram shopping adoption has jumped from 12% to 42% year-on-year, proving that the industry is ready to leap at the opportunity to link content and commerce. It’s not just lower price points that are getting in on the action, with adoption rising to 25% among high-end prestige price-point brands. Notably, Louis Vuitton was one of the first fashion brands to leverage shoppable stories during the World Cup in 2018.

Source: Instagram Is Changing How You Shop

Link: Google CEO confirms Target as big cloud customer, continuing retail moves toward AWS competitors

‘Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Target “is migrating key areas of its business to the Google Cloud platform”’
Original source: Google CEO confirms Target as big cloud customer, continuing retail moves toward AWS competitors

Link: Store scanning robots will get AI, object recognition boost with recent acquisition

“Savvides is charged with advancing Bossa Nova’s product recognition capabilities at scale and identifying out-of-stock and misplaced products. Bossa Nova’s robots rove stores scanning shelves and alerting managers to any issues with inventory, including misplaced or low-stock items. As I’ve written, the robots are also Big Data mining machines writ small, able to track product performance practically in real-time.”
Original source: Store scanning robots will get AI, object recognition boost with recent acquisition

Link: Walmart pick Microsoft Azure for cloud

“Walmart plans to deploy Microsoft’s machine-learning, artificial-intelligence and other services to help employees, for example, pick products that go on shelves and optimize the performance of freezers and other equipment. The retailer is aggressively cutting costs as it invests in growing sales online, and it is using tech to analyze its operations, an area of Amazon’s expertise.”
Original source: Walmart pick Microsoft Azure for cloud

Link: Walmart pick Microsoft Azure for cloud

“Walmart plans to deploy Microsoft’s machine-learning, artificial-intelligence and other services to help employees, for example, pick products that go on shelves and optimize the performance of freezers and other equipment. The retailer is aggressively cutting costs as it invests in growing sales online, and it is using tech to analyze its operations, an area of Amazon’s expertise.”
Original source: Walmart pick Microsoft Azure for cloud

Link: Walmart pick Microsoft Azure for cloud

“Walmart plans to deploy Microsoft’s machine-learning, artificial-intelligence and other services to help employees, for example, pick products that go on shelves and optimize the performance of freezers and other equipment. The retailer is aggressively cutting costs as it invests in growing sales online, and it is using tech to analyze its operations, an area of Amazon’s expertise.”
Original source: Walmart pick Microsoft Azure for cloud

Link: Walmart pick Microsoft Azure for cloud

“Walmart plans to deploy Microsoft’s machine-learning, artificial-intelligence and other services to help employees, for example, pick products that go on shelves and optimize the performance of freezers and other equipment. The retailer is aggressively cutting costs as it invests in growing sales online, and it is using tech to analyze its operations, an area of Amazon’s expertise.”
Original source: Walmart pick Microsoft Azure for cloud

Link: Bed, Bath & Beyond – when you wish upon a digital vision…your share price collapses

Pretty extensive layout of a strategy and plans for doing Omni-channel at such a retailer.
Original source: Bed, Bath & Beyond – when you wish upon a digital vision…your share price collapses

Link: Subscription businesses, McKinsey

“The subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100 percent a year over the past five years. The largest such retailers generated more than $2.6 billion in sales in 2016, up from a mere $57.0 million in 2011.1 Fueled by venture-capital investments, start-ups have launched these businesses in a wide range of categories, including beer and wine, child and baby items, contact lenses, cosmetics, feminine products, meal kits, pet food, razors, underwear, women’s and men’s apparel, video games, and vitamins.”
Original source: Subscription businesses, McKinsey