Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Celerant Introduces Web-based Stratus Retail

Celerant Technology Corp is offering anticipates further enhancements to its existing omni-channel retail solutions in eCommerce, mCommerce, and mobile solutions.

“During this past year, we have laid the groundwork for omni-channel retailing with the introduction of new mobile technology, vertical-specific interfaces and even standalone applications that do not require a wireless connection,” said Ian Goldman, CEO of Celerant. “Celerant’s integrated system will provide retailers with greater flexibility and efficiency in selling and fulfilling across multiple channels and locations and thereby increasing their earning potential.”

Celerant’s new web-based, complete system, Stratus Retail, which was unveiled at the NRF Show, as well as several Command Mobile and standalone inventory applications, including mobile POS, price check, physical inventory, transfers, purchase order entry and receiving, enable retailers to manage their business from anywhere in the store, and from almost any location. Celerant also introduced catalog interfaces with a wide, and continuously increasing, range of vendors for any vertical, including bicycle, sporting goods, firearms and more.

PayPal Streamlines Online Checkout, Expands Mobile Payments

While PayPal announced Beacon last September to support hands-free mobile payments for in-store shoppers, it has also recently improved its legacy online business.

According to mCommerce Daily, "Now when people select the 'pay With PayPal' option at checkout from an online store, the entire process of logging in and entering billing or other information takes place on the retailer’s site, instead of having to first go to a PayPal page."

“In addition, merchants only need to do one integration to get the same seamless checkout experience on a computer, tablet, or smartphone,” according to Don Kingsborough, VP, retail services, PayPal, in a blog post announcing the upgrade and other developments. PayPal is testing the updated checkout system with selected partners and will make it generally available to large online merchants in the first half of 2014, then roll out to small and medium-sized businesses.

Later this year the company will also allow customers to log into a retail site with their PayPal ID to further speed up checkout.

“If you are logged in and check out, all of your shipping, preferences and payment information is automatically populated. All you need to do is click the checkout button and you're done,” stated Kingsborough. Notes mCommerce Daily, "That’s similar to the 'Login and Pay with Amazon' service ... introduced in October to let people make purchases on other sites using their Amazon credentials."

"PayPal also announced the expansion of Payment Code, a new capability it recently debuted that lets shoppers use a scannable QR code or four-digit short code to pay in-store via PayPal’s smartphone app. Already available at 1,500 locations in the U.K., the service will extend to many merchants using the MICROS and Discover point-of-sale (POS) systems starting in February."

Regarding Beacon, PayPal's Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-powered system for physical stores that lets PayPal app users automatically check in and pay at retail locations, Kingsborough said the company is testing Beacon at few merchant locations in the U.S. and Australia, with more soon joining the trial in the U.K., Canada, France and Germany, with integration into the PayPal app expected early this year.

Friday, January 03, 2014

ShopSocially Adds A/B Testing Component

In an article by Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributor on the Five9 Outbound Call Center site, ShopSocially announced that the company has added an A/B Testing component to its eCommerce platform, which will enable retailers to measure the impact on specific metrics such as sales conversion and revenue generation from onsite social commerce modules added to their eCommerce Websites.  "The move is a big leap towards addressing the challenge of quantifying the social commerce impact into tangible benefits," notes Azuri.

ShopSocially’s A/B Testing framework allows retailers to strategically channel Web traffic, routing some users to social commerce campaigns and not routing the other users. This will enable the retailer to measure the impact from the social commerce campaign, since all other aspects remain unchanged (a true A/B test). Retailers can also use the A/B Testing framework to route users to various versions of a social commerce campaign to measure the impact of different commercials.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Staples Wins Supply Chain Innovation Award With Smart Packaging

With excessive packaging as the top complaint of customers, Staples found a technology that created the right size box for every item shipped from its eCommerce centers, reports SupplyChainBrain.

With Packsize's On Demand Packaging technology, boxes are now customized for each order through an integration of systems, equipment and processes. As a result, they have reduced percent of occurage by more than 15 percent, benefited from approximately 60 percent reduction in air bags and reduced break-pack cube by about 20-percent. Overall, there was roughly an 8-percent improvement in overall cube of orders.  Plus, 74 percent of Staples workers say the solution has made their job easier. 

Each day, SupplyChainBrain reports, Staples ships 650,000 - 1,000,000 cases from its U.S. fulfillment centers, operating  under well-tuned logistics system that guarantees any order placed before 5 p.m. will be delivered the next day to 96 percent of the population.  Approximately 40 percent of these cases are less-than-full-case orders.  These so-called break-pack orders have traditionally been picked into 7 to 14 different sizes of corrugated box types with the system selecting the best-fit box type based on the dimensions of the items in the order.  Nevertheless, almost 40 percent of the cube is wasted.

When Staples first considered the viability of the Packsize system, a major requirement was the solution’s ability to keep pace with the parameters of Staples’ current order cycle times. “We could not reduce Staples’ ability to meet its customer service in any way,” says Kiessner. “One of the primary challenges was the total speed.”

"With delivery time sacrosanct," says SupplyChainBrain, "Packsize officials adapted their technology to interface with Staples’ order management system to automatically calculate via an advanced algorithm the optimal box size for every incoming order and route it to the proper fulfillment center and the most suitable machine at that center."

Click HERE to read how the On Demand Packsize technology works in practice.
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