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Inventory / Merchandising / Supply Chain

Supply chain challenges are mounting for many retailers, especially those operating in multiple regions of the country and abroad. Consumers expect to be able to order and purchase products via any channel, then have them delivered to their channel of choice – and quickly! New technologies are providing the ways and means for merchants to deliver on the promise of omnichannel excellence. Now retailers must find the best ways to implement new solutions to stay competitive.

FreeShipping.com Partners With Retailers To Ease Shipping Costs

While browsing online, shoppers often strive to receive the best deal possible on the items they covet. Many consumers see free shipping as a benefit, however, few retailers can afford to offer this service at all times.

Clarus Commerce launched FreeShipping.com to provide subscribers with free shipping and 10% cash back on purchases from more than 1,000 retailers. FreeShipping.com subscribers pay more than $10 per month to receive a 90-day low-price guarantee and a price comparison tool that displays the lowest price on more than one million SKUs.

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Askuity Mobile App Helps Improve In-Store Inventory Management

SS Askuity ImageMerchandising teams need all the help they can get while gathering information about their stores’ inventory levels. However, they don’t always have the time required to gather data and apply it to stores.

Askuity, an analytics solution provider focused on improving collaboration between retailers and product manufacturers, has released its Mobile App, which is positioned to extend data analytics to in-store employees. The Mobile App enables in-store merchandising teams from retailers and product suppliers to access real-time inventory data without having to rely on store-generated reports or dated spreadsheets delivered by headquarters.

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JDA Software Announces Partnership With Google

jdagoogleJDA Software has developed a new partnership with Google in an effort to create the next generation of its cloud-based omnichannel and supply chain solutions.

Through this collaboration, Google is positioned to provide a scalable and flexible technology platform via the cloud to support JDA’s future application development and delivery. Google also will help JDA accelerate the development of its next-generation cloud solutions. Moving forward, Google’s cloud platforms will be developed out of JDA labs in Montreal, Canada.

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Smart Merchandiser Simplifies E-Commerce Design Planning

For e-Commerce retailers, it is imperative to merchandise products effectively. But at the same time, online merchants need to manage and analyze an excessive amount of data, making it difficult for them to make the right merchandising decisions in a timely manner. In fact, data can be so complex that the company may need more manpower to sort, sequence and strategize merchandise, taking away valuable time that could be used for other tasks.

Smart Merchandiser has released a tool to help retailers manage large amounts of data and streamline the online visual merchandising process based on critical analytics, ratings, conversation rates and inventory levels. Designed to empower e-Commerce professionals to make faster, better-informed decisions, the tool can help retailers improve their online catalog layouts, enhance the customer experience, respond in real time to changing markets and increase productivity levels to meet and exceed sales goals.

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Logility Retail Optimization V5.4 Helps Streamline Merchandise Planning

Retailers managing multiple data siloes across their supply chain can encounter numerous difficulties, particularly if their visibility is limited.

To ease these roadblocks, Logility, a provider of retail planning and supply chain optimization solutions, has released Voyager Retail Optimization V5.4. The latest release is designed to extend the value of an integrated retail and supply chain platform and delivers new merchandise planning views, extended allocation functionality and robust assortment planning capabilities.

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Free Shipping Is Imperative For Most Online Shoppers

freeshippingFree shipping remains key for most (77%) online shoppers today, according to a new study from UPS and comScore. In fact, 60% of consumers have added items to their cart to qualify for free shipping.

UPS and comScore released the fourth UPS Pulse Of The Online Shopper Study during a press conference at the 2015 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago. The survey revealed insights from 5,000 U.S., focusing on their shopping preferences and buying behaviors.

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SLI Systems Demonstrates Landing Page Creator At #IRCE15

SLI Systems LogoSLI Systems, an e-Commerce solutions provider for mid- to large-size online retailers and B2B companies, has launched the SLI Landing Page Creator, which was debuted at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) 2015 in Chicago.

Landing Page Creator is designed to enable merchandisers to create and deploy custom shopper-friendly landing pages that can integrate into targeted marketing programs. As the targeted pages address shoppers’ immediate needs or interests, they can potentially reduce the number of clicks to a purchase, leading to increases in conversions and average order value. With the solution, retailers can create customizable URLs and meta tags that are built with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and don’t require additional IT support.

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Janam XM5 Rugged Scanners Ease Application Migration

SS Janam ImageWith mobile technology in hand, employees can complete and manage tasks in a more streamlined fashion. However, most consumer-grade mobile devices do not have the optimal hardware design for more rugged environments.

Janam Technologies has released the XM5 family of rugged mobile computers, designed to specifically meet the needs of retailers. The devices are optimized for barcode scanning and wireless communication, and help eliminate the stress and cost associated with forced application migration and hardware upgrades.  

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Will Same-Day Delivery Thrive?

With major retail players, such as Amazon and Google, throwing their hats into the same-day delivery fray, it is clear that the industry senses the fulfillment model has a future among consumers. However, thought leaders debate if the model will truly change the delivery game.

Online shoppers in both the U.S. and Canada are willing to sacrifice delivery speed for a lower shipping cost, according to a recent survey conducted by Purolator International. As many as 63% of U.S. shoppers and 76% of Canadian shoppers also rank shipping cost as a very important priority that affects their online purchasing habits. Conversely, only 28% of U.S. shoppers and 22% of Canadians rank delivery speed as a very important part of their decision, although 46% of U.S. shoppers and 51% of Canadian shoppers value delivery speed as “somewhat important.”

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RFID And The Strengthening Retailer-Manufacturer Relationship

VP site only GS1 head shotIn the retail industry today, retailers and their trading partners are struggling to deliver an omnichannel strategy that transcends outdated supply chain processes and truly delivers a seamless experience. While retail industry stakeholders may understand omnichannel, few currently have the operations and infrastructure in place to take advantage of this opportunity.

Those positioned to make serious investments in their omnichannel future are realizing the benefits of radio frequency identification (RFID) and are including it in their strategies to gain more accurate inventory visibility. The recent results of the GS1 US Standards Usage Survey confirmed RFID is gaining traction as the key enabler of omnichannel retailing, as inventory visibility is foundational for both retailer and manufacturer success. The survey measured the usage of EPC-enabled item level RFID by both manufacturers and retailers (including manufacturers who are also retailers).

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Target To Roll Out RFID In All Stores

TargetstoreTarget will roll out RFID-enabled “smart labels” on price tags in an effort to improve inventory accuracy and visibility, as well as optimize in-store stock. Keri Jones, EVP of Global Supply Chain and Operations of Target, made the announcement in a company blog post.

The RFID rollout will start in a small number of stores towards the end of in 2015 and will then expand to all Target stores in 2016. The technology will be implemented across categories, including women’s, baby and kids’ apparel and home décor, according to the blog.

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Are You Always Up To Sell? The Importance Of Resilient Retail Internet Connectivity

VP site only Opengear head shotThe retail industry has seen a slew of advances since the arrival of the Internet, yielding valuable innovations and creating new efficiencies in core industry processes, including POS systems, inventory management, employee management, CRM, customer loyalty programs, and online sales. These advances are responsible for countless improvements to business practices that benefit both retailers and customers, but they also have introduced a vital reliance on online connectivity at store locations.

Where once a retail store could continue to function through Internet outages — by breaking out pen and paper to record transactions or temporarily becoming a cash-only business — the modern point of sale and other connected systems that add so much efficiency when functional become expensive roadblocks when disconnected.

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Century 21 Replaces Legacy Systems With Mi9 Merchant

Century 21Century 21 Department Store has selected Mi9 Retail, a provider of enterprise retail merchandising, business intelligence and store operations software, to replace its legacy systems.

The retailer selected Mi9 Merchant as its merchandising and analytics platform in an effort to streamline business operations. As an integrated merchandising and business intelligence system, Mi9 Merchant is designed to address the high transaction processing needs of retailing and provide quality decision-making tools.

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