Retail Heavyweights Add Visual Search Experiences for Shoppers

When you haven’t stepped foot inside a store for months, navigating crowded aisles can be disconcerting. With products moving to new locations, and sales associates in scarce supply, major retailers are doubling down on visual search experiences to keep customers in the loop.

Yubo’s Commerce-Focused Strategy Could Be the Future of Social Media

With 45 million users worldwide, Yubo is not the largest live streaming app on the market. It’s also not the newest. But the company’s founders still think they’ve got an edge in an otherwise crowded space, thanks to a unique business model that replaces in-app advertising with social commerce.

Peer39 Uses First-Party Audience Data to Power Contextual Ads

Peer39 became one of the latest entrants in the contextual AI space just this morning, launching first-party contextual onboarding to turn advertiser intelligence into future-proof targeting categories. In practice, this means advertisers that can no longer track customers across the Web with cookies can use first-party information about them to serve them ads based on their interests.

Frictionless Payments Evolve Post-Pandemic

From tethered to cordless, handheld to hands-free. As payment processing hardware continues to evolve, retailers are beginning to experiment with allowing customers to actually become their own point-of-sale systems.

DevHub Acquires Brickwork Software to Expand Online-to-Offline Marketing Power

Brickwork will be operated by DevHub going forward, and the company’s software will become a product in DevHub’s lineup of solutions. DevHub CTO Daniel Rust believes that Brickwork’s software will make DevHub’s current offerings to local marketing brands even stronger by enabling new online-to-store conversion actions, such as appointment booking and event RSVP.

Airkit Raises $40 Million to Fuel the Future of CX

Just this morning, the low-code digital customer experience platform Airkit announced a $40 million round of Series B funding, led by EQT Ventures. The Series B will be used to accelerate the company’s investments in go-to-market and product development. The announcement comes just seven months after Airkit came out of stealth with a $28 million Series A.

6 Touchless Payments Apps for Small Businesses

The latest wave of touchless payment solutions are designed for small merchants dealing with the fallout from the pandemic. Contactless payments went from being “nice to have” to a being an essential service for retailers in 2020, as consumers around the world discovered that they really didn’t want to touch cash or POS hardware while they were making purchases at local stores.

6 Buy Now, Pay Later Solutions for Retailers

Retailers that don’t start offering flexible payment options on their checkout pages soon risk losing shoppers who prefer the unconventional approach to financing, especially for more expensive items. Flexible payment solutions tout bigger carts, customization, and faster transactions among their benefits.

Retailers Turn to AI to Assist with Forecasting Challenges

With machine learning and AI, retailers have been able to navigate the continued imbalance between supply and demand. This is especially true for digital-first retailers and on-demand businesses. The number of online grocery shoppers increased by 35 million during the pandemic. That opened the door to new opportunities, but it also opened the door to certain logistical challenges that grocers never experienced previously. For example, online grocery shoppers expect the items in their mobile apps to be in-stock and available for delivery immediately, which is different from a shopper who casually browses store aisles to see what’s available at a brick-and-mortar location.

Verizon Provides FLoC Alternative. Will It Work?

Verizon became the latest player to compete against Google’s FloCs this month with the launch of its new Next-Gen Solutions tool. The move marks a broader shift in ad tech toward contextual ads.

Fanplayr Allows Advertisers to Do More with First-Party Data

With 88% of marketers citing the collection and storage of first-party data as a “high priority,” a startup called Fanplayr is stepping in with a solution.

Vaccine Rollout Spells Opportunity for Brand Marketers

Using foot traffic dashboards from technology companies like Quotient, brands are gaining insight into consumers’ movement in and around vaccination locations. The insights are being used to fuel targeted OOH and DOOH campaigns, designed to engage consumers on an intimate level.

How 5 Brands Adapted Their Loyalty Programs for a Post-Covid World

According to McKinsey, more than 75% of consumers tried new brands, places to shop, or methods of shopping in 2020. The reason? Product availability was high on the list, but so were price and the availability of promotions. Now, as the vaccine rollout continues and states work to get back to normal, brand marketers are finally coming up for air and looking at how they can adapt their loyalty and rewards programs for the post-Covid world.

Back to ‘Normal’ Requires Omnichannel Approach

Retailers facing new competition need to hold strong while consumers return to some of their pre-pandemic patterns while also exploring new marketing avenues and cross-channel strategies designed to pull people back in-store.

Verizon and Catalina Partner to Power Online-to-offline Attribution

Seeing a void in the marketplace, ad tech vendors are stepping in with tech solutions designed to help brands link in-store and online transactions to digital ads in real-time. Just this month, Verizon Media partnered with Catalina, a provider of consumer-driven marketing solutions, to help CPG brands more effectively connect digital campaigns with sales. The partnership matches Catalina’s sales data to Verizon Media’s identity graph, which means Verizon Media is now the first DSP to be integrated with a top CPG sales data provider.

Gimbal, NextNav Go Vertical with Next-Generation Location Offering

Gimbal, the location intelligence platform, and NextNav, the developer of geolocation technologies, are coming together on a new vertical dimension that could help brands and retailers more accurately understand how customers are moving through physical spaces. The potential applications are vast, but executives at both firms see fulfillment options like curbside and in-store pickup as being some of the most immediate use cases.

5 Live Chat Platforms with Location Intelligence

As mobile interactions become the new norm, more retailers and brands are seeking out mobile-friendly live chat solutions that leverage real-time customer behaviors, like locations and progress within the shopping lifecycle, for more personalized SMS chats and in-app messages.

BeOp Launches in US, Pointing to Contextual Campaigns’ Resurgence

Is contextual ad targeting the answer to our cookieless future? As brand advertisers plan for a world without third-party cookies, they’re homing in on contextual ad platforms as a possible solution to their advertising woes. That push is leading to the development and growth of a number of platforms focused on contextual, conversational, and cookieless advertising.

Privacy-forward Digital Marketing Can Outperform Traditional Models

The results of a new campaign by Brave Software and Dentsu International show that digital privacy might not be the monolith that it’s thought to be, and that advertisers can still generate a positive ROI on their campaigns without sacrificing consumers’ online privacy.

GoDaddy Launches Instagram Integration for SMB Users

In a move that’s indicative of the small business community’s increasing reliance on social media for organic growth and digital marketing, GoDaddy is launching a new Instagram product for its website builder designed to help its users attract and engage with customers across digital platforms.