Friday, May 24, 2024

Global grocery giants assemble! RTIH rolls out the big retail technology news stories of the week — Retail Technology Innovation Hub

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3. Best Buy picks Google Cloud as AI innovation and strategic partner for several key customer care initiatives

Best Buy, Google Cloud, and Accenture have announced a new collaboration that will involve deploying generative AI (genAI) to improve the experience for the former’s customers looking for support services.

By leveraging Google Cloud’s generative AI technology, Best Buy says that it is creating new and more convenient ways for customers to get the solutions they need.

This work will provide customers a self-service option, allowing them to find solutions more independently and will also allow Best Buy customer service agents to better serve customers by providing them with new tools that make interactions more efficient and personalised.

It is anticipated that Best Buy’s US customers will be able to connect with a genAI powered virtual assistant for self-service support starting in late summer.

The assistant can help with things like troubleshooting product issues, rescheduling or combining order deliveries, or managing software, Geek Squad subscriptions and My Best Buy Memberships.

Customers will be able to access all of these services while shopping on, using the retailer’s mobile app, or calling the customer service line directly.

4. Finnish food delivery and technology company Wolt goes live with Wolt Ads service following beta period

Wolt has announced the launch of its own advertising service, Wolt Ads.

Following a beta period, the company is now looking to scale this across its 27 markets.

“We’re delighted to be able to introduce Wolt Ads to more partners. Over the past months,  we’ve seen our partners record significant growth in their sales and return on advertising spend,” says Catalina Salazar, Global Head at Wolt Ads.

“While it’s still very early for us in this area, the initial results and feedback from our partners are extremely encouraging and give us confidence that we’re on the right track.”

Wolt, which was acquired by DoorDash in 2022, currently has over 36 million registered users across 27 markets and over 500 cities.

5. Plus Retail teams with commercetools, Contentful, OutSystems to launch new e-commerce platform

PLUS Retail, the third largest service supermarket organisation in the Netherlands, has gone live with a new e-commerce platform.

In a LinkedIn post, Arvid Nieuwsma, Head of Product at PLUS Retail, said that this was inspired by the MACH Alliance.

“We created a headless and composable architecture, as this empowers us to differentiate locally on store level, and keeping up with the day-to-day innovation/best-of-breed choices,” he commented.

Key features: E2E event driven composable architecture, new e-commerce backbone courtesy of commercetools, new CMS (Contentful), new CIAM application (Thales Digital Identity and Security), and new headless front-end (OutSystems).

Nieuwsma said: “One of our ambitions was a faster time to market with features, in order to offer direct value and impact to our end customer. Thanks to feature toggle development and low code velocity we achieved this.”

“Second ambition was to be more flexible to make future choices in the underlying application landscape that better meet the needs, without having to overhaul the entire architecture.”

“Can you imagine the possibilities in differentiation on a local store level in terms of assortment, promotions and loyality programmes?”

He concluded: “We are over the moon that the time has come to accelerate on feature development, on value for the customer, our entrepreneurs and stores with this tech stack.”

6. Swedish retailer ICA teams with Cleveron to deploy robotics-based parcel delivery network in stores across Sweden

Swedish grocery retailer, ICA, has partnered with Cleveron, a specialist in robotics-based parcel handover solutions.

ICA is using Cleveron’s technology to automate manual pick-up points in its stores.

A pilot project between the pair finished in April 2022, and by the start of 2024, the companies had automated 75 in-store pick-up points.

Customers can use these to have their third-party parcels delivered to an ICA store of their choosing.

Cleveron board member Ott Pabut says: “We are thrilled to collaborate with ICA, a leader in the Swedish grocery sector, to redefine the parcel delivery landscape.”

“Our innovative robotic technology, integrated into ICA’s network, is not just about automation; it’s about revolutionising customer service and store operations.”

“This partnership is a leap forward in our mission to make parcel handover more efficient, customer-friendly, and sustainable. It’s an exciting era for retail logistics, and together with ICA, we are setting new benchmarks in the industry.”

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