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News Briefs

  • 3/13/2024

    Swiftly Acquires Alcohol Promotions Platform

    bybe swiftly

    Swiftly, a retail media and technology company, acquired BYBE, a digital promotions platform specializing in the alcohol space, in March.

    The move combines BYBE's domain expertise in the alcohol category — including its connections with suppliers, retailers and regulators — with Swiftly's Alcohol Cashback solution, launched in 2023. 

    Swiftly says the acquisition will help scale Alcohol Cashback and enable it to reach more consumers with adult beverage offers and rebates, according to a media release.

    "The acquisition of BYBE not only expands but also complements Swiftly's award-winning Alcohol Cashback solution,” Henry Kim, co-founder and CEO of Swiftly, said in the release. "The integration of our companies forms a powerful alliance, unlocking new opportunities for retailers and alcohol suppliers. With our combined platforms, customers and partners now have access to an extensive array of tools and solutions, specifically crafted to enhance operational efficiency, elevate customer satisfaction and fuel overall growth."

    BYBE's rebate platform will be integrated into Swiftly's product suite. The companies believe BYBE's talent and brand network combined with Swiftly's platform will empower retailers to boost alcohol sales and the expanded distribution will grow alcohol suppliers’ consumer reach.

    "Our track record of delivering game-changing innovation while maintaining strict compliance with individual state laws enables us to accelerate Swiftly's vision of creating greater value for retailers and brands alike,” Drew Knight, co-founder of BYBE, added. 

    Knight and BYBE co-founder Ryan Moore will join Swiftly's leadership team, with Knight spearheading retailer acquisition and Bev/Alc partnerships as vice president, business development & partnerships. Moore will manage enterprise account relationships as vp, customer success. 

  • 3/5/2024

    Bazaarvoice Adds AI Capabilities for Social Marketers


    Bazaarvoice, a product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions provider, has introduced three new capabilities powered by Bazaarvoice HarmonyAI, the engine/technology fueling all of the company’s current and upcoming AI capabilities.

    • Creator Discovery in the affable creator marketing solution, which helps social media and marketing teams find the right creators by entering text, images or mood-boards into a search query. (This feature is a result of Bazaarvoice’s 2023 acquisition of, which specializes in AI-driven influencer marketing solutions, from Afffable Technologies.)
    • Photo Captions for Instagram for social commerce, which enables social media managers to create photo captions and hashtags for brand-owned social posts. AI analyzes product tags and captions from a brand’s recent posts as well as the photos in those posts to generate personalized photo captions that match the brand’s tone and voice.
    • Content Coach for Influenster community members and campaigns, which helps Bazaarvoice’s global Influenster community create higher-quality content through AI-powered suggestions on review topics and gamifying the review-writing experience. The community of 8.5 million members that Bazaarvoice taps into helps train these AI models.

    “[Photo Captions for Instagram] was beyond helpful in how it automatically inserts captions that work well with our Instagram page,” Stacey Ocegueda, customer service at Manna Kadar Beauty, said in a media release. “Everything worked amazingly with the right number of hashtags and emojis. This feature saves time and eliminates the process of creating a caption.”

    Bazaarvoice HarmonyAI leverages billions of data points to deliver relevant content to consumers and enhance the shopping experience. Additionally, it was designed to allow brands and retailers to allocate more time to other priorities by automating certain tasks through AI solutions.

  • 2/29/2024

    Trax Launches Solution to Enhance Real-Time, In-Store Visibility

    store shelves

    Trax, a global computer vision company and provider of image recognition solutions for physical retail, has launched a Signal-Based Merchandising (SBM) solution to provide brands with real-time visibility down to the SKU level.

    Available in the U.S., SBM engages a network of shoppers already in the store to gather real-time data points – which Trax calls signals – so brands can make quick decisions about their store-level execution, according to a media release.

    “The fundamental principles of merchandising are broken,” David Gottlieb, chief revenue officer at Trax Retail, said in the release. “Brands don’t have visibility into what is happening in store aisles, which results in inefficiencies and lost sales. Consumer habits ebb and flow, and brands need real-time visibility into store and shelf conditions to take corrective action within hours, not weeks.” 

    Trax says its SBM solution is a “continuous, signal-driven” approach to SKU collection in critical locations. For maximum impact, Trax directs its “flexible merchandising workforce” – known as the Flexforce – to these key stores on a recurring cadence or expands the store or SKU list.

    BlueTriton Brands, Tru Fru (owned by Mars) and Dude Wipes are among the CPG brands that have already tested the solution in beta.

    How it works:   

    • Signal generation: Once a CPG identifies its priority and retailers, Trax deploys its network to collect data that shows out-of-stocks and the average duration of the issue. It then delivers insights reports in real time.  
    • Store selection: Based on the data and additional proprietary insights, Trax identifies “high impact” stores.
    • Shelf correction: Trax deploys the Flexforce in “near real time” to evaluate the data, confirm insights and start to take action, such as working with store managers, adjusting inventory, pulling product from the backroom and updating shelf tags to ensure accuracy.  
    • Sales increase: Brands and retailers receive continued store-level reporting and Flexforce activation as needed, as well as an “end of program” ROI analysis. 

    “With such rapid insight into on-shelf availability of our power SKUs, we were able to make quick decisions during a peak seasonal period in our category, ensuring our products were available where our customers needed them to be,” said Brian Felter, senior sales leader with BlueTriton Brands.

    Trax’s in-store execution, store monitoring and retail analytics solutions are powered by proprietary image recognition and machine learning algorithms that turn photos of retail shelves into granular shelf and store-level insights.

  • 2/26/2024

    Albertsons Rethinks Promotional Marketing, Merchandising

    albertsons interior

    Albertsons Cos. has expanded its partnership with R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (RRD), a provider of marketing, packaging, print and supply chain solutions, to “transform” its promotional marketing ecosystem and grocery merchandising strategy, according to a media release.

    Albertsons is seeking to drive loyalty by reaching its audience beyond transactions and through localized and omnichannel marketing efforts supported by RRD.

    “Customer shopping habits are unique to their local markets and their patterns are constantly evolving,” Sean Barrett, chief marketing officer for Albertsons Cos., said in the release. “Understanding the importance of these intricacies and having the ability to personalize and scale is a key opportunity to reach our loyal and valued customers in ways they prefer.”

    Leveraging a number of proprietary retail marketing technologies, RRD says it will enhance the “velocity and execution” of personalized promotions at scale to increase return on promotions and engage customers at Albertsons’ chains nationwide with “high quality,” localized content, per the release. 

    RRD offers an end-to-end solution that comprises the entire creative and content journey, from photo and video creation to production, print and delivery. Using various technology, processes and automation, RRD creates circular pages, retail signage, as well as promotional, email and social media content to power localized and omnichannel marketing efforts.

    “Our goal is to fundamentally elevate the shopper experience for Albertsons customers by reaching them with the right message, on the right channel, at the right time,” said Al duPont, chief commercial officer, RRD. “We’re taking a highly targeted approach to provide Albertsons Cos. customers with personalized, relevant information that speaks to their preferences and inspires their lifestyle and well-being.”

  • 2/21/2024

    Mattel Names SVP of Barbie, Head of Dolls

    krista berger mattel

    Toy giant Mattel Inc. promoted Krista Berger to senior vice president, Barbie, and head of dolls, in February. She now reports to Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and chief brand officer at Mattel.

    “[Berger’s] stellar, 15-year journey with Mattel reflects her unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to the company,” McKnight said in a media release. “I have had the privilege of working closely with [Berger] for years, and her promotion is a testament to her dedication, strategic vision and exceptional leadership. I look forward to seeing [Berger] excel in her new role and continue to elevate our dolls category to new heights."

    Berger will lead product and brand marketing for Mattel’s dolls category globally. Her career at Mattel began in the dolls division, where the company says she established a robust foundation of intellectual property, licensor management and commercial expertise across the dolls portfolio and the U.S. Barbie business, per the release.

    When Mattel acquired Mega Brands in 2014, Berger served as a key member of the integration team, leading the Mega strategic rebranding initiative, per the release. In 2017, Berger returned to the Barbie team and helped increase the toy business by more than 60%. Notably, Berger played a pivotal role in reestablishing Barbie as a top global doll property.

    Prior to this move, Berger most recently served as vice president for American Girl marketing, partnerships, content development and sales.

    "Having the opportunity to develop products and experiences that allow children to see themselves reflected in the world is a tremendous honor,” Berger said. “In collaboration with my exceptional team, leadership across Mattel and our external partners, I look forward to advancing Mattel’s iconic portfolio of beloved brands for years to come.”

  • 2/15/2024

    SpartanNash Adds More In-Store Robots

    simbe tally robot spartannash

    Michigan-based grocer SpartanNash will use Simbe's autonomous inventory robot Tally in 60 additional company-operated stores across the Midwest following a successful pilot program. SpartanNash operates 144 brick-and-mortar grocery stores, primarily under the banners of Family Fare, Martin's Super Markets and D&W Fresh Market.

    SpartanNash first piloted Tally at 15 stores in Michigan and Indiana to help associates save time in inventory tracking and spend more time on the floor serving store guests, according to a media release.

    "The real-time data intelligence Tally provides helps ensure our store guests' favorite items always stay fresh, are adequately stocked and priced competitively, helping us deliver the ingredients for a better life,” said Tom Swanson, SpartanNash executive vice president, corporate retail.

    Simbe's Store Intelligence platform informs product stocking, ordering, merchandising and e-commerce fulfillment with real-time inventory insights across every store area. This data was designed to help store associates ensure items are available for shoppers with accurate location and price, while freeing up their time for more “engaging, guest-facing work.”  

    BJ’s Wholesale Club, Schnucks Markets and Wakefern Food Corp.’s ShopRite are among the other retailers also using Simbe’s Tally robots in their stores.

    This move represents SpartanNash's continued investment in technology to enhance the shopper and associate experiences and follows the company's investment in other food technology solutions Upshop Magic and food waste technology company Flashfood, the company said in the release. SpartanNash tapped Flashfood in 2020 and UpShop Magic in 2022 to optimize localized inventory, bolster efficient merchandising strategies and improve sustainability. 

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