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Solutions & Innovations: E-Commerce & Beyond

A roundup of technology-driven tools that drive consumer understanding, engagement and conversion on every step of the path to purchase.
a van parked on the side of a road

A mobile store called Santa is delivering in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Boston areas. Vehicles go out twice a week stocked with 20-30 fashion, beauty, tech, home decor and gift items. When it’s close to an app user’s location, it texts them so they can peruse the inventory. If they make a purchase, 12-60 minutes later a personal shopper arrives with those items in hand, letting customers try on clothing or test out decor in the home before getting charged.


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Best Upon Request, a national provider of concierge services to businesses, has launched a new mobile app for customers to offload tasks and errands called “BestURequest.” The app is available to employees of organizations that offer Best’s “concierge services” as an employer-paid benefit. They can use the app to request various things, ranging from a shopping trip to Costco or Kroger to lunch deliveries, the shipping of packages, oil change, vacation planning and so on.

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Pigee is a startup that partners with small, local businesses that international tourists might discover while on vacation. Pigee connects payment gateways (PayPal, Stripe, Visa, AliPay, Apple Pay) to let travelers see charges calculated in their own currencies. Once payment is made, a tracking number is generated and delivery is managed through partners to the shopper’s home. For travelers, this means no more cramming purchases into suitcases and extra baggage fees.


Savitude, a B2B SaaS platform for assortment optimization and best fit, has launched “Savitude Creative Search,” a discovery engine that integrates into a retailer’s e-commerce platform to recommend best-fit clothing for individual body shapes and proportions. The system was designed to meet fashion shopper expectations regarding inclusivity and personalization. Using patented data, analytics and visual recognition modules, the SaaS module also enables shopper data capture, provides insights and analytics to inform future design and assortment optimization.

a man standing on top of a wooden table

Spacee has launched HoverTouch, a plug-and-play, AI and computer-vision solution that makes almost any in-store surface (tables, walls, glass, etc.) interactive and also collects data on the interactions. HoverTouch uses light and a projector so shoppers do not have to touch anything, simply hovering their hands. Brands can deploy content in an HTML5-compliant media player, meaning the system can run virtually any content. There’s also a kiosk option called “HoverTouch React” with a projecting surface.

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Hungryroot, a personalized subscription service that delivers fresh groceries along with recipes to put your food to use, has introduced a mobile app. The service processes subscriber preferences and ordering patterns through an AI-powered grocery-suggestion algorithm to reduce food waste by predicting how much of each kind of food to buy before sourcing it. Consumers can make substitutions throughout the process and can edit their deliveries every week.

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Jow, an end-to-end personalized meal plan and grocery-list recommendation platform, has launched its app in the U.S. After users give Jow household info such as food preferences, kitchen equipment, age, food allergies and family size, the app can (using algorithmic technology) generate a personalized menu built around recipes. Jow also creates a grocery list built around corresponding ingredients that users can take to stores and check off items as they go.

a person standing in front of a store

Perch, a retail marketing platform, has partnered with Unilever and Giant Food to test “lift-and-learn” technology. As shoppers step in front of a Dove endcap, Perch’s computer vision detects their presence and monitors every product they touch, responding with SKU-specific on-screen information. The shopper doesn’t have to scan QR codes, touch a screen or download an app. Perch claims this approach achieved 30%-188% sales lifts and drove 5-10 times the engagement of traditional digital signage.

a group of people in a room

CrownTV has released a digital signage app that enables NFTs to be displayed on a TV screen in a retail location. The app can bring NFTs (unique digital assets that live on a blockchain) into “the physical realm” to be displayed in stores. While NFTs as an investment are controversial, CPG companies and sports teams have begun offering them, usually in the form of digital artwork, photography, music, videos, tweets, memes and other digital files.

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“Open to All” announced that 28 retailers signed its “Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail” charter, committing them to reduce racially biased experiences for shoppers. Participants include Dick’s Sporting Goods, Michaels, Gap, Old Navy and Levi Strauss. A Sephora study found that two in five BIPOC shoppers experience unfair treatment. Retailers pledge to increase diversity across their marketing and branding and create a reporting mechanism. Yelp has added an “Open to All” filter to its retail search app.

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Bludot Technologies has updated its “Open Rewards: Shop Local” program. It lets residents and visitors earn and redeem rewards while shopping at local businesses. The rewards are provided in partnership with city economic development departments. Once shoppers link their credit/debit cards into the app, they can search for businesses from inside the app and automatically earn 5% back on any purchases. They can then apply those rewards against other local purchases, again using the app.

graphical user interface, application, website announced angel investor funding (including former Amazon executives) to launch a new in-car-commerce platform by mid-year. MAVI is an in-car technology that connects drivers with a curated selection of retailers, eateries, CPG companies, service providers and others. “Dashboard Commerce” is said to instantly calculate and identify stores, based on a driver’s projected route, that will be the most time- or mileage-efficient. The app then completes transactions and notifies businesses when the user arrives.


Ikea has launched Kreativ, a “lifelike” way to design living spaces. Users can examine products in 50 3D showrooms, and a “Scene Scanner” lets customers take photographs of a room that’s accurately processed into a wide-angle replica. Customers can then erase existing furniture and place Ikea furnishings. Kreativ uses AI neural networks that recognize the geometry of indoor spaces, stereo-vision algorithms to see it in 3D, computational-photography algorithms to provide expansive photography, and mixed-reality-3D graphics.

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