CommerceIQ Launches Tools For Grocery Brands On Amazon Fresh Walmart

CommerceIQ Launches Tools For Grocery Brands On Amazon Fresh, Walmart

June 16, 2021 at 10:30PM

CommerceIQ, an eCommerce management startup, is rolling out new capabilities to support grocery brands on Amazon Fresh and Walmart. The digital grocery vertical is expected to hit $100 billion this year.

“CommerceIQ delivers the eCommerce execution capabilities grocery sellers need to win on Amazon Fresh and Walmart based on the knowledge and experience we’ve accumulated working with over 2,200 brands,” CommerceIQ Vice President of Product Management Suryadeep Agrawal said in a Wednesday (June 16) press release

“To help brands drive new shoppers to their products and ensure availability at the point of sale, these new capabilities help e-commerce and retail media teams monitor availability across the country, understand competitive positioning and execute the most successful advertising campaigns,” Agrawal said.

CommerceIQ offers “real-time, retail-aware” promotions on Walmart and Amazon, with “zip code level precision,” the company said in the release. The platform taps machine-learning to plug revenue holes, reduce out of stock items, and help boost sales.

The Silicon Valley startup pointed to industry-level concerns within the eCommerce ecosystem, like digital shelves, inventory and ad spends in relation to objectives. Efficiency in the business can be crippled by the numerous decisions being juggled on a day-to-day basis, something automation can help alleviate, according to the release.

The company said its products give eCommerce grocery teams the tools they need to make multiple decisions in near real time. CommerceIQ integrates data points across numerous attributes such as pricing, point of sale, market intelligence, supply chain and more.

Fabric CEO Faisal Masud told Karen Webster in a conversation for the PYMNTS ConnectedEconomy™ series this month that retailers have a bigger digital pivot to navigate than they realize. The numbers, Masud said, don’t offer an accurate snapshot of the size and scale of what’s ahead.

A recent PYMNTS consumer survey showed that 62 percent of respondents that made the shift to digital grocery shopping are planning to stay with it post-pandemic. 

PayNearMe Team To Offer Cash Bill Payment Walmart

Walmart, PayNearMe Team To Offer Cash Bill Payment

June 08, 2021 at 04:44PM

Mobile cash payments platform PayNearMe has announced that customers will be able to facilitate cash payments for bills through the Green Dot Network at participating Walmart stores, according to a Tuesday (June 8) press release.

PayNearMe gives people who rely on cash the ability to make bill payments at convenience stores and other locations — and now at Walmart. PayNearMe’s network tops 31,000 retail locations after teaming with Walmart.

“Nearly a quarter of the U.S. population prefers — or needs — to pay their bills in cash, and when these individuals can pay their rent, car payments and utility bills in the same location where they shop, paying bills on time becomes easier and more convenient,” said PayNearMe Chief Revenue Officer and General Manager Michael Kaplan.

PayNearMe recently expanded its relationship with Green Dot and anticipates launching additional partnerships to further service its customers at more locations.

“We are always looking for opportunities to deliver modern and seamless banking and money management solutions that create exceptional experiences for our customers and partners,” said Green Dot EVP of Retail, Tax and PayCard Brandon Thompson.

Launched in Silicon Valley in 2009 by Danny Shader, who serves as the company’s CEO, PayNearMe processes all forms of payment in addition to cash, including cards, ACH, Apple Pay and Google Pay, per the release.

For its part, FinTech Green Dot, founded in 1999 and headquartered in Pasadena, California, operates as a “branchless bank,” servicing more than 33 million customers at more than 90,000 retail distribution locations nationwide. 

Walmart also teamed with Western Union in May to offer payments and money transfers at its 4,700 retail locations across the U.S. Western Union offers a cross-border platform that can handle 130 currencies from 200 countries and territories around the globe. 

The retail giant operates 11,400 stores in 26 countries as well as numerous retail websites. Its fiscal year 2020 revenues were $524 billion.

Target Announce Sales Events To Match Amazon’s Prime Day Walmart

Walmart, Target Announce Sales Events To Match Amazon’s Prime Day

June 03, 2021 at 02:22PM

As if on cue, Walmart, Target and other retailers are moving to dilute Amazon’s just-announced annual Prime Day event on June 21 and 22 by revealing their own plans to hold competing sales later this month.

In unveiling its “Deals For Days” counter-measure taking place June 20 to 23, Walmart is not only jumping ahead of its online rival by a day, but is also extending afterwards by an extra day in a move that is reflective of its growing confidence and commitment to compete digitally.

“Customers will find Black Friday-like savings on top items from Walmart and its Marketplace sellers in electronics, home, toys, beauty, fashion and more,” the company announcement said, before touting its omnichannel play that will also include online-only and in-store only savings, and rollbacks.

For its part, Target’s online-only Deal Days will also jump ahead of Amazon by a day and offer what the Minnesota based retailer touts as “3 days of spellbinding savings with no membership fees” and aimed at multiple merchandise categories, including home furnishings, apparel, health and beauty and food.

“New this year, Target Deal Days will span three full days. That’s an extra 24 hours of even more savings across Target’s entire assortment — including food and beverage for the first time,” the company said, noting the availability of same-day pickup service and additional 5 percent discounts for digital gift cards.

The Growing Herd

When the original Prime Day was held six years ago, it was designed to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday on July 15, 2015 and came at a time when Amazon faced much less competition and consumers were not nearly as digitally acclimated as they are today.

Although the Seattle-based retailing giant promises to continue to innovate and grow Prime Day, it is clearly getting harder to move the needle and offer something unique or exclusive that can’t be price-matched elsewhere.

As a result, these sales events will increasingly compete on service and delivery with the winners being the ones that are best able to manage the logistical components of the sales which include such nuanced skills as identifying and pre-stocking inventory as well as managing final-mile delivery details as fast as possible.

While Walmart and Target have over 8,000 domestic stores between them that are within 10 miles of 90 percent of all U.S. consumers, Amazon is pushing hard to compress its home delivery time table. For example, in 2020 Amazon said its 29-minute delivery of a car air freshener system to a customer’s home was a new record — a benchmark it will surely aim to beat this year.

Consumers Win

The increased competition among the retail giants as well as the unprecedented ease of which consumers can now do their own price comparison and discovery has been a boon to savvy shoppers who love to hunt down a deal and have the time and energy to do so.

While the gradually reopening economy has been driven by a surge in consumption by consumers eager to dress up, get out and spend again, it has also been somewhat tempered by  increasing supply chain pressures that are causing rolling product shortages as well as a spate of price increases.

Even so, cost-minded and convenience-oriented consumers are clearly benefiting from the competition and it remains to be seen what sort of a lift retailers will experience from their semi-annual sales events at a time when shoppers expect to see deals and discounts every day.

Gap To Launch Home Goods Brand Online In-Store To Follow Walmart

Walmart, Gap To Launch Home Goods Brand Online, In-Store To Follow

May 27, 2021 at 03:53AM

Walmart and Gap have signed a multiyear deal that will create a new home decor brand, CNBC reported.

Walmart is currently looking at driving more online sales, while Gap is looking to garner more shoppers, according to CNBC. Gap Home is the name of the new brand, and it will launch June 24 on the Walmart website.

There will be about 400 items, including bedding, bath items and decorative accessories, CNBC reported. They will range in price from $15.88 to $64.98. Some of the most popular items will then appear in some Walmart stores.

Both companies have said this will be the beginning of a new long-term partnership, and Walmart Executive Vice President for Home Anthony Soohoo told CNBC customers would likely see much more denim and chambray-inspired collections in the years to come. The tie-up will see Walmart expanding further into home and fashion, and the company has already added more merchandise, including more furniture and apparel.

Walmart saw eCommerce sales grow by 79 percent in the last fiscal year amid the pandemic, CNBC reported.

Meanwhile, Gap is working to win back more shoppers, having taken a hit during the pandemic and seen hard times even before that, with its brands like Banana Republic and its namesake Gap label being weak spots, according to CNBC. The company’s bargain-friendly Old Navy saw growth, though.

The company is currently considering ways to drive sales, and for fiscal 2021, it will be looking at forecast sales to be above 2020 levels. The deal with Walmart will give Gap a more predictable revenue stream.

A March PYMNTS report noted that Gap did see increased online sales, as many companies did while the pandemic made it extremely risky to shop in person. The company had a 49 percent boost in online sales compared to 2019. Online comprised 46 percent of net sales in the fourth quarter.

AT&T Team To Provide Internet Access To Underserved Walmart

Walmart, AT&T Team To Provide Internet Access To Underserved

May 27, 2021 at 01:34AM

Walmart is working with AT&T to help with access to internet, a company press release says.

The offers are available through the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB), and will offer some customers internet services for free or very low cost.

EBB refers to the temporary federal government program which gives eligible customers a $50 benefit per month for internet or wireless services, and $75 per month on qualifying tribal lands.

With the past year of the pandemic, officials say there have been inequalities exposed.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the digital divide in America as many underserved households were unable to afford broadband connectivity to work from home or enable their children to participate in remote learning. Through our collaboration with AT&T, we are staying true to our mission and making this important resource available to our customers at an affordable price,” said Mehrdad Akbar, vice president of wireless and photo services at Walmart U.S. “This isn’t a problem that was created overnight, nor will it be solved quickly, but every step in the right direction helps.”

And according to John Dwyer, president of the AT&T Prepaid Portfolio which includes Cricket Wireless, the plans are a way for the company to help alleviate the pains of the financial blows the pandemic dealt to ordinary Americans.

“To help address this, Walmart and the AT&T Prepaid Portfolio are teaming up to support the communities we serve and do our part in helping to bridge the digital divide that exists across the country,” he said.

He added that offering eligible EBB plans was just “another way we can work together to make life easier for those who have been financially impacted over the past year.”

The digital divide has been proven to be glaring, with as many as 162 million Americans not using the internet at broadband speeds even before the pandemic. The Federal Communications Commission has said that there were around 21 million Americans who didn’t have broadband access.