Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Cheaper alternative to card surcharges in checkout solution

checkout solution

Simone Martinelli is the founder and CEO of U.K.-based checkout solution startup Volume. However, very few customers know that they have also hidden eCommerce fees every time they make an online purchase. This fee is in the form of paying commissions to cards and e-wallets. These remain included in the funds moving from their bank accounts to the business accounts of merchants.

Martinelli believes that these surcharges from third-party providers like MasterCard, Visa, and Stripe are anywhere from 2% to 7% of the sale. This forces merchants to raise their fees which in turn impacts the price an end consumer pays.

The firm is leveraging the variable recurring payment (VRP) mandate for sweeping. This is an extension of the open banking payment initiation service. This allows the automatic transfer of funds between a consumer’s accounts. This is to provide online shoppers with a much lower bank rate at checkout. A part of its goal is to drive transaction costs to zero.

With a one-click checkout solution, users pay just a 0.75% charge. This charge is for executing an online payment from their bank through open banking. Martinelli told PYMNTS in an interview, “You end up paying $28.75 for a product, and the merchant receives $28.65. The 10 cents difference, which is our fee, is 3x cheaper than Stripe and 10x cheaper than PayPal.”

He added that it is the one-click and super secure that every retail customer’s experience should look like in 2022.

However, benefits come at a high cost. Martinelli acknowledged that there are still individuals who would prefer to pay with credit and debit cards. This is because of the insurance protection. However, the 2-7% surcharge on eCommerce purchases consumers could get avoided by making a direct payment.

Martinelli said feedback from eCommerce merchants shows that the 3D Secure (3DS) protocol is not effective in preventing fraud. Founded in May 2021, the young firm already onboarded over 50 U.K. merchants. Martinelli said they want to move beyond Volume’s one-click online checkout solution.

Dollar General, Dollar Tree earnings takeaways boosted the shares

takeaways

Shares of Dollar General and Dollar Tree popped as the discounters beat Wall Street’s quarterly earnings takeaways. In addition, the shares raised outlooks for the coming year. And speaking of consumers flocking to lower prices during inflationary times. Dollar General shares rose 13.71% to close at $222.13. Dollar Tree shares jumped 21.87% to close at $162.80.

The two retailers saw opportunities to grow. This is because Americans weigh value more heavily in their purchasing decisions.

Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said that we are observing our core customers shop more intentionally. He added that we’re starting to see the next tier of customer’s shop more with us.

Dollar Tree Executive Chair Rick Dreiling listed many challenges that consumers are facing. He added that many consumers are living paycheck to paycheck. Value retail can become part of the solution in tough times. This can help families stretch their dollars to meet their evolving needs.

Dollar General and Dollar Tree beat expectations on fiscal first-quarter earnings, revenue, and same-store sales. Dollar Tree said it now expects net sales for the year to range from $27.76 billion to $28.14 billion.

Dollar General said it expects net sales growth of about 10% to 10.5%. It raised its same-store sales takeaways from approximately 3% to 3.5%.

Dollar Tree CEO Michael Witynski told analysts, “We believe that’s a traffic driver, and as the customers experience the items and appreciate the value we’re giving them, over time, we believe that that will help drive traffic into the overall store, not just those categories.”

Dollar General will open 1,100 new locations this year. In addition, it will expand its new store concept, PopShelf. Dollar Tree is opening 590 stores this year.

Dollar Tree and Dollar General weren’t immune to higher costs in the first quarter. However, Vasos said Dollar General could trade to other items or trade down in sizes if particular goods rise in price. At Dollar Tree, price hike takeaways give a big boost to profitability.

Getir, Gorillas, rapid grocery delivery companies slash jobs, and the boom comes to a grinding halt

grocery delivery companies

Getir and Gorillas announced decisions to lay off hundreds of employees. Another firm Zapp stated that it is proposing redundancies in its U.K. team. Getir told staff that it plans to reduce its global headcount by 14%. Fears of an impending recession forced rapid grocery delivery companies to slam brakes on growth. The Turkish company employed more than 6,000 people worldwide.

Gorillas stated that it was making an extremely hard decision. It was hard to let go of about 300 of its employees. It cited the need to reach profitability in the long run.

The Berlin-based company is also evaluating a possible exit from Italy, Spain, Denmark, and Belgium. This was among other strategic options as it shifted focus to more profitable markets like the U.S., U.K., and Germany.

According to a Sifted report, Gorillas is struggling to raise additional financing. The company wasn’t immediately available for comment when got contacted by CNBC.

Getir and Gorillas raised $1.8 billion and $1.3 billion to date, respectively. Getir scored a $12 billion valuation while Gorillas was last valued at $3 billion. Both firms burned through significant amounts of cash to expand in the U.S.

London-based grocery delivery company start-up Zapp confirmed reports that it is considering making layoffs of up to 10% of staff. A final decision is yet to make. A spokesperson for the company stated,

“The current macroeconomic climate has become incredibly challenging, with very little visibility of when things will improve. This uncertainty is seeing investors reduce their risk appetite considerably, favoring profitability overgrowth.”

Zapp raised $200 million in a January funding round. The investment got backed by Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton. In addition, grocery delivery companies like Getir and Gorillas experienced seismic growth during the coronavirus pandemic.

The recent raft of layoffs in the industry highlights a broader shift in investors. Buy now, pay later firm Klarna said it would lay off about 10% of staff. The company was seeking a new round of funding. This would reduce its valuation by a third.

Spreadsheet no longer a magnificent tool for supply chain management

supply chain

The face of business technology is changing. Supply chain management has become more contactless and streamlined. There is a shift in B2B. The payment and processes attached to it. They focus on the supply chain, and the inventory shortage has continuously addressed most of it.

Lockdown aggravated the problem and hit the operating margins and cash flow management. It is the top mind of executives which grappled with the inflationary headwinds. Concentric President with COO Matt Clark and CFO Brad Reynolds discuss the same issue. They come to explain how the functions and managing relationships are subject to up and down today. The whole process is going under digital transformation.

Clark explains, “There are all these systems that don’t talk to one another. so you get a staring contest [between departments], and there is friction over payment terms, overpayment modalities. there’s got to be a more holistic view that improves internal efficiencies and trading partner relationships.”

84% of the CFO see this maximizing cash flow as a critical and serious stage. There is an embracing of new technology. Its whole existence of it provides efficiencies and removes friction from it.

The holistic view of this technology is the tracking of delivery mechanisms. There is going to be a better approach to them. They are trying to bring up a better point solution with such systems. The progress on the B2C side is huge, but there is still a lag on B2B. It makes it very difficult for the entire section.

He explains there is a need for changes, and it is leveraging the intel of partners. The loyalty demands of 50% of customers are increasing. We are trying to maintain 80% of digital traffic. Every touchpoint offers a great experience, and there are hiccups in the stockout. There is a need to address the supply chain then; only we can look at customer experience.

Southeast Asia’s eCommerce market is in its warm-up act

eCommerce market

Southeast Asia’s eCommerce market ecosystem is still at a nascent stage. Many more business models and companies will get formed in the region.

Amit Anand of Jungle Ventures, a Southeast Asian company, told CNBC that we are talking about single-digit digital penetration. Rather than the overall commerce penetration.

He described the competition between the likes of Grab, Sea, and Goto. The competition for the heart of the region’s e-commerce market is still in the opening act of this movie.

He further added that the success or failure of one venture is not going to determine the outcome of the overall industry.

Jungle Ventures announced that the eCommerce market raised $600 million to invest in start-ups. This exceeded $1 billion in assets under management. This makes them the first independent, Singapore-headquartered VC firm.

According to a 2021 industry report from Google, Temasek Holdings, and Bain & Company, Southeast Asia saw a surge in the use of digital services. These include e-commerce, food delivery, and online payment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report says that 40 million people in six countries across the region became new internet users. These countries include Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Anand observed that the trend of the younger demographic in the region being 100% and 120% online would continue.

Covid is only pushing more and more consumers and more and more enterprises to take their business into the eCommerce market. Anand said three of its companies deferred their IPO plans. However, the companies will definitely go public in the mid to long term.

He added that it’s very promising that tech companies in the region can do both local and global IPOs. However, Anand added that Jungle Ventures’ advice for its companies is to not rush back into the market.

He said, “Our guidance overall to entrepreneurs in the region will be that this is going to be a supply-side-constrained market and [if there is] any need to shore up supplies, they need to be more focused in their efforts.”

Behavioral Analytics combats eCommerce fraud and friction in actual time

eCommerce fraud

Pandemic significantly changed consumer behavior and preferences. The boom in sales has led to a spike in eCommerce fraud in the retail space. Banks got pushed to upgrade their processes to meet these shifting demands. Schalk Nolte is CEO at authentication firm Entersekt. Nolte told PYMNTS that there is a distinct shift towards consumers transacting online more often. This requires banks to take care of those who previously did not transact online.

This forced financial institutions to implement innovative solutions. However, it also needs them to adopt extra authentication methods.

Capitec Bank, one of the largest retail banks in South Africa, partnered with Entersekt. The deal will involve implementing the firm’s latest solution.

Nolte explained, “Depending on what you do, where you’re coming from, how you hold the device or how you click your mouse, all of which are behavioral, we can determine the best authentication for a specific transaction in real-time and ensure that there is a balance between [digital] security and user experience.” Nolte said that many customers prioritize digital safety over convenience.

They also find it empowering to play an active role in authenticating their payments.

He said that empowerment builds trust. This can translate into a huge increase in transaction volumes. Nolte believes eCommerce fraud is always very lucrative. This is why old forms of cyberattacks like phishing are still around today. Nolte noted that is where context-aware authentication comes in as a safety net.

The process involves performing a real-time analysis of the context. This includes identity, type of device, or geolocation. This is to accurately determine the identity of the user and inform the appropriate security decisions.

This can remove friction from the authentication process. This means banks no longer have to make the difficult tradeoff. The behavioral analytics that NuData Security provides also helps Entersekt identify devices that got flagged for eCommerce fraud.

He added that fast identity online (FIDO) authentication helps to reduce reliance on passwords.

Target shares tanks to 25% due to high costs

Target

Target reported quarterly earnings. Target’s earnings could not meet up Wall Street’s expectations. The retailer encountered high freight costs and higher markdowns. In addition, it observed lower-than-expected sales of discretionary items from TVs to bicycles.

The national retailer is also known for its cheap-chic brands of apparel, home decor, and more. It lapped an especially elevated sales period. At Target’s stores and its website, traffic rose 3.9%.

CEO Brian Cornell said the company missed the mark as its gains got accompanied by unusually high costs.

Target said profits got hit by inventory that arrived too early and too late. Other challenges include compensation and headcount that rose at distribution centers. Also, there was a mix of merchandise sales that looked different than before.

Target’s results mirrored Walmart’s quarterly earnings performance. As a result, Walmart’s shares fell more than 11% and touched a 52-week low.

Target’s net income in the quarter fell to $1.01 billion or $2.16 per share. The retailer earned $2.19 per share excluding items.

Those adjusted earnings per share dropped sharply. The share was down nearly 41% from the year-ago period.

Total revenue rose to $25.17 billion from $24.20 billion a year ago. This was above analysts’ expectations of $24.49 billion.

Target and Walmart both missed profit expectations by wide margins. However, they differed in descriptions of the American consumer.

Brett Biggs, Walmart’s Chief Financial Officer, told CNBC that the big-box retailer saw some customers trade down to store brands.

Target CEO Brian Cornell said that the company is seeing a healthy consumer. Cornell said toy sales were a standout in the first quarter. It grew as families resumed children’s birthday parties. In addition, luggage sales were up more than 50%.

Cornell warned that cost pressures would persist in the near term. One of those factors is the price of gas. This hit a national average of $4.523 per gallon.

Cornell said, “We’ve earned so much trust over the last several years with investments we’ve made in price, and we aren’t about to trade that out in the current environment.”

Walmart missed earnings expectations for fiscal first quarter

Walmart

Walmart missed Wall Street’s expectations by a wide margin. The largest retailer felt pressure due to rising fuel costs and higher levels of inventory.

Shares went down by 7% in premarket trading. The company expects net sales to increase about 4% in constant currency. It previously anticipated a 3% increase. However, Walmart lowered its profit expectations.

Earnings per share for the year will decrease by about 1%. Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said the significant jump in fuel prices elevated labor costs. It also enhanced aggressive inventory levels weighed on the company.

He also stated that some merchandise arrived late. Also, other items such as grills, plates, and pool chemicals did not sell due to cool weather in the U.S.

Also, Walmart employees returned from Covid leave quicker than expected. This caused the company to become overstaffed during part of the quarter. However, he said those scheduling challenges got resolved.

He said in a news release that “We’re adjusting and will balance the needs of our customers for value with the need to deliver profit growth for our future.”

Walmart’s net income fell to $2.05 billion, or 74 cents per share. The company earned $1.30 per share, excluding items. Total revenue rose to $141.57 billion.

Same-store sales for Walmart U.S. grew 3% compared with the year-ago period or 9% on a two-year basis. E-commerce sales rose 1% or 38% on a two-year basis. Walmart-owned warehouse club Sam’s Club saw same-store sales increase 10.2% year over year or 17.4% on a two-year basis.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index increased as 8.3%Walmart is gaining market share in grocery. However, Biggs said Walmart sees signs that some households feel budget-strapped.

There’s still demand for the newest gaming consoles and patio sets. Shares of Walmart closed at $148.21. The stock rose to about 2.5% so far this year. It outperformed the broader market as investors sought out consumer staples despite economic uncertainty. The company’s market cap is nearly $408 billion.

eCommerce hulk; Shein observes slow sales

Shein

After a month of sales of $100 billion, Shein is suffering from slowing sales. According to a report from Bloomberg News, the online retailer saw its annual sales growth slow to about 60%, which was around 250% last year.

Shein is one of the world’s most valuable startups, selling inexpensive clothes, lifestyle, and beauty products. It is primarily meant for teens and tweens in the West. They have made its app one of the most downloaded on the planet.

The sources told Bloomberg that Shein’s annual revenue rose to at least $16 billion in 2021. This was up from $10 billion the previous year.

This figure was in line with company projections. However, sources said executives at Shein worry that expansion slowed at a worse place in the second half of 2021. This got continued to slow this year.

Bloomberg stated that the trend gets mirrored by Shein’s transaction data in the U.S. The first-quarter sales growth dropped to 57% from a quarterly range of 105% to 264% in 2021.

Wang Xin, head of the Shenzhen Cross-Border E-Commerce Association, stated, “As one of the top online exporters in China, Shein’s slower growth shows the increasing challenges suffered by the entire sector.”

Wang Xin is representative of about 3,000 exporters. She highlighted the weakening yuan and rising geopolitical tension with the U.S. as other sources of tension. PYMNTS noted last month that Shein’s success is due to a variety of factors.

These factors include supply-chain savvy, data-driven clothing design, and tax loopholes both in the U.S. and China. Unfortunately, this got developed during a trade war.

The company got bigger than Amazon in terms of downloads of shopping apps in U.S. stores in 2021. Shein reportedly took in $10 billion last year. It capitalized on endorsements from celebrities such as Katy Perry and Lil Nas X. They were also debuting an online fashion competition in the tradition of “Project Runway.”

The company also began offering buy now, pay later (BNPL) services with Klarna in 2020. This made products more accessible to younger consumers.

Automated payments simplify business processes for B2B & B2C

automated payments

Automated payments support a stronger cash management strategy for B2B operations. J.P. Morgan Managing Director, Industry Head — Technology, Media and Telecom Jennifer Acosta and Managing Director, Integrated Payables, Strategy, and Network Chris Claus talked with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster. Opportunity is especially important for the B2B sector.

Data is the invisible force that decides the movement of money. Acosta’s B2C viewpoint says that data is the most important piece of the process. Data opens numerous product and service recommendation opportunities. It suggests revenue streams for consumer brands, increasingly served in contextual ways. Claus also said that it’s contextual to media-buying platforms to travel booking systems. And generally across corporates into ERPs and other e-procurement systems.

For B2B outfits, automated payments and the data that moves along can become transformative.

Imagining a B2B buying situation, Claus stated, “There’s an invoice that’s raised or purchase order. Having the payment flow through that and tie back to that actual buying situation underneath it — were there any exchanges, shorts, etc. — really helps automate reconciliation. It also provides a mechanism to start offering different pay modalities.

These can be electronic payments, but also faster automated payments sometimes for a fee.” Businesses will pay to get paid faster. Also, real-time data is a necessary ingredient for this to happen at scale.

This, in turn, makes consumer finance and automated payments create reliable revenues. Faster payments help cash flow, and it helps both sides.

Automating payments requires the right stack and partners. Companies with a better digital-first footing are naturally having an easier time with it. On the other hand, legacy operators are facing more hurdles.

Acosta noticed that many media companies were not digital-first using the streaming example. Claus added that most of the business flows are becoming digitized. There are many opportunities there. Acosta added that I want to integrate one time and then let the bank figure it out. The bank can decide how we engage in these different payment types on the back end. Its ease of integration and real-time engagement throughout the process

Rapid food delivery business picks up advertising side hustle

delivery business

Ultrafast grocery startup Jokr is looking to supplement its delivery business. They are looking forward to this with a new venture of an advertising platform.

According to a Bloomberg report, it aims to put physical ads on drivers’ bags and within delivery orders. By making this effort, Joke will leverage purchasing data to help brands become effective in their media placement. The company’s CEO, Ralf Wenzel, told the news outlet, “If we can share with retailers what people are buying, then it gives a very targeted possibility to advertise.”

A report states that on-demand delivery business losses can amount to $20 per order on average, including ad spending. Buyk, a Russian-backed ultrafast grocer, could not secure the funding it needed to encounter the challenges.

These challenges got posed by sanctions related to the invasion of Ukraine and, as such, forced to close up shop.

Jokr also struggled. A report also stated that the company was looking to sell its New York business. In addition, other Companies in the eGrocery category express skepticism about the long-term feasibility of the model.

Chieh Huang is the CEO of membership-free wholesale eTailer Boxed. He said in an interview with PYMNTS phenomenon that the industry consumes money. They are spending $20-$25 on baskets out. There’s just not enough gross profit dollars to play with after delivery, after personnel, and marketing.

Alex Weinstein, the chief digital officer at online grocer Hungryroot, expressed a similar thought in an interview with PYMNTS.

He said that it is better if your item arrives in an hour rather than taking a week or longer. This saves the effort of planning that far ahead. However, at a certain point, there’s just diminishing marginal returns.

Many companies are boosting their ad capabilities. For example, Kroger announced that the delivery business is expanding access for advertisers through its retail media business. Also, Instacart announced a suite of new marketing products for brands, including branded pages and new display ads.

Peloton shares drops after huge loss

Peloton shares

Peloton shares reported a greater than expected quarterly loss. In addition, a steep decline in sales got observed. At the same time, inventory piled up in warehouses and took away the company’s cash.

The connected fitness equipment maker also offered a weak sales outlook for the fiscal fourth quarter.

The company claims that planned subscription price hikes may lead users to cancel their monthly memberships.

Peloton shares closed down nearly 9% at $12.90. This is a new low for the stock.

Peloton’s excess inventory made the company worry about its capital structure.

Chief Executive Officer Barry McCarthy stated that Peloton finished the quarter lowly with $879 million in unrestricted cash.

The company earlier signed a binding commitment letter with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs. This is to borrow $750 million in five-year term debt.

The two banks led Peloton’s IPO in 2019.

McCarthy is confident that the company can return to free cash flow positively by fiscal 2023.

Expanding subscription revenue is prime in McCarthy’s strategy.

He said that Peloton would soon sell its products through a third-party retailer.

Peloton’s losses widened in the fiscal third quarter to $757.1 million. This is around $2.27 per share from a net loss of $8.6 million a year earlier. Revenue dropped to $964.3 million from $1.26 billion a year earlier.

The major cause of the drop was a steep reduction in consumer demand. However, Peloton also noticed that it faced higher than expected returns for its Tread+ machine.

The disappointing fact for investors was Peloton’s bleak outlook for its current quarter. McCarthy noted in his letter to shareholders, “turnaround is hard work.” However, he stated that Peloton’s free cash flow should become “meaningfully better” in the fiscal fourth quarter.

Peloton is looking for the fourth-quarter revenue to be between $675 million and $700 million. In addition, McCarthy said Peloton would seek to raise awareness around its digital app. This will allow people to pay for access to the company’s workout content without owning a Bike or Tread.

Best Buy expands into beauty gadgets and patio furniture

Best Buy

Best Buy’s new merchandise would surprise shoppers. It is beginning to carry about 100 skin-care devices at nearly 300 stores and on its website. In addition, best Buy is giving an extra push to categories such as fitness and furniture.

However, retailers are facing a rough patch. This is because it expects a same-store sales decline of between 1% and 4% in the coming year.

Signs of softening electronics sales were observed. This is because consumers direct dollars toward vacations and social events. For example, Whirlpool missed estimates and saw sales drop 8.3% in North America in the most recent quarter.

Also, Microsoft, which produces Xbox video game consoles, gave a negative outlook for the coming quarter. The NPD Group projected that revenue from consumer electronics in the U.S. will fall by 5% in 2022, 4% in 2023, and 1% in 2024. However, total sales would remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The declines follow a record-setting year for the industry in the U.S. with consumer tech sales. This hit almost $127 billion, a 9% jump over the elevated sales in 2020.

Best Buy collaborated with connected fitness products from exercise brands, including NordicTrack and Hydrow, in the summer of 2019.

It rolled out outdoor grills from Weber and Traeger in June and a line of electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds in August. It also took over Yardbird, a direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture company, for an undisclosed sum in November.

Best Buy also bought health-care companies, including GreatCall, which sell devices and services that help older adults age in their own homes.

An equity research analyst for retail at D.A. Davidson, Michael Baker, said that adding merchandise groups fit with the company’s history.

He said that Best Buy could stay on the leading edge and expand its total addressable market. It can also capture a larger share of consumers’ disposable income. His price target for the company is $135. This is about 46% above where shares are currently trading. Baker stated that moderating sales may free up time and allow Best Buy to get creative.

Interview with Assaf Egozi from Noogata

Assaf Egozi from Noogata

Team eCommerce Next interviewed Assaf Egozi from Noogata to get more insights on Ecommerce Trends. Following is our interview with him:

Can you tell us more about Noogata and how the platform enables brands and retailers to make more informed decisions? Can you give us an example of a partner or customer leveraging Noogata, in action?

Noogata is a global leader in no-code artificial intelligence (AI) – with an AI platform built for any business user who needs to turn data into actionable insights, quickly and easily, to drive opportunities and growth. Noogata pioneered “no-code AI” building blocks for sales, marketing, ecommerce and other operational roles to enable professionals to integrate billions of data points from multiple sources to make timely and critical data-driven decisions.

Noogata has become integral for brands, such as Colgate Palmolive and its subsidiary brands, ELTA MD, PCA Skin and Colgate Oral Careto, to enhance the buyer experience and offer products that directly meet consumers’ needs. Brands and retailers, for example, can quickly derive insights on buyer intent, which search terms drive the most traffic, recommendations on how and where to reach consumers, and the best product descriptions to improve search rankings and click-through.

What differentiates your company from others in the space?

Noogata has a unique approach, which focuses on pre-set blocks built around standardized data sets. This allows us to deploy and help our customers drive impact extremely quickly – much faster than traditional no-code AI platforms. Our focus is to make AI truly accessible at scale and at pace to the non-technical user.

In addition, as a part of our product philosophy, we designed our platform to be open and to integrate seamlessly with our customers’ data warehouses. This allows our block output to be integrated directly into our customers’ in-house analytics models and solutions. Our ability to avoid the data silos that function-specific solutions tend to create is a critical point of differentiation for us.

Tell us more about Noogata’s funding round. What is the company planning to accomplish with these new funds?

Noogata has raised $16 million in Series A funding, led by Eight Roads, to accelerate its vision to enable any business user – regardless of technical expertise – to make data-driven decisions leveraging AI. Total funding is now $28 million. Allon Ventures also participated in the Series A funding round. Earlier seed investment was made by Team8 and Inference Partners.

The latest investment will help Noogata fuel rapid growth and accelerate its vision to enable any business user to make data-driven decisions leveraging AI. The new capital will be used to support Noogata’s expansion goals in the United States and research and development (R&D) operations in Israel.

How will new integrations of Shopify, Google and Amazon datasets benefit brands and retailers on Noogata’s platform?

Noogata’s platform can be used by anyone in any organization to make data-driven decisions. All the blocks are pre-set, and the platform enables simple connectivity with a growing list of external datasets from Amazon, Shopify and Google to the platform, as well as expanding the range of solutions (AI blocks) that Noogata offers. This makes Noogata one of the top AI platforms to truly make AI accessible to business users, rather than to remain the purview of data scientists and engineers.

How can the ecommerce industry continue to benefit from AI in the future? Are there any emerging applications of AI that brands can expect to use in the future?

Noogata provides companies with one of the most effective ways for any business user – from Fortune 500s to niche ecommerce brands – to leverage the power of AI without technical expertise or background knowledge to solve complex business challenges. Noogata’s SaaS-based platform helps users make better decisions using data leveraging AI and ML capabilities. The modular, plug-and-play design is both simple enough for anyone to get started quickly and customizable to quickly answer data-driven questions. The Noogata platform is made up of hundreds of pre-built AI blocks and libraries, organized by business function and can be used individually or in combination to produce insights, predictions, and analyses across marketing, ecommerce and sales – with more capabilities and functions to come.

What are the big trends you anticipate in the ecommerce industry over the next few years?

As the amount of data continues to skyrocket in the retail sector and many other industries, executives are still faced with the challenge of identifying the right insights among these large data pools to make critical decisions. The pandemic led to a major change in shopping habits, which increased the amount of ecommerce traffic, so now companies are looking to find innovative solutions to make sense of their data and derive actionable takeaways. The increased use of AI and machine learning will enable enhanced decision-making capabilities and increased profitability.

About Assaf Egozi

Assaf Egozi, CEO and Founder of Noogata, is passionate about the potential for AI to radically improve business results and has dedicated much of his career to forging a relationship between deep data intelligence and business growth. He has a deep understanding of business strategy and operations honed over 10 years at McKinsey and Company. Assaf has an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School and a BSc. in Economics and Computer Science from Tel Aviv University, where he graduated magna cum laude.

About Noogata

Noogata’s modular AI platform gives companies the impact of data science without the burden of development or the limitations of out-of-the-box solutions.

Interview with Jeff Carroll from Avalara

Jeff Carroll from Avalara

Team eCommerce Next interviewed Jeff Carroll from Avalara to get more insights on alcohol ecommerce. Following is our interview with him:

Alcohol ecommerce is exploding; what is driving growth?

According to Rabobank, alcohol eCommerce grew from $2.6bn in 2019 to $6.1Bn in 2021. Alcohol tends to lag other categories in terms of technology adoption, partly because of the regulatory complexity, and eCommerce sales are not an exception to that rule. COVID was a wakeup call for producers, wholesalers, and retailers alike and we saw a staggering amount of investment in technology and human resources as more consumers became comfortable buying alcohol online. The pandemic was a catalyst for consumer adoption of ecommerce across channels, including grocery outlets, marketplaces, and brand websites seeing uptick in new online customers.

What is Avalara and how do you help companies who sell alcoholic drinks online?

Avalara provides cloud-native tax compliance solutions for many industries and tax types, including beverage alcohol. On top of being able to very accurately calculate tax on beverage alcohol products, we also offer an array of services to help alcohol sellers manage the compliance complexities inherent in this industry. For example, we can file and remit taxes after calculations, ensure transactions are compliant prior to fulfillment, acquire, renew, and modify alcohol licenses, and register, renew, and revise product registrations. Avalara tracks tax rate and rule changes across thousands of taxing jurisdictions, and tracks legislative changes impacting changes around, for instance, how and where sellers can go to market with online sales.

What should businesses prepare for if they want to jump onboard the alcoholic beverage ecommerce bandwagon?

There is a good amount of regulatory complexity in this industry. We go to lengths to help educate the industry about how to practically comply with the myriad laws and regulations. For example, we have a partnership with Wine Institute that shows all of the rules that wineries need to comply with when it comes to direct shipment of wine. Businesses newly entering the ecommerce space now have the advantage of adopting the right cloud-based tools and platforms to manage growth, provide optimal customer experience, and mitigate against compliance risks.

Is there important legislation worth watching in this area in the next year? If so, explain the impact / potential impact to online businesses.

We’re watching several key things in the legislative arena in 2022. It’s been remarkable to see how many states have adopted “Cocktails to Go” from restaurants either on a temporary or permanent basis, and that continues, with New York extending their allowance for three more years. Similarly, states are adopting laws that allow for the delivery of beverage alcohol products from off-premise retailers. And finally, spirits and beer advocacy groups are pushing to get access to more states for direct to consumer shipping. Currently, wineries can reach roughly 97% percent of the US population with direct shipments, but breweries and distilleries can only reach 17% and 11% respectively.

What are some interesting trends taking place right now in beverage alcohol ecommerce?

Innovation is happening at a pace I haven’t seen before. Brands want to help consumers find and receive their products, and obviously that is all shifting more and more online, especially as consumer generational shifts continue. To take full advantage of these shifts in consumer preference, Rabobank’s Bourcard Nesin wants wineries to think about the resources they devote to on-premises vs. off-premises sales, and be prepared. Ecommerce already accounts for more than 10% of off-premises wine sales, and he expects revenue from online channels to match or surpass on-premise sales in a few years. Successful wineries need to have enough people to manage their brand thoroughly on their ecommerce channels. According to Nesin, the difference between a good ecommerce team and a bad ecommerce team comes down to people – and most wineries just haven’t invested in the people they need to succeed in the digital world.

What is the #1 mistake online companies make when it comes to selling wine, beer or spirits online?

I’ve seen a lot of businesses jump in without understanding the regulatory complexity of selling online. Consider the dynamic state-by-state and local regulations that must be tracked and complied with, from tax collection and remittance, licensing and product registration, to shipping and age verification, and suddenly the new obligations can be daunting. A little homework and expert advice upfront can save a lot of hassle down the line.

What can we expect to see from Avalara in the next year?  What are your plans for further helping online businesses in the beverage alcohol industry?

Avalara is on a mission to be a part of every transaction in the world, and that translates directly to the beverage alcohol industry solutions. We will continue to look for ways to help businesses simplify the process of selling alcohol, whether that’s online or offline. Our goal is to make compliance seamless so businesses can focus on what they do best. The roots of our beverage alcohol group are in compliance services, and we continue to add more real-time and cloud-native capabilities for alcohol sellers.

About Jeff Carroll

Jeff Carroll is General Manager for Avalara for Beverage Alcohol. He was formerly Product Management Director and prior to Avalara, he served as Chief Product Officer at Compli, overseeing the development of software solutions and marketing strategy. Jeff regularly speaks about and advises customers on beverage alcohol compliance issues, particularly in the areas of direct shipping and sales tax.

About Avalara

Avalara helps businesses of all sizes get tax compliance right. In partnership with leading ERP, accounting, ecommerce, and other financial management system providers, Avalara delivers cloud-based compliance solutions for various transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, lodging, and other indirect tax types. Headquartered in Seattle, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and around the world in Brazil, Europe, and India.

Interview with Tim Beyer from Sana Commerce

Tim Beyer from Sana Commerce

Team eCommerce Next interviewed Tim Beyer from Sana Commerce to get more insights on how B2B e-commerce evolved since the pandemic. Following is our interview with him:

Tell me about Sana Commerce. How do you help companies?

Sana Commerce started in 2008 as a spinoff of ISM. Our mother company had been doing e-commerce implementation very early on, but the focus was typically on retail. One of our customers came to us and said, “I’m not just a retail business, I also have a wholesale practice. Given the size of my inventory, your retail solution doesn’t fit for me. Do you have a solution for my B2B?”

So, some very smart people came together and said, “We need to rethink how we tailor e-commerce specifically to the needs of B2B customers – wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers.” That’s how Sana was founded.

What makes Sana unique is that we make your SAP or Microsoft Dynamics ERP and e-commerce work as one. This eliminates the system silos, unnecessary complexities, and compromises caused by mainstream e-commerce solutions. Everything you see in Sana Commerce in terms of business logic, pricing, delivery times, stock units – it all comes from the ERP in real-time. The more complex the backend, the more valuable the integration that Sana Commerce provides.

How has B2B e-commerce evolved since the pandemic?

In the B2B field, there are still a lot of family-owned, traditional companies. Many of these companies, at the start of the pandemic, didn’t have an e-commerce solution yet. When governments started mandating shutdowns, these companies weren’t able to sell their products. They quickly concluded that they need to look into an online environment because that is the only store they can open right now.

We saw a huge shift of forced movers. People that were not online before the pandemic suddenly had e-commerce move to the top of their priority list. And moving to e-commerce provides B2B companies with significant cost savings and efficiency increases – it doesn’t just produce revenue online, but also reduces cost in terms of manual intake and manual order processing. So, yes, the pandemic forced the issue, but B2B businesses that made the move have seen significant benefits.

What types of challenges are B2B sellers facing as a result?

Supply chain issues are number one. During the pandemic, there was (and still is) a lot of uncertainty. Sellers faced a lot of questions, “When can I expect my order? What is the timeline?” Providing transparency in the buying journey is critical in mitigating that uncertainty.

In general, buyers are willing to tolerate a longer shipping timeline as long as things are transparent.

And again, where do you track those movements? In your ERP system, therefore, providing a solution that integrates this data in real-time mitigates that uncertainty.

What has been the impact on B2B buying?

The integration of various channels. It’s not just B2B; it has become more B2X. Wholesalers were traditionally only selling to their retailers, now they are opening up to a broader audience. This can cause channel conflicts. Where once the buyer was exclusively the retailer, now the retailer may be circumvented. The B2B seller can sell directly to the end customer. Now, the retailer that buys from you is not happy when you start approaching the end customer. There isn’t an easy solution.

Should B2B sellers be rethinking their e-commerce game plan? If so, how?

The pandemic changed where people work and when people work. Now, people expect to be able to order outside of the typical nine to five. There are still a lot of B2B companies that are stuck on normal office hours that aren’t taking advantage of these expanded buying demands. 24/7 e-commerce provides that opportunity.

Some B2B companies are saying, “We don’t need an e-commerce solution, we need a vendor portal or a sales portal.” In practice, those terms are nearly synonymous. E-commerce still has that big retail sound to it, which may be off-putting to B2B businesses. The urgency is there, but the terminology isn’t resonating. Bridging that perception gap is a priority.

I think it is important to have someone truly accountable for your e-commerce practice: an online store manager. We see this happening in the B2C space, but it’s less common in B2B. Instead of relying on your IT manager or marketing manager to drive this campaign, consider hiring a specialist who can oversee your entire online practice.

What toll could deglobalization have on B2B e-commerce?

I don’t believe that there is going to be a long-term trend of deglobalization. You will see countries think more critically about what they choose to produce locally – strategic reserves, medicine, energy. But that doesn’t mean deglobalization as a whole. Even with regard to supply chain issues and border closures, we are already in a better spot than we were a couple of months ago. Yes, we will need to rethink what we choose to buy internationally – we cannot buy everything from China, but that doesn’t mean we won’t buy anything from China. It’ll be a strategic rebalancing, but it’s not deglobalization.

If we look ahead to 2025, what do you think will be the big B2B e-commerce trend to watch?

I hope that every company will have a digital strategy. Digital strategy can help ensure that smaller B2B businesses can stay competitive with the larger brands that have jumped on this train earlier.

Infrastructure investment is becoming increasingly more in reach for everyone. Take hosting for example: in the past, everyone needed to have an expensive onsite hosting solution. Now, everything has moved to the cloud, and it is cheaper for companies to store their data. Infrastructure and software as a service are moving to a usage-based price – what you use is what you pay for. If you’re a small company, you don’t have to pay as much. It becomes more affordable to have advanced software. I anticipate that more software will be available to smaller companies at affordable prices, and B2B businesses will increasingly take advantage of these offerings.

What can we expect to see from Sana in the next year? What are your plans?

You’ll see the further rollout of our latest Sana Commerce cloud SaaS proposition; it’s been a huge market success. Eighty percent of all new customers are onboarding to our latest SaaS platform. You will also see an increased investment in our local footprint. We are aggressively expanding our team around the globe – certainly here in the Americas, where we hope to welcome 100 colleagues soon here on the ground. This will further enhance our support, service, and consulting capabilities. Lastly, we will continue to invest in our data-driven capabilities to drive the e-commerce success of our customers by giving them in-depth advice based on our expertise and what we see on an aggregate level.

About Tim Beyer

Tim Beyer is global COO of technology scale-up Sana Commerce, an ERP-integrated B2B e-commerce solution provider and certified partner of Microsoft Dynamics and SAP. As a highly coveted guest lecturer and ecommerce keynote speaker, Beyer has presented at prestigious educational institutions and companies in the Netherlands and abroad, sharing insights on topics including international entrepreneurship, cross-cultural management, market entrance and ecommerce growth strategies, scaling up, and the Rockefeller Habits.

About Sana Commerce

Sana Commerce provides a scalable, user-friendly, and reliable e-commerce platform, Sana Commerce Cloud, for growing B2B organizations looking to embrace digital transformation and accelerate business in a constantly changing market. The Sana approach to developing the software has resulted in a one-of-a-kind product: one that integrates natively with Microsoft Dynamics and SAP ERP systems without the need for additional middleware or connector technology.

Weak guidance leads to unexpected fall of Under Armour as per the Wall Street estimate

Wall Street estimate

Under Armour is going to encounter a toilsome year. But, as per the Wall Street estimate, It is getting agitated due to global supply chain challenges and another round of Covid lockdowns in China. These all are putting a depletion in demand.

Under Armour are a sneaker and apparel maker. It issued a disappointing outlook for its fiscal year 2023. It reported an unexpected loss for the three months, which ended March 31. The sales came in below Wall Street estimate.

Also, rival Adidas said that its growth in 2022 will come in on the low end of a forecasted range. This is due to the impacts of coronavirus-related lockdowns in China. Under Armour Chief Executive Officer Patrik Frisk stated that the underlying demand for the brand is still strong. The only risk is that Under Armour will have to discount excess goods that don’t sell. The Wall Street estimate, though, speak a different picture.

Under Armour reported a net loss for the quarter of $59.6 million. This was around 13 cents per share compared with a net income of $77.8 million or 17 cents a share a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it lost a penny per share. Analysts are looking for adjusted earnings per share of 6 cents. David Bergman, Chief Financial Officer, said that profit margins got pressured by elevated freight costs. This was particularly because of ocean freight, which came in higher than the company expected. Under Armour also used more air freight to fetch goods from overseas.

Sales grew to $1.3 billion from $1.26 billion. In North America, sales grew 4%, to $841 million. However, its international business grew just 1% to $456 million. As per the Wall Street Estimates, it is down by a 14% drop in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes China.

China is a growing market for Under Armour to try to win new customers. It is also a major manufacturing hub for much of the athletic apparel industry.

Under Armour produced roughly 67% of its apparel and accessories in China, Vietnam, Jordan, Malaysia, and Cambodia in the 12 months.

Under Armour is projecting to earn between 63 cents and 68 cents per share on an adjusted basis for the entire year. However, this is below analysts’ expectations of 86 cents.

CEO Frisk said that the brand should return to delivering “sustainable, profitable returns”. He also stated that future projects drum up demand. This would include a resale platform and a loyalty program that Under Armour plans to trial in North America.

eCommerce stocks fell as consumers pulled back online spending

online spending

Shoppers are curious to head back to physical stores as online spending is now a strong option. On the other hand, inflation is making customers spend on only essentials. This led to bad news for many eCommerce-focused retailers. Investors fear that profits have become harder to come by.

Wayfair’s stock dropped 26%. The stocks touched a fresh 52-week low after the online furniture retailer report. The wider-than-expected losses in the first quarter and fewer active customers mark the fall of stocks.

Wayfair Chief Executive Officer Niraj Shah said, “the typical seasonal pattern of gradually building demand that the business used to tracking has been transpiring in a more muted fashion.”

He also stated that he noticed more shoppers devoting a larger share of their wallets to experiences like travel.

Etsy shares tumbled by 17%. The online spending marketplace issued disappointing guidance for the second quarter. Shopify stock fell nearly 15%. This was after its forecast that revenue growth would be lower in the first half of the year. This was because it navigated tough Covid pandemic-era comparisons.

Shares of The RealReal and Farfetch both fell around 11%. Whereas those of Peloton and Revolve each dropped about 9%. Arby Parker and ThredUp fell 8%. Poshmark, an online site for shopping secondhand, saw its shares fall by 4%.

Wells Fargo analyst Zachary Fadem said that Investors’ appetite for high growth, negative EBITDA (and free cash flow) pandemic winners are very low.

Mastercard SpendingPulse stated that the total retail sales in the United States, excluding sales of autos, grew by 7.2%. E-commerce transactions dropped by 1.8%, while in-store sales rose by 10%.

E-commerce titan Amazon set the tone for waning momentum and a downbeat outlook. The company recorded the slowest revenue growth since the dot-com bust in 2001. It even issued a bleak forecast stating the slowdown in macroeconomic conditions and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Online spending falling down with such notches are not satisfactory.

Amazon shares ended trading down by 8%. A number of these companies — including Peloton, Poshmark, Thredup, and Allbirds — are set to report quarterly results. Investors are observing closely for any signs of a pullback.

Wayfair shares fell by 26%, a devastating quarter results

Wayfair

In a chaotic quarter, Wayfair loses customers and money. It announced that its CFO would retire. This was after the online furniture retailer reported large losses in the first quarter. The shoppers cut down their spending on the home category.

Wayfair even announced that Michael Fleisher, its chief financial officer, is going to retire soon. Kate Gulliver, current chief people officer, will take over the CFO role in November.

Fleisher will remain at the company for a transition period until next January.

Niraj Shah, Wayfair co-founder, and Chief Executive Officer, stated that consumer health is still strong despite sliding sales.

The retailer was a major beneficiary. This was during the pandemic when consumers shifted their spending to the web. They even bought fresh home decor and office furniture.

But this resulted in ordering delays and frustrated shoppers because of supply-chain complications.

Shah said in a press release, “The companies that will be most successful in navigating this dynamic environment are those that can act with agility.”The stock at a point touched a 52-week low of $65.32 and closed the day at $67.45.

Wayfair reported that its count of active customers declined. The decline in the first quarter of 2022 was by a percentage of 23.4% from a year ago. This was around the fall of 25.4 million.

Orders per customer also plummeted. The order adds up to 1.87 versus 1.98 in the year-ago period. Orders from similar customers also fell. This totaled 8.1 million, 26% lower than the year ago. Active customers refer to shoppers who purchased at least once directly from Wayfair in the preceding 12-month period.

Wayfair reported a loss of $319 million, or $3.04 per share, in three months. On excluding one-time items, the company lost $1.96 per share. According to a Refinitiv poll, analysts are looking for a loss of $1.56 a share. However, Shah said Wayfair is focusing on returning to profitability and on adjusted earnings.

Interview with Johannes Panzer from Descartes

Johannes Panzer from Descartes

Team eCommerce Next interviewed Johannes Panzer from Descartes to get more insights on How Reverse Logistics Can Help Ecommerce Move Forward. Following is our interview with him:

Amidst pandemic constrictions and heightened supply chain disruption, can you give some insight into the current status of the reverse logistics arena and what companies are up against today versus in years past?

The volume of online orders has drastically risen throughout the last two years. With that, so has the number of returns. According to the National Retail Federation, the average rate of returns for online purchases was 20.8%—an increase from 18.1% last year. This equates to almost $220 billion of merchandise that was returned. With stakes this high, retailers cannot afford to see online returns as a negligible problem anymore.

The threshold to return an order (or parts of an order) is very low, partially due to the extremely accommodating, customer-friendly return policy at Amazon; customers who shop online expect to be able to return an order at either low cost—or even no cost. Now, in addition to cost, retailers must take note of another part of the returns experience that has grown in importance: convenience. In fact, a recent survey of retailers by McKinsey found that up to 70% of respondents now offer free return shipping on some or all items, which underscores how no-cost/low-cost returns are becoming the norm.

Communication is also critical to making the returns experience convenient: customers today want to be kept as informed about the status of their return as they are about their delivery (e.g., when will the return arrive, has the retailer received it, when will I receive the refund?). Good ecommerce workforce management systems should support this level of customer communication and be able to send auto-notifications to customers via email, text, etc. about the status of their return as it makes its way through the reverse logistics process.

With respect to supply chain disruptions, retailers need a quick, efficient returns management process that allows them to put returned goods (if the quality of the product allows it) back into stock—and thus available for sale—as soon as possible. With supply chain disruptions affecting inventory levels across all types of businesses, it’s even more critical that returns are processed as soon as possible, especially if they can be restocked.

Where do you think brands often go awry in building out their reverse logistics strategies, even from the start? 

For many brands, what’s often at the root of the problem is the fact that their processes are not efficient enough to begin with; that is, they are reliant on manual, paper-based returns tasks. In many cases, the customer receives little to no information about the status of a return shipment or refund. Especially with spikes in demand, whether influencer-based order surges or holiday shopping peaks like Black Friday/Cyber Monday, vendors often find themselves not only overwhelmed by the sheer number of orders they must fulfill, but also by the immense volume of returns that need to be processed

The danger is clear: what looks like a certain success (e.g., a social media influencer promotes a product, leading to massive rise in sales volume) could lead to a true customer satisfaction disaster in the event even some customers return the item and have to wait for their return to be processed, and their money refunded. Unhappy customers are often quick to leave negative reviews on relevant rating portals, which could negatively impact the business.

Another potential pitfall is looking at reverse logistics only as a cost center. Companies that treat returns as pure cost make a costly mistake—because returns today are an integral part of the online/omnichannel buying experience. Returns need to be seen as a service to customers and a convenient one to make them want to come back and purchase again.

What can brands and logistics providers do to minimize reverse logistics issues moving forward?

Customers have a wide variety of reasons for returning products. To keep return rates as low as possible, detailed product descriptions, professional packaging and short delivery times have proven to be success factors. Returns, however, cannot be completely avoided. One goal, therefore, is to get returned goods back in inventory and available for sale as quickly as possible and with as little effort as possible. With a mobile app specifically developed to be used with ecommerce-enabled warehouse management systems (WMS), returns can be processed efficiently and error-free, directly on a mobile device like a smartphone. The second goal is the customer experience. Part of more automated, technology-driven returns management is the ability to easily generate payments and credit notes for customers—as well as customer notifications and updates to keep them informed until the returns process is fully complete.

Tactics like retailer return portals for instance are a trend expected to become more prevalent. Do you think this is a viable method to alleviate reverse logistics pressures? Are there other tactics or strategies retailers can implement to strengthen their abilities in handling reverse logistics and returns? 

Returns portals where customers log in to initiate the returns process are absolutely viable. Not only do they make forecasting of expected returns easier, but they can also create cross-sell and up-sell opportunities by sending customers specific marketing messaging during the returns process. For example, customers could receive specific vouchers/gift cards as an incentive to not send something back or to make a separate purchase. The options are endless!

For some types of retailers with high return rates (e.g., discounted fashion), one strategy to help preserve margins on merchandise already sold at low prices is to not offer returns free of charge. While it’s not a strategy for all vendors, having a cost associated with returns may mean customers shop more carefully to minimize being out of pocket in the event they want to return their purchase.

How will technology like AI and ML play more of a significant role with reverse logistics moving forward? 

If emerging technology such as AI and ML become more widely incorporated in the selling process, customers in theory could be making purchases more tailored to what they really want/like in terms of aesthetic and fit. Again, this is particularly relevant in fashion ecommerce: imagine an AI-based algorithm informing the online consumer exactly which pair of pants are the perfect choice, the perfect color and the ideal size. Customers won’t have to hedge their bets by ordering multiple pants in numerous variations to find the perfect pair—which would minimize the prospect of returns for both customers and vendors alike.

We’re obviously through the major holiday season, but what other peaks should businesses prepare for this year and how can they get more ahead of Holiday 2022? 

The analysis of past peaks is essential for the preparation of shipping-intensive periods. Evaluating the sales figures of past peaks according to articles and categories is critical. What items sold better than average? What didn’t sell at all? Based on these figures, vendors can calculate a clearer forecast of required inventory levels for the next peak before it hits. In this way, vendors can minimize potentially sold-out items or long customer wait times before a product they order is delivered. It is also important to find out which suppliers’ new goods can be ordered and the anticipated time for delivery. Warehouse layout should also be considered. Place seasonal/”hot” items near shipping stations so that warehouse employees only have short distances to walk for fulfillment. In the same way, clear these A-storage locations of C-items that are hardly in demand and store them further back in the warehouse.

Anything else you’d like to share? 

The No. 1 reverse logistics theme for 2022 will be convenience for the consumer. Over the next year, according to Shopify, 54% of consumers say they’re likely to look at a product online and buy in-store, and 53% are likely to look at a product in-store and buy online. It’s become clearer than ever that customer acquisition costs (CAC) have never been as high as they are now. As such, leading merchants focused on continuing their growth trajectory need to make sure to have a cost-effective returns process and remove any hurdles to returns that might occur in the buying experience.

About Johannes Panzer

Johannes Panzer is Head of Industry Solutions for Ecommerce, Descartes. With over 15 years of experience in e-Commerce, Panzer is known as a domain expert in e-Commerce fulfillment and logistics. He plays a central role in developing the go-to-market strategy and positioning for Descartes’ Ecommerce solutions globally. Panzer has a background in marketing and is experienced in agile project management, with several years leading the Descartes product management group in Germany.

About Descartes

Descartes Systems Group is the Leading provider of technology solutions for logistics and supply chain management. Logistics Technology Platform digitally combines the world’s most expansive logistics network with the industry’s broadest array of logistics management applications and most comprehensive offering of global trade related intelligence. It helps get inventory, information, assets and people where they’re needed, when they’re needed.