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360pi launches partner program

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ottawa, Canada – 360pi has formally launched the 360pi Partner Program. This initiative provides a framework for retail technology providers to leverage 360pi’s pricing intelligence in their solutions.

360pi partners gain access to competitive pricing intelligence, a technical team, and live data for building prototypes and selling solutions. 360pi’s competitive information can be integrated with price optimization, point-of -sale, electronic shelf labeling, digital ad optimization, store management, price strategy and other business processes to help drive profitable decisions.

"We are very excited to build upon the success of our IBM relationship with the official launch of the 360pi Partner Program,” said Alexander Rink, CEO of 360pi. “Pricing intelligence has emerged as a cornerstone of smart retailers’ pricing strategies, and the effectiveness of retailers’ pricing decisions is directly related to the quality of the pricing intelligence. By building an ecosystem of retail technology leaders, we are delivering retailers the tools and knowledge that they need to succeed."

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Amazon enjoys strong start to 2014

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon continues to power ahead with record first quarter sales, solid bottom line improvement and intriguing new initiatives to drive future performance.

Sales increased 23% to $19.7 billion during the quarter ended March 31, compared to $16 billion the prior year. The sales figure was comprised of product sales which grew 18.3% to $15.7 billion and service sales which grew 44% to slightly more than $4 billion. The company’s fulfillment costs increased 29% to $2.3 billion.

Net income increased to $108 million, or 23 cents a share, compared to $82 million, or 18 cents in the first quarter the prior year.

In typical fashion, Amazon founder and CEO did not comment on the company’s financial performance, but did note that, “We get our energy from inventing on behalf of customers, and 2014 is off to a kinetic start.” He then went on to add that the company’s, “device team launched Fire TV, offering great content, including our recently announced exclusive deal with HBO, and innovative features like unified voice search, which we’re delighted is being adopted by so many new partners, including Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Crackle and Showtime Anytime.”

“The team is working hard to keep Fire TV in stock. Our retail team launched Prime Pantry, a new option available only to Prime members offering exclusive access to everyday essentials in non-bulk sizes — ranging from breakfast foods and popular soft drinks, to cleaning and personal care items,” Bezos said.

The Prime Panty service is of particular interest to CPG companies and retail competitors because it offer Amazon Prime members access to low-priced everyday essentials in everyday sizes. Available nationally, Prime customers can buy as much or as little as they want and have items delivered to their home. The assortment include products such as beverages, bottled water, a new range of paper and laundry products in popular pack sizes, single boxes of breakfast cereal, potato chips, convenience-sized personal care products and more. There is a flat fee of $5.99 per Prime Pantry box.

The company also introduced Dash, a shopping device that allows Prime Fresh customers to shop hundreds of thousands of items — ranging from groceries to household essentials — from anywhere in their home without having to browse the AmazonFresh website or app. Dash works directly with a customer’s AmazonFresh account and allows users to scan items or say the items they want and Dash finds the products.

Amazon said it expect sales during its second quarter to growth between 15% and 26% to a range of $18.1 billion to $19.8 billion.

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EBay Enterprise releases ship-from-store freight solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

King of Prussia, Pa. – eBay Enterprise is releasing a new offering for clients using its Ship-From-Store solution. The new solution leverages EBay Enterprise’s solutions with freight companies to provide its Ship-From-Store clients with discounted shipping rates, free or discounted branded packing supplies and rebates for high-volume orders that they would not be able to obtain on their own.

“Our goal is to provide retailers with the industry’s most comprehensive solutions to compete and win in today’s omni-channel commerce environment,” said Tobias Hartmann, interim president of EBay Enterprise. “Decreasing shipping and freight costs is top of mind for them. We’ve worked with our freight partners to provide savings not only in warehouse fulfillment, but also for our clients who ship orders from their store network. It’s a win for our clients and the consumer.”

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