ECOMMERCE

Walmart goes live

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart has officially gone live with voice shopping on the Google Homeplatform.

As it was announced back in August, the discounter is partnering with Google to allow its customers to shop for Walmart items through voice via Google Assistant, the search giant's online shopping platform that lives on its smart speaker. On Wednesday, the partnership went live, with more than two million Walmart items available through voice.

(Read more about the partnership here.)

In addition, Walmart noted in a blog on its website that Google is launching the Google Home Mini, a voice-activated speaker that sells for only $49.

"Everyone should have access to a virtual assistant, especially when it can be a tool to help make shopping more convenient," Walmart stated. "That’s one of the reasons why we’re excited about the launch of the Google Home Mini. With a price tag of $49, it offers an affordable option for consumers who want to experience how a voice assistant can help them with everyday tasks – from getting answers to hands-free shopping.”

Walmart is offering an incentive to encourage shoppers to use voice shopping. Any customer who buys a Google Home or Google Home Mini from Walmart will receive up to $25 off (Between Oct. 4, 2017 and Jan. 15, 2018) a Walmart order when they link their Walmart account to Google Express. By linking their accounts, customers save time and money by receiving recommendations based on their previous purchases made in Walmart stores and on its website, the retailer said.

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R.Mader says:
Oct-05-2017 02:42 pm

Wal-Mart and Google
Great move. I will buy one at this discounted price and stop writing paper store list.

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ECOMMERCE

Cloud-based platform puts Jonathan Adler on fast track

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A home furnishings brand is in rapid expansion mode — something that wasn’t possible five years ago.

Through the use of Oracle’s NetSuite platform, Jonathan Adler has increased the number of its company-run retail stores from 18 to 26, including two in the U.K. grown its e-commerce site, and expanded its SKU volume from 12,000 to 33,000. The company has also increased its retail partners from 500 to more than 1,000 across 30 countries, including such top names as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Harrod's and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The brand credits this upward expansion — which has occurred over the last five years — to the adoption of Oracle’s cloud-based platform. This unified foundation integrates accounting, order management, inventory management and order processing – key elements in customer-centric omnichannel retail operations and B2B distribution.

The architecture replaces disparate, inefficient software systems that offered limited visibility into the business, and supported manual data management and reporting — factors that contributed to a fragmented environment. Worse, the outdated systems couldn’t be upgraded without significant spending and business disruption.

These issues pushed the company to search for an agile, scalable platform that would support its expansion plans, and keep mission-critical information centralized in one place. Specifically, NetSuite feeds nightly catalog updates to Jonathan Adler's e-commerce site, while the marketing platform triggers and delivers timely, personalized communications to customers and fans.

The centralized platform also enables Jonathan Adler to set up new stores within hours, unlike the previous scenario that required weeks of provisioning on-premise software and systems, according to the company.

"NetSuite has made us smarter, faster and more capable," said Damen Seminero, Jonathan Adler’s CTO.

“It is our central nervous system and the single data source for our financials, inventory and customers," he added. "NetSuite has taken us from guesswork to having real-time numbers and information in one location, and there's no greater benefit than that. It has allowed us to grow and add new locations without ever pausing.”

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

The Profit’s Marcus Lemonis launches new retail concept

BY Marianne Wilson

A new women's apparel store has made its debut in Chicago.

Marcus Lemonis Fashion Group, which is owned by Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC hit reality series “The Profit,” CEO of Camping World and all-around retail entrepreneur, has opened Marcus, on Chicago's Gold Coast. Additional locations are expected to open within the next six months in Aspen, Col. Hinsdale, Ill., and New York City.

Lemonis has been expanding his fashion retail concepts for some time under a variety of banners, including Denim &amp Soul, Union 73, and Final Sale. The newest concept marks the first time Lemonis has used his own name on one of his businesses.

At 4,000 sq. ft. and featuring a luxe mezzanine lounge, Marcus is described as a luxury and lifestyle destination offering the latest in contemporary styles, as curated by Lemonis. Stephanie Menkin, president, ML Fashion Group, said that Lemonis designed "every square inch of the store."

“Based on the feedback and interest of our shoppers, I’ve filled the store with best-sellers they already love, while also introducing new brands and statement pieces they won’t be able to live without," he stated. "Our store is here to help women feel their best in quality fashion from around the world and take charge of their lives. We’ve built a talented team of expert fashion stylists to offer customers top-tier shopping guidance and make them feel good every step of the way. This is just the beginning of what’s to come.”

The brands featured in Marcus range from the more established JBrand, Rebecca Taylor, Alicia &amp Oliva and 360 Cashmere to such up-and-comers as Calvin Rucker, The Line, and Tyler Jacobs.

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