TECHNOLOGY

H&M launches new online site with visual search

BY Marianne Wilson

H&M on Monday unveiled a new e-commerce site and mobile app for U.S. shoppers.

Both platforms come with an array of new features, including visual search, which allows users to search for products by uploading a photo. They also boost a scan-and-find function that allows store shoppers to scan an item’s price tag to search for it online, checking check stock, size and color options.

In addition, customers can review items from online purchases. Items can be rated out of five stars and include such details as the size and fit of the garment, with the reviews be listed on the product detail page.

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TECHNOLOGY

Footwear retailer ups its commitment to artificial intelligence

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The Aldo Group is delving deeper into artificial intelligence as it looks to simplify its enterprise IT operations.

The Canadian footwear and accessory retailer is well underway with the digital transformation of its business operations. By adding an artificial intelligence (AI)-based platform, the retailer will be able to more rapidly deploy new services in a manner that ensures resilience of its digital solutions and reduces operational risks.

Through its partnership with Digitate, a software unit of Tata Consultancy Services, Aldo is adding the “Ignio” cognitive automation solution. The SaaS-based technology is designed to intelligently automate and optimize enterprise’s IT operations and processes, which results in improved speed and flexibility, reduced risk and an enhanced user experience.

The platform integrates information from a wide range of sources to blueprint, self-learn and be contextually aware of an enterprise’s technology and operations. It will also gives Aldo the ability to make informed decisions quickly and self-heal from operational incidents, while reducing the reliance on manual processes and modeling tasks.

“It is a major priority for The Aldo Group to move all of our services to a digital platform, and ensure a high level of resilience and agility,” said Dominic D’Amata, VP, architecture, governance and infrastructure for the Aldo Group.

“In recent years, as our business has expanded, our systems have become ever more complex,” she added. “As such, Ignio will help us to simplify the management of these systems, giving us greater efficiency and control over critical aspects of our IT operations.”

This is not the footwear company’s first foray into AI. In June, Aldo added an AI-based solution to optimize the fulfillment of online orders from all corporate stores across its global network. It enables Aldo to fulfill online orders from the most profitable location, a move that targets stores likely to experience a lower demand for a particular item. It also prevents the company from selling from locations that are more likely to sell out.

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Amazon Watch: Weekly recap

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

In addition to selling Party City’s merchandise on its website, Amazon made the headlines for several other stories. Here’s a rundown:

Amazon adds a twist to its Whole Foods Market grocery delivery service. The online giant launched grocery pickup, a service that enables Prime members to pick up their order at a local Whole Foods Market store within an hour — without leaving their car.

Study: The top-selling categories on Prime Day were… Amazon’s 36-hour mega-sale underscored the online giant’s fight for dominance in home improvement, grocery and private label.

Amazon reportedly wants to hire new employees — but there’s a twist. The online retailer is going on a hiring spree, but potential candidates won’t be working in an office.

Customers’ shopping savviness pays off for Amazon big time. The sophisticated price searches of Amazon Prime members on Prime Day contributed to the highest level of event participation — and spending — to date.

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