TECHNOLOGY

Report: Zara tests online order pickup kiosks

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Zara is taking a page from Walmart’s online ordering playbook.

The fast-fashion powerhouse now features self-service kiosks that allow shoppers to retrieve their online orders. Two machines are being tested at a store in Spain, according to Business Insider.

Unlike the huge orange kiosks positioned at Walmart store entrances, Zara’s kiosks align with the store’s decor — they have a sleek white exterior and a modular design that can be customized, and even hidden behind a wall. The machine can also hold about 4,000 packages — which is double what Walmart’s pickup towers can hold, the report said.

While the technology is only being tested in one store, it may be rolled out to more locations soon, according to the report.

To read more, click here.

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TECHNOLOGY

International cosmetics retailer takes e-commerce into the cloud

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The L’Occitane Group is taking steps to expand its digital presence worldwide, and deliver more personalized shopping experiences.

By replacing its homegrown e-commerce system with Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud, the international cosmetics retailer now has a platform that provides multi-site, multi-language and multi-currency e-commerce capabilities. This addition will enable the company to more quickly innovate and expand its digital presence around the world.

Commerce Cloud will also enable L’Occitane to deliver a unified commerce experience on any channel or device. This unified experience is also the foundation needed to support more connected and personalized shopping experiences, according to Salesforce.

Armed with the new cloud-based platform, L’Occitane is positioned to quickly adapt its e-commerce offering to fit consumer trends in local markets, and provide a new level of customized shopping experiences across the world.

The L’Occitane Group operates 3,000 retail outlets in 90 countries.

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Nation’s largest mall gives holiday shoppers AI-based assistance

BY Marianne Wilson

The Mall of America has launched a first-of-kind chatbot for shopping malls.

Done in collaboration with Satisfi Labs, the location-based AI chatbot program is designed to provide faster customer service to busy holiday shoppers. The chatbot, available on Mall of America’s website, mobile app, and Facebook page, can answer questions in real-time about gifting, food recommendations, and attractions and holiday events happening in the mall, based on a user’s specific location and in real-time.

The Mall of America chatbot is Satisfi Lab’s first fully integrated retail location bot that uses multiple data feeds, over different customer touch-points, to answer customer’s questions in natural language, and within seconds. Along with providing food and event recommendations, the chatbot can:

• Provide directions to all the stores, restaurants, attractions and services based on the user’s current location based on Mall of America’s location API.

• Recommend the mall’s top gift items and brands, as well as directing the user on which stores these brands are located in.

• Connect the user with a digital guest service representative in real-time if an ongoing AI conversation requires more information.

The chatbot is part of a larger digital transformation at Mall of America that includes in-mall activations such as SoftBank’s Humanoid robot, Pepper.

“Satisfi Labs and SoftBank have been incredible partners, helping us to continue leading the retail industry with the newest forms of technology that ultimately help give our guests a better experience while visiting Mall of America,” said Sarah Townes, VP of marketing for Mall of America.

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