NIBs (Image Credit/Pixabay/Lubos Houska)Retail and eCommerce highlights this week include: The marketplace integration with CedCommerce enables qualified merchants to seamlessly accelerate multichannel operations. DRUID partners with FourNxt Technologies to expand its Conversational AI presence in the Middle East.

Sift’s Q1 2023 Digital Trust & Safety Index exposes rising payment fraud, most-targeted industries, and the growing democratisation of fraud. The office for National Statistics has reported retail sales figures in Great Britain for February. Singapore-based Mystifly, a vertical SaaS & marketplace provider for the airline industry, announced the conclusion of Pre-Series B funding.

CedCommerce announces multichannel integration with Michaels

CedCommerce, a multichannel eCommerce enabler, has launched a Multichannel Integration for Michaels, the leading speciality arts, crafts, and home décor retailer in North America. The ‘Michaels Multichannel Integration’ offers simplified ways for vetted Shopify and WooCommerce merchants of high-quality arts and crafts supplies and componentry to sell on through the retailer’s new, US-based no-fee marketplace. It expands the sellers’ businesses and reaches the 10s of millions of customers visiting each month in the US.

Michaels is now accepting applications from qualified sellers in new and existing categories, including arts and crafts supplies, candle and soap making, leather and woodwork, baking, tools and tech, yarn, stitchery, kids, toys, education, journaling, seasonal products and more. Merchants are assigned a dedicated account manager by CedCommerce to help them at every stage of selling.

DRUID partners with FourNxt Technologies to expand Conversational AI presence in the Middle East

DRUID, a global leader in conversational AI technology for enterprise productivity, has joined forces with FourNxt, a prominent regional IT services provider across the Middle East. This strategic alliance aims to fast-track digital transformation and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) initiatives in the region, broadening the scope and benefits of conversational solutions offered to clients.

FourNxt is a technology solutions provider that seamlessly integrates AI, IoT, and Big Data, empowering businesses to transform complex customer challenges into growth opportunities. With a team of seasoned professionals at the helm, FourNxt is committed to delivering customised, end-to-end solutions that cater to each client’s unique needs and challenges.

DRUID, on the other hand, specializes in developing advanced conversational AI technology designed to boost enterprise productivity. Its innovative solutions enable organisations to automate customer interactions, streamline internal processes, improve efficiency and enhance user experience.

Conversational AI holds the transformative power to reshape the enterprise ecosystem radically, redefining customer interactions and streamlining operations for unprecedented efficiency and growth. The global market for conversational technology is characterized by extraordinary growth prospects, with the industry valued at $3.8 billion in 2021 and expanding at an astounding rate of 55% year over year.

By working together, DRUID and FourNxt are poised to seize opportunities in this rapidly growing sector, delivering cutting-edge solutions that drive innovation, enhance customer engagement, and help companies stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Sift finds fraudsters are targeting Fintech, digital goods & services—and recruiting consumers

Sift, a provider in Digital Trust & Safety has released its Q1 2023 Digital Trust & Safety Index. The study found that 16% consumers admit to committing, or know of someone who has taken part in payment fraud. Likewise, 17% of consumers have encountered online offers to commit payment fraud. The report suggests this is a symptom of fraud’s accessibility and democratisation among everyday internet users. Consumer data was collected via a survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults.

Additionally, the report includes fraud data findings from Sift’s global network of over 34,000 sites and apps. These combined insights have revealed the latest techniques fraudsters are adapting to turn stolen data and proven attack methods into profitable—and marketable—products and services amid shaky economic conditions.

According to Juniper Research, payment fraud cost online businesses $41B globally in 2022. Those losses are expected to jump to 17% in 2023, hitting $48B by the end of this year. With attacks on the rise, it’s no longer a matter of if a business will face a payment fraud attack, but when and at what scale.

Even industries facing significant headwinds remain in fraudsters’ sites, as Sift’s network, which analyzes more than one trillion events annually, shows that payment fraud attacks in fintech jumped 13% between 2021 and 2022. Within fintech, buy now, pay later (BNPL) merchants faced a massive 211% increase, and crypto exchanges saw a 45% surge. Meanwhile, digital goods & service providers were hit by a 27% uptick in payment fraud.

UK February retail figures – shoppers seek a bargain

The office for National Statistics has reported retail sales figures in Great Britain for February:

  • Retail sales volumes are estimated to have increased by 1.2% in February 2023, following a revised rise of 0.9% in January.
  • Year-on-year sales fell 3.5%, better than the expected decline of 4.7%.
  • Total non-food stores sales volumes (department, clothing, household and other non-food stores) grew by 2.4% over the month.
  • Online sales volumes rose by 0.2%, helped by sales promotions.

Nicholas Hyett, Investment Analyst at Wealth Club commented, “The UK is finding it’s shopping habit hard to kick it would seem. Retail sales volumes have come in stronger than expected for the second month this year despite the cost-of-living squeeze.

“But beneath that headline, there’s clear evidence that shoppers are being careful with their money. Growth in non-food sales was driven by discounters and second hand shops, while the rise in food volumes is attributed to people choosing to eat in and avoid pricey meals out. Shoppers may be more willing to spend, but only when there’s a bargain to be had.

“Longer term, sales volumes remain lower than they were this time last year. With the Bank of England expecting the UK economy to hold up better than previously expected, that provides room for several months more sales growth. Whether shoppers find the confidence to return to the mid-market space though remains to be seen.”

Mystifly Closes $8M in Pre-Series B Funding

Singapore-based Mystifly, a vertical SaaS & marketplace provider for the airline industry announced the conclusion of Pre Series B funding with CSVP (Cornerstone Venture Partners) bringing the total of this round to $8 million combined with earlier investments from RSI Fund, Jenfi & Crusade Partners among others.

Mystifly’s API first, innovative SaaS and marketplace platform for all stakeholders in the travel distribution value chain. It enables Online Travel Agencies, and travel intermediaries to access a vast inventory of airfares (with or without commercial agreements with airlines). It includes Low-Cost Carriers, New Distribution Capabilities Global Distribution Systems while also offering airlines an alternative distribution and payments reconciliation and settlement platform. Over 20M air travel bookings have been booked and settled through the platform.

The platform enables B2B customers to offer personalised travel, changing the competitive parameters to way beyond price, creating an industry-transforming air retailing experience for travellers. Shopping based on attributes helps airlines position themselves better and empowers customers to make more informed decisions.

Mystifly is also paving the way to democratise air travel sales allowing any business to build an ’embedded travel’ integration for their captive audience. This investment will help speed up the growth of Mystifly’s data and technology capabilities and expand Mystifly’s global footprint, distribution & product offerings.

With this Pre-series B funding, Mystifly plans to extend the market reach of its SaaS products and services. The leadership team comprises co-founders Rajeev Kumar and Bharat Goyal.


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