retail (Image credit Pixabay/unsplash) and eCommerce news covered last week included Huboo. Revealing how it has helped AU Vodka manage its fulfilment operations as the company scaled. Utimaco released new consumer research that found a low level of trust around Internet of Things (IoT) devices. GroupBy has released product enhancements that make it easier for retailers to create outstanding product discovery experiences. Other news last week came from Acquia, Oracle, PDI Technologies, Salesforce, and YipitDATA.


Acquia announced a new release of its Digital Asset Management platform, formerly Widen. It has added new capabilities for search, sharing, and analytics. To help teams maximize the value of their content investments across brands, regions, campaigns, and personas, even as budgets are squeezed.

Updates include:

  • An enhanced search experience
  • More options for sharing assets
  • Keyword and tag improvements with improved keyword search
  • Acquia DAM analytics enhancements

Jennifer Griffin Smith, Chief Market Officer at Acquia, commented, “Marketing and creative teams turn to DAM systems to rein in content chaos and gain insight into how their content performs, particularly across global brand portfolios. The new Acquia DAM updates empower teams to create, find, and share assets faster, giving them better control over revenue-generating digital marketing campaigns and the ability to ensure better brand consistency.”


Waffle House has enhanced the usage of its Oracle technology with the introduction of new contactless payment options using Oracle Payment Cloud Service. The solution supports customers paying for their waffles with debit/credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. It allows the Waffle House to meet customers’ different requirements today. The application supports the Oracle MICROS Simphony Cloud Point-of-Sale (POS), which the firm already uses.

Patrick Marshburn, VP of Innovation & Strategy Waffle House, commented, “Our customers love the classic nostalgia of our restaurants and maintaining that feeling of a dine-in experience at the Waffle House is important to our brand. At the same time, we know those same customers are looking for modern conveniences like paying from their mobile device. In just three months we were able to seamlessly rollout the POS systems and Oracle payment system-wide. We are already seeing a positive response from both our restaurant operations team and our customers.”

Simon de Montfort Walker, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Food and Beverage, said, “For 68 years, Waffle House has been a legend in American dining, known for its unforgettable food and service. Working closely with the Waffle House team, we were able to upgrade all its locations to our payments and Simphony platform in just months – before the busy summer rush. So, while servers will still take orders on their classic yellow ticket books, customers now can leave the cash behind to pay and tip with their preferred digital payment method.

“This is a big step forward in efficiency and convenience for both customers and Waffle House employees.”  

PDI Technologies

PDI Technologies has acquired Skupos. It means that its solutions are now used by over 25,000 Independent stores in the US. Skupos provides single-store operators access to CPG brand programs and discounts. While providing brands with data and insights on how their products perform at independent convenience retailer sites.

Jamie Hudson, SVP & GM, Offers, Media Network, and Insights (OMNI), at PDI, commented, “Skupos has achieved impressive scale in the independent and small-chain channel. By bringing Skupos customers together with PDI, we can now offer brands access to performance and activation at more than 25,000 independent sites, which benefits everyone across the convenience ecosystem.”

Jake Bolling, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Skupos, said, “Since our founding in 2016, Skupos has been mission-oriented to drive better business outcomes for entrepreneurial, independent retailers by connecting them with CPG companies wanting to optimize sales in the convenience channel. I’m incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished in a short period of time and how PDI will catalyze our mission further in this next leg of the journey. The industry stands to benefit greatly.”


Salesforce published the fifth edition of the Connected Shoppers Report. This year the survey sample included 2,400 shoppers and 1,125 retail leaders in 17 countries. The key finding is that, yet again, the retail industry is on the verge of major disruption. This time it found that retailers are turning to Generative AI to introduce a new set of competitive differentiation.

Shoppers are interested in using generative AI and see a range of use cases. With 63% (very interested or somewhat interested) seeing it help with gift ideas and 62% helping with research electronics and appliances. The report looks at the wide range of use cases of Generative AI, and it seems likely that interest will ebb and flow.

Physical stores are making a comeback, with digital transactions dropping 8%, to 51% in 2022. Yet this resurgence will likely end quickly, with digital transactions projected to grow by 56% in 2025. Retailers increasingly look at unified platforms combining digital and physical, personalising engagement across all channels to drive loyalty.

The report provides a fascinating snapshot of the changing habits of shoppers and how retailers are reacting. Loyalty programs are top of mind for many. 75% of retailers offering a loyalty program. 22% of those without a loyalty program (another 5% in total), plan to introduce one within 24 months.

Rob Garf, VP and General Manager of Salesforce Retail, commented, “Consumers are traversing a number of physical and digital touchpoints throughout the shopping journey – from browsing in stores to buying on social. Generative AI will be a game changer for retailers to increase personalization and decrease friction – ultimately driving loyalty and increasing share of wallet.”


YipitDATA published the 1H 2023 State of the Home Improvement Industry Report. The report provides visibility into the $220 billion home improvement market dynamics. Covering industry trends and growth by channel, retailer and subcategory.

Key findings included:

  • Home improvement GMV sales growth at a modest 2-3% YoY in 1H 2023 vs 23.5% YoY in 2021
  • More than ⅓ of total home improvement sales in 2023 were made online. Generalist retailers, led by Amazon, are capitalizing on the shift to eCommerce
  • Various subcategory performance is evolving due to consumer preference changes, including hand & power tools, outdoor power equipment, and lawn & garden

Dan Pellegrinelli, VP of Research at YipitData, said, “Our goal is to help retailers and brands answer their key questions on evolving consumer behavior with actionable data. The re-calibration of baseline consumer behavior is impacting each category differently in 2023. The home improvement sector deserves to be watched as pandemic spending grew the category significantly.”

Retail and eCommerce news from the week beginning 7 August 2023



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