April 13, 2024

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Retail: Walmart Acquisition Boosts Voice Tools

In today’s top retail news, Walmart is acquiring technology assets from conversational platform startup Botmock, while Wayfair has added a video commerce platform to its app. Also, DoorDash is now offering same-day delivery for Ulta Beauty products, and direct-to-consumer (D2C) jewelry company Rowan is trying to provide consumers with a memorable ear-piercing experience that keeps them coming back.

Walmart Acquires Botmock Tech Assets to Advance Voice, Chat Tools

Walmart is acquiring technology assets from conversation design startup Botmock to advance its own conversational platform and offer non-technical teams like customer service access to these tools without additional coding needed. The goal is to help empower business owners operating within the Walmart ecosystem to develop voice, chat and intelligent assistant experiences quickly and easily.

Wayfair Debuts In-App Video Commerce Offering

Home furnishings company Wayfair rolled out an immersive video commerce platform, Wayfair On Air, that will help shoppers find products with which to decorate their spaces. Wayfair On Air offers “entertainment, ideas and inspiration” to the company’s mobile shopping platform, the company said, and features new episodes of different shows several times a day throughout the week.

DoorDash Offers Same-Day Ulta Beauty Delivery

In another nod to the ever-expanding “bring-it-to-me” economy, DoorDash has partnered with beauty retailer Ulta Beauty on same-day delivery from Ulta stores in six metro areas, with plans to expand the offering across the country in 2022. The new service, which relies on DoorDash Drive, follows an announcement by buybuy BABY and Bed Bath & Beyond that Uber Eats will now deliver babies’ and kids’ products and home goods.

D2C Ear Piercings Aim to Disrupt ‘Tired’ Mall-Based Experience

Louisa Serene Schneider said that when she took her nieces to get their ears pierced a few years ago, the only option was a mall-based provider that had been around for a while, “and the experience was pretty tired and not special. And I felt like I’d let them down.” The desire to avoid a similar experience with her own daughter led Schneider to found Rowan, a D2C jewelry company that works with registered nurses to pierce ears at its own brick-and-mortar locations, through in-home consultations and at nearly 300 Target stores.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE 2021 HOLIDAY SHOPPING OUTLOOK

About: It’s almost go time for the holiday shopping season, and nearly 90% of U.S. consumers plan to make at least some of their purchases online — 13% more than did in 2020. The 2021 Holiday Shopping Outlook, PYMNTS surveyed more than 3,600 consumers to learn what is driving online sales this holiday season and the impact of product availability and personalized rewards on merchant preference.

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