As coronavirus ups DTC demand, Dirty Lemon’s Iris Nova pivots its retail strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Iris Nova, the startup beverage brand backed by Coca-Cola, is balancing a coronavirus-driven uptick in DTC demand with punctures in its hospitality and retail businesses. Its chief executive explains how being historically unafraid of strategy “pivots” has reduced the pressure of the past few weeks.
Iris Nova is the brainchild of Zac Normandin, who first imagined a beverage company “built with consumption data, technology, and direct connection with consumers” back in 2015.
He now counts nine beverage brands in his stable, including Sanzo, Miracle Seltzer and Olipop. But it was flagship brand Dirty Lemon that first turned the heads of investors by taking DTC off a web browser and on to a text messaging platform.
Now, consumers can order crates of Iris Nova’s full portfolio of drinks directly through SMS.
The service has – predictably – proven popular with US consumers staying inside during the coronavirus outbreak. This has seen the company shift its focus to concentrate sales and operational efforts on direct delivery.
“Thankfully, we’ve invested heavily in infrastructure that supports that – we now have the technology platform that allows customers to place orders very quickly and provides very fast deliveries,” says chief executive Normandin.
However, the company is working to mitigate potential losses from newer arms of its business.
The majority of its partners in the hospitality business have been forced to close temporarily. That poses a “challenge” to Iris Nova as restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars are “critical customers to the company”. Currently, the drinks maker is figuring out ways it can support their businesses through a pivot to delivery services.
“It’s just a very dramatic change in the way that we’re doing things,” says Normandin. “It’s definitely not bad necessarily, but it’s still a change.”
Additionally, the company is working out how the virus spread will affect the plans for its burgeoning retail business. Central to this is The Drug Store, its shop in New York’s Tribeca, which has had to close as part of the city’s shutdown of all non-essential businesses.
Scaling back
You have to look hard to understand how The Drug Store has remained open for the 18 months it has been in business. Firstly, it’s located in an area of prime real estate without the high mark-ups or ticket prices that keep its neighbors in business. Secondly, it’s essentially a fridge: the store is cashierless, and consumers are trusted to pay for the drinks they pick out via Iris Nova’s text messaging service.
“On paper, the concept makes no sense,” Normandin admits. “And there would have been no data points that we could have kind of pointed to saying, ‘this is the reason why we want to do this right now’. It was just an intuition.”
The store stays afloat because it also houses a customizable cocktail bar that the company rents this out to private event planners. That line of revenue is no longer viable for the foreseeable future (all social gatherings are currently banned in New York).
Yet Iris Nova had, luckily, u-turned on its plans to expand The Drug Store’s footprint even before the coronavirus outbreak. The original plan was to open cashierless stores in “three or four” US cities, as well as operate another outpost in New York.
“We’ve scaled back on that, just because there’s a lot of variables that we couldn’t control for in launching The Drug Store at scale,” says Normandin. “The operational overhead required to do that is really significant.”
The company opened its second New York Drug Store in Hudson Yards in March 2019. It realized running a retail environment in a mall was unworkable “really quickly” and closed six months later. An opening in LA is still on the cards but now no longer “in the immediate plans”.
Rapid testing
Yet the Tribeca store – should it weather the coronavirus – will be kept open and double as an innovation center for the company. Normandin has instilled a culture of rapid, small-scale testing, whereby retail ideas are first trialed in The Drug Store. The concepts that work are eventually rolled out across Iris Nova’s retail partners, the largest of which is Walmart.
“In a lot of ways, we’ve optimized our DTC offering, so more recently we’ve been thinking a lot about retail,” says Normandin.
“We’re always trying to look at things through a lens of how we can be more efficient or effective with technology, and the tools that we have available to us. The focus is always on optimizing distribution or the operational side of the beverage business.”
An example of Iris Nova’s rapid testing is its partnership with Avery Dennison, which builds RFID labelling. The brand has employed the technology to monitor exactly when a specific bottle is lifted out of the fridge in The Drug Store in real time; now it plans to install these connected fridges in the stores of its retail partners.
“No-one in the food and beverage industry is tracking individual units in a third-party retail environment right now,” Normandin contends. “Having that data available to us in real time is an incredible opportunity, and ultimately results in stronger revenue growth and cost savings that the whole business feels.”
Don’t fear the pivot
With the grocery industry in its current state of upheaval, this rollout will likely be delayed for the coming months. But that’s also OK in the culture of Iris Nova, which Normandin has deliberately built to survive fast strategy rewrites.
“I don’t think pivots are bad,” he says. “In the past, pivots have always been kind of viewed negatively … but they’re really important for companies to learn that oftentimes, things are not going to go as planned.
“This virus has shown how fast business can change in the course of a week. It shows that you need to be reactive to the market, rather than let the market control you.”

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Apple to shut retail stores for two weeks – Hardware- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Apple will close all its retail stores, except those in Greater China, for the next two weeks to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission.
“We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a letter posted on the company’s website.
“In all of our offices, we are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China,” he added.
“That means team members should work remotely if their job allows.”
Apple reopened all 42 of its branded stores in China on Friday.
Cook said that all hourly workers “will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations.”
“We have expanded our leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19 — including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures,” he added.
The company’s donations to the global coronavirus response, to help treat those who are sick and to help lessen the economic and community impacts, reached US$15 million on Friday, Cook wrote in the letter.
More than 138,000 people have been infected worldwide and over 5000 have died, according to a Reuters tally of government announcements.
Apple separately announced it will shift its annual worldwide developers conference (WWDC) to an online-only format this year.

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PhonePe Brings About The Idea Of Having A Nearby Retail Shop As ATM- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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At a time when news about WhatsApp Pay has been flooding the market, PhonePe has forayed into the business of digital ATMs. This is with an ambition to operate what could turn out to be the largest fleet of cash withdrawal points across India.
PhonePe, that’s owned by has geotagged more than half a million merchants with excess cash, to help out customers convert digital money into cash. This would done through a ‘withdraw’ button on the PhonePe application. The basic idea is to increase merchant engagement, on PhonePe’s platform by creating a new value service for both local shop owners and consumers.
As per an official of PhonePe, banks are not finding it viable to operate ATM and that is one of the reasons, several ATMs are dry on cash. This is specifically in tier 3 and 4 cities, where the lack of availability of cash has been a cause of concern.
One of the leading players in the payment space, believes that in the absence of Merchant Discount Rates (MDR), including value-added services, to existing business channels would be the key to future growth in a market that’s already so competitive with Google, Paytm and now WhatsApp.  

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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Sound data quality and data lineage are the foundation of successful retail in a digital world | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The retail sector has arguably been one of the most heavily affected by the global shift toward digital everything. The rise of eCommerce means customers are no longer visiting physical stores the way they did. They now have a literal world of shopping options at their fingertips thanks to the Internet.
The traditional retail model is dying and it has become imperative to develop a digital presence and integrate the customer experience across channels. The entire focus of retail has shifted, and data is the crux of it all.
Digital is the future of retail
The effects of a digital world on the retail sector are clearly evident. In South Africa, some of the most recent events include the announcement by Massmart that they will be closing down 34 Dion Wired stores, and the closure of a flagship Edcon Group store in Rosebank, Johannesburg. The fact that people are no longer shopping in physical stores the way they did is one of the factors impacting these businesses.
In an attempt to remain relevant, local retailers are developing their online presence and offering a greater choice of delivery options. Shoprite Checkers is the latest chain to embrace this trend, announcing that it will be offering an eDelivery service.
The fact is that the world has changed. Amazon, a purely online organisation, has become the biggest retailer in the world. From sophisticated predictive analytics that suggests complementary products, to extreme efficiency with regard to stock management and delivery times, Amazon sets the bar for the types of experiences customers are beginning to demand. Data lies firmly at the heart of their success.
It’s not just about data analysis
True success goes beyond simply analysing data to improve the customer experience. When the only way for your customers to communicate with you is digital, data becomes the single most important asset to your business. If you are not effectively exploiting it, you are not communicating with your customers and you risk losing them to the competition.
Given the importance of analysing and exploiting data, it stands to reason that you need to ensure the data is correct and that it can be trusted.
Data lineage must become a focus. Retailers need to know where their data is coming from, how it flows through the organisation, how it may have been changed or manipulated, and whether or not insights can be trusted.
Data quality is equally important and works in tandem with data lineage, particularly in the online retail space. Whereas the customer should see a single online view of a retailer with all products easily accessible, the back end of these systems are often complex and draw inconsistent data from multiple sources.
Assuring the quality of this data is critical. This includes product descriptions, pricing information and so on. The accuracy of product information is critical since the description is the only information a customer has about the product, and this needs to be accurate.
In addition, while pricing errors have always been part of retail (for example when the price on the shelf does not reflect the price when scanned at the till), in an online world with a much larger customer reach, exposing these errors could be catastrophic.
Dealing with added complexity
From a logistics perspective eCommerce also adds complexity, as it is even more critical to ensure that stock levels are effectively managed. It creates a negative experience when a customer order cannot be fulfilled due to stock levels at individual stores, as the customer sees the online retailer as a single entity.
The customer experience needs to be seamless, which requires that data integration, data lineage and data quality are similarly seamless.
Adding the Internet of Things (IoT) into the matter further complicates matters. While it can potentially be used to further the seamless experience between interaction channels, as well as for personalised promotions and a greater understanding of customer behaviour, the data volumes created are unprecedented.
Gaining insight from IoT data requires streaming analytics in real-time, making it even more important to ensure data quality and lineage are addressed.
Laying the foundation for success
The retail market is shifting, across the globe and in South Africa. Physical stores are closing, online purchases are increasing, and the way consumers behave in the retail space has changed. Comparing prices is easier than ever and consumers have more choice than ever, which means buying patterns and expectations are different.
Success in retail needs to be built on a foundation of sound data quality and trusted data lineage.
By Gary Allemann, MD at Master Data Management

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Apple to delay reopening of retail stores in China – Benchmarking Change- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Apple Inc is extending its retail store closures in China due to the coronavirus outbreak, even as it worked towards opening its corporate offices and contact centres, the iPhone maker said on Friday.
The company earlier this month said it would shut all of its official stores and corporate offices in mainland China until February 9 due to the outbreak.
“We are working toward re-opening our corporate offices and contact centres the week of February 10, and we are making preparations to reopen our retail store,” the company said in a statement.
“We will continue to update our customers as opening dates are finalised.”
Apple remains heavily reliant on China both for smartphone sales as well as for its supply chain and manufacturing.

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How Socialbakers Helped a Retail Giant Achieve an 80% Higher – Blog – 10 minute

Socialbakers is the trusted social media management partner to thousands of enterprise brands and SMBs. Leveraging the largest social media data-set in the industry, Socialbakers’ AI-powered social media marketing suite helps brands large and small ensure their investment in social media is delivering measurable business outcomes.

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Black Friday’s Biggest Retail Brands on Social Media – Blog – 10 minute

Before you start creating your Black Friday campaigns, the reports below show the relationship between audience engagement and the number of Black Friday posts. It will be able to show you whether your brand stands in the category of a sophisticated social marketing strategist (Hunter) or a first-timer in the Black Friday season (Rookie). 

You can easily discover where your brand stands with our free quadrant report tools – Facebook Quadrant Report & Instagram Quadrant Report.
Among the top 25 pages during Black Friday of last year, we have found the most interesting Black Friday campaigns from the biggest retailers below:
Lojas Americanas
This notorious Hunter in the retail industry has served its customers in Brazil for 90 years. Even though Brazil doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving like in the US, Black Friday is the second most crucial date in Brazilian retail (besides Christmas). Last year, they had re-branded Black Friday with their traditional, catalog-style Instagram, which has the highest engagement compared to its competitors on the report.

Advice: Lojas Americanas has over 7 million followers on Instagram. Just imagine the number of reactions, messages, or comments they receive daily, and it can get overwhelming. So before Black Friday hits, you can check to see how your community management is doing this past year.
Foot Locker
Most families will always check out doorbuster deals at Footlocker. Although Footlocker didn’t post as much Black Friday content, this Instagram post was one of the top Black Friday posts of 2018. With the help of a celebrity artist, our analytics has shown that it gained over 169.3k interactions!

Advice: There are so many influencers that can market your brand but finding the right one can take time and research, especially if you’re on a budget. Fortunately, we can save you the time from researching with our influencer search tool so you can start building successful collaborations before Black Friday.
Havan
Havan is a thriving Brazilian retailer that uses American icons that always humors its audience. Whether it’s clothing, home living, or everyday essentials, Havan shoppers know where to go for the best deals. Black Friday is their time to shine with entertaining Black Friday campaigns — especially with America’s Statue of Liberty.

Advice: Coming up with multiple Black Friday campaigns can be draining. To keep that engagement high, each piece of content needs to be unique. Luckily, we have a Black Friday content tool for you to use anytime.
Walmart
Walmart is one of the sole veterans of Black Friday, and its Facebook engagement lands right into the Hunter category. A classic shopper would always check for the prices at Walmart, but with on-going retail rivalry, Walmart always finds a way to get their customers into their doors.

Advice: Competing against big-time retailers can be intimidating. But when it comes to creating social campaigns, it’s essential to focus on your audiences, such as interests, affinities, and influencers. Discover new characteristics of your audience with our online persona tool to drive your engagement high during Black Friday.
The Takeaway
Massive retailers will always have the engagement on their social platforms, but finding the balance between engagement and post frequency can be challenging. But we’ve made your work easier.
Take your first step in creating your Black Friday campaigns by discovering where you currently stand amongst your competitors this season.
Try our free quadrant report tools now — Facebook Quadrant Report & Instagram Quadrant Report.

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In Pictures: Digital Retail Forum 2020IT News Africa – Up to date technology news, IT news, Digital news, Telecom news, Mobile news, Gadgets news, Analysis and Reports – Blog – 10 minute

January 30, 2020 • Events, General, Retail, Top Stories
The Digital Retail Forum 2020 took place on 29  January at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference focused on emerging technologies such as Ai, IoT, drones, digital payment solutions, new eCommerce models and mobility are disrupting the retail sector.
Gathering over 200 retail industry leaders and experts, #DRF2020 commenced under the theme: “Digital Disruption in Retail: Apocalypse or Revolution” and featured discussions on making digital innovation a key process within all retail organisations. Delegates learnt how to best increase productivity, reduce costs, attract more customers, improve customer experience, enhance security and sell more.
Here’s a closer look at this year’s Digital Retail Forum:

Delegates were welcomed by Alastair Tempest, CEO of eCommerce Africa.

Marek Zmysłowski, Polish-born entrepreneur focused on online businesses in Frontier and Emerging Markets delivered a keynote titled: Chasing Black Unicorns – The challenges of building an online retailer in Africa.

An insightful panel discussion saw Dylan Piatti, Africa Strategist: Consumer Business Industry at Deloitte Africa, Tilene Narainan, Head of Convenience Retail at Sasol Energy, Neil Rankin, Founder and CEO of Predictive Insights and Kobus Scheepers, Head of Sales at Quattro Management Systems unpack the retail apocalypse.

Tanya Long, COO of Argility Technology Group, shared how leveraging data, understanding customer segments and enhanced decision making can impact organisations.
Staff writer

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W&RSETA Set To Join Digital Retail Forum As Bronze SponsorIT News Africa – Up to date technology news, IT news, Digital news, Telecom news, Mobile news, Gadgets news, Analysis and Reports – Blog – 10 minute

January 28, 2020 • Events, Retail, Top Stories
The Digital Retail Forum 2020 is set to take place on 29  January at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference will be focused on emerging technologies such as Ai, IoT, drones, digital payment solutions, new eCommerce models and mobility are disrupting the retail sector. 

The Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA) will be joining Tempemail as a Bronze Sponsor of the event. Since its establishment in 2000, W&RSETA has made remarkable strides in education and training in the Wholesale and Retail Sector; the fourth biggest sector of the South African economy. 
The W&RSETA is one of 21 SETAs that were established by the Government to address skills development in various economic sectors of the country. The mandate of the W&RSETA is carried out through the development of qualifications, disbursement of grants, implementation of Learning Programmes (Learnerships & Skills Programmes), quality assurance of the provision of education and training, and providing bursaries and workplace placement to young people. 
Gathering over 200 retail industry leaders and experts, #DRF2020 will commence under the theme: “Digital Disruption in Retail: Apocalypse or Revolution”,   and feature discussions about making digital innovation a key process within all retail organisations. 
Delegates can look forward to presentations on how to best increase productivity, reduce costs, attract more customers, improve customer experience, enhance security and sell more – for both small independent retailers and large retail groups alike.
Confirmed speakers for DRF 2020 include:

Marek Zmysłowski, MD Africa RTB House, former MD Jumia, RTB House
Pieter Van Eyssen, Principal Solution Consultant, Genesys
Tanya Long, Chief Operating Officer, Argility Technology Group
Mark Young – CEO of GetBucks South Africa
Alastair Tempest – CEO at Ecommerce Forum Africa
Firas Ahmad, Co-Founder, Group CEO for Sarafu and AzamPay Group Tanzania
Dylan Piatti – Africa Strategist: Consumer Business Industry, Deloitte
Tilene Narainan – Head of Convenience Retailing, Sasol
Simon Marland – Retail CIO, Nedbank 
Neil Rankin – Founder and CEO of Predictive Insights

Key Topics include:

The ‘Retail Apocalypse’: Separating Hype from Reality
How eCommerce giants are shaping the future of retail
Enhancing brand image and increasing sales through social media
Assessing new retail payment solutions and how they impact the customer experience 
Optimizing Inventory Management and Supply Chains with Technology
Leveraging AI to Impact Your Bottom Line and CX
eCommerce: Opportunities presented by new models and disruptive technologies

How to participate:
Join as an attendee: Learn from some of the most powerful brands, mavericks and visionaries that are setting the pace for change and driving disruption in retail.
Join as a speaker: Showcase your thought-leadership. Share your insights and experience. Shape solutions to critical business challenges.
Join us as an exhibitor: Reinforce your position as a leading provider of technology solutions.
For those looking for maximum exposure, our sponsorship and exhibition packages offer a great opportunity to showcase your brand, speak and present your solutions to a select audience. Packages are available for all budgets, but spots are limited.
For more information about this conference, visit:  https://digitalretailforum.co.za/
[t]: 011 026 0981/2  [e]: [email protected]

Home | Digital Retail Forum 2020

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Are you a retailer? 5 reasons you don’t want to miss this retail eventIT News Africa – Up to date technology news, IT news, Digital news, Telecom news, Mobile news, Gadgets news, Analysis and Reports – Blog – 10 minute

January 22, 2020 • Events, Features, Retail, Top Stories
Digital Retail Forum 2020, scheduled for  29 January at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa, will be focused on how emerging technologies — such as Ai, IoT, drones, digital payment solutions, new eCommerce models and mobility — are disrupting the retail sector. 

With “Digital Disruption in Retail: Apocalypse or Revolution”,  as the focus of the event, #DRF2020 will gather over 200 retail industry leaders and experts, and feature discussions about making digital innovation a key process within all retail organisations. 
Here are 5 reasons why you should attend:

Get a glimpse into the future of retail and really understand the next wave of tech innovation and disruption across the industry.
Create a cutting edge innovation roadmap and benchmark against the global best.
Hear from leading retailers on how they are pushing customer experience forward with technology.
Learn from some of the most powerful brands, mavericks, and visionaries that are setting the pace for change and driving disruption in retail.
Collaborate with the entire retail tech ecosystem from start-ups, to global tech suppliers, supply chain disruptors, retailers, investors, and analysts.

The conference will also feature an international keynote by controversial, Polish-born author and co-founder of “Africa’s Amazon”, Marek Zmysłowski, who’s book Chasing Black Unicorns is making waves throughout the world.
Confirmed speakers for DRF 2020 include:

Marek Zmysłowski, MD Africa RTB House, former MD Jumia, RTB House
Pieter VanEyssen, Principal Solution Consultant, Genesys
Tanya Long, Chief Operating Officer, Argility Technology Group
Mark Young – CEO of GetBucks South Africa
Alastair Tempest – CEO at Ecommerce Forum Africa
Dylan Piatti – Africa Strategist: Consumer Business Industry, Deloitte
Tilene Narainan – Head of Convenience Retailing Sasol
Simon Marland – Retail CIO, Nedbank 
Neil Rankin – Founder and CEO of Predictive Insights

Key Topics
Key topics at the forum will include:

The ‘Retail Apocalypse’: Separating Hype from Reality
How eCommerce giants are shaping the future of retail
Enhancing brand image and increasing sales through social media
Assessing new retail payment solutions and how they impact the customer experience 
Optimizing Inventory Management and Supply Chains with Technology
Leveraging AI to Impact Your Bottom Line and CX
eCommerce: Opportunities presented by new models and disruptive technologies

How to participate:
Join as an attendee: Learn from some of the most powerful brands, mavericks and visionaries that are setting the pace for change and driving disruption in retail.
Join as a speaker: Showcase your thought-leadership. Share your insights and experience. Shape solutions to critical business challenges.
Join us as an exhibitor: Reinforce your position as a leading provider of technology solutions.
For those looking for maximum exposure, our sponsorship and exhibition packages offer a great opportunity to showcase your brand, speak and present your solutions to a select audience. Packages are available for all budgets, but spots are limited.
For more information about this conference, visit:  https://digitalretailforum.co.za/
[t]: 011 026 0981/2  [e]: [email protected]

Home | Digital Retail Forum 2020

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