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Stor.ai Partners with Trax to Add On-Demand Picking to One-Stop E-Commerce Solution for Grocers

Partnership will provide grocers with access to Trax’s on-demand crowd marketplace to keep up with growing online demand

[Tel Aviv, Israel – May 11th, 2021] –  Stor.ai, (fka Self Point) the end-to-end digital commerce solution for grocers, today announced a new partnership with Trax, a leading computer vision company transforming brick-and-mortar retail. Through the partnership, stor.ai and Trax will equip North American grocery retailers with a one-stop, holistic solution for processing, fulfilling, and delivering online orders. Combining stor.ai’s Picking App and Trax’s on-demand crowd marketplace will enable retailers to respond to online order surges efficiently and cost-effectively.

The Covid-19 pandemic expedited the shift  toward online grocery shopping.The projected total value of digital grocery sales in 2025 is now 60 percent higher than pre-pandemic estimates. The e-commerce boom has intensified demand on grocers, who cannot prosper without widespread online activity and therefore need new methods to make picking, delivery and collection services more cost-effective.

Stor.ai’s partnership with Trax allows grocers to respond to this rapid transformation. As a result of the partnership, stor.ai will incorporate Trax Flexforce, an on-demand crowd marketplace, into its holistic, one-stop offering for grocers, enabling them to fully integrate their digital and physical presence. Stor.ai’s online platform includes a white-label e-commerce solution seamlessly integrated with grocers’ legacy systems, and a Picker-App, which customizes and maps in-store grocery fulfillment. Trax Flexforce’s on-demand crowd marketplace provides access to more than 1.4 million experienced retail representatives across North America and supplies stores with the right person for the task through its proprietary matching algorithm that processes store experience, location, and workload. Together, stor.ai and Trax will pave the way to empower grocers to keep up with demand, both in-store and online.

“With the exponential increase in online sales there is a clear need to provide holistic solutions for retailers to provide customers with positive online shopping experiences without straining their budgets,” said Mendel Gniwisch, EVP Business Development, stor.ai. “I am delighted to partner with Trax, a trailblazer in the industry, to further our ambition to create a one-stop solution which is easily accessible for all kinds of grocers, who are constantly striving to preserve their unique and distinguishing features while offering consumers the conveniences they have come to expect.”

“Our partnership with stor.ai further enables us to meet the growing demand for transformational solutions to longstanding retail pain points,” said Bob Kothari, chief revenue officer of Trax. “With online grocery shopping continuing to rise, we are pleased to partner with stor.ai to help retailers adapt to this unprecedented period of industry growth.”

About Stor.ai

Stor.ai (fka Self Point) is the leading digital transformation partner for retailers and wholesalers of all sizes, providing immersive and enriching experiences across digital touchpoints inside and outside the store. Serving as a change agent for the industry, the stor.ai technology suite supports food retailers’ transition to online, integrating fulfilment methods and point of sale and retail catalogues into a mobile-first, custom-branded eCommerce experience within days. Stor.ai’s digital commerce engine combined with Artificial Intelligence, omnichannel marketing tools and delivery logistics software, elevates customer experience and loyalty and results in increased sales and profit. Founded in 2014, stor.ai has a growing client and partner base including Unilever, Toshiba, Microsoft and more.

About Trax

Trax’s mission is to enable brands and retailers to harness the power of digital technologies to produce the best shopping experiences imaginable. Trax’s retail platform allows customers to understand what is happening on shelf, in every store, all the time so they can focus on what they do best – delighting shoppers. Many of the world’s top CPG companies and retailers use Trax’s dynamic merchandising, in-store execution, shopper engagement, market measurement, analytics, and shelf monitoring solutions at scale to drive positive shopper experiences and unlock revenue opportunities at all points of sale. As pioneers in computer vision, Trax continues to lead the industry in innovation and excellence through development of advanced technologies and autonomous data collection methods. Trax is a global company with hubs in the United States, Singapore, France, Israel and China, serving customers in more than 90 countries worldwide. To learn more, visit www.traxretail.com.

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How to Replace Instacart With an Alternative Solution?

Are you currently using Instacart and need to find a more profitable alternative solution?  You have options.

When the pandemic started all Grocers had to adjust how they did business, especially with eCommerce. As pickup and delivery grew with those online orders so did your bottlenecks in picking and fulfillment operations. Like a lot of other grocers, you probably turned to Instacart for your online offering because it was turnkey and did not take a long time to get in place. You could solve an unexpected problem quickly.

Now that you have had time to settle into using Instacart for the past year or two, you have realized that the price you must pay, up to 10% per transaction, is not something you can afford to keep doing long term, especially as online sales have stayed a bigger part of your business. The real question now that you are looking at your “options” where do you start?

The good news is you do not have to build it yourself as there are affordable options. Yes, we know that establishing another online solution does demand some thought, planning, and greater commitment from your team more than just outsourcing but let’s talk about how you should go about investigating and planning for making that switch from Instacart.

First, determine the strategy you want for your digital experience

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to your customer relationships. Making all those parts work together to create a seamless customer experience is as important as ever to build greater customer loyalty and repeat customers. This is especially true when it comes to merging your physical and digital worlds. You also need to ensure “buy in” from all departments and store leadership when it comes to execution of good strategy so do not overlook aligning expectations, training and possibly hiring new resources that have experience.

Second, define your needs, wants, desires and metrics to measure

Some of these online tools are new and if you are on Instacart, you have what they gave you.  It would be a good exercise to also think about all metrics you want to measure by.  Frankly, if you have been using Instacart, you probably do not have the access to all the data that could be helpful with your customers and opportunities to enhance their experience. Establishing KPIs that are focused on your customer experience regardless of where they buy (online or in-store) is important.  Accounting for the fact they could (or do) change where they buy during your relationship with them is important when establishing the ideal customer experience.  If you have or build an eCommerce department, there are important elements like merchandising, operations, logistics, POS and customer support that cross over to digital as well and their experience and expertise should be included beyond just your physical stores.

Third, look for the right partners for your organization

We are probably past the days of trying to do this “on your own” with your own solution.  What you need is to find a partner that understands Grocery (this is key) and has a platform that can handle the shopping behavior, inventory, store planograms, the SKU volume you have and bring additional customer experience enhancements (real-time communications, easy substitutions, digital merchandising).  One that is cloud based and also included customer-based features such as shopping by dietary, lifestyle, one click recipes, smart upsells and promotions based on these items and past purchases.  The ideal solution is about tomorrow, next year and five years from now so having a platform that can scale as your needs change and mature is important.

Most importantly to this upgrade is your migration plan from your current solution – make sure they will map out this plan as to how your organization will get started, implement a “proof of concept” and roll out a full implementation which can incorporate enhanced features such as picking and fulfillment all the way through curbside and last mile solutions.

Fourth, start slowly and scale based on what you learn

The crucial piece here is LEARN. There are mistakes that will be made as you implement these features and functions to your customer relationships. Why? Because every company is different and even partners that have done this before cannot predict everything about your culture and structure.  We have found that You cannot solve all your possible issues before you experience them firsthand nor always in advance based on what others have done. You also need to get statistically relevant data. What happens over the first 90 days cannot be relied upon to be 100% accurate forever.  Look at all your customer orders from weekly regular customers, look at each store’s performance, find your ideal metrics based on model behaviors, increased basket sizes, customer responses and the adjust your training, layouts, equipment and systems based on this data continuously.

Finally, always evaluate and evolve…

Customers will continue to evolve with their expectations, on demand services and ease of use features. Do not try to change everything at once, but study performance and behavior from profitable customers and orders and as you build solid data over time. You can make more sophisticated changes as your digital transformation becomes more complete. Continually monitor behavior, features they use, productivity you have and make tweaks along the way. Once you get to a year with your new platform, analyze how far you have come and visioncast for what you might need in a year or three years from now and incorporate that vision to continually improve.

We know the grocery industry and we know it looks a lot different than it did before the pandemic.  It is still evolving, and experts forecast digital to surpass 20% of your revenues by 2025. That means you need the right solution for you based on your needs and a platform that can provide you with the flexibility and scalability to aid you in continual change. Making that investment now will only help you do it better and more profitable as that percentage continues to climb.

Stor.ai would be happy to help you with this journey. Please contact us to learn more about our customer first digital transformation solution.