Tech Bytes from Retail & Tech No 24

The latest tech news to inform and inspire


  • Shopee partners with Pond’s. Southeast Asian e-commerce player Shopee is to integrate skincare brand Pond’s digital AI chatbot tool on its platform. The tool will offer customers a free skin analysis through Pond’s Skin Advisor Live (SAL) AI chatbot. The SAL AI tool gives a skin diagnosis based on a selfie that users upload, and the chatbot then recommends products in under a minute. Shopee says the service provides a one-stop beauty solution for customers who can often be overwhelmed with online beauty choices. Pond’s launched SAL on Facebook Messenger in nine countries last year and says that up to 98% of consumers said they enjoyed SAL interactions. The tool generated more than 15 times higher purchase intent compared to its current landing site and shoppers spent up to three times more time on SAL.


  • Wellness tech. Beauty tech company Revieve has launched a digital tool aimed at offering customers a personalized vitamin and supplement routine. Called the AI Nutrition Advisor, the tool first collects user information like goals, concerns and preferences regarding their health and wellness. Next, Revieve’s skin diagnostic selfie skin analysis tool provides an overview of consumer’s skin health. Lastly, the AI-powered engine recommends vitamins and supplements according to the consumer’s responses and skin analysis. By recommending a customized nutrition routine, Revieve says brands can drive basket size growth and conversion rates. Additionally, data can be used to create personalized re-targeting and loyalty programs. Revieve says The AI Nutrition Advisor is geared towards helping consumers navigate the confusion and distrust associated with beauty vitamin and supplement product discovery and consumption.


  • Facebook’s new Kustomers. Facebook is set to ramp up its offer for businesses with its planned acquisition of customer service management start-up Kustomer. The start-up is said to be unique in that it streamlines all conversations between a business and a user across all social-media channels into a single-screen view.


  • Shopping apps up on Black Friday. First-time installments of mobile shopping apps in the US rose nearly 8% year-over-year on Black Friday to reach a new single-day record of 2.8 million downloads, according to estimates by Sensor Tower Store Intelligence. Shopping app installments grew 15% year-over-year in the US (between November 1 and 29). The figure is more than 10 percentage points greater than the 2% year-over-year growth seen during the period in 2019. The highest figures for first-time shopping app installments in the US went to Walmart, Amazon, Shop, Target, Best Buy, Nike, Shein, Sam’s Club, Klarna and OfferUp. US consumer adoption of apps from brick-and-mortar retailers have grown 27% in the first three quarters of the year compared to the same period last year. Active users of buy now, pay later apps have grown every month this year and the shopping category in the App Store and Google Play has seen more new apps launched in 2020 than in 2019, many of which focus on offering discounts and deals.


  • cdf Beauty goes digital. Hong Kong travel retailer cdf Beauty (CDFG) has launched a store on Chinese digital travel retail platform TripurX’s WeChat Mini Program. The launch marks TripurX’s first non-mainland China retailer to open a shop on its Mini Program. Customers can pre-order products with the travel retailer on the platform and pay directly on the cdf Beauty’s overseas WeChat payment account. WeChat Pay will then complete the exchange through preferential exchange rates. Shoppers can choose a pick-up date and retrieve purchases in-store. Customers can also gain real-time inventory status to check that the products they are interested in are in-store. The current digital offer benefits Hong Kong locals more than travelers, notes TripurX, due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. TripurX says cdf Beauty’s launch on the platform will help travel retailers trying to attract Chinese duty-free shoppers by offering a different kind of selling model. The TripurX Mini Program currently has 10 million users. In the long-term, TripurX says it wants to act like a bridge between international retailers and brands and Chinese shoppers.


  • Zalando’s Connected Retail pays off. Online retailer Zalando acquired more than one million new customers during its sixth Cyber Week (November 19-30), surpassing last year’s new customer record, driven partly by the Connected Retail program it launched in April. The program allows physical retailers to connect to the Zalando platform and sell their products directly to online customers. Zalando launched the program in April in Germany and the Netherlands, waiving commission fees and paying out revenues to partners on a weekly basis to help amid COVID-19-related store closures. Over 2,300 brick-and-mortar stores participated in Zalando’s Cyber Week, with more than 250 new stores onboarded in November alone.


  • Beauty Tech Live. Luxasia ceo Dr Wolfgang Baier is to be a speaker at the new Beauty Tech Live virtual event set to take place from April 12-16, 2021. Dr. Wolfgang Baier has been Group chief executive officer of Luxasia since August 2016. He joined the company as Group CEO and shareholder to transform the leading Asia Pacific beauty distributor into a lifestyle omni-channel leader, adding consumer centric e-commerce and digital capabilities to the brick-and-mortar foundation. Beauty Tech Live is the first B2B Virtual Expo & Conference that will bring together tech products, solutions and services for the beauty industry in one place. It will also be a forum for executives to share new ideas, inspiration and experience in the area of beauty tech. The event is organized by BW Confidential in partnership with the Moodie Davitt Virtual Expo Company. Find out more


  • Digital money. Chinese company says it is the first e-commerce platform in China to accept digital yuan for online shopping. JD has collaborated with Chinese city Suzhou to distribute Rmb20m ($3m) in digital currency to the city’s residents. The municipal government will issue “digital red envelopes,” which can be used online and offline, to select consumers who entered an online draw. Consumers can spend the digital yuan online on select JD products and at the Chinese company’s 10,000 offline stores, which include home appliance and convenience shops. Additionally, residents can opt to use the digital currency for a cash-on-delivery service. In September, JD Digits and the People’s Bank of China’s Digital Currency Research Institute partnered to promote the research and use of digital currency.