RTIH rustles up the six biggest retail technology news stories of the … – Retail Technology Innovation Hub

1. Walmart and Salesforce team up to offer local fulfilment and delivery solutions for retailers
Retailers using Salesforce Commerce Cloud can now offer their customers new pickup and delivery experiences with Walmart’s store fulfilment technologies and local delivery services.
Both Walmart Commerce Technologies’ Store Assist app and Walmart GoLocal solutions will be available through Salesforce AppExchange as a result of the tie up.
“Through this partnership, retailers can leverage the same innovative and scalable technologies that power Walmart’s pickup and delivery experiences,” says Anshu Bhardwaj, Senior Vice President, Technology Strategy and Commercialisation, Walmart Global Technology.
“The same technology that powers Store Assist has enabled Walmart to fulfill over 830 million orders across over 4,700 Walmart stores. Together with Salesforce, retailers can scale their business and deliver the personalised, convenient experiences shoppers expect.”
Walmart Commerce Technologies and Walmart GoLocal are teaming up with @Salesforce to provide businesses with access to frictionless pickup and delivery solutions so they can focus on what they do best: delighting their customers. Read more: https://t.co/0hWugZNCXL pic.twitter.com/UCeQjOm3pZ
2. Vineta Bajaj departs Ocado Group to take on Chief Financial Officer role at Rohlik Group
European e-commerce grocery delivery service, Rohlik Group, has appointed Vineta Bajaj as Chief Financial Officer.
Bajaj most recently served as Finance Director at Ocado Group.
She trained as a chartered accountant and tax advisor at KPMG Ireland, where she delivered audits for large corporate clients before moving to Kerry Group, an Irish multinational.
She has worked at Ocado Group for the last ten years, during which time it transitioned from a pureplay retailer to a business licensing grocery technology and grocery fulfilment globally.
It's a New Year 🎉 and new month 📆 and, as is tradition, even @rohlikgroup has made a New Year's resolution. We're declaring an end to food waste 🚀 ! Buy food from our "Save the food" category for significantly lower prices 🤩, which helps us reduce food waste. pic.twitter.com/q3hqvxEXVe
3. Halfords enlists Wunderman Thompson Commerce for digital boost and e-commerce growth
Halfords, a UK-based provider of motoring and cycling services and products, has appointed Wunderman Thompson Commerce as its strategic commerce partner.
In a press release, Wunderman Thompson Commerce says that it will help Halfords “reduce costs, increase sales, and harness the power in its Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform, as it looks to adapt to this latest approach while accelerating digital growth, alongside the e-commerce experts”.
Ten teams and approximately 100 experts will be based both nearshore and in the UK to ensure collaboration.
Made up of management, delivery and support, they will deliver several projects over the next three years to boost customers’ online experience.
A particular focus will be on Halfords’ Motoring Club loyalty scheme with its 1.2 million members, the retailer’s core proposition and project and programme enhancements, with the aim of delivering better connected journeys for customers, as well as maximising retention and revenue.
Halfords states that it is already benefitting from the introduction of new monitoring tools to track performance and online delivery as well as a new payment system provided by ACI Worldwide to offer customers the latest in-store, online and mobile purchase options.
4. Buy with Prime set to be widely available by 31st January following invite only launch
Amazon reports that Buy with Prime, the e-commerce giant’s direct-to-consumer offering for merchants’ own online stores, has been shown to increase shopper conversion by an average of 25%.
Launched in April, on an invite only basis, this enables merchants to extend the benefits of Prime on their own online stores.
Amazon has also announced that Buy with Prime will be widely available to US-based merchants by 31st January.
The company is also launching Reviews from Amazon, so that merchants can display ratings and reviews from Amazon customers on their own online stores for no additional cost.
“We’ve been working closely with merchants since the launch of Buy with Prime and have been thrilled to hear the results it’s helped drive for them so far,” says Peter Larsen, Amazon Vice President of Buy with Prime.
“We’ll continue innovating and investing in new features, such as Reviews from Amazon, to help merchants of all sizes succeed and give Prime members the shopping benefits they love, whether it’s on Amazon or beyond.”
Excited to be expanding Buy With Prime, letting more merchants offer fast, free delivery on their websites to Prime customers. Early tests show shopper conversion increases an avg of 25% when using Buy With Prime. Compelling for merchants & Prime customers.https://t.co/8t8lzgSO9E
5. Oxbotica raises $140 million Series C investment for autonomous vehicle technology
Oxbotica, a specialist in autonomous vehicle software, has raised $140 million in Series C investment.
The round includes financial and strategic partners from North America, EMEA and APAC, including new investors such as Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. and ENEOS Innovation Partners.
Current shareholders who are re-investing include bp ventures, BGF, Halma, Hostplus, Kiko Ventures (IP Group), Ocado Group, Tencent, Venture Science and ZF, amongst other global companies.
Oxbotica has raised approximately $225 million to date. 
The latest funding will drive its geographical expansion in North America, EMEA and APAC, and accelerate the deployment of its autonomy operating system in domains where there is both urgent need and potential to scale, such as agriculture, airports, energy, goods delivery, mining and shared passenger transportation. 
6. Age estimation retail technology would make physical stores safer, claims BRC
Digital age estimation technology would make stores “a safer place to work and shop”, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
It is calling on the UK government to legislate to allow the use of the technology to verify customers’ age for sales of alcohol.
This comes after trials by the Home Office and Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), using the technology in stores at five retailers across the UK.
These found customers were happy to use the technology when purchasing alcohol, and there were no reported incidents of underage purchases of age-restricted items during the trials.
The hope is that this technology can increase the convenience and speed of alcohol purchases, as well as reducing the risk of violence or abuse associated with age verification.
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