NEW YORK — Tech provider SingPost revealed at this week’s National Retail Federation Big Show the launch of SP Commerce, a market entry platform for retailers looking to enter Asia.
“It’s connecting the dots in building a global e-commerce logistics solution,” said Marcelo Wesseler, chief executive officer of SingPost. “We have the ability to provide access to China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific market. We’re setting up a dedicated program for U.S. retailers to enter Asia. More brands are coming from the U.S. and the U.K. to Asia.”
Wesseler was in high spirits on Tuesday, having received a visit to his booth from “some very high level Alibaba executives. Alibaba is SingPost’s second biggest investor,” he said. “We developed the Chinese market with Alibaba.”
SingPost is the e-commerce arm of the publicly traded Singapore Postal Service. “We realized that the postal business isn’t exciting, and diversified to e-commerce in 2003,” Wesseler said. Alibaba provided a $50 million cash infusion in 2014.
SingPost has provided services such as Web store development and operations, global fulfillment, order management and customer service to Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Shiseido and Adidas, among others.
SingPost’s domestic e-commerce order volume in Southeast Asia and Australia spiked 384 percent during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday selling periods. “We shipped 4.6 million packages in November,” Wesseler said.
Capgemini, a global IT consultancy, is helping retailers merge online, mobile and physical store experiences. “Retailers need to think about buy-online-pick-up-in-store as a capability. They should ask themselves if they can do [e-commerce] profitably,” said Steve Obana, vice president of U.S. strategy and transformation. “A retailer needs to generate $2 online for every $1 generated in-store.”
Radio-frequency identification is making a comeback, according to Capgemini’s Bill Lewis, vice president of consumer products, retail and distribution. “Large $1 billion retailers are piloting RFID stores,” Lewis said. “There’s a lack of precision in terms of inventory. Now RFID technology is much more advanced and the wand is quicker.”
Lewis said retailers can “drive revenue per square foot in urban locations. You can drive similar revenues in half the square footage.”
Levi Strauss & Co. has been putting fewer items in each size of a style on the selling floor so that it can display more styles, which requires a better grasp of inventory.
Customer feedback collection was a trend at NRF. T1V created Visometrics, anonymous video analytics software that measures the effectiveness of messages. Visometics tracks the dwell-time of passersby and captures the gender and age of the audience. “One of its strengths is making the technology invisible,” T1V’s Blair Rubio said.
OneShop by T1V is a piece of furniture — often a table — with a built-in high-definition screen and a recommendation engine. Neiman Marcus is testing the tables in three locations. “There’s a lot of product consumers don’t have access to in one place,” Rubio said. “It’s been a process to figure out where in the [Neiman Marcus] stores to put the tables and what products to sell.”