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Handy Mart Renews Partnership with CB4 to Equip Store Managers with Artificial Intelligence

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: engaget.com
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After a successful year-long partnership, CB4 and E.J. Pope and Son, Inc. renewed their agreement to improve customer experience, increase same-store growth, and better meet local demand in their 39 Handy Mart convenience store locations.

CB4’s patented machine learning technology uses pre-existing POS data to identify when physical issues in a store are holding back sales and hurting the customer experience. These issues include products that aren’t easily visible, ticketing issues, and out of stocks.

E.J. Pope & Sons’ Handy Mart is synonymous with convenience in North Carolina. Serving their customers for over 40 years, they’ve made a name for themselves as the safe and convenient neighborhood store, providing outstanding customer service and an impressive convenience assortment at a fair price.

“We love our customers, and care deeply about their experience in our stores,” said Tony Noonan, VP of Retail Operations. “We’re committed to innovation, and always trying to find new ways to improve the in-store experience. CB4 allows us to better localize our assortment on a store and SKU level. We want our customers to be able to find exactly what they’re looking for, and we want to carry the items they love the most.”

Like most convenience retailers, Handy Mart used a top sellers list. Store managers would pay extra attention to these items and make sure they were in stock, easy to find, and presented in an appealing way. CB4 helped Handy Mart store managers find items that were not on a top sellers list but would perform like top sellers at their specific locations. These items got the same treatment, allowing them to sell to their full potential. Customers now find it easier to purchase the items they love and to get in and out of the store quickly, a point of pride for convenience retailers.

“Handy Mart is passionate about their customer experience. They back up this commitment by giving their store managers the power to act directly in order to improve the customer experience in their stores.” said Yoni Benshaul, CEO of CB4. “When our software uncovers issues at a Handy Mart location, their store managers can quickly make changes to increase sales and improve findability.”

 

SOURCE CB4

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Artificial Intelligence

5-Star Destination, Tokyo Station Hotel, Adopts Bebot, Bespoke’s AI-powered Travel Concierge

Vlad Poptamas

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Bespoke, creators of the world’s first AI-powered chatbot developed for travelers, today announce Tokyo Station Hotel, an independent 5-star hotel in Tokyo, has adopted Bebot to serve guests. Through Bespoke’s unique travel-focused AI, Bebot provides hotel guests with an intuitive, responsive and friendly channel to ask any questions that arise during a hotel visit. Guests can make requests for recommendations, reservations and services, or ask specific questions related to their travel experience – all through chat. With Bespoke’s recent launch into the US Market, Bebot is now available for US-based hotels and travel destinations.

Bespoke’s world-leading, unique travel-focused AI is augmented by on-the-ready, seamless, human chat to continuously improve, teach and optimize their AI technology, providing customers and travelers with a no-compromise, reliable source of information. Bebot’s advanced AI was developed to provide travelers with essential information and tips in an intuitive and familiar, yet powerful chat service – providing essential and inspiring tips and information to improve guests’ visits, while relieving hotel staff.

“Tokyo Station Hotel is one of few independent 5-star hotels, and we’re honored they choose Bebot to serve their guests,” said Akemi Tsunagawa, founder and CEO of Bespoke. “Our unique AI was developed from the ground up to serve the specific needs of travelers providing them with the timely info, tips and guidance they need to have a comfortable stay wherever they go.”

In addition to providing information about services, rates, amenities, menu options and directions, Bebot provides travelers with vital details about nearby attractions, destinations and more. Travelers access Bebot by scanning a QR code found on a placard or by visiting a url provided by the hotel – no additional downloads are necessary.

 

SOURCE Bespoke

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Artificial Intelligence

Mercari Opens Cambridge Engineering Offices

Vlad Poptamas

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Mercari, The Selling App, today announced the opening of engineering offices in Cambridge, MA, advised by two renowned professors at the adjacent Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Mercari is the number-one marketplace in Japan. Since entering the U.S. in 2014, more than 45 million Americans have downloaded the app.

At the moment, Mercari’s team in Cambridge is focused on better understanding sellers and buyers, and predicting their intentions ahead of their actions. This helps Mercari deliver a more personalized experience using its recommendation engine. The team is applying machine learning on massive amounts of data to better personalize the user experience based on their preferences, history and interactions.

More broadly, this team is pursuing applied research projects in machine learning, computer vision and other emerging technologies that can help Mercari to make selling even easier than buying.

“Opening the Mercari engineering offices in Cambridge is an important addition to our global technology centers in Palo Alto and Tokyo,” said Dr. Mok Oh, chief technology officer for Mercari U.S. “The expectations of Mercari sellers and buyers are always evolving, so it’s vital that we harness emerging technologies to continuously improve our app and services.”

Advising the team are Dr. Frédo Durand and Dr. Wojciech Matusik of MIT.

Dr. Frédo Durand is a renowned researcher and professor in computer vision and computational photography. He is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and a member of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

Dr. Wojciech Matusik is widely-recognized professor and entrepreneur in machine learning, 3D vision, and 3D fabrications. He is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT, where co-directs the Computer Graphics Group and teaches machine learning courses

Mercari is looking for talented people to join its technology teams in Palo Alto and Cambridge. A list of all current U.S. openings is here.

 

SOURCE Mercari

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Artificial Intelligence

Chinsay’s Intelligent Contract Platform Enables Rio Tinto & Cargill to Complete the First Fully Digitalised Iron Ore Trade

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: salestechstar.com
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Chinsay, the leading provider of contract digitalisation solutions in the commodity and freight markets, is announcing today the completion of the first fully digitalised iron ore trade, through a trial achieved in partnership with Rio Tinto and Cargill‘s Metals business on Chinsay’s Intelligent Contract Platform (ICP).

In using ICP, Rio Tinto and Cargill collaborated on a single platform to dramatically reduce the time it takes to create, issue and approve commodity contracts from several days to under two hours. The digitalisation of this fundamental trade process creates the opportunity to automate and deliver post-trade efficiencies by linking front-, middle- and back-office functions.

Colin Hayward, Chinsay CEO, said: “This is a technological milestone for the industry, and we are delighted Rio Tinto and Cargill Metals chose to partner with us and use our ICP as the core technology to create this advance. We are constantly collaborating with clients, market participants, tech vendors and industry consortia to extend digitalisation further along the commodity trade lifecycle.”

“The Intelligent Contract Platform is a great tool that has the potential to benefit the entire ferrous industry,” said Lee Kirk, Managing Director for Cargill’s Metals business. “This is a great example of how we can leverage advancements in technology to benefit from increased speed, transparency and efficiencies that enable us to serve our customers and suppliers better.”

ICP is state-of-the-art technology which allows companies to digitalise pre-trade processes early in the deal lifecycle, creating an agreed contract dataset that can be seamlessly integrated with other operational systems, functions and processes, enabling transparency and traceability across the supply chain.  ICP prepares clients for the use of technologies such as blockchain, ML, AI and electronic trade documentation solutions.

 

SOURCE Chinsay

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