Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: VTEX, Bazaarvoice, Inc., Daemon and more

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Performance Marketing Agency Navigate Digital  has announced another addition to its expanding portfolio of clients. Among them is Joga Soccer Essentials, a prominent football equipment brand celebrated for its signature product – the mini shin pads, known as the smallest and lightest in the market.

Zack Chislett, Director at Joga Soccer Essentials, expresses the significance of their recent collaboration with Navigate Digital, stating, “Our partnership with Navigate Digital has been a game-changer for us.” By leveraging Navigate Digital’s expertise in paid social and paid search, they are setting the stage for significant growth.

VTEX, the global enterprise digital commerce platform, announced it has been selected by Hearst, the global, diversified media, information, and services company. This partnership will enable Hearst to transform the buying experience of its consumer media businesses, which collectively reach 165 million unique users each month, according to Comscore. VTEX will support a digital commerce marketplace across fashion, Do-it-yourself (DIY) and home improvement, lifestyle publications and bring a unified shopping experience to users. This collaboration is a significant testament to the VTEX platform, which was chosen by Hearst due to VTEX’s wide breadth of native capabilities, multi-site architecture, and VTEX IO development platform to support custom features. The platform brings integrated marketplace and core digital commerce to support multi-vendor business models. With VTEX, Hearst will be able to create a seamless customer experience between its publications and shoppable interfaces, allowing the purchase of featured products with ease.

Bazaarvoice, Inc., the platform for full-funnel authentic user-generated content (UGC) and social commerce, has announced the acquisition of Granify, the e-commerce contextualization solution. The acquisition demonstrates Bazaarvoice’s continuing commitment to investing in leading-edge technology to supercharge e-commerce engines to deliver seamless shopper experiences and accelerate revenue lift. By avoiding personal identifiable information (PII) and using advanced AI and machine learning technology, Granify’s contextualization software overcomes major barriers to creating tailored on-site experiences, combining in-session shopper behavioral data with contextual signals to identify key moments in every shopper’s journey to drive better conversion. Granify’s approach ensures brand safety and enhances the shopping experience with elements like social proof, tailored search results, inventory levels, UGC, pricing, and customized offers, all timed perfectly within the consumer’s journey. When combined with Bazaarvoice’s product and UGC data, retailers and brands will be able to create highly tailored shopping experiences for every customer within one platform.

Daemon, a UK-based digital transformation consultancy with a vision to make the world a better place through digital movements, commissioned independent market research agency Vanson Bourne to conduct a study examining how businesses were navigating the digital transformation landscape. 150 senior business decision makers from the UK were surveyed, spanning a range of sectors, including financial services, retail, distribution & transport and energy, oil/gas & utilities. In a new report titled ‘Is AI a craze or crucial: What are businesses really doing about AI?”, the results show that contrary to traditional technology investments that normally require extensive evidence on the return on investment (ROI) and procurement processes, AI investment has increased 48% since 2021, so businesses do not fall behind competitors. Continuing to emphasise Digital Transformation as a strategic imperative for all businesses, with AI as its latest key tenet, regardless of size or sector. This all suggests that AI has upended typical approaches to technology investments. The appetite for AI and ML appears to be, at least partially, driven by decision makers’ fear of missing out (“FOMO”) to competitors by not adopting new technologies.  

e.l.f. Cosmetics and Snapchat have launched the first-ever Bitmoji Beauty Drop to bring e.l.f. Cosmetics’ cult favourite O FACE Satin Lipstick to Snapchatters in the UK (and the US) for 24 hours. Bitmoji Drops are exclusive digital fashion or beauty items that Snapchatters can access for their Bitmoji for a limited time only. The Drops mirror real-world product drops and scarcity techniques that are used to create more hype and interest around fashion and beauty. Additionally, Snapchatters can try on 11 shades of O FACE Satin Lipstick alongside their Bitmoji look-alikes with the help of a Bitmoji Lens, which also leads them directly to the Bitmoji Drop with one single tap. e.l.f Cosmetics’ O FACE Satin Lipstick Bitmoji ads will appear in between Bitmoji Stories, one of Snapchat’s most popular shows, with 60 million subscribers. Additionally, e.l.f. Cosmetics will be prominently featured on Snapchat through First Lens and First Story (two of the offerings in their “First” lineup).

Accenture and Faculty are teaming up to help clients maximise business performance with AI-powered decision-making across their enterprise in a safe and impactful way. To further help clients unlock value from data and AI, Accenture will become the preferred implementation partner for Frontier, Faculty’s AI operating system. Together the companies will leverage the intelligent platform to ensure an organisation’s processes and workflows are connected, and then plugged into an interactive digital twin that can show the impact a decision will have across a company’s entire system. The powerful combination of Accenture and Faculty’s AI expertise, industry knowledge and full suite of transformation services, will provide companies with the ability to harness AI effectively across their enterprise and do so in a safe and responsible way. This forms part of Accenture’s recently-announced $3 billion investment over three years in its Data & AI practice to help clients across all industries rapidly and responsibly advance and use AI to achieve greater growth, efficiency, and resilience. The Data & AI practice will double its AI talent to 80,000 professionals through a mix of hiring, acquisitions, and training.

impact.com, the partnership management platform, has announced its 2023 company growth and strong performance, driven by client and agency partner growth, return on strategic business investments, new integrations, and product innovation and development. As the global standard partnership management platform at the forefront of the Partnership Economy, impact.com now serves more than 225,000 active and productive partnerships for approximately 3,500 customers collaborating with all partnership types — from influencers through to customer advocates. Leading with its vision to be the unified, global standard platform for all partnership types, impact.com announced impact.com / creator — the world’s first influencer partnership platform allowing brands and creators to discover, create, manage, and scale full-funnel influencer marketing programmes, all from a single interface. With flexible and diverse payout models, brands and creators can now choose between commission or other performance-based fees, flat fee, or any combination of both. In addition, enterprise clients looking for a fully customisable environment where they can collaborate directly with influencers and creators to meet their specific programme goals also have access to a Branded Portal add-on. Leading brands like Target are already leveraging Branded Portal as a part of their partner strategy. The company also announced several strategic investments, including the acquisition of best-in-class customer referral software provider SaaSquatch. The acquisition marks the company’s fifth in three years, including Activate in 2020, Affluent and Trackonomics in 2021, and Pressboard in 2022. SaaSquatch’s technology helps brands build authentic trust with new audiences through the brand’s own customer base — turning loyal customers into trusted advocates. SaaSquatch’s technology has the flexibility to handle the most advanced customer referral programmes, giving brands the ability to reward advocates for any behaviour they choose — from completing a form to making a purchase. impact.com’s platform integration with SaaSquatch allows brands to build stronger customer partnerships managed through a single platform.
Equally aligned, impact.com continued its technology leadership including new innovations and integrations – key to underpinning its 2023 growth and performance. During the year impact.com expanded its strategic collaboration with Google with an enhanced integration powering affiliate link deals across select Google surfaces. Shortly following, the company integrated with BigCommerce’s Channel Manager and was established as a certified app in the HubSpot App marketplace.

Three quarters (74%) of shoppers are reluctant to buy from a retailer who has previously charged them to send back an item, according to a YouGov survey for Retail Week’s new ‘How They’ll Spend It 2024’ report which shows where shoppers are prioritising spending and cutting back. H&M became the latest big fashion retailer to introduce return charges this autumn following brands like New Look, Zara and Boohoo who have also changed their return policies, amidst reports that the end-to-end returns process is costing British retailers £7bn annually. But Retail Week’s report, published in partnership with global parcel delivery management and shipping software leader nShift, found free returns and deliveries could be key to winning over this year’s Christmas shoppers. Another two thirds (69%) said they would also prioritise free delivery over items being sent to them more quickly, with only 3% saying same-day delivery was as important to them. And almost half (43%) said they’ve abandoned a purchase in the past six months because their preferred delivery option was not available. H&M u-turned in September after it announced it would also charge shoppers who returned online purchases in store; later clarifying that customers would only be charged a £1.99 fee for online returns made to its warehouse.