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Thyng Announces the World’s First Public Release of a 3D Model Showing…

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Covid Lung 3D Model

“Perhaps one of the biggest and most relevant mysteries in the world right now is how and why Covid can quickly and significantly devastate the lungs of an otherwise healthy person and lead to death in a matter of days”, said Ed LaHood, CEO of Thyng

Thyng, LLC announces the world’s first public release of a 3D Model of Lungs Severely Damaged by Covid – and its immediate availability for anyone in the world to download and experience using real-time 3D visualization, helping advance the understanding of Covid for physician communication, patient awareness, education, training and research purposes.

The Covid Lung 3D Model was created from an actual patient with severe Covid Illness. The detailed Covid Lung Model was created from a CT scan of the patient on day 9 of their Covid infection. The patient was placed on a ventilator soon after the CT scan was taken, and remained on the ventilator for twelve days, ultimately surviving the infection. The 3D Model allows everyone to see the significant and devastating impact that Covid can have on the lungs, including on the lower lobes of the lungs, on the periphery of the lungs, and around the bronchi within the lungs.

The Covid Lung 3D Model is available immediately on Thyng’s new MedReality Marketplace, and can be automatically viewed and interacted with on any web browser using Thyng’s MedReality 3D Web Viewer, which allows real-world anatomical models to be easily experienced in 3D on a standard web browser, or within Augmented Reality on an iPhone or iPad using the MedReality iOS app.

“Perhaps one of the biggest and most relevant mysteries in the world right now is how and why Covid can quickly and significantly devastate the lungs of an otherwise healthy person and lead to death in a matter of days”, said Ed LaHood, CEO of Thyng, “this 3D Model shows more clearly than anything ever produced how a Covid infection can utterly devastate the lungs. The impact of Covid is immediately visible by viewing this 3D Model, the stunning visual presented by this 3D Model allows everyone to understand the impact that Covid can have – it is immediately apparent and understandable.”

About the MedReality Marketplace

The Covid Lung 3D Model will be the first model available on the new MedReality Marketplace being launched by Thyng, a marketplace dedicated to providing real-world 3D Models of actual medical cases aimed to advance education and understanding for physicians, researchers, medical students, and patients – and to help improve patient outcomes using the power of 3D Visualization to help heal patients by utilizing an entirely new level of knowledge and understanding.

The MedReality Marketplace is tightly integrated with Thyng’s MedReality 3D Visualization platform which allows real-world 3D Anatomies to be visualized in real-time anywhere in the world on any type of device, including a standard web browser, iPhone, iPad, Android, Microsoft HoloLens, and Oculus Quest.

“Learning 3D anatomy is best accomplished by combining rote anatomic teaching with real world 3D patient specific anatomy – and that should be available to any user on any device where the learner is.” said Dr. Jonathan Morris, Neuroradiologist and Medical Director of Advanced Biomedical Visualization and Experiential Learning at Mayo Clinic, “Thyng is making that available today with the MedReality Platform and the MedReality Marketplace. The Covid Lung Model is the first example showing the increased value this type of content delivered though the MedReality platform can have for education and training. Seeing the degree of lung damage caused by Covid-19 encourages greater understanding to both the lay person and healthcare professional, helping improve precaution levels and overall care.”

Downloading the Covid Lung 3D Model

The Covid Lung model is available immediately on the MedReality Marketplace, where it can be fully downloaded, and then viewed in real-time 3D with full textures and transparency using the MedReality 3D Viewer. Additional details on how to download and experience the Covid Lung 3D Model are available at https://medreality.com/covid-lung-model/.

The Covid Lung Model is viewable in many forms. Users will get access to a complete package containing nine variations of the Covid Lung Model, including a fully textured version, a version with transparent lungs for seeing inside, a fully annotated version, and individual component versions that include the separated covid infection areas, the outer lungs, the bronchial tubes, and the trachea. In order to provide broad access to the Covid Lung Model, the first users to access the model will receive a 75% discount on the price of the model. This will allow initial users to access the entire Covid Lung Pack for fully experiencing the Covid Lung Model within the MedReality platform for only $2.50 (a 75% discount from the $10 retail price). Advanced users can access downloadable versions of the model for only $25 (a 75% discount from the $100 retail price) allowing for full download access to all versions of the Covid Lung Model.

About Thyng

Thyng LLC, based in Chicago, was founded in 2014 with the vision of utilizing real-time 3D Visualization to improve our daily lives. Thyng’s MedReality brand is focused on the use of Thyng technology within healthcare to improve patient outcomes and to save lives.

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An In-Depth Look at Shopify Plus: The Last E-Commerce Monolith

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@fabricFabric

Headless commerce platform that helps businesses deliver world-class buying experiences

Headless commerce technology has received $1.6 billion in funding and is powering cutting-edge e-commerce applications. With headless commerce, separating the frontend of an application from the backend gives brands and retailers greater flexibility in how they create digital shopping experiences. Platforms like Shopify Plus offer headless capabilities, but the real magic is in modular commerce technology

Commerce modules, also called commerce microservices, are dedicated pieces of commerce functionality including cart, pricing, promotions, items, orders, shipping, payments, and more. These are what Amazon used to grow from a simple online bookstore to a massive online marketplace. But before adopting modular commerce, Amazon had to break down its monolithic bookstore application into distinct modules, also known as a service-oriented architecture.

When I joined Amazon in 2002, this initiative was well underway. But Amazon developers had to create these modules in-house. There was no commerce platform back then that could support Amazon’s new approach to architecture. IBM Websphere, Oracle ATG, and other enterprise commerce platforms were all monolithic. They were good platforms at the time, but rigid and hard to customize.

Shopify Plus Emerges

A few years later, Shopify emerged from private beta with an all-in-one e-commerce platform for SMBs in 2006. Up until this point, e-commerce platforms only existed for enterprises as on-premise software. With Shopify, anyone could market and sell products online. It was truly revolutionary. But then Shopify wanted more. It aimed to take a slice of the enterprise pie with Shopify Plus in 2014

Shopify Plus offered higher levels of support, increased API access, the ability to customize templated checkouts, a script editor, and more. This was a nice idea for upselling and diversifying revenue streams, but it failed to solve the big problem: scale. At the end of the day, Shopify Plus was—and still is—Shopify with some window dressing. It’s a monolithic platform like the legacy platforms that came before it.

Shopify Plus plateaus

People are starting to see through the facade of Shopify Plus and it shows in the numbers. Since Shopify Plus’s contribution of 17% to total MRR in 2017, growth has stagnated. In 2018, Shopify Plus contributed to 25% of MRR. In 2019, it contributed to 27% MRR. And in 2020 it contributed to 25% MRR. Shopify equates this dip to a “significantly higher number of merchants on standard plans joining the platform in 2020.” But there’s more to it than that.

One reason it’s plateauing is that Shopify does not support modern commerce architectures. In early 2017, Shopify had to make a similar decision as Amazon: keep its monolith or move to microservices. Unlike Amazon, Shopify decided to keep its monolith. This was easier for the engineering team but provided no value to customers. Shopify Plus customers would continue on the track of technical debt, vendor lock-in, and an unscalable, Shopify-dependent future.

Using hacks to remain relevant

Shopify is trying to dress the platform up as a “modular monolith,” but all one has to do is look at the Isolating Dependencies section of this article to see that it’s hacked together. It’s hacked together like Shopify Plus. For instance, the Scripts feature hacks around the problem of dependencies within pricing, promo, and cart services. 

In the end, a monolith is a monolith and limits growth. The same goes for BigCommerce Enterprise that’s hiding behind headless commerce, trying to make a case like Shopify against microservices.

As the former CTO of Staples where we moved from a monolithic commerce platform to a service-oriented architecture to scale, I can tell you first-hand that monolithic commerce platforms and hacking around technical debt does not work. When I joined Staples, we were using IBM Websphere. Creating short-term hacks would have been easier but would not have let us scale from 200,000 to over one million SKUs and completely own the buying experience.

Hacks limit growth

The technical limitations of Shopify Plus have real implications for brands needing to grow. Shopify Plus’ ease of use is great for getting started, but these limitations become critical as a brand grows and needs customization and innovation to make the next step. Below are some of the biggest restrictions for brands and retailers that want to scale.

Headless hacks

I see Shopify’s headless offering at its last stand to remain relevant. Shopify Plus is merely doing what all commerce platforms do, even the legacy platforms like Oracle ATG: exposing APIs. This hack allows retailers to customize the frontend, but the backend is still problematic. Store owners need to use rigid code integrations from the Shopify App Store to add backend functionality and integrating backend tools can cause problems for the Shopify Plus API.

Multi-location mismanagement

Whether you’re working with national stores and locations or international expansion, Shopify Plus is too restrictive. Although linking multiple domains is easy, Shopify Plus is restrictive in the way store owners can manage storefronts at different locations. This means that running different brands or catalogs from one backend is almost impossible. Shopify Plus doesn’t allow for configurable tenancy options because it’s rooted in the same principles as Shopify of being multitenant. This is great for small businesses but not so much for mid-market and enterprise.

Payment gateway nightmares

Although small-scale merchants find Shopify Plus’ payment delays a necessary evil for managing payments online, SMEs will struggle with Shopify controlling when and how they get paid. This is a prime example of vendor lock-in. When you sign up to use this monolithic platform, you have to use their payment gateway. Payment delays lead to delays in service delivery and store owners will face similar problems with frontend functionality, backend customization, and overall growth control.

Hacks and limitations in the wild

A good way to see the results of Shopify Plus hacks and limitations is to compare Shopify Plus’s flagship customer, Staples CA, with Staples US which uses a service-oriented architecture. Because Staples CA has thrown its hat in with Shopify Plus, they are hostages to a monolithic platform in the same way.

When comparing the digital storefronts, you’ll notice that Staples US is dynamic and escapes Staples CA’s standard grid layout. The Staples US checkout is also customized to include custom delivery options: delivery time, assembly options, and purchase protection. Meanwhile, Staples CA is locked into Shopify’s standard checkout offering. But the most alarming difference is the difference in page speed. 

According to PageSpeed Insights, Staples CA receives a 43 PSI score:

Staples US receives a 99 PSI score:

Given what we know about page speed’s impact on e-commerce conversions, using Shopify Plus for an enterprise like Staples is simply irresponsible. Of course, Staples CA could try to work around CMS limitations with headless options like Shogun, or hack around Shopify API limitations with the shim layer of APIs offered by Nacelle. But at the end of the day, these are just workarounds, not scalable solutions.

E-commerce monoliths are fated

Monolithic commerce platforms become single points of failure because they are closed systems requiring specialized knowledge to program a process or business logic inside of them, whether that’s through RPC (IBM) or other procedural code required by SAP and Oracle. This creates dependencies that are not necessary and hinder product growth.

Shopify Plus is similar to legacy monoliths like Oracle ATG and Salesforce Commerce Cloud but, again, dressed up to look prettier. In the case of Shopify Plus, the specialized knowledge comes in the form of Ruby on Rails and the Liquid templating language. And because they can’t fix these technical requirements, they have hopped on the headless bandwagon.

Despite Shopify pushing monolithic rigidity as innovation, a monolith is a monolith and Shopify Plus is the last attempt a big company will make at building an enterprise e-commerce monolith. The question “Remember Shopify Plus?” will soon join the ranks of: Remember IBM Websphere? Remember Oracle ATG? Remember Amazon Webstore?

How to sniff a monolith

That said, other commerce platforms will hit the market. And with more commerce platforms emerging it will get harder to determine whether a platform is a monolith and positioned for helping you grow. To identify whether a commerce platform is monolithic and disguised as modular, modern, API-first, composable, or any of the other buzzwords, ask the following questions:

  • Does the platform let you configure your business variables outside of code?
  • Can services inside the platform function and be deployed independently?
  • How easy is it to integrate these services with outside platforms or services?
  • How easy is it to customize your data and business rules?
  • Are you able to configure your own data stores or are you tied in with what is provided
  • How easy is it to change a frontend concern without interrupting the backend?
  • How easy is it to extend your functionality for different use cases across industries or domains?

If you are a mid-market or enterprise business, the answer to all of these should be Yes or Easy. If there are unclear answers to these questions, tread lightly. While the platform may serve your immediate needs you’ll run into trouble down the road.

Scaling with microservices

A monolithic commerce platform like Shopify Plus might have been a good starting point for the sake of simplicity. But to evolve commerce you need more flexibility, security, and speed. This is what a service-oriented architecture offers.

The good news is that you don’t need to build all your microservices in-house like Amazon did and like we did at Staples. While building your differentiating services in-house is a good idea, you can use core commerce services and APIs from fabric that enable growth through a service-oriented architecture.

Our service-oriented platform

The different parts of fabric include:

  • Experience platform: Fabric XM lets you continue using your monolith or break down your monolith while taking control of frontend shopping experiences across channels. A headless CMS makes this possible. Any service with an API can communicate with the headless CMS.
  • Headless commerce platform: Fabric commerce APIs make up the commerce platform. But unlike traditional platforms, you can select the APIs and services you want to use. Each API is connected to a service (payments, pricing, promos, subscriptions, cart, etc) and each service is self-contained yet extensible.
  • Co-Pilot applications: Applications with user interfaces let business users access the same datastores and functionality as developers do with APIs.

    Even with these cloud-native services and APIs, moving from a monolith may still seem daunting. But there’s even more good news: you can make changes to your existing commerce architecture in small increments. This is what we refer to as The End of Replatforming at fabric and we can support you in this initiative as well.

    Also published on: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shopify-plus-last-e-commerce-monolith-faisal-masud/

by Fabric @fabric. Headless commerce platform that helps businesses deliver world-class buying experiencesLet’s Talk

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Unleashing the True Value of Merchandise through Connected Fan…

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EVRYTHNG and Connected Fanatics Unite to Deliver Innovative and Sustainable Direct-to-Consumer Product Experiences for Sports Clubs, Bands and Brands

“A recent Harris report highlighted, 78% of consumers under the age of 35 value experiences over things. By partnering with EVRYTHNG we bring brands, athletes, fans and consumers together in a way that offers new value and challenges the status quo.” Matt Hymers, co-founder & CEO Connected Fanatics

EVRYTHNG, creators of EVRYTHNG Product Cloud® today announce their partnership with Connected Fanatics, the digital consumer engagement experts, to seamlessly bring the connected product service and fan-based experience together. Drawing on EVRYTHNG’s ability to give every piece of clothing a unique product identity and to harness data intelligence throughout the supply chain from that item, Connected Fanatics enables any organisation offering licensed products and merchandising to their fans and consumers the ability to provide an exclusive connected experience across a community-based channel in a sustainable way.

Addressing the way in which fan-based communities engage with merchandise marketed by their favourite sports club, brand, or even band, and the volume-based business models applied by these organisations, Connected Fanatics has been able to shift the physical value of merchandise into exclusive digital experiences sought after by the current and future digital generations of fans.

Products become exclusive digital access points for fans to their community, their shared experience, entities, and brands associated with the product in question. The ability to engage with their audience via a product on an ongoing basis rather than through third-party platforms on social media means these organisations can maintain contact with their fan base in an authentic and sustainable way that no longer requires them to purchase the latest ‘shirt of the season.’ The community data is owned directly by the club or brand in question rather than by third parties, enabling them to streamline and evolve their engagement models without fans having to constantly receive third-party advertising not relevant to their interest or relationship with the organisation.

EVRYTHNG and Connected Fanatics – How it works

The EVRYTHNG Product Cloud™ and Connected Fanatics platform integrate to enable businesses to connect directly with their fans through their products/merchandise:

  • Connectivity – thanks to EVRYTHNG’s Digital Product IDs working with the Connected Fanatics Platform, products can be connected in a way that enables new value streams and exclusive digital experiences relevant to today’s hyper-connected fans.
  • Community – the business is able to develop an authentic and direct digital relationship with its fan base, athletes or musicians, and sponsors in a safer, exclusive online community rather than having to rely on open third-party social media channels and their ever-changing algorithms.
  • Sustainability – by connecting directly with the product the organisations no longer need to keep re-inventing the experience e.g., producing new team shirts each season. Instead, they can shift the value association from physical goods to a digital value, creating a more sustainable and transparent approach to how fans engage and interact with products.

“At EVRYTHNG we have a long history of working with apparel brands to solve problems like counterfeit and transparency. What we have found is that there is an opportunity for brands to transform the relationship with the people that wear their clothes. As well as delighting the customer, these projects also mean rich first-party data for the brand, usually for the first time,” said Cyrus Gilbert-Rolfe, president and managing director, EMEA & Oceania, EVRYTHNG.

“Connected Fanatics is the perfect example of that. They tap into the desire we all feel to build a deeper relationship with a brand we already have an emotional connection to, like a football team or a band. The vision of Connected Fanatics, delivering exciting services like ticketing, exclusive content, direct access, and much more – literally by touching your phone to your shirt – is perfectly aligned with how EVRYTHNG sees digital twin technology evolving. Delivering those services doesn’t just take the fanbase to a new place, it also gives the brand insight that they have never had. We’re proud to be the platform that Connected Fanatics are using to make this dream a reality.”

“As a recent Harris report highlighted, 78% of consumers under the age of 35 value experiences over things. At Connected Fanatics we see real and virtual lives becoming seamlessly integrated and sustainability becoming a consumer demand, not just an expectation. These shifts in consumer behaviours are rapidly gathering momentum. By simply churning out product after product without embracing their potential as active digital access points, businesses are deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to their key consumer touchpoints, their products. They need to evolve their merchandising and marketing practices to keep up with consumers, technology, and the needs of the planet, or face the consequences,” commented Matt Hymers, co-founder, and CEO, Connected Fanatics. “By partnering with EVRYTHNG we’re able to bring clubs, brands, athletes, sponsors, artists, fans, and consumers together in a way that offers new value and challenges the status quo by incentivising a more sustainable approach.

“Shifting value from physical to digital enables us to deliver more valuable and sustainable products that also connect communities who share a common interest in a safer online environment. This is a viable solution to start addressing the root of fashion’s sustainability issues, the volume-based business model. Recycling and circularity are great, we encourage them but what’s the point if you’re always trying to sell more stuff? We need to find ways to make less but deliver more value. Connected Digital Product IDs and experiences are the way forward.”

A further benefit for businesses that have better-connected products and community experiences is that their CRM becomes a living system of product engagement and interaction rather than a static database of email addresses that need to be maintained and cleaned at regular intervals. With the data connected directly to loyal consumers or fans through products, brands and clubs will find costs of quality digital acquisition decreasing and that the data maintains itself rather than sitting in silos of different departments such as events or eCommerce. This approach then enables businesses to gain a better, more dynamic, and holistic understanding of their customers and how to better serve them.

To find out how leading brands, bands, and clubs can utilise this new connected approach to reach their fans and consumers through their products please visit https://www.connectedfanatics.com and https://evrythng.com/apparel/

About Connected Fanatics

Connected Fanatics is redefining the nature of the products in the everyday lives of a hyper-connected and environmentally and socially aware generation. By turning products into a digital access point for exclusive experiences, we shift value from physical to digital to enable a new world of connected business models, more meaningful, authentic, and valuable digital communities, and more sustainable and transparent product practices.

About EVRYTHNG

The EVRYTHNG Product Cloud™ helps global consumer product brands run their businesses differently by knowing what their products know. EVRYTHNG’s customers see and learn from each product’s journey, end to end, from the factory to consumer, and beyond. The EVRYTHNG Product Cloud™ links every product item to its Active Digital Identity™ on the web—joining-up product data at every point in the value chain for visibility, validation, and real-time intelligence and to connect with people. EVRYTHNG’s customers include the world’s leading brands in sectors ranging from apparel to beauty and personal care to home goods to beverage. EVRYTHNG is a World Economic Forum Global Innovator and EVRYTHNG’s founders originated the W3C Web of Things and GS1 Digital Link global standards. The company won the 2020 Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award. Learn more at EVRYTHNG.com and @EVRYTHNG.

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ROOMDEX, A Hotel Upsell Innovator, Partners with Marcus Hotels &…

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hotel upsell tool

ROOMDEX and Marcus Hoetls

“The best part of ROOMDEX is how quickly we went from decision to real revenue results,” said Rajiv Castellino, CTO Marcus Hotels. “It literally took us a couple of hours per hotel to configure our preferences and start the system. Within 24 hours, we saw a full return on our investment (ROI).”

ROOMDEX, the leader in hotel upselling automation, is happy to announce that Marcus Hotels & Resorts has activated ROOMDEX’s Upgrade Optimizer software in two hotels: The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, WI and The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, WI. The hotels are the first ROOMDEX customers to take advantage of the new ROOMDEX integration with Oracle Hospitality’s OPERA PMS via OXI.

Upgrade Optimizer is an automated hotel upsell tool that generates revenue directly to a hotel’s bottom line. ROOMDEX intelligently calculates the best upgrade offer price and ensures that only available rooms will be offered. Along with the upgrade, guests have the chance to purchase early check-in or late check-out. Late check out is offered automatically pre-arrival and during stay.

“With the rapid recovery in leisure travel post pandemic we have been looking for ways to recover revenue as efficiently as possible, while simultaneously increasing our service to guests” said Rajiv Castellino, CTO at Marcus Hotels. “We have used a number of different upsell solutions in the past, but the seamless integration between ROOMDEX and OPERA, made this an easy decision”.

“The best part of ROOMDEX is how quickly we went from decision to real revenue results,” Rajiv continued, “It literally took us a couple of hours per hotel to configure our preferences and start the system. Within 24 hours, we saw a full return on our investment (ROI).”

“We’re very pleased that the activation of our first full 2-way integration with Oracle Hospitality’s OPERA PMS hotels went so smoothly,” said Jos Schaap, CEO and Co-Founder of ROOMDEX, “The Marcus Hotels engagement exemplifies the new approach hotels are now taking toward technology innovation that prioritizes easy integration, automation and quick ROI.”

About ROOMDEX

ROOMDEX’s hotel upsell software, “Upgrade Optimizer,” automates, monetizes and ultimately simplifies the hotel room upgrade process by putting the power of choice in the hotel guest’s hands. Automation is the cornerstone of our pioneering hotel optimization platform. ROOMDEX uses hotel reservation, guest data and its proprietary persona and price algorithms to deliver personalized digital offers, greatly enhancing the guest experience. The hotel upsell tool relieves hoteliers of the labor time required by other upselling solutions while delivering high margin revenue and a substantial ROI.

The company was founded by Jos Schaap, Pierre Boettner and Denis Bajet, three industry veterans (Ex. MICROS-OPERA (now Oracle Hospitality), StayNTouch, Shiji and Nor1) who together bring over 90 years of hotel software innovation experience in PMS, integrations, revenue management, BI, mobile, self-service and upgrade optimization software. Since founding in spring of 2020, ROOMDEX has signed on more than 70 hotels with 6,000+ rooms across the U.S., U.K. and Europe. Find more details on https://www.roomdex.io

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About Marcus Hotels & Resorts

Marcus Hotels & Resorts owns and/or manages 18 hotels, resorts and other properties in the U.S. The company’s distinctive portfolio includes city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts, historic properties, and premium branded and independent first-class hotels. Marcus Hotels & Resorts is an approved operator for all major lodging brands. A leader in the hospitality industry since 1962, Marcus Hotels & Resorts creates asset value for hotel owners through its expertise in management, development and product repositioning. This includes hotel food and beverage concepts developed by its Marcus Restaurant Group, featuring premier brands such as Mason Street Grill, ChopHouse, Miller Time® Pub & Grill and SafeHouse® Restaurants.

For more information, please visit: http://media.marcushotels.com and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels).

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BDS Marketing & Creative Channel Services Integrate To Form One…

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We view this transformative partnership as a unique coming together of two culturally aligned, diverse, highly successful, and respected companies to create a first-of-its-kind market leader that will accelerate our partners’ brand performance and create growth opportunities for our team members.

BDS Marketing, LLC (BDS) and Creative Channel Services, LLC (CCS) have announced that they recently joined to form the industry’s most progressive, sales-powered channel solutions provider: BDS Connected Solutions, LLC. As today’s digital transformation shapes a new generation of products and services for consumers and businesses, the combined company will deliver connected commerce experiences across all consumer touchpoints, allowing brands to connect with buyers anywhere, anytime, and on any device – in-store and online.

BDS creates fully integrated, multichannel shopping experiences with people-first solutions that spread brand enthusiasm, simplify the sale, and influence every step in the buyer’s journey. CCS is an industry leader in developing strategic sales and marketing solutions, with a heritage in first-to-market innovations that successfully connect brands with shoppers. By leveraging that collective experience, BDS Connected Solutions will immediately provide a more innovative, adaptable, and powerful suite of solutions.

BDS and CCS have enjoyed a collaborative relationship for two decades, partnering on client strategies and program executions across their diverse portfolios. Their combined workforce of 7,000+ talented team members services thousands of top-tier retailers and leading global brands. As one unified organization, BDS Connected Solutions will significantly expand its scale of operations while maintaining a strong commitment to superior client service, high-quality solutions, and industry-leading results.

Andy Restivo, Founder & CEO of CCS, and Ken Kress, CEO of BDS, will serve as Co-CEOs of BDS Connected Solutions. Sean Ludick will serve as President over the newly combined leadership team.

“Both of our established organizations have been on a mission to diversify and expand our capabilities to even better deliver on the needs of our clients,” said Ken Kress. “Our partners have already shared their enthusiastic support for the mutual BDS and CCS vision to create even greater results by delivering strategic solutions now and into the future.”

“The experienced senior team at BDS Connected Solutions reflects our combined strengths and shared mission: to inspire buyers through experiences and influence every step in the rapidly evolving digital purchase journey,” said Andy Restivo. “We view this transformative partnership as a unique coming together of two culturally aligned, diverse, highly successful, and respected companies to create a first-of-its-kind market leader that will accelerate our partners’ brand performance and create growth opportunities for our team members.”

“On their own, BDS and CCS were already two powerhouse brands in the retail marketing and sales solutions industry,” said Mike Sunderland, CEO of BDS Solutions Group, LLC., the parent company of BDS Connected Solutions and Apollo Retail Specialists. “Together as one, BDS Connected Solutions is on a fast-track to becoming the industry’s foremost people-first, digital-led, customer-obsessed organization.”

About BDS Marketing, LLC.

BDS offers a complete suite of Connected Commerce solutions that blend Advocacy, Training, Retail, Virtual, Experiential, and Digital environments to influence the modern buyer, regardless of where they are on their shopping journey. Since 1985, BDS has been inspired by innovation; as we continue to evolve as a trendsetter in today’s disruptive market, we enable our clients to do the same. Our industry-leading experts never stop working to discover, design, and deploy custom buying solutions that empower brands to achieve and exceed their unique sales goals. BDS is headquartered in Irvine, California with regional offices in Chicago, Illinois; New York City, New York; and Columbus, Ohio.

About Creative Channel Services, LLC.

Creative Channel is a strategic retail marketing company dedicated to creating exceptional shopping experiences that inspire “purchase passion” every time a shopper connects with a brand. With our consultative, data-led, insights-driven approach, Creative Channel is uniquely positioned to provide a full suite of “retail as experience” solutions for many of the world’s largest brands who sell across multiple categories of retailers, including: Best Buy, Walmart, Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Lowe’s, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Established in 1995 and headquartered in Los Angeles.

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