Tech Tuesdays: Spotlight on Innovation + Top Cities for IT Pros

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In this week’s tech news, Macy’s focuses on innovation to improve the shopping experience.

Digital Success

Regarding the future of Macy’s Inc., its success hinges on innovation — which is clearly top of mind of the legacy retailer’s leadership. On a call with analysts last week following its earnings results, Antony Spring, chief executive officer and chairman, made it clear the department store is committed to its customers and to navigating a tough retail climate.

Regarding the retailer’s “Bold New Chapter” initiative, Spring said progress is being made. “Despite the ongoing pressure on the consumer, we are confident in our ability to return to profitable growth as we execute on the pillars of our Bolder Chapter strategy, which are: one, to strengthen the Macy’s nameplate; two, to accelerate luxury growth; and three, to simplify and modernize end-to-end operations.”

As a result of deploying this strategy, Macy’s delivered first-quarter EPS growth that exceeded expectations. Spring said shoppers are responding well to the company’s omnichannel initiatives across product, presentation and experience.

Spring said digital is an important part of Macy’s Bold New Chapter strategy. “It serves as both a gateway to the Macy’s brand and is a source of commerce and omni engagement,” he said. “Under new leadership, the team is making progress on optimizing the customer journey, including addressing places of greatest friction and enhancing and expanding the shopping experience across platforms.”

And that’s a win for shoppers.

Spring also noted that with end-to-end operations, “we are actively advancing on solutions to consolidate capacity, increase automation and reduce costs across the network.”

New Funding Round

The Desire Company, a provider of expert-driven product education solutions, has secured $97 million in series “B” funding, to help the company capitalize on a booming Retail Media Network (RMN) market. This funding round coincides with the rollout of The Desire Company’s Retail RMEDI 360 platform, which is designed to empower brands and retailers to seamlessly integrate expert product education throughout the shopping journey.

The Desire Company said its current roster of 80 brand clients are typically seeing a 12-time jump in conversions, a 62 percent increase in time-on-site and a 25 percent growth rate in average order size.

Eric Sheinkop, co-founder and CEO of The Desire Company, said this round of funding and launch of Retail RMEDI 360 “mark a new standard for retail media technology. Brands and retailers are seeking to integrate trusted product information directly into the shopper journey. Our platform transforms how shoppers access product education at the point of decision.”

The company said its Retail RMEDI 360 platform offers brands and retailers a comprehensive suite of tools for managing and distributing expert-driven video content that includes the ability to embed videos seamlessly into social media, product detail pages (PDPs), email and SMS for post-purchase engagement. It also features shoppable QR codes, which can enrich the in-store experience with access to expert content.

Co-founded by entertainment marketing veteran Eric Sheinkop and Coca-Cola veteran Judith Levey Sheinkop, The Desire Company says it stands out by prioritizing credible industry experts over social media influencers.

“We empower shoppers to be informed, not influenced,” Sheinkop said. “The Desire Company is the reliable solution to combat the proliferation of fake reviews, offering authentic expert product review videos.”

Where the IT Careers Are looked at a variety of factors to create a ranking for determining the best U.S. cities for IT professionals, and Silicon Valley did not top the list. Instead, big business cities garnered the top slots with government-heavy Washington coming in first. Los Angeles came in second, and was followed by New York in third.

“New York leads the list with the highest number of co-working spaces, totaling 594,” authors of the report said. “It also has the highest rent costs compared to other cities on the list.”

The report noted that El Paso had the lowest average figures “for monthly salary, living expenses, rent, coworking space costs, Internet speed, and IT job listings.” said the cities were ranked using a composite score, “calculated by such metrics as monthly salary for IT professionals, cost of living, rent prices, number of coworking spaces, Internet speed, and available IT job opportunities listed on Glassdoor.” Here are the top 10 cities:

  1. Washington

  2. Los Angeles

  3. New York

  4. Austin

  5. Fort Worth

  6. Chicago

  7. El Paso

  8. Philadelphia

  9. Las Vegas

  10. San Jose

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