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Nexite gives retailers a real-time look at shelf life

Illustration of a shopping basket on a grid with a push pin.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Retailers trying to lure customers back to stores by creating seamless shopping experiences are missing one key factor — real-time inventory data, Nexite CEO Anat Shakedd tells Axios.

Why it matters: Retailers have been grappling with excess inventory after over-ordering to mitigate supply chain disruptions. The move has backfired in an expensive way, with retailers canceling orders and marking down prices to clear the glut.

State of play: About $5.3 billion poured into the store management tech space in the second quarter, according to CB Insights.

  • In comes Nexite, which raised $67 million in a Series C round in May, bringing its total funding to around $100 million, per PitchBook.
  • The Tel Aviv-based company provides a radio-powered tagging system and data platform, to give retailers a real-time view of shelf availability and customer engagement levels with products in stores.
  • This lets them optimize shelves for high-performing items and place them in locations where customers are more likely to pick them up, Shakedd says.
  • “If you don't know what you have and you don't know what people are doing with [the products], the whole experience is full of friction,” Shakedd says.

How it works: Nexite places readers in the ceiling and battery-less tags on products that collect shelf data automatically.

  • Nexite lets retailers control merchandise security from the cloud, doing away with pesky security tags, Shakedd adds.
  • “You don’t need to do anything. You don’t need to scan anything,” she says.

What’s next: Nexite has launched pilot programs with its first customers, with two signing on for full rollout agreements, Shakedd says.

  • The company’s focus is to make sure the solution is mature enough to reach full rollout.
  • “We're talking about thousands of stores and tens of millions and even more of tags a year,” she says.
  • That also includes giving retailers analytics tools that help them look at the customer journey in each location and each store.

The bottom line: Customers only want to go to stores if it’s frictionless, easy, and doesn’t waste their time, and retailers are investing in that, Shakedd says. They just don’t have the technology that will enable that — yet.

  • “The combination of automated data collection with frictionless commerce is probably the next step that the market is looking for.”
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