In a show of solidarity with their retail clients, tech vendors and IT partners are offering help in the form of emergency support and payment flexibility to make sure operations keep running smoothly despite the coronavirus crisis.
“Keeping systems going will be essential in the coming months and this will be no easy task due to the extreme changes in how the public are shopping, internal IT staff absence, and unexpected spikes in online ordering,” says Chris Field, Chairman of Retail Connections, and CEO of Fieldworks Marketing.
“We are already seeing tech companies proactively looking ahead and anticipating these shifts and their potential impacts. They are thinking about how their retail clients will be affected and what they can do to support peaks in demand, HR disruption, and of course pressure to pay bills.”
iAdvize – emergency support offer
This week iAdvize’s business support measures were announced by managing director Stuart Gordon. The conversational platform has devised an emergency support package to help businesses in crisis due to Coronavirus. “Not just available to our existing clients, we extend this to any business in distress,” said Gordon.
In the statement he said: “In order to face this crisis situation, we have decided to provide our non-customers with an offer without duration or volume commitment. Our teams are mobilised to help you launch an emergency deployment to go live within 24 hours.
“For the industries particularly affected by the current situation (the tourism and transport sectors), we offer the free deployment of a chatbot to help you optimise your response capacities at no extra cost. Finally, we offer the iAdvize platform free of charge to the government websites.”
Quinyx – open access to free communication module
Workforce management software provider Quinyx is offering open access to its communication module and mobile app for any organisation needing to support easy communication between employers and employees.
“We’re providing this free of charge and with no strings attached,” says the website.
All organisations who register will be able to easily communicate with their co-workers through the Quinyx communication app for the next six months during this challenging time. This would allow companies and employees to regularly update each other on the status of the organisation, staffing needs, opening hours, new policies and procedures and general details about how Covid-19 is manifesting itself on a day-to-day basis, suggests the team at Quinyx.
“This type of two way communication can help ensure that the business remains functioning in a time of crisis, and offers continuity and resilience to the business in the longer term.”
iVend Retail – access to free mPOS licenses
iVend says that in recent weeks it has seen unprecedented demand for its Mobile POS (mPOS) solution, particularly in the grocery and pharmacy domains. “We have seen a significant increase in license activations for iVend modules for Home, Phone and Online delivery that use iVend mPOS for fulfilment compared to orders received in the entire of 2019,” says Kamal Karmakar, CEO of CitiXsys – iVend Cloud. “This has certainly been unexpected for our company and we are working to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest level of customer service and provide uninterrupted support as we respond to the situation.”
He adds: “To help retailers respond to customer demands, we are offering free iVend mPOS licenses till the 1st of June, 2020 to manage immediate temporary needs for a Mobile Point of Sale solution.” Retailers will pay nothing for the iVend Mobile POS monthly subscription until the 1st of June, 2020 with no cap on the number of iVend mPOS licenses ordered. “We understand your pain during these trying times and we hope this alleviates some of the pressures on your business at this present time,” says Karmakar.
iVend has also provided advice on its website: Retail technology for thriving through uncertain times
NuOrder – complimentary solution
NuOrder, the business-to-business wholesale e-commerce platform, has also pledged its support to the retail and brand community. It is offering a complimentary version of its wholesale digital solution during the Coronavirus crisis.
NuOrder has more than 2,000 brands and 500,000 retailers on its platform and processes more than $35 billion in gross merchandise volume annually.Among the brands on the platform are Acne, Rag & Bone, Zegna, Vince, Theory, Arc’Teryx and Lacoste.
The platform will enable brands and retailers worldwide to collaborate in a digital environment in the absence of face-to-face interactions.
dotdigital – free chat to stay connected to customers
dotdigital is an omnichannel marketing automation platform that is also keen to support its community of clients as the pandemic crisis continues.
Milan Patel, CEO says: “As the impact of the coronavirus continues to be felt across the world, we want to support our customers during this difficult period. We’re offering free sends and live chat to make communication as easy as possible.” His recent blog spells out how the company can help, and gives advice on staying connected to customers during this time of social distancing.
Alibaba Cloud in China – $1,000 credits
In February in China, Alibaba Cloud announced that it would be offering $1,000 of credits to purchase cloud services to organisations impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak, to ensure business stability.
Daniel Zhang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group said that the company mobilised Alibaba ecosystem’s forces of commerce and technology to fully support the fight against the outbreak.
The company reached out to its customers via mail and said: “During this ongoing health crisis, we are working together with several different enterprises whose business has been affected.
“We are offering them tailored cloud solutions to address the challenges they are facing, including the necessary telecommunication systems to connect remotely.”
Alibaba DAMO Academy, a global AI-related research unit, collaborated with the Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a system that can expedite diagnosis and analysis of the virus.