E-commerce tech giant Shopify has dropped a cool $450 million for 6 River Systems, which provides warehouse fulfillment systems. The acquisition will support Shopify Fulfillment Network, which was launched in June to help sellers compete with Amazon’s fulfillment juggernaut. Yes, I said juggernaut.
Maybe Shopify’s foray into the physical world is the start of a trend. PFL, which integrates marketing automation with direct mail production, is crossing the same bridge. They just published a report that finds direct mail is an effective but underutilized supplement to digital channels.
Since we’re dancing on the frontier between digital and physical, let’s finish with a bow to Syte, which just raised a $21.5 million Series B for its visual recognition AI. Syte lets shoppers take a picture of a product and search for similar products on an ecommerce Web site. It also has in-store applications such as smart mirrors and in-store stylists. They get bonus points for a company name that puns on both Web site and eye sight.
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