- Stor.ai, a firm that provides end-to-end e-commerce solutions for grocers, now offers retailers access to an on-demand order picking workforce through a new partnership with retail computer vision and analytics provider Trax, the companies announced on Tuesday.
- The partnership integrates Trax's on-demand workforce of more than 1.4 million representatives with Stor.ai’s online platform, which includes its picking app for mapping in-store fulfillment.
- In addition to software solutions, Stor.ai is offering the on-the-ground labor force to handle online fulfillment as it challenges Instacart for retailers' e-commerce dollars. The companies specifically noted the partnership would help grocers respond to online order surges.
With this partnership, Stor.ai is looking to undercut one of the main advantages that large e-commerce platforms like Instacart, Uber and DoorDash offer over smaller competitors: a sizable on-demand workforce.
Trax will use a proprietary algorithm that incorporates store experience, location and workload to match retailers with workers who can help them pick and pack online orders. Combined with Stor.ai's picking technology and white-label e-commerce solutions, the integration creates an end-to-end service both online and on the ground, Ben Chrome, a spokesperson for Stor.ai, wrote in an email.
Stor.ai will handle delivery fulfillment, he noted, without saying which last-mile firms the company works with.
By offering retailers the ability to scale up their e-commerce workforce without actually having to hire additional workers, Stor.ai is addressing key concerns retailers face as they try to meet online demand in a more cost-efficient manner.
"With a few clicks a store can 'freelance' people to help at busier times," Crome said.
Last year, Trax acquired Survey.com, a merchandising services firm that included an on-demand workforce of more than 700,000. Sales activation workers traditionally handle in-store merchandising tasks on behalf of CPG brands and retailers, but as e-commerce sales have risen firms are also mobilizing workers to help fulfill orders.
In addition to its workforce solution, Trax offers a range of retail technology solutions, including computer-vision technology that helps companies track consumer behavior and collect data. In April, Trax said it raised $640 million from investors led by SoftBank and BlackRock.
Stor.ai, meanwhile, recently rebranded and announced several new executive hires as well as new personalization options for online shoppers. In March, the Tel Aviv-based company announced it brought in $21 million in an extended Series A round.