Twitch acquires Internet Gaming DatabaseAcquisition will see Twitch feed database into discovery feature setHaydn TaylorSenior Staff WriterWednesday 18th September 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleTwitchThe Internet Gaming Database (IGDB) has been acquired by video streaming platform Twitch. Founded in 2015, the IGDB aims to build a comprehensive catalogue of video games — similar to the unrelated IMDb — including details like genre, plot synopsis, reviews, game length, release dates, game modes, and characters. First launched in 2014, the IGDB provides both a free and paid-for service though its developer API. However, following the Twitch deal, IGDB will now provide an entirely free service. Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “Going forward, that means that you will now contribute information to Twitch as well as IGDB and the thousands of apps, services, and websites that are powered by this information,” said IGDB product owner Jerome Richer De Forges in a blog post.According to TechCrunch, the acquisition will see Twitch feeding the extensive IGDB data into its search and discovery feature set. “This opportunity takes IGDB to a whole new level, giving us the opportunity to be an even bigger part of your gaming life,” De Forges said. Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesStreamer Phantoml0rd wins three-year Twitch lawsuitCS:GO player James Varga was banned from the platform in 2016By Danielle Partis 15 days agoTwitch continues to grow in Q1 2021, but YouTube Gaming is laggingHours watched on Twitch are up 97%, but Facebook is poised to overtake YouTube By Danielle Partis 27 days agoLatest comments (1)Sergey Ulankin Editor-in-Chief, RAWGA year ago That’s some great news, of course! I sent my congrats to IGDB today’s morning. A very logical acquisition with lots of synergy potential. Surely though, Twitch will find find many other interesting ways to incorporate the data into their product apart from “better search” which is funny (Twitch under Amazon can’t make a sufficient search? Really?). I’d expect more fancy products on Twitch utilizing the data—from reco engines and discovery algorithms to creator and company pages.We at RAWG also noticed much interest concerning multiplatform games database when we launched our own free API. Each day I reply to one or two letters from students, aspiring coders, startups, non-profits, researchers and international corps. Turns out there are not so many places where you can find good data on all games. And products from small bots on Reddit and Discord to huge search engines like Yandex are happy to use our API to provide better experience.I think the market needs an easy-to-use solution to build new services and enrich existing ones. The deal between Twitch and IGDB shows that the market does not only need it but also actively seeks opportunities to get a hold of such data first. Let’s hope that when IGDB releases their Pro-tier API for free in the future it will stay for a long while, so that a lot of other products can benefit from it. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
The Visitor Center is at the Spirit Gate, off of Highway 23. Phones are available if you need to contact your sponsor.101 Spirit Blvd.Whiteman AFB, MO 65305Commercial 660-687-2834DSN 975-2834
©Chicken GuyThis restaurant will be brought to life by Robert Earl (of Planet Hollywood fame) and celebrity chef Guy Fieri. These two dynamic forces are joining together once again after their recent successful collaboration at the Planet Hollywood Observatory with the upcoming eatery, Chicken Guy, which is slated to be the flagship of a brand new concept that’s being introduced by the two.There is no word on what kinds of menu items the restaurant will feature, nor do we have an opening date, however it is clear that the restaurant is currently hiring.More information about Chicken Guy will be able to be found on the blog, as I learn more about this brand new location. Share This!A brand new quick service dining location is being built for Disney Springs, as part of the Planet Hollywood Observatory and its name is going to be Chicken Guy. (I can’t make this up….and kind of wish I was.)
CSIRO scientist David Griffin does not believe his team’s drift modeling research supports extending the hunt for MH370 north or south of (opens in a new window)areas already swept by searchers.Acknowledging that the mystery surrounding MH370 is now deeper than ever, Dr. Griffin says five options remain after the failure of the second search as far north as 25°S.These are that the wreckage is north of 25°S; it is south of 39.6°S; it is between those latitudes but further from the 7th arc than has been searched; it is within the search area but overlooked; or somewhere “we can’t imagine”.However, he says respective experts in various fields find all of the scenarios unlikely.He noted that the first two options were inconsistent with the drift modeling as well as satellite communications data and flight path simulations“We cannot completely rule out the possibility the aircraft is located either north or south, but the available information suggests to us that the intermediate latitudes are much more likely,’’ he said in his first online update since the search for the missing Boeing 777 ended.“We leave it to relevant domain experts to assess whether the search should extend either farther from the 7th arc, possibly at just a selection of latitudes, or focus on the so-called ‘holidays” (gaps in the sonar coverage where the terrain is difficult).’’CSIRO modeling raised hopes that the wreckage would be found during the second search by Ocean Infinity by identifying several hot spots.The failure to find the wreckage in a 120,000 sq. km area swept by Ocean Infinity’s high-tech fleet of sophisticated underwater autonomous vehicles left experts grappling with where to look next.There have been several suggestions as experts rake over the data but little likely to be enough to convince the Malaysians to back another search.Most recently, independent group member Victor Ianello said flight simulations indicated it could be worth widening the search on either side of the 7th arc north of 25°S, the northern end of the most recent search conducted earlier this year by Ocean Infinity.But he acknowledged that until new insights become available, it would be difficult to establish a new search area.READ: New analysis possibly identifies new MH370 location.Respected University of Western Australia oceanographer Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi believes MH370 is lying just outside the area already searched.Prof Pattiaratchi said in June UWA drift modeling indicated that the priority region to target would be between 33°S and 28°S along the 7th arc.Pilots and a Canadian air safety investigator who argue the aircraft was deliberately ditched at the end of its flight believe it is further afield. Critical of findings the aircraft was uncontrolled when it hit the sea, they believe it would have glided well beyond the defined search areas.Central to the CSIRO argument is the timing of the arrival of debris, particularly a moveable wing panel called a flaperon found at Reunion Island.The flaperon, which is still held by French authorities, is at the center of the controversy over whether the aircraft was uncontrolled when it plunged into the sea.The CSIRO used a genuine Boeing 777 flaperon and model that looked at satellite data and the trajectories of buoys drifting freely on the surface of the ocean to conclude that crash sites from the southern limit of the search to about 30.5°S were consistent with the observed arrival date of the flaperon of July 29, 2015.It found latitudes from 30.5°S to 26°S were “less consistent but not inconsistent”.Although crash sites to the north of the searched area and up to 23°S had a high probability of the flaperon reaching Reunion, it would arrive many months earlier than observed. And those further north than this point resulted in trajectories that missed the island completely.Dr Griffin noted that other “low-windage’ debris, such as those pieces found on African shores, had a high probability of arriving, as they were observed to do, from December 2015 onwards if the crash site was between 37°S and 33°S.He said crash sites north of 33°S were only consistent with the debris evidence if it was assumed that wreckage arrived before December 2015, which was possible but increasingly unlikely.“Assuming our simulation is correct, the question of whether Ocean Infinity has exhausted the range of northern latitudes that are worth searching, therefore, hinges on the question of whether 50 percent of the debris from MH370 could have washed up on African shores, unnoticed, throughout much of 2015,’’ he said.“We are not prepared to assume this is true. Consequently, we think the available evidence from African shores is consistent with the flaperon evidence, and that MH370 is much more likely to have crashed south of 25°S.”For the sites south of 39.6°S, the CSIRO pointed to its earlier arguments that the debris would not have arrived as early as observed and there would have been debris on Australian shores, something targeted searches had failed to find.“Hard evidence (that was known to us in 2016 but not included in our report) that debris floating in the SE Indian Ocean finds its way to Australian shores despite the frequently-adverse winds is provided by the trajectories of (undrogued) drifting buoys,’’ Dr Griffin said. “This also had a bearing on how we identified 35°S as the most likely region of the crash.”The CSIRO scientist admitted the tools used to model the drift of debris on the surface — data assimilating hydrodynamic models and trajectories of satellite-tracked drifting buoys – were not ideal because they were designed to simulate and observe the movement for a surface layer 10 metres thick.He said it was necessary to use the buoy information carefully and combine it with data from many other sources in order to simulate the drift of aircraft debris, particularly items with complex drift characteristics such as the flaperon.“We did this in 2016 to the best of our ability at that time,’’ he said. “As modeling techniques improve, retrospective drift analyses will undoubtedly become more accurate, possibly leading to different conclusions to ours and shedding more light on the location of MH370.“In particular, models with finer spatial resolution will undoubtedly result in a wider range of simulated travel times across the ocean.”Dr Griffin said the CSIRO hoped to revisit its conclusions at some time in the future and expressed the team’s sincere regrets that “the committed efforts of many dedicated people have not yet solved this enduring mystery”.
As automation and digitalization continuously reinvent work, employers and employees alike face the urgent challenge of keeping up with ever-shifting skill requirements. Doing so effectively in an endlessly evolving workplace, however, requires that organizations move from episodic corporate training to continuous, on-demand learning.It’s a formidable challenge. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), by 2022, no less than 54 percent of all employees will require significant re- and upskilling. Of these, about 35 percent are expected to require additional training of up to six months.To keep pace with changing skill requirements, HR leaders must understand the changing nature of work.Today, work is being deconstructed into elemental tasks. These tasks are deployed to the optimal source of work (automation, alliances, gig talent, etc.) and the remaining and new tasks are reconstructed into reinvented jobs. For this reason, HR needs to make continuous reinvention of work a core capability – and set the stage for continuous learning.How prepared are HR leaders and their organizations to respond to this challenge? Findings from a global joint research initiative between HR People + Strategy and Willis Towers Watson on the evolving role of the chief people officer (CPO) reveal a gap between HR executives’ awareness of this issue and their readiness to implement continuous learning across their organizations. Almost all participants (94 percent) in a series of CPO focus groups indicated that in order to handle the changing nature of work, it’s become a priority to move from episodic training to perpetual reskilling. Yet only 18 percent indicate they are prepared to truly drive significant reskilling of the workforce.Our study uncovered five critical steps that will help HR leaders pivot from episodic training to continuous learning:Move to a skills-based talent architecture. It’s time to transition from traditional career ladders based on fixed jobs to reskilling pathways based on tasks and reinvented jobs. Moving to a skills-based talent architecture, which requires mapping skills to tasks and jobs, will be critical to ensuring that talent remains relevant. CPOs as well as other senior leaders need to stop thinking about headcounts and number of employees and start thinking about skills and skill pools.Ensure learning is ongoing and part of the business plan. HR leaders must integrate learning and reskilling into everyday workplace activities in an ongoing –rather than episodic – manner. In this context, it will be important to promote self-motivation and encourage talent to seek out experiences that will help them grow and thrive.Build a talent pool for the future. Organizations have begun hiring and training people in specific skill areas in anticipation of future needs, that is, before jobs are even available. For instance, United Rentals hires people out of high school and college in this way and finds that this approach reduces ramp-up time when jobs do become available. To ensure access to critical skills at all times, the HR leader must cultivate diverse work relationships and partner with various collaborators, or risk finding themselves at a competitive disadvantageTake a multipronged approach. It’s important to provide transparent and multidimensional development opportunities. CPOs need a multipronged approach to understanding the organization’s learning needs and developing paths for continuous learning.Engage in ongoing conversations with business leaders to understand how skill capabilities align to evolving business needs and develop learning modules to bridge growing skill gaps.Develop learning paths based on an individual’s learning objectives and build on their current skills and previous experience. Because individuals have different learning styles it’s important to provide learning content in a range of formats and media, including mobile. Learning options can include videos, podcasts, virtual/augmented reality, online and in-person courses. Organizations may also seek out external learning partners ranging from community colleges to online course providers such as Coursera or Udacity. Establish manager involvement and organizational support; establishing continuous learning as a priority for the leadership and the company is essential for making it a reality. Seventy-five percent of employees report that they would take a course suggested by their manager. CPOs need to empower managers to monitor employee progress against goals and ensure that learning activities are bridging skills gaps.Ensure continuous learning is at the heart of the new deal. Skills are the new currency of the labor market. CPOs must put continuous learning and reskilling at the heart of their organization’s employment deal to attract and retain the critical talent needed to succeed in the new world of work.Going forward, an organization’s competitive advantage will come from ensuring the continued competitiveness of its workforce. At the same time, security for the individual will come from preparing for opportunity, wherever it might be, and remaining relevant in a world of shifting skills premiums. It is the role of the CPO to bring the organization and talent together in a mutual commitment to continuous learning and reskilling, enabling talent to thrive and the organization to prosper.About the study: HR People + Strategy (HRPS), the Society for Human Resource Management’s Executive Network and Willis Towers Watson undertook a global research initiative to explore the rapidly changing role of the HR executive in March through August 2019. This research consisted of in-depth interviews with CPOs, CEOs, corporate board members, other C-suite executives and academics, a series of CPO focus groups and a survey of senior business leaders from organizations across a range of sizes, industries and countries. The Future Chief People Officer: Imagine. Invent. Ignite, a comprehensive report based on this work, will be published in December 2019. Readers can also look forward to complementary pieces exploring the key themes and findings, including blog posts, presentations, articles and podcasts.The Authors:Simon King is a senior HR executive with more than 25 years of experience in the Bio-pharmaceutical industry. King started his career in Research and Development at AstraZeneca holding increasingly senior positions culminating in being the Head of HR for Research and Development. In August 2019, he moved to Daiichi-Sankyo, Inc. where he serves as Chief People Officer. Simon has been a volunteer for HR People + Strategy since 2007, lectures at Cornell, and is an active member of the Cornell Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies. This content represents his personal opinions and not those of his employer.Ravin Jesuthasan is an author and Managing Director at Willis Towers Watson. Jesuthasan is a recognized global thought leader and author on the future of work and human capital. He has led numerous research efforts on the global workforce, the emerging digital economy, the rise of artificial intelligence and the transformation of work. Jesuthasan has led numerous research projects for the World Economic Forum including its ground-breaking study; Shaping the Future Implications of Digital Media for Society and the recently launched Creating a Shared Vision for Talent in the 4th Industrial Revolution.  2019 Workplace Learning Report (LinkedIn Learning, 2019)
Tags:#advertising#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Your mother’s calling – and there are shoes on sale.A new study released this week in the UK found that 80% of respondents said they were “happy to have [15 second pre-roll] video ads if it meant they could watch free video” on their phones. Almost nothing’s shocking in the wacky world of mobile advertising-to be, but one thing we found absolutely horrifying in the discussion around the study was this: incoming-call ads.Who’s Doing This?A company called Gigafone appears to be pioneering the practice of showing users advertising when calls or SMS come in to a phone. The system is fully opt-in, users provide personal data about themselves and then the ads are targeted to them based on demographics and interests.RSS readers can click here to see a poll about incoming-call mobile ads.The benefits to consumers include more targeted ads, discounts and in some cases phone rate subsidies. It’s a little reminiscent of the successful efforts by Blyk, a European company that shows ads in exchange for free minutes and text messages.Consumer ReactionsGigafone reports that a huge percentage of customers in test markets are satisfied with the system. People we asked, though, seemed to think that they should receive heavy subsidies for undergoing such an experience. No doubt mobile companies are unlikely to offer the amount of subsidies that customers would like – but we can imagine how this would go down. The practice of offering discounts on nearly everything at the grocery store in exchange for personal information and permission to track our shopping activities would provide an excellent model for this kind of mobile advertising. Are grocery shoppers who participate in such schemes really getting discounts, or are the rare few who do not just paying a tax? We can imagine a de facto tax being levied against mobile consumers unwilling to have ads shown when their phones ring.Even though it’s opt-in, there are lots of consumer controls and it could help pay for phone service, we (this author at least) do not want commercials associated with the Pavlovian response of paying particular attention to our phones when they ring. There’s just something disturbing about the idea.A 15 second pre-roll ad before watching free video? That sounds annoying enough. A personalized ad when I pull my phone out of my pocket to answer it? No thanks. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…
Will Development Eventually Make Itself Obsolete? Tips for Selling Smart Supply Chain Solutions danny boice Tags:#Guest Posts#Hubspot#Marketplaces#On-demand Marketplaces#OroCRM#QuickBlox#QuickMVP.com#Trustify#Twilio#Uber#Uber For X Related Posts How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Guest author Danny Boice is the CEO of Trustify, a service that allows anyone to hire a private investigator on demand.Uber is so successful that the name is now synonymous and interchangeable with on-demand marketplaces that overturn the status quo and leverage technology at scale. Uber did not invent the concept of aggregating disparate supply and demand to create a business, but they did it in a loud, disruptive manner with cheap technology. Others are paying attention and trying to mimic their success. Today, you don’t have to look far to see an “Uber for X” business. Why? In large part because there are so many cheap, simple, readily available building blocks for creating a marketplace business. While it has never been easier to cash in on the “Uberization” of services across our economy, the tools and strategies you use will make or break your business. As the founder and CEO of Trustify, a company that seeks to shake up the industry of private investigators in much the same way that Uber did the taxi industry, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. For any aspiring entrepreneur who wants to build their “Uber for X” business, here is a guide, complete with free or cheap technology that will prevent headaches and save time. Step 1: Identify A MarketplaceOn-demand marketplaces are delicate balancing acts. You must have significant consumer demand for what you’re selling and freelance suppliers ready to meet the demand in an instant. Too many startup founders play the “wouldn’t it be cool if” game. They then build a product they would personally like, only to find out the hard way that customers didn’t want it, or the labor force wouldn’t play ball.The Tool: QuickMVP.comAt Trustify, I used QuickMVP.com and the Lean Startup methodology at large to confirm that there was consumer demand for a “private investigators on demand” app before I did anything else. This proved invaluable, and sure enough, we had revenue our first day in business and have grown quickly month over month since we launched.Just as Uber had to acquire drivers who would not get frustrated and defect, we had to ensure that private investigators were interested in a new, predictable revenue stream and a better way of servicing customers. This came fairly easy for us and PI demand continues to be immense.Make sure you have the suppliers or else you’ll find yourself in an interesting pickle where tons of customers want what you’re selling but you have no suppliers to do the work. This is one of the many unique considerations of a business model where you don’t truly control supply.Step 2: Acquire And Manage CustomersAcquiring customers will always be a top priority. There’s no point building your on-demand “Uber for X” app if nobody uses it. You also need to retain customers and turn their network into new customers.The Tool: HubSpotAt Trustify, we use HubSpot, an inbound-marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. HubSpot is a great service for finding and managing customers, and they offer a startup discount.Step 3: Manage Suppliers And Active JobsOne of the most challenging aspects of building an “Uber for X” business is connecting disorganized consumer demand with disorganized suppliers. A good CRM with case-management capabilities can help you address this challenge. Remember, “Uber for X” businesses are not difficult to launch technically. The challenges result from logistics and managing a cloud of suppliers that you don’t actually employ. The Tool: OroCRMAt Trustify, we use the open-source OroCRM platform to acquire and manage our private investigators and to manage and monitor all of our active jobs. We had considered licensing commercial salesforce services, but decided against them because it was too expensive and did not provide a silver-bullet solution that we couldn’t find in an open-source alternative. Likewise, we considered building our own solution from the ground up. This would give us infinite extensibility, but it would require months to build and the additional labor.Oro is built on Symfony, a framework of PHP components, so it is powerful, robust, and extensible. Oro is easy to use, and it has a strong API and developer framework for data interchange, integrations, and customer modules. Oro helped us to get to market quickly without a big investment up front.Step 4: Communicate With Your CustomersOnce you’ve connected your consumer with your supplier, it often behooves you to let the two speak directly. The challenge is in protecting yourself from suppliers cutting you out of the equation and working directly with the customer in future jobs. In order to prevent that, it is best to connect customers and suppliers via an intermediary that masks their mobile numbers but still allows them to communicate via SMS or text.The Tool: TwilioWe use Twilio because it provides an SMS gateway, via an API, that allows the customer and the supplier to communicate without knowing each other’s phone numbers. Twilio SMS allows you to programmatically send, receive. and track text messages worldwide. There are dozen of options, but we chose Twilio because it is a large company that provides developers with tools to build SMS and VOIP applications via a Web API, using the standard web languages you likely already know.Step 5: Ensure Transparency With Built-In MapsWhen customers order an Uber, they can track their driver in real time. This works because Uber drivers have corresponding apps that track their exact location and send the info to Uber, who then sends it back to the customer in a nice display. When Uber first introduced this, it was a novelty. Now it’s taken for granted—even Comcast has tested a system where its cable technicians on service calls appear on a map within its app.Transparency is a priority at Trustify. Before we came on to the scene, PIs had a reputation of liberal billing, which didn’t sit well with customers. That’s why we’re developing a mapping functionality that will show customers exactly where their private investigator is when he or she is “on the clock.” Our goal is to remove the unknown from the equation, so that both customer and investigator are happy.The Tool: QuickBloxWe considered many commercial products, including Global Mapper SDK, Google Maps Geolocation API and the Here platform. Ultimately, we landed on QuickBlox because it does exactly what we need, costs nothing, and is easy to use. End-of-Life Software: Keep it, Update it, or Fi…
(AP) — Tropical Depression Barry spared New Orleans and Baton Rouge from catastrophic flooding, but even as it weakened and moved north through Arkansas, its trailing rain bands swamped parts of Louisiana with up to 17 inches (43 centimeters) of rain and transformed part of the Mississippi Delta into “an ocean.”As of Monday evening, with the center of the storm about 105 miles (170 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock, the National Weather Service said flash flood watches remained in effect in southeast Texas through the lower Mississippi Valley.Forecasters said the storm was expected to produce up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain — and in isolated spots as much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) — across Arkansas, western Tennessee and Kentucky, southeast Missouri, and northwest Mississippi.No fatalities or serious injuries reported from Barry.Some of the earliest fears that the storm posed didn’t play out: A shift in its path decreased the possibility of major Mississippi River levees being overtopped at New Orleans, where catastrophic levee breaches along canals devastated the city after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And the torrents of rain forecasters had said were possible — portending repeats of catastrophic Baton Rouge area flooding in 2016 — didn’t happen.“This was a storm that obviously could have played out very, very differently,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “We’re thankful that the worst-case scenario did not happen.”But the storm was still a huge headache for many. Levees were overtopped along waterways in some coastal parishes. More than 90 people were rescued because of high water in at least 11 parishes, Edwards said.And the problems persisted long after Saturday’s landfall — when Barry came ashore as a weak hurricane. Deluges hit parts of southwest Louisiana late Sunday into Monday morning.Calcasieu Parish emergency director Dick Gremillion estimated northern parts of the parish got 17 inches (43 centimeters) in a few hours. Two people had to be rescued from swamped cars and 19 others were moved from residences threatened by high water, he said.In Oakdale, Louisiana, Mayor Gene Paul estimated 14 inches (36 centimeters) fell overnight. He spent part of Monday gathering information on businesses and homes that took on water.In Evangeline Parish, north of Lafayette, KLFY television showed scenes of water-covered streets and flooded cars in the town of Ville Platte.For much of Monday a continuous line of showers extended from the southwest to the northeast.“Please don’t drive through these flooded areas,” Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso pleaded with motorists.“I noticed our rivers coming up real quick,” Mancuso said in an interview aired on KPLC-TV . “It’s just very serious right now.”In Mississippi, forecasters said 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain had fallen in parts of Jasper and Jones counties by Monday, with several more inches possible.“The South Delta has become an ocean,” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant wrote on Twitter on Monday.He’s calling on the federal government to build pumps to drain water from the confluence of the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers. The EPA shelved the project in 2008 amid concerns about wetlands and wildlife. The Trump administration has said it might reconsider that decision.The Edison Electric Institute, a trade association, estimated that there were more than 325,000 power outages reported in multiple states over the course of the storm, and that about 33,000 remained without power as of Monday evening.
The need for omnichannel efforts in retail isn’t news. Companies have been hurrying to establish an online presence — or for some online-only retailers, a physical presence — so customers can shop wherever they want. It’s not enough to just be available in multiple locations, though. Those shopping platforms and touch points need to be connected for omnichannel success. One growing reason for this is the popularity of “buy online, pick up in-store.” If you’ve ever seen this option on a website and wondered if people actually use it, the answer is a resounding “yes.”According to a recent study, 57.5 percent of shoppersOpens in a new window use this service. The most common reason cited by customers is wanting to avoid shipping charges (73 percent), while others cited needing an item right away and ease of returns. While offering an in-store pickup option might feel like an extra thing to worry about for some retailers, it actually brings with it a big opportunity to increase foot traffic and sales at the same time. For retailers, that’s an opportunity worth investigating.Benefits for Customers and RetailersThe buy online, pick up in-store trend is growing fast, and more retailers have been making it an option. In 2015, 21.2 percent of U.S. retailers offered the service. That number doubled to 44.4 percent in 2016Opens in a new window, according to a report from Multichannel Merchant.The reason for these growing numbers? In-store pickup benefits both the customer and the retailer.Customers often avoid shipping fees but still get the convenience of having what they want ready for them when they want it. They don’t have to worry about showing up at a store and discovering the item they came for is out of stock. This pickup method works well for customers that don’t have time to wait for an item to ship or fear a package could get stolen.Retailers also avoid some delivery costs when customers pick up items in stores. This is the case at J.C. PenneyOpens in a new window, for example:“Among JCP’s 1,000-plus stores, 250 can use their inventory to fulfill online orders and ship them to consumers, a spokeswoman says. ‘We understand that leveraging our stores allows us to have a lower delivery cost, to reduce the delivery time for customers and also drive traffic,’ she says. Online orders drive store traffic via the retailer’s buy-online, pick up in store option, which is how almost 40% of JCP.com orders are picked up. This helps the retailer’s bottom line, as the retailer doesn’t pay shipping costs for those orders.”But perhaps more importantly, this trend increases foot traffic. When customers arrive to pick up purchases made online, they also tend to do other shopping. J.C. Penney found 40 percent of customers who buy online and pick up in-storeOpens in a new window spend more than $50 on additional items when they pick up their initial orders.This omnichannel service presents a real opportunity for retailers with physical stores that online-only businesses can’t tap into.Make Stores Distribution Centers with the Right TechTo take advantage of this opportunity, retailers need to have great inventory management and learn to operate their stores like mini distribution centers, otherwise, the customer experience could be less than ideal. Customers want to know instantly if an item is available for pickup nearby, and if someone makes a purchase online, the store needs to have that item ready very quickly. Retailers need inventory systems that communicate across all store locations and platforms to accomplish this. A comprehensive inventory system using RFID technology can serve as the backbone for retailers, supporting services like buy online, pick up in-store.The Intel® Retail Sensor PlatformOpens in a new window can help deliver the accurate inventory retailers need across their store locations. It integrates with and supports other management systems as well, so businesses can get the exact solutions they need. Learn about this platform and Intel’s other diverse solutions for retail that are helping transform the retail industry.