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Tensator’s Virtual Assistant helps boost sales 600%

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTEREY, Calif. and NEW YORK — Tensator, a provider of queue management and customer journey solutions, has announced that TY KU, a sake and spirits company, realized a 600% uplift in sales following the deployment of Tensator’s Virtual Assistant signage at a national retail chain in Monterey, Calif.


Tensator’s Virtual Assistant is an HD-projected imaging and audio-visual technology that creates the illusion of a real person, capable of delivering customized messaging.  

A key point not to be missed: Such innovative signage is demonstrating that it can be a great way to help consumers navigate a confusing category. Perhaps even a category like health care? Maybe.

In fact, as previously reported by Drug Store News back in 2011, Duane Reade partnered with the Tensator Group Co., to employ at 40 Wall St. the industry’s first Virtual Assistant. Using holographic imaging and audio-visual technology, the Virtual Assistant created the illusion of a real person who greets customers when they enter the store, providing guidance on everything store related, including making suggestions and recommendations on products available to shoppers.

At TY KU, it worked with Tensator’s Customer Journey experts to identify the exact persona they wanted and developed the script they had in mind for a virtual sommelier. TY KU’s Virtual Sommelier was designed to provide an array of information about TY KU Sake, covering everything a customer would want and need to know about TY KU Sake — from how the sake is prepared, how best to enjoy various different kinds of TY KU Sake and even recommendations on which food pairings are best with which sake, along with the right temperatures to serve them. The Tensator Virtual Sommelier also included messages for health conscious shoppers to let them know that TY KU Sake is all natural, gluten free, sulfite free and has very low acidity — making it the perfect complement to seafood, sushi and lighter, health-conscious cuisine.


Before deploying the Tensator Virtual Sommelier, TY KU Sake sales were flat for six straight weeks. After the first week, TY KU saw a 500% increase in sales, followed by a second week of 600% lift. 



“There is literally no other form of signage that could have achieved the amazing boost in sales that the Tensator Virtual Assistant delivered,” said Adrian Molina, brand communications manager, TY KU. “Its ability to captivate shoppers is unparalleled.  Not only did shoppers stop, look and listen — they bought TY KU Sake — providing us with an amazing 600% lift in sales in the first weeks of deployment. We are delighted with the results of our Virtual Sommelier.”


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Jones Soda to sparkle on retail shelves

BY Ryan Chavis

SEATTLE — Jones Soda Co. announced the launch of Jones Sparkling Water, which was created in response to consumer demand for healthier products.
 
Jones Sparkling Water is available in four flavors — Berry Lemonade, Fufu Berry, Green Apple and Strawberry Lime — and is packaged in 8-oz. cans, making it an ideal addition to school lunchboxes and family trips, the company said. The beverage has no added sweeteners, no added colors and no artificial preservatives. 
 
“We are bringing fun into this exploding sparkling water category, and in a unique way that appeals to kids,” says Jones Soda CEO, Jennifer Cue. “This is something we are all proud to stand behind. As the mother of a 7 year old, I can identify with parents who are looking for something interesting, fun and healthful to give to their kids for lunches, or really anytime. With fun, natural flavors, no added sugar or preservatives and no added colors, Jones Sparkling Water is a great way to encourage our young children to drink more healthy beverages.”
 

Jones Sparkling Water will first be available in a four-pack at Target stores in the West and Mountain regions, as well as online at JonesSoda.com. The product is expected to become available at other retailers across the United States in the near futuer, the company said.

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Celgene’s Otezla approved to treat plaque psoriasis

BY Ryan Chavis

SUMMIT, N.J. — Celgene Corp. earlier this week announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved Otezla (apremilast) for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The drug is the first and only PDE4 inhibitor approved for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, according to the company. Otezla was approved on March 21, 2014 by the FDA for treatment of active psoriatic arthritis. 
 
“Otezla offers an important new treatment option for patients whose symptoms are not adequately improving with their current treatments. In clinical trials, Otezla reduced redness, thickness and scaliness of plaques in patients with moderate or severe plaque psoriasis,” said Dr. M. Shane Chapman, section chief of dermatology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. “Because the product labeling does not require routine laboratory monitoring, oral Otezla may be a welcome new option for patients and physicians looking for a different treatment experience.”
 
Otezla is available in the United States and is dispensed through a network of specialty pharmacies. 
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