TAMPA, Fla. November 8, 2023 — Upshop, the leading provider of AI-driven retail software for store operations, is proud to announce the launch of the WIC Smart Substitution Workflow, a groundbreaking feature designed to enhance the online shopping experience for WIC-eligible families. This out-of-the-box solution, built for Upshop’s eCommerce order management and fulfillment solution, is set to transform the way store associates handle WIC item substitutions, ensuring compliance with regulations while optimizing the process for both shoppers and retailers.
The WIC Smart Substitution Workflow is a significant step forward in the world of eCommerce, enabling store associates to efficiently manage WIC item substitutions. When a WIC-eligible item is unavailable, this automated workflow empowers store associates to select only alternate WIC-eligible items, eliminating the potential for discrepancies and non-compliance in WIC reimbursements.
WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, plays a crucial role in supporting vulnerable families across the United States. As of September 2023, federal funding for WIC has reached a historic milestone of $8 billion, demonstrating the program’s importance in addressing the nutritional needs of millions of families. In just the first seven months of 2023, the number of WIC participants exceeded 7 million per month, highlighting the program’s significant impact on the lives of those it serves. WIC now serves nearly 50% of US infants, making it a vital component of the nation’s social safety net.
With the introduction of Upshop’s WIC Compliant Smart Substitution Workflow, retailers can expect substantial savings in associate labor related to pick, replace, refund, and WIC-eligible item reimbursements. This cutting-edge solution not only streamlines operations but also demonstrates a commitment to serving WIC-eligible families in an efficient and responsible manner.
Key benefits include:
- Build trust with shoppers by serving essential nutritional needs.
- Use visual signs on the UI that allow in-store shoppers / associates to clearly identify when WIC eligible items have been added to the basket.
- Allow the associate picking orders to leverage conversational commerce in the smart substitution workflow.
- Stay regulatory compliant by replacing OOS WIC-eligible items ONLY with other WIC-eligible items.
- Communicate with PoS to issue a refund or adjustments when the WIC-eligible items are unavailable.
Steve Paro, Upshop Labs Lead and resident eCommerce expert, expressed his enthusiasm for the new update, stating,
“We are adding functionality that is absolutely essential to families today. Ensuring consumers can substitute with WIC-eligible items is a win for everyone: the consumer, the in-store retail shopper, and the store.”