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Whole Foods Just Launched a Messenger Chatbot for Finding Recipes with Emojis

A new chatbot will let customers browsing through the store find products, and then, with a few taps in a Facebook Messenger chatbot, find recipes for an upcoming meal. Customers can also select an emoji, like a jalapeno or a banana, and then see recipes that involve those products. The chatbot lets customers mix and match words and emojis. Peach emoji. Martini emoji. Done.

Grocery Brands Flock to Ads Informed by Your Real-World Shopping

From toothpaste brands to lipstick makers, marketers of consumer-packaged goods are jumping at the chance to target consumers based on what they've bought before. It's historically been a challenge for CPG marketers to know exactly who their customers are, and thus difficult to aim ads at them. But retailers gather loads of data about their shoppers' purchases. Now as real-world shopping data collides with location tracking and other technology, purchase-based advertising is becoming increasingly pervasive.  The closer to the source, the better.

No One's Better at Investing in Attention Than Facebook

If attention is the media industry’s currency, Facebook is obsessed with building the world’s largest mint. And if Zuckerberg succeeds, there’s no limit to what the company will be able to buy. Facebook’s multi-platform, multi-media, multi-app, multiple times a day access to consumers makes Facebook the best distributor of content – any content – on the planet. It's always been about attention and reach.

Technology May Be Retail’s Only Savior

Across the retail industry, a debate has been brewing about the role of digital in bricks-and-mortar stores. From the use of beacons and mobile checkouts to on-screen product displays, the question of how — and why — technology should be used in retail is certainly a hot topic. And while many experts feel that filling shops with screens detracts from the customer experience, technology is probably the only thing that can save the modern in-store shopping experience.  Hate it or love it, tech is here to stay.

Facebook's Chatbots Now Know Customers' Names And Preferences

Facebook has added a raft of new features to its Messenger chatbots, including linking a customer's account so a bot can make personalized suggestions. The new account-linking feature would allow customers to link, for example, their account with a book retailer to the brand chatbot. The chatbot can then suggest new books based on what the customer has purchased before. Facebook knows me so well.

How Amazon Prime Became a Successful Loyalty Program

Amazon Prime is the greatest and most misunderstood loyalty program ever created. This is a loyalty program with no point system. It’s $99 a year to be a part of. Prime is not about free shipping or fast shipping. There are no discounts. Prime, at its core, is about changing consumer behavior by reducing friction - and companies and brands could learn a lot. The price is right.

Selling Luxury: How High-End Brands are Embracing the Internet

Go to a luxury brand’s website, and the experience is usually one where customers can look but not purchase. It’s an excellent example of how some high-end retailers are dealing with a dilemma born of the digital age. How does a luxury brand retain its extravagant feel while still catering to the growing horde of consumers who love to shop online? Luxury is about scarcity, exclusivity.

Look Inside Lululemon's Ultra-Sleek 'Concept' Store

The apparel retailer’s idea for their New York location is to make clothes that are super specific for weather patterns, commute patterns, and the personality of the city. The gear at the lab is less about athletic pursuits and more about life in the city, helping push Lululemon away from just “athleisure” and evolving their brand into fashion.  Concept stores are becoming the future of retail.

Your Abandoned Shopping Cart Items are About to Show up as Instagram Ads

Facebook announced today that it will begin implementing its “dynamic ads” on Instagram – bringing you ads for items you may have left in your shopping cart without purchasing. When those overpriced boots haunt you wherever you go.

The Introverted Corporation

Even though most business leaders agree on the importance of being customer centric, in reality, companies spend more time focusing inward. Most companies are only using customer insights for customer-facing decisions, not for major business decisions and core processes. And established companies tend to rely on their existing business models rather than explore new possibilities like their younger peers. Spend less time discussing internal issues, more time on external realities.

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