Amazon announced today through a video posted online that it’s testing a grocery store in hometown Seattle that has no checkout process, much less checkout lines. The store, dubbed Amazon Go, requires customers to launch a QR-code based app, which they scan upon walking into the site. The retailer’s “Just Walk Out” technology detects when products are removed from or returned to shelves, keeps track of them in a virtual cart, and totals the cost when customers depart the store. Grab and go.
When Rob Lowe appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live with a golden McDonald’s card last year, one big question remained: How could the Average Joe get his own card that granted him access to unlimited McDonald's? Not easily, a little sleuthing revealed. Not a piece of hotcake.
The rise of automation in the fast-food industry has made headlines in recent months, as chains such as Panera and McDonald's have heavily invested in tech that threatens to eventually replace human workers. Now the grocery and retail industry is looking to get in on automation as well. Walmart recently patented a system of self-driving shopping carts with mini robots that can complete a long list of duties once reserved for human employees. Shopping without the work.
What do my customers want? The savviest executives are asking this question more frequently than ever, and rightly so – they understand they are in the customer experience business, and that how an organization delivers for customers is as important as what it delivers. In this guide, experts explore the fundamentals of customer interaction and the steps necessary to redesign the business in a more customer-centric fashion. Putting customers first.
As shoppers ourselves, it’s a routine we already know extremely well by now. It goes like this: You walk into your favorite fashion retail store. You’re welcomed by a retail floor assistant. They repeatedly greet you with a scripted engagement every three minutes until you checkout or leave. You may think it is over at this point, but really it’s just the beginning. Double down on digital instead.
In the beginning, marketing automation platforms basically involved if/then rules: if a customer takes this action, show this response. But overlapping e-mail campaigns with if/then rules become very complicated very quickly, especially when you’re talking about millions of customers, each one in a different frame of mind, and each expecting his/her own personalized experience. As a result, marketing platforms are evolving to the newer approach of customer journeys that are often guided by machine learning. It's all about the customer journey.
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.
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.
Walmart has lined up two key new partners in combatting the latest challenge with Amazon: grocery delivery. Ride sharing giants Uber and Lyft will be partnering with Walmart for home deliveries to small areas of Denver and Phoenix to start, with discussions to expand. Will Walmart’s “always low prices” be enough to compete with a powerhouse like Amazon? Let’s get ready to rumble…
The ASOS Facebook page in Australia seems to have been taken over by bots, trolls or sleepy staff. Despite ASOS' insistence that its replies are not auto-responses, Facebook posters have converged onto the page and amusing comments continue to receive similar replies, no matter what they’re saying. The robot revolution might not be all it's cracked up to be.