Here in New York, Halloween pop-up shops will soon give way to Christmas-tree cluttered sidewalks. In other words, retail’s crazy season. Don’t worry about staying on top of the news — we’ve got you covered.
Taking Your Vitals
You’ve heard all about Relationship Commerce (we hope), but are you ready for Biometric Commerce? The Daily Beast reports new patents from Walmart and Amazon that suggest the companies plan to get the pulse of their consumers by, quite literally, getting their pulse.
Amazon’s patent will allow Alexa devices to analyze a user’s voice in order to detect signs of illness. Dr. Alexa’s motives aren’t quite as pure as Doogie Howser’s, of course — the idea is that your Echo could then sell you on some remedies. Walmart’s patent-pending plan is for a shopping cart handle that could record a customer’s biometric data, measuring a shopper’s reaction as she moves around the store.
The Clothes Horse Whisperer
As direct-to-consumer brands like Warby Parker and ThinkGeek increasingly discover the allure of good, old-fashioned brick and mortar, a growing number of companies are helping these digital natives learn how to survive in the real world. One of these firms, Fourpost, has announced its first two retail locations, opening November 1 in North America’s two largest malls (they’re in Minneapolis and Alberta, FYI).
Fourpost will offer “Studio Shops”, 50-to-100 square-foot retail spaces that will be set into one storefront. But the real selling-point is the array of turnkey solutions the company can offer: short-term leases include “in-store fixtures, signage, lighting, WiFi, point-of-sale hardware and a dedicated staff, plus shared amenities like event spaces, storage and a social media manager.”
Another Click to the Walmart
It’s remarkable to think of a corporation as massive as Walmart as the underdog in any fight, but welcome to the weird world of 2018. But there could be feel-good Rocky II ending awaiting for Walmart after all (spoiler alert) -- CNN Business provided a sanguine take on the company’s fortunes.
Thanks to Walmart’s recent acquisitions of high-end brands like Bonobos and Modcloth, as well as Relationship Commerce-style innovations that have led to significant increases in their grocery sales, the company’s fortunes are on the rise.
Thanks to Walmart’s recent acquisitions of high-end brands like Bonobos and Modcloth, as well as Relationship Commerce-style innovations that have led to significant increases in their grocery sales, the company’s fortunes are on the rise. Their online sales alone are expected to grow 40% this year.
Of course it’s not all good news. In an effective counterpunch, Grocery Dive reports that Amazon now accounts for 30% of all online grocery sales in the U.S., absolutely dwarfing the competition.
Holiday, It Could Be So Nice
For most Americans, the scariest time of year is fast approaching — Halloween. For e-commerce retailers, however, the scariest time of year is still about a month away — Cyber Monday. Quite simply, anything and everything can go wrong when an e-commerce site gets slammed with holiday-frenzied shoppers looking for a deal.
Catchpoint, a digital experience intelligence company that monitors retail desktop and mobile sites, offers up a five potential break points for any retailer worried about surges in traffic: region-based analytics, sluggish third-party components, heavy page weight, and poor internal server scalability.
Kicking the Tires
Guess what industry those pesky millennials and their inexplicable shopping habits are upending this week? If you answered “tires,” you’d be correct (and we’d be a little freaked out).
In response to the ever-elusive millennial consumer, Goodyear plans launched a new concept shop called Roll by Goodyear, where buyers can “choose when, where and how to install their tires.” Shoppers can buy their new wheels online or at a Roll by Goodyear showroom, and the tires themselves “can be fitted anywhere, such as a customer’s driveway or parking space at work by a mobile installation truck.”