MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Zappos tests mobile personal assistant

BY Dan Berthiaume

Las Vegas – Zappos has reportedly been testing a new mobile personal shopping assistant called “AskZappos” since June 2014. According to CNet, AskZappos lets mobile shoppers send images and then locates the desired products as well as other recommended items on the Zappos site.

Customers can send requests for information through channels including Instagram, text and email. AskZappos was developed by Zappos’ San Francisco-based Zappos Labs team and currently a team of stylists at Zappos Labs headquarters is personally responding to customer requests. However, AskZappos will eventually provide automated service based on image recognition technology. Zappos is owned by Amazon.com.

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Budweiser launches web series ahead of Made in America fest

BY CSA STAFF

In the lead-up to the 2014 Budweiser Made in America Festival, the beer company has launched a web series to find an act to add to the festival’s lineup in Los Angeles.

The MADE Underground series — produced by Vice’s music arm, Noisey —follows a Brooklyn band, X Ambassadors, and London street musician, Jamie N. Commons, as they look in cities like St. Louis, Seattle, Rio de Janeiro and Athens.

“Living in New York, it’s hard to miss the amazing talent around every corner which is why I am so thrilled to work with Budweiser’s MADE Underground to showcase the truly brilliant street performers throughout the world and highlight the energy they bring to our city life," said Sam Harris of X Ambassadors.

"As a street musician from London, I am so excited to be a part of Budweiser’s MADE Underground," Commons said. "There is so much talent in the most unexpected places and through the series we will all help to shed light on some of the most genius musicians from across the globe to recreate an awesome track and deliver what promises to be an amazing performance at Budweiser Made in America Festival."

The Los Angeles festival will take place on Aug. 30 and 31 — the same days as the Philadelphia version of the festival. Rapper and music mogul Jay Z curated both lineups, and Budweiser is set to announce collaborations with pop star Rihanna later this year.

Further episodes will be available in the coming weeks: London on August 4, New York on August 12, Philadelphia on August 19 and Rio on August 26.

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Amazon joins 3D printing fray

BY CSA STAFF

More than 200 unique print on-demand products are now available at Amazon as the company looks to give customers yet another reason to visit its website.

Amazon launched the 3D Printed Products store at www.amazon.com/3dp which gives customers access to 200 products that can be customized by material, size, style and color variations, and personalized with text and image imprints.

The company said its new store is one of the largest online destinations to discover 3D printed products featuring convenient search tools, interactive 3D preview functionality and a product personalization widget. Customers will find a range of printable products including jewelry, toys, home décor and fashion accessories.

“The introduction of our 3D Printed Products store suggests the beginnings of a shift in online retail – that manufacturing can be more nimble to provide an immersive customer experience. Sellers, in alignment with designers and manufacturers, can offer more dynamic inventory for customers to personalize and truly make their own,” said Petra Schindler-Carter, director for Amazon Marketplace Sales. “The 3D Printed Products store allows us to help sellers, designers and manufacturers reach millions of customers while providing a fun and creative customer experience to personalize a potentially infinite number of products at great prices across many product categories.”

The store features various design templates that customers can customize and then preview in 3D. The 3D product preview capability means customers can rotate a product 360 degrees. After an item is personalized and the customer has finished the checkout process, the item is 3D printed on-demand by a manufacturing provider and shipped directly to the customer.

“The online customer shopping experience will be redefined through 3D printing. When you take into consideration the investment needed for manufacturing products, 3D printing offers a cost effective alternative that benefits customers by limitless product options,” said Clément Moreau, CEO and co-founder of Sculpteo, a company Amazon is using to create 3D printed products. “With 3D printing, a customer’s wants are no longer limited to what is in stock but instead by what they can imagine.”

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