TECHNOLOGY

Amazon eyes new opportunities for its cashierless technology

BY CSA Staff

Amazon is thinking ‘big’ when it comes to its cashierless technology — bigger stores, that is.

The online giant is testing the technology in bigger space in Seattle, one that is formatted like a large retail store, according to MarketWatch.

The cashierless technology is already being used in seven Amazon Go convenience stores in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco. Connected to a dedicated app, the technology tracks items customers pick up from the shelves — and put back. Customers are billed for orders once they leave the store.

Amazon didn’t reveal if the technology will be deployed at Whole Foods Market stores, according to the report.

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TECHNOLOGY

A 200-year-old retailer makes big innovation leap

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Brooks Brothers is adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to make sure that it stays relevant among its loyal customers.

Through a partnership with enterprise software provider ORS Group, the specialty retailer launched an end-to-end AI-powered retail platform, called ORS RETa.i.l. Brooks Brothers is the first fashion retailer in the world to fully integrate AI comprehensively across all business processes, according to the company.

Brooks Brothers will use the platform’s algorithms and AI to gain insights across the entire value chain, a move that will help to improve and automate decision-making, and drive impactful business transformations. It will also power the company’s “buy anything, get it anywhere (BAGA)” platform which manages fulfillment across its stores.

Specifically, the technology will enable the company to ship online orders from stores for same-day delivery, and monitor available stock — two processes that will help to increase sales and convert more visits into purchases, according to Forbes.

The AI architecture to improve efficiency and service to its customers, as well as remove waste, empower management and enhance decision-making capabilities, according to the company.

“Using ORS’ RETa.i.L Platform, we are able to create a highly sensitive and responsive digital supply chain to manage inventories in real-time and to optimize operations end-to-end,” said Gianluca Tanzi, Brooks Brothers COO. “It is a disruptive solution for automated omnichannel fulfillment to help us build a superior customer experience and maximize sales opportunities.”

The company, which celebrated its 200th anniversary in the spring, continues to take steps to remain relevant among its shoppers. In October, the company also added a cloud-based platform that fosters a seamless omnichannel shopping experience. By marrying order management and store fulfillment applications on a single solution, Brooks Brothers associates now have a 360-degree view of customer information and access to the company’s full network of inventory, enabling them to increase the value of the shopper’s experience.

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Mobile is a priority for shoppers

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

More consumers will be reaching for their smartphones this holiday season.

This was according to new data from RootMetrics that revealed many consumers (45%) plan to use their smartphone for online shopping. Millennials are even bigger fans of mobile shopping, with over half (52%) plan to use a smartphone to purchase the bulk of holiday gifts.

Mobile pay, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same hype. In fact, 37% of consumers don’t think mobile pay apps compare in convenience to traditional cash or credit cards. Another 36% worry their data is not secure on these platforms.

The good news is smartphones are driving the adoption of other connected devices, which offers retailers more opportunities to connect with mobile shoppers. When it comes to Internet of Things (IoT) adoption, 21% of consumers in the United States use a smartphone to run an IoT device at least once a day.

However, many still aren’t convinced it is time to adopt smart devices. When asked why they wouldn’t purchase a connected device, like Alexa or a smart TV, 32% said they don’t have a need for this technology.

As mobile usage increases, shoppers are becoming less tolerant when it comes to sketchy network connections — not only from a frustration level but also when it comes to their safety. In fact, 47% noted they feel unsafe in a mobile “dead zone.” While 42% men noted feeling unsafe in a dead zone, 52% of women noted the same, including two-thirds (67%) of Millennial women.

When it comes to assigning blame for poor service, 46% of consumers blame their carriers over location or device, data revealed.

“A strong mobile network performance is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Kevin Hasley, head of product at RootMetrics and executive director of performance benchmarking. “Today’s connected consumers demand a network that can keep up with their daily needs. As the IoT and other mobile technologies continue to evolve, we can expect carriers to invest in improving their networks to meet changing expectations and offer consumers a fast, secure connection.”

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