TECHNOLOGY

Target has an invitation-only app

BY CSA Staff

Target is stepping up new product development with a secret app that connects designers with the customers that purchase the merchandise.

Called Studio Connect, the Target app solicits feedback from families throughout product development process, reported Fast Company. The result is better designed merchandise that drives sales.

Users scroll through pictures of a selection of merchandise on the social media-like app, and provide their feedback, or how they think products could be improved, according to the report. App participation is invitation-only, and customers are chosen based on online research and receipt polls conducted by the retailer. The group is restricted to approximately 600 members.

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TECHNOLOGY

Amazon teases Prime Day back-to-school, off-to-college deals

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon wants customers to use Prime Day to get a jump-start on their back-to-school shopping.

The online giant on Thursday announced back-to-school and off-to-college deals for Prime Day, which kicks off on July 16. Amazon will offer discounts on a wide selection of school supplies, including laptops, shoes, backpacks, clothing, bedding, furniture, and dorm room décor, among other merchandise.

Amazon is banking on Prime Day to jump-start its customers’ back-to-school shopping. Last year, Amazon customers purchased more pencils, pens, notebooks, glue sticks, lunch boxes and backpacks on Prime Day than any other day of the year, according to the company.

More than a third of back-to-school and off-to-college shoppers re-ported shopping for school items on Amazon during Prime Day 2017, the company said. This year’s discounts could also pay off big, as more than half of consumers plan to shop for the upcoming school season this Prime Day, according to data from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

To make it easier to find these deals, Amazon launched its redesigned “Back to School” and new “Off to College” stores last month. These two concepts feature low-priced classroom supplies and dorm room essentials. Both online sections highlight a curated selection of merchandise, and streamlined searches to locate items.

In addition to its Off to College site, Amazon is making back-to-college essentials even more accessible through its Prime Student membership. Available to all college students enrolled in two- or four- year colleges in the United States, Prime Student is $49 a year, or $5.49 a month, after they complete a six month trial. This discounted membership still entitles users to all Prime benefits without an annual commitment.

Amazon is not the only company gearing up for the second largest shopping season of the year. This week, Walmart added dedicated school supply lists within its mobile app.

The discount giant also launched its new Buy the Room feature, a service that allows customers to add a group of items to their online shopping cart, and buy a complete look. Initially, the service will highlight dorm living, and feature five curated collections. Each room will feature up to 20 of the most popular items college students need to outfit their living space.

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Amazon reportedly in pilot for new kind of health products delivery program

BY CSA Staff

Amazon wants to ship medical supplies to patients before they are even discharged from the hospital.

According to CNBC, the online giant, a Seattle-based digital prescribing and analytics start-up called Xealth, and at least two hospital networks are considering a pilot project that would let doctors ship discounted bundles of medical products to their hospitalized patients before they’re sent home.

The project would provide discounted medical supplies and other goods via Amazon Prime. Those who do not have a Prime membership or do not want to use Amazon would still be able to access the pilot via other e-commerce providers, according to the report.

While the pilot is still under review, it is expected to kick off in a matter of months, CNBC reported.

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