Amazon's first checkout-free AI supermarket
Amazon, the worlds largest online retailer, has launched its first checkout-free artificial intelligence powered supermarket called Amazon Go. This new shopping system was designed to prevent customers queuing in line to paying for their purchase. Industry experts are describing it as “the world’s most advanced shopping technology.”
The Amazon team came up with the concept over a year ago and tested it out on company employees, before approving it for public usage. January 2018 saw the grand opening of their first shop to the public, located in the company’s Seattle headquarters. To be part of this groundbreaking shopping experience, you'll first need to open an Amazon account, for those who don't already have one.
Then download the free Amazon Go app. Using the phone app, you can scan products straight from the shelf and walk out of the store. Payment will be taken immediately from your chosen Amazon payment method. No more wasted time waiting in line to pay, this unique shopping experience will be a dream for people in a hurry.
This AI technology uses a combination of computer vision machines, sensors, and deep learning algorithms, noting when customers select products and send this data to their “virtual cart.” The customer will get a receipt sent directly to their Amazon account when they exit the store.
There are currently a variety of different items available in the Amazon Go store, such as groceries, ready-made meals, baked food and a range of chef-designed Amazon Meal Kits. Books are also available, a nostalgic nod to Amazon's roots before it became the world's largest online marketplace.
To see how Amazon Go works, check out their video on the Amazon channel.
H&M to launch online discount store
H&M is planning to launch an online discount store, selling top branded clothes at affordable prices. According to Breakit, a Swedish fashion powerhouse, H&M has been quietly devising a new strategy to take advantage of the increasing online shopping trend and global ecommerce fashion industry boom.
This comes at a critical time for H&M, who suffered a disappointing end to last year’s fiscal fourth quarter, in which H&M sales dropped by 2%. More than 100 employees have been assigned to work on this special project, named P12, and roughly 60 leading fashion designer brands have agreed to feature their products on H&Ms new site.
Customers will be able to pick from a variety of exciting ranges and styles, buy clothes from some of their favourite designers, and have them delivered straight to their front door. Better yet, online shoppers can enjoy a deal-hunting shopping adventure from the comfort of their own home.
This new update coincides with H&M’s mission to diversify customer shopping options. H&M successfully launched their sister brand, Arket, last year. Perfect for affordable, professional, everyday clothes including simple knits, modern prints, and deluxe coats. Aimed at women, men, children and with a homeware range, Arket offers quality and durability, at more affordable prices.
The official launch of the online discount store will be announced soon, so keep your eye peeled and make sure your first in line to get your hands on some exclusive fashion at discount prices.
Etsy adds new translation feature
Merchants selling on Etsy can now reach an international audience by using the new Etsy translation feature. Etsy sellers can offer product listings, product descriptions and product titles in the following languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
You can also translate the following fields: shop info, delivery, and packaging policies. Etsy believes providing more language options will facilitate international trade, and increase sales for their ecommerce entrepreneurs.
In a statement released by Etsy, they said “We know from buyer research, as well as Etsy sales data, that buyers prefer products listed in their own language. Buyers interpret manual translations as more trustworthy than translations written by a machine."
"Manually translated listings also let shoppers know that you speak their language. This helps buyers feel safe when ordering from your shop, knowing that they’ll be able to communicate with you. By adding your own translations and choosing your own translated keywords you can also optimise your performance in search.”
You can add a new language to your online store by following a standard, straightforward process. All you have to do is visit your Shop Manager, click on Settings, select Languages and Translations and follow the prompts to complete the process.
This exciting move is a step towards broadening Etsy's brand, particularly across European countries. Etsy's ultimate goal is to strengthen their chance of competing with other big ecommerce marketplaces.
Google Drops BigCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop Partnerships
Earlier this month, Google announced that they are ending their partnership with three top ecommerce platforms: BigCommerce, Magento, and Prestashop. These ecommerce platforms have integrations, allowing merchants to connect their product catalogues with the Google Merchant Centre.
In an email statement sent out by Google, they said “We are retiring these imports in order to better focus on solutions that will make the Shopping ads onboarding a more seamless experience. We’re continuing to work with e-commerce platforms to explore more frictionless integration opportunities.”
Source: Google Merchant Centre
All three integrations are due to be discontinued by March 20, 2018. Google has already initiated email notifications to anyone currently using the integrations. Notifying ecommerce merchants in advance should give them enough time to switch to Google approved integrations.
BigCommerce is actively adding new partners to their platform and is releasing more free shopping tools to support their merchants. BigCommerce said, “BigCommerce is working closely with Google to ensure a smooth transition for all merchants impacted by Google’s decision to retire its Google Shopping App."
"Several free and paid Google Shopping tools are available in the Bigcommerce App Marketplace, and detailed instructions for migrating to a new solution are available to assist merchants with the transition.”
If January is anything to go by, 2018 is set to be an explosive year for the ecommerce industry. If you need help launching your online store, feel free to book a no-obligation free consultation with one of our Shopify Plus Experts.