Snap & Buy, the 4 star store, Amazon Deliveroo? and Alexa everywhere

Snap and buy

Snapchat is teaming up with Amazon to let users of its social media app buy products based on what they see through their smartphones camera lens. The new service called 'Visual Search' will allow users to point the app's camera at shoes, jackets and other products and find items on Amazon and to buy it. The feature, which is still in testing phase, will bring up information about a product from Amazon based on just a photo of the item's barcode or the physical product itself.  Amazon and rival eBay both already have visual search functions. The pairing with Snapchat helps Amazon encourage use of visual search with younger shoppers and helps keep Snapchatters from straying to competing commerce sites. The accord could also help Amazon make its site easier to navigate. With hundreds of millions of products to comb through, using text search can be cumbersome when shoppers aren’t sure precisely how to describe what they want. A photo can deliver relevant results more quickly.  The move is part of a broader intent by Amazon to improve the quality of their browse services for customers. Pinterest has a similar tool to shop for items or search for ideas via images. Online marketplace eBay is using smartphones to let merchants simply point their cameras at products and then auto-populate fields such as brand and product description, and even to suggest prices and the best box size. Amazon is also using smartphones and augmented reality to let shoppers point their cameras at their living rooms, for example, to see how a new sofa might look inside before they buy it

Snapchat is teaming up with Amazon to let users of its social media app buy products based on what they see through their smartphones camera lens. The new service called 'Visual Search' will allow users to point the app's camera at shoes, jackets and other products and find items on Amazon and to buy it. The feature, which is still in testing phase, will bring up information about a product from Amazon based on just a photo of the item's barcode or the physical product itself.

Amazon and rival eBay both already have visual search functions. The pairing with Snapchat helps Amazon encourage use of visual search with younger shoppers and helps keep Snapchatters from straying to competing commerce sites. The accord could also help Amazon make its site easier to navigate. With hundreds of millions of products to comb through, using text search can be cumbersome when shoppers aren’t sure precisely how to describe what they want. A photo can deliver relevant results more quickly.

The move is part of a broader intent by Amazon to improve the quality of their browse services for customers. Pinterest has a similar tool to shop for items or search for ideas via images. Online marketplace eBay is using smartphones to let merchants simply point their cameras at products and then auto-populate fields such as brand and product description, and even to suggest prices and the best box size. Amazon is also using smartphones and augmented reality to let shoppers point their cameras at their living rooms, for example, to see how a new sofa might look inside before they buy it

Amazon 4-star store

Amazon is opening a new store that sells items from its website rated 4 stars and above. The store, called 'Amazon 4 Star’, opened yesterday in New York. Amazon Prime members will pay the on-site price when they shop there. The store is half bookstore and half department store, with a busy mix of electronics, toys, baby products, books and small kitchen appliances. There's also a healthy array of Amazon's own devices, including Fire tablets, Echo speakers and Ring smart-home gadgets. The place looks like an Amazon Books bookstore, but with a broader assortment of stuff.  Amazon is experimenting a lot with physical store concepts and 4-star is just it's latest idea for bricks-and-mortar retailing. In the last few years, aside from their purchase of Wholefoods, they have opened Amazon Books bookstores, Amazon Go convenience stores, Amazon Pop-Up kiosks in shopping centres, Amazon college pickup and return centers and AmazonFresh Pickup grocery locations.

Amazon is opening a new store that sells items from its website rated 4 stars and above. The store, called 'Amazon 4 Star’, opened yesterday in New York. Amazon Prime members will pay the on-site price when they shop there. The store is half bookstore and half department store, with a busy mix of electronics, toys, baby products, books and small kitchen appliances. There's also a healthy array of Amazon's own devices, including Fire tablets, Echo speakers and Ring smart-home gadgets. The place looks like an Amazon Books bookstore, but with a broader assortment of stuff.

Amazon is experimenting a lot with physical store concepts and 4-star is just it's latest idea for bricks-and-mortar retailing. In the last few years, aside from their purchase of Wholefoods, they have opened Amazon Books bookstores, Amazon Go convenience stores, Amazon Pop-Up kiosks in shopping centres, Amazon college pickup and return centers and AmazonFresh Pickup grocery locations.

Amazon Deliveroo?

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Amazon has been reported by The Telegraph to be interested in acquiring the London based-food delivery start-up Deliveroo. They have made two approaches for the business over the last two years, the last one nine months ago. Amazon has it's own delivery service, so the acquisition of Deliveroo would take them into major cities around the world and expand their reach in the US. 

The wider ambition here is similar to their plans for grocery. They want to make Amazon essential to our everyday lives, strengthening our relationship with the brand and encouraging us to use every part of their ecosystem. 

Alexa everywhere

Last week, Amazon introduced a number of updated Echo Devices and range of appliances with Alexa integrated. There are three categories of devices now: Echo devices, Echo Companion and Alexa-powered smart devices. Amazon is innovating faster than Google, giving them an advantage in the race to dominate the home. The new voice-enabled home services included a subwoofer, a smart plug and even a microwave. The Amazon microwave has a built-in Alexa and an integrated Dash replenishment service. So, if you need more food to cook, you can order a replenishment with the built-in 'Ask Alexa’ button'. You can also control the microwave via voice. Alexa will even select a time for cooking according to the ingredient (e.g. 'one potato'. You can then instruct it to add more time or turn of the microwave altogether.   Amazon is establishing a hardware footprint from which to build better software, making their device more useful in our day-to-day lives. Amazon need to pay for this innovation, so new software will bring with it more capability for brands to integrate services and promote products

Last week, Amazon introduced a number of updated Echo Devices and range of appliances with Alexa integrated. There are three categories of devices now: Echo devices, Echo Companion and Alexa-powered smart devices. Amazon is innovating faster than Google, giving them an advantage in the race to dominate the home. The new voice-enabled home services included a subwoofer, a smart plug and even a microwave. The Amazon microwave has a built-in Alexa and an integrated Dash replenishment service. So, if you need more food to cook, you can order a replenishment with the built-in 'Ask Alexa’ button'. You can also control the microwave via voice. Alexa will even select a time for cooking according to the ingredient (e.g. 'one potato'. You can then instruct it to add more time or turn of the microwave altogether.

Amazon is establishing a hardware footprint from which to build better software, making their device more useful in our day-to-day lives. Amazon need to pay for this innovation, so new software will bring with it more capability for brands to integrate services and promote products