In an effort to expand in China, Google has agreed to license patents with Chinese firm Tencent. Google has struggled to expand in China's restrictive market, and working with Tencent, which boasts nearly 1 billion users on WeChat, could offer a way in.
Kroger is actively recruiting managers, with an emphasis on the technology and digital field, as part of its Restock Kroger initiative, having plans for a $500 million investment in staffing. The grocer has also partnered with omnichannel solutions provider Myxx to offer shoppable recipes that are connected to 1,300 of its stores.
Walmart has applied for a patent for a system called Fresh Online Experience, which would give online customers the option of seeing and approving fresh food choices over the internet, according to data and analytics firm CB Insights. Meat, produce and bakery items would receive a visual stamp to assure shoppers they are receiving the item they saw.
Online grocery sales are expected to reach $100 billion and account for 25% of the total market by 2025, according to a Nielsen study commissioned by FMI. Amazon's current share of that market is 18%, according to data from One Click Retail.
Sephora revamped its influencer strategy about 18 months ago, creating a hierarchy headed by in-house makeup artist Helen Phillips. The program, which also includes brand ambassadors and micro-influencers, takes a long-term approach versus the previous strategy of short-term influencer partnerships around specific product launches and campaigns.
Adoption of smart thermostats is rising, with 13% of all US broadband households equipped with the devices last year, per Parks Associates research. That's up from 11% in 2016, and a majority of broadband households say they plan to acquire smart home devices in the year ahead.
Bread manufacturer Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe reduced space needs by 50% and hours worked by 30% through a robotic picking solution paired with high-density pallet storage and retrieval, says executive Tony Martin. Automation helped the business manage peak seasonal demand and improve worker safety, Martin says.
Rokid, a Chinese firm that develops artificial-intelligence-based smart devices, gained a reported $100 million in an extension round of Series B funding. Rokid is working on augmented reality glasses, dubbed Rokid Glass, along with a developer platform called the Rokid Full Stack Open Platform.
More than half of millennials will use online shopping more often in 2018, according to a survey by IRI. According to the survey, 30% of millennials said shopping online helped them save on food and beverages, compared to 20% of overall consumers.
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