Chatbots used by customer service centers should be able to handle imprecise and complex questions, be personalized to the user and ask for help from humans when necessary, writes Ryan Lester of LogMeIn. "It's not about just knowing words, but also patterns so even if the same question is asked a thousand different ways, the chatbot can give a clear and correct answer," he writes.
A report by ThredUp suggests that the US resale market is growing faster than retail. This article profiles consignment shops and other stores in the area of Chattanooga, Tenn.
A European Commission committee is expected to vote in October on a proposal to reduce levels of decabromodiphenyl ether flame retardant, or decaBDE, in products. Recycling industry groups say the proposal would prevent most recycling of electronic waste plastics.
Several companies are developing technologies, including those related to robotics, to help humans with aircraft repairs and maintenance.
Native Deodorant is one of a growing number of direct-to-consumer brands that are expanding from pure-play online retail to brick-and-mortar stores. The brand, acquired by Procter & Gamble earlier this year, started selling its natural deodorants and soaps at 1,800 Target stores this week.
Cute, tough and Halloween-ready, a new line of plush dog toys from Ourpet's Co. evokes memories of favorite candies. Made of thick polyester with rope and a hidden squeaker, the items are available in Blow Pop, Tootsie Pop, Tootsie Roll, Dubble Bubble, Sugar Daddy, Dots, Junior Mints and Razzles designs.
A new online tool from blinds maker Hillarys helps pet owners calculate how much sleep their companions cost them based on the averaging of several factors. In the first year of cat ownership, for example, 728 hours of shut-eye are lost, according to company research.
Citing what they're calling a scheme for bilking consumers, two Pennsylvania state legislators have proposed a ban on leasing animals by pet stores. Customers are lured into signing contracts requiring monthly payments that will exceed the retail cost of the pet, which can be repossessed if they default, the lawmakers said.
Groupe SEB-owned Lagostina is collaborating with celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis on the "Bring Back the Sunday Dinner" campaign to promote family dinnertime and launch a limited edition 4-quart stainless steel Dutch oven. The cookware goes from stove to table and features a copper bottom and matching copper lid.