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.
Marks & Spencer has hired former Southeastern Grocers executive Sharry Cramond as its first marketing director for food and hospitality. Cramond, whose resume also includes stints at Coles Australia and Tesco, will focus on helping the retailer strengthen its food business.
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.
Nearly three-quarters of affluent consumers check Amazon first for products and pricing, a trend that makes it more important for retailers to offer products that shoppers can't find anywhere else, panelists at Retail's Big Show said. "If your product isn't differentiated, you're relegated to competing on price, which will degrade your margins," First Insight founder and CEO Greg Petro said.
Amazon is increasing its use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in its Indian operations to speed orders, cut returns and improve efficiency. Some of the innovations developed to address specific issues in India will be adopted for use in other countries where Amazon operates, said Rajeev Rastogi, Amazon India's director of machine learning.
Employees often lose momentum when new leadership and its new directives come on board, so take the time to learn about each team's recent activity, writes Elizabeth Doty. "By taking the time to uncover what is happening on the ground now and affirming explicitly what you want to continue, stop, or start anew, you can dramatically reduce the reset effect," she writes.
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.