Welcome to 3PM Snacks, a mid-week (and mid-day!) rundown of what’s going on in the worlds of eCommerce, big data, and artificial intelligence. We hope you find it informative and easy to digest.
Google released its latest redesign of the Google Shopping experience, offering customers a simpler, more personalized shopping experience, that enables them to “discover and compare millions of products, and find the best prices and places to buy online or from a store nearby.” It also allows customers to natively track product prices, relieving them of the burden of using a third-party app, as they have to do for other marketplaces (*cough* Amazon). Oh, and every order is backed by a Google guarantee, providing Google’s customer support and returns and refund assistance.
In our opinion, the most interesting aspect of the latest redesign isn’t the product discovery, price tracking, or customer support — rather, its the marrying of the physical and digital worlds. Consumer expectations around delivery speed and convenience aren’t slowing down, and Google knows that this is a differentiator. Google also knows that it happens to have pretty great data on local merchants. What does that look like in the Google Shopping experience? Here’s what Google says:
Sometimes you need something in the moment or want to see and touch an item before you buy. Google Shopping lets you filter for nearby products, so you can find local stores that carry what you need and see whether they have it in stock. This feature could be a lifesaver if you find yourself looking for a last minute gift for the holidays and shipping just won’t cut it.
Jetblack, Walmart’s concierge, text-based shopping service in New York City is apparently on the selling block. Jetblack is the latest in a series of Marc Lore-driven innovations that have gone sideways for the retail giant, ranging from digitally-native brands like Bonobos and Modcloth to Spatialand (a VR play) to in-home grocery delivery (yikes!).
There’s no word yet on whether Walmart’s “Everyday Low Prices” strategy will be applied to an eventual sale.
Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra sat down with GeekWire for a Fireside Chat at the 2019 GeekWire Summit, and he had Big Tech in his cross-hairs. While he didn’t say much on Amazon, he did pose the interesting counterfactual question: “What would the world look like if Amazon hadn’t acquired Zappos? Would we have more dynamism [in eCommerce]?”