Amazon’s new star attraction
Amazon is continuing to open bricks and mortar stores with a new shop that blurs the lines between online and high street – this one only sells items that are already highly rated on the Amazon site.
Called Amazon 4-star, the shop opens this week in New York and will replicate the Amazon online experience closely.
Stocking everything from pans to books to games and electronics, shoppers will be able to see on digital price tags, the item’s rating, how many ratings it has had and also what price Amazon Prime members will pay.
Amazon plans as many as 3,000 cashless convenience stores by 2020.
Alexa to take on another new guise
The development of Alexa is continuing at pace, too, with new plans being announced for an Alexa-enabled microwave oven, the firm’s first move into home appliances.
Last week’s Talk Social revealed how an in-car Alexa was on the way, too, as the business focuses on bringing digital assistants into every aspect of our lives.
Making Alexa part of a connected home, points to Amazon’s thinking about the role of the device and its potential to all sectors of the community beyond the leisure use that Echo devices currently are used for.
Snappy new way to shop
Snapchat has also spotted the potential of Amazon with a new feature allowing users to search for products straight from the Snapchat camera.
By pointing the camera, pressing and holding, the social app will scan for the item and produce a link to it (or something very similar) on Amazon.
This shortcut route to shopping is the latest evolution of the Snapchat app, which is most popular among teenagers and therefore most sought-after by brands.
Facebook Stories now coming with ads
Businesses can now advertise within Facebook Stories, as an add on to ads on Instagram Stories or in the regular Facebook feed.
New stats from Facebook shows that the average social media user now uses the Stories function on at least three apps, while a third of people say they chat to others about content they have seen on Stories.
New features such as slo-mo, blurring and soundtracks are all made to make Facebook Stories more appealing to brands and move it from its current place in the shadows of similar options on Instagram and Snapchat.
Google making Stories out of the news
Google is also getting in on the Stories act, with the search engine building its own from trending news stories.
The artificial intelligence-created stories will be pulled from publishers that use AMP, the faster-loading mobile pages.
This visual way of presenting the news is something Google hopes will make these stories more clicked on than plain text alternatives.