No queues at Amazon’s new supermarket
Amazon has unveiled its supermarket of the future – one without tills, barcode scanners, queues or any cash.
Amazon Go in Seattle is a prototype store, where shoppers scan their smartphones on entry – and everything they pick is automatically charged to the card that is stored on the phone.
Pressure sensors detect when something is taken off the shelf, with cameras detecting which shopper has taken the item and the smartphone automatically adding it to their Amazon account.
To prevent shoplifting the front of the store is gated, with entry only to those who can scan their phone first.
The Go store is open only to Amazon employees at first, with a public opening due to take place early in 2017.
Chat to your customers from P1 of search results
Google is testing a new social feature that will allow businesses to engage in customer service directly from page one of search results.
The trial has seen a live chat box appear in the knowledge graph for selected businesses, who have been invited to take part in the pilot project.
Messages are sent to the SMS account held by Google My Business.
This extension of customer service to the first point where a customer searches for a brand will bring customers and brands closer – but will also increase the expectation of brands to be available to respond wherever and whenever a customer demands it.
Template pages tested for businesses on Facebook
Facebook is now offering businesses templates to select from for their brand pages.
These offer different layouts and calls to action dependent on the nature of your business – currently there are options for professional services, restaurants, venues and more.
Page managers can switch the appearance of their social layouts under the settings tab – but are being urged to check that all the existing features of their page fits into the new template.
New ways for companies to showcase on Pinterest
Pinterest is letting brands show their most popular products and services to users with the introduction of a new feature.
Showcase lets brands choose up to five of their boards to feature – these will be the ones that users see first.
This move to let brands control how users journey through their products is another clear sign of Pinterest’s ambition to be a serious player alongside bigger and more talked about social media rivals.
Twitter tweaks the waterfall
Twitter is trying to move away from its ‘waterfall’ reputation by ranking conversations and replies based on the authority of those taking part.
Replies on the social network will now be counted in the same way as retweets and likes as a way of measuring engagement in a tweet.
The bigger change, however, centres around conversations. Clicking to open a tweet that has lots of conversation around it will show those responses not in chronological order, but in order of importance of the person posting.