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Period: July 15, 2016 to August 1, 2016
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Food Delivery Robots Take To The Streets In European Cities

A robot food delivery start-up announced it is testing its business strategy and technology with the help of several European food and parcel delivery companies, including Pronto, Hermes, and Just Eat, as well as grocery retailer Metro Group. Starship Technologies, created by two Skype co-founders, will launch dozens of delivery robots in London, Düsseldorf, Bern and another German city to start. It will then move to several other European and American cities. It already operates delivery robots in Tallinn, Estonia, its headquarters location.

"Starship Technologies launches testing program for self-driving delivery robots with major industry partners", News release, Starship Technologies, July 06, 2016

EBay Upgrades Mobile Websites With Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages Technology

Online marketplace eBay Inc. updated some of its mobile webpages with Google Inc.’s Accelerated Mobile Pages technology. Developed to help businesses build mobile pages that load as fast as possible on smartphones, AMP is based on open-source standards. AMP-using mobile pages can load quickly because its HTML code includes restrictions, such as preventing customized Javascript coding. AMP also uses Google’s AMP Cache, a content delivery network that confirms each page works and does not depend on outside resources. With AMP, eBay helps consumers who access its mobile website from links, including Google search and Twitter.

"eBay dives into Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages", Internet Retailer, July 11, 2016

Online Health Food Retailer Profits From Program To Reduce Waste

A British online health food, beverage and supplement retailer hopes to raise $130,000 through crowdfunding to expand its program of selling out-of-date products at steep discounts. Vitalife’s “Love Health Hate Waste” initiative, launched a year ago, has kept nearly a million dollars’ worth of foods, drinks and supplements from ending up in landfills. The company said it was throwing away products that had reached their best-used-before date but were still “perfectly fit for consumption and legal to sell.” The company sells the products at discounts as high as 90 percent off retail. Under the program, which is expected to turn an $800,000 profit this year, “we are making healthy food and drink accessible to everyone,” a spokesman said.

"Vitalife in Crowdfunding Bid for Love Health Hate Waste", The Grocer, July 15, 2016

Flipkart Readies For A Price War With Amazon

India-based online retailer Flipkart Ltd. is preparing for a market war with bigger rival Amazon. Established in 2007 by Binny and Sachin Bansal, Flipkart managed to grow into the country’s biggest e-commerce company. Proving naysayers wrong, the company also proved its founders’ assertion that India was ready for online retail. Flipkart reached $100 million in sales in 2011; however, its infrastructure, including warehouses and servers, could not keep up with its rapid growth. Then, sales stagnated, an attempt to focus on mobile failed, important executives left the company, and in early 2016, a Morgan Stanley fund downgraded Flipkart’s value from $15 billion to $11 billion. With the local e-commerce company losing ground to its foreign-based rival, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ promise to invest another $3 billion in his company’s Indian operations signals more challenging times for Flipkart.

"India's Flipkart Has an Amazon Problem", Bloomberg, July 19, 2016

Carrefour Rolls Out Apple Pay In Stores Across France

French retailer Carrefour said that starting on July 19, 2016, customers will be able use Apple Pay mobile payment system to pay for their purchases at Carrefour hypermarkets, supermarkets, and convenience stores across France. Also offered by Carrefour Banque to its 2.5 million customers in the country, Apple Pay highlights the retailer's efforts to provide shoppers with a fast and convenient means of paying for goods, and participate in the Carrefour loyalty program at the same time.

"Apple Pay is now available in Carrefour stores in France and to Carrefour Banque customers", Carrefour, July 19, 2016

Procter & Gamble Launches Tide Wash Club Subscription Service In Atlanta

Procter & Gamble Co. launched in Atlanta the Tide Wash Club, an online subscription service for the company’s Tide Pods laundry product. Part of the consumer goods company’s efforts to also focus on how consumers buy products, Tide Wash Club offers free shipping at regular intervals. Also, the company is testing in Chicago Tide Spin, a service that allows consumers to use a smartphone to order laundry products for pickup or delivery.

"P&G Starts Online Subscription Service for Tide Pods", Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2016

Sephora Supports Relaunch Of Sephora Collection Private-Label Brand With Mobile Campaign

Beauty retailer Sephora is supporting the relaunch of its Sephora Collection private-label brand with a campaign on dating app Tinder and other mobile social media platforms. Sephora created 1,000 photographs of products and swatches and is running ads on the media-rich mobile sites and apps. Online store Sephora.com includes the “swipe it, shop it” feature, which is based on Tinder’s website design. Sephora said it will later be able to add photographs of consumers’ own looks.

"Sephora Is Driving Mobile Sales With Tinder-Like Features and Digital Mad Libs Plus actual ads on the dating app ", Adweek, July 21, 2016

Procter & Gamble Launches Online Magazine For Women Of Certain Age

Procter & Gamble Co. launched London-based Victoria.co.uk, an online magazine for women 50 years or older. Part of the company's efforts to promote its brands in Europe, the online magazine offers discounts and samples of P&G products for women who register to subscribe. In addition to allowing subscribers to post comments about articles, review products, and buy online, the magazine features content produced by five leading women journalists. These include former London Telegraph Magazine fashion features director Tamsin Blanchard, former London Mail on Sunday relationship columnist Zelda West-Meads, and health and nutrition writer Patsy Westcott.

"Here's why P&G just launched online magazine for women over 50", bizjournals.com, July 22, 2016

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