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Period: July 1, 2017 to August 1, 2017
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

Amazon's 2Q 2017 Profit Drops 77 Percent; Blames Expansion Costs

Online retailer Inc. reported profit fell 77 percent to $197 million in the second quarter of 2017, compared with the same quarter in the previous year. Sales grew 25 percent to $38 billion; however, the high cost of expansion efforts, which include new warehouses and delivery capacity for its retail business and datacenters for its cloud services business, caused the drop in quarterly profit. Amazon is expanding its brick-and-mortar business, highlighted by its acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. in June 2017.

"Amazon’s Expansion Costs Take a Toll as Profit Falls 77%", Wall Street Journal, July 27, 2017

Consumer Shopping: Speed Is Of The Essence

Now that consumers have the technological capability to shop at the speed of light, they expect instant gratification at online stores. Retailers have put in place a wide array of technologies and practices that speed transactions and fulfillment, from one-day delivery to in-store beacons (left) that communicate with shoppers via smartphones. Other advancements created to satisfy the new “I want what I want when I want it” shopping culture are: experimental delivery drones, same-day doctor appointments,, virtual doctor consultations, one-hour delivery of food and groceries, in-store restaurants and bars, and the “see-now, shop-now” trend that lets consumers order new fashion items seen on Instagram almost immediately.

"Faster Shopping: A Top Consumer Trend for 2017", Blog entry, Euromonitor, July 26, 2017

Tesco Expands Same-Day Delivery Service Across UK

Tesco said it has expanded its same-day online grocery delivery service across the UK. Launched in 2014 in London and the South East, the service is now available for customers of more than 300 stores across the country, the company said. Free for a limited period to members of the Tesco's Delivery Saver online delivery program, the service will cost between ₤3 and ₤8. Customers need to place their order by 1:00pm to have their purchases delivered by 7:00pm or later.

"Tesco becomes first retailer to offer same day grocery delivery nationwide", Tesco, July 24, 2017

Enterprise Software Company Tackles Food Waste, Small Farm Management

Enterprise IT software giant Cisco Systems says its products are being used to solve food waste and farm management problems. A start-up company that helps manufacturers and farms make use of extra food raised $2.5 million to buy Cisco's enterprise software. Boston-based tech start-up Spoiler Alert’s cloud-based software links food producers, food banks, and pantries. The company helps them track food they throw away or donate. In addition, Cisco’s software has helped smaller and rural farms connect their “Farm from a Box” units with Wi-Fi capabilities and an Internet of Things (IoT) system to optimize everything from water and energy use to guidance on farm management.

"Technology that Helps Reduce Food Waste", News release, Cisco Systems, July 12, 2017

New Coke App Uses AI Technologies To Modernize Vending Machine Use

Coca-Cola’s innovation chief Greg Chambers (left) says a new AI-powered app debuting soon will allow customers to order, and get, two drinks from vending machines equipped with special circuitry. The app will debut in late July at U.S. universities and in Australia and New Zealand. With the app, customers can order a Coca-Cola drink from multiple selections for themselves and a friend using a colorful touchscreen. The drinks will then be available on the vending machine. With AI technologies, “My goal is to push boundaries and push the brand forward,” Chambers says.

"Coca-Cola reveals AI-powered vending machine app", Venture Beat, July 11, 2017

Pizza Hut’s Japanese Customers To Have A Quick, Secure Ordering Solution

MasterCard has partnered with Pizza Hut to integrate the Masterpass digital payments technology into the pizza chain’s mobile ordering application. The two companies are launching the initiative in Japan, where time-pressed customers will be able to order pizzas quickly, securely and easily by safely storing credit card information, as well as delivery addresses, in their Masterpass account. Ordering pizzas will require only three clicks on a smartphone, the companies said.

"MasterCard, Pizza Hut Partner on Digital Payments Solution in Japan", Digital Market Asia, July 03, 2017

Companies Test New Ride-Share Marketing Program

Customers of ride-share companies like Uber will now be able to purchase, or sample for free, an array of products – snacks, electronics, health and beauty items, etc. – available through the Cargo Systems mobile website. Cargo provides a box to ride-share drivers that can be installed in their cars. Customers order products on Cargo’s website, the products are delivered to the driver, and the driver hands the products to the customers in transit. Brands like Mars, Kellogg's, Michel et Augustin, Emergency Stain Rescue and Leaders Cosmetics USA have products in the boxes. Cargo says drivers can earn an extra $1,500 a year in tips and review-based bonuses by selling products or distributing free items.

"Mars, Kellogg's Test Drive Cargo's Ride-Share Product Box", Mobile Marketer, June 28, 2017

Hangzhou Wahaha Group Buys Smart Beverage Vending Machines From DeepBlue

China’s largest beverage vendor is taking a step beyond FMCG toward automated retail with the signing of a 10-year contract with DeepBlue Technology to buy a million TakeGo smart vending machines. The machines use DeepBlue’s quiXmart payment system, as well as machine vision, biometric identification, and deep learning. The machines automatically assign items picked up by customers to a digital shopping cart. Customers are charged using Alipay when they exit.

"Wahaha Group eyes next-generation vending machines", People's Daily Online, June 27, 2017

Developed by Yuri Ingultsov Software Lab.