Google’s New A.I. Search Engine, Amazon Fresh Free to Prime Members, and Holiday Online Sales Expectations
Google’s New A.I. Search Engine
The king of search is getting an upgrade. Google announced this week that it will be using a new system for its search engine that uses artificial intelligence to better interpret web queries. Specifically, the new search engine will be able to parse long or complicated sentences instead of just strings of words, which may result in significantly more accurate search results. This new search is also part of Google’s efforts to remain the leader in search technology, as competitors that also have advanced A.I. search, like Amazon, breathe down its neck. “If people are able to get more queries answered, they ask more queries,” says Google search chief Ben Gomes. “And that results in more traffic to the overall ecosystem.”
What stood out to us? Ben Gomes uses the word queries instead of the word questions.
Amazon Fresh Now Free to Prime Members
Amazon is going neck and neck with Walmart for online groceries. The ecommerce giant is making Amazon Fresh, its grocery delivery service, free to members of its Prime loyalty service. There are some restrictions, such as needing to have orders meet a minimum price based on the shopper’s market location, but deliveries are guaranteed to take two hours or less. Amazon Fresh, which previously cost $15 a month, is available in 2,000 cities across the U.S. and is available to Prime members who are invited to the service after registering. “Grocery delivery is one of the fastest-growing businesses at Amazon, and we think this will be one of the most-loved Prime benefits,” says Stephenie Landry, vice president of grocery delivery at Amazon.
What stood out to us? Will Kohl’s take Amazon Fresh returns as part of its growth strategy?
2019 Holiday Online Sales Expectations
This probably isn’t a surprise, but online spending during this year’s holiday season is expected to be far greater than last year. In a recent study from CNBC, it was revealed that digital spending during November and December 2019 is expected to reach $143.7 billion, 14.1% greater than 2018. Black Friday online sales are expected to increase by 20.3% to $7.5B, and Cyber Monday is expected to haul in $9.4B, a 19% increase. Also unsurprising is that retailers will be struggling more this year to keep up with online sales, as there are six less days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2018 compared to 2019. “We fully expect [retailers] to be driving discounts and sales much earlier and much more consistently throughout the season,” says Nate Smith, product marketing manager for the study’s source, Adobe Analytics. “You are going to see that all through November.”
What stood out to us? The correlation between shopping days and sales.
In the headlines
- Buckle Up: Porsche will begin selling its cars online in the U.S. for the first time.
- Don’t Drink and Pickup: Walmart now offers in-store and curbside pickup of alcohol when purchased online.
- Bed Bath & Better Change Your Password: Hackers have acquired 1% of email accounts and passwords of Bed Bath & Beyond customers.
- Gnarly Dude: Nike is selling skate and surf brand Hurley to online brand management company Bluestar Alliance.
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