Announced on January 20, 2017, the Virtual Dash Button will allow Prime customers to order products directly via their smartphone or from the Amazon site.
Amazon will further simplify access to brands by launching Virtual Dash Button that will allow, via the website or application, to directly order the products with one click only. Concretely, the interface will propose shortcuts (free) that will be added one another. Customers will have 30 minutes to cancel their order. Launched in March 2015, the Virtual Dash buttons are a real success for the American e-commerce giant.
On the most popular products marketed by the platform, they represent more than half of orders made, according to Amazon
VR Buttons yes, but to do what?
First concern: which buttons to choose? If some seem obvious, like the buttons “Pampers”, “Whiskas”, or “Bounty” for example, others are less clear. Who really use the “Doritos” button? Going along with Clorox, Energizer, Gain, Honest Kids, L’Oreal Paris Revitalift, Lysol, Peet’s Coffee, Playtex, Seventh Generation, Slim Jim, Snuggle, Vitamin Water, Zico Pure Coconut Water, not everyone in a household shares the same domestic needs: You may have run out of Doritos, while your kids want the new famous Springles innovation. Users have complete control over the buttons, and can sort (most-needed to least-used), label (“Bran’s favorite”), and delete them whenever they want. As with the physical buttons, customers receive a notification with every order, and can cancel within 30 minutes if they make a mistake.
Tiny Products assortment behind some Amazon Dash buttons
The “Bounty” button allows me to choose a Paper Towels Roll, sold in packs of eight, but could also allow me to order paper Napkins. There is some choice, but the range remain tiny and not deep enough. We are very far from the diversity of choice of products available in supermarkets! While target is offering 27 bounty products on its website, I do not see why Amazon, which offers 100 times more references than a supermarket, does not offer the whole range of products of a brand, to be able to associate them with its buttons.
Amazon Dash Button: the beginning of the future
In conclusion: Amazon Dash Button is a connected object that really has chances to be part of our daily, tomorrow. But the lack of references available behind each button disappoints, even though the products are available on Amazon. Despite this, Amazon is serious about its Dash Buttons, and said customers are on board. Last fall, the program expanded in Austria, Germany, and the UK where customer can choose from more than 200 physical Dash Buttons, priced at $4.99 each. With the innovation presented in this article, whenever you register a Dash Button device, Amazon will automatically add a virtual button for the same product.
Food delivery is a high growing worldwide market. Due to the fact that a food delivery company needs to have both a strong local network and a local trust is very complicated the globalisation process. For this reason, lots of local players are able to enter it quite easily. Today this market is overcrowded. New entrants focus both on new service offers, such as Freshly, or on an outstanding brand recognition, such as Prime Now, to gain quickly a significant market share.
A delivery leader
The big challenge of this business is the delivery itself. It is costly, complicated and with a lot of time pressure. UBER, notable online transportation company famous for the disruption in taxi business, has decided to enter it. By using its high efficient and organised taxi fleet promises to deliver food as fast as 10 minutes.
The big advantage Uber Eats has is its already well established worldwide car network. The service operates in 34 cities including London, Las Vegas, New York, Tokyo, Paris, Singapore, Sydney. It operates from 11 AM to 11 PM and mainly in city centre areas. In his offer, it includes menus of more than 100 well known local restaurants.
How it works
A consumer has to download UBER Eats app. Choose the preferred meal and indicates a delivery address. The app will give both an expected time delivery and the service’s price. With an indicated average of 35 minutes by delivery, the meal will be shipped directly outside the consumer’s door. During the shipment will be possible to check in real time where the courier is and an up-to-date delivery time. Moreover, to increase the service usage among consumers UBER Eats has started an interesting strategy of code sharing between users. By sharing and using the code special discount credits are earned.
This new platform has a huge advantage against major delivery competitors: thanks to cheap prices, quick delivery and high brand equity. Major challenges it faces now is first to increase its restaurant partners offer. Second to be able to integrate effectively this new service with its main transportation business. Thirdly to gain credibility as a food delivery company among users.
Drive thru stores are expected to expand in rural areas
Competition in retailer market is constantly increasing. On one side big solid players fear agile smaller ones, on the other side brick and mortar are getting slowly disrupted by online ones. Keeping market share is difficult and improving it is even more than a challenge. In a world where customer loyalty is becoming price loyalty, grocery retailers are starting to adopt diversification strategies in order keep a growing customer basis.
We have talked already about Click & Collect, Direct to Consumer and Virtual Reality. Drive thru stores is another successful strategy adopted in the grocery market. Started firstly by Fast Food companies to target specifically a customer range with very little time available to shop, now drive thru is being launched by several pioneer retailers. This practice offers great convenience both for consumers who get what they want in few minutes and for retailers who can drive down costs.
How does it work?
Consumers drive to their closest drive thru store. There are usually two ways to order grocery items. the first option is to do it directly once arrived, ordering in a drive thru window of the store. The second option is doing it online before arriving in the store and then selecting the point of delivery.
Once the order is placed, a grocery worker collect all items desired through a sophisticated belt system. In few minutes the grocery is collected and the driver pay & collect it in a second drive thru window. This process is fast. Indeed it is estimated to be completed in only about 10-15 minutes, compared to the fastest 1 hour Amazon delivery option.
The main players
Walmart was the first retailers who launched this concept. For 70% of the US population there is a Walmart store every 5 kilometers. Leveraging this strategy, they have decided to launch drive thru stores in smaller markets where online grocery competition is not present. Indeed, due to the lower economies of scales of cities with a low population density fast online delivery cannot be present. For example, Amazon has 1 hour delivery only in denser urban markets. Drive thru grocery then is a big opportunity for brick & mortar players to counterbalance the aggressive strategy that online delivery businesses are playing.
Amazon itself has sensed the big opportunity drive thru stores can bring to its business. Business Insider recently reported an opening of an Amazon Brick & Mortar drive thru stores. Consumers place usual orders online and then can pick up them at the closest drive thru window. Why a traditional online company want to enter a non core area of his business? The answer relies partly in Amazon culture principles “customers first”. Market researches show that consumers shopping with Amazon are missing an important in-store experience. Mainly for ordinary fresh grocery products where it is essential to evaluate their quality before putting them in the basket. At the same time, it is shown a big winning area if put together Amazon online convenience with in-store experience.
Sainsbury is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom. They first started opening an online shop, establishing a delivery system. Their strategy is to focus on customer satisfaction in order to win market shares. However, the initial results were not so good as expected. The first main reason is that customers doesn’t like to wait too long for their grocery to be delivered. Secondly the delivery could happen at an inconvenient time for the consumers. For all those argumentations they are the first chain in UK who have opened drive thru stores, as the DailyMail reported. In this way they are hoping to leverage online convenience together with consumer delivery flexibility
Farm Stores is a US drive thru stores chain. They focus only on drive thru concepts in order to reach high economies of scales. Structured as a franchise offers a high rural growth potential. With more than 60 years of experience they now are planning to become a global company, exporting this concept oversea.
Food technology is taking over our kitchens and changing the way of eating and cooking.
Tech giants like Samsung, Dyson and innovative start-up companies are heavily working and investing on it. The focus area is the user. From smart refrigerator to portable food safety checker, food technology aims both at the simplification and at the improvement of a household life. There are four key pillars where food technology devices focus. These are: smart kitchen, digital dining, safe food and healthy diet.
In this article the most promising food technologies are analysed. Firstly, these aim to enhance the life quality of households. Secondly, they all are examples of what a consumer needs representing for the food industry strongconsumertrends to be watched out.
1. IKEA Smart table
IKEA smart table brings the future inside the kitchen. Single food items are recognized when placed on the table, suggesting linked recipes. Single steps are projected on the table in real time. It has the function to warm the surface and cook directly on the table. The table consists of a camera and projector above the table with an induction coils underneath the table surface. Put together they are able to recognise objects movement, projecting images on the table used as a screen.
2. Smart Refrigerator
With a Freshness Tracker, this refrigerator can monitor items in the fridge and suggest recipes to be sent over to the oven. Enables users to track the expiration dates of food items and sets reminders so that foods wastage is minimized. Food items can be input into the food management system by voice recognition or scanning the receipt or product bar code on a smartphone. It also offers Smart shopping, which can be done directly from the refrigerator’s LCD panel or a smartphone.
3. Smart knife
The hi-tech utensil calculates dangerous levels of bacteria in food, analyses sugar content and gauges how much protein or carbohydrate is present in food. The idea is to use the sensors in the knife to assess nutritional value and freshness of fresh food products. Delivering accurate feedback in terms of product freshness, it helps the user checking food labeling and eliminate redundant expiry dates.
4. Global chef holographic projector
It connects people around the world through hologram technology to facilitate a social cooking experience that is not limited by geographic location. With the holographic projection technology, the conceptual device conjures up image projections of friends and family or holographic chefs while they shows how to cook daily recipes.
5. Digital taste simulator
The device works via a simulation-game that offers individuals the opportunity to combine a host of different ingredients to create their own dishes. And the dishes can then be tasted. The taste can be simulated as ‘flavor replication‘ and then ‘samplers’ miniature spoon like utensils that send ‘flavor replication‘ signals to the brain placing it on taste buds present in the tongue.
It is a handheld spectrometer scanner that can analyze materials by measuring properties of light, which can help detect risk and hazard in food. After beaming a low-powered laser at an edible product, and decoding the photons that are emitted back to the device, the scanner can detect the presence of allergens and chemicals, and chart calorific composition.
It analyzes air borne data to check beef, poultry, pork, and fish for freshness. The user gets feedback instantly via the system’s mobile app. It uses four different sensors to determine whether or not food has gone bad. One detects volatile organic compounds (VOCs), another gauges ammonia levels, another checks temperature, and one measures humidity levels. The device reads and analyzes the data gathered by the sensors before transmitting it via Bluetooth to th euser’s smartphone or tablet where it can be viewed on the PERES app.
8. Thanko sodium meter
It assess the percentage of salt present in warm liquid and semi-liquid foods like soup, pasta or curry, which helps people to control daily salt intakes. There is a sodium sensor inside it, and the results can bedisplayed on an LED scale within a couple of seconds. This technology is thought for households who, for health reasons, need to have low salt intakes.
A selection of the best 3D food printers out in the market
Technology is shaping the way people eat. Households are looking for new ways to save both time and money while at the same time having a high food experience. Food automation is becoming very important, because it enables both time and cost savings. In the recent years many companies have tried to satisfy this need by creating machines able to address this needs. The first best 3d food printers were not able to address this need correctly due to poor quality and unhealthy ingredients. However, as we saw with 3D Meat printer, new machines have been inspired by those and they have potential to become huge successes.
Born by a Kickstarter founding, this a revolutionary machine able to print a high variety of food by using fresh food prepared directly at home. Indeed, all the others comparable machines out in the market prepare foods by using only factory prepared ingredients. Multiple studies and researches have questioned the final food quality and many of those have agreed upon on a poorer quality than packaged food.
Foodini has a strong edge cutting design and it has been defined by many as the future microwave. The founder’s vision behind this invention was to create the first 3D food printer able contribute to a healthy eating lifestyle. Soon commercialised, this is the one of the most waited products in the market by consumers.
2. Choc Edge
This the first 3D food printer already being sold on the market. Choc Edge creates unique shapes by using chocolate. This can both be prepared at home or normally bought in store and then melted before the use. An app will also help the user chasing and preparing his first creation.
Bakers and households can now rely on a high efficient machine to create amazing decorations. This machine can be used to create personalised chocolate bars, customised chocolate art, corporate gifts, cake decorations, desserts, coffee toppers, children’s workshop and as engagement tool.
3. Barilla Pasta Printer
Barilla, the leading Italian pasta maker, has created a own branded printer. By choosing a selected variety of ingredients, users have the possibility to create on demand unique pasta shapes. The prototype presented in 2015 was able to produce fresh pasta in 2 minutes using Durum Wheat Semolina and water.
This technology is able to produce new geometrical shapes not obtainable with the traditional technology used in pasta production. End users will be restaurants and gourmet shops who demand original pasta shapes, tastes and colours. For example original shapes already tested and not present in the market are “Roses”, “Moon” and “Vortipa”.
Nowadays the terms “smart beauty” and “smart makeup” usually refers to multi-benefits products, such as BB and CC creams or all in one shower gels.
Therefore, those terms are quickly becoming linked with “connected beauty” – in other words, the mix of beauty and technology. The market leader, L’Oréal, is quickly adapting to this new trend and being a pioneer in smart and connected beauty products.
L’Oréal’s My UV patch is a pioneer
When you’re lying on the beach and enjoying your summer it’s always difficult to know when you need to apply more sunscreen. You follow the guidelines on the bottle, but you still wonder whether if SPF 30, 45 is enough for your skin type and the current weather. This is where connected beauty is stepping in. L’Oréal has created the My UV Patch, designed to monitor UV radiation exposure and advice you when to apply more sunscreen.
It has been developed by a team of 25 scientists
When you take a picture of the patch with your smartphone, you’ll see exactly how much UV exposure you’ve had and whether you should apply more sunscreen or not. The patch is designed to give you advice and recommendations depending on your skin tone, color, and type. Therefore the patches are only meant to be worn for up to five days, you then throw the patch away and start a new one. My UV Patch is a major first step into smart skincare and will be soon implemented for La Roche Posay sun cream products. The company has confirmed that it is planning to launch 10 more wearables in the near future.