What you missed: Virtual reality Window Wonderland, Amazon Go, free shipping and free returns

Google's Window Wonderland virtual reality tour

Google’s Window Wonderland virtual reality tour

Amazon, Google and Snapchat are the three top tech companies to look at for key stories over the past couple of weeks (and potentially the whole of 2016 in fact). From the launch of Amazon Go, which enables shoppers to just walk out of a shop while their phone handles payment, to the virtual reality “Window Wonderland” holiday tour Google has organised from a bevy of US stores – it’s all about more convenient as well as heightened experiential retail. Meanwhile, lots of brands are starting to experiment with Snapchat’s Spectacles too.

Also worth checking out from this past fortnight are a double-whammy of reports on free shipping and free returns, lots more about the uptake of chatbots, and a deep-dive on what the fashion world faces against the rise of extremism, populism and protectionism.


TOP STORIES
  • Thanks to Google, you can now take a VR tour of New York’s holiday window displays [Ad Week]
  • What Amazon Go means for the future of retail [AdAge]
  • Fashion world faces new normal [BoF]
  • Free shipping is a lie [Fast Company]
  • ‘Free’ returns aren’t free [The Atlantic]

BUSINESS

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Lush staff hit back at viral tweet with hilarious video [Stylist]
  • American Eagle Outfitters uses Snapchat Spectacles to film influencer ads in Hong Kong [The Drum]
  • Macy’s mixes shopping with social video to launch its holiday campaign [Ad Week]
  • Hype vs discovery: lessons from the Spectacles rollout [Loose Threads]
  • While we weren’t looking, Snapchat revolutionised social networks [NY Times]

MARKETING
  • Christmas ads deliver few real gifts for retailers, poll suggests [The Guardian]
  • How Target is taking control of programmatic [Digiday]
  • How chatbots will revolutionise holiday shopping [The Drum]
  • CoverGirl’s influencer chatbot is smart, funny and responsive [AdAge]

RETAIL
  • Experiential retail is key to Boohoo’s US expansion [Glossy]
  • Adidas just opened a new kind of store – and Nike should be terrified [Business Insider]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Has voice control finally started speaking our language? [The Guardian]
  • Rag & Bone takes on virtual reality with Google [WWD]
  • Is your T-shirt clean of slavery? Science may soon be able to tell [Reuters]
  • Technology can’t get rid of your cheap used clothes [Motherboard]

START-UPS
  • Amazon announces Alexa Accelerator to boost conversational commerce start-ups [Retail Dive]