Episode 41: Bot or Not?
In this episode of Brick & Data:
- It’s a Game of Pac-Man for Amazon
- Bot or Not?
- Do I Hear an Echo?
- Weird News of the Week
It’s a Game of Pac-Man for Amazon
- Loup Venture Co-Founder Gene Munster believes Amazon will acquire Target this year.
- “Target is the ideal offline partner for Amazon for two reasons, shared demographic and manageable but comprehensive store count”
- Market share numbers suggest a deal would be approved by regulators, and Wal-Mart Stores would still have a larger share than an Amazon-Target combination
- He estimated a takeout valuation of $41bn, or a 15% premium to Target’s current value.
- Predicting Amazon’s next deal has become a common theme for analysts.
- In November, DA Davidson analyst Tom Forte wrote that Lululemon Athletica may be attractive to the online retailer
- Citigroup analyst Paul Lejuez recently catalogued a host of potential targets, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Bed Bath & Beyond and Advance Auto Parts.
Loup Venture Co-Founder Gene Munster believes Amazon.com will acquire big-box retailer Target in 2018, attracting a new…www.mytotalretail.com
Amazon.com's shake-up of the retail landscape may not be over, according to one well-known technology analyst. The…techcentral.co.za
Bot or Not?
- In 2018, AI-enabled bots will provide a better customer experience than human-to-human chat exchange
- More than two billion messages are exchanged between people and companies every month on Facebook Messenger alone.
- Other major players have been investing heavily in the space, creating platforms to support companies in their pursuits to engage customers where they are and in the way they prefer.
- Bots, on the other hand, can respond immediately, and combine prompt buttons and other visual cues along with supporting textual conversations to offer a much richer, guided user interaction. -Human agents, on the other hand, need to be trained, respond inconsistently and need to be motivated to care about the customer.
- Challenges: companies will need to create clear routes through conversational maps, understand the outcomes customers are trying to drive and prime the system with smart defaults.
In 2018, AI-enabled bots will provide a better customer experience than human-to-human chat exchange, following the…www.wired.co.uk
Do I Hear an Echo?
While Amazon Echo has been the clear leader — that could very well change in 2018.
Google has set partnerships with Walmart, Home Depot and eBay that give Google Home greater utility as as a retail shopping tool.
At the same time, Amazon has a pretty big lead in the smart speaker market, with as much as 65–75% market share, and it hasn’t exactly been resting on its laurels.
- The e-commerce giant announced new Echo smart speaker products just a couple of months ago, and it aggressively priced its Echo devices during the holiday shopping stretch — not the typical behavior of a market incumbent with a big lead.
- Not to mention partnerships with Sonos and other well entrenched “dumb speaker” systems.
An interesting question though — Is Amazon Echo at a disadvantage to Google because Google can establish partnerships directly with retailers? Amazon may be holed up in its own ecosystem.
Google Home is set to gain share in the smart speaker market in 2018 despite Amazon's early domination of that sector…www.retaildive.com
Weird News of the Week
- Apple built a gorgeous new Apple store on Chicago’s waterfront this year.
- But it also has one big problem: People discovered in late December that icicles tend to hang off of its roof in cold weather, forcing parts of its courtyard to be closed for safety reasons.
- “The roof has a warming system that’s built into it. It needed some fine-tuning and it got re-programmed today. It’s hopefully a temporary problem.”