Tuesday in CE: Amazon Turns to Stores in India to Improve Sales
As it looks to make deeper inroads in the Indian market, Amazon announced that it will invest in local clothing chain Shopper’s Stop, giving the retailer a significant financial boost and allowing Amazon to use brick-and-mortar to set up experience centers in stores.
With it’s $28 million investment in the Shopper’s Stop brand, the Indian retailer will be able to open around 20 stores in the next four years, increasing its physical footprint by about 25 percent. Amazon, in exchange, will receive a 5 percent stake in the company, and it will set up Amazon Experience Centers at Shopper’s Stop stores, which it will use to allow visitors to test out product and try on clothing—all of which will more than likely be Amazon brands.
To date, according to Bloomberg, Amazon has poured roughly $5 billion towards its expansion into India as it aims to compete against local ecommerce rivals like Flipkart. For its part, Flipkart has done a valiant job besting Amazon in the region to date. Whereas businesses elsewhere follow Amazon’s lead in making moves in a specific market, Amazon appears to be playing catch-up in India. Earlier this year, Flipkart acquired fashion retailer Myntra and launched offline stores for its own apparel label.
More interesting about these moves from a U.S. retail perspective is the fact that Amazon’s investment here continues to show the staying power of physical retail. As convenient as online shopping is, it’s become apparent that even the ecommerce giants like Amazon (and Flipkart) see the need and value of having some sort of physical presence.
AI is Coming
— TNW (@TheNextWeb) September 26, 2017
This year saw the proliferation of augmented reality in smartphones. So, what will 2018 bring?
According to Yoo Hoi-jun, a professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Technology, artificial intelligence will be the next big technological wave for the smartphone. Specifically, he told The Korea Herald, AI chips will be in nearly every device. “Competition for AI chips is so intense globally that we will be able to see AI chip-equipped smartphones in the second half of next year,” he said.
Early indications are that Huawei will be the first to have some sort of AI-capable chip on a smartphone with their Kirin 970 chip that was announced at IFA 2017 earlier this month. Apple quickly followed suit, unveiling their A11 bionic chip with neural net processors. From there, it’s safe to assume that other smartphone manufacturers will begin to follow suit.
The biggest and most notable benefit to the consumer will be more powerful (read: faster, smarter, and less annoying) voice assistants.