Business

Trends in Brief

With new tech like augmented reality, virtual reality and voice, the big question is always; how do we monetize this? For visual search, it’s another story.

Visual search can boost your sales

With new tech like augmented reality, virtual reality and voice, the big question is always; how do we monetize this? For visual search, it’s another story. Before the tech even became a big phenomenon, e-commerce companies were already finding multiple ways to boost sales with it. Earlier this year, Amazon and Snapchat announced a partnership where users could take a photo of an item they liked in Snapchat and find it on Amazon right away. Ebay has similar tech and of course, Google is adding it as well. The latter has been using visual search for years to help people find similar looking pictures. In the coming years, the focus will be on increasing the tech’s accuracy and finding even more ways to guide users to purchases.

“Retail has always been a theater”

The experience economy is growing. The term refers to businesses incorporating experiential components into their offerings. One example is the Museum of Ice Cream in San Fransico. At the fake museum/pop-up store, visitors can pose in Instagram-friendly ice cream-themed installations after paying up to 38 USD per ticket. Critics call it a brain-dead funhouse, but the concept store is doing well. Over 1 million people have visited it so far. The Museum of Ice Cream has built a strong brand and is capitalizing on it through a nationwide merchandise partnership with Target. “Retail has always been a form of theater, of staging and storytelling, with products as cast members”, Target’s chief creative officer tells Bloomberg.

The (not so) sharing economy

Last year, the sharing economy was praised as the solution to all our sustainability anxiety. Well, that might not be true. Even though the ideas and visions are nice, the sharing economy is up against some pretty big roadblocks.First off, investors are more eager than consumers. Rewiring people to prefer sharing over owning will take some time. Secondly, the people who actually use the sharing services are not handling it that well. Consumers don’t return what they borrowed, treat it poorly, and ignore direction for usage. In San Francisco, electronic scooters you rent with an app became an over-night success. However, people immediately started putting them anywhere when they were done, creating a mayhem for other commuters, and soon they were banned.

Ellen Montén