VOICE FIRST: “As we move over to mobile devices, more transactions will be voice activated, and we would have a hard time making that transition,” he told the Skift Global Forum conference at Alice Tully Hall last week, The Post’s Lisa Fickenscher reports. Khosrowshahi expects travelers to book, cancel and search for their hotels, air fares and car rentals by voice rather than clicks in the near future. The problem is, “we are not well armed for that, but we are definitely thinking about it,” he said when asked what could make Expedia obsolete in the future.
ECOMMERCE: If Facebook were to place an ad, it would read something like this. Wanted: Facebook users to buy and sell stuff. On Monday Facebook is launching Marketplace, its version of the local rummage sale, and it's trying to coax its 1.71 billion users to hunt for new treasures or declutter their closets, moving more forcefully than ever onto the turf of Craigslist, eBay and other online services that help people peddle that designer coat, vintage car or gently used couch. Shares of eBay fell nearly 3% in morning trading after details of Marketplace were revealed.
VOICE FIRST: But the fact that Google was outmaneuvered by Amazon — not Apple, which builds its own digital assistant technology, called Siri, into its mobile products — has caused head-scratching throughout the technology industry. Amazon has a notoriously uneven track record in making hardware, with some hits, like the Kindle e-reader, and spectacular whiffs, like the Fire Phone. “Amazon is the accidental winner here,” said Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at the Stern School of Business at New York University.
MEDIA: What happens next to Twitter is anyone’s guess. But I do know that, for the first time, Twitter now has a Plan B. A few months ago, while reporting a feature story about the future on the company for Vanity Fair, I asked a number of executives what might happen if Dorsey, who seemed like a Hail Mary option, couldn’t turn Twitter around. What was Plan B, I asked them? “There is no Plan B,” I was told. “This is it.” I admired their fortitude, but there was no denying that an acquisition had to be the next option on the table.
MEDIA: Kaczynski, 26, has been one of the standout reporters of the campaign season as his K-File team has consistently broken news through deeply mining candidates’ past statements and actions. Three other members of the team ― BuzzFeed deputy politics editor Kyle Blaine and reporters Nate McDermott and Christopher Massie ― are making the jump with him. The hiring of Kaczynski and company is a major coup for CNN and follows a recent spat between network chief Jeff Zucker and BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith.
BRAND: But around 2014, something changes. Things get murky. The idea of the brand goes from optimistic (bees were a brand, man!) to potentially dystopian (robot listening to everything you say is a brand, man!). We see the rise of devices like Amazon Echo, with voice recognition technologies backed by incredibly intelligent AI. Suddenly, Amazon’s logo wasn’t its most powerful totem anymore, nor was its one-click purchase button. It was Alexa, a pseudo-human with the voice of an automaton and the soul of a credit card scanner.
ECOMMERCE: Online shopping today is largely driven by price and convenience – consumers are driven by finding good deal on products that are delivered quickly. By 2026, these fundamental desires will still exist, but expectations of the shopping experience will have changed drastically. Millennials and Generation Z consumers, for example, will be demanding more from e-commerce providers, such as the ability to discover, in real-time, unique goods they will not find in big-box retail chains.
DATA: Target is famous in the retail industry for having employed statisticians and data scientists to use purchase behavior to identify shoppers who were pregnant and then market to them. Presumably, those statisticians and data scientists used data from Target’s baby registry system to identify pregnancy-driven buying patterns. These patterns were then used to write algorithms that could identify pregnant shoppers and offer discounts or coupons that were likely to make that shopper more loyal to Target.
DATA: For all the magic and mystery of fashion, a lot of it can be understood by looking at data. Edited is a British startup that tracks retail inventories and more to understand what’s hot. In a new report for Business Insider, their analysts used data and observations from the runway to identify the trends sweeping America. The following charts show new arrivals in various categories for men and women at multi-brand retailers in the US.
MEDIA: Snap’s Spectacles aren’t expected to be a big business for the company, at least until it adds augmented reality features to the camera, something that is believed to be part of the long term plans for the product. Limiting Spectacles’ availability would ensure Snap creates a mystique around the product, which theoretically should fuel demand. It’s an approach that reflects CEO Evan Spiegel’s sensibility.