"Voice is dead", Hema launches experiential grocery, cast your votes with the blockchain! Also - which online mattress retailer is opening 200 stores in the USA? One guess, and it rhymes with "blasper". Listen now!

Show notes

  • Phillip's wife received a package from Care/Of Vitamins and it had someone else's pills in it (!!!!)
  • When new companies enter the pharmaceutical and health space, how can we trust that they are being diligent in their quality assurance?

RIP Voice Shopping?

  • The Information have said only 2% of Echo users have ordered using their voices and 90% of that 2% (AKA .18%) didn't use it again.
  • Are there future applications for voice in commerce, though?
  • Brian theorizes there could there be in-context purchasing opportunities in audio/visual media.

Voice is still growing in popularity

The problem with the voice assistants today (other than the fact that they might just be FBI listening devices with PR)

  • Amazon, company with the best position for commerce releases a voice assistant. No one uses it for commerce. It has great hardware and technology. Most people use it for music. It's awful for web search, though.
  • Google, the company in the best position for web search releases a voice assistant, but it lacks the commerce capability.
  • Apple, the company with the best position for music, releases the worst voice assistant, and even its speaker is lackluster.

China brings innovation in the grocery business

  • Hema Market is like Amazon Go, but on steroids.
  • Hem Market is backed by Alibaba.
  • At the cashless grocery store, every item has a barcode customers can scan to trace the product's origin, delivery, and nutritional information.
  • On your way out the door, you can pay using your smartphone or visit a face scanner that links you to your Alipay account.

Smell you later, basic pencils

  • In the back to school market, there are new products popping up like guided creative journals and scented pencils. These new innovations are driving significant profit over traditional options.
  • This aligns with a larger pattern of creating luxury upgrades on commodity-type products. Consumers are more willing to supplement the mundane with something unique and new.
  • As the economy improves, luxury purchases are increasing on low end goods.
  • This could be why aspirational luxury brands are struggling.
  • Phillip sites the luxury brand, whose name he could not recall, that burned all their extra stock to increase demand. IT'S BURBERRY, PHIL!

Tracking inflation with the... kale index?

  • Wages have risen, but prices has not. Base prices will likely follow.
  • Is there a cleaner-eating, non-GMO, certified organic, locally-owned version of the Big Mac index for our present time?

Casper is going "clicks to bricks"

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