Alexa! Stop Losing Money!

PLUS: Our new site is live
November 16, 2022
Pictured: our new digital property for Archetypes. ArchetypesJournal.com

Welcome to Wednesday, futurists! Today we launch our digital property for Archetypes. The home for our Archetypes content: the event, the book, the audiovisual experiences, the films, the essays... everything. This is the most ambitious thing we've ever built.

Watching the Archtypes Journal itself come together was an exercise in brinkmanship. 240 pages of perfect-bound, heavy stock is not just weighty in the hand, but weighty in the heart. These stories stick with you. These interviews move you. I can’t wait for you to dig in and read what we’ve created.

We spent nearly four months dedicated on this project end-to-end. I can't believe what our small team is doing! There's nothing like it in all of eCom. Please check out the site, and get ready for the full launch of the book and the rest of content on December 1st. 

PLUS: Our Archetypes event at Art Basel is almost sold out. Just 20 spots left! We’d love to see you there. Attend the event for just $29 with our offer code FCInsiders50.

Alexa! Cut Costs. Rumors are swirling. Amazon is teed up for its largest layoff yet, with plans to get rid of 10,000 jobs, mostly in the Alexa arm of the business. Alexa has reportedly printed a $5B operating loss in recent years. Yikers. Reports are also telling of major cuts coming to the company’s retail division which could affect deliveries, a decision that seems odd as we approach peak delivery season. 


Voice assistant usage by generation. eMarketer/Insider Intelligence.

Our Take. We totally definitely never said that conversational commerce was the future (okay maybe we did). But the reality is that voice is the default mode for multigenerational computational input. The use of voice has proliferated in large part to Google Assistant and Alexa; Siri is a distant third not only in usage, but in contextual accuracy, and cultural relevancy.

While Amazon wasn’t able to accelerate the shift to profitable commercial use for voice, it’s hard to overstate the importance that always-on ambient computing has had for shaping Gen Alpha’s customer expectations. Voice commerce may not have come the way we thought, but the growth of commerce as a whole, and Amazon’s understanding of the consumer due to the surveillance economy, has to be recognized as an important part of their strategy; albeit an expensive one.

Free At Colorfast. Following Pantone's exorbitant shift to subscription, multiple free options have emerged for print designers who need spot color accuracy, including Freetone.

More Sights & Sounds. TikTok is launching eCommerce in the United States which will totally, definitely, be more successful than every other social commerce experience of the past decade. General retail sales rose in October, showing economic strength. Meanwhile, Target shares are down after the retailer missed its last quarterly earnings goals. Ritz-Carlton has released the first 298-passenger ship in its Yacht Collection, which they state is “not trying to be a cruise ship.”

Making a House a Shoe Home. Red Wing Shoes is launching the Builders Exchange Program so that people can design “tiny houses” in the virtual world of Roblox that could become actual homes in the real world. This is an interesting idea, but also has big “there was an old woman who lived in a shoe” energy. And speaking of random energy… check out this dog poncho.

Sprechen Ze Deutschmark? Following the company’s break from Ye, Adidas AG has slashed its profit expectations and is seeking $1 billion from Europe’s bond market; something it has done only twice in the past decade. Quite a change from Adidas being one of the fastest-growing consumer brands to seemingly being troubled overnight.

Eat Fresh From a Smart Fridge. Subway has debuted a premade sandwich vending machine that also dispenses drinks and snacks. The company has plans to place the machines in airports, hospitals, and college campuses. Stay tuned for a feature piece on vending tech and DTC this coming Friday with Future Commerce community members Sanjay Jenkins (former Buff City Soap) and Jon Packer (Licorice.com).

Virtual Reality’s Economic Power? A new Deloitte report says that the Metaverse may already be pumping millions into Asia; and potentially trillions in the coming years; due to the large number of gamers who live there, as well as the relatively high population of youth-aged citizens, who are the main demographic diving into the metaverse.

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