A move toward better infrastructure
This week, Uber announced the launch of its new website, Movement. The website, which is currently in its beta version, contains anonymized traffic data Uber is collecting from drivers and passengers. Data such as the time of day, day of the week and the specific location can be altered in order to look for the best routes available at specific times. City planners and researchers are the first people thought to find the data useful to their operations. It will allow them to track movement throughout a city to help improve urban mobility and infrastructure. So far, the only city maps available are for Washington D.C., Sydney and Manila.
Specific organizations will be able to use the website after applying for early access, but Uber has plans to make the data available to the public later on. If the data is released for use by retailers, it could help analyze traffic around their stores for a more detailed insight into their customer’s behavior and help to locate potential new store locations. In addition, it could be valuable to shipping and logistics companies for obtaining the most efficient delivery routes.
Find out more on Movement here.
Continued focus on e-commerce
Wal-Mart has announced its plans to cut over 1,000 jobs by the end of this month. Its intentions are to slash costs and invest more in its growing e-commerce capabilities. Jobs in its corporate offices, human resources in particular, are those at stake. This will also be one of Wal-Marts largest number of job-cuts in its corporate job sector. Wal-Mart wants to increase its efficiency and believes this can be achieved through the reduction of workers in these divisions, and instead use outside consultants for their previous tasks as needed. The reduction of its employees has been an on-going trend for months. Wal-Mart is now focusing on the customer’s in-store experience, trying to improve face-to-face interactions at the store and eliminating back roles.
E-commerce is its main concentration, stating in October that they will spend $11 billion on capital to help boost online sales and focus less attention on opening new physical stores. On Wednesday, this outlook was reinforced, however, analysts are still skeptical of Wal-Marts decision to compete with the likes of Amazon and believe it is too big of a risk.
Read more on the story here.
Unilever’s sustainability study
A study performed by Unilever has found more consumers are valuing a brand’s environmental or social sustainability. One third of shoppers chose to buy products from brands that they believed were having a positive impact on society or on the environment. In the UK and U.S., 53% and 78% of consumers would chose sustainable-labelled products over alternatives.
This shows how consumers’ awareness on the manufacturing and sourcing of products is growing, and starting to have an impact on purchasing decisions. Brands that invested into their sustainability, such as Dove, Ben & Jerry’s and Hellman’s, contributed to almost half of Unilever’s total growth in 2015. Because of this development, Unilever has set aside funds for brands that are interested in investing more time and resources into their manufacturing operations and making their sustainable actions clearer to consumers.
More information on Unilever’s study can be found here.
Have a great weekend!