Walmart and Google partner up on voice shopping to compete with Amazon
On Wednesday, it was announced that Google and Walmart are forming a partnership in which next month, the retail store will become part of Google Express – Google’s online-shopping marketplace. With this arrangement, a vast amount of Walmart products will be available on Google Express, and orders can be made vocally through Google’s virtual assistant. Voice-controlled ordering is a small segment of online sales but it is quickly developing. So, to provide an effective voice shopping experience, Google has invested extensively in artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
Furthermore, Walmart shoppers can link their Walmart accounts to Google Express. Therefore, consumers can easily reorder items because their buying habits are shared with Google. As a result, customers will receive the same branded products they usually purchase through the existing delivery methods. From this alliance, Google gains access to Walmart’s inventory with the hope that interest and sales of its speakers and assistants improve. Since Amazon is still increasing its share of online purchases, this partnership implies that Walmart and Google need to collaborate to try and compete with Amazon.
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Royal Mail testing electric trucks
As you can see from my last wrap-up, electric vehicles are in the forefront of the automotive industry. This week, the Royal Mail revealed that it will be testing nine prototype electric trucks manufactured by Arrival, on a trial basis for a year. These trucks are the first to leave Arrival’s new factory in the Midlands and can carry from 3.5 to 7.5 tons of packages. The electric vehicles will be used at Mount Pleasant depot to transport parcels among many mail distribution centers in London and the surrounding area. To support the launch of the electric trucks, charging stations will be set up at the delivery offices.
In terms of the design of the trucks, they have a battery that can last for 100 miles, and then the dual power mode kicks in to replenish the battery. According to Arrival, the vehicles will also produce no emissions and the finished models will be autonomous. Furthermore, the electric trucks meet Transport for London’s Direct Vision Standard with a large front window screen that continues around the sides, enabling a wider view than regular vehicles.
More information about these trucks can be found here.
African items available to Americans via eBay
As of this week, Americans can purchase products from African sellers through eBay’s U.S. website. eBay has expanded its partnership with MallforAfrica with a new program. Last year, the collaboration involved U.S. retailers selling their products online in Africa with less trading risks. However, the new program will sell items, for example fashion, art and jewelry, from African vendors that MallforAfrica has chosen. The whole collection can be found on eBay’s Mall for Africa Store.
The company also controls payments on its commercial platform and DHL will handle the shipments of products. Currently, the vendors are selected from six African countries, including Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. More sellers from other countries will be added at a later stage as long as they meet specific standards. It is required that sellers manufacture quality products in Africa that can be shipped. Therefore, the Africa Made Product Standards (AMPS) was created to verify standards are met.
Find out more about this partnership here.
Have a great weekend!
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