Walmart beats Amazon to the post
On Tuesday, Walmart made the announcement of their new technology available in stores for customers to use. It involves shoppers using their smartphones to scan the barcodes of products they want to buy. This is done by downloading Walmart’s app called ‘Scan & Go’. At the end of the shopping trip, customers can pay for the scanned items by the click of a button on the app via inputting card details. As a result, shoppers receive a digital version of the receipt to present to an employee upon exiting the store. It requires no queueing, no cashiers and is a quick and convenient approach to shopping, where customers’ spending can be tracked along the way. There are also alternatives for shoppers without smartphones; hand-held scanning devices and self-service checkouts are available to use instead.
This scheme will be introduced in a vast amount of stores, for example in Texas, Florida and Georgia. Walmart beat Amazon to the launch of this new scheme, while Amazon’s version, Amazon Go, is still in the planning stages. However, this is Walmart’s second crack at the Scan & Go technology after an unsuccessful attempt three years ago.
To read more on the technology, click here.
UPS delegates control to merchants for returns management
UPS has given suppliers the opportunity to use their free online tool; UPS Returns Manager, to simplify their online return process. This launches on August 14 in the United States and will be accessible in 43 other countries two weeks later. The service allows internet retailers to organize approved return shipments and establish a service level. Furthermore, as shipped and returned packages are connected in tracking, UPS shippers can view reports to analyze their operations. This approach makes UPS the first logistics provider to use this type of returns method via a tracking results page.
The UPS Returns Manager allows business customers to control and customize the extensive amount of return shipments with ease. The new technology means consumers do not have the added hassle of changing the software on their IT systems. Online shoppers using this service can print the return shipping label from the website or email. Alternatively, UPS Store locations can print labels for free.
More information on UPS’ tracking service can be found here.
Tesla plans to test a self-driving semi-truck in Nevada
On Wednesday, it was announced that Tesla has a self-driving electric semi-truck in the development stages of production. As well as driving itself, the truck would be able to move in a ‘platoon’ formation, which involves following a lead vehicle automatically. There has been a string of emails between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) discussing the prototype testing of 2 trucks in Nevada. Tesla plans to test the trucks without a person present in the vehicle; something which has not been done in Nevada before.
Tesla has been a leader in developing autonomous technology for its luxury cars, but this is the first time it has been mentioned that the semi-truck would have independent driving capabilities. The company aims to progress to actual tests, as the commercial transport industry is highly competitive, with Uber Technologies Inc wanting a piece of the market. Although a prototype has not yet been tested, these trucks are scheduled to be revealed in September.
To find out more about Tesla’s electric semi-truck, click here.
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