Check out our roundup of important writing from across the web on technology and analytics in retail, consumer goods and manufacturing.
Farm-to-Table Supply Chains
Nahida Jafferi writes the growing appetite for fresh food, the rise of online shopping, the demand for global cuisine and desire for superfoods are trends that are compelling the perishable and food industry to revisit their logistics and supply chain practices and change them to suit consumer demands.
The Stat Trade Times: Nahida Jafferi – Farm-to-table fixing the supply chain
“Safer supply chain ensures healthier food. The fresh food consumption has gone up dramatically over the last couple of years. Fresh categories within the US are driving nearly 49 percent of all dollar growth in the consumer goods in stores, as per Nielsen’s Total Consumer Report.”
Holiday Catalogs Still Going Strong
Cara Salpini claims that whatever the fate of catalogs year-round, they remain a staple of the holiday season partly because there's a certain nostalgia to them, but also because, in many ways, it's a better marketing tool than email is.
Retail Dive: Cara Salpini – Why catalogs still have a hold on holiday marketing
“Point being: shoppers are getting a lot of messages from retailers online and that only grows over the holidays. As a result, catalogs are in some ways more personal than digital marketing methods now — and that personal touch could help retailers cut through some of the deal-based noise over the holidays. It's a problem catalogs used to have, but the pendulum has swung back in the other direction over time, Egelanian said.”
The Next Evolution of Marketplaces
Brian Solis makes a strong case that while digital marketplaces have fundamentally transformed commerce and consumer expectations around the world over the past 20-plus years, the evolution of and disruption caused by digital marketplaces is far from over.
ReadWrite: Brian Solis – How Digital Marketplaces Will (Again) Redefine Commerce and Experience
“In light of current challenges related to competitive differentiation and marketplaces’ near-obsessive focus on customer loyalty and repeat business, we can expect to see a shift in marketplace approach in the coming years. Tomorrow’s most successful marketplaces won’t just be a place to exchange services and goods. They will be experiences unto themselves.”
Walmart Gives AR a Shot
Sarah Perez writes today Walmart announced the launch of a new AR scanning tool in its iPhone application which will help customers with product comparisons.
TechCrunch: Sarah Perez – Walmart adds an AR scanner to its iOS app for product comparisons
“To use the scanner, you launch the feature in the Walmart app, then point it at the products on the shelf you want to compare. As you move the phone between one item and the other, the product tile at the bottom of the screen will update with information, including the product name, price and star rating across however many reviews it has received on Walmart.com. A link to related products is also available.”
A Decade of Bitcoin
Klint Finley says today Bitcoin is a global phenomenon, but for all of its success, Bitcoin still hasn't realized its original goal.
Wired: Klint Finley – After 10 Years, Bitcoin Has Changed Everything—And Nothing
“For all of Bitcoin's success, it hasn't lived up to Nakamoto's dream of a currency for day-to-day transactions, remaining largely a medium for speculators. In part, that's because transactions are incredibly slow. Sirer has estimated that Bitcoin processes around three transactions per second, a poor showing compared to Visa’s 3,674 transactions per second. Meanwhile, other problems have emerged, such as the Bitcoin network's alarmingly huge carbon footprint, which one report suggests is already on par with that of a small country.”