START-UPS MAKE SMART FRIDGES SHOPPABLE

As trends such as healthy eating and convenience continue to grow and even intersect, a new demand is being created in the workplace for access to fresh and organic food. Several start-ups are stepping up with AI refrigerators and smart vending machines that offer office workers the on-demand wholesome options they seek. Byte Foods is providing companies like Tesla and Amazon with unattended IoT-enabled refrigerators stocked with fresh, locally sourced sandwiches, salads and other healthy meals. Employees can access the fridge via their smartphone and have items automatically charged to their credit card. Byte has also partnered with meal kit company Chef’d to let employees grab a quick/easy meal option as they leave the office.
Full article from Forbes

SOCIAL WORD-OF-MOUTH OFFERS DEEP DISCOUNTS

Chinese company Pinduoduo has found a way to combine social media with online shopping to create big savings for its users, and in the process has become one of China’s fastest-growing apps. The company encourages a “team purchase” model in which users are encouraged to share product information on social networks such as WeChat and QQ, where users then invite their contacts to form a shopping team to get a lower price. Depending on group size, discounts can reach up to 90% off the listed price. Pinduoduo tends to focus its app feed on best sellers to drive more buyers and interest.
Full article from Walk the Chat

IS THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL BRANDS IN PHYSICAL STORES?

Digital-only brands, led mainly by apparel/accessories and furniture/home furnishings categories, plan to open 850 physical locations in the next five years—with a combination of pop-up and permanent brick-and-mortar. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto will be leading destinations for these stores. What digital brands are discovering is that e-commerce provides convenience to shoppers, while physical stores offer personal assistance and allow for product visualization. Roughly 15% of these stores will serve as showrooms with no inventory, allowing buyers to make purchases online while in the store or later at home.
Full article from A List Daily