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UPS jockeys for smart lock first-mover position

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RETAIL

Ipsy, the beauty subscription heavyweight, announced some significant changes at the top—and Shopper, its prime-like, members-only e-com platform is officially out of beta.

Who owns Hims.com? The folks at The Hustle do a fun mini-expose on this intriguing young ED entrant.

AMAZON

Q2 Earnings report deep dive on the Jason and Scot podcast. A few takeaways:

  • Increasingly likely that Amazon is the first US company to a $1 trillion market-cap.  UPDATE: Nope, AAPL has done it first.
  • Amazon Ad business, a sneaky-undercover portion of their revenue pie grew 129% y/y to $2.19 billion

“You can’t just treat it as a retail platform.”

Lego is going all-in with voice, AR, and other Amazon content initiatives.

LOGISTICS

UPS is piloting a new smart-lock program in coordination with Latch. The partnership gives UPS drivers access to apartment lobbies in order to drop packages when you’re not home. This seems like a natural development in the space…it will be interesting to see how things consolidate here.

BLOCKCHAIN

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t yet a shopping cart mainstay, but blockchain tech is still poised to disrupt the e-commerce industry. Platforms like Waves, Elysian, and GAMB aim to decentralize online shopping and give merchants more autonomy.

Blockchain-based stores could offer some tangible benefits: protecting customer security, lower transaction fees, seamless crypto payments, cutting-edge bragging rights, and more. In exchange, they get to grow the value of their coins.

What do you think—are merchants better off hitching their wagon to a massive corporation, or a fledgling platforms hawking their own cryptocurrencies? Or are these platforms going to remain marginalized like the Linuxes of the landscape?

NOTABLE

CARMA – 10/2/18 – Carma is an annual one-day conference designed for retail marketing leaders seeking a more data-driven approach to customer communications.

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