Amazon reportedly to acquire Dubai's Souq | Alibaba will expand Taobao marketplace to Singapore | Apple ups its messaging game with Clips
March 23, 2017
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Amazon reportedly to acquire Dubai's Souq
Amazon has agreed to acquire online retailer Souq, sources say. Souq, which is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, claims to have the biggest e-commerce business in the Arab world, and the deal would give Amazon a leg up in the region.
Reuters (3/22) 
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Retailers Share Their Paths to Success
In our latest report, "4 Steps to Grabbing and Keeping Consumer Attention", Bluecore and Astound Commerce outline eCommerce challenges, how data is the key to personalization and provide real examples of how retailers decide what to do next. Download the report
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Companies in the News
Alibaba will expand Taobao marketplace to Singapore
Alibaba will work with Lazada Group to bring Taobao online marketplace to Singapore. Lazada will launch a dedicated website linking to Taobao, providing access to 400,000 products not currently available in the wealthy island nation.
Bloomberg (3/21) 
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Apple ups its messaging game with Clips
IPhone users now can add animated captions, emojis and titles to their videos using the Clips video messaging app from Apple. The app is similar to Snapchat's Stories feature.
Reuters (3/22) 
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Consumer Engagement
Instagram advertisers hit 1M; new tool coming for users to book appointments
Instagram logo
(Instagram)
More than 1 million brands now advertise on Instagram, a 400% spike in the past 12 months, the company announced. The platform says it's developing a tool that will enable consumers to book appointments with businesses via brand profiles and also noted that more than 120 million consumers have contacted a brand via the platform in the past month.
CNBC (3/22),  VentureBeat (3/22),  Mashable (3/22) 
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Google Search icons give shortcuts to info
Google is introducing a row of icons in its Android and iOS Search apps and on Google.com that quickly point users to certain types of information. The one-tap icons are designed to highlight things such as local businesses and restaurants, directions and various lifestyle and entertainment categories.
CNET (3/21) 
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Featured Content
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Successfully executing an omnichannel retail strategy

As consumer demands change, retailers face several challenges when executing omnichannel strategies. In this post, we talk with BoldChat's Ross Haskell about how companies can improve customer experiences through better omnichannel execution. Read the full Q & A here >
 
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Online Retail Trends
Report: Online shopping catches on faster in Canada
Canada's retailers are catching up with their US counterparts when it comes to online retail, according to a report from E-Tail Canada, which found that 62% of merchants booked higher online sales last year. Online retail purchases by Canadians hit $19.2 billion in 2016, with 40% of the sales going to sites outside the country, according to Statistics Canada.
Financial Post (Canada) (3/21) 
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Survey: Shoppers seek tech to help cut food waste
Survey: Shoppers seek tech to help cut food waste
(Martin Ollman/Getty Images)
More than one-fifth of shoppers would turn to apps and other technology to help them cut down on food waste, finds a survey by research charity IGD. Existing apps can help retailers and producers tackle food waste, but a gap in the market for consumer-oriented apps presents an opportunity, according to Vanessa Henry, an analyst for IGD.
FoodNavigator (3/21) 
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Emerging Technology
Patent filing suggests facial recognition for iPhone 8
A patent application submitted by Apple indicates that the company is working on facial recognition security technology, leading some people to speculate that the upcoming iPhone 8 will include the feature. The phone is also expected to have a more gently curved display.
Network World (3/19) 
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Shop.org Spotlight
Automated car vending machine opens in Houston
Everything is bigger in Texas -- even the vending machines. Houston is now home to the nation's largest fully automated coin-operated car vending machine. Operated by Carvana, it stands eight stories tall and stores up to 30 cars at one time. Read more from STORES.
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Shop.org SmartStat: March 23, 2017
About 27% of consumers plan to buy their Easter gifts online this year. Source: Prosper Insights via NRF.
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Super Bowl jersey found, but counterfeit merchandise still an issue
In the wake of Tom Brady's stolen jersey saga, STORES Magazine highlighted Red Points, a company dedicated to combating online counterfeit and piracy as part of its top retail trends story last month. The story has been updated now that Brady's Super Bowl jersey has been recovered, but it sparked a telling conversation on counterfeit merchandise. Read more.
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