The RIW newsletter provides the essential weekly inspiration for every changemaker driving innovation in retail and along the customer experience journey. This week we're sharing ideas around the store as a home for championing empowerment, rolling out the red carpet for automated delivery and distribution, and liveshopping platforms finding success by leveraging creator cache.
Transacting and Uplifting BIPOC & LBGTQA+ Communities
We live and operate within an imperfect world. Top retailers can find success by creating opportunities for the disadvantaged with thoughtfully designed products and store experiences; and by leveraging operational strengths and local partnerships to address inequalities with initiatives for communal good. In fact, new research from PSFK suggests retailers and brands can explore new opportunities when they empower consumer audiences to be seen, heard, and represented.
Trader Joe’s creates inclusive experiences for neurodiverse shoppers
Trader Joe’s is creating more accessible shopping journeys for people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities by providing neurodiverse shoppers with step-by-step instructions, visual cues, and even guided audio how-to's for in-store tasks that are traditionally challenging or overwhelming for certain consumer communities. Read More
CVS brings huge investment to underserved communities
CVS Health has invested $185 million in creating permanent supportive housing (PSH) units for underserved communities. PSH residents tend to be individuals with disabilities, as well as youth aging out of foster care, victims of domestic violence, people in need of behavioral health or addiction treatment and individuals challenged by similar life situations. Community residents will gain access to services provided by CVS to help stabilize and improve their wellbeing. PSFK
Twitch’s internal guilds give its employees a voice in client decisions
The video live streaming service Twitch doesn’t just serve communities, it works as one too by building strong and diverse employee “guilds” where every team member and employee community is represented by having a voice. Read More
Download Today: A Playbook for Inclusive Engagements
Discover 6 intentional strategies to enact positive communal change by championing equity and inclusion, both holistically across the organization and out. Details
2025 Set to Be the Year of Automated Delivery and Distribution
We’ve been hearing about and tracking the comeuppance of autonomous-guided delivery and ride hailing vehicles for what seems like years, and it’s (almost) finally here. 2025 seems to be the target for the 5th generation of AGV software going live, and government regulations around use being either met or rolled back. Pilots are expanding, the data is being honed to a fine point. If you take a look around, you'll see that first-gen adoption is already everywhere.
FedEx doubles self-driving delivery truck capacity
FedEx is now autonomously hauling freight on two commercial lanes in Texas. Delivery trucks are making the 600-mile trip on a weekly basis with safety drivers on board. Deliveries so far have been 100% on-time, with no safety incidents. Aurora
Walmart’s delivery drones can now reach 4 million households
Walmart is expanding drone delivery services to 34 sites across 6 states, giving the retail giant the ability to reach 4 million U.S. households by the end of the year. Shoppers living within the fulfillment radius can order drone delivery 8am- 8pm from participating stores. Walmart
Self-driving buses and delivery vans could be on UK roads by 2025
The UK government is accelerating plans to put self-driving delivery vans and autonomous buses on its roads within the next three years, offering millions of pounds in business grants and passing supportive regulatory reforms. Gov.UK
Hyundai commits to major AV ramp up in US to secure future growth
Hyundai plans to invest more than $10 billion toward accelerating electrification and autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. by 2025. The automaker sees robotics, AI technologies, advanced air mobility and autonomous driving capabilities as key future business drivers. Hyundai
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Creator-Driven Live Shopping
The ascension of influencers and creators with large, highly engaged audiences is transforming the ways retailers are able to engage with their customers, inspire loyalty, and drive purchases. Simultaneously, the addition of new commerce tools and capabilities is evolving social sites into increasingly valuable storefronts to facilitate sales. Top talent has taken on outsize importance, and retailers as well as platforms are eager to leverage creator cache.
The star-making power of Chinese livestream shopping
In China, because film, TV, and most streaming programs are tightly controlled by either the state or entertainment companies, short-video social apps have become key platforms for those trying their luck at becoming rich and famous. Rest of World covers the popularity of China’s short-video industry, especially among passé generation’s pop stars, entrepreneurs, and even Olympians who are now able to make money today off their fame of yesterday. Rest of World
YouTube lets influencers co-host shopping livestreams
YouTube is taking its livestream shopping feature a step further by allowing creators and influencers to co-host live shopping streams on the platform across two channels. As part of the new social commerce solution, creators can start a shopping livestream on their own channel, then “live-redirect” to a partner brand's channel for fans to keep watching. YouTube
Starting today: TikTok creators get a new fan subscription feature
A new feature from TikTok will let the platform’s creators generate recurring revenue through fan subscriptions and increased community offerings. Similar to creator solutions from rival streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube, the new service will let creators offer their fan subscribers a range of perks including subscriber-only chat, custom emotes, badges and more. TikTok LIVE subscriptions
Big Tech is pitching their platforms' creators as the future of advertising
Axios covers how tech companies are promoting their ability to connect brands to creators and influencers, selling their platforms and “power users” as key method for advertisers to get closer to highly-engaged communities. Axios
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Every week: a new guide to innovation in retail and along the CX journey.
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