6 Companies Reimagining Last-Mile Delivery

There’s a renewed push in Silicon Valley to tackle last-mile delivery. The use of autonomous vehicles, drones, and artificial intelligence is what more and more vendors are pushing for. Last-mile delivery is the most expensive part of shipping, and increasing fees mean prices are only going higher. The company that can get goods from a transportation hub to the customer’s doorstep in the shortest amount of time will win the retail game, and technology firms are hoping that their innovative solutions will be the answer that retailers are looking for.

Here are six examples of companies that are working to innovate in the last-mile delivery space.

Offline Retailers See Huge Boost From Prime Day’s Online Sales

Amazon wasn’t the only retailer to see high purchase intent during its two-day event. Competing retailers saw similar successes piggybacking on Amazon’s newest shopping holiday with their own discounts and limited-time deals. This year’s Prime Day event drove a 14% spike in U.S. traffic on its first day, compared to baseline traffic from the month of June.

According to data collected by Constructor.io, an AI-first SaaS provider for ecommerce sites, among the non-Amazon companies having sales during Prime Day, search volume increased an average of more than 500%.

7 Cannabis Data Analytics Firms

One of the signs that an industry is becoming more legitimate is when its major players start investing in analytics. With a recent boom in the number of data analytics firms entering the cannabis space, it’s time to reevaluate the landscape for recreational marijuana as a business.

The marijuana industry is expanding at a rapid pace. Analysts estimate the industry could reach $75 billion in global sales by 2030. With so much on the line and marijuana companies facing enormous pressure to innovate, investors are pushing for the increased use of data analytics to make more strategic business decisions.

Here are seven cannabis data analytics firms working to change the face of the industry right now.

7 Location Analytics Firms for Malls and Shopping Centers

If you want to see what retail innovation looks like first-hand, walk into a shopping mall. Faced with the option to transform or die, shopping mall operators across the country are choosing to fight back against the shifting tides in retail.

Here are seven tech firms that malls, and other retail giants, are relying on to collect and study location data gleaned from shoppers’ mobile devices.

Retailers Are Using AI for Onboarding, Associate Retention

The retail landscape is going through an evolution, with mom-and-pop stores on Main Street being replaced by e-commerce outlets that rely on sophisticated algorithms to manage virtually every aspect of business operations.

While most headlines about the transformation of retail focus on the consumer-side of the equation, there’s even more change going on behind the scenes. Competition between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar is forcing innovation in the way retailers approach the challenges that come with onboarding and retaining in-store associates.

Retailers Leverage Prime Day to Boost Offline Sales

Unlike other shopping “holidays,” like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Amazon Prime Day is specific to a single retailer. But as the event grows, other retailers—both online and offline—are finding ways to leverage the anticipation that consumers are feeling.

Last year, 63% of Prime Day shoppers said they visited competing websites to compare prices. This is a major opportunity for online retailers to capitalize on the spike in traffic and provide consumers with personalized and targeted offerings and exclusive deals.

Is Amazon Killing the Holiday Shopping Season?

Long lines of shoppers snaking around retail stores used to be commonplace on the morning after Thanksgiving. So was the tradition of picking up a print newspaper for an early look at the Black Friday ads. But with retailers like Amazon, Nordstrom, Alibaba, and Flipkart creating their own shopping holidays, the frenzy around Black Friday and Cyber Monday has been tamped down. Is this a sign of the times or just a blip in retail’s evolution?

To find the answer, the mobile app marketing firm Liftoff and the mobile measurement company Adjust teamed up and took a deep dive into the consumer activity on shopping apps throughout the calendar year. In a new report, the firms found that with excuses to shop year round, traditional shopping holidays, like Black Friday and the New Year period, are waning in significance. These events are gradually becoming less vital for online and offline retailers, even if they remain important moments.

Report: DTC Brands Outperform Traditional Retail, Win Over Gen-Z

As the millennial generation settles down and moves into its 30s, retailers are looking at a new group of consumers as the most coveted demographic. Generation Z—born between 1994 and 2002—is forming its own identity and seeking out different shopping experiences than its older counterparts.

A new report, released by the location intelligence platform Ubimo, finds that Generation Z shows a surprising preference for physical stores, although members of this group aren’t interested in shopping so much as experiencing new products in-store.

Fresh Chalk Has a New Take on Local Reviews

Despite digital change, recommendations from friends remain one of the most credible forms of marketing. Now, a new startup called Fresh Chalk is aiming to capitalize on that, giving consumers a way to find local professionals with help from their friends.

Like Yelp, Facebook, Google, and other local business directories, Fresh Chalk is aiming to help people source recommendations from reliable, qualified businesses in their own communities. But unlike most other competitors in the market, Fresh Chalk is keeping a tight focus on personal connections.

Startups Adapt to Shifting Privacy Standards

Two steps forward, one step back. That’s what it can feel like to be a technology provider in the location marketing space right now, struggling to strike a balance between the demands of brand marketers and growing concerns over consumer privacy and data regulation.

That push and pull is challenging vendors in the location marketing space. At the same time their firms should be seeing exponential growth, data regulations—including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s forthcoming Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)—are establishing new rules for innovation.

But some companies are embracing the regulation as a challenge to innovate in its own right.

Vendors Rush to Bring Privacy Verification Solutions to Market

The demand for data privacy is at an all-time high, just as consumer trust in the technology space is at an all-time low. Advertisers are grappling with wasted ad spend and uncertainty over ad verification. The market is in disarray, and technology vendors are hoping they have a solution to the problem.

Just this month, the offline consumer intelligence and measurement company Cuebiq launched a new verification solution for third-party data. The solution gives advertisers verifiable proof of compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

5 Consent Management Platforms for Brands and Publishers

For brands and publishers that work with multiple ad tech partners, the process of obtaining user consent for data processing is overwhelming. To simplify the workflow, publishers have started using consent management platforms (CMPs). Not only have CMPs been designed to help brands and publishers obtain and manage user consent, but they also help with monetizing users, even when users haven’t opted-in to sharing data.

CMPs were largely developed in response to the GDPR — most are built on the IAB’s transparency and consent framework — which means the systems themselves are still relatively young. Nonetheless, the popularity of this type of platform has led to a spring of new players entering the space. Here are five examples of CMPs on the market right now.

TRUSTX Takes Aim at Opaque Programmatic Trading Practices

The lack of transparency in the programmatic space has finally reached a tipping point. According to a survey on the state of programmatic media buying, conducted by Digiday, 27% of media buyers say the greatest concern they have with programmatic advertising is the lack of transparency. While many players in the space are claiming that their hands are tied, and agencies continue to push back against audits, upstart technology firms are carving out niches as leaders in the push to bring trust into programmatic advertising.

Marketers Prepare for Father’s Day Boom

With just two days to go before the big day, brand marketers would be smart to ramp up their campaigns now. Researchers at the digital advertising platform ZypMedia discovered that shoppers purchasing gifts for Father’s Day don’t plan nearly as far in advance as they do for Christmas and other major holidays. As a result, last-minute campaigns targeting shoppers are much more likely to have a major impact.

David Shim, Foursquare

After Foursquare Acquisition, Placed Founder David Shim Talks Teaming Up With a Major Competitor

How did a Seattle-based ad tech company move up the ranks to become an industry darling, less than eight years after its launch? And how does the new relationship between Foursquare and Placed, which was previously the biggest competitor to the company’s Foursquare Attribution product, impact the location industry at large?

To find out, we caught up with Placed founder and CEO—and now president of Foursquare—David Shim. Here are his thoughts on what it’s like to go through an acquisition, and how two industry heavyweights who’ve competed for years are finding new ways to work together.

5 Privacy-Focused Data Marketplaces

Just 27% of adults feel like they have “some control” over how their personal data is used by mobile apps and services, according to a recent survey by Mobile Ecosystem Forum. The desire to have more say over how personal data is used is leading to a new technology vertical, as next-generation data brokers put together marketplaces where consumers can offer up their own data to brands in exchange for cash and other lucrative incentives.

Here are five examples of services that consumers are using to take control of the data they share with advertisers and keep their private information private.

Retail Insights: Inside The Vitamin Shoppe’s Omnichannel Strategy

The data that The Vitamin Shoppe collects in its CRM is used to create 360-degree views of each customer so that in-store associates can see in real time when customers have earned new awards and offer more personalized product recommendations based on previous purchases.

Allset Redefines Its Position in the Mobile Ordering Space

Standing out in the mobile ordering space isn’t easy. GrubHub, Uber Eats, Door Dash, and dozens of other mobile ordering platforms are competing for business in what’s already become a tight market. So how does an outsider break into the business, and break away from the competition?

For companies like Allset, the answer is to create entirely new services that competitors aren’t offering.

Visual Search Moves Beyond Experimentation and Into Prime Time

After years of experimentation and broad discussions about how visual search would someday take hold, it’s clear that the future has arrived. Visual search has moved into the mainstream, and companies like Pinterest, Instagram, and even Google are paving the way for consumers to engage more deeply with the products they find online.

As visual search moves into the mainstream, questions are intensifying over what impact the medium will have on SEO and traditional search metrics.

As GDPR’s One-Year Anniversary Approaches, Where Are We Now?

One year in, it’s clear that the full impact of GDPR still hasn’t been felt. The regulation is structured in a way that puts less pressure on large companies than smaller businesses, and that’s something that regulators will have to continue sorting out. But the changes Europe’s law portends are undeniable: Privacy legislation is coming to the United States, and the data collection practices that made many Silicon Valley pioneers rich will never be quite so unbridled again.