What Alexa and AI means for the future of commerce & more [This Week Today]

By Marc Hummel

August 26, 2016

Welcome to This Week Today, your dose of the five must-read marketing and tech stories from the past seven days. Here’s vol. #fifty-six for Friday 8.26.2016.

1. What Alexa and AI means for the future of commerce [Richard MacManus]

“The technology behind Amazon’s recommendation engine (DSSTNE) was open-sourced in May of this year.” They use it to “train neural networks and generate recommendations that power various personalized experiences on the retail website and Amazon devices."

2. With the rise of Instagram Stories, what’s going to happen to your favorite brands’ Snapchat? [Fashionista]

“With Instagram Stories, brands also have the opportunity to always have a Story present on their profile, as opposed to Snapchat, which doesn’t allow users to maintain permanent profile pages. Zabarah notes that this is where Instagram can leverage its existing user interface with Stories.”

3. 3 key factors separating retail’s winners and losers [TotalRetail]

“Why are some retailers flourishing and some flatlining? We recently teamed with WBR Research to better answer that question, and the resulting insights from more than 1,050 store managers from across the country highlighted the key factors separating today’s retail winners and losers.”

4. The technology behind J. Crew’s first Instagram sale [Curalate]

“[Instagram Stories] was a natural addition to J. Crew’s already robust Instagram strategy. The company uses Instagram to feature lifestyle images of its merchandise and instructs followers to use the Curalate-powered Like2Buy link in their bio.”

5. Rent the Runway uses employees and Snapchat to find customers the right fit [Glossy]

“The company is prompting its followers on Snapchat to come to them with concerns around how a dress might fit on their body type. Customers start by sending a video, image or text with the name of the item they’re thinking about renting, as well as their stats: size, height and typical body shape.”

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Marc Hummel is a former Content Marketing Associate for Monetate. He's also a part-time grad student at the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys biking to work, reading, listening to podcasts/music, and eating ice cream. Usually not all at once. For more about Marc, go here.

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