1. Amazon recently obtained a patent for “anticipatory shipping”—a technology for shipping products before orders have even been placed. Walmart has long known that sales of strawberry Pop-Tarts tend to skyrocket before hurricanes; in the spirit of computer-aided homeostasis, the company knows that it’s better to restock its shelves than to ask why.
  2. More than half of online shoppers said they browse catalogs and almost one-third of people making an Internet purchase have a catalog on hand when they click “Buy,” according to a new survey by Kurt Salmon, a global retail consultancy. A whopping 86 percent of the survey’s respondents bought an item after first seeing it in a catalog.
  3. 35% of its sales on JohnLewis.com go to customers who order online for in-store pickup…
    The service lets shoppers choose to pick up orders placed on JohnLewis.com from 270 store locations, including 39 John Lewis stores and 231 Waitrose supermarkets…. total sales on JohnLewis.com increased 41% year over year for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, to slightly under 1 billion pounds (US$1.52 billion).
  4. A company called Euclid Analytics uses the Wi-Fi antennas inside stores to see how many people are coming into a store, how long they stay and even which aisles they walk. It does this by noting each smartphone that comes near the store, feeding on every signal ping the phone sends.

    “Three years ago, I went to the Stanford mall in Palo Alto and could count about 30 percent of the people there” by listening for Wi-Fi signals, says Will Smith, the company’s chief executive. “Now in San Francisco, it’s about 60 percent.

  5. Amazon’s software calculates the most efficient walking route to collect all the items to fill a trolley, and then simply directs the worker from one shelf space to the next via instructions on the screen of the handheld satnav device. Even with these efficient routes, there’s a lot of walking. One of the new Rugeley “pickers” lost almost half a stone in his first three shifts
    — Amazon unpacked - FT.com I wonder if they let you wear rollerblades to go faster?
  6. the idea as “Cinéma vérité,” a French term for true-to-life documentary filmmaking. “I love the way it’s such raw footage. Rather than being a final polished campaign image, it’s about what’s going on right now, live from backstage,” she says. “We’re trying to give our followers better-than-ever access with a real, up-close quality. In many ways, it’s like a digital version of the go-see, which are the appointments made by press and buyers after the show
  7. (Nine West) rolled out an in-store iPad app in November that allows employees to show customers items from its e-commerce site and look-books, access product information and place online orders … Since the app’s launch, online traffic has doubled and the app now generates between 20% and 75% of daily transactions in stores equipped with the technology
  8. at Bloomingdale’s during New York’s Fashion Week, which took place Sept. 5-13. At 20 store locations, the high-end retailer temporarily opened virtual fitting rooms, called Swivel, which allowed shoppers standing in front of kiosks to see in 3D how items from its fall collection looked on them with just a few hand motions in front of a screen. On-screen tabs connected to the web let shoppers then share those images with friends
  9. Peapod LLC is greatly expanding its virtual grocery store program in commuter rail stations. Today it’s launching more than 100 virtual grocery stores at stations in Boston, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
  10. Fab.com, which sells trendy home decor and apparel online, said recently that 30 percent of the company’s revenue and 30 percent of its daily visits are now from mobile. One Kings Lane, which is projecting $200 million in revenue this year, reports that mobile makes up 22 percent of the company’s sales.
  11. More than 2m people from 100 countries watched online video of Topshop’s Spring/Summer 2012 Unique show in the three hours after the fashion retailer live streamed it Sunday…

    Topshop built considerable buzz in the days leading up to the show by promising consumers a “personalized” and shoppable live stream experience. Viewers could click on clothes and accessories to browse color options as they came down the catwalk, and create screenshots and video clips to share instantly on Facebook, Topshop said. They could also order makeup for delivery within 48 hours, and select apparel and accessories for delivery in six to eight weeks… Several looks sold out within an hour… At least one sold out before the show was even over

  12. A survey by the National Retail Federation last fall found that while only 6 percent of retailers said they used mobile point-of-sale devices, half of the respondents said at the time that they planned to adopt such devices over the next 18 months. Additionally, about 75 percent of U.S. merchants said they intended to buy a tablet over the next year, according to market researcher NPD
  13. Fitiquette has devised a way of “trying on” clothes (online)… you create a mannequin out of different body types, and then you further adjust each specific measurement across your body (breasts, hips, etc.) until it closely mirrors your own. Then, Fitiquette provides clothes at suggested sizes that could work with those measurements — playing on the fact that usually a few different sizes can fit you, so this is to see how each would actually look. You click on each size, the mannequin puts that piece on; and then you can zoom and spin the model to see the result at different angles
    — Fitiquette: Online Clothing Measurement Never Looked So Good | TechCrunch  This would be a pain to set up the first time but if it worked across multiple sites you’d only need to do it once.  Even better, if there was a body scan thing you could go to and have it automated, the first time.  Hmmm….
  14. A new mobile app from DirectionsForMe lets blind shoppers use their smartphones to scan for product information on more than 400,000 consumer goods. An already available web site has generated 2.4 million visits in the last 18 months.
  15. Within the next 5 years, among 250 US retail execs (surveyed in May 2012)
    41% expect to provide personalised product details based on previous behaviour to a shoppers smartphone
    42% expect to send coupons based on a customers location in the store (by this I understand it to be eg: the aisle you’re in, not just fact you’re in a store)
    56% of sales will be completed via mobile POS or self checkout at a terminal or consumer’s handheld.
    — www.sample-central.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/MOT_Retail_White_Paper_061912_final_High_v2.pdf  (It’s actually a Motorola whitepaper but I couldn’t find a direct link on their website)