Friday Five: Amazon ranks #1 for customer experience
Zone’s Rianna Mitchell handpicks and shares the five best news stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…
1. Amazon ranks #1 for customer experience
Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce company, has been voted the leading retailer for customer experience. A survey conducted by Retail Week, interviewing 1,000 UK consumers, asked which retailers deliver the best customer experience, where Amazon beat runners-up Tesco and Asda.
According to the study, the word ‘easy’ frequently appeared to describe Amazon’s support for customers. UK country manager, John Boumphrey, said the focus is low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery — three priorities for survey respondents.
2. Microsoft begins mass layoff
Microsoft joined the wave of mass tech layoffs as it announced plans to cut thousands of jobs amid a challenging economy. The computing giant looks to slash approximately 5% of its 220,000-person workforce, equating to over 10,000 staff potentially losing their jobs.
With some roles expected to cease in engineering divisions, the job redundancies will significantly exceed cuts made to Microsoft’s workforce last year. CEO Satya Nadella warned of tough times ahead for the tech industry, admitting Microsoft wasn’t ‘immune to global changes’ and urged tech companies to be efficient.
3. Age-estimation tech for retail staff safety
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is calling for new legislation that permits AI tech to verify age for alcohol sales. According to the trade association, age-estimation technology would make stores a ‘safer place to work’ by reducing the risk of abuse targeted at retail workers.
A recent BRC survey revealed shop assistants face over 1,300 incidents of violence and abuse daily, commonly triggered by asking alcohol buyers to verify their age. The BRC hopes the technology can be extended to alcohol sales, as it can currently be used for other age-restricted products, such as tobacco and medicine.
4. L’Oréal invests in micro-printing tech startup
L’Oréal has made a minority investment in Prinker Korea, a micro-printing startup renowned for manufacturing the world’s first digital temporary tattoo device. The beauty player partnered with the tech firm to develop L’Oreal Brow Magic — the first handheld electronic brow make-up applicator.
The invention delivers personalised brow shape recommendations based on facial features, using AR technology and patented AI algorithms. Deputy CEO at L’Oréal said collaborating with high-end technology start-ups ‘creates the future of beauty’, and combined expertise develops ‘unmet personalised customer experience’.
5. Game over for Google Stadia
Google left Stadia gamers heartbroken this week after shutting down the cloud-gaming service in the UK for not gaining enough traction with players. The company promised refunds to gamers who made Stadia purchases, such as controllers and downloadable content.
However, Google plans to give the Stadia gamepad a second life by allowing fans to unlock its Bluetooth to connect to PCs and other technology. There’s also still hope to reunite with some Stadia games, as Q-Games founder, Dylan Cuthbert, said he hopes to get PixelJunk Raiders onto a PC or Playstation 5.