Friday Five: Overwhelmed by wine choices?

3 min readJun 30, 2023

Zone’s Rianna Mitchell handpicks and shares the five best news stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Overwhelmed by wine choices?

It may not be able to taste or smell, but a free app called Sippd — which launched in the US in 2021 — is helping people pick decent bottles of wine at restaurants and supermarkets.

Its wine quiz analyses your preferences, such as colour, acidity, body, and price. Then, the app’s AI software generates thousands of personal wine recommendations, rated in percentages, to find your ideal bottle. Scan wine lists or labels, and it’ll give you taste match scores, plus it learns from your purchases to become even more accurate over time. Cheers, Sippd!

2. NHS: Go digital or die

With staff shortages a significant challenge in the NHS, they need to find new ways to save time and money to deliver more efficient health care. Transforming processes with technologies like automatic data-capture tools and robotic process automation is a good place to start.

Yinka Makinde, the director of digital workforce at the NHS, says that the digital transformation should begin at the CEO level. Also, allowing new people into the sector will help the NHS shift from traditional models of leadership and create the right conditions for innovation, and motivate employees to embrace new ways of working.

3. IKEA goes hard for digital CX

An IKEA franchisee with stores in Southeast Asia and Mexico is fine-tuning its digital customer experience in a variety of ways, including chatbots, order tracking and conversational commerce.

They plan to use technology to make finding information easier for customers, so ‘instead of ten clicks to get to somewhere because you don’t know where to look, it’s a matter of one or two clicks,’ says Alex Soliman, customer care centre manager for twelve IKEA franchises worldwide.

4. Chatbots, the new teacher assistant

It’s highly probable that we’ll eventually see AI in our classrooms. Chatbots are already helping students proofread their work, remove jargon from complex subjects, and summarise long text.

It has the potential to personalise learning experiences for time-poor teachers. For example, it could ensure learning plans and routines aren’t repetitive to allow children to learn with more freedom, act as personal chatbots answering students’ questions, or be used in sophisticated testing to ensure no two papers are the same. But, will it receive a warm welcome?

5. The modern customer needs speed

Due to the global changes in recent years, some companies have shifted to become more customer-centric. The travel sector, for instance, is more flexible and responsive to last-minute booking changes than before. However, many are still sticking to old-fashioned methods and much slower timescales.

Accelerated digital transformation is increasingly seen as key to providing customers with more self-serve options, leading to a faster and improved personalised service. But it’s not just about the technology; it’s also about the employees and ensuring they understand what customer-centric really means for the companies they work in.




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