What we’ve seen in 2018

Each week we compile SpeedRead, a weekly roundup of what's new from brands around the world. Here are the top trending themes from what we've seen brands doing over the past two months.

1. MAXIMISING CONVENIENCE WITH NEW PAYMENT PROCESSES

Amazon Go opened to the public, bringing a checkout free shopping service to Seattle. Convenient payment based models also opened in Europe and Asia, with Albert Heijn’s cashless store in The Netherlands and 7-Eleven’s staff less X-Store in Taiwan.
Prada updated their online strategy in China to facilitate WeChat and Alipay, while Lacoste brought Alipay to its US stores to increase accessibility for Chinese tourists. And with many customers using fingerprints to confirm mobile purchases, Visa launched a new card that facilitates fingerprint verification, replacing the need for a traditional PIN.
2. USING TECH TO GET TO KNOW CUSTOMERS BETTER

JD.com’s first online fresh food store, 7Fresh, uses smart logistics tech to learn about shopper preferences with every visit. Neiman Marcus equipped sales associates with iPhones, to encourage staff and customers to connect on social platforms, optimizing service in store via customer data.
Nissan developed new tech that reads and responds to drivers’ brainwaves, a potential stepping-stone between traditional and automated cars.
3. INCREASING LOYALTY VIA CO CREATION

H&M launched a new brand, Nyden. The brand will collaborate with ‘tribe leaders’ rather than following celebrity trends to produce items that truly reflect the target customer.
Meanwhile, make up brand Shisedo launched an open innovation project to understand their customers better. The brand will work with Japanese high-schoolers to co-create new products and services. This new impetus for collaboration is also apparent in Shisedo’s renovated Tokyo store, which will host workshops and events for customers. Nike is also using store spaces to encourage customer creativity, hosting a DIY pop up in Vancouver, Canada to let customers personalise their trainers.
 
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Images courtesy of JD.com, Amazon and Cosmetics Design.

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