Reading list - Week of October 10
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The eCommerce Quebec 2016 event took place this week in Montreal. Speakers and companies from the worlds of retail, digital, and technology gathered to talk about the future of the eCommerce market as well as up and coming technologies. Wal-Mart and Urban Outfitters are investing more in eCommerce capabilities. Amazon is now offering music to its online shoppers. Google and Facebook are teaming up to build a submarine cable. And Intel is entering into the commercial drone markets. Get all the details below.
Google and Facebook Are Building the Fastest Trans-Pacific Cable Ever
Google and Facebook, two of the biggest technology companies in the world have decided to work together to build the fastest trans-Pacific cable. This 12,800 km submarine cable will connect Los Angeles with Hong Kong. The $400 million new cable will offer a greater bandwidth, which is, of course, good news for both Google and Facebook clients. Although it may seem strange for Google to team with Facebook on this kind of project, Microsoft recently teamed up with Facebook to build a trans-Atlantic cable, though it’s half as long and 160 Tbps faster.
Music For Everyone With Amazon
Amazon keeps grabbing people's attention. Earlier this week the eCommerce giant launched a new service called Amazon Music Unlimited. It’s an on-demand music streaming service which will give you access to millions of songs. The service will be available for both Prime members and non-Prime members. The price is of course lower for prime members at $7.99/month and $9.99/month for everyone else. There is another plan for only $3.99. The catch? Listeners may only play music on Amazon’s connected speakers. It’s called the “for Echo” subscription plan. Amazon is now competing directly with Spotify and Apple.
Urban Outfitters is Investing in Omnichannel
Urban Outfitters CEO, Trish Donnelly agrees on the necessity of a digital shift for the company. Why? She stated “With a majority of our direct-to-consumer traffic coming through mobile devices, the direct and retail experiences need to be seamless, and [we are] committed to supporting this with the necessary team and resources.” As a result, the company is looking to implement an omnichannel strategy to spur growth. One of the areas the company wants to focus on is social media. Indeed, Urban Outfitters has seen its Instagram and Snapchat followers grow enormously over the last few months. The company wants to keep engaging with its customers and offer them a great online shopping experience.
Wal-Mart Wants To Be Known As An eCommerce Company
You've probably heard about it, Wal-Mart acquired Jet.com last September to boost its eCommerce presence. The company has actually greatest ambitions: Wal-Mart wants to become a reference in the eCommerce industry. “We're going to grow e-commerce faster,” CEO Doug McMillon told analysts and investors at Wal-Mart’s investor presentation last Thursday. “This company, over time, is going to look like more of an e-commerce company. We'll still run great stores, and we know how to do that. Customers want a seamless relationship. That's in our favor. But we've got to build this e-commerce business in this country and in others to be there in the future.” Wal-Mart online sales grew by more than 20% during the second half of 2016. As a result, the company wants to invest more in its eCommerce capabilities by increasing digital offerings, improving technology solutions and offering online grocery shopping to its clients.
Intel’s first commercial drone
Since the company’s failed attempt to make a mark with their smartphone, the chip maker has been looking at new opportunities for its silicon and other technologies outside its traditional markets like PCs. It seems they found that opportunity with their new commercial drone, the Falcon 8+ which Intel introduced earlier this week. Right now, the drone will only be available in North America. Intel is actually targeting the American market where huge potentials are expected since the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration gave the green light for the commercial use of drones in June of this year. Intel has been investing a lot in its drone department over the last year and expects to keep focusing and innovating in the space. As for the Falcon 8+, no details on pricing and availability have been provided.