IoT retail: Snap, Amazon join forces on ubiquitous mobile shopping

IoT retail: Snap, Amazon join forces on ubiquitous mobile shopping

NEWSBYTE Snap and Amazon have announced a visual shopping partnership, which brings a future of ubiquitous retail one step closer.

Following the deal, Snapchat users will, via the app, be able to focus their camera on an object or barcode and receive pop-up information from Amazon, with a clickthrough option to buy.

The tie-up has huge demographic potential for Amazon. A recent survey from self-styled ‘fact tank’ the Pew Research Center shows that 78 percent of 18-24 year olds use Snapchat, while Snap itself says its users are 20 percent more likely than other consumers to make mobile purchases, and 60 percent more likely to impulse-buy.

The deal may signal a bigger, evolving relationship between the two platforms over time, given that Amazon vet Tim Stone is Snap’s CFO, with $20 million of stock in his pocket, according to investors’ resource, Seekingalpha.

Plus: Instagram co-founders resign from Facebook

In related social network news, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have resigned from Facebook. Commenting on the news, Systrom reportedly said, “We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again.”

His resignation has led to renewed questions about Facebook’s policy towards user data, as well as its acquisition strategy. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum quit Facebook in April, citing concerns over user data policy.

Representatives of over a dozen US state attorney general offices will meet today with attorney general Jeff Sessions to discuss their concerns about social media platforms’ business practices. A Department of Justice statement earlier this month said states would discuss “a growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms.” 

Internet of Business says

As the worlds of bricks and clicks collide in the retail sector – with traditional sellers feeling the heat from online giants, who are themselves considering a move into real-world stores – ubiquitous retail is the fast-emerging future.

Being able to point a camera at any item – in the street, or worn by a passer-by, for example – and get pop-up information about what it is and where it can be purchased, is the Holy Grail for some companies, especially if shoppers can then order the item with a click.

With me- and meme-obsessed millennials seeking frictionless mobile experiences, this is a natural extension of their own networking habits, while older shoppers may appreciate the convenience too, even if some may be less comfortable in a world of constantly roving cameras.

Factor in augmented reality, smart glasses, and location-based services, and the omni-channel retail future would appear to belong to any retailer who has seen the big picture before joining the dots.

Chris Middleton
Chris Middleton is former editor of Internet of Business, and now a key contributor to the title. He specialises in robotics, AI, the IoT, blockchain, and technology strategy. He is also former editor of Computing, Computer Business Review, and Professional Outsourcing, among others, and is a contributing editor to Diginomica, Computing, and Hack & Craft News. Over the years, he has also written for Computer Weekly, The Guardian, The Times, PC World, I-CIO, V3, The Inquirer, and Blockchain News, among many others. He is an acknowledged robotics expert who has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITN, and Talk Radio, and is probably the only tech journalist in the UK to own a number of humanoid robots, which he hires out to events, exhibitions, universities, and schools. Chris has also chaired conferences on robotics, AI, IoT investment, digital marketing, blockchain, and space technologies, and has spoken at numerous other events.