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Period: July 4, 2016 to January 16, 2017
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Online Grocery Deliverer Fulfills Orders Using Advanced Warehousing, Robotics

British online grocery delivery firm Ocado is applying an array of advanced technologies to speed grocery purchases to consumer homes. The company maintains a 350,000 square-foot warehouse near Birmingham that beats Amazon at automated order fulfillment. Most of the 48,000 lines of products it sells are perishable, many chilled or frozen. The complex, time-sensitive optimization challenge is handled by sophisticated technologies like swarm robotics – teams of robots that cooperate to find, lift and grab products from shelves – as well as autonomous delivery vehicles, and machine-learned preferences. The company is expanding its warehousing and robotics capabilities to be able to handle and deliver more products even faster in the future.

"The Robotic Grocery Store of the Future Is Here", MIT Technology Review, December 29, 2016

Kérastase And Withings Unveil Smart Hairbrush At CES

At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, professional hair care brand Kérastase, together with connected health company Withings and L’Oréal’s Research and Innovation Technology Incubator, unveiled its new smart hairbrush - the Kérastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings. Fitted with advanced sensors and incorporating L’Oréal’s signal analysis algorithms, which score hair quality and track the impact of hair care routines, the hairbrush received this year’s International CES Innovation Award. Sensors capture sounds, the force applied when brushing, brushing patterns and the number of brush strokes, and whether the hair is wet or dry. The collected data are sent to the app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to a dedicated mobile app. Using external data, such as weather conditions, the app tracks the way the user cares for her hair and provides personalized tips and Kérastase product recommendations. It will be available around mid-2017 at select Kérastase hair salons, the brand’s website ...  More

"Kerastase and Withings Unveil World’s First Smart Hairbrush at CES 2017", L’Oreal, January 04, 2017

Amazon Fulfillment Services Reports Significant Growth In 2016

Online retailer Amazon said it delivered more than two billion packages to 185 countries for sellers, brand owners and entrepreneurs in 2016 under its Fulfillment by Amazon program. The company said worldwide FBA shipments grew 50 percent during the holiday season. Amazon Prime members contributed significantly to the success of the program, ordering millions of items from sellers in the Seller Fulfilled Prime program that offers free two- or next-day shipping. Sellers worldwide using the FBA service grew more than 70 percent, while shipments grew 80 percent.

"Sellers on Amazon are Thriving: Fulfillment by Amazon Delivered More than 2 Billion Items for Sellers Worldwide in 2016", News release, Amazon, January 04, 2017

Mass And Premium Continue To Drive Growth In Color Cosmetics

According to Euromonitor International, the color cosmetics market was worth US$57 billion globally in 2015, driven by growing incomes for women in growth markets like India and China. Nearly two-thirds of the market (64%) was mass products in which consumers came from across the income spectrum, with some consumers limited to the mass market through income constraints and others choosing mass options over premium, with a new wave of mass “fast fashion” cosmetics brands that align with trends and rely on high volumes. Premium continues to grow faster than mass, and Euromonitor expects to see a CAGR for the premium segment of 4% over the next five years, versus 3% for mass. It also expects North America to be the first majority-premium color cosmetics market by 2020. The color cosmetics market will continue to encounter broad consumer megatrends, for example in the form of sustainability and healthy living. And customization remains a major opportunity for brands in this category, with ...  More

"Reinventing Colour Cosmetics through Novel Growth Concepts", Euromonitor International, January 05, 2017

Kiehl's To Launch Skin Renewing Cream Aimed At Millennials

L’Oréal brand Kiehl’s is launching Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, aimed at the Millennials by avoiding antiaging messages. Kiehl’s says that skin care today is focused on radiance and skin health rather than reversing indications of aging. Sources suggest retail sales of the cream could reach $40 million globally this year. Kiehl’s is marketing the product as 99.6 percent natural, and contains New Zealand manuka honey for antioxidants to combat environmental effects and for stimulating collagen, and South Korean red ginseng root for hydration and cell renewal.

"Kiehl’s Makes a Play for Millennials With Healthy Skin Pitch", Women’s Wear Daily, January 05, 2017

2017: The Year Of The Brand Chatbot?

2017 could the year of the chatbots for brands looking to automate consumer engagement. They reside within Messenger Services, like Skype and Facebook Messenger, as well as internal messenger services, like HipChat. They are becoming increasingly sophisticated with more user functionality, and as artificial intelligence becomes better understood, chatbots will be able to do even more, with development moving from what the bot builders believe consumers want to a machine-learned reflection of what they really want. Chatbots will proliferate and become an essential element of any integrated marketing campaign, supporting highly targeted campaigns delivered in the environment in which the consumer spends the majority of their online time.  

"What, Why and How: Chatbots for Brands", The Drum, January 06, 2017

L’Oreal’s Smart Brush Demonstrates Internet Of Things Application For The Beauty Industry

L’Oreal’s smart brush, unveiled at CES 2017, is just one of a number of products responding to opportunities provided by the Internet of Things within the consumer products industry, including Beauty. Smart devices are allowing brands to brands to become more involved in consumers’ daily routines. The smart brush is being sold at around $200, and only time will tell if consumers regard that as a price worth paying for the benefits it provides – better and more personalized information, performance monitoring and suggestions for improvements, as well as tips and recommendations. These aren’t necessary attributes for a hairbrush or toothbrush, but they will make life a bit easier for consumers, and brands can become better connected to consumers’ lifestyles and preferences, allowing valuable insights for future innovation and marketing efforts.  

"How the beauty industry is embracing the Internet of Things", Econsultancy, January 11, 2017

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