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US survey says shoppers want less automation, more human interaction with customer service
"The report revealed that, despite misconceptions of robots taking over, consumers still want human interaction while navigating digital assets. What’s more, they don’t expect, nor want technology to replace real people. It’s true consumers are open-minded about using technology like chatbots that save time and make life easier. But they still trust humans to help solve more complex problems and make experiences such as online shopping, filling a prescription or making a bank deposit — more enjoyable."
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3 days ago by jonerp
do best with a response time within 30 minutes to1 hour.
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13 days ago by jhill5
Everything on Amazon Is Amazon! • The New York Times
John Herrman:
<p>There are vanishingly few types of consumer goods that you can’t buy, in some form, on Amazon. But it is missing plenty of brands. In 2009, the company started selling products under its own name. It soon moved beyond the first AmazonBasics — items including budget electronics and batteries — to a wider range of Amazon-branded products. This was followed by an explosion of company-owned brands, including dozens with Amazon-free names.

Lark & Ro sells women’s wear, Buttoned Down sells men’s dress shirts; Pike Street sells linens; Strathwood sells furniture. These brands are intended to stand on their own, sort of. They are associated with Amazon, and listed on the site’s dozens of different contexts as “Our Brand” or “by Amazon” or “An Amazon Brand.” (Some new brands are undercover but then blow their cover, as in “Amazon Brand - Solimo Pasta, Thin Spaghetti, 16oz.”)

A lot of these brands — most explicitly the Basics products and various household staples — appear to be straightforward margin plays. Others, clothing brands in particular, fill gaps left by companies that have steered clear of the platform altogether. Others, well, who’s to say?</p>
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23 days ago by charlesarthur
Luxury Brands Buy Supply Chains to Ensure Meeting Demand
Nov. 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By Mark Ellwood.

The luxury markets are booming to such an extent that brands look to ensure they can meet demand by buying companies that supply their raw materials.

In the last six years, David Duncan has been on a buying spree. This Napa Valley-based winemaker and owner of Silver Oak Cellars hasn’t been splurging on fast cars or vacation homes, though. He’s been buying up vines — close to 500 acres in Northern California and Oregon.

It’s been a tough process, at times: He almost lost one site to a wealthy Chinese bidder. It was only when he raised his offer by $1 million that he clinched the sale at the last moment. At the same time, Mr. Duncan also took full control of A&K Cooperage, now the Oak Cooperage, the barrel maker in Higbee, Mo., in which his family had long held a stake. These hefty acquisitions are central to his 50-year plan to future-proof the family business against a changing luxury marketplace.

As Mr. Duncan realized, this market faces what might seem an enviable problem: a surfeit of demand for its limited supply. The challenge the winery will face over the next decade is not marketing, or finding customers, but finding enough high-quality raw materials to sate the looming boom in demand. Though there might be economic uncertainty among the middle classes, wealthier consumers are feeling confident and richer because of changes like looser business regulations and lower taxes.
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25 days ago by jerryking

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