Store Service – La Alborada http://la-alborada.com/ Mon, 29 Nov 2021 12:39:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://la-alborada.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/la-alborada-icon-150x150.png Store Service – La Alborada http://la-alborada.com/ 32 32 Bengo4 com: Decision to include CloudSign in the range of services of Business dX Store, an online store for small and medium businesses operated by NTT Docomo http://la-alborada.com/bengo4-com-decision-to-include-cloudsign-in-the-range-of-services-of-business-dx-store-an-online-store-for-small-and-medium-businesses-operated-by-ntt-docomo/ Mon, 29 Nov 2021 06:20:07 +0000 http://la-alborada.com/bengo4-com-decision-to-include-cloudsign-in-the-range-of-services-of-business-dx-store-an-online-store-for-small-and-medium-businesses-operated-by-ntt-docomo/

November 29, 2021

Bengo4.com, Inc.

Notice regarding the decision to include CloudSign in the range of services of

Business dX Store, an online store for small and medium-sized businesses

operated by NTT Docomo

Bengo4.com, Inc. (Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yosuke Uchida, Representative Director and President), which provides the cloud-based outsourcing service for enterprises “CloudSign”, hereby announces that CloudSign will be included in the range of services of Business Boutique dXMT (the “Store”) *, an online store designed to enable small and medium-sized businesses to purchase the services required for DX over the web, provided by NTT Docomo, Inc. (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Motoyuki Ii, President and Chief Executive Officer; the “Docomo”).

CloudSign’s sale in the Store will begin by the end of March 2022, and its impact on performance during that time will be minor.

* “Business dX Store” is a trademark of NTT Docomo, Inc.

About “Business dX Store”

Along with changes in employee work patterns due to improved operational efficiency and the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital transformation (DX) needs of small and medium businesses have increased. However, companies are faced with many challenges, such as which service to select from the large number available in the world. In addition, cost issues often limit their progress.

Since the store offers well-selected Docomo services at affordable prices for each DX category, it mainly allows small and medium-sized businesses that want to start DX business but face these issues to enter into contracts and use services with a sense of security, without selection problems. services.

In addition, this service uses a common identification using Business d Account, which does not require management of ID / PW per service and allows transparent use of services.

URL: https://biz-dxstore.docomo.ne.jp/

About determining to include CloudSign

It has been determined that our CloudSign will be officially used by the Store and provided under the service name “dX e-contract” by the end of March 2022.

Going forward, CloudSign will continue to evolve, with the goal of creating “the next 100 years and a new form of contract”, building a form of contract and trust appropriate for the times, and will seek to penetrate further into the electronic contract market to the point where “cloud signature” contracts are common practice.

About CloudSign https://www.cloudsign.jp

CloudSign is a cloud-based contracting service for businesses that replaces paper and seal with the cloud and allows contracts to be closed on a PC. Everything can be done in the cloud, which speeds up the procurement process and lowers costs. The e-contract function gives a fixed electronic signature and a time stamp that proves “when and who concluded which contract”. Even in a remote working environment, it allows for smooth contracting, which is important for business operations, while ensuring strong proof of contract. Since its launch in 2015, CloudSign has been widely introduced by businesses and independent organizations and holds the leading * share of the e-contracts market.

  • Market share in “New Business Software Markets 2021” (2020 results for e-contract tools) by Fuji Chimera Research Institute, Inc.

About Bengoshi.com

https://corporate.bengo4.com/

The head office

| 1-4 Roppongi 4-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Creation date

| July 4, 2005

Share the capital

| 439 million yen (at the end of September 2021)

Representative Director | Yosuke Uchida, President and Deputy Director

Listed stock exchange

| Tokyo Stock Exchange (Mothers)

Activity area

| As part of the company’s mission “Help specialists get closer”, we provide

“Bengoshi.com”, “BUSINESS LAWYERS” and “Zeirishi.com” as portal

sites that put people in contact with professionals, as well as “CloudSign”, which is

a cloud-based contracting service for businesses.

Disclaimer

Bengo4.com Inc. published this content on November 29, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on November 29, 2021 06:19:13 AM UTC.

]]> Black Friday 2021: what is open, what is closed on Friday? Banks, UPS, mail delivery, stock exchanges, shopping malls, stores http://la-alborada.com/black-friday-2021-what-is-open-what-is-closed-on-friday-banks-ups-mail-delivery-stock-exchanges-shopping-malls-stores/ Thu, 25 Nov 2021 21:00:00 +0000 http://la-alborada.com/black-friday-2021-what-is-open-what-is-closed-on-friday-banks-ups-mail-delivery-stock-exchanges-shopping-malls-stores/

Black Friday 2021 is Friday November 26.

It’s an annual shopping event that takes place the day after Thanksgiving. The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” dates back to 1869, when the US gold market collapsed.

According to History.com, Philadelphia Police used the term in the 1950s to describe how chaotic the day after Thanksgiving would become due to the crowds building up for Saturday football games. Shoplifters took advantage of the chaos and police were forced to work extra shifts.

Black Friday was not viewed positively until the late 1980s when retailers found a way to reinvent the term, which led to a dedicated, albeit chaotic, shopping day.

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s open and what’s closed on Black Friday 2021.

Is Black Friday a Federal Holiday? Is Black Friday a public holiday?

Black Friday is neither a federal holiday nor a state holiday. There are two federal holidays in November: Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.

Federal courts in New Jersey will be closed on Black Friday, however.

Is there mail delivery on Black Friday 2021? Will mail go through?

There will be regular courier delivery, as well as FedEx and UPS, on Black Friday. The only exception is FedEx Freight, which is closed. FedEx Express also operates on a modified schedule.

Is the post office open on Black Friday 2021?

The United States Postal Service offices will be open.

Are the stock exchanges open on Black Friday 2021?

The exchanges will be open on Black Friday. This includes the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq markets.

Are New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission locations open on Black Friday 2021?

All offices of the Motor Vehicle Commission will be open. In addition, all offices and courts in the State of New Jersey are open for the holidays.

Online processing of certain documents is available on the Motor Vehicle Commission website.

Are banks open on Black Friday?

All banks are open on Black Friday.

Do NJ Transit, PATH and SEPTA operate on a regular schedule?

NJ Transit, PATH and SEPTA will operate on normal schedules. For NJ Transit, passengers should use NJ Transit’s online trip planner to check arrival and departure times.

Are the restaurants open on Black Friday 2021?

Most restaurants will be open and some may have special offers. Customers should check with specific restaurants for information.

When do stores open on Black Friday 2021?

Most stores will be open on Black Friday, and some may open very early so shoppers can take advantage of the sales.

Here’s a look at the main store opening hours for Black Friday 2021, according to their websites, GoodHouseKeeping and RetailMeNot.

Note: Buyers should ultimately check with their local store if times vary by location.

  • Apple (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.)
  • Barnes et Noble (8 a.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Bass Pro Shops (5 a.m. – 8 p.m.)
  • Bath & Beyond bed (6h – 12h)
  • Best Buy (5 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club (9 a.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Burlington (7 a.m. – 11 p.m.)
  • Costco (9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., but may vary by store)
  • CVS (varies by store)
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Dollar tree (9 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • Lobby Hobby (8 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • Home Depot (6 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • Ikea (10 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • JCPenney (10 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • Kohl’s (5 a.m. – midnight)
  • Lowe’s (6 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • Macy’s (6 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.)
  • Marshals (8 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • Meijer (6 a.m. – midnight)
  • Nordstrom (10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; varies by store)
  • Nordstrom Rack (8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.)
  • Old Navy (5 a.m. – 11 p.m.; varies by store)
  • Petco (9 a.m. – 8 p.m.)
  • PetSmart (7 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • REI (CLOSED)
  • Rite Aid (varies by store)
  • Sam’s Club (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.)
  • Objective (7 a.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • TJ Maxx (8 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • Trader Joe’s (8 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • Ulta (6 a.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Walgreens (varies by store)
  • Walmart (5 a.m. – 11 p.m.)

Are there Black Friday 2021 sales?

Most stores will have ongoing sales for Black Friday 2021 throughout the day, and in some cases there will be huge deals on hot products.

When it comes to online shopping, we’ve scoured the internet and found plenty of Black Friday 2021 deals. Here are some of the bigger ones:

When is the next federal holiday?

The next federal holiday is Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25.

For more information on the history of Black Friday, watch the video below:

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Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at krodriguez@njadvancemedia.com. Do you have any advice? Tell us at nj.com/tips.

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Delayed for the Holidays: How to Shop in a Supply Chain Slow http://la-alborada.com/delayed-for-the-holidays-how-to-shop-in-a-supply-chain-slow/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 08:00:06 +0000 http://la-alborada.com/delayed-for-the-holidays-how-to-shop-in-a-supply-chain-slow/

Congestion at distribution centers and transfer points in the global supply chain can cripple your holiday shopping.

CNET

You are likely to see shortage of popular gifts and delivery delays as the holiday shopping season begins. In US ports, retail distribution centers and all intermediate points, congestion in the global supply chain reduced stocks of clothing, toys and tech products.

But your vacation shouldn’t be ruined by overdue gifts or gifts you can’t find at all. Outside of advance shopping, which is just about too late, there are plenty of ways to always find the gifts on your wishlist. Here are some ideas, and don’t forget to check it out CNET 2021 Gift Guide and our guide to finding the best Black Friday deals.

Buy locally

Shorten those shipping distances to the other end of town by supporting local retailers. Whether it’s an independent store or a big box chain, some companies will ship directly from the store to your doorstep (thus avoiding distribution centers where bottlenecks can arise). And if you’re late for the game or don’t want to risk buying even local shipping, there are plenty of retailers that have the option to buy online and pick up in store as well. If you need to broaden the search, look for goods that don’t have to be shipped from overseas. This way you can prevent your gifts from going through busy ports.

Buy in a store

I know … you probably haven’t been to the mall much in the past 20 months. (Honestly, I miss this experience.) And you may have lost the habit of shopping in stores even before the pandemic. But the beauty of shopping in person is that if it’s off the shelf, it’s yours (provided there’s no Cabbage Patch Kid situation). Go ahead, brave the crowds, wear a mask, and go out for lunch on the way.

ship-port-of-oakland

A container ship unloads its cargo at the Port of Oakland in California.

Kent German / CNET

Buy small

Small businesses will always be prone to post office delays, but they will be able to better manage their inventory and production and will likely provide more personalized customer service if something goes wrong. You can also use sites like Etsy or eBay to search for crafts, home decor, or artwork made by independent producers.

Second hand shop

Collectibles, souvenirs, and vintage clothing or toys can make wonderful gifts, and used items can have less impact on the environment. Suppose you have an airline geek (cough cough) in the family. So what would you say a security card of a retired airliner? One of the best gifts I have ever received was a British Airways Concorde security card. Or maybe you know someone who collects Disney theme park pins? Collectors will appreciate the thought and effort, but just confirm what they collect (and still need) first.

concorde-catalog-and-security-card

Concorde security cards and a 2003 auction catalog of discarded Air France aircraft parts remain valuable gifts

Kent German / CNET

Buy something intangible

Things like spa treatments, classes (my husband bought me a great one year flying lesson), weekends, and magazine / newspaper or streaming TV subscriptions didn’t to be shipped. The same goes for gift cards and vouchers, but only if you buy them in person or electronically. Physical gift cards that need to be mailed can also be sent to delivery purgatory. I found out last year when I bought my niece a physical gift card two weeks before Christmas and it always arrived late. So check the delivery times before clicking.


Now playing:
Check this out:

Supply chain issues likely to last after the holidays


17:37

Or don’t worry

This is more difficult advice when you have kids, but it can work for adults. This year you really have the best excuse in the world (as long as you didn’t wait until the last minute) if a giveaway is late. To give them something to open the same day, you can buy something small that represents the gift to come. Last year, for example, the Nespresso machine I bought for my father did not arrive on time. To excite him for what was to come, he opened a box of coffee capsules on Christmas morning.

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Labor group says US should reject Amazon’s plan to buy MGM http://la-alborada.com/labor-group-says-us-should-reject-amazons-plan-to-buy-mgm/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 19:12:00 +0000 http://la-alborada.com/labor-group-says-us-should-reject-amazons-plan-to-buy-mgm/

A smartphone with the Amazon logo is seen in front of the MGM logo displayed in this illustration taken on May 26, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

Register now for FREE and unlimited access to reuters.com

WASHINGTON, Nov.22 (Reuters) – Four major unions, including the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters, on Monday urged the United States Federal Trade Commission to oppose Amazon.com’s (AMZN.O) plan to ‘buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, saying it would reduce competition in the streaming video market.

Amazon announced the $ 8.45 billion deal in May, saying the purchase of the legendary American film studio, home to the James Bond franchise, would give it a library of movies and TV shows to rival rivals like Netflix and Disney +. Read more

The unions, in a report from an entity they support called the Strategic Organizing Center, argued that the deal would take Amazon’s industry-leading streaming library to more than 55,000 titles, with more in development, which would further encourage the company to discriminate. rivals. Netflix has the second-highest number of titles with just under 20,000, according to the letter.

Register now for FREE and unlimited access to reuters.com

“The prospect of Amazon acquiring a wealth of additional MGM content to build on Amazon’s existing vast library should sound alarm bells,” the group said. “With control of MGM’s vast library, Amazon can gain enough market power over streaming content to raise prices for SVOD (video streaming on demand) competitors or for SVOD consumers. “

Amazon, which the group says has grown exponentially during the U.S. coronavirus lockdown, has used its streaming service to attract new Prime members. Prime members make up about 68% of Amazon buyers and spend significantly more than non-Prime buyers, the group said.

The Service Employees International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Communications Workers of America and the United Farmworkers sent the letter to Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Competition Bureau.

Amazon easily pushed back efforts by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union to organize a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, earlier this year. But the unions continued to organize, with the RWDSU potentially preparing to try again. Read more

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Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Dan Grebler

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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The last remaining Kmart in Michigan closes this weekend http://la-alborada.com/the-last-remaining-kmart-in-michigan-closes-this-weekend/ Sat, 20 Nov 2021 16:46:00 +0000 http://la-alborada.com/the-last-remaining-kmart-in-michigan-closes-this-weekend/

MARSHALL, MI – The last remaining Kmart in Michigan closes this weekend, ending 59 years of operation in the company’s home state.

Marshall’s location, 15861 Michigan Ave., is expected to close on Sunday, Nov. 21, according to Marshall City Manager Tom Tarkiewicz.

Kmart has deep roots in Michigan dating back to 1899, when Sebastian Spering Kresge opened a dime store in downtown Detroit, according to the company’s website.

SS Kresge Company discount stores grew for decades until the company turned to operating department stores.

The first Kmart store opened in Garden City, Michigan in 1962.

In four years, the big box discount store operated 162 stores across the United States. At its peak, Kmart operated approximately 2,500 locations around the world.

In financial trouble, Kmart filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and was acquired by Sears Holding Company three years later. Kmart then continued to struggle, shutting down most sites in the United States for the past two decades.

Only six Kmart stores are expected to remain in operation by the end of the year, CNN reported.

“The biggest concern is for residents of Marshall and Albion who do not drive and must use our transit service to shop. With the closure of Kmart, they have no stores to shop for household and personal needs, ”Tarkiewicz wrote in an email to MLive.

Other closed Kmart stores in Michigan were occupied by new retailers like Family Farm & Home, a KFC restaurant, Dollar Tree, a U-Haul facility, and TJ Maxx. A Norton Shores Kmart building sat empty for 15 years before it was demolished and replaced with a new health facility.

Tarkiewicz said the Marshall Kmart building does not yet have a new tenant.

Learn more about MLive:

One Well opens Wizard’s Pinball Palace as part of major expansion project at Kalamazoo Brewery

Saginaw Township Walmart store closed until November 21 due to increase in COVID-19 cases

New cafe on Kalamazoo Mall to serve as porch for Radiant Church

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Walmart launches drone delivery service within 50 miles of its Northwest Arkansas store http://la-alborada.com/walmart-launches-drone-delivery-service-within-50-miles-of-its-northwest-arkansas-store/ Fri, 19 Nov 2021 14:36:09 +0000 http://la-alborada.com/walmart-launches-drone-delivery-service-within-50-miles-of-its-northwest-arkansas-store/

Residents of northwest Arkansas will now see drones hovering in the skies delivering goods to the homes of people who have ordered at the local Walmart Neighborhood Market.

Walmart and its partner, drone maker Zipline, rolled out the service on Thursday and said they would ship “thousands of products” to customers within 50 miles of the Pea Ridge store.

The companies have designed a 25-foot-high “first of its kind” platform, located at the back of the Walmart, which serves as the infrastructure for drone takeoff and landing.

Orders are placed through the Zipline app, which are collected by Walmart employees who then hand them over to Zipline staff, who prepare the aircraft for launch.

A residence in northwest Arkansas will now see drones hover in the sky to deliver goods to the homes of people who have ordered at the local Walmart Neighborhood Market

Walmart has made a huge push in the drone delivery market over the years, having conducted pilot programs in several states such as North Carolina and Texas.

However, the Arkansas service, while still in a test, appears to be the company’s biggest effort to date.

Tom Ward, senior vice president, Last Mile Delivery, Walmart, said in a statement, “Zipline’s autonomous plane presents an incredible opportunity to provide customers with an on-demand delivery option for the items they need. now, like a thermometer, without prescription drugs or an emergency pack of diapers.

“Even more, Zipline planes can help provide immediate access to items needed by hard-to-reach and at-risk populations, such as rural communities and elderly customers. By bringing this revolutionary technology to the rural community of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, we continue to look for ways to make shopping with Walmart convenient and easy – for everyone. ‘

The companies have designed a 25-foot-high

The companies have designed a 25-foot-high “first of its kind” platform, located at the back of the Walmart, which serves as the infrastructure for drone takeoff and landing.

Orders at the Walmart store are placed using a Zipline delivery app, which provides users with an arrival time for their order.

Orders at the Walmart store are placed using a Zipline delivery app, which provides users with an arrival time for their order.

Items are packed in specially designed boxes and equipped with a parachute

Items are packed in specially designed boxes and equipped with a parachute

Zipline began operating in 2016 and has made more than 200,000 commercial deliveries of more than 4.5 million units of medical supplies, serving more than 20 million people in multiple countries.

And the couple announced their drone delivery service in September 2020.

The test is currently only available to a “small percentage” of customers, but it is expected to expand its reach as companies collect more performance data.

Zipline told The Verge that users eligible for drone delivery were “hand-picked.”

Orders are packaged in specially designed, parachute-equipped packages that are delivered to personnel working on the Zipline platform.

The box, which contains no more than four pounds of cargo, is placed inside the belly of the drone, which is then launched to the delivery destination.

The launch of the drone delivery service comes just 11 days after Walmart announced it was using fully autonomous trucks to get groceries from a distribution center to its supermarket in Bentonville, Arkansas, in. a move that will reduce costs and solve the current labor shortage affecting retail supply chains.

Drones are launched like a slingshot from the platform behind the Walmart location

Drones are launched like a slingshot from the platform behind the Walmart location

After receiving approval from the Arkansas State Highway Commission in December 2020, Gatik’s trucks began making deliveries on the ‘middle mile’ of the supply chain – between ‘dark stores’ , which were closed and turned into distribution centers, and operational supermarkets.

After accumulating 70,000 operational miles two months ago, he finally removed the drive wheels and the safety driver.

This is the first time that an autonomous trucking company has removed the human driver from a commercial delivery route on the middle mile anywhere in the world, according to a joint release from Walmart and Gatik.

The launch of the drone delivery service comes just 11 days after Walmart announced it was using fully autonomous trucks to get groceries from a distribution center to its supermarket in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The launch of the drone delivery service comes just 11 days after Walmart announced it was using fully autonomous trucks to get groceries from a distribution center to its supermarket in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Ward said in a statement released earlier this month that autonomous box trucks “offer an efficient, safe and sustainable solution for moving goods on repeatable routes between our stores.”

“We are excited to be working with Gatik to achieve this first milestone of the driverless industry in our home state of Arkansas and look forward to continuing to use this technology to serve Walmart customers with speed,” he said. -he adds.

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Pastors pray for St. Charles parish community after week of violence http://la-alborada.com/pastors-pray-for-st-charles-parish-community-after-week-of-violence/ Tue, 16 Nov 2021 04:10:42 +0000 http://la-alborada.com/pastors-pray-for-st-charles-parish-community-after-week-of-violence/

KILLONA, Louisiana (WGNO) – Using the power of prayer, spiritual leaders at St. Charles Parish advocate for peace.

“Our hope for this community is holistic healing, mind, body and spirit. This is what we want for this community, to be able to heal and come together again in a spirit of unity and peace, ”said Clarence Mollarie, president of the Second District Missionary Baptist Association of Louisiana Incorporated.

Several pastors gathered for a prayer service outside Scott’s convenience store in Killona, ​​where five people were gunned down last week. Darzil “Zelly” Washington, 29, was killed in the shooting.

“It was real, real, very hard. You know I have my days and my times, you know I have good days, I have bad days. You know, when I’m alone I normally break down, ”said Frederic Downing, Zelly’s father.

Violence in st. Charles Parish did not stop at Killona. Early Monday morning, Lionel Fiffie, 66, was shot and killed on Smith Street in Hahnville. The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Laron Toney Jr., 21, for the murder. However, the suspects behind the Washington murder are still at large.

“I’ve never seen that in my life. Not in this area here. I hope it can end somewhere, you know, but this generation is a whole different generation, you know? No respect for the elders. , no respect for anyone, ”Downing said.

Hoping to inspire positive change in the community, pastors have created a “circle of unity” in the very spot where Washington was killed. Holding hands and tilting their heads, the pastors prayed for those close to Washington and the parish community of St. Charles.

We contacted the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office regarding the recent violence in the area.
They provided us with this statement which reads in part:

“All violence is tragic. One of the number one goals of the men and women of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is to protect life. We do our best with every patrol mission, investigation and any other function within the sheriff’s office to fight crime. We implore our citizens, work together to turn violent situations into peaceful resolutions and bring violent criminals to justice. “

MPs are asking anyone with information about last week’s shooting in Killona to come forward and they say you can remain anonymous.

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AI customer service bots are heading to a store near you http://la-alborada.com/ai-customer-service-bots-are-heading-to-a-store-near-you/ http://la-alborada.com/ai-customer-service-bots-are-heading-to-a-store-near-you/#respond Thu, 11 Nov 2021 16:37:00 +0000 http://la-alborada.com/ai-customer-service-bots-are-heading-to-a-store-near-you/

I fly regularly with KLM from Minneapolis to New Delhi, and I always stop in Amsterdam. I am frequently in Minneapolis for research and this is my route home for a break from work. I have made the trip so many times that I know almost every Schiphol store inside out. However, once in the summer of 2019, predictability was shattered when I missed my connecting flight to New Delhi.

I was tired, hungry, sleepy, and the customer service counter was closed. I had a choice of either taking the long walk to customer service at the next door or using my iPhone, so I tried my phone.

I texted KLM’s WhatsApp number and went back and forth with an assistant on my choices. Within minutes, I was on the next flight, with the boarding pass on my phone. It wasn’t until later that I found out I was dealing with next-generation artificial intelligence – in an example from the new realm of conversational commerce.

If you haven’t met him yet, you will soon. Some supermarkets, for example, offer voice shopping services to customers. In the United States, Walmart shoppers can ask Google Assistant to add certain things to their virtual shopping carts and learn from their shopping habits.

Google has similar deals with two other supermarket giants – Target in the US and Carrefour in France – while Amazon offers voice shopping in the UK to Ocado online shoppers. Not to be outdone, Walmart recently bought chat room specialist Botmock to expand its services in this area.

There are already over a billion people interacting with businesses through text or voice chat tools. By 2021, conversational commerce is expected to represent total sales of US $ 41 billion (£ 30 billion) worldwide, and is expected to increase fivefold to nearly US $ 300 billion by 2025, including half thanks to chatbots. So how is this market evolving and what does this mean for our buying habits?

Fans of coffee and hyper-personal shopping

If conversational commerce still feels under the radar, one reason is that most of the growth has happened in China, Japan, and South Korea. All the same, it grows everywhere. If you’re talking to your girlfriend or boyfriend on Facebook and suddenly want to send them flowers, you don’t even need to interrupt the conversation. You click on 1-800-Flowers.com, a conversational AI tool built into Messenger, and explain what you want. You don’t even have to enter your card details if you’re using Apple, Samsung, or Google Pay.

Or maybe like me, you’re a fan of coffee. I used to stand in line for my morning latte, but not anymore. I just ordered from my couch from the chatbot on the My Starbucks Barista app, and my coffee is waiting for me when I reach my local store.

The AI ​​behind these advancements includes deep learning, sophisticated natural language processing, speech recognition, and cognitive computing – which is a machine thought system that emulates human thinking. But the biggest selling point – aside from ease, convenience, and shopping anywhere and anytime – is probably the potential to make a customer’s retail experience much more personal.

If it meets expectations, customers may soon be able to interact with an AI who understands what they want in detail. We are already seeing large retailers offering personalized products to attract customers – for example Nike and Adidas allowing people to design their own sneakers.

But by using sophisticated AI, personalization can be taken to a whole new level. Customers will receive personalized recommendations in their own language, easing the burden of choice and making the experience as enjoyable as possible. As a result, they might spend more money – not because they’re being manipulated, but because they almost feel like they’re buying from a friend.

During this time, companies will gain new insight into the buying behavior of people. Yes, this raises privacy issues, but it will also help businesses refine their offering. This should reduce returns and increase sales.

Where it goes

Conversational Commerce reminds me of the 2013 movie Her, set in the near future where Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with Samantha (Scarlet Johannson), an AI-based virtual assistant. The relationship ends up becoming unworkable when it appears that Samantha simultaneously has intimate friendships with thousands of men. She then combines with other AIs to perform an upgrade that causes them to opt out of human interaction.

We might be a long way from falling in love with chatbots, but there are clearly some ethical issues here. Technology must not harm humans or pose a threat to their dignity. For example, Microsoft recently restricted its voice mimicry technology because it makes it easier to create fake videos in depth.

Another problem is employment. Automation is clearly a threat to the workforce, and conversational commerce may well be one of them. But unfortunately, companies won’t pay as much for support staff if AI can do the job at least as well. One consolation is that AI as a whole could create more jobs than it destroys. For example, the World Economic Forum predicted in 2018 that net new jobs created by AI would be 58 million by 2022.