The Pulse: 5 Consumer Innovations You Should Know About

Lemon slices

By Tricia McKinnon

The pace of change continues to increase at such a fast rate it can be hard to keep up.  Here are five examples of innovations that are designed to make your life easier.

1. Last year Walmart started testing an in-home delivery service in partnership with August.  Customers that have an August smart home lock and security cameras can have their Walmart online purchases delivered inside of their home while they are away. Groceries can even be put away in the customer’s fridge if desired.  The customer receives a notification that a delivery has arrived then can watch via August home security cameras while the package is delivered and the delivery person leaves.

2. Adidas plans to make 100,000 shoes in 2018 using a 3D printed sole. The shoe is known as the Futurecraft 4D. It is the company’s first attempt to mass produce a sole using 3D printing.  Part of Adidas’ goal is to respond quicker to changing market trends and be able to create more customized products including a shoe that perfectly fits a customer’s weight, gait and target use.

3. In 2017 Wayfair launched visual search. With visual search customers can upload a photo of a piece of furniture to Wayfair’s website then Wayfair’s database is searched to see if a similar product exists which is then shown to the customer.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words it can be easier to search visually than trying to figure out the right words to describe the product a customer is looking for.

4. Amazon launched Prime Wardrobe a “try before you buy” service last summer.  Customers can order items, receive them and then try on up to ten items at home before purchasing anything.  Customers can then schedule a pick up for the items they do not want, for free, of course.

5. Recently Kroger expanded its Scan, Bag, Go service.  Using either a wireless scanner or the Shop, Bag and Go app customers can scan items while they shop. When the customer has finished shopping they can pay at the check-out or using the Scan, Bag, Go mobile phone app. After showing proof of payment customers can leave with their groceries.


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Tricia McKinnon