Generative AI risks, Sustainability in retail, and Automated stores - Weekly Snacks #71

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FUNdemental textbooks. Kraft Heinz is addressing parents' concerns about their children's return to school after summer by launching FUNdamental Textbooks, which infuse playfulness and excitement into learning through engaging lessons tied to their popular brands like Jell-O and Kraft Mac & Cheese. Parents can claim these books for free on the website, and for each book claimed, Kraft Heinz will donate $10 to the nonprofit organization First Book, aiming to provide quality education to children in need. 

Sustainability in retail. Yeti is focusing on sustainability and it’s doing it in a great way. The American outdoor product manufacturer has released a collection of posters highlighting the eco-friendly advantages of its durable products. In its latest campaign emphasizing the durability of its products, Yeti suggests that while a smiley face plastic bag is a classic 'to-go bag,' a Yeti tote should be the preferred 'go-to bag.' This not only offers durability but also provides an added environmental benefit by reducing the use of single-use and disposable items.

Retail technology

Skin diagnostics with AI. Elemis, a luxury skin wellness brand, has teamed up with Perfect Corp. to offer customers an AI-driven skin diagnostic experience. Through a mobile-based tool, users can answer questions about their skin concerns and utilize Perfect Corp.'s AI technology to scan their skin, receiving product recommendations for various issues like wrinkles, redness, dark spots, oiliness, pores, texture, and firmness. While currently available in the U.S. and the U.K., the service is set to expand internationally in the near future.

Automated campus c-stores. Grubhub and Amazon have introduced a frictionless convenience store using Just-Walk-Out technology at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. Students can enter the store by scanning a QR code within Grubhub's app, select their items, and exit, with charges automatically applied to their meal plan or preferred payment method stored in the app. This initiative reflects the growing trend of autonomous convenience stores on campuses, providing students with a fast and convenient shopping experience.

Expert knowledge

Post-purchase experience. What can retailers do to engage with customers post-purchase to drive loyalty over the long term? What is the most effective post-purchase engagement strategy you have seen? These are the questions that retail experts answered in one of Retail Wire’s discussions. Here’s what Bob Amster mentioned: 

Drone delivery. How confident are you that drone delivery will be sustainable and soon scale nationwide? Do you see cost-effectiveness, consumer acceptance, safety, or another issue as the largest hurdle? Various retail experts shared their opinions on this topic from Retail Wire. Here’s what Mark Ryski mentioned: 

In other news…

Generative AI risks. Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is being widely adopted for various business applications, with a surge in interest since the introduction of ChatGPT in November 2022. However, it comes with significant deployment risks, including data leakage, intellectual property theft, and system hijacks, especially when fine-tuning the models with sensitive organizational data. Organizations are advised to carefully assess and mitigate these risks, monitor deployments, establish policies, and consider private AI models as a precautionary approach until effective risk-mitigation tools and policies are in place.

Secondhand shopping. An OfferUp and GlobalData survey of 1,500 consumers revealed that 85% of respondents bought and/or sold used items in the past year, with 27% starting to buy secondhand goods during that time. The stigma associated with secondhand shopping has eased for 76% of respondents, with reasons including affordability (57%), changing attitudes about waste (55%), and increased availability of used items (54%). Additionally, 75% of respondents found resale shopping equally or more convenient and accessible than traditional online shopping, driven by factors like lower prices (70%), unique item variety (47%), and the thrill of finding unexpected treasures (37%).


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