Another CES is in the books. You will probably read, hear and see a lot of CES recaps covering a broad array of techy topics from this year’s show. There were rotating TVs, flying taxis, pillows that help stop snoring, tons of health tech, AI in everything, robots that love you, foldable screens, the launch of 5G and much, much more. But if you want to learn more about CES and Omni-channel Commerce, you have come to the right place. Welcome to TPN’s CES 2020 Overview, brought to you by our digital consultancy, the Velocity Commerce Group!
The world of commerce is digital and physical, and technology is supporting both environments while bringing them closer together.
In past years, Amazon Alexa made its way into a lot of different products, but Amazon had never really put the use cases all together for us. This year they did. At the Sands Expo Center, Amazon was the first major exhibitor patrons encountered as they entered from the Venetian. As we entered the hall, the first thing we noticed was a wall of partner logos. You got the idea from the very moment that you entered the hall that Alexa partnerships would be the pulse of the hall, and they were. More than 100 partner logos lined the walls as we entered the hall. In the hall were the aforementioned use cases, highlighted in the form of general personas:
1. The Work From Home Employee
2. The Busy Parent
3. The Entertainment Enthusiast
4. The Home Chef
Each special section of the hall showcased the partnerships that Amazon has in place where they could proudly pronounce “Alexa Built-In” on a variety of products that helped bring each persona to life. Connected printers, washers & dryers, beds, refrigerators, clocks, media systems and Instapots all were appropriate for Alexa integration. There was even a Cadillac and a Lamborghini! In any case, Amazon was sure to show us that these integrations are continuing and telling complete stories.
Additionally, Amazon featured Amazon Auto at the Las Vegas Convention Center, highlighting the expansion of Alexa Auto internationally this month and highlighting new ways to use Alexa Auto in the US, like paying for gas at Exxon and Mobil.
Send me the goods (securely)
Now that E-commerce has reached critical mass and continues to grow across categories, the scourge of the porch pirate has become all too common. Luckily technology is there to help in various forms. One of note was the Yale Smart Delivery Box.
The Smart Delivery Box, which can hold mail as well as small packages, aims to provide a secure way for carriers to deliver items to homes and deter mail thieves. At a base price of $229, the box isn’t designed for bulky items consumers order but is useful none-the-less. The $50 Wi-Fi bridge is an important add-on—it lets the box be opened remotely, so a delivery person can put the package inside.
Additionally, in the IoTLock we found an interesting use of blockchain that supports existing lockbox-type devices.
IoTLock is a software system and mobile decentralized application that can turn any keypad-enabled device into a blockchain-secured container with just a few pieces of hardware. With this technology, users can manage their locked devices, monitor multiple devices, and share or revoke access—all without third-party providers collecting any data.
The solution works with mailboxes, delivery boxes, and safes, into blockchain-secured smart devices.
Connected Commerce Powered By Evolving Technology (all of it)
It seems all newer technologies, from AI to Robots to IOT to 5G, have a significant commerce components, and while the promise has been there for years, CES 2020 showed us that the future in this regard is here today.
These technologies combine to enhance commerce capabilities ranging from connected devices to complex uses of AI at retail. We’ve heard of printers that reorder ink, and now toothbrushes can connect you to your dentist. Alexa can pay for gas and smart appliances can facilitate your grocery shopping faster than ever.
Additionally, as retailer media has grown over the past few years, we have come to realize that retail environments (digital and physical) are essential media environments because the buy happens in those places. Now the buy really is happening through our home products and automobiles as well as frictionlessly without us even noticing. Now is the time to start thinking about pervasive retail and non-owned retail environments.
AI is making buying decisions for you, and everything in your home, car and office is a storefront. Welcome to the new decade of retail.