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This week's top 5 cultural insights and e-commerce trends: 17 May 2019.

Business · 4 min read

AOB: 17 May 2019

This week, AOB bring you the latest on a drone-delivery first for DHL Express, fast-food delivery services, the Chinese mobile brand that's taking over the African market, and much more. Read on to keep your business in the loop with the most recent e-commerce trends.

DHL Express: Ready for Lift-Off

In its quest to overcome the complex challenges of urban delivery in China, DHL Express has partnered with EHang to launch the nation’s first fully-automated smart drone delivery service. Reducing one-way delivery time from DHL Express’ service center in Liaobu from around 40 minutes to just 8 – and cutting costs by up to 80% – the Falcon drone also reduces energy consumption, and the carbon footprint of each delivery. Wu Dongming, CEO of DHL Express China said “We are delighted to be partnering with EHang to set a new innovation milestone with this new fully-automated and intelligent drone logistics solution, which combines the strength of the world’s largest international express company together with one of the leading UAV companies in the world.”

Marking a new milestone in both companies’ efforts to bring innovative and intelligent solutions with greater automation to the market, this is just the beginning for drone delivery – with plans afoot to create a second generation of drones in the near future that will further improve capacity and range in drone-operated express delivery. For more on DHL's innovation in drone delivery, head to our lowdown on DHL's Parcelcopter.

Burger King takes delivery to a new level

Burger King continues to rule when it comes to fast-food innovation. The restaurant has begun a new venture in Mexico City which allows peckish commuters who are stuck in traffic to order food straight to their stationary vehicle. But how is that possible, you ask? Well, with the unpredictability and volume of traffic in the capital, Burger King has tapped into real-time traffic data to determine lengthily congested areas in the city. The chain then uses digital billboards to catch consumers’ attention, and make them aware of this new fast solution to an empty stomach. 

It’s not the only on-road ordering update though. Following closely behind Burger King, Domino's has launched an in-vehicle version of its mobile app – in partnership with Xevo Inc. – which enables people to order without picking up their device. The e-commerce platform Xevo Market is now loaded in most GM vehicles, and includes new app capabilities which mean customers can use their onboard screens to locate their nearest store, order from it, and get notified when it’s ready to collect. Hot stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree. To keep up with all of the latest trends, and make sure you’re up to date with how your business can benefit from them, head to our monthly trend report.

Smart-homes for silver surfers

US based communications agency, Cox Communications, has launched the Cox Connected Independence smart-home – with the aim of providing affordable assistance to elderly residence. This tech-heavy house features a fork designed to monitor eating habits, an automated pill dispenser, and a slow cooker controllable via an app which not only improves quality of life for the resident, but also gives carers peace of mind – without the pressure of needing to turn to assisted living facilities.

Anthony Pope, Senior Vice President and Region Manager of Cox Communications, says “Almost 90 percent of adults over the age of 65 say they prefer growing old in their home, according to AARP studies”. One of the companies that are making life easier for savvy seniors, AARP are keeping them connected by creating the largest – and most influential platform – for the senior sector in America. With the cost of homemaker services in the US increasing by 24% in 2017, and more growth on the horizon, it's a move that looks likely to pay off. If you’re looking for inspiration in connecting to new customers using new technology, check out our article, Connecting the Unconnected.

Itel mobile: providing affordable tech to young africans

It is predicted that the number of unique mobile users in Africa will increase from 444 million in 2017 to 634 million in 2025. With this anticipated boom, China’s Transsion Holdings are getting ahead in the m-commerce game – creating the biggest feature phone brand across Africa, itel MobileSurpassing western rivals in the race to win over this huge consumer base, itel’s recently-released P33 features ultra-long, 100-hour power battery life, a 3-SIM capability, and innovative FullScreen interface that has an 8MP camera, face-recognition and a fingerprint sensor. 

Catering to the differing demands of both urban and rural customers across the continent, one common need across the continent is affordability – with recent reports suggesting that 82% of African workers are working poor, and over 70% of Africa’s youth live on less than US$2 per day. Mark Walker, Vice President of IDC South Africa, says that Chinese brands like itel are successfully winning over the African market as they have focused on affordability, without compromising on quality. To learn more on mobile commerce and how it can help your business to grow, read through our free guide here.

Nike taking user experience to new measures with AR

Nike are aiming to find consumers the perfect fit, with a brand new augmented reality feature which measures users’ shoe sizes. This feature will help buyers save time and effort, as they will no longer need to make the trip to the store to try the shoes on. The app provides an accurate measurement of the shape, size and volume of their feet, then matches these results with previous purchase data to ensure a more accurate result. 

Not only is this more convenient, the app could also help prevent medical consequences of wearing the incorrect show size – particularly prevalent as, according to Nike, over 60% of people wear the wrong shoe size. Although some may not recognize it, augmented reality is already a big part of our everyday lives. To find out more about how it can be used as a tool to grow your business, head to our guide to AR.

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