x5: Shopping Comes to Instagram and H&M Launches Online Store in Canada

November 7, 2016 Eric Mercer



Shopping comes to Instagram

According to a blog post on Instagram’s website, it will be launching a shopping feature in the US. The test will initially include 20 US-based retailers, such as Kate Spade, JackThreads, and Warby Parker, and will be used by a limited number of consumers in the US, which will be used as a test for additional rollouts in the future.

Why This Matters

It has been common knowledge for a long time that brands, big and small, use Instagram as a major channel for showcasing products and driving sales. What started out as a product discovery platform (though not intended to be one), is now shifting to offer a full-on sales platform. Instagram notes that consumers use the app to discover products, however “the vast majority of purchases take a day or longer, with only 21% of purchases made within a day”. With its new features, consumers will be able to see a description of the product, like in this video demo, and then be taken directly to the product page for purchase if they so choose. This is big news for the world of eCommerce!


Tesla’s new solar roof tiles are here

The announcement was made last week as press and invitees gathered around houses fitted with the different type of roofing tiles. The tiles will come in four options: Textured Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile and Smooth Glass Tile. The plan is to have these tiles feeding solar power into the Powerwall 2.0. Tesla roofing could become available as early as next summer.

Why This Matters

Tesla plans on having these tiles cost less than standard roofing. They look really good and provide enough power to keep a home off the grid. All of this said,  installing the new Tesla roof could not only pay for itself in energy savings, it could also greatly improve the value of your home. If all goes according to plan, Tesla will (once again) completely revolutionize how we use energy. Finally, we have solar panels that look good and can actually compete with traditional energy sources.


Budweiser completes the first self-driving truck delivery

After teaming up with Uber-owned Otto and the state of Colorado, Budweiser has made the world’s first truck delivery using a self-driving vehicle. The trip was 200km and took place in Colorado. There was a truck driver on-board to monitor the trip.

Why This Matters

As we’ve seen in the news this year, the race to autonomous vehicle domination is on. Uber had set its sights on autonomous cabs, while Tesla had expressed interest in expanding to public transit and long-haul shipping. With it’s recent acquisition of Otto, Uber has broadened its position and has beaten Tesla to the punch. This trip may have been a test, and had to get the state government involved, but it could very quickly become the norm. The massive shift in the transportation industry  could be just around the corner.  


H&M launches online store in Canada

For a limited time, H&M will be offering steep discounts and free shipping anywhere in Canada in celebration of launching its online store in Canada. This also opens up H&M Home and H&M Beauty, two segments of its product offering rarely found in stores across Canada.

Why This Matters

H&M has a fast-growing competitor from Japan that is expanding into new markets – Uniqlo. Last month, Uniqlo opened two stores in Toronto, which have been packed on a daily basis ever since. Given that these stores have similar target consumers, some might say that H&M’s decision to time its Canadian online store debut just after these store openings was a move to improve customer loyalty.


Ford to partner with BlackBerry

The deal is centred on 2 of BlackBerry’s subsidiaries – QNX, a car-based operating system developer, and Certicom, a data securities product developer. Ford’s Sync 3 in-car operating system already runs on QNX technology, which is also used by several other large auto manufacturers. The deal aims to improve the connectivity and data security of Ford vehicles.

Why This Matters

BlackBerry has gotten a wave of negative press in the last few years. Although they have been left behind in smartphone marketing, they still offer many best-in-class services when it comes to data security and development. This partnership will help Ford stay in the race towards the connected and autonomous vehicle, which we are seeing so many large auto manufacturers investing in.


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