Welcome to this week’s round-up where we take a look at Amazon launching food and drink in Mexico, a new ad-supported video service for Fire TV owners, Alibaba extending its healthcare capabilities and more!
Amazon to launch food and drink sales in Mexico
It has been announced that Amazon is to begin selling food and drink items online in Mexico. It is clear that Amazon views food and drink as a key area for growth with Amazon Fresh and also its acquisition of Whole Foods Market. Amazon will begin selling a range of food and drink products in Mexico including coffee, tea, beers, wines and spirits as well as cooking ingredients and non-perishable snacks and sweets. This move by Amazon is likely to stoke up the competition with Walmart de Mexico in a relatively new and emerging market. Amazon Mexico’s senior product manager, Fernando Ramirez has said: “we’re committed to offering our clients as many products as we can.”
Amazon planning video service for Fire TV owners
There have been rumours surrounding Amazon recently regarding a new free, ad-supported video service specifically for its Fire TV customers. It is mentioned that this potential new service will be very close to the Roku Channel, which is an ad-supported free video service for Roku streaming devices and smart TVs. It is likely that this potential new service for Fire TV customers will have a random mix of older catalogue content but will be free to stream and is seen as an add-on to Prime Video and not necessarily an alternative. Free Dive, as the service is rumoured to be called would help Amazon to gain even more of the TV ad market. It is estimated that Amazon has around 48 million customers who own a Fire TV device, either an HDMI stick, a 4K HDMI dongle or the new Alexa-enable Fire Cube.
More Alexa Blueprints rolled out
Amazon has expanded its Alexa Blueprints to include new templates designed for families and roommates. Alexa Blueprints was launched earlier this year and allows Alexa device owners to create their own custom skills using preconfigured templates. The new templates include chore charts and house rules to help settle arguments or debates. The new Chore Chart template will allow families to schedule and track children’s weekly chores, keep a tally of who has done the most chores in a week and also keep a track of whose turn it is to do the dishes. Amazon said earlier this year that the adoption of Alexa Skill Blueprints had been higher than expected. The number of customisable skills with the latest templates is now 41.
Alibaba extends its healthcare capabilities
Alibaba has announced that it is extending its healthcare capabilities in China to help support the country’s primary care system and use its reach to solve resource inequality between regions. As part of the extension, Alibaba is rolling out a 24-hour medicine delivery service as well as online medical consultations. The health service will sit on Alibaba’s Taobao Marketplace platform and users can search for advice or medication. When searching for ‘jiyongyao’ (‘need medicine urgently’ in Mandarin) users will be taken to a medical landing page ‘with options to buy over-the-counter medicine or to access medical advice’. Any orders placed ‘will arrive within 30 minutes during the day and an hour if ordered at night.‘ This move by Alibaba isn’t surprising given the recent acquisition of PillPack by Amazon and Tencent’s merger with health network startup Trusted Doctors.
Amazon named UK’s most reputable retailer
In a recent study by Reputation Institute, Amazon has come out as the UK’s most reputable retailer. The online retailer was ranked top for products and service, innovations and leadership and performance. Amazon’s score increased significantly over last year, however, it risks losing this status over allegations of work conditions and the recent furore over tax. Chief reputation officer at Reputation Institute, Stephen Hahn-Griffiths has said: “Amazon’s combination of selection, value, personalisation, and no hassle customer service is a winning formula.” Others making up the top 5 in the UK are Boots, John Lewis, Co-op and Ikea with eBay ranked number 10 for most reputable.
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