Apple To Ship Your Orders From Its Stores To Ensure Day-After Delivery

KEY POINTS

  • Apple has around 300 retail stores in the United States and Canada
  • Apple’s operations team will decide where the order will be shipped from
  • The company is expected to announce new products Tuesday

Apple expects to deliver its products a day after receiving orders by shipping them directly from its network of about 300 retail stores across the United States and Canada, finding new ways to utilize its stores amid restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apple informed its staff that customers who live within 100 miles of an Apple store will benefit from this strategy, Bloomberg reported.

The tech giant usually ships iPhones, iPads, Macs and other products from its warehouses or directly from China. Apple will use the United Parcel Service in Canada and FedEx in the United States to ship products faster.

This will not be an optional service and customers will not be aware when it happens. Apple’s operations team will decide which item will be shipped in what way.

Apple tested this system in July in some stores after they started reopening following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is pondering whether to turn some of its retail stores that remain shut, into online support and call centers. Some retail employees are already working as online support staff for the company, according to the report.

Apple is expected to launch a slew of new products including four new iPhones with 5G compatibility, a new iPad Air, new products in its audio range, and the first Macs with Apple’s own processors at its annual event on Tuesday. Apple will also unveil widely anticipated iPhone 12 models tuned to super-fast new 5G telecom networks in an update considered vital to the company’s fortunes. Some of Apple’s rivals have already launched 5G models.

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Apple is starting to ship devices directly from its stores

Apple is shifting how it ships devices to consumers: instead of sending out all of its hardware products directly from China or from local warehouses, the company is now going to use its network of Apple Stores as de-facto fulfillment centers, shipping products directly from the stores to get to customers faster.



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The change, Bloomberg reports, will use Apple’s nearly 300 stores in the US and Canada to speed up local delivery for customers within 100 miles of a store. The company has already apparently started using the new system with several stores earlier this year, but the broader rollout is coming just ahead of Apple’s upcoming iPhone launch next week (which is already taking place later than usual).

The shift is largely an internal one, according to Bloomberg — so customers won’t be able to choose the store from which their devices ship. But using retail stores to facilitate faster shipping to customers could help get new iPhones in people’s hands that much faster, especially at a time when those stores are seeing far less in-person traffic (or are closed altogether) due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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UneeQ’s Digital Humans Bring 5G to Life with Singtel’s UNBOXED Pop-Up Stores

Asia’s leading telecommunications group employs Stella, UneeQ’s conversational AI-powered digital human employee, to revolutionize the future of the contactless retail experience

UneeQ, a United States and New Zealand-based digital human company, announces their latest success with major multinational telecommunications conglomerate, Singtel, to launch digital human employee, Stella. Designed to provide a more personalized, contact-free retail experience, Stella serves as Singtel’s state-of-the-art 5G virtual retail assistant across its new unmanned UNBOXED pop-up stores.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201007005855/en/

Meet Stella, Singtel’s newest digital human employee from UneeQ. Designed to provide a more personalized, contact-free retail experience, Stella serves as Singtel’s state-of-the-art 5G virtual retail assistant across its new unmanned UNBOXED pop-up stores. (Photo: Business Wire)

Through advanced artificial intelligence, natural language processing, a friendly tone of voice, human-like facial expressions, and body language, Stella engages and assists customers through a wide array of retail and account management transactions. Whether customers are navigating which mobile phone plan is right for them or purchasing a new device, Stella is available via the UNBOXED store’s interactive self-serve kiosks, 24 hours a day.

The integration of digital shopping kiosks paired with digital human employees like Stella are driving contactless shopping innovation without giving up the meaningful conversations and personalized experiences that consumers encounter in a traditional retail setting.

“UneeQ is excited to be part of a retail transformation strategy where we’ve combined the potential of 5G and artificial intelligence to create a game changer in customer self-service,” said Danny Tomsett, CEO and Founder of UneeQ. “The world is experiencing rapid change and the need for engaging self-service experiences has become a critical need. Singtel has demonstrated world-leading vision and execution combining brand experience and convenient customer service. We believe this to be the future of retail.”

Stella

Tally The Cute Shelf-Scanning Robot Is Coming To More Grocery Stores

When you shop at a Schnucks grocery store, you may share the aisle with Tally the shelf-scanning robot. Made by Simbe Robotics, Tally is autonomous and scans shelves for inventory to make restocking easier. Schnucks is expanding its use of the robot to 62 locations, which will allow Tally to scan more than 4.2 million products every day.

“The real-time data Tally collects helps retailers like Schnucks ensure shelves are stocked, prices are correct, and the products customers are looking for are where they expect them to be. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Tally has been crucial to Schnucks’ success. Tally has been able to keep track of inventory and replenishment, while simultaneously minimizing the amount of time workers need to spend in the aisles, keeping customers happy and workers safe,” Brad Bogolea, co-founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics, said.

Tally removes the mundane, often-dreaded task of manual inventory checking. It frees up 30 to 100 hours per week for teams to put down their pens and clipboards and focus on more important jobs, such as helping customers and keeping the store clean.

By using Tally, Schnucks has seen a 20% reduction in items being out of stock, and the robot’s inventory counts are on average 14 times more accurate than manual audits. Over the next two years, Simbe plans to roll out an additional 1,000 Tally robots to the retail industry.

“Since Simbe’s founding, we have approached Tally’s design with thoughtfulness to foster positive, valuable human-robot interaction for both retailers and shoppers. Tally operates alongside customers during regular business hours, so we have designed the robot to be keenly aware of its surroundings – and gave it great manners – always giving people the right of way and

Google delays mandating Play Store’s 30% cut in India to April 2022

Google is postponing the enforcement of its new Play Store billing policy in India to April 2022, days after more than 150 startups in the world’s second largest internet market forged an informal coalition to express concerns over the 30% charge the Android-maker plans to mandate and started to explore an alternative store for their apps.

The company, which is going live globally with the new Play Store rule in September 2021, is deferring the enforcement of the policy only in India, it said. It is also listening to developers and willing to engage to allay their concerns, it said.

Last week, Google said it would no longer allow any apps to circumvent its payment system within the Play Store. The move, pitched by Google as a “clarification” of its existing policy, would allow the company to ensure it gets as high as a 30% cut on in-app purchases made through Android apps operating in a range of a categories.

Google’s announcement today is a direct response to the biggest scrutiny it has received in a decade in India — its biggest market by users but also a place where, compared to Western markets, it generates little revenue. More than 150 startups in India last week formed an informal coalition to fight the company’s strong hold on Indian app ecosystem. Google commands 99% of the smartphone market in India, according to research firm Counterpoint.

Among the startups that have expressed concerns over Google’s new policy are Paytm, India’s most valuable startup, payments processor Razorpay, fantasy sports firm Dream11, social network ShareChat, and business e-commerce IndiaMART.

More than 50 Indian executives relayed these concerns to India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology over a video call on Saturday, according to three people who attended the call.

Several businesses in India have