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Get Ready for A Foldable Microsoft Surface…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By January 22, 2019No Comments


(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

 1 — Microsoft is preparing for foldable Windows devices.

Microsoft is in the process of adapting Windows to work on foldable devices and plans to make big investments in both these devices and dual-screen hardware for both Windows and Surface. The company will adapt Windows as well as its many built-in apps to work across foldable displays and devices with dual screens. PC makers had developed a range of 2-in-1 devices for Windows 8 more than 5 years ago, so there will undoubtedly be a similar effort for dual-screen and foldable devices for Windows in the near future. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

The next big thing in hardware will be foldable devices and Microsoft – as well as other tech leaders from Samsung to Dell – are working on phones, tablets and even laptops that will one day in the near future be able to fold up into a much smaller gadget. Foldable devices will change the way offices look, hotel rooms are designed and what you and your employees will take on the road. The impact for you? Prepare to replace your company’s current hardware with these things – it’s going to happen sooner than you think and everyone’s going to want one.

2 — Bloomingdale’s updates the in-store beauty experience with technology, cross-selling experiences and events.

After two years of planning, the Manhattan Bloomingdale’s this week unveiled its updated cosmetics department, which has 75 additional beauty brands and 1,100 extra square feet of retail space. In addition, the update extends throughout the flagship store to encourage cross-department shopping. For example, Glowhaus, Bloomingdale’s millennial-focused makeup destination, will now be on the second floor alongside women’s clothing. Another store update includes Tom Ford Beauty introducing high-tech mirrors in the store to record beauty consultations with sales associates for emailing to customers with product recommendations. (Source: Glossy Daily)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re in retail then play close attention to how Bloomingdale’s is combining design with tech to create a better customer experience. If it’s popular – and I imagine it will be – then customers will be expecting to have a similar experience in your store as well.  Ignore at your peril.

3 — Doddle launches in US, pushing click-and-collect forward for American retail.

In order to bridge the gap between offline and online retail experiences, UK-based Doddle launched a click-and-collect platform in the U.S. this week. The company says 70% of US shoppers have leveraged click-and-collect options in the last 6 months, so it will help major retail partners such as Amazon create smoother buying experiences for customers who want to take advantage of this type of ordering while avoiding the delivery process. (Source: Street Fight Daily)

Why this is important for your business:

Doddle has been very popular in the U.K. because its parcel store network has provided a convenient way for their retail customers to send and receive parcels. Street Fight advises, “the move is not just significant for digital-first retailers in need of brick-and-mortar bases for customers averse to an online-only experience. It also benefits traditional retailers and digital-first retailers with growing brick-and-mortar operations.”

4 — Study: 73% of consumers want self-service technology.

A recent survey by IoT and mobile device management firm SOTI shows that approximately 73% of 526 shoppers surveyed prefer retail self-service technologies such as self-checkout over engaging with store associates—a 10.6% increase from last year. In addition, about three-quarters of respondents said retailers that use mobile technology—both self-service mobile tools and mobile tools used by sales associates—help provide a faster shopping experience, which is a huge (67%) increase from last year.  (Source: Retail Dive)

Why this is important for your business:

The takeaway is this: even though people say they care about the fate of workers replaced by machinery in reality they really don’t care as much just as long as they can get in and out of store as fast as possible. More and more retailers are succeeding with self-service technology and that trend is only going to increase over the next few years.

5 — Chrome to take ad blocking worldwide in July.

In July 2019, Google plans to expand Chrome’s ad-blocking technology worldwide, after offering it for almost a year in North America and Europe. The company’s senior product director of Chrome says that the browser will ‘filter’ online ads and stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly display ‘disruptive ads’. In addition, Chrome will delete all ads from sites that displayed advertisements identified as the most annoying on the web. (Source: Computer World)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s important if you’re advertising your products overseas and…well…your ads are annoying.  Up until now you could get away with it as long as you weren’t advertising in North America and Europe. But now your ads in other countries may be blocked. It’s worth a re-visit.

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