Delivering Amazon Packages to the Top of the World

Excerpt from this article: (a good weekend read, lots of neat interactive videos and great photos)

Perched high in the Himalayas, near India’s border with China, the tiny town of Leh sometimes seems as if it has been left behind by modern technology. Internet and cellphone service is spotty, the two roads to the outside world are snowed in every winter, and Buddhist monasteries compete with military outposts for prime mountaintop locations.

But early each morning, the convenience of the digital age arrives, by way of a plane carrying 15 to 20 bags of packages from Amazon. At an elevation of 11,562 feet, Leh is the highest spot in the world where the company offers speedy delivery.

The couriers must follow exacting standards set by Amazon, from wearing closed-toe shoes and being neatly groomed to displaying their ID cards and carrying a fully charged cellphone.

Mr. Rangdol said that in addition to delivering packages and managing the delivery warehouse, he taught people how to order on Amazon.

“Before I joined Amazon, my friends called me Eshay,” he said. “Now they call me Amazon.”

Working with the company is certainly better than his previous job leading tourists on long treks up cold mountains — although he still has to do a bit of climbing with a heavy pack.

How Amazon’s Bookstore Soothes Our Anxieties About Technology

Amazon’s new bricks-and-mortar bookstore, in Seattle’s University Village, lets customers experience the tension between front-of-house and back-of-house as a kind of pleasure.

Excerpt from this article:

The first thing Amazon did to the building that would become its first bricks-and-mortar bookstore was add bricks and mortar. The store, located in Seattle’s University Village shopping mall, opened in early November…

If Amazon’s intention had been a miniature masquerade, to pose as the kind of downtown community bookstore that it (like Barnes & Noble before it) is conventionally said to have displaced, then plenty of actual neighborhood storefronts were available in Seattle. A wave of smaller online retailers—especially clothiers and accessories-makers like Bonobos, Frank & Oak, and Warby Parker, for whom in-person trying-on is a thing—has done just that, recently opening bricks-and-mortar storefronts in urban downtowns from New York to San Francisco. Amazon’s decision to occupy a pseudo-neighborhood pseudo-storefront is, intentionally or inadvertently, more interesting.

…Suspended somewhere between a tangible (albeit exquisitely staged) reality of paper and wood, and a perceptible (albeit artfully obscured) reality of pipes and machinery, the bookstore customer is able to experience a curated version of the ethical and visceral tension between front-of-house and back-of-house—between the sleek one-click seamlessness of the screen and the unceasing labor of the fulfillment center—as a kind of pleasure. In our global moment of high-tech fabrication and doorstep delivery, we are gradually becoming more aware of distant factories and warehouses, from urban China to exurban America, and of the dispossessed lives of the faraway people who make and move our possessions. Can it be a coincidence that this awareness parallels the emergence of an aesthetic that seems, somehow, to remind us of warehouses and factories—but, with all that burnished wood and polished metal, of warehouses and factories at rest, from another time, at their most impossibly beautiful?

Introduction to Continuous Commerce™

Excerpt from this article:

E-commerce is a huge prize. It is the biggest growth business in all of marketing, now at $1 trillion globally and growing at 17%. According to Price Waterhouse, more is spent on e-commerce than on all other digital channels combined. But it is not an easy game for marketers to play and win.

The future of digital commerce is more than just a shopping cart on a website, it means seamlessly integrating a brand’s shopping experiences across multiple environments throughout a consumer’s lifetime to continually optimize points for purchase.

We call this Continuous Commerce™. Don’t begin and end at the transaction. Commerce today is continuous.

App Analyzes Selfies To Provide The Perfect Bra Fit

App Analyzes Selfies To Provide The Perfect Bra Fit

Excerpt from this article:

By empowering women to find the bras that best fit them from the comfort of their own home, ThirdLove is revolutionizing the e-Commerce industry by making product design, production, and retail significantly more efficient for producers and simple for consumers. Quick and impressively accurate, the ThirdLove mobile app uses advanced image recognition technology that uses computer vision and image recognition algorithms to understand womens’ body size in relation to the photos taken from their smartphones.