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Zendesk Buys Cleverly for AI-Driven Customer Service

Customer support is emerging as a primary use case for artificial intelligence, sometimes to replace human agents but more often to help them.  Zendesk just bought AI startup Cleverly for that application.  We also just saw Level AI launch its own AI-based conversational support app with $15 million in funding. Next door in the customer success department, involve.ai just raised a $16 million Series A for AI to predict customer churn.

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CDPs Are Top MarTech Priority for Retail: CommerceNext Survey

August 27, 2021

Customer Data Platforms are the highest technology investment priority for traditional retail marketers, listed in the top 3 by 78% in this CommerceNext survey for Yotpo.  Digital-first retailers, who struggle less with tech in general, rated attribution, messaging, and new ecommerce models ahead of CDP.  The survey also covers business goals, privacy compliance, and other non-CDP topics if you have other interests.

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Walmart Offers Delivery Service and DSP

August 27, 2021

Walmart has opened two more fronts in its siege of Amazon’s walled garden. They announced a program to provide home delivery for other retailers, leveraging the infrastructure they developed for their own use. The deal adds scale economies and strengthens Amazon competitors. Walmart also teamed with The Trade Desk to provide a demand side platform (DSP) that makes it easier to target ads at Walmart customers via in-store, Walmart digital properties, and third party publishers. One big advantage: advertisers can look at Walmart sales to measure ad results.

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Independent Grocer Is First to Deploy Amazon Just Walk Out Technology

December 7, 2022

Here’s a retail story that doesn’t involve a media network – but don’t worry, it does feature Amazon, AI, and Kansas City.  Independent retailer Community Groceries will be the first non-Amazon company to deploy the Amazon One entry gate and Amazon’s Just Walk Out checkout technology.  Amazon One grants entry after reading your palm or credit card, while Just Walk Out tracks what customers put in their cart and charges for it.  O brave new world.

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