Amazon's Australian Launch Brings Excitement, Dread and Defiance (The New York Times)
"Amazon quietly began operations in Australia on Tuesday, the start of what could be a monolithic shake-up of that country’s retail market. But users were generally underwhelmed, with customers pointing out lackluster product offerings and uncompetitive pricing."
Swarovski Launches AR App Experience at Holiday Pop-Up (Retail Dive)
"It partnered with Perfect Corp. to create holiday-themed smartphone filters that use augmented reality (AR), which overlays digital images on a real background through a smartphone camera. Perfect's app lets mobile users see how they look wearing crystal jewelry and holiday-inspired makeup."
There Are 170,000 Fewer Retail Jobs in 2017—and 75,000 More Amazon Robots (Quartz)
"Amazon’s growth and efficiency (driven by AI and automation) are key to why its stock has performed so well. The company is increasing its investment in robotics and machines could represent 20 percent of the total employee base by the end of the year."
These Retailers Are #Crushingit on Social This Holiday Season (Retail Dive)
"The holidays can be a good time to further an impactful brand message, so long as it makes sense with previous marketing efforts. Several retailers have turned to such efforts, and a big part of that is user-generated content, which can have a serious impact on customer purchase decisions."
Fitbit Is Back on Top of Wearables, but Apple Is Growing Faster (Fortune)
"Fitbit and Chinese low-cost gadget maker Xiaomi tied for first place with 3.6 million wearable devices shipped in the quarter. But Fitbit saw a decrease from 2016 by 33 percent for Fitbit. Apple was in third place with 2.7 million of its smart watches shipped, a 52 percent increase from last year."