Hello… welcome to the latest #MontageMashup, where each week we bring you the latest news and views from across the marketing industry. In this week’s mashup, we take a look at Ryanair’s voice-controlled booking process, Morrisons reigniting the row over ‘fake farm’ own brands, Asos bringing image search to its fashion app, Amazon exploring refrigeration-free food for home delivery and more! So, let’s get started…
Ryanair’s voice-controlled booking
Ryanair has announced that its customers will soon be able to use voice commands in order to search and book flights and hotels. The voice-controlled features will be available through Alexa voice recognition and will form part of the airline’s ‘Always Getting Better’ customer experience programme. This new functionality will initially only be available on Ryanair.com, but there are plans to introduce it to the company’s MyRyanair app in the future. More than 24 million people have downloaded the app since it was first launched back in 2014 and CMO Kenny Jacobs has said “everything on the website you can now do through the MyRyanair app. In the future, chatbots and voice recognition will sit alongside the app to help our customer offering.”
Would you use a voice-controlled service to book your holiday? Let us know!
Image CC: Mikel Ortega
ASOS brings image search to its app
Asos has introduced image search functionality to its iOS fashion app, with an Android version expected to arrive soon. This new feature will enable people to upload a photo of any clothing which they like and the app’s algorithm will scan through the Asos database to pick out the closest matches. Asos has openly admitted that the feature is unlikely to help those who are searching for an identical match but is aimed more at those looking for similar suggestions. Asos has made the move to try and reduce the need for basic text searches, especially given that ‘80% of its UK traffic originates from a mobile device, alongside some 70% of all British orders, making ease of use on a tiny screen a top priority.”
Morrisons reignites ‘fake farm’ row
Supermarket chain Morrisons has reignited the ‘fake farm’ row by promising its customers that it will not sell fake farm own brands. Rival supermarkets Tesco and Asda have both had success with their ‘fake farm’ own brand ranges with Kantar Worldpanel estimating that Farm brands ‘found their way into a quarter of Tesco baskets.’ Morrisons has focused a lot on its relationship with its suppliers and towards the end of last week, it hosted hundreds of real farmers in its stores who were selling British food to customers. Joe Mannion head of British Livestock at Morrisons said: “supermarket customers are sometimes presented with misleading images of farmers on their food and we believe that by meeting our real farmers, customers will see and value that we know where our food comes from.”
Do you appreciate Morrisons’ honesty or are you not fussed by the ‘fake farm’ brands? We’d love to know your thoughts.
Image: Mikael Buck/Morrisons
Amazon exploring refrigeration-free food
It has been reported that Amazon is exploring technology to produce prepared meals that do not need refrigeration, as it looks for ways in which to further muscle into the grocery business. The online retail giant is looking at selling ready-to-eat dishes which could be easily stockpiled and shipped as they would not require refrigeration and could be offered relatively cheaply. The dishes would be produced using microwave assisted thermal sterilisation (MATS) which allows the dishes to retain their natural flavour and texture whilst also being able to sit on a shelf for a year, making them suitable for Amazon’s storage. If the plan goes ahead and Amazon does begin delivering meals it will only help them build on its original services such as Amazon Fresh, which has been expanded to further locations in and around London.
Aldi enters grocery delivery
German budget grocery chain Aldi has announced that it has partnered with Instacart in the US to deliver groceries to Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas as part of an initial pilot. Aldi currently does not offer customers the option to shop on its own website, so the link up with Instacart will allow the company to test the demand for online grocery shopping. Vice president of corporate buying for Aldi Scott Paton has said: “grocery shopping online is a relatively small part of the business but it is continuing to grow.”
With this in mind, we’re wondering if online grocery shopping is something that Aldi will be considering in the UK in the near future.
Image CC: Mike Mozart
We’re ending this week on some bad publicity for clothing store Missguided. The story broke last week that a neon sign was being displayed above some clothing rails in its Bluewater store in Kent that read ‘Send me nudes x’. People were quick to take to Twitter to air their displeasure at the sign with the hashtag #everydaysexism included in a number of the tweets, with one user claiming Missguided were promoting a negative and damaging culture. The sign has since been removed from the store, but not before the story had been picked up by numerous different sites including Cosmopolitan and the Metro.
Don’t forget to check out next week’s #MontageMashup, right here on the blog!