Weekly Roundup: Amazon’s Echo and Nymi Tops Our List

From Black Friday shopping reports to making payments with your heartbeat, we’ve rounded up the top five news and trends of the week.

Amazon’s Echo Makes Your Life Easier

Surprise! Amazon unexpectedly debuts a Siri-like digital assistant by the name of Echo, a voice controlled interactive speaker that allows people to stream music and order items from the Amazon store. Luckily for Prime Members, they receive 50% off when they order Echo.

Amazon Echo answers your questions, adds items to your shopping list, which is connected to a mobile app, and does other things that a digital assistant should. Echo goes by the name Alexa and lives as a piece of hardware to make your life easier. According to Amazon, Echo will be available for sale in the “coming weeks.”

 

A Wristband That Uses Your Heartbeat to Make Transactions

If you thought Apple Pay and Google Wallet are simple ways to complete a transaction, think again. Nymi is a wristband that monitors your “unique heatbeat” to verify your identity and make payments. The makers of Nymi, Bionym, claim that this is “the first wearable that works with a biometric to verify NFC payments.”

According to Mashable, the start up is partnering up with Mastercard and Royal Bank of Canada to launch its payment system.

 

Mobile Holiday Shopping in 2014

According to a study by Retale, 73% of holiday shoppers plan to use their mobile devices during their shopping activities to find deals, compare prices, research products, access coupons, find stores, and make purchases.

Ninety seven percent of the 1,000 consumers surveyed for this report plan on using their mobile devices to search for deals and promotions. Meanwhile, 96% plan on comparing prices and researching products on their mobile devices.

While the use of mobile devices for shopping is on the rise, 47% of consumers surveyed that they prefer using a smartphone for to shop and 32% prefer using a tablet. While this may sound great for mobile commerce retailers, the least common activity for mobile shoppers is actually making purchases directly from their mobile device with just 85% of consumers.

 

Thanksgiving and Black Friday Sales Expected to Hit $1 Billion Combined

According to Mobile Commerce Daily, the Adobe 2014 Holiday Shopping Predictions has reported “mobile will have a 26 percent share of sales on Black Friday for a total of $644 million. In addition, 31% of online sales on Thanksgiving are expected to account from mobile. Thanks to the growth in mobile shopping, tablet shopping has declined, expecting to do down 14% this year.

Interesting enough, Apple Pay and mobile wallets are not expected to have much impact on mobile shopping during this year’s holiday shopping season, according to Adobe. However, it may have a much bigger role starting next year.

 

Discover New Fashion with Strut Mobile App

Strut Shopping is a new app that helps users discover new clothing every day. Each morning, users are presented with 50 new pieces of clothing and have the ability to swipe left if they don’t like it and swipe right on the items they do. The beauty behind strut is not searching for the latest styles and apparel, but to build your own outfit.
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The user can swipe up on an item they love and begin building an outfit based on item recommendations given to them. Also, users can share their outfits on social sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. And if users want to purchase an item, the app redirects the user to the retailer’s website.

Strut Shopping is only available in the iTunes App Store.

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