This Week's Friday Roundup

Happy Friday and welcome back to our Friday Roundup! Here are this week’s top stories in fulfillment, retail and mobile.

Retail: Why Machine Learning is Still Getting the Human Touch in Retail – GigaOm

Machine learning is taking off in the eCommerce and retail space to create better recommendations. A new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startup BloomReach recently announced the addition of a product with the ability to use algorithms to decide what content is shown to consumers on specific eCommerce websites. However, GigaOm’s Derrick Harris explains it’s humans (not machines) who need to make the final call on product recommendations because they can take into account ambiguous situations like marketing campaigns or overstocked inventory.

Mobile: The Next Big Thing You Missed: How Starbucks Could Replace Your Bank – Wired

A recent report by Accenture finds traditional banks could lose a third of their market share to “non-banks” by 2020. One example of a non-bank that could disrupt the market is Starbucks, which offers customerspre-paid accounts and many other features that mimic the ways consumers interact with their banks. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) CEO Francisco Gonzalez believes banks should create a platform where companies can build a variety of services similar to the way Amazon deals with third-party sellers.

Retail: Flash Sales and Daily Deals: A Passing Fad? – Retail TouchPoints

Flash sale and daily deals sites shook up the traditional eCommerce model when they first broke into the retail scene. Since then, the space has been constantly changing with a variety of successes and failures. According to a report from Dotcom Distribution, 44 percent of comments posted across 11 of the top U.S. flash site Facebook pages were negative. Retail TouchPoints discusses the future of flash sale sites, if there is one.

Luxury: Luxury Brands Need a Search and Social Strategy for Pinterest – Luxury Daily

Luxury customers are utilizing online channels and social media more than ever. Luxury Interactive reports that 63 percent of luxury marketers think that digital spending will move into other marketing areas by 2015. Brands can take advantage of this increased usage by attracting customers through Pinterest. Luxury Daily says retailers should include high-quality images that the buyer will find eye-catching and appealing.

Fulfillment: How Retailers Can Adapt to the New Face of Shipping – Retail Online Integration

Changing consumer demands and increased competition are creating new opportunities in retail fulfillment and delivery. Customers now expect fast and free shipping as the industry norm in 2014. Dotcom CEO Maria Haggerty explains how retailers can adapt to the tech-savvy consumer and compete with companies like Amazon in this Retail Online Integration article.