aNb Media News, August 23, 2017

iphone-google-600px-revWalmart, Google Partner for Voice Shopping Experience

Walmart has teamed with Google to roll out a new digital shopping experience, launching in September. Using Google Assistant, Walmart shoppers will now be able to shop hundreds of thousands of items using the voice shopping assistant.

Ordering from Walmart via Google Express, shoppers will have the ability to build a basket of previously purchased everyday essentials through the integration of its Easy Reorder feature. Customers can also receive personalized shopping recommendations based on previous purchases, including those made in Walmart stores and on, by linking their Walmart account to Google Express.

Plans are already underway to expand the partnership for 2018, leveraging Walmart’s 4,700 U.S. stores and fulfillment network to create customer experiences that don’t currently exist within voice shopping anywhere else, according to Walmart. These experiences include choosing to pick up an order in-store (often for a discount) or using voice shopping to purchase fresh groceries across the country.

“Our new voice shopping capability, coupled with our core value proposition, including free two-day shipping and the Pickup Discount, will give our customers a compelling new way to get what they need at low prices,” says Marc Lore, president and CEO, Walmart U.S. eCommerce, in a statement. “When it comes to voice shopping, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers. That’s why it makes sense for us to team up with Google. [Its] made significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience. We know this means being compared side-by-side with other retailers, and we think that’s the way it should be. An open and transparent shopping universe is good for customers.”

funkosignFunko Opens First Retail Store

Funko has opened its first retail store, The Funko HQ, and new headquarters in Everett, WA.

Funko remodeled the 90,000-square-foot building, transforming the downtown Everett space into a destination that reflects the personality of the Funko brand. The Funko HQ store is an interactive opportunity for visitors to dive in and experience the heart of Funko’s fandom and features an expansive collection of licensed collectible products, including Funko Pop! vinyl figures, Dorbz, plush, and more as well handbags, backpacks and fashion accessories from the company’s latest acquisition, Loungefly.

The 17,000-square-foot retail space on the first floor has been customized in true Funko fashion and features immersive worlds inspired by Marvel, DC Comics, Star Wars, Harry Potter and more, allowing guests to explore massive displays featuring new products, exclusive items, and giant Funko figures. The jumbo-sized figures will tower over visitors—some more than 10-feet high—and create the perfect Instagram moment for pop culture fans visiting downtown Everett. The Funko HQ store will also feature a newly designed Pop! Factory, which will enable visitors to build their own custom Pop! vinyl figure as well as Funko University, an area of the store dedicated to teaching and mentoring young students in the skills of drawing, sculpting, and toy design.

The company hosted a grand opening event on Saturday, August 19, which kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson and continued throughout the day with a street fair featuring live musical performances, games, exclusive giveaways, food trucks, and special guest appearances.

The new headquarters space will also accommodate approximately 300 employees in its expanding art, marketing, sales, finance, information technology, human resources, operations, and legal departments. The Funko HQ retail store is open to the public daily and will continue to feature special events in the near future.