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The De•Brief: Your Week, Carefully Reviewed And Curated For You

We’ve made it over the hump to the promised land of Monday. Don’t show up to the water cooler, brunch or a dinner party empty-handed empty-minded. Here’s a recap of everything you need to know, or may have missed, about everything innovative and relevant from the past week. This is your week in innovation, carefully reviewed and curated for you.

‘Tis the Tech Season

Merry belated Christmas. If you asked any businessman in his right mind, what’s the reason for the season, their answer will probably be drenched with consumerism. Media coverage of consumerism during this magnificent season is either amusing or appalling; if you’re lucky, like some of us, it’s a little of both. The images of humans assaulting each other for discounts and wholesale prices, provokes one question: Why?

It’s 2013, and the Wesb is a real thing. Not only is it real, but it is pretty much accessible from anywhere. If this is the case, then why haven’t more humans bypassed the ‘Consumer Hunger Games’ and opted for a more civilized shopping experience like shopping online? I, and some other intelligent people, believe that when you know better you do better. In preparation for Christmas 2014, let’s review some brands and stores that bypassed the folly, and brought a little jolly to the shopping experience—and hopefully, next year there will be less assaulting and more clicking.

1. Selfridges, a department store in London, offered their customers a drive-through shopping experience, ‘Click & Collect’. No one is saying that they reinvented the wheel, but they definitely spun it in their favor. With ‘Click & Collect’, customers shopped online and picked their order up from any Selfridge store. This is what Burger King was going for when the “have it your way” tagline was approved—but they wish it was this classy.

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 photo: psfk.com

Apple used iBeacon technology to track customers inside of their stores and offered info such as order status, price comparison and anything else to make the shopping experience as frictionless as possible. Customers had to opt into the service by downloading an app, but anyone who dreads aimlessly walking around a store during the holiday season saw this technology as a blessing. iBeacon is a personalized shopping experience for the shopper who wants to get in and out in record time.

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Google Shopping Express launched in March, but they beefed up their delivery army for the holiday season. ‘Shopping Express’ offers a same-day delivery service. For last-minute and procrastinating shoppers, same-day delivery services were the secret-weapon this holiday season—they ordered online and received their delivery within the hour. ‘Google Shopping Express is not a game, they mean business; they delivered up until 5pm on Thanksgiving day. eBay also offered a same-day delivery service, and waived their $5 fee. Same-day delivery services, like Instacart and Delive, are helping to create a niche in the market that and will forever change the intelligent consumer’s expectations.Debrief Dec 27 Pic 6

Christmas shopping really isn’t Christmas shopping unless you pick up something for yourself. In NYC, L’Oréal made it easy for women to do just that while waiting for a train. L’Oréal set up interactive vending machines in a subway station that offered beauty consultations and allowed women to purchase products on the spot. UNIQLO recently set up a similar pop-up shop-vending machine at another subway station that allowed customers to purchase products directly from the machine. [I’m a fan of avoiding crowds of shopping humans, so this is a winner]

These innovations will probably expand in 2014, hopefully. Black Friday shenanigans have become a part of our culture—some humans may actually like being trampled for sales, hours after giving thanks for everything they already have—but for the smart consumer, the one that likes to actually be one piece with all our teeth, limbs and common sense, these innovations are welcomed.

Many brave men, accompanied their wives, significant others and female friends who’ve placed them in the permanent friend zone on holiday shopping sprees; few survived with their right mind, the others were documented on Instagram. Instagram (Miserable_Men)  

To a lot of people, innovation means spending money, and lots of it, but innovation is really about intelligent problem solving and if you’re already intelligent, the answer is usually right in front of you. Click on the link to see Chris Bennett, Co-Founder of Soldsie   Chris Bennett Link 

If wearable tech or virtual reality headsets, were not under your tree, you loss at Christmas—it’s O.K. because I did too. Take a look at some of the best tech gifts from the 2013. PSFK.COM Best Tech Gifts.

Feel free to leave your comments and insights about the past week’s innovations and hot topics, and follow Simeon on Twitter @CognacJones.

 

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