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Wal-Mart Online Takes The Fight To Amazon.Com.

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Wal-Mart’s online sales are growing, soaring 69 percent in the first quarter. This is the fastest pace in at least five years, gaining momentum, as it takes the fight to Amazon.com.
The results also signal that Wal-Mart is getting a payoff from an ambitious online expansion strategy, put in place by its current chief executive, Doug McMillon.
The plan has several parts including an expansion in the number of products available online, better leverage of its huge physical warehouses and distribution centers to reach customers quickly across the country, and aggressively pursue deals for online stores.
Last year Wal-Mart acquired Jet.com, the bulk e-commerce retailer for $3.3 billion boosting the number of items on its website, to 50 million up from 35 million.BM

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Prime customers – Grubhub Expanding Partnership with Amazon.com Inc.

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Grubhub, the struggling US meal-delivery business, announced May 30 it was expanding its two-year-old partnership with Amazon.com Inc. and giving Amazon Prime members free food delivery.

As part of the new deal, Amazon also incorporated Grubhub’s delivery service directly into its shopping app and website, and increased its financial stake in the company owned by Just Eat Takeaway.com NV.

Grubhub Chief Executive Officer Howard Migdal told me this deepened relationship with Amazon will be a key catalyst for user growth and revenue. Prime members are a “good cohort” of customers as they tend to order more frequently than Grubhub’s average customer, he said.

So far there has been an immediate boost: Grubhub’s app downloads jumped 90% in the week of the announcement compared with the previous week, and the number of users opening the app rose more than 9% for two straight weeks, outpacing that of food and grocery peers. That’s according to Bloomberg’s analysis of data tracked by mobile research firm Apptopia.

But this could prove challenging to sustain. While the pace of overall order declines reported by parent Just Eat’s US and Canadian business has slowed in recent quarters, third-party data from market research firms SimilarWeb and YipitData show that the initial 2022 Amazon-Grubhub partnership hasn’t reversed the streak of losses in orders and users for Chicago-based Grubhub.

The company has dropped a significant amount of market share to delivery rivals DoorDash Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. as they ramp up competition through offerings beyond just takeout meals from restaurants. Yipit’s data shows Grubhub market share fell to 6% in March from 11% in August 2022, with a loss in urban users the most pronounced.

Rivals in recent years have raced to expand the number and types of stores on their sites and improved their technology to let customers bundle multistore orders without additional cost, which Grubhub hasn’t allowed.

DoorDash and Uber, in particular, have enhanced their routing algorithms so their delivery couriers can seamlessly pick up a last-minute drugstore item, drinks from a liquor store, or condiments from the grocery store while en route to grab a restaurant order nearby. These upgrades let the companies “upsell” consumers and advertise relevant items to bundle into their order, helping expand the size of the basket and increase ad revenue from brands.

Making the Grubhub+ subscription free for the 180 million US shoppers who are part of households with a Prime membership could entice those consumers to keep their Prime accounts, which would be a boon for Amazon. But at the same time, it wipes out potential customers for Grubhub’s subscription service — and the revenue they might have generated. That makes the sale of Grubhub, which Dutch parent Just Eat has been considering since 2022, “less likely,” according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts.

So far, a customer who tries to place a Grubhub order within Amazon won’t find it as easy as described. According to Grubhub, users can visit a dedicated website to start a Grubhub order; or they could be directed to that site through a variety of paths from Amazon.

On Amazon’s mobile app, the Grubhub button is hidden within the “Groceries” tab, below buttons for Amazon Fresh, the grocery delivery service, and Amazon’s Whole Foods. Alternatively, users can type “Grubhub” in the Amazon search bar to access the Grubhub banner. At least two more clicks are needed to launch the restaurant ordering interface in an in-app browser window, which makes the experience foreign to the Amazon app.

This makes the integration more of a bonus than a feature of convenience. Whether the deal can effectively convert new users to loyal Grubhub customers remains to be seen.

Source Natalie Lung Bloomberg

 

 

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Artificial Intelligence

Apple’s AI Play: A High-Stakes Game in a Booming Market

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In the wake of Apple’s highly anticipated AI announcement, the tech giant’s shares have seen a dip, reflecting investor disappointment over the lack of groundbreaking news. At the heart of this announcement is Apple Intelligence, a new AI platform aimed at catching up with competitors in the fiercely competitive AI market.

The Announcement and Market Reaction
During its event, Apple unveiled Apple Intelligence, a platform designed to integrate AI across its ecosystem. However, the announcement fell short of delivering the groundbreaking innovations that many had hoped for, causing a slip in pre-market trading. The partnership with OpenAI, although significant, was only briefly mentioned, leaving investors and analysts wanting more​ (MacRumors)​​ (Yahoo)​.

Strategic Implications
Apple’s strategy with Apple Intelligence focuses on embedding AI capabilities into its core applications like Safari, Photos, and Notes, emphasizing practical tools and user privacy. This integration aims to leverage both on-device and cloud processing, setting Apple apart from rivals like Google and Microsoft who have been more aggressive in showcasing their AI advancements​​.

The partnership with OpenAI to incorporate ChatGPT technology into iOS 18 is a significant move, highlighting Apple’s commitment to enhancing its AI capabilities. This collaboration is expected to bolster Apple’s competitive position but also limits OpenAI’s ability to monetize through other channels, thus aligning their goals closely​​.

Technological and Market Impact
Apple’s AI ambitions are supported by its hardware advancements, particularly the M2 Ultra processors, which are designed to handle the intensive processing requirements of AI applications. By doubling its data center capacity, Apple aims to ensure its AI services run efficiently across its vast ecosystem​​.

Despite the underwhelming announcement, analysts remain optimistic about Apple’s long-term prospects in AI. The integration of AI across Apple’s product suite is expected to drive higher upgrade rates and bolster its market position. Goldman Sachs has set a bullish 12-month price target for Apple, anticipating significant gains driven by AI and other ecosystem investments​.

Conclusion
Apple’s AI journey is a calculated but high-stakes endeavor. While the initial announcement may not have lived up to the hype, the strategic moves and ongoing developments suggest a robust foundation for future growth. As Apple continues to innovate and refine its AI strategy, it is poised to make significant strides in the tech industry, reinforcing its status as a leading innovator.

For more detailed insights and updates, you can refer to the sources from MacRumors, Markets Insider, and Yahoo Finance.

 

 

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Artificial Intelligence

Who is Jensen Huang Nvidia CEO?

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Jensen Huang, born February 17, 1963, in Tainan, Taiwan, is a renowned American entrepreneur and co-founder of Nvidia Corporation, a leader in graphics processing units (GPUs) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Under his leadership, Nvidia has evolved into a powerhouse in the tech industry, with significant influence on AI development and the gaming sector.

Early Life and Education

Huang’s journey began in Taiwan, where he was born to a chemical engineer father and a grade school teacher mother. The family moved to Thailand before eventually sending Jensen and his brother to the United States to live with their uncle in Tacoma, Washington. They later attended the Oneida Baptist Institute in Kentucky, an experience that introduced Huang to the rigorous academic and social environment of American education.

Huang pursued electrical engineering at Oregon State University and later earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. These academic foundations laid the groundwork for his future innovations in technology.

Career and Achievements

In 1993, Huang co-founded Nvidia, recognizing the potential of GPUs not only for graphics but also for general-purpose computing. This vision has driven Nvidia to become a central player in the AI revolution. Nvidia’s GPUs have become essential tools in various fields, including scientific research, autonomous vehicles, and deep learning.

Huang’s strategic leadership has garnered numerous accolades. He was named the best-performing CEO in the world by Harvard Business Review in 2019 and was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2024. He has also been recognized in Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in both 2021 and 2024.

Under Huang’s guidance, Nvidia has achieved remarkable milestones, such as a market valuation surpassing $2 trillion and dominating the AI chip market with an estimated 80% share. His vision extends to the future of AI, predicting exponential growth in AI capabilities over the next decade.

Personal Life

Jensen Huang is known for his distinctive personal style, often seen in his trademark black leather jacket. He resides in Los Altos Hills, California, with his wife Lori, whom he met during his college years. They have two children, who are also involved in the tech industry.

Huang’s contributions to technology and AI continue to shape the industry, making him a significant figure for C-suite executives to follow. His insights and leadership offer valuable lessons in innovation, strategic growth, and the transformative potential of AI.

For more detailed information on Jensen Huang and his impact on Nvidia and the broader tech industry, you can visit Nvidia’s official site.

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Artificial Intelligence

Jensen Huang: Driving Nvidia’s Role in AI Development and Advancement

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Jensen Huang, co-founder and CEO of Nvidia, has been a pivotal figure in transforming Nvidia into a global leader in AI technology. His visionary leadership has propelled the company from its origins as a graphics chip manufacturer to a powerhouse driving significant advancements in artificial intelligence (AI).

Early Vision and Strategic Innovations

Huang’s journey began in 1993 when he co-founded Nvidia. His early vision for high-performance computing and GPUs laid the foundation for Nvidia’s growth. The launch of the GeForce 256 GPU in 1999 marked a major milestone, revolutionizing computer graphics and setting the stage for Nvidia’s future innovations.

Transformative AI Technologies

Under Huang’s leadership, Nvidia has developed cutting-edge AI technologies that are now integral to various sectors. Key among these is the Nvidia DGX Cloud, which provides enterprises with scalable AI infrastructure. This service allows companies to rent powerful AI computing clusters, facilitating rapid development and deployment of AI models.

Moreover, Nvidia’s AI Foundations services, including NeMo, Picasso, and BioNeMo, cater to diverse AI needs, from custom language models to drug discovery and creative industries. These services illustrate Huang’s strategic foresight in addressing industry-specific AI applications.

AI Integration Across Industries

Huang’s vision extends beyond technology to practical applications of AI across multiple industries. For example, Nvidia’s partnerships with cloud providers like Oracle, Microsoft, and Google enhance its AI ecosystem, enabling seamless integration of AI capabilities into enterprise operations. In healthcare, collaborations with Medtronic and other companies are revolutionizing medical devices and drug discovery through AI.

Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility

Jensen Huang has also championed sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Nvidia’s initiatives in this area underscore a commitment to environmental stewardship and social impact, ensuring that technological advancements benefit broader societal goals.

Future Prospects and Vision

Huang remains optimistic about AI’s future, predicting exponential growth in AI capabilities. He foresees AI systems that can continuously learn and solve increasingly complex problems, further solidifying AI’s role in shaping the future. At the 2024 GTC, Huang emphasized AI’s transformative potential, highlighting Nvidia’s role in pioneering new AI-driven industries.

Jensen Huang’s leadership has been instrumental in Nvidia’s rise as a dominant force in AI technology. His strategic initiatives and visionary approach have not only advanced Nvidia’s capabilities but also integrated AI into critical sectors, driving innovation and shaping the future of technology. Under Huang’s guidance, Nvidia continues to set new benchmarks in AI development, ensuring its continued influence and success in the rapidly evolving tech landscape.

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The “Endless Shrimp” Promotion By Red Lobster Offers Five (5) Key Marketing Lessons

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Red Lobster, the iconic seafood restaurant chain, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it grapples with significant financial challenges. The company cited escalating lease and labour costs, heightened competition, and evolving consumer preferences as key factors leading to its current predicament.

This decision comes despite efforts to revitalize the brand, which included promotions like the “Endless Shrimp” deal. However, this particular marketing strategy backfired, resulting in an US$11 million loss in the third quarter of 2023, exacerbating their financial woes.

The “Endless Shrimp” promotion, intended to attract more customers, turned into a costly blunder. It failed to generate the expected revenue and instead led to excessive operational costs.

Customers took full advantage of the unlimited shrimp offer, causing a spike in expenses without a corresponding increase in sales. This miscalculation, combined with existing financial pressures, pushed Red Lobster towards bankruptcy as a necessary step to restructure its debts and seek a more sustainable business model.

Five (5) Key Marketing Lessons:

1. Understand Cost Implications: Promotions must be carefully analyzed to ensure they don’t lead to unsustainable costs. Red Lobster underestimated the operational expenses and customer response, resulting in significant financial losses.

2. Customer Behavior Analysis: Predicting customer behavior is crucial. The promotion attracted heavy users who maximized their consumption, leading to higher costs without proportional revenue gains.

3. Align Promotions with Brand Strengths: Promotions should reinforce a brand’s strengths rather than just attract volume. Red Lobster’s focus on endless deals diluted its brand value and strained resources.

4. Flexibility in Promotions: Being able to adjust or terminate a promotion quickly in response to unforeseen consequences is essential. Red Lobster’s prolonged offer exacerbated their financial situation.

5. Balanced Value Proposition: Ensure that promotions offer value to both customers and the company. The “Endless Shrimp” deal provided disproportionate value to customers at the company’s expense.

These lessons highlight the importance of strategic planning, financial forecasting, and flexibility in promotional campaigns.

During the restructuring process, Red Lobster plans to keep its restaurants open and continue serving customers. The company aims to renegotiate leases, reduce debt, and streamline operations to regain financial stability. This move is crucial for Red Lobster to adapt to the changing dining landscape and remain competitive in the market.

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