14 Sep

TrendsWatch | New Business Insight From The Past Week

The news this week, that lockdown restrictions are being tightened yet again, may not have been what we wanted to hear… However, it’s been reported that the economy has grown 6.6% since lockdown eased – so let’s try look on the bright side!

In terms of trends, it has been a big week for technology. We’ve seen Tesco’s new drone, a university delivery robot and a vending machine that holds only cosmetics.

Delivery drones + robots

A Tesco drone trial will see small items dropped off at customers’ homes. The drones will drop ‘small baskets of goods’ to the local area. In 2016 Amazon tried out a similar service with its first commercial drone but faced criticism as residents said the aircraft was loud and intrusive.

Robots are also dominating headlines this week, with universities partnering with food and facilities provider Aramark and Starship Technologies. With social distancing here to stay, consumer tech companies are working hard to delve further into the world of robotics to provide safe ways to get products to consumers.

Cosmetic vending machines

& Other Stories is discovering new ways to connect with consumers in a retail landscape that has changed to accommodate social distancing measures. The group-owned brand has launched a vending machine that the brand hopes will be a “mini version” of its stores. The concept was developed by The Laboratory, the H&M Group’s partner for exploring new technologies.

Paypal VS Mollie  

It appears Paypal may have a new rival with Dutch start-up Mollie, with the payment service securing $90 million in seed funding.

Mollie focuses mainly on small and medium businesses, counting some 100,000 merchants as customers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany- these include Deliveroo, Moet champagne, Toms and UNICEF. Mollie is yet to expand into the UK but is said to be considering “all the biggest markets in Europe”. The news comes as Paypal, this month, stepped up its offering with the launch of its own “buy now, pay later” to compete with Klarna and Afterpay.

More trends and insights to be shared next week!