A Boost for The UK’s AI Sector

The Government this week have been announcing details of their new Digital Strategy which aims to boost the digital economy and help to plug the digital skills gap. Artificial Intelligence is set to add £654 billion to the UK economy by 2035 so it’s no wonder the AI sector plays a key role in the strategy.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said, “Innovation is at the heart of our Industrial Strategy and the launch of the Government’s Digital Strategy underlines our commitment to this vital sector. By supporting British businesses and investing in dynamic fields such as robotics and AI, we will help put the UK at the forefront of global innovation.”

The Digital Strategy’s proposals are expected to include:

A major AI review led by Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti to identify the critical elements for the exciting technology to thrive and grow in the UK. It will consider how Government and industry could work together to back this technology, which could inform a sector deal. The UK is already a world-leader in the science underpinning this technology and the sector has the potential to grow further, from early research to commercialisation. Government is also expected to confirm a funding boost of £17.3m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support the development of new Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI) technologies in universities across the UK.

Some of the world’s most innovative AI companies are already based here in the UK, putting us in a great position to become a world leader in this fast moving and competitive sector. AI is increasingly creeping into our everyday lives, and helping all sorts of people with all kinds of things, including voice recognition on smartphones and the likes of Google Home, driverless cars, data insights... Continue reading

Are Brands Neglecting The Baby Boomers?

We hear a lot about marketing to millennials but new research from global loyalty marketing agency, ICLP found that retailers may be losing touch with the over 55s. 82% of baby boomers said they felt their favourite retail brand just doesn’t understand them and their needs.

Perhaps the age of Snapchat marketing is not only excluding the baby boomer generation but leaving them feeling unimportant and under-appreciated. This is likely to push away a generation who have perhaps been loyal to a brand for some time, and lead them to find an option more tailored to them.

Baby boomers are a generation who have had it pretty good, they were the first generation to go abroad on holiday rather than to fight a war, and many have already comfortably retired on generous pensions. This, of course, means that there’s disposable income there for the spending. Brands within the travel, leisure, health and home improvement industries should most probably count the over 55s as one of their most important target audiences. So according to this research, what can brands do to keep hold, or regain, the loyalty of this important consumer generation?

Create stronger rewards programmes: 73% said that they would buy more if they were rewarded better by their favourite retailer. Communication is also crucial: 60% would buy more if brands communicated with them better, demonstrating the value of retailer communications when it comes to building devoted and profitable relationships with consumers. Reliability and honesty are key: 47% of Baby Boomers said that when it comes to retailers, when things go wrong, it’s important that they get a swift apology and solution. Offer consistent and reliable products/services: 70% of Baby Boomers said that they would spend more at their favourite retailer if their products were consistent and reliable. Build respect and... Continue reading

Google plans £1bn UK investment

News of Google’s planned HQ in London – which will create 3,000 new jobs by 2020 – comes as a major boost to Britain’s technology sector.

In his first European broadcast interview since his appointment last year, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, told the BBC that the UK was still an attractive place to do business, despite Brexit. He named open borders and free movement for “skilled” workers as integral to the success of the UK tech sector.

Sources at Google added that if issues arose around skilled immigration following Brexit, some of the technology’s company’s investment could be at risk, throwing into question whether it would be able to afford the new building.

Google currently employs around 4,000 people in the UK, but that figure could soon rise to 7,000 as the office space they own in Kings Cross will more than double to 65,000 sq-ft.

Mr Pichai made it clear that the strength of the UK economy went beyond the vote to leave the European Union. “We see big opportunities here” the CEO said. “This is a big commitment from us – we have some of the best talent in the world in the UK and to be able to build great products from here sets us up well for the long term.”

“The innovation we see here, the talent we have available here and how on the cutting edge of technology we are able to be here makes it an incredible place for us to invest,” he said.

“We do value how open and connected it is and we can bring in talent from anywhere in the world and we value those attributes and we are optimistic... Continue reading

Boosting Online Sales Over the Festive Period

If you’re an e-commerce business the festive period is likely to be an important time of year for sales as 53% of people plan to shop online. Early preparation and planning will help you make a success of the selling online opportunity, during Black Friday, Christmas, and the post-Christmas sales.

Optimising the Festive Opportunity

Less is More – At this time of year people won’t usually be buying for themselves and are often looking for inspiration. Categorising gifts into sections (for him, for her, for bakers, for gardeners, etc) makes it easy for shoppers to navigate to the right area, where you can then provide them with a concise selection of ideal gifts. This should keep things less complicated for you during a busy period too. Market to the Millennials – Setting the pace these days for online shopping, this group expect their online shopping experience to be quick, efficient and mobile. Get it right and they could become a key customer group. Even if your products don’t normally appeal to this generation remember this is gift buying time. Give Last Minute Shoppers an Option – Gift cards are one of the most popular last minute options so make it easy for procrastinators and those who leave things right to the last hour! Delivery will be key to this too – but of course be realistic about what you can offer. Jump on the Trends – Can you incorporate this year’s hottest trends into your products or promotions? Can you highlight and showcase a selection of product that lend themselves to what’s popular right now? Use social media to generate a buzz!

Branching Out with Your Online Selling

Google Shopping – Google shopping saw huge growth in the first quarter... Continue reading

Is this the AI game-changing smartphone?

This week, Google launched the first phone made both inside and out by Google that is set to change the landscape for smartphones as we know them.

Equipped with a whole range of advanced features, including a fingerprint sensor on the back that users can swipe to access their notifications, a fast-charging, long-lasting battery (up to seven hours in just fifteen minutes), an incredibly high-quality camera and Google Assistant. It also comes in two different sizes; the 5in (12.7cm) or 5.5in (14cm) OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen.

Pixel is the first phone with Google Assistant built in. Somewhat like Apple’s Siri tool, users just need to say, “Ok Google” or touch and hold the Home button to activate. Labelled as “your own personal Google, always ready to help”, the tool allows you to hold a more advanced conversation with your device than any smartphone has before.

Instead of just giving commands in isolation like its competitors, Google Assistant is dialogue driven due to the advanced and sophisticated way in which it stores data. It can bring up anything on your phone from last weekend’s photos to a review of your day on request. It also offers help with directions to a location your friend gave you in a text. Just say, “navigate there.”

Now, the camera. The Pixel camera is the highest rated smartphone camera anyone has ever made, scoring a DxOMark Mobile of 89.  The 12.3MP camera features an f/2.0 aperture and a sizeable 1.55 micron pixels that enable users to capture exceptionally high-quality photos in any kind of light.

Capture action shots easily with Smartburst – a tool that takes... Continue reading