May 19, 2020

Target Canada: Online Stores Are The Least of Its Problems

target
Target Canada
online shopping
Mana Tulberg
2 min
Target Canada: Online Stores Are The Least of Its Problems

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Due to the numerous advantages that online shopping offers, more people are leaning towards cyber shopping rather than the conventional shopping.  However, when a retailer such as Target develops a disappointing impression in all 133 of its Canadian outlets, creating an online store should be the least of its worries.  Considering its performance so far, Target in Canada needs to concentrate all of its efforts in rebuilding the brand’s reputation.   

Misunderstanding customers’ needs, inventory issues, and higher prices than its American counterpart have left the Canadian consumers with a rather negative Target experience.  Online reviews are now a big part of consumers’ decision making.  Once the word of a bad shopping experience spreads throughout the web, regaining a brand’s reputation should then become its first priority. 

“The worst possible thing you can do is have a website when you have supply chain and inventory issues,” says David Soberman, a marketing professor at the University of Toronto.

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Even if Target Canada had an online store, the likelihood of Canadian customers spending their precious hours on a store with irrelevant products and inventory problems would be very slim.  

Online shoppers rely heavily on punctual delivery schedules.  While every year online giant retailers such as Amazon focus on improving their delivery systems, Target Canada would have a difficult time competing before it absolves the stain on its reputation.  Not many shoppers, even offered significant savings, would shop online from a store that may or may not have their desired item in stock in order to be delivered on time.

Before Target Canada invests in creating an effective online shopping experience for its Canadian shoppers, 2015 would be a good time for the retailer to augment its supply networks while offering competitive prices on merchandise that pertains to Canadians. 

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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