Welcome to The Week in Retail, a weekly roundup for marketers from Quad Insights that covers the latest must-know news surrounding the retail space.

Amazon launches AI features to improve the shopping experience, reduce returns

Amazon on Monday unveiled new AI features designed to help customers find the right fit when shopping for apparel — “an ongoing challenge when shopping online and the leading cause for apparel returns,” TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez notes.

By using AI to analyze details extracted from customer reviews, relationships between brands and their sizing systems, details regarding size and style, and customers’ own fit preferences, Amazon says it can now offer shoppers personalized size and style recommendations in real time. “We’ve learned that customers are more likely to purchase and keep an item when a size is recommended for them,” the retailer said in a statement.

Instacart expands advertising solutions via Caper Carts

Instacart announced on Monday that it’s expanding its advertising solutions to Caper Carts, its AI-powered smart carts. The grocery technology company will begin piloting its new offering at Good Food Holdings banner stores, enabling personalized in-store ads on Caper Cart smart screens from Instacart’s CPG brand partners, which currently include General Mills, Del Monte and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream.

Also coming soon, Caper Cart users at participating retailers will receive notifications about new products and brands as well as deals and seasonal promotions, plus personalized product recommendations based on their real-time shopping behaviors. As Progressive Grocer’s Lynn Petrak writes, “Instacart aims to bridge the gap even more between the digital space and supermarket aisle.”

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Louis Vuitton releases fine jewelry line inspired by namesake’s grandson

Louis Vuitton debuted a new 18-piece fine jewelry line this week celebrating the namesake’s grandson Gaston-Louis Vuitton, Women’s Wear Daily’s Lily Templeton reports. “Born in 1883, he is best remembered as an erudite inventor, cultural magpie and keen collector whose personal collection of trunks contributed to building the brand’s extensive trunk archive,” Templeton writes, adding that Gaston-Louis’ interest in design and architecture led him to secure several patents during his lifetime.

Featuring rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings, the collection ranges in price from approximately $2,000 to (gasp) $150,000.

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Walmart partners with Unity to bring immersive in-game, in-app commerce to customers

Walmart is expanding its partnership with Unity, a platform for creating real-time 3D content, to integrate Walmart’s commerce APIs directly into Unity’s games and apps, the retailer said in a statement. The move will enable creators to sell, and for consumers to buy, physical products in RT3D experiences across more than 20 platforms, “unlocking new ways to connect customers’ virtual and physical lifestyles and establishing new monetization channels in games and experiences made with Unity,” per the statement.

The partnership is a big move toward “enabling mobile commerce in non-traditional settings,” Forbes’ John Koetsier notes. “Unity makes the software that powers most of the world’s mobile games, while Walmart has millions of SKUs of purchasable and shippable stuff. The companies think combining the two could unlock in-game real-world commerce.”

Further reading

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If you’d like to catch up on prior installments of this column, start by heading to our last recap: “The Week in Retail: January 5, 2024 edition”

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