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The latest news from Business Insider

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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    bii big tech in healthcare ALL Four

    The healthcare industry is undergoing a profound transformation. Costs are skyrocketing, consumer demand for more accessible care is growing rapidly, and healthcare companies are unable to keep up. 

    Health organizations are increasingly turning to tech companies to facilitate this transformation in care delivery and lower health expenditures. The potential for tech-led digital health initiatives to help healthcare providers and insurers deliver safer, more efficient, and cost-effective care is significant. For healthcare organizations of all types, the collection, analyses, and application of patient data can minimize avoidable service use, improve health outcomes, and promote patient independence, which can assuage swelling costs.

    For their part, the "Big Four" tech companies — Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft — see an opportunity to tap into the lucrative health market. These same players are accelerating their efforts to reshape healthcare by developing and collaborating on new tools for consumers, medical professionals, and insurers.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explores the key strengths and offerings the Big Four will bring to the healthcare industry, as well as their approaches into the market. We'll then explore how these services and solutions are creating opportunities for health systems and insurers. Finally, the report will outline the barriers that are inhibiting the adoption and usage of the Big Four tech companies’ offerings and how these barriers can be circumvented.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Tech companies’ expertise in data management and analysis, along with their significant compute power, can help support healthcare payers, health systems, and consumers by providing a broader overview of how health is accessed and delivered.
    • Each of the Big Four tech companies — vying for a piece of the lucrative healthcare market — is leaning on their specific field of expertise to develop tools and solutions for consumers, providers, and payers.
      • Alphabet is focused on leveraging its dominance in data storage and analytics to become the leader in population health.
      • Amazon is leaning on its experience as a distribution platform for medical supplies, and developing its AI-assistant Alexa as an in-home health concierge.
      • Apple is actively turning its consumer products into patient health hubs.
      • Microsoft is focusing on cloud storage and analytics to tap into precision medicine.
    • Health organizations can further tap into the opportunity presented by tech’s entry into healthcare by collaborating with tech giants to realize cost savings and bolster their top lines. But understanding how each tech giant is approaching healthcare is crucial.

     In full, the report:

    • Pinpoints the key themes and industry-wide shifts that are driving the transformation of healthcare in the US.
    • Defines the main healthcare businesses and strategies of the Big Four tech companies.
    • Highlights the biggest potential impacts of each of the Big Four’s healthcare strategies for health systems and insurers.
    • Discusses the potential barriers that will challenge the adoption of the Big Four tech companies’ initiatives and how these hurdles can be overcome.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    barack obama highway

    • You can now experience President Barack H. Obama-related gridlock, and it will have nothing to do with the US Senate.
    • A stretch of State Route 134 (the 134 Freeway) has been named for the 44th president, as new signage along the road reflects.
    • The President Barack H. Obama Highway stretches from State Route 2 — passing through Eagle Rock — to Interstate 210 in Pasadena.

    You can now experience President Barack H. Obama-related gridlock, and it will have nothing to do with the US Senate. A stretch of the 134 Freeway has been named for the 44th president, as new signage along the road reflects.

    The President Barack H. Obama Highway stretches from State Route 2 — passing through Eagle Rock — to Interstate 210 in Pasadena.

    The chunk of road named after Obama is symbolic. The former president lived in this area of Los Angeles from 1979 to 1981 — with his sophomore year spent living in Pasadena — while attending Occidental College in Eagle Rock, before transferring to Columbia University.

    The highway name was proposed by Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino, and the resolution was passed in 2017.

    "This is an exciting day for Southern California and it showcases our deep respect and appreciation for President Obama," Portantino said in a statement on Thursday. "The President has often mentioned his fond memories of living in Pasadena and attending Occidental College, so it was very appropriate to name the portion of the freeway he travelled after him."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The world's largest cruise ship just landed in Miami — here's what it's like on board


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    US Navy aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman E-2D Hawkeye

    • The US Navy has emphasized dynamic force employment as a method to seem more unpredictable to foes.
    • The Truman carrier strike group was the first to deployed under that new kind of employment.
    • According to the Navy's top officer in Europe, the method has already confused US adversaries.

    The National Defense Strategy document released in January emphasized dynamic force employment as a method to maintain the US Navy's combat capabilities while changing the duration and intensity of its deployments.

    It was intended to be "strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable."

    According to Adm. James Foggo, head of US naval forces in Europe and Africa and the chief of NATO's Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy, it's already working — leaving Russia guessing about what the Navy is doing.

    Navy aircraft carrier Truman Atlantic

    When asked for an example of the successful use of dynamic force employment on the latest episode of his podcast, "On the Horizon," Foggo pointed to the USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group's recent maneuvers.

    "They were originally not scheduled to be in the European theater for the entire deployment. We had other plans," Foggo said. "But because of dynamic force employment, they came here. They immediately proceeded to the eastern Mediterranean and conducted strike missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve."

    Read more: The US Navy is returning to a Cold War submarine flash point, but the real action may be much farther north

    "Then they moved to the Adriatic, and this was interesting because it was a move coincident with Vice Adm. Franchetti's command of BaltOps 2018 in the Baltic Sea," he said, referring to Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander of the US 6th Fleet, which operates around Europe.

    "So the Harry S. Truman, to my knowledge, is the first carrier to participate in a BaltOps operation with airpower from the Adriatic."

    Navy aircraft carrier Truman Gibraltar

    Baltic Operations, or BaltOps, is an annual US-led exercise that was one of more than 100 NATO exercises this year, held during the first half of June. After that, Foggo said, the Truman strike group returned to US for about a month.

    "I don't think anybody, let alone the Russians, expected that, and that kind of puts them back on their heels," he added.

    "In fact, we were starting to see some articles in Russian media about the carrier heading back into the Mediterranean, but she didn't go there. She went up north. She went to the Arctic Circle."

    Read more: The US Navy is pushing north, closer to Russia in freezing conditions — and it's planning on hanging around up there

    The Truman left its homeport in Norfolk, Virginia, at the end of August, and about six weeks later it became the first US aircraft carrier to sail into the Arctic Circle since the early 1990s.

    "It was our intent at that time to put her into the Trident Juncture [live exercise], and she was a force multiplier," Foggo said, referring to NATO's largest military exercise since the Cold War.

    "This is the first time that we've operated north of the Arctic Circle with a carrier that high up in latitude since the end of the Cold War," Foggo added. "I think that she proved through dynamic force employment that she can be strategically predictable but operationally unpredictable."

    US Navy aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman F/A-18 Super Hornet takeoff

    The Truman strike group eschewed the traditional six-month deployment that carrier strike groups have normally undertaken, sailing instead on two three-month deployments.

    Between April and July, it operated around the 6th Fleet's area of operations, including strikes against ISIS in Syria, as mentioned by Foggo.

    Read more: The US Navy is thinking about sending advanced sub-hunting planes to Alaska to keep a closer eye on Russia and China

    After five weeks in Norfolk, it headed back out, operating around the North Atlantic and the Arctic — forgoing the traditional Middle East deployment.

    Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said at the end of November that the first dynamic-force-employment deployment had gone "magnificently" and that the strike group had carried out more types of missions in more diverse environments that would've been possible with a normal Middle East deployment.

    Navy aircraft carrier Truman thanksgiving John Richardson

    "I would say that the Navy by nature is predisposed to being dynamic and moving around. It is very good to kind of get back into that game a little bit," Richardson told the press in the days before Thanksgiving.

    The stop in Norfolk in July this year was a working visit for the Truman and the rest of its strike group.

    Read more: 'We can do better': The Navy's newest fleet commander says US ships and sailors got 'beat up' during NATO's biggest exercise since the Cold War

    The strike group departed the 6th fleet area of operations on December 11 and returned to Norfolk on December 16, marking the transition from its deployment phase to its sustainment phase, when the group's personnel will focus on needed repairs and maintaining their skills.

    In July, "we came back in working uniform and we got to work," Rear Adm. Gene Black, the commander of the Truman strike group, said in late November, according to USNI News. "This time we're going to have the whole homecoming with Santa Claus and the band and the radio station, and all the good stuff that comes with that."

    SEE ALSO: Here's why the Navy's newest littoral combat ship just tumbled into the water sideways

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How US Navy carrier strike groups turn the world's oceans into a buffer between the US and war


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    working out new years resolution

    • INSIDER polled 1,102 people about their New Year's resolutions, and nearly 400 said theirs was related to exercise.
    • Most people said they want to join a gym, work out more, or work out a certain number of times per week. 
    • Three certified personal trainers told INSIDER that, in order for them to stick, fitness goals need to be more specific than a broad statement like "work out more."
    •  Other respondents said they want to use activity trackers or standing desks in 2019.
    • Activity monitors can be helpful for some people, but experts say the benefits of standing desks are overhyped.

    The latest official guidelines for exercise say that Americans should aim for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity movement every week. But according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, about 80% of US residents currently fail to meet these guidelines. Come January 1, many Americans will attempt to change that using a New Year's resolution related to fitness. 

    INSIDER recently polled 1,102 people about their New Year's resolutions for 2019, and 395 said theirs was related to exercise or activity.

    When asked how they plan to achieve these fitness resolutions, most gave some variation on the same answer: Working out. Working out three to four times per week was the most popular response, chosen by 32.4% of those planning to make fitness a resolution. It was followed by going to the gym "more often" and joining a gym. 

    Just over 17% of th 395 respondents said they planned to purchase or use Fitbit activity monitor as part of their resolution. Another 10% said they will buy or use an Apple Watch, and an additional 10% said they'd use some other activity tracking device. Altogether, plans to track exercise with technology accounted for roughly 37% of the responses. 

    americans exercise resolutions 2019

    About 14% of respondents said they are planning to walk more during their commute, and about 4% said they'll switch to using a standing desk during work. 

    INSIDER spoke with three certified personal trainers to learn if these popular fitness goals are likely to help people get fitter in 2019. Here's what they had to say. 

    Workout goals should be specific and realistic

    Most of the respondents said their fitness resolution revolved around working out. But all three trainers agreed that broad resolutions like "work out more often,""join a gym," or "work out three to four times per week," lack a crucial component: Specificity. 

    "Goals need to be quantifiable and they have to be very specific,"Mary Jane Detroyer, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer, told INSIDER. "If someone says, 'I'm going to go to the gym more often,' that person will probably never get to the gym, because they don't have a structure."

    Instead, take some time before January first to form a detailed plan. Given all the non-negotiable parts of your schedule, which days of the week can you feasibly work out, and at what time of day? How long will you work out? Do you want to work out to improve your heart health, to build muscle, or to achieve some other type of goal? And what type of exercise will you do during each workout session to reach those goals?

    working out

    "Be realistic about what your schedule is like and what you are going to do at the gym," certified personal trainer Noam Tamir, CSCS, owner and founder of TS Fitness in New York City, told INSIDER,  "Don't just get there without a plan. Otherwise, you'll get frustrated, you won't feel comfortable, and you won't succeed."

    (If you're totally new to working out and have no clue what to do in a gym, consult a fitness professional for help, he added.)

    Read more: I tried the workout Victoria's Secret models use to get show-ready and it wasn't as intense as I expected

    Fitness goals should also be realistic, all three experts said, and what's realistic for you depends on both your current schedule and your current fitness level. If you're not exercising at all in December, resolving to run seven days a week starting in January is not something you're likely to achieve. 

    "If you set a goal that's too lofty and too far-fetched, you're more likely to fail, which is going to decrease your motivation to do it and your long-term success,"Gabbi Berkow, another registered dietitian and certified personal trainer, told INSIDER.

    Pick a workout you like and make it convenient

    treadmill

    Berkow also recommended that any exercise you resolve to do should be something you actually like.

    "Make sure, in an exercise goal, that you are incorporating movements you enjoy," she said. "If you hate running, don't force yourself to run. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy and you will stick to, because consistency trumps everything. You don't want it to be something temporary."

    Finally, do what you can to make your resolution convenient for yourself. For instance: On your scheduled workout days, pack yourself both gym clothes and a pre-workout snack, Berkow suggested. Or, if you have your pick of several gyms, choose one that's conveniently located. 

    "Don't think, 'I'm going to join this beautiful gym, but it takes me 45 minutes to get there and 45 minutes to get back," Tamir said. "If it's not near your work, or near your home, then you're not going to do it."

    Activity monitors can be great for some people, but you don't need one

    activity tracker

    All three trainers INSIDER interviewed also agreed on another point: Activity monitors can be helpful, but not everyone needs one. 

    "It really depends on the person — they can help, but they don't always," Detroyer said. "In people who have been completely and totally sedentary, [an activity monitor] works because they can see that they're not moving at all."

    Tamir also noted that they can be a helpful way to jump start physical activity, but once the novelty wears off, users may find they don't enjoy getting a constant stream of activity-related data. 

    Read more: Your fitness tracker is wildly inaccurate at counting calories, study finds

    "Sometimes people are tired of the quantitative [focus]. They're tired of the counting," he said. "It can take the enjoyment away from doing it. People just want to go for a run and enjoy it."

    Finally, activity monitors that track the number of calories burned may not be a good choice for those with eating disorders or a history of disordered eating.

    "In eating disorders, one of the problems usually is obsessing about calories and not allowing yourself to eat unless you burn a certain number of calories," Berkow said. "For people struggling with eating disorders or obsessing about calories burned versus calories in, I wouldn't recommend an activity monitor."

    Walking more on your commute is a great choice

    woman walking.JPG

    In INSIDER's poll, almost 14% of respondents listed walking during their commute as their fitness resolution. Though walking isn't as intense as say, a HIIT class, it can still help you get healthier.

    "There are tons of benefits to walking more," Berkow said. "It helps to increase the number of calories that you're burning which can help with weight management if that's a goal. Because walking gets your blood flowing, it can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. That increase in circulation increases the volume of blood that's flowing to your brain, which helps improve concentration, energy, and focus, and improves your mood."

    Read more: How much you should walk in a week to see a major improvement to your health

    But, just as with any exercise-related resolution, specificity matters. You'll be more successful if you plan exactly how much longer you will walk and how often.

    You can also work challenges into a walking resolution. 

    "If someone is walking to work but they want to become more physically active, they could try increasing the intensity of their walk," Detroyer said. "If they walk 20 blocks in 20 minutes, they may try to see if they can do it in 18. That'll actually improve their cardiovascular fitness and strength."

    A standing desk won't help you get healthier

    Standing at my desk

    Standing desks landed at the bottom of INSIDER's poll results, and that's probably a good thing: Recent research suggests that standing desks are overrated as a way to get improve health, the New York Times reported in November.

    "Well-meaning safety professionals and some office furniture manufacturers are pushing sit-stand workstations as a way of improving cardiovascular health but there is no scientific evidence to support this recommendation," Dr. David Rempel, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told the Times. (He did acknowledge, however, that alternating sitting and standing could be a helpful strategy to address neck or back pain.)

    And, as Dr. Aaron Carroll pointed out in the Times article, standing is not the same thing as exercising. 

    "Many health groups recommend that people at work take frequent walking breaks," he wrote. "Replacing sitting with standing does not fulfill that recommendation and may even mislead people into thinking they’re doing enough activity."

    SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,037 respondents, margin of error plus or minus +/- 3.15 percentage points with 95% confidence level.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The pros and cons of drinking protein shakes after exercising


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    Most dominant athletes 2x1

    • The past 12 months saw some of the usual suspects, like LeBron James, Alex Ovechkin, and Simone Biles, continue their dominance in their respective sport.
    • But several new faces showed up on the world stage, with athletes like Patrick Mahomes, Kylian Mbappe, and Chloe Kim soon to become household names, if they're not already.
    • We ranked the most dominant athletes of 2018 and ultimately found that nobody can touch Simone Biles for the top spot.

    The last 12 months were an interesting sports year for the way the old-guard in sports kept its place, and several newcomers emerged with a peek at the future.

    LeBron James, Alexander Ovechkin, Simone Biles, and Novak Djokovic, for instance, all had strong years that only added to their resumes.

    But 2018 also featured breakout stars like Patrick Mahomes, Kylian Mbappe, and Chloe Kim, who all look the stars of the next generation, soon-to-be household names.

    There's no easy way to define dominance, but we tried our best, taking into account personal success and accomplishments, team success, and, well, straight-up superiority.

    Read our 40 most dominant athletes of 2018 below:

    Cork Gaines contributed to this report.

    40. Neymar

    Paris Saint-Germaine, Brazilian forward

    Age: 26

    One thing to know:While Neymar didn't earn the distinction of "best footballer on the planet" this year, his dominance presents itself in other ways — he's one of the highest-paid, most-followed athletes on the planet, and still playing at an extremely high level as one of the top scorers in Ligue 1 for PSG. With his club already sleepwalking to another league title, the coming Champions League knockout phase could prove decisive for his legacy.



    39. Naomi Osaka

    Tennis player

    Age: 21

    One thing to know: At just 21 years old, Naomi Osaka's 2018 season felt like a declaration — the age of Osaka is upon us. Between her brilliant play on the court and her delightful press conferences, she's as captivating an athlete as tennis could hope for the coming generation. Her breakthrough came at the US Open, where she defeated Serena Williams in the final to win the first major of her career. There are many more to come.



    38. Zion Williamson

    Duke Blue Devils forward

    Age: 18

    One thing to know: A freshman for the Duke Blue Devils, Zion Williamson has quickly taken over the world of college basketball thanks to his high-flying dunks and his efficient play. Williamson is widely expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NBA Draft, but not before he looks to wreak havoc on the ACC and bring a sixth national championship back to Durham.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    steak frites

    • There are different diet fads from around the world. 
    • The Nordic diet puts an emphasis on fresh food.
    • Plant-based diets are popular in India.

    Every day in practically every corner of the globe, people are searching the best way to maintain a healthy weight. And they're spending a lot of money to in the process. In the United States alone, people spend over $60 billion each year to lose weight, including gym memberships and diet programs.

    But no matter how much time you spend on the treadmill, one of the key components of weight loss is diet. And depending on where you live, there are lots of different ideas about the best things to eat to stay slim.

    The foods you choose, the way you prepare them, and the portions you consume, all play a role in whether or not you'll pack on the pounds. If you're looking for a new way to get fit, check out some of the most popular diet plans from around the world.

    A variation on intermittent fasting lets you eat what you want ... sometimes.

    The 5:2 diet, a popular weight loss program in the United Kingdom and the US, encourages participants to consume a normal amount of calories five days per week . On the plan, the remaining two days of the week are meant to be "fast days," cutting calorie consumption down to 25% of the normal amount – approximately 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men.

    Although the diet doesn't restrict any specific foods, lean meat, soup, and herbal teas are among the recommended foods for "fast days."

    People who swear by the diet claim that it has benefits on the body and mind, including clearer mind, reduced inflammation, and more, though of course, more research is needed. 



    The Mediterranean Diet is a heart-healthy alternative to processed foods.

    If you're looking for a heart-healthy diet, take a page from the countries near the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece and Croatia. Although the diet isn't designed to induce weight loss, the Mediterranean Diet has been proven to help lower bad cholesterol and improve heart health.

    The diet consists mainly of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, with an average of nine servings of fruits and vegetables consumed each day. Lean protein like fish is favored over red meat, and nuts are the preferred snack food.  

    Those on the Mediterranean Diet don't have to worry about giving up bread altogether, although it is typically eaten with olive oil instead of butter. But one of the best parts about this diet is that you can still enjoy red wine – in moderation, of course.



    The Nordic Diet puts an emphasis on fresh food.

    Denmark and Sweden are known as some of the happiest places on Earth, but many people in the country have also made healthy eating a way of life. Like the Mediterranean Diet, the Nordic Diet promotes eating local fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fatty fish like salmon and herring, root vegetables, and low-fat dairy products are at the core of the diet.

    The Nordic favors organic, seasonal produce, and wild foods, when available. Another major difference between the two diets is that the Nordic Diet favors using canola oil rather than olive oil, as the Mediterranean Diet suggests.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    retired couple

    • When deciding where to retire, there are several factors to bear in mind.
    • US News & World Report recently released its annual best places to retire in America list for 2019.
    • We highlighted the 50 best places to retire in the US — Florida cities popped up several times.

    Visions of retirement often come with sandy beaches and palm trees, but that doesn't mean that's what the best places to retire always look like.

    US News & World Report recently released its annual best places to retire in America list for 2019. To determine the list, it looked at the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the US. Each area was given a retirement score scored on a 10-point scale and based on a weighted average of housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market, and healthcare quality.

    This included data from a public survey of pre-retirees (age 45 to 59) and retirement-age (age 60 and up) folks across the country as well as data from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other US News ranking lists.

    You can read the full methodology here.

    Below, see the top 50 places to retire in America, featuring several cities in Florida. We included the overall score, housing affordability index, and healthcare index.

    SEE ALSO: Florida is one of the best places to retire in America — here's exactly how much it costs for a dream retirement in the Sunshine State

    DON'T MISS: What 8 people wish they knew before retiring in their 20s and 30s

    50. Des Moines, Iowa

    Overall score: 6.6

    Housing affordability: 7.1

    Healthcare: 5.6



    49. Los Angeles, California

    Overall score: 6.6

    Housing affordability: 4.6

    Healthcare: 7.5



    48. Knoxville, Tennessee

    Overall score: 6.6

    Housing affordability: 7.7

    Healthcare: 6.3



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    nike gift card

    Gift cards are an ideal gift in a lot of ways. For instance, you get to give them exactly what they want — in the color, style, and exact model that they want it — without polling their closest friends, family, and private online wish lists. They also typically don't expire.

    Below, you'll find 40 of the best ones to give. If you want more options, there are also lots of restaurant gift cards on Amazon and plenty of other brands here. Otherwise, you might opt for stores like Best Buy with free in-store pickup

    Below, you'll find 40 of the best gift cards to give this year:

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Brooklinen

    Buy a Brooklinen gift card

    Brooklinen makes the best high-end sheets at the best price on the internet. Have a gift card delivered digitally, or in a gift card box. You can find a full review of Brooklinen's sheets here.



    Amazon

    Buy an Amazon gift card

    An Amazon gift card is a more polite version of giving them cash — with it, they can buy pretty much anything they've had on their wish list — whether it's new and exciting tech or completely utilitarian home basics. You can also buy it in a gift card box.



    Spotify

    Buy a Spotify gift card on Amazon or Best Buy

    They probably already have a Spotify account, but that doesn't mean they won't appreciate not having to pay for it for a while. A Spotify gift card lets you fund the next few months of something they love and use multiple times per day. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    This is a preview of The Reverse Logistics Report from Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    Returns

    With e-commerce becoming a lucrative shopping channel, retailers and their logistics partners have been primarily focused on how to quickly move goods through the supply chain and into the hands of consumers — a process commonly referred to as forward logistics. However, the opportunities presented by the growing popularity of e-commerce also come with a challenging, multibillion-dollar downside: returns.

    Return rates for e-commerce purchases are between 25% and 30%, compared with just 9% for in-store purchases. Turning reverse logistics — the process of returning goods from end users back to their origins to either recapture value or properly dispose of material — into a costly and high-stakes matter for retailers.

    Not only are retailers experiencing more returns as a result of e-commerce growth, but consumer expectations also demand that retailers provide a seamless process. In fact, 92% of consumers agree that they are more likely to shop at a store again if it offers a hassle-free return policy (e.g. free return shipping labels). Some consumers even place large orders with the intention of returning certain items. 

    And e-commerce sales are only going up from here, exacerbating the issue and making retailers' need for help more dire. However, for logistics firms that can offer cost-effective reverse logistics solutions, this has opened up a significant opportunity to capture a share of rapidly growing e-commerce logistics costs in the US, which hit $117 billion last year, according to Armstrong & Associates, Inc. estimates. 

    InThe Reverse Logistics Report, Business Insider Intelligence examines what makes reverse logistics so much more challenging than forward logistics, explores the trends that have driven retailers to finally improve the way in which returns move through their supply chains, and highlights how logistics firms can act to win over retailers' return dollars.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • E-commerce is now a core shopping channel for retailers, and it's still growing. US e-commerce sales are set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% between 2018 and 2023, surpassing $1 trillion in sales, according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates.
    • Booming e-commerce sales have driven product returns through the roof. Business Insider Intelligence estimates that US e-commerce returns will increase at a CAGR of 19% between 2018 and 2023, surpassing $300 million dollars. 
    • Consumers have high expectations about how returns are handled, and retailers are struggling to find cost-effective ways to meet their demands. Sixty-four percent of shoppers stated they would be hesitant to shop at a retailer ever again if they found issues with the returns process. And retailers don't have the expertise to effectively keep up with how demanding consumers are about returns — 44% of retailers said their margins were negatively impacted by handling and packaging returns, for example.
    • Logistics firms are well positioned to solve — and profit from — returns. These companies can take advantage of their scale and expertise to solve pain points retailers commonly experience as goods move through the reverse supply chain. 
    • Reverse logistics solutions themselves present a lucrative opportunity — but they're also appealing in the potential inroads they offer to supply chain management. The global third-party logistics market is estimated to be valued at $865 billion in 2018, according to Bekryl. 

    In full, the report:

    • Explores the difficulties found in the reverse logistics process.
    • Highlights the reasons why reverse logistics needs to be a key focus of any retailer's operations. 
    • Identifies the specific trends that are leading to growth in reverse logistics, including changes in shopping habits, consumer expectations, and regulatory pressures
    • Pinpoints where along the reverse supply chain logistics firms have opportunities to attract retail partners by offering unique and helpful solutions. 
    • Outlines strategies that logistics firms can employ to capture a piece of this growing multibillion-dollar market.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Aquaman 3 Warner Bros.

    • Director James Wan chose to make "Aquaman" because he thought it was the superhero "everyone makes fun of," so he'd get to make it under the radar.
    • It backfired as "Justice League" bombing at the box office put more pressure on "Aquaman" to succeed. 
    • Wan told Business Insider why making "Furious 7" helped prepare him for the pressures of making the DC Comics movie.

     

    Director James Wan thought he had made the perfect choice when he was offered to do a superhero movie three years ago.

    “They asked me which superhero I would be interested in, and I picked Aquaman because it’s the one everyone makes fun of, so there wouldn’t be a lot of pressure,” Wan told Business Insider. “I’ll go and make this movie under the radar — no one is going to care. Fast-forward, and there’s just this massive spotlight on it.”

    What Wan didn’t foresee was that the DC Comics Extended Universe would suffer a major blow when last year’s release of “Justice League” became a major box-office and critical bomb. Suddenly, “Aquaman” was a pretty big deal for Warner Bros.

    If Wan — the horror maestro behind “Saw” and “The Conjuring,” as well as title holder of the biggest box-office earner of the “Fast and Furious” franchise with “Furious 7” (over $1.5 billion worldwide) — and his lead Jason Momoa couldn’t make “Aquaman” a global hit, then what kind of future would the DCEU have outside of successful “Wonder Woman” movies?

    Aquaman Warner Bros 2Thankfully, “Aquaman” has become a box-office sensation, having already earned over $300 million overseas and becoming the highest-grossing Warner Bros. movie ever in China. It finally hits theaters in North America on Friday.

    Read more: Business Insider ranks the 11 best movies of 2018

    Wan admits there’s always pressure one a big movie, but he said having made a big movie for a studio, “Furious 7,” prepared him for all the anxiety of making “Aquaman” under a magnifying glass.

    “It trained me to understand what it means to do a movie like this, but also how to have a movie like this fun in a way that people will endear it as opposed to scoffing at it,” Wan said of making “Furious 7.”

    And US audiences are starting to see that for themselves, as the movie took in $13.7 million in preview screenings before its Friday opening, which is slightly better than “Venom” and “Wonder Woman.” 

    SEE ALSO: Some upset MoviePass subscribers say they have tried to cancel and the app didn't let them

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    • The past year had a lot of breathtaking sports to offer.
    • Between the Winter Olympics, the World Cup, and thrilling NBA and NFL seasons, it was quite a year for sports and sports photography.
    • Whether capturing an important moment or simply a moment of beauty, great sports photography gives us a new perspective on athletes we love to watch.

    The past year was a great one for sports.

    Things started with a bang, with an epic Super Bowl and an enthralling Winter Olympics. From there, we journeyed through the NBA playoffs, and the summer brought us World Cup we'll never forget.

    After spending the dog days of summer watching baseball, football season was back before we could blink. With it came historically high-powered offenses and a brand new slate of rookies ready to change the league.

    Through it all, some of the best photographers alive were there to cover it and produce some astounding images. 

    Take a look below at some of the best sports photographs of 2018.

    Rory McIlroy finds himself in a predicament amongst Augusta National's iconic foliage during the third round of the Masters.

    Read more:The 55 best photos from the 2018 Masters



    Boxer Paddy Barnes makes his way to the ring.



    The Philadelphia Eagles walk out on to the field prior to their NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings.



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    FORECAST Global Remittance VolumeRemittances, or cross-border peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers, hit a record high of $613 billion globally in 2017, following a two-year decline.  And the remittance industry will continue to grow, driven largely by digital services.

    Several factors will fuel digital growth globally, such as increased smartphone penetration, greater demand for digital transactions, and an overall need for faster cross-border transfers. And with the shift to digital comes an audience of younger, digital-savvy customers using remittances — a segment that companies are looking to target.

    As a result, the global remittance industry is becoming increasingly competitive for firms to navigate, with incumbents like Western Union and MoneyGram competing for the same pool of customers as digital upstarts like WorldRemit and Remitly. And in order to win, companies across the board will need to prioritize the four areas consumers value most in remittances: cost, convenience, speed, and safety.  

    In The Digital Remittances Report, Business Insider Intelligence will identify what young, digitally savvy users value in remittances. We will also detail the concrete steps that legacy and digital providers can take to effectively capture this opportunity and monetize digital offerings — the primary growth driver — to emerge at or maintain their presence at the forefront of the space. 

    The companies mentioned in the report are: MoneyGram, Remitly, Ria, Western Union, WorldRemit, TransferWise, and Xoom, among others.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • The global remittance industry recovered from a two-year decline in 2017 to reach a record $613 billion in transfer volume. That growth will continue and will be fueled by digital remittances, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow at a 23% CAGR from $225 billion in 2018 to $387 billion in 2023.
    • There’s a new segment of customers that both legacy and digital firms are competing to grab share of. Young, digital-savvy consumers are the customer segment that all firms are vying to reach, which is creating a highly competitive dynamic. The needs of those consumers will precipitate transformational change in the industry.
    • We’ve identified several tangible steps firms can take to improve in four key areas — cost, convenience, speed, and security — to not only attract but also maintain this customer segment to align with their preferences and ultimately win in the space.

     In full, the report:

    • Outlines the global remittance landscape and sizes the opportunity that the industry presents. 
    • Identifies the new audience for remittances and future drivers of the remittance space going forward. 
    • Discusses four key areas that providers can focus on — cost, convenience, speed, and security — to improve offerings and ultimately capture that shifting audience. 

    To get this report, subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 275 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
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    And more!
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    Or, purchase & download The Digital Remittances Report directly from our research store

    SEE ALSO: These were the biggest developments in the global fintech ecosystem over the last 12 months

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    • It was hard to keep up with all the great books published in 2018 — but a few stood out as insightful, entertaining, and helpful.
    • We've defined "business books" as reporting on businesses and the economy, as well as career and finance guides.
    • Highlights include "Bad Blood" by John Carreyrou, "Imagine it Forward" by Beth Comstock, and "Big Debt Crises" by Ray Dalio.

    If you've got some time off to finally catch up on your reading, or you're still looking for a last minute holiday present, now's a great time to look through the best business books of 2018.

    A bonus just for you: Click here to claim 30 days of access to Business Insider PRIME

    This year's highlights include a corporate tale of deception that seems too good to be true, an executive's memoir that's also a comprehensive career guide, and investing insights from two of the greatest to ever do it.

    Here are our favorites.

    SEE ALSO: I spent 2018 speaking with CEOs, billionaires, and a Nobel laureate, and there are 15 lessons I just can't seem to forget

    'Bad Blood' by John Carreyrou

    The medical device startup Theranos was once the world's hottest startup, its founder Elizabeth Holmes— deemed the "youngest self-made female billionaire"— a revolutionary. But after some digging into the company, it all unraveled.

    Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou has the definitive account of what happened at Theranos, and how it was revealed to have been built on lies, secrecy, and an oppressive culture.

    It's a story that sometimes sounds too wild to even be true, but Carreyou's narrative is an excellent piece of journalism.

    Find it here »



    'Imagine It Forward' by Beth Comstock with Tahl Raz

    "Imagine It Forward" is Beth Comstock's memoir of her near 30-year career as an executive at General Electric and NBC.

    It's full of juicy tidbits, like the time Comstock interviewed with Steve Jobs for a position at Apple and her meetings with Jack Welch. But the book also features practical advice for people at any level of an organization, like the idea that you can't expect a promotion to fall in your lap if you never expressed that you wanted it.

    The book inspires readers to be creative and innovative, constantly pushing boundaries, regardless of their level in the corporate hierarchy. Comstock writes that she used to hand out "permission slips" to managers, so they would feel free to take risks that could potentially benefit the organization. The idea is to stop making excuses about why you can't take on big challenges and start holding yourself accountable.

    Find it here »



    'Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises' by Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio is the founder and co-CIO of the world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. Last year, he offered his account of the firm's highly unusual culture and how it's an extension of his life philosophy with "Principles: Life and Work," but this year he released a book on the economy.

    "Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises" arrived on the tenth anniversary of the financial crisis, and shows how Dalio and his team learned from and navigated it.

    It's a dense book, not unlike an economics text book, but you've got Dalio as your guide throughout, keeping the material as clear as possible. It's essential reading if you want to truly understand what happened in the last crisis and what to expect from the inevitable next one.

    Find it here »



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    jerry Seinfeld

    • Netflix has given a big boost to some of the world's highest-paid comedians.
    • The majority of the comedians on Forbes' annual list have worked with Netflix this year or last, from Jerry Seinfeld to Chris Rock. 

     

    Netflix has focused on stand-up comedy the last few years, and will even debut 47 new stand-up specials on New Year's Day.

    Many comedians have seen big paydays thanks to Netflix, and that's evident in Forbes' list of the year's highest-paid comedians in the world, which was released this week. 

    The majority of the comedians on the list have starred in Netflix specials this year or last, such as Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle.

    Gabriel Iglesias released a Netflix special in 2016 called "I'm Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry," and will star in another sometime in 2019 called "One Show Fits All." Sebastian Maniscalco will also star in a special on Netflix that premieres January 15, called "Stay Hungry."

    Forbes made the list based on estimated, pre-tax earnings from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018. Below are the top 10, with those who starred in Netflix specials this year or last in bold:

    10. Sebastian Maniscalco

    9. Jeff Dunham

    8. Jim Gaffigan

    7. Terry Fator

    6. Gabriel Iglesias

    5. Ricky Gervais

    4. Chris Rock

    3. Dave Chappelle

    2. Kevin Hart

    1. Jerry Seinfeld

    And below are the comedians on the list who worked on original content with Netflix this year or in 2017, including their earnings according to Forbes:

    SEE ALSO: Stephen King was 'riveted' by Netflix's new thriller, 'Bird Box,' and slammed critics for suffering from 'Netflix Prejudice'

    Jeff Dunham — $16.5 million

    Dunham starred in Netflix special called "Relative Disaster" last year. 



    Jim Gaffigan — $17.5 million

    Netflix released Gaffigan's fifth special last year, called "Cinco." This year, he passed on Netflix to release a new special, "Noble Ape," to a variety of on-demand services because it would be  "available to everyone at the same time,"he told Business Insider in August. "You didn't just have to have Netflix."



    Ricky Gervais — $25 million

    This year, Netflix released Gervais' first special in seven years, called "Humanity." Forbes estimates that he made $15 million for "Humanity."



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    Amazon packages

    • Amazon has unleashed a slow revolution on holiday shopping, becoming one of the most important places people turn to when they shop for the season.
    • Last-minute shoppers now increasingly trust only Amazon to deliver their orders in time, according to data from Rakuten Intelligence.
    • Amazon is ensuring it stays that way, giving out free trials of Prime like candy, ensuring prices stay competitive, releasing a physical toy guide, and offering free shipping, for every order, later in December than ever before.
    • It's clear Amazon has become part of the fabric of holiday shopping — and will be for the foreseeable future as online shopping grows.

    Amazon is home for the holidays.

    The e-commerce company has become essential to the fabric of holiday shopping. Though much of America's holiday shopping is done the weekend of Thanksgiving, it's rivaled by the weekend right before Christmas, which includes a day that analysts have dubbed "Panic Saturday." 

    Basically, last-minute shopping is how America prepares for the holiday. And no other retailer is in a better position to capture that market than Amazon.

    As Christmas gets closer, shoppers increasingly say they trust only either Amazon or going to physical stores, according to a survey of 500 shoppers by retail platform Teikametrics. While 56% percent said they'd go to a store, 40% said they would most likely turn to Amazon for holiday shopping. Only 5% said they would trust a retailer not named Amazon to ship them their gifts in time.

    According to Rakuten Intelligence data reported by The New York Times, Amazon's share of e-commerce sales fluctuates hugely during the holiday season. 

    This year, it dipped lower than 20% on Thanksgiving. But that share tends to rebound, shooting up near 50% as Christmas draws closer. The busiest day for Amazon last year was December 18, while for other retailers it was December 10, according to Gartner L2 data.

    Read more: People are accusing Amazon of 'ruining' Christmas by sending items without their own boxes, but there's a really easy fix

    Amazon is now so ingrained in holiday shopping, it's effectively become the default online. For many shoppers who enjoy the convenience of online shopping, the choices are to either brave the crowds in stores or see when Amazon guarantees delivery by. 

    Amazon has gone out of its way this year to make itself a holiday destination.

    It's also ensuring it stays that way, giving out free 30-day trials of Prime like candy and offering a week of Prime for $2, offering deals, releasing a paper toy guide, and offering a free-shipping promotion, for every order, later in December than ever before.

    Amazon gave free shipping to all orders this season, regardless of size. Then, Amazon extended its non-Prime free shipping deadline twice this year, first to December 18 from what was originally December 15, then another day to December 19.

    It's clear Amazon has become part of the fabric of holiday shopping — and will be for the forseeable future as online shopping grows.

    SEE ALSO: Amazon is making it cheaper for 3rd-party vendors to sell some items on the site so it can boost variety

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Millennials and teens are making Gucci cool again — here's how the brand nearly doubled its sales in 2018


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    download

    I almost always default to Amazon when I need last-minute, well, anything. Because I love procrastinating, I use it most frantically to buy gifts.

    Once you're on Amazon, you can breathe a little and remind yourself to calm down — it's impossible not to find a good gift that will arrive in time.

    Armed with a Prime membership and lightning-fast typing and scrolling skills, you can browse the huge collection of Prime-eligible products and emerge triumphant, having crossed off gifts for everyone on your list. 

    Most of these items are available with two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime, so don't stress too hard about your last-minute shopping — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

    If time is catching up to you, we've created a cheat sheet to the best 32 gifts on Amazon that will also reliably arrive before Christmas. 

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

    DON'T MISS: 55 creative and unexpected gifts for her that are all under $50

    A tribute to the illustrator behind the iconic worlds and characters of 'Star Wars'

    Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie, $156.78, available at Amazon

    Dive into the fascinating artistic process of creating the "Star Wars" universe. The never-before-seen-or-published illustrations and interviews paint a picture of the hard work of the designer Ralph McQuarrie.



    A cool home-decor piece for transit enthusiasts

    Umbra Subway Wall Hook, $30, available at Amazon

    Part art piece and part functional organizer, the subway-inspired wall hook reminds them of the joys (and terrors) of riding public transportation.

     



    Best-selling noise-cancelling headphones

    Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, $299, available at Amazon

    These comfortable headphones cut out surrounding noises so they can enjoy the crisp and clear listening experience with no distractions. It also has Alexa built right in for hands-free music control and information access. 

     



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    movies streaming

    Consumers having been “cutting the cord,” or canceling their pay-TV subscriptions in favor of internet-delivered alternatives, for years now, but the trend reached new heights in 2017. 

    There’s little reason to believe that this phenomenon will slow down any time soon either, so pay-tv providers will have to find new ways to generate revenue as their primary source continues to erode. 

    One of the most prominent ways media companies are recuperating cord-cutting losses is by launching their own direct-to-consumer streaming services. 

    But what makes for a successful streaming video service? 

    The Business Insider Intelligence Digital Media research team has written a note breaking down the evolving landscape of streaming video on-demand (SVOD). The note looks at which characteristics consumers care about most in a streaming service and which are just "nice to have." 

    To get your FREE copy, click here.

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    • Facebook suspended five accounts for spreading misleading information during the special election in Alabama last year.
    • This includes the account of Jonathon Morgan, CEO of social media research firm New Knowledge, which helped the government discover how Russian agents used social media to share fake news during the 2016 election.
    • Morgan said he created a misleading Facebook page and purchased retweets as part of an experiment with misleading online tactics, but didn't intend to affect the election's outcome.

    Facebook has suspended five accounts for spreading misleading information during the special election in Alabama in 2017, including that of Jonathon Morgan, CEO of social media research firm New Knowledge.

    "We've recently removed five accounts run by multiple individuals for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook around the Alabama special election, and our investigation is ongoing," a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider. "We take a strong stand against people or organizations that create networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing." 

    The news was first reported by The Washington Post.

    Morgan previously told The Washington Post that he created a misleading Facebook page for conservatives and bought Twitter retweets "to measure the potential 'lift' of political messages" as part of an experiment with misleading online tactics during the election, which involved Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.

    He said his intent was not to affect the election's results, but to better understand online disinformation.

    Morgan's efforts, however, were made alongside another campaign that attempted to use social media to destabilize Moore's campaign. According to The New York Times, a Democratically supported social media campaign promoted a Republican write-in candidate and created false evidence that Twitter bots were backing Moore.

    Read more:Facebook endured a staggering number of scandals and controversies in 2018 — here they all are

    In a statement released on Twitter earlier this week, Morgan said:

    "My involvement in the project described in The New York Times was as a cyber-security researcher and expert with the intention to better understand and report on the tactics and effects of social media disinformation. I did not participate in any campaign to influence the public and any characterization on the contrary misrepresents the research goals, methods and outcome of the project."

    New Knowledge helped the government discover how Russian agents used social media to share fake news during the 2016 election and after Trump was elected, the Post reported.

    SEE ALSO: Facebook has been on an advertising blitz to fix its reputation, and some publishers have raked in cash from its nightmare PR year

    DON'T MISS: Facebook could be building a cryptocurrency for WhatsApp

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    If we're living through a “retail apocalypse” that spells doom for brick-and-mortar retail, as many have suggested, why are e-commerce leaders like Amazon, Alibaba, and JD.com so focused on building their own brick-and-mortar networks?

    US Consumers Who Made an Impulse Buy Due to Personalization in the Past 90 Days

    It's because they want to revitalize physical stores by introducing features associated with online shopping like personalization — and a whopping 65% of consumers said personalization and promotions are most important to their shopping experiences, according to a report from Oracle cited by Chain Store Age.

    Brick-and-mortar retailers have the opportunity to reap the same benefits of personalization that e-tailers do, like repeat visits and impulse purchases, but they need to invest in the right technologies and techniques to do so because they currently don’t meet shoppers’ expectations. For example, 41% of consumers expect sales associates to know about their previous purchases, but just 19% have experienced this, according to a report from Segment.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence analyzes how physical retail’s personalization is being outperformed by e-commerce’s, and examines the value personalization holds for brick-and-mortar in particular. We also look at what techniques and technologies are available to help retailers identify and track consumers in-store, and how they can be used to bolster their personalization capabilities. Finally, we examine the different channels through which retailers can reach consumers with their personalized offerings in-store.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Amazon, Alibaba, JD.com, Intel, Mastercard, Target, Velocity Worldwide, RetailMeNot, b8ta, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sitecore, Oak Labs, Calabrio, and Alegion.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Consumers say that a personalized shopping experience can inspire loyalty and increases in spending.
    • But brick-and-mortar retailers aren't meeting consumers’ in-store personalization expectations.
    • The nature of online shopping gives e-commerce the upper hand when it comes to personalization.
    • Physical retailers can close the gap in personalization by identifying consumers when they enter, tracking them throughout their journey, and then using that information to inform individualized offerings.
    • To make the most of personalized offerings, retailers must consider how content is being presented to consumers in-store, and what the strengths of each channel are.
    • If physical retailers fail to improve their in-store personalization, they risk losing sales and market share to e-commerce companies, both online and in-store.

    In full, the report:

    • Identifies the values of personalization to physical retailers.
    • Details the reasons e-tailers currently offer better personalization than brick-and-mortar stores.
    • Outlines the technologies and processes that can bolster in-store personalization.
    • Discusses how retailers can best present personalized offerings in-store.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    corkcicle $24.95

    When I'm browsing for gifts, Amazon is admittedly not the site where I expect to easily stumble across an option that I've never seen before or regard as cool. I tend to think that the new and interesting startups have a leg up in this regard. Since Amazon is so familiar to shop, however, an ideal situation would be for me to knock out all my holiday shopping at once there. 

    It may be a convenient place to shop for ordinary and practical needs like kitchen tools and organization products, but is it really the best place to find unique gifts for your friends and family? This guide of 24 unique gifts, all available on Amazon, presents a compelling case.

    Most of these items are available with two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime, so don't stress too hard about your last-minute shopping — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    SEE ALSO: 25 creative and unexpected gifts for 'Star Wars' fans of all ages

    DON'T MISS: 75 unique gift ideas from startups that are worth having on your radar

    A hook system more reliable than the MTA

    Umbra Subway Wall Hook, $30, available at Amazon

    Part art piece and part functional organizer, the subway-inspired wall hook reminds them of the joys (and terrors) of riding public transportation. 



    A programmable R2-D2

    R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid, from $74.95, available at Amazon

    Your favorite droid comes to life, with a little help from a corresponding app. It can drive around their home, change stances, and react to movie moments as it watches. 



    A garden aquarium that wastes no resources

    Back to the Roots Water Garden, $73.99, available at Amazon

    The two-in-one ecosystem is self-sustaining: the fish waste fertilizes the micro greens on top while the plants clean the fish's water. It requires less work and the greens should be ready in 10 days, plus it simply looks cool on their countertop. 



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