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Daily Dose of iQ: Meet Botlr, Starwood Hotels' First Robot Butler

Botlr photo - Source: TechCrunch

TechCrunch reported yesterday (Aug. 13) on Starwood Hotels' two R2D2-like robotic butlers (called "Botlrs") serving guests at the company's Cupertino Aloft Hotel.

"When a guest calls down and asks for a toothbrush or extra towels, hotel employees simply load up the robot with the requested items, dial in the room number, and the Botlr handles the rest," wrote TechCrunch's Jordan Crook.

Daily Dose of iQ: Starbucks App Will Allow You to Tip Your Barista from Your iPhone

Starbucks barista - Source: CNNMoney

We have blogged many times about Starbucks because, very simply, they get it. The company understands the importance of creating a consistent, convenient and even desirable customer experience, and it has the locations, service and budget to keep it going. It also has the technology.

New York Store Tours with Paco Underhill

Paco Underhill in Manhattan Verizon store

Two weeks ago, while we were at NRF 2014 in New York City, we partnered with global retail consultancy Envirosell and its founder Paco Underhill (author of "Why We Buy") to host a number of NYC Store Tours.

Daily Dose of iQ: Showrooming Less of a Threat in 2014?

IBM released a study at NRF Monday which found that fewer online purchases came as a result of showrooming in 2013 (30% of purchases) than did in 2012 (50%).

The study, which polled over 30,000 consumers worldwide, also found the number of shoppers who showroomed last year went up slightly, from 6% to 8% year over year.

Daily Dose of iQ: Verizon Opens New Flagship Store at Mall of America

Verizon Destination Store - Source: Verizon

On Tuesday (Nov. 19), Verizon announced its newest flagship store, dubbed the "Verizon Destination Store," at Minneapolis' Mall of America.

And what a destination it is: The store spans nearly 10,000 square feet and from the launch video (seen below), the company is -- as did the AT&T flagship store opened in the summer of 2012 -- focusing less on mobile phones and more on the "mobile lifestyle."

Daily Dose of iQ: Google's 'Helpouts' a New Way for Companies to Connect with (and Help) Customers?

Google Helpouts screenshot - Source: TechCrunch

Imagine you're a chef that wants to host a live, online cooking class in streaming video. How do you go about organizing such a class, attracting an audience and most importantly: accepting payment from attendees? Enter Google "Helpouts," a new extension of Hangouts that, as TechCrunch reported on Wednesday (July 24),  could "turn Hangouts into a commerce platform."

Daily Dose of iQ: Kroger Uses Sensors, Metrics to Reduce Checkout Times

Kroger checkout line - Photo credit: Leigh Taylor, The Cincinnati Enquirer

Alexander Coolidge of The Cincinnati Enquirer yesterday wrote about Kroger's amazing checkout-line success story: The company succeeded in reducing the average checkout line wait time from 4 minutes to 26 seconds.

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