Items tagged with ecommerce

Walmart is hesitant to come right out and say it, but its new Walmart+ subscription service is a poised to become a direct competitor to Amazon Prime, with competitive pricing and some unique benefits. And with the retail chain having several thousand stores, the combination of online and brick-and-mortar benefits is enticing. So, what exactly is Walmart+? There are three main perks at the outset. The biggest one is unlimited free delivery on more than 160,000 items, ranging from electronics to household goods and groceries. Walmart is pitching this as offering customers" in-store prices as fast as same day" delivery on qualifying items. There is a caveat, though. While not mentioned in the press... Read more...
Walmart is stepping up its game in its fight with Amazon for online shopping supremacy with a new InHome Delivery service. Faster shipping is one thing, but Walmart's new InHome Delivery service takes things a step forward by allowing trained workers to enter a customer's home and stock their refrigerator with groceries. I'm having a hard time discerning whether this is absurd or creepy, or perhaps both. Maybe neither—I come from a time that predates online shopping, and used to walk 10 miles in the scorching hot snow, uphill both ways, to fetch groceries. Depending on where you live, it's now as easy as tapping your smartphone and calling it a day. Both Amazon and Walmart have announced... Read more...
What would the world be without rivalries? Pretty boring—we'd miss out on epic clashes between the Red Sox and Yankees, and the Celtics and Lakes (in years past). Perhaps more akin to Godzilla versus Kong, however, we have Amazon and Walmart duking it out in the online shopping space, and both are accelerating shipments of products into the home. It started with Amazon last month announcing an aggressive expansion of its free shipping perk for Prime membership—it's evolving from free two-day shipping on millions of qualifying items to just one day. Folks who live in certain areas already enjoy the expedited shipping time, and Amazon is investing $800 million of "incremental spend"... Read more...
The primary perk of Amazon's subscription Prime membership is free two-day shipping on millions of qualifying items, though there are now a host of other benefits—unlimited access to a catalog of movies, TV shows, and songs; unlimited photo storage; and so forth. Expedited shipping is still the hallmark feature, though, and Amazon has plans of shortening it even further. "We're currently working on evolving our Prime free two-day shipping program to be a free one-day shipping program," Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky recently said during a first quarter earnings call. That seems like a difficult task. It's at least ambitious, though Olsavsky says Amazon can pull this off because... Read more...
Amazon is currently investigating claims that some of its workers have shared (or offered to share) confidential internal information with sellers, and also delete negative reviews of products, in exchange for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. If this actually occurred, it would be yet another reason to take user reviews with a grain of salt. This cat in an Amazon box is not amused (Source: Flickr via Stephen Woods) Internal sales metrics can prove valuable for sellers, particularly keywords that customers type in when searching for a product. The same goes for statistics about a person's buying habits. If a marketplace seller can obtain this information, he or she can then manipulate product... Read more...
Amazon has grown to big for its britches (or breeches, if you prefer that spelling). Having just recently spent $13.7 billion acquiring Whole Foods, the world's largest online retailer is now planning to open a second headquarters, Amazon HQ2, somewhere in North America, the company announced today. The endeavor comes with an expected investment of over $5 billion in order to construct and grow the new facility, which will create as many as 50,000 job openings. "We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. "Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited... Read more...
Google is trying to form a super team in the online shopping space, one that could be considered the Golden State Warriors of e-commerce. In that regard, Google is teaming up with Walmart—the equivalent of adding Kevin Durant to an already stacked squad—to take on Amazon and its Prime shipping service, or LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, if we are to keep this analogy going. Beginning in September, customers will be able to place orders with Walmart via Google Express, Google's e-commerce platform. Buyers will have the option of placing orders through the Google Express mobile app, on the web at the Google Express website, or by voice through devices such as the Google Home smart speaker... Read more...
Ticketmaster is one of the premier vendor of tickets for concerts, sporting events, and other forms of entertainment. However, it might be getting some big time competition from the world's largest online retailer. There is chatter from multiple sources that Amazon is in talks with venue owners in the United States about partnering up to sell tickets through the etailers online store front.Amazon enjoys a massive customer base. The appeal for venue owners is having access to all those eyeballs that already shop on Amazon anyway. And for the online retailer, the motivation is obviously money, and lots of it. According to estimates by research firm BTIG, Ticketmaster raked in a whopping $1.6 billion... Read more...
Amazon is getting ready to host its third annual Prime Day, which will feature hundreds of thousands of deals for Prime members spread out over 30 hours. It is sort of like a Black Friday or Cyber Monday event, only it is exclusive to members of Amazon's Prime program with a barrage of deals being adding as often as every five minutes. And this time around, Amazon is inviting shoppers from China, India, and Mexico to participate, making this somewhat of a global event with 13 countries in all taking part. "Our members love Prime Day and we have been thrilled by the response over the last two years. It is inspiring us to make it even better this year for Prime members," said Greg Greeley, Vice... Read more...
The world's largest online retailer is giving low income individuals and families a reason to skip the lines at Walmart and shop on the web instead. We're of course talking about Amazon, which today announced that customers participating in one of several government assistance programs can sign up for its Prime membership at almost half price. Customers with a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card are eligible to subscribe to Amazon Prime for $5.99 per month for one year. That is a 45 percent savings over the regular membership price of $10.99 per month, and members can can cancel anytime. It also works out to be less expensive than the regular annual fee of $99, which breaks down to... Read more...
One of the best decisions Amazon ever made was creating a Prime membership program. Any argument otherwise is shattered by the numbers—according to data collected by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (just CIRP from here on out), there are now 80 million Amazon Prime members living in the United States. Not only is that remarkable figure, but they're outspending non-Prime members by almost a 2:1 ratio. CIRP figures that Prime members spend on average around $1,300 per year, compared to about $700 per year for non-member customers. That is a big disparity and it goes to show the value that consumers place on free two-day shipping, which is one of the primary perks of being a Prime member.... Read more...
Let's face it, one of the reasons why online shopping is so popular is because some web retailers do not collect sales tax. Technically consumers are supposed to report and pay what's called a "use tax" in those situations, but we suspect few people actually do. State governments typically focus their efforts on collecting tax from retailers anyway, and because of those efforts, Amazon is going to charge a sales tax in all states that collect a sales tax starting April 1. This was an inevitable outcome for Amazon, which already charges sales tax in most parts of the country. It was not always that way. For the most part, online retailers have been able to avoid charging a sales tax in states... Read more...
Walmart is ending a free two-day shipping program it was piloting called ShippingPass, one that was intended to compete with Amazon's Prime service, though that's actually good news for customers. Instead of charging $49 per year for the benefit of expedited shipping on online orders, the company has chosen to offer free two-day shipping to home and stores on millions of items without a membership fee. The caveat is that there is a minimum purchase required for free shipping to homes, which Walmart lowered from $50 to $35. Subscribers to Amazon Prime do not have to worry about making a minimum order—if all a customer wants is a $5 item shipped in two days to their house, Amazon will happily oblige.... Read more...
In an effort to ensure that customers aren't mislead about items they're researching, online retailer Amazon is somewhat banning the practice known as incentivized reviews, which is when a reviewer posts an evaluation of a product in exchange for receiving it for free or at a discount. We say "somewhat" because Amazon will still allow such evaluations, but only when it's the one setting them up. "Today, we updated the community guidelines to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program. We launched Vine several years ago to carefully facilitate these kinds of reviews and have been happy with feedback from customers and vendors," Amazon said. "Here’s... Read more...
Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren't the only two shopping events where you can save big bucks on electronics and all sorts of other items, not if Amazon has any say in the matter. The massive web retailer has begun promoting its second annual Prime Day, an online shopping extravaganza that's exclusive to Prime members. Amazon's kicked off its first Prime Day last year in celebration of the site's 20th anniversary. It turned out to be Amazon's biggest event ever, to be topped only by this year's Prime Day, which is scheduled for July 12. If you're a Prime member, you'll be able to shop deals on all devices across nearly all categories with more than 100,000 items marked down worldwide. "Prime... Read more...
Winning an Emmy award isn't easy, just ask Amy Poehler, Steve Carell, Michael C. Hall, David Duchovny, or any others who have starred in hit TV shows but have yet to be honored with one of the ultimate prizes. So it's understandable that Amazon is stoked that its own original programming series Transparent notched five Emmy wins at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards earlier this week. To celebrate its success, Amazon is making its Prime service available for just $67 to new members. That's a $32 discount over the regular $99 annual fee and a heck of a deal if you're a frequent shopper at Amazon. As always, Prime members receive free 2-day shipping on millions of qualifying items, though the benefits... Read more...
Imagine you've just finished doing your business in the bathroom only to find an empty roll of toilet paper. It's at that point an unsettling fact dons on you -- you forgot to pick up another package of rolls when you were at the store. Uh oh, spaghetti-o! This unfortunate situation can be avoided with Amazon's Dash Button program, which incidentally is now open to all Prime Members.If this is the first you're hearing of Amazon Dash, it's a way for you to reorder select products through Amazon with the press of a button. The labeled button is a Wi-Fi connected device that, once you configure and connect to your wireless network, will automatically place an order for the product it's tied to whenever... Read more...
Amazon has been obsessed with figuring out ways to get packages into the hands of its customers at a faster pace, hence services like Amazon Prime that offer free two-day shipping on millions of items and the rollout of same-day delivery in select areas. However, Amazon's next initiative may be more focused on saving the company money as delivery costs skyrocket.The reported service is known internally as "On My Way." Specific details are lacking, mainly because it's a concept at the moment and there's a lot that still needs to be figured out, but it would rely on regular people to delivery packages. They would be paid, of course, just like Uber drivers are compensated for trucking passengers... Read more...
Have you ever been turned off to buying a low cost item online because the shipping charges were too high? Amazon feels your pain. The mega online retailer is reportedly introducing free shipping on thousands of smaller and popular items, things like mobile phone accessories, makeup, and other lightweight items and low cost goods.You don't need to be an Amazon Prime member, a $99 per year subscription service that offers free two-day shipping on millions of items, nor do you have to spend a minimum amount. The caveat? Shipping could take four to eight business days, depending on where you live in relation to a new shipping hub in Florence, Kentucky. Known as Fulfillment by Amazon Small and Light,... Read more...
One of the main advantages brick-and-mortar stores have been able to maintain in the online shopping era is instant gratification. Whereas you can waltz into a store and leave with the desired item in-hand, online shoppers typically have to wait at least a few days after purchasing a product, though that's changing. In addition to Amazon waiving its $5.99 same-day delivery fee to Prime members who live in the 14 markets it serves, Apple has begun offering same-day delivery in the San Francisco Bay Area for certain products through its Apple Store app.There's a wide range of estimated delivery times on qualifying products. Depending on the item and location of delivery, estimated times could be... Read more...
Among the numerous benefits and features of Amazon's Prime subscription service is a same-day delivery option, an amenity that's available in a dozen metro areas with planned expansions into San Diego and Tampa Bay. Normally the cost for near-instant gratification would cost Prime members $5.99 per delivery, though Amazon on Thursday dropped the fee.That's a pretty amazing deal, at least for those who are lucky enough to live in one of the 14 areas where same-day delivery is offered. Location isn't the only caveat. Qualifying orders must placed before noon or they'll arrive the next day, and orders must total more than $35. Lastly, the number of items available for same-day delivery is over 1... Read more...
Leave it to the lawyers to find loopholes wherever they may exist. For Amazon and its legal advisers, that meant processing all European sales in Luxembourg, a comparatively low tax region that's been saving the online vendor a significant amount of money. It also drew the ire of European regulators, and in the midst of a series of probes into tax deals that companies like Amazon have struck with individual countries, the world's largest online shop has changed the way it pays taxes.Instead of processing all sales in Luxembourg, Amazon on May 1 began booking revenue from retail sales in individual European countries, with local branches in the U.K., Germany, Italy, and Spain, according to a report... Read more...
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