Items tagged with online shopping

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...
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...
The days are numbered for opportunistic thieves who swipe packages from people's doorsteps when they are away at work or otherwise not at home. In an expansion to its Amazon Key service, Amazon is now giving Prime members the option of having their items delivered to their car, so instead of leaving a box of goodies out in the open, the delivery person will instead shove it in the trunk of a compatible vehicle. Amazon is not charging anything extra for this service, it's yet another perk for Prime subscribers. There are caveats, however, one of which is that it's only available in 37 cities and surrounding areas across the United States. Amazon says it plans to add more cities over time, but... 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...
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...
Santa Claus is not making any more deliveries this year, but do not fret—if you did not get what you wanted this Christmas, you can take matters into your own hands by taking advantage of ongoing deals and sales. One of the bigger sale events is just a day away. On Friday, December 30, Amazon will mark down thousands of TV shows, movies, music, apps, games, and other goodies as part of its Digital Day.The online extravaganza will deep discounts across the digital spectrum. That includes up to 80 percent off hundreds of video games, 50 percent off top movies and TV shows, and 75 percent off hundreds of digital comics, plus other deals on popular content. The sale event goes live at 12:00 AM PST... 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...
In many ways Walmart is the offline version of Amazon, the one-stop shop for everyone from car parts and baby diapers to groceries and toothpaste. Now in an effort to significantly bolster its online presence and become Amazon's primary web competitor, Walmart has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Jet.com, a fast growing e-commerce portal, for $3 billion in cash plus another $300 million in Walmart shares to be paid over time, Walmart confirmed today. Walmart already conducts business online but not on the same scale as Amazon. The acquisition of Jet.com will build on and complement Walmart's online shopping foundation and spur faster e-commerce growth by expanding customer reach... Read more...
By the numbers, Amazon's second annual Prime Day was a smashing success. Compared to last year's Prime Day, customers this time around ordered 60 percent more good on a worldwide basis, and 50 percent more in the U.S. alone. It was the biggest single shopping day ever for Amazon devices, with every device category outselling what they'd done during Amazon's inaugural Prime Day last July, including Fire TV, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, and Alexa-enabled gadgets. "Prime itself is the best deal in the history of shopping, and Prime Day was created as a special benefit exclusively for our Prime members," said Greg Greeley, Vice President, Amazon Prime. "We want to thank our tens of millions of... Read more...
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