Walmart Offers Next-Day Delivery to Compete with Amazon

This week, Walmart announced that it will start offering free, next-day delivery on select online orders over $35 without any added membership fee. This announcement comes after a similar one from rival retailer Amazon just last month. Amazon, the lucrative e-commerce giant, announced that it is investing $800 million in its warehouses and delivery infrastructure with the goal of cutting the speed of its Prime deliveries from two days to just one. For now, Walmart’s quicker deliveries will only be available in select markets.

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Instagram Eyes E-Commerce With Standalone Shopping App

Facebook’s photo- and video-sharing service Instagram is reportedly developing a standalone app designed specifically for shopping. The app, possibly to be named IG Shopping, is expected to help users browse products from merchants and businesses and then make purchases directly within the app. The Verge initially broke the news based on information from sources familiar with the matter, but Instagram has yet to confirm the app or a potential launch date. According to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, over 25 million businesses presently have Instagram accounts, 2 million of which are advertisers. Continue reading Instagram Eyes E-Commerce With Standalone Shopping App

Small Sellers on Facebook Live Lack Essential Business Tools

Facebook debuted its Live streaming video feature in 2016 to profit from the popularity of live video, especially among younger viewers who were turning to Snapchat. Now, small businesses have adopted Live streaming to create an interactive shopping experience that combines sales with a very human connection. Tracie Reeves, for example, has 25,000 Facebook followers who watch her six-day-a-week two-hour show, “My Mermaid Treasure,” where she sells cultured freshwater pearls dyed numerous colors, keeping viewers glued with raffles and giveaways. Continue reading Small Sellers on Facebook Live Lack Essential Business Tools

Artificial Intelligence Now Powers Photo Searches on Facebook

Facebook’s Lumos computer vision platform, which was originally created to help visually impaired members of the social network’s community, is now being used for a more sophisticated image search. It allows users to find images on Facebook via key words that describe content, rather than a search that is limited to tags and captions. “Facebook trained an ever-fashionable deep neural network on tens of millions of photos,” explains TechCrunch. “The model essentially matches search descriptors to features pulled from photos” and “ranks its output using information from both the images and the original search.” Facebook may apply the tech to videos in the future and potentially raise the bar on its targeted ad offerings. Continue reading Artificial Intelligence Now Powers Photo Searches on Facebook

Facebook Integrates Social and Utilitarian with New Features

Facebook has a strategy to become more useful in everyday life, combining and improving on the services similar to those from Yelp, Foursquare and others. The added value, says Facebook, would be its network of social connections and businesses. That idea is behind the updates the company is now unveiling, which will allow users to order food from a restaurant’s Facebook page or make an appointment at the beauty salon. Retailers must use third-party services such as Delivery.com, Slice, HomeAdvisory or MyTime for it to work. Continue reading Facebook Integrates Social and Utilitarian with New Features

Facebook Launches Marketplace, Battles Sale of Illegal Items

This last Monday, Facebook began gradually introducing a new feature, Marketplace, which, similar to Craigslist, lets users buy and sell items. The app will be first introduced to users in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom, and will also be available on the desktop in the next few months. Because most Facebook users access the site via mobile phones, Marketplace will provide better location data for matching buyers and sellers than Craigslist. Since the launch, however, Facebook has been dealing with illegal items for sale. Continue reading Facebook Launches Marketplace, Battles Sale of Illegal Items

Groupon Experiments with Online Storefronts for Selling Goods

Groupon may offer much more than a collection of coupons. The company is currently offering discounted products through a new initiative called Groupon Stores. Retailers can set up an online store on the Groupon site to sell their goods, which must be at least 5 percent cheaper than the normal prices. Groupon will take a 15 percent commission of the retailers’ sales. The company is testing the new marketplace model as a way to continue growing its Goods business. Continue reading Groupon Experiments with Online Storefronts for Selling Goods

New Hasbro Site Turns Amateur Creations into 3D Printed Toys

Toy maker Hasbro and 3D printing service Shapeways have teamed up to bring the power of toy design to the hands of consumers. The two companies launched the SuperFanArt site for My Little Pony toys. Users can create, share and even sell their pony designs through the Shapeways’ marketplace. The first 3D printed My Little Pony toys will be shown at Comic-Con this week. Hasbro plans to add more of its brands to the SuperFanArt site later in the year. Continue reading New Hasbro Site Turns Amateur Creations into 3D Printed Toys

China’s Alibaba Group Launches U.S. Shopping Site 11 Main

The largest e-commerce company in China, Alibaba Group Holding, has launched a U.S. shopping website as it plans to go public in what is expected to be one of the largest IPOs in history. The new site, 11 Main hosts over 1,000 merchants in categories such as clothing, jewelry and interior goods. The site is currently available to users who sign up and receive an email invitation. Alibaba has invested in a range of U.S. companies over the past year, including e-commere and mobile messaging. Continue reading China’s Alibaba Group Launches U.S. Shopping Site 11 Main

More Fake Reviews for iOS Apps, Quality Lower for Android

According to analysis from Apptentive, 55 percent of apps with fake reviews were found on the iTunes App Store while 45 percent were on Google Play. The fact that Google Play requires a Google+ account may account for the lower number. Although iOS apps have more fake reviews, Android apps have the worst reviewer quality. The development of the “Love Score” metric, which helps publishers learn what customers really think about the apps they use, brought Apptentive to these findings.

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ScreenHits to Launch Free Website for Showcasing TV Pilots

ScreenHits, an online marketplace for international buyers of film and television content, plans to launch a free service for consumers that will feature TV pilots that have not been picked up. The approach aims to introduce a new source of revenue for producers and studios. The Pilot Showcase service is scheduled to go live with 50 pilots on July 1. The pilots will be made available with advertising, and viewers can pre-order any shows that get greenlit as full series.   Continue reading ScreenHits to Launch Free Website for Showcasing TV Pilots

Alibaba Combats Counterfeit Goods After Filing IPO Prospectus

As part of its effort to streamline the process of addressing counterfeit goods, Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group has begun to automatically remove from its biggest shopping site products that certain brands have deemed as fake. Alibaba’s Taobao shopping site is one of the busiest in the world, and counterfeit goods have been a concern ahead of the company’s IPO. Its expedited take-down process will initially apply to products identified by less than two dozen brands participating in the program. Continue reading Alibaba Combats Counterfeit Goods After Filing IPO Prospectus

Piracy Makes its Way to Smartphones, Industry Fights Back

Many smartphone owners use file-sharing apps or online storage sites to store their free music downloads and listen on their phones. According to a new study from researcher NPD Group, 21 million people in the United States downloaded at least one unauthorized song in the past year. Apps have made it even easier for people to access music for free, even though most of them provide users with the same free music that would be found through an Internet search. Continue reading Piracy Makes its Way to Smartphones, Industry Fights Back

500px Aims to Revolutionize Photo Licensing with Prime Service

Online photography community 500px is launching a commercial licensing marketplace called Prime that plans to charge licensing fees starting at $250. 500px says Prime is different from other licensing services because regardless of the license or who purchases the images, member photographers will earn 30 percent of proceeds for each photo sold. 500px is hoping “to fundamentally change the way photos are licensed” by “changing the way photo licensing companies work with photographers.” Continue reading 500px Aims to Revolutionize Photo Licensing with Prime Service

Following Trendrr Deal, Twitter Acquires Mobile Ad Firm MoPub

Twitter announced this week that it has acquired mobile advertising firm MoPub, which enables mobile application publishers to manage inventory and leverage advertising such as direct ads, house ads, ad network and real-time bidding through the MoPub Marketplace exchange. The deal, worth an estimated $350 million, can be viewed as Twitter’s latest effort to increase revenue prior to its much-anticipated initial public offering, expected sometime next year. Continue reading Following Trendrr Deal, Twitter Acquires Mobile Ad Firm MoPub

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