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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Is a Price War Brewing Between Amazon.com and Jet.com?

Recently, Amazon has been offering discounts on sneakers and video games to its Prime members, prompting some industry watchers to predict an impending price war with discount shopping site Jet.com. Operating in private beta, the members-only Jet offers cheaper prices by lowering order fulfillment and shipping costs. The belief in the possibility of a price war is rooted in recent history: Jet was founded by former Amazon employee Marc Lore, whose previous company Diapers.com was the focus of a heated price war that ended with Amazon’s 2010 acquisition. Continue reading Is a Price War Brewing Between Amazon.com and Jet.com?

Amazon May Open its First Physical Store in New York City

E-commerce giant Amazon reportedly has plans to open its first brick-and-mortar store in the heart of New York City. The company’s new space on 34th Street across from the Empire State Building may likely be used as a mini warehouse that will handle same-day delivery, product returns, and pick-ups of online orders. A physical store is expected to help provide faster service and delivery for New Yorkers in addition to building more brand recognition for the online-based company. Continue reading Amazon May Open its First Physical Store in New York City

Hachette and Amazon Continue to Battle Over E-Book Prices

As Amazon and Hachette continue to battle over the prices of e-books, Hachette’s authors have decided to appeal directly to Amazon’s board. Authors United is warning the board of the reputation that the retailer will develop if it blocks the sale of books, a tactic that may prove helpful considering the significance Amazon places on its reputation. Authors United members have until Wednesday to sign the letter, which will be sent to Amazon’s 10 board members. Continue reading Hachette and Amazon Continue to Battle Over E-Book Prices

Keep’s OneCart Service Makes Online Shopping Even Easier

New York-based startup Keep allows Internet shoppers to add any merchandise from across e-commerce sites to one unified shopping cart. Now, with the addition of the OneCart feature, users can add an item from any online store to the mobile app and check out with minimal effort. And rather than entering credit card and shipping information for every shopping site, Keep unifies the experience by allowing users to enter information just once to be used universally. Continue reading Keep’s OneCart Service Makes Online Shopping Even Easier

Amazon 3D Printing Store Offers iPhone Cases, Bobble Heads

Amazon launched its 3D Printing Store yesterday, which allows users to customize pre-made designs and order 3D printed products. Printing labs such as 3DLT, Mixee and Sculpteo have partnered with Amazon to include their popular designs. Amazon’s store presently features more than 200 designs for games, home decor, jewelry, tech accessories, toys and more that can be altered by color, size and thickness. Users can also add text, their name and other small touches. Continue reading Amazon 3D Printing Store Offers iPhone Cases, Bobble Heads

E-Commerce: “Buy Now” Buttons Appear in Twitter Mobile App

One new feature suggests that Twitter may be experimenting with online shopping. “Buy Now” buttons began appearing in the mobile app this week in tweets from Fancy, an online retailer. The buttons previously took users to a checkout page, but the function is no longer active. If the function is restored, it will be the first time that Twitter allows users to pay for products from a tweet. Twitter has been expanding its e-commerce capabilities since the company went public. Continue reading E-Commerce: “Buy Now” Buttons Appear in Twitter Mobile App

Amazon Prime Ready to Launch its Anticipated Music Service

Amazon has reportedly reached agreements with record labels in order to launch a streaming music service by June or July. The Prime music service does not plan to feature recent song releases, but will offer a catalog of tracks and albums that are six months old and older — providing an additional benefit to Prime members who already enjoy access to movies and TV shows via Instant Video, an e-books lending library, and free two-day shipping on products ordered through the retail site. Continue reading Amazon Prime Ready to Launch its Anticipated Music Service

After a Lukewarm Response, Square Pulls the Plug on Wallet

Although Wallet seemed to have tremendous potential as the next big thing, Square recently pulled the app from mobile app stores after receiving a lukewarm response from consumers and retailers. Square Wallet, created by Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey, offered a radical new way of performing an everyday task by making payments through a mobile app easier. Dorsey’s vision was to reinvent in-person payments for the mobile era, but the public did not seem to respond well. Continue reading After a Lukewarm Response, Square Pulls the Plug on Wallet

Wanelo: Like a Digital Mall That Makes Online Shopping Social

Deena Varshavskaya launched Wanelo, a platform for both online shopping and social networking, in 2012. Two years later, the site has 11 million users and access to 12 million products and 300,000 stores worldwide, from big brand names to small boutiques. The image-intensive site allows users to browse, share, and purchase products immediately. Wanelo does not stock the products itself, but rather, every product is linked to a store’s online site. Continue reading Wanelo: Like a Digital Mall That Makes Online Shopping Social

FedEx Responds to E-Commerce Boom with Increased Pricing

While FedEx has traditionally charged to ship packages based solely on weight, the company has changed its policy to also price packages according to size. The move is expected to increase the price of over a third of FedEx’s U.S. ground shipments, and dramatically impact e-commerce companies. The next question is whether or not UPS will follow FedEx’s lead and consider a new pricing strategy as well. In the past, UPS and FedEx have kept similar pricing, rather than use pricing as a competitive advantage. Continue reading FedEx Responds to E-Commerce Boom with Increased Pricing

Walmart Beefing Up its E-Commerce Efforts to Catch Amazon

Walmart has surpassed online retail giant Amazon in sales growth for the first time in a decade. Global online sales for Walmart rose by 30 percent in 2013 to $10 billion, while Amazon experienced 20 percent sales growth. However, Amazon’s $67.8 billion in online sales are more than six times Walmart’s sales, and Amazon sold more last year than its next 10 largest competitors. To better compete with Amazon, Walmart is investing significantly in e-commerce. Continue reading Walmart Beefing Up its E-Commerce Efforts to Catch Amazon

Tactus Brings Shape-Shifting Touchscreen Buttons to iPads

While touchscreen devices have keyboards integrated directly onto their screens, many people miss the tactile feel of a traditional keyboard. Tactus Technologies, a company we first reported on during CES 2013, has developed shape-shifting touchscreen buttons to meet the needs of these consumers. The tech is coming to market later this year with an iPad accessory that will feature transparent morphing buttons that use small fluid-filled channels and elastic blisters to make the buttons rise during use. Continue reading Tactus Brings Shape-Shifting Touchscreen Buttons to iPads

Digital Comics Platform ComiXology to be Acquired by Amazon

Amazon announced that it will acquire comiXology, the digital comics platform that had its 200-millionth download last fall. With the sales of physical comics fading, comiXology is developing tech to allow the craft to move online. The company operates a comics store and a mobile comics app, which was the top-grossing non-game iPad app from 2011 to 2013. Its library includes 40,000 comics from 75 major publishers. ComiXology also opened a self-publishing platform last year. Continue reading Digital Comics Platform ComiXology to be Acquired by Amazon

Retail Giant Walmart to Offer Store Credit for Used Video Games

Starting next week, the country’s largest retailer Walmart will allow customers to trade in used video games for store credit to spend on other products in more than 3,100 Walmart stores nationwide. The plan is an expansion of Walmart’s program that provides customers with credit for used tablets and smartphones that can be used toward new devices. The plan also represents a potential threat to game retailer GameStop, the biggest seller of used games in the U.S. Continue reading Retail Giant Walmart to Offer Store Credit for Used Video Games

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