E-Commerce: Amazon’s Return Policy Jumps Ahead of the Pack

While Amazon may be best known for its fast delivery and massive product selection, the Seattle-based company has also devoted a great deal of effort to offering one of the best refund and return policies possible. In fact, Amazon currently leads all e-commerce retailers when it comes to cash back for items returned. Where some companies take days, even weeks to reimburse customers for returns, Amazon takes an average of 1.3 days, according to a new study by StellaService Inc.  Continue reading E-Commerce: Amazon’s Return Policy Jumps Ahead of the Pack

Retailers Turn to Smart Mannequins to Lure In-Store Shoppers

For nearly three decades, Universal Display has provided mannequins to fashion retail stores such as Lord & Taylor, Saks and Uniqlo. In an effort to improve the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, Universal Display has developed an innovative way to use modern tech with mannequins to push information to nearby shoppers. Mannequins are tagged with beacons that push messages to customers’ mobile phones complete with photos, sizes and prices of ready to buy clothing inside the store. Continue reading Retailers Turn to Smart Mannequins to Lure In-Store Shoppers

EBay Partners with Fashion Brand to Create Future of Retail

EBay has teamed up with fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff to create the retail store of the future complete with technology designed to enhance a shopper’s in-store experience. With locations in San Francisco and New York, the two companies hope to bring the best of the online world into the physical retail space. In each store, customers have access to touchscreen displays on the store’s mirrors and in the fitting rooms that offer an interactive shopping experience. Continue reading EBay Partners with Fashion Brand to Create Future of Retail

Internet of Things: Retailers to Promote Smart Home Devices

Retailers are gearing up to support a range of connected home devices for the upcoming holiday season. Best Buy’s new Connected Home department is scheduled to deploy in more than 400 stores by Thanksgiving, featuring more than 100 smart home products. Other big box retailers including Home Depot, Lowe’s and Staples have unveiled new programs and products in their stores designed for the connected home. We can also expect to see specialists and tech support trained in smart home products. Continue reading Internet of Things: Retailers to Promote Smart Home Devices

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

Amazon’s Flow Plans to Enhance Shopping by Scanning Objects

Amazon’s newest app feature will make it even easier to never have to leave your home to purchase media, gifts and common household goods. The new feature, “Flow,” will soon be available in Amazon’s shopping app for iOS, and it will allow users to simply scan any object with their iPhone camera and place an order for that specific product. The app does not require barcodes to work — just a clear image — and it takes less than 30 seconds to place an order. Continue reading Amazon’s Flow Plans to Enhance Shopping by Scanning Objects

Amazon Intends to Read Your Mind with Anticipatory Shipping

Amazon has acquired a patent for what it calls “anticipatory shipping,” a method the company may use to deliver packages to customers before they’ve even purchased the products. The idea is to predict which products customers want or need and eliminate the usual wait time that occurs between hitting “buy” online and receiving the package in person. The other possible effect of anticipatory shipping, if put into place, is that it might discourage consumers from going to brick-and-mortar stores. Continue reading Amazon Intends to Read Your Mind with Anticipatory Shipping

ComiXology: Sales of Digital Comics Pages Soar to 6 Billion

ComiXology, a digital comics platform that launched in 2009, sold 4 billion pages of comics through its iPad app last year, earning it the title of most profitable non-game app for the iPod for the third year in a row. That figure shows a drastic increase in sales since the launch of ComiXology, which has sold more than 6 billion pages of comics total. CEO David Steinberger says the considerable growth is due not only to long-time comics lovers moving over to digital versions, but new, first-time comics fans. Continue reading ComiXology: Sales of Digital Comics Pages Soar to 6 Billion

New Sensor Technologies Have Untapped Potential in Retail

Embedded sensor technology has proven to be useful in a number of markets, but some are saying it can revolutionize the retail experience for both companies and consumers if used to its full potential. Though online retail is booming in popularity, many transactions still take place inside physical stores, often with the aid of a mobile device. By linking up those factors, shoppers’ experiences will be more productive, and companies will benefit with greater profits. Continue reading New Sensor Technologies Have Untapped Potential in Retail

Holiday Shopping Takes a Mobile Turn, Companies Respond

Cyber Monday, one of the busiest online commerce days of the year, is now extending to the rest of the holiday season. Consumers are no longer waiting until the Monday after Thanksgiving to surf the Web for deals. Rather, utilizing their tablets and smartphones, consumers are shopping online for a longer stretch. This is forcing companies like Amazon and eBay to compete with retailers to attract online buyers both before and after Cyber Monday. Continue reading Holiday Shopping Takes a Mobile Turn, Companies Respond

Google Uses Location Tracking to Target Customers On-the-Go

Google is beta-testing a program that tracks consumers wherever they go using location data on their smartphones. It is the company’s answer to advertisers’ question: “How do we reach consumers who are on-the-go?” The program uses Android and iOS technology to track consumers’ locations and looks at their recent Google searches. Participating advertisers whose brick-and-mortar stores are nearby can pay to appear first in those listings. Continue reading Google Uses Location Tracking to Target Customers On-the-Go

Amazon May Expand Same Day as Competitors Lower Prices

Amazon may be launching AmazonFresh, its same-day grocery and local product delivery service, into the New York City area. AmazonFresh is currently available in Los Angeles and Seattle. This potential move may be a first step toward extending same-day delivery and leveraging the company’s extensive distribution network for future expansion. But as the company grows its reach, brick-and-mortar retailers are challenging Amazon on prices, offering the same or even lower rates. Continue reading Amazon May Expand Same Day as Competitors Lower Prices

Will Online Services and Apps Replace Local Bank Branches?

More banking is done digitally today and new financial services are emerging from a variety of companies. Banks themselves are using third-party services for their customers. Banks may have a diminishing role in consumers’ financial lives, giving rise to companies that provide banking and other management services. Critics say banks are slow to innovate, while others suggest they are taking a careful, combined approach with physical and digital services. Continue reading Will Online Services and Apps Replace Local Bank Branches?

Big Data: Retailers Experiment Tracking Shoppers In-Store

Nordstrom recently tested new technology in their stores in order to learn more about their customers. The system tracked customers’ movements by following their smartphone Wi-Fi signals while in the store. Nordstrom’s system is similar to what online retailers do to track customers’ online movements. Nordstrom is one of many retailers that are using in-store tracking and monitoring technologies, yet there are concerns of privacy. Continue reading Big Data: Retailers Experiment Tracking Shoppers In-Store

Retail: Pinterest Coming Soon to a Nordstrom Store Near You

Department store chain Nordstrom is bringing Pinterest into its locations with a trial program in order to better engage with its customers both online and in the physical space. The retailer has a significant presence on the social networking site, more than its closest competitors combined. Nordstrom is integrating its products posted on Pinterest with the same products at its retail locations. It is also using Pinterest for its inventory management system. Continue reading Retail: Pinterest Coming Soon to a Nordstrom Store Near You

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