Amazon Cash for Those Without Credit Cards, Bank Accounts

To succeed in countries where large percentages of the population do not have bank accounts, Amazon is launching Amazon Cash, a new service that allows users to add cash to their Amazon accounts without incurring fees. Otherwise, to make cash purchases, such customers would have to buy an Amazon Gift Card or purchase a prepaid card. To access Amazon Cash between $15 and $500, the user requests a barcode, accessed through Amazon’s website mobile app or via text message, which is presented to a participating retailer. Continue reading Amazon Cash for Those Without Credit Cards, Bank Accounts

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

Twitter Aims to Integrate Coupons with E-Commerce Program

With a base of about 248 million users, Twitter could become the ultimate commerce destination for marketers and shoppers alike. The company recently announced its plan to rollout Twitter Offers, a program that allows marketers to package promotional tweets with time sensitive discounts and coupons that can be readily redeemable via smartphones and credit or debit cards. The new program is an initiative to drive sales, primarily in-store sales, with mobile advertisements. Continue reading Twitter Aims to Integrate Coupons with E-Commerce Program

Twilio Aims to Help Businesses Send Photo, Video Messages

The company behind Uber’s driver calls and Airbnb’s text messages is now offering multimedia messages for businesses that want to reach their customers with photos and videos. Twilio’s API enables businesses to run call centers and send voice and text messages through Amazon Web Services for mere pennies. The new multimedia offering will work via MMS, or multimedia messaging service, through contracts with phone carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Continue reading Twilio Aims to Help Businesses Send Photo, Video Messages

Twitter and Facebook Are Expanding Into Online Purchasing

Twitter and Facebook users will soon be able to do their online shopping directly from the social networks. The two companies are investing in e-commerce in an effort to keep users on their apps and sites. Twitter acquired CardSpring, a mobile payments infrastructure company, which will allow users to load coupons and discounts to a credit card. Facebook is also testing a new buy button that will open a dialog box to make purchases from Facebook posts. Continue reading Twitter and Facebook Are Expanding Into Online Purchasing

Study Measures Influence of New Technology on In-Store Sales

Deloitte’s recent study, “The New Digital Divide: Retailers, Shoppers, and the Digital Influence Factor” shows that digital technologies are an integral part of the entire shopping experience since they influence $1.1 trillion of in-store retail sales. By the end of 2014, the percentage of in-store sales that digital technologies influence will increase from the current 36 percent to 50 percent. The retail categories most influenced by digital include electronics, furniture and sporting goods. Continue reading Study Measures Influence of New Technology on In-Store Sales

Foursquare Leverages Check-Ins for Full-Page Mobile Ads

Social network Foursquare has started rolling out full-page post check-in ads in its mobile apps. The ads are presented to users immediately after they check in at certain locations, typically offering a relevant suggestion or coupon. The Diageo-owned Captain Morgan rum brand is one of the first on board. For example, users who check in at certain bars or restaurants will be served an ad suggesting they order a “Captain and cola” or “Captain mojito.” Continue reading Foursquare Leverages Check-Ins for Full-Page Mobile Ads

Google Glass: Second Screen and Advertising Opportunities

The hype behind Google Glass continues to grow, as tech bloggers scramble to test the new device and ad agencies become excited by its possibilities. After Google presented the public with the Glass Explorer program, in which early adopters had the chance to pay $1,500 to try a pair, the company received so many submissions it closed the program earlier than expected. The device has potential for second screen applications and augmented ads. Continue reading Google Glass: Second Screen and Advertising Opportunities

Facebook Deals Shutdown: Is There a Future for the Social Coupon Biz?

  • Facebook Deals, which offered coupons for local businesses in Facebook users’ main news feeds, officially shut down on Sunday.
  • While some assume the shutdown suggests a failure, sources say that Facebook cut the program because of limited engineering resources the company wanted to place elsewhere.
  • “Groupon and rival LivingSocial are no doubt pointing to Facebook’s withdrawal as evidence that the business is harder to replicate than people previously thought,” reports All Things D.
  • Groupon and BuyWithMe have introduced technology that attempts to track consumer loyalty following their first voucher purchase. Other companies in this space, including Google, are ramping up their coupon platforms, creating mobile solutions that “will recognize when people are close to a deal and allow them to redeem it immediately,” suggests the article.
  • “Last week, Microsoft launched Bing Deals, which is aggregating deals from other major providers to help users browse, find and purchase them in one place,” according to All Things D. “Ironically, that site is being powered by The Dealmap, which Google acquired in August.”