Walmart Opens Test Stores to Advance E-Commerce Goals

Walmart is transforming four of its stores into test labs to find the best ways to transition them into online fulfillment centers for e-commerce. Two of the stores are near its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters, and the locations of the second two will be announced at a later date. Employees at these so-called laboratories will rely on digital tools and try out different strategies to integrate the company’s e-commerce and brick-and-mortar sides. The company’s online sales almost doubled during Q2, which ended July 31. Continue reading Walmart Opens Test Stores to Advance E-Commerce Goals

Amazon Opens Marketplace Appstore for 3rd Party Pro Sellers

Next Monday, Amazon opens Marketplace Appstore, a new app store that offers approved third-party apps intended for professional sellers. The store will be available in North America through Seller Central, its main hub for sellers, and will include pricing, inventory, advertising and other tools for professional sellers. Amazon plans a slow rollout to avoid glitches. The company stated that many developer tools “complement” its services, and that Marketplace Appstore will help them “streamline their business operations.” Continue reading Amazon Opens Marketplace Appstore for 3rd Party Pro Sellers

YouTube to Sell Vevo Music Video Clips Direct to Advertisers

Google’s YouTube will now sell Vevo’s music video clips directly to advertisers, as part of a deal struck late last year but just made public. Up until now, Vevo had the first pass at selling its own videos, leaving automated, remnant ad sales to Google. At YouTube’s “Brandcast” pitch event to advertisers, the company did not so much announce the terms of the deal, but let it slip that it was selling Vevo clips in its “Google Preferred” tier, which is a collection of its most valuable and most “brand-safe” content. Continue reading YouTube to Sell Vevo Music Video Clips Direct to Advertisers

Best Buy to End CD Sales, While Target Adjusts Sales Model

Physical CDs are still selling well, although the U.S. has seen sales down by 18.5 percent. But Best Buy and Target have just taken steps that may hasten the demise of physical media. Best Buy, which was once the biggest music seller in the U.S., has told its music suppliers that it plans to pull CDs from its stores on July 1. The company will continue to carry vinyl records for two years, fulfilling a promise made to vendors. Meanwhile, Target is now telling music suppliers it will sell CDs on a consignment basis. The move would also impact sales of movies, TV shows and other video content on DVD. Continue reading Best Buy to End CD Sales, While Target Adjusts Sales Model

Google will Compete with Amazon by Adding Product Ratings

In an attempt to compete with Amazon, Google is planning to add ratings to its product listing ads in order to make search results more effective. The ratings are to be based on aggregated rating and review data taken from several sources. Google believes merchants that gather these ratings will decide to share the data because it ultimately generates more business. The move should create more relevant search results as more data surrounds the product.

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Google Moves Further into Retail with New Overnight Delivery

The search engine Google is adding overnight delivery to its shipping options in Northern California. From San Francisco to Berkeley, and soon other cities, Google promises to deliver items purchased by 7:00 pm to doorsteps the next day. Unlike Amazon’s massive warehouses, Google’s system utilizes chain stores such as Target and Walgreens to help fill orders. This delivery service may entice customers to search for products on Google rather than Amazon. Continue reading Google Moves Further into Retail with New Overnight Delivery

Omnicom Media, Twitter Agree to $230 Million Mobile Ad Pact

Omnicom Media Group and Twitter announced a mobile-advertising deal yesterday that is said to be valued at $230 million over the next two years. The agreement will integrate Accuen, Omnicom’s ad buying unit, with MoPub, the ad exchange that Twitter acquired in September for $350 million. The deal will lock in advertising rates and access to inventory for Omnicom agencies, while also providing a first look at new ad units and related opportunities being developed by Twitter. Continue reading Omnicom Media, Twitter Agree to $230 Million Mobile Ad Pact

Publicis Groupe and Facebook Announce New Ad Partnership

Facebook and Publicis Groupe, the advertising holding company with clients such as Procter & Gamble, Verizon and Coca-Cola, have struck an advertising deal reportedly worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.” The partnership will give Publicis increased access to Facebook’s user data, ad inventory, and opportunities to advertise on Instagram and to utilize video ads. The deal is the largest to-date between an agency holding company and a tech company. Continue reading Publicis Groupe and Facebook Announce New Ad Partnership

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

AmazonSupply is Formidable Competitor in Wholesale Market

One division of e-commerce giant Amazon may take the wholesale and distribution market by storm. The two-year-old AmazonSupply offers over 2.2 million products in bulk, from scientific equipment to food service products. Unlike current wholesale businesses that are regional, family-run companies, Amazon is a multinational company with $74 billion in annual revenue, a user-friendly website, 24-hour delivery, and a massive database of consumer data. Continue reading AmazonSupply is Formidable Competitor in Wholesale Market

Facebook Plans to Roll Out its Premium Video Ads Next Month

Facebook announced that its autoplay video advertisements will be called Premium Video Ads. Beginning in late April, the marketing tool will deliver 15-second video clips into users’ feeds that will play automatically. According to a Facebook rep, the social media giant wants “to create a captive, but not interruptive experience.” Similar to videos on Instagram, the ads are activated when scrolled over, but audio does not play unless a user clicks on the ad. Facebook will test every video prior to approving them. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Roll Out its Premium Video Ads Next Month

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

EBay’s Strategy to Revolutionize Shopping and Beat Amazon

Although eBay is commonly known as an online auction house, CEO John Donahoe has made strides in moving beyond this perception by expanding eBay’s marketplace to include fixed prices with reliable and returnable goods. In the last five years, eBay has made 34 acquisitions which will help provide retail partners with creating interactive storefronts in real locations, help with the back end of websites, monitor inventory in real time, and streamline the electronic payment process.  Continue reading EBay’s Strategy to Revolutionize Shopping and Beat Amazon

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

BlackBerry Selling Phones Directly After Bleak Earnings Report

If things weren’t already looking bleak enough for BlackBerry, the company released its latest earnings report on Friday. Second quarter results for the three months ending August 31 show revenue of $1.6 billion, down 49 percent from the previous quarter and 45 percent from the same quarter last year. The company also reported an adjusted loss of $248 million. And on the heels of a near $1 billion inventory markdown, BlackBerry announced it will start directly selling unlocked smartphones. Continue reading BlackBerry Selling Phones Directly After Bleak Earnings Report

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