Walmart Builds Its Own Cloud Computing Farm to Rival Amazon

In five years, Walmart invested millions of dollars in six giant server farms that now account for 80 percent of its cloud capacity. The move has enabled the company to keep up with its burgeoning growth for the last three quarters. Most retail businesses rent cloud computing, but Walmart’s determination to best Amazon led to its decision to build its own cloud network. With this internal network, the company can leverage all its customer data, be competitive with its prices and control inventory and other key functions. Continue reading Walmart Builds Its Own Cloud Computing Farm to Rival Amazon

Amazon Adds TGI Fridays to Its New Payment App Feature

Amazon added restaurant chain TGI Fridays to Amazon Pay Places, the tech giant’s new payments feature for its mobile app that allows people to make purchases in stores and restaurants. Amazon Pay Places is available for pick-up orders at a limited number of TGI Fridays restaurants on the East Coast, but will expand to additional locations. Amazon isn’t alone in pursuing digital payment features; Apple, PayPal, Samsung and others are also focused on such services for online and in-store purchases. Continue reading Amazon Adds TGI Fridays to Its New Payment App Feature

Video Game Downloads Becoming More Popular This Year

This holiday shopping season comes at an opportune time for the gaming industry — the latest “Fallout” and “Call of Duty” games have hit the shelves and the newest consoles have hit their stride in terms of price and availability. However, video game sales are down and GameStop and Electronic Arts recently reported disappointing earnings. The dismal numbers may be due to an increased number of game downloads, which are not usually counted in these reports. Continue reading Video Game Downloads Becoming More Popular This Year

MasterCard to Test Using Facial Scans for Purchase Approvals

MasterCard plans to test a new program this fall that will experiment with using facial scans to approve online purchases. Consumers will photograph themselves with their smartphones at checkout, an approach MasterCard believes will be easier than remembering passwords. The company also believes it will help combat fraud. While SecureCode was used in 3 billion transactions last year, passwords can still be forgotten, intercepted or stolen. As a result, a number of companies have been turning to biometrics as a solution. Continue reading MasterCard to Test Using Facial Scans for Purchase Approvals

Instagram Unveils Plans to Open its Photo Feed to Advertisers

Facebook-owned Instagram announced that it plans to open its photo feed to all advertisers later this year. Aside from working with a few select brands to post commercial messages, the mobile photo-sharing service has remained largely free of ads to this point. Opening the feed to advertisers of all sizes will provide marketers with the ability to target the platform’s 300 million users by age, gender, interests, and other factors. The service also plans to introduce a new ad type that encourages users to click links to make product purchases or install advertised apps. Continue reading Instagram Unveils Plans to Open its Photo Feed to Advertisers

Google Buy Buttons Could Offer Alternative to Amazon and eBay

As Internet browsing via mobile devices continues to become the norm, tech companies are scrambling to add new functionality to the scaled-down mobile versions of their sites. In the coming weeks, Google plans to introduce buy buttons to its mobile search-result pages. The buttons will direct users to other Google product pages where purchases can be made (products will be sold by retailers). The move is seen by many as an effort by Google to create an online marketplace to take on leaders such as Amazon and eBay. Continue reading Google Buy Buttons Could Offer Alternative to Amazon and eBay

New Selling Feature on Facebook Groups Similar to Craigslist

Facebook is launching a new feature in Facebook Groups that may finally take a bite out of Craigslist. The feature will enable users to post listings, find posts about items for sale and set pickup locations. The popular social network previously attempted to unseat the 20-year-old Craigslist in the classifieds business, but the venture never took off. Despite its crude appearance, Craigslist still gets 50 billion page views monthly in the U.S. alone because it already has so many users. Continue reading New Selling Feature on Facebook Groups Similar to Craigslist