Prime Now Delivery Service Expands to Baltimore and Miami

Amazon’s Prime Now one-hour delivery service, which launched last year in Manhattan as a benefit to Prime members and recently expanded to more New York neighborhoods, is now available in select areas of Baltimore and Miami. From 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, seven days a week, the service offers free two-hour delivery, and one-hour delivery in select zip codes for a $7.99 charge. Prime members interested in the ultrafast delivery service can download the Prime Now app, available for iOS and Android. Continue reading Prime Now Delivery Service Expands to Baltimore and Miami

IoT: Amazon Acquires Connected Enterprise Startup 2lemetry

Amazon recently confirmed that it has acquired 2lemetry, a startup with a focus on creating real value of data being processed and shared via Internet-connected devices. Under Amazon, Denver-based 2lemetry will continue to service its existing clientele, which includes companies such as Honeywell and First Mile. All other deal details remain undisclosed. Amazon’s acquisition of 2lemetry reflects the company’s early efforts to develop an Internet of Things business strategy. Continue reading IoT: Amazon Acquires Connected Enterprise Startup 2lemetry

Percentage of Mobile-Only Shoppers at Top Retailers Increases

According to comScore, 10 percent of Internet users in the U.S. only go online via smartphones and tablets. The measurement firm further notes that 13 percent of users accessing retail apps and sites do so via mobile devices only. Interestingly, the number of mobile-only shoppers at the top 10 retailers exceeds 50 percent in some cases. During January, for example, comScore reports the following percentages for mobile-only shoppers at top retailers: 51 percent at Walmart, 59 percent at Apple, and 53 percent at Target. Continue reading Percentage of Mobile-Only Shoppers at Top Retailers Increases

Apple Pay Mobile Payments Service Experiences Growth in Fraud

Banks are scrambling to tighten security measures as Apple’s mobile payments service experiences a growing incidence of fraud. Criminals are lifting credit card numbers and stealing identities through Apple Pay by reportedly exploiting vulnerabilities in the verification process. Some banks may make it too easy for customers to authenticate numbers when adding cards. According to one expert, fraud may account for about 6 percent of Apple Pay transactions, compare to only 0.1 percent of credit card-swiping transactions. Continue reading Apple Pay Mobile Payments Service Experiences Growth in Fraud

New Report Points to Major Marketing Potential of Pinterest

According to a new report from eMarketer, digital-image bookmarking site Pinterest is poised to become the newest social favorite with advertisers since its users typically “pin” and “repin” items that paint a compelling picture of consumer interests. These interests often focus on specific products, services, travel ideas and other areas that could lead to purchases. The researcher suggests that 2015 will be a critical year to determine whether or not Pinterest can generate a serious advertising business. Continue reading New Report Points to Major Marketing Potential of Pinterest

Pepper: SoftBank to Launch its Sophisticated Consumer Robot

SoftBank has plans to release a line of consumer robots in Tokyo this summer. The humanoid robot, known as Pepper, stands four feet tall, rolls around on wheels and effectively engages in simple conversations with people. The company predicts that robots will one day emerge as the next mass-market technology assisting people in a wide variety of applications. Pepper, developed by French subsidiary Aldebaran Robotics, will be connected to SoftBank’s mobile network in Japan that currently has about 37 million subscribers.  Continue reading Pepper: SoftBank to Launch its Sophisticated Consumer Robot

Visa and MasterCard Unveil Features to Combat Cyberattacks

As concerns continue to rise regarding credit card theft and data breaches, Visa and MasterCard have separately announced new plans to increase the security of their customer data. The world’s two largest payment networks will expand their cybersecurity measures for online transactions through new tokenization and biometrics verification technologies. The announcements coincide with increased efforts by the federal government and numerous industries to combat future cyberattacks. Continue reading Visa and MasterCard Unveil Features to Combat Cyberattacks

Invention Machine Quirky Puts Emphasis on Internet of Things

In 2011, Manhattan-based Quirky turned a college student’s idea for an adjustable power strip into a successful retail story. Since then, the company, which has deemed itself somewhat of a digital destination for inventions, has helped commercialize nearly 400 products. Quirky has initiated a corporate partnership program and is gearing its focus towards Internet connected products such as light switches and air conditioners that can be controlled by smartphones or a Wi-Fi network at home.  Continue reading Invention Machine Quirky Puts Emphasis on Internet of Things

Pinterest Looks to Help App Discovery and In-App Purchasing

Social bookmarking service Pinterest is adding new features that will allow people to download new apps and purchase their favorite furnishings and clothing directly from the site or mobile app. Pinterest teamed up with Apple to launch “App Pins” last week, so that users can discover new apps as part of their searches and download them without leaving the Pinterest app. Since the service is used by many for discovery, Pinterest may also integrate a “buy button” into pins as early as this year. Continue reading Pinterest Looks to Help App Discovery and In-App Purchasing

Google Launches Virtual Customer Service, Plans Help Desks

Google Device Experts is a new service that aims to educate prospective customers about different Google devices including smartphones, tablets and the Chromebook. The service videoconferences a customer with a Google representative who is trained to answer customer questions about products they are looking to purchase. The videoconferencing technology is the same used for Google Hangouts. The company also has plans to install virtual help desks at various retail locations.  Continue reading Google Launches Virtual Customer Service, Plans Help Desks

Ouya Secures $10M Investment from E-Commerce Giant Alibaba

Alibaba has reportedly invested $10 million in Ouya, maker of the miniature game console that raised an impressive $1 million in just over 8 hours after launching on Kickstarter. Despite a successful crowdfunding campaign, Ouya has struggled to gain traction in a gaming market dominated by Microsoft, Sony and others. Alibaba already makes its own set-top box, so it appears that the company’s interest in Ouya is geared towards incorporating the game maker’s software and library of games.  Continue reading Ouya Secures $10M Investment from E-Commerce Giant Alibaba

Amazon Partners with Universities to Deliver Student Savings

Amazon is looking to build a greater presence on college campuses by working with three universities to run co-branded websites and distribution centers for students on campus. The websites will sell textbooks, student apparel, food and just about anything else one could buy from Amazon. The universities that have agreed to partner with Amazon for the “Amazon Campus” initiative include Purdue University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of California Davis. Continue reading Amazon Partners with Universities to Deliver Student Savings

Walmart Launches its New Vudu Spark Streaming Media Stick

Walmart has begun selling its own HDMI streaming media stick — the Vudu Spark — for $24.95 at Walmart.com and select Walmart stores. The Wi-Fi device features a dedicated remote, is powered via USB, and supports 7.1 surround sound and video up to 1080p. It looks like the Spark is largely a single-purpose stick, loaded only with the Vudu app (Walmart’s streaming video service), but the stick is priced $10 less than Google’s Chromecast and currently includes $25 in Vudu credits over five months for customers who activate it. Continue reading Walmart Launches its New Vudu Spark Streaming Media Stick

Overstock.com to Launch Streaming Video Service This Year

It looks like Overstock.com is the latest to throw its hat into the streaming video ring. The Salt Lake City-based company is planning to introduce a streaming video service later this year that will compete in a crowded field that includes its e-commerce rival Amazon. During the National Association of Television Program Executives conference, Overstock Chief Exec Patrick Byrne said the online retailer would launch with about 30,000 movies and TV shows available for rent or purchase and eventually offer original programming. Continue reading Overstock.com to Launch Streaming Video Service This Year

Advertisers Opting for Pinterest Influencers Over Pinterest Ads

With nearly 70 million visitors per month, Pinterest is becoming a popular destination for advertisers to reach new audiences, except not in the way that Pinterest intended. Instead of advertising directly through Pinterest via “Promoted Pins,” advertisers have found success in partnering with an array of “Pinfluencers,” individuals that have accrued millions of followers. Advertisers see the influence these individuals have over followers, and are discovering new ways to leverage them as effective marketing tools.  Continue reading Advertisers Opting for Pinterest Influencers Over Pinterest Ads

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