Macy’s is First Major Retailer to Use Apple’s iBeacon Tech

When Apple released iOS 7 in June, the company incorporated a proximity-based service called iBeacon that is now being used in retail stores. Mobile retail app developer Shopkick recently announced a service called ShopBeacon that uses iBeacon technology to track customers when they enter and move around the store, and allows the business itself to interact with the customers as they shop. ShopBeacon’s first official trial partner is Macy’s. Continue reading Macy’s is First Major Retailer to Use Apple’s iBeacon Tech

Facebook Targets Neglected Mobile Apps with New Ad Service

Facebook announced a new ad service this week that addresses the problem of neglected mobile apps. The service enables companies and developers to distribute targeted ads that remind consumers to open apps on smartphones that have been downloaded, but are rarely used. Facebook hopes to generate new revenue by targeting mobile app neglect. The company has already built a business to help companies get their apps discovered and downloaded; its app discovery ads have 145 million downloads. Continue reading Facebook Targets Neglected Mobile Apps with New Ad Service

Twitter Hires Commerce Chief, Plans to Offer Shopping Tools

As part of its move into the online shopping space currently dominated by Amazon and eBay, Twitter has hired Nathan Hubbard as the company’s first head of commerce. Hubbard was president of Live Nation Entertainment’s Ticketmaster until earlier this month. Twitter plans to initially enter e-commerce by offering retailers tools for selling goods and services inside tweets. Forrester projects e-commerce will be a $370 billion market in the U.S. by 2017. Continue reading Twitter Hires Commerce Chief, Plans to Offer Shopping Tools

Gifts Program: Facebook Replaces Physical Goods with Digital

Due to a lack of user demand, Facebook will shutter its physical gifting service that launched less than a year ago. Responding to higher customer preference, the company plans to shift its Gifts program entirely to gift cards and digital goods, since more than 80 percent of gifts sent on Facebook have been digital. The move is also likely due to the complicated delivery operation involving physical goods, including inventory tracking, fulfillment and customer service. Continue reading Gifts Program: Facebook Replaces Physical Goods with Digital

SmartThings Launches Online Market for Internet of Things

In an effort to promote its own Internet-of-Things devices, startup SmartThings is launching an online marketplace that offers starter kits and an array of devices and solution sets that help manage the home. SmartThings first launched its products via Kickstarter in September, including a hub and variety of sensors to track movement and manage devices, providing users with home automation solutions controlled largely by smartphones. Continue reading SmartThings Launches Online Market for Internet of Things

Windows Stores: Microsoft and Best Buy Team on Retail Space

Microsoft and Best Buy announced yesterday that they are teaming up to convert the computing sections of 600 Best Buy locations into new in-store retail shops called Windows Stores. The 1,500-2,200 square feet mini-stores plan to feature an array of Microsoft products including computers, phones and Xbox video game machines. Windows Stores will be distinctly designed featuring prominent Microsoft colors and logos, and plan to start opening this summer. Continue reading Windows Stores: Microsoft and Best Buy Team on Retail Space

Online Shopping Goes Visual: Hi-Res Images Replace Text

The text-driven model of e-commerce that emerged during the first 15 years of online shopping is giving way to a more visual model. Today, many consumers are more inclined to peruse high-resolution images of products posted by family, friends and online colleagues than read traditional product descriptions that appear as text. These same consumers will then often click through from the images to purchase products that sound and look the coolest. Continue reading Online Shopping Goes Visual: Hi-Res Images Replace Text

Shall I Buy Enables Social Shopping: Foodspotting for Everything Else

  • Shall I Buy is a free iPhone app with the goal of combining instant social feedback for shoppers to make better purchasing decisions and possibly combat buyer’s remorse.
  • A shopper can share a video, picture, price and location to engage potential followers and incite comments, and allows sharing of links through Facebook and Twitter.
  • “The app is done simply, taking heavy styling cues from Instagram, but in doing so it’s effective and easy to use,” reports TheNextWeb.
  • The post cites two potential downsides: 1) By default, users receive a great number of push notifications, and 2) It would be helpful to have “a way to configure notifications inside of the app itself,” rather than going to the website.
  • Robert Scoble equates it to “Foodspotting for everything else.”

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