E-Commerce Giant eBay Starts Shipping Program in Germany

Another Amazon Prime competitor has entered the mix. San Jose-based eBay is experimenting with a program that offers its customers free, fast shipping and returns for about $20 per year. The e-commerce company does not control shipping, so it has to work with sellers that agree to send items the same day they are ordered. In return, eBay gives those sellers discounts on selling fees and subsidies to help with the cost of shipping. The shipping program, eBay+, is only available in Germany for now. Continue reading E-Commerce Giant eBay Starts Shipping Program in Germany

Amazon Receives FAA Approval to Test Drones in Open Spaces

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved Amazon’s request to test drones outdoors. The FAA is stipulating that the tests be conducted only during the day and no higher than 400 feet off the ground. Amazon is hoping that unmanned aerial vehicles may be used for a future 30-minute package delivery service, and the open-space testing would help in its development efforts. During testing, Amazon will report to the FAA regarding the number of flights, any software issues and related data. Continue reading Amazon Receives FAA Approval to Test Drones in Open Spaces

Amazon May Open its First Physical Store in New York City

E-commerce giant Amazon reportedly has plans to open its first brick-and-mortar store in the heart of New York City. The company’s new space on 34th Street across from the Empire State Building may likely be used as a mini warehouse that will handle same-day delivery, product returns, and pick-ups of online orders. A physical store is expected to help provide faster service and delivery for New Yorkers in addition to building more brand recognition for the online-based company. Continue reading Amazon May Open its First Physical Store in New York City

New Shyp Service Reimagines How We Package and Ship Items

San Francisco-based startup Shyp — “the easiest way to ship anything” — is aiming to simplify the shipping process. Rather than packaging an item and finding the cheapest company to ship with, the user simply takes a picture of the item to be shipped and adds the address. Within 20 minutes, a Shyp courier arrives to pick up the item and hands it off for another person to do the work. The app is meant to be a cheap and efficient way to ship items without doing any work. Continue reading New Shyp Service Reimagines How We Package and Ship Items

Walmart Beefing Up its E-Commerce Efforts to Catch Amazon

Walmart has surpassed online retail giant Amazon in sales growth for the first time in a decade. Global online sales for Walmart rose by 30 percent in 2013 to $10 billion, while Amazon experienced 20 percent sales growth. However, Amazon’s $67.8 billion in online sales are more than six times Walmart’s sales, and Amazon sold more last year than its next 10 largest competitors. To better compete with Amazon, Walmart is investing significantly in e-commerce. Continue reading Walmart Beefing Up its E-Commerce Efforts to Catch Amazon

GameFly Will Take On Netflix with New Movie Rental Service

Video game rental service GameFly is launching a movie rental service (currently in beta) that aims to compete with the Netflix disc-by-mail business. GameFly will offer DVD and Blu-ray discs to subscribers, with the option of renting one or two movies at a time. While Netflix has predicted that shipping costs would bring an end to its own disc-based rental service, this may not be an issue for GameFly since mail rentals remain its core business. Continue reading GameFly Will Take On Netflix with New Movie Rental Service

Samsung Expands Retail Presence in Europe and North America

Samsung has become the largest smartphone maker worldwide without having many of its own retail stores. Since its growth has slowed while faced with a variety of cheaper models from rivals, Samsung is looking to expand its retail presence in North America and Europe. In the next few months Samsung is planning to open around 60 stores in Europe, and 90 kiosks in Canada. The company has no independent retail stores in the U.S., but teamed up with Best Buy last year to create 1,400 “store-in-store” kiosks. Continue reading Samsung Expands Retail Presence in Europe and North America

Amazon Says It May Increase Shipping Fees of Prime Service

Amazon announced in a fourth-quarter earnings conference call that it might be raising prices on shipping fees through its Amazon Prime program. The $79-a-year shipping service could go up in price by as much as 50 percent, increasing the company’s bottom line by close to $500 million. The announcement came as a pleasant surprise to investors following a slow holiday season for Amazon and its lowest growth rate in several years. Continue reading Amazon Says It May Increase Shipping Fees of Prime Service

Jeff Bezos Reveals Amazon’s Plans for Drone Delivery Service

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed some significant plans for the company on “60 Minutes” this week. In the not-too-distant future, Amazon plans to offer drone delivery service for its smaller packages headed for customers close to its distribution centers. Bezos expects packages weighing less than five pounds to be deliverable to addresses within a 10-mile radius by small helicopter-like devices. Amazon is calling the service “Prime Air.” Continue reading Jeff Bezos Reveals Amazon’s Plans for Drone Delivery Service