E-Book Prices Increase, Sales Slump After Amazon & Publishers Finalize Contracts

E-Book Prices Increase, Sales Slump After Amazon & Publishers Finalize Contracts

Just three months after Amazon tied up its bevy of contracts with top publishing houses, it looks like those deals might not be working out well for several companies, as they’ve reported declining e-book revenues in recent months. [More]

Amazon announced an expansion of its Dash ordering gadget.

Users of Amazon’s ordering gadget, the Dash button, have been able to quickly restock their supply of Kraft Mac & Cheese, Tide, Cottonelle, Bounty and 14 other products for about five months (or one month if they didn’t receive an invitation early on). Now, they can buy even more, as the e-commerce company has expanded its quick-ordering platform by 11 additional brands, including Ice Breakers, Ziploc, Orbit gum and Greenies dog chews. As was previously the case, the gadget can be purchased for $4.99, but for a limited time Amazon will provide customers a $4.99 credit for each Dash button they buy. [The Washington Post]

(Rob Lawton)

Analyst: Best Buy’s Prices Now Much Closer To Amazon’s

When looking for the best deal on electronics consumers used to flock to a little chain called Best Buy, but over time Amazon – with the growing convenience of shopping from home, speedy deliveries and discounts – has crowded into the electronic store’s customer pool. Now, after years of playing catchup, it appears that Best Buy has closed the pricing gap with its online rival. [More]

The latest version of the Amazon Video app for Android allows for offline viewing of Amazon Prime movies and TV shows.

Amazon Prime Videos To Finally Be Downloadable On iOS, Android Devices

One of the selling points of Amazon Fire tablets — especially for frequent travelers and parents whose kids like to watch movies while riding in the back seat — is that Amazon Prime members can download videos for offline viewing. This option has not been available for Prime members using iOS or non-Amazon Android devices. But now Amazon is giving these members the ability to download movies and shows to watch at their convenience. [More]

Amazon Now Delivering Farmers Market Produce To Your Door

Amazon Now Delivering Farmers Market Produce To Your Door

Between Prime Pantry, Amazon Fresh and Seattle’s new Prime Now alcohol delivery, you never have to leave your house to restock the pantry. That is unless you want fresh produce grown by local farmers. Well, it appears that Amazon has that covered for you now, too. [More]

Google provided this example of what its new services ad function will look like.

Google Adds Paid Home Service Provider Suggestions To Search Results For “Clogged Toilet,” “Plumber”

Less than a year after Amazon took on the likes of Angie’s List, Yelp and other companies that can connect consumers to professional service providers like plumbers, locksmiths, electricians and others, Google announced it would join the fray by adding prescreened service providers to its sponsored search results. [More]

(Akira Ohgaki)

Amazon Lets Third-Party Merchants Limit Where They’ll Ship Prime Items For Free

Amazon’s Prime program includes third-party merchants, whose shops let the online Everything Store expand its inventory without building more warehouse space. While the company is experimenting with making these merchants part of the Prime program for items that already have free shipping, However, some of these merchants get to limit how far they will ship an item for free. [More]

Amazon Lays Off Engineers Behind Fire Phone, Reorganizes Hardware Division

Amazon Lays Off Engineers Behind Fire Phone, Reorganizes Hardware Division

You’ve probably never heard of Lab126, but you’ve definitely heard of their parent company and their products. They’re a division of Amazon, started in Silicon Valley eleven years ago to create the e-reader that we now know as the Kindle. They also created some projects that haven’t caught on quite as well, like the Fire Phone, and engineers who worked on that projects have reportedly been sent on their way. [More]

Amazon Launches App Store That Claims To Show Other Actually Free Apps

Amazon Launches App Store That Claims To Show Other Actually Free Apps

In a relatively novel idea, Amazon has launched a new store called Amazon Underground that claims to provide Android users with a list of top apps that are actually free – no hidden in-app purchases here. [More]

Amazon Quietly Launches Same-Day Beer, Wine Delivery In Seattle

Amazon Quietly Launches Same-Day Beer, Wine Delivery In Seattle

When you’re hosting a party and notice that the alcoholic beverages are running a little low, you might momentarily panic: who in their right mind wants to leave such a great shindig to go on a beer run? No one, that’s who. And now, with the long-awaited addition of alcohol delivery to Amazon’s one- or two-hour Prime Now service, no one has to… unless you live outside of Seattle, in which case you still have to go to the store. [More]

A demo of the new SmartThings/Echo partnership showed users commanding the speaker to turn on and dim lights.

Amazon’s Echo Might Be Getting More Useful With SmartThings Integration

If telling your web-connected home entertainment speaker to reorder laundry detergent wasn’t enough (when is it?), Amazon is reportedly giving Echo the ability to essentially run your home through a new partnership with SmartThings. [More]

Amazon Bans Ads Using Adobe Flash From Its Sites

Amazon Bans Ads Using Adobe Flash From Its Sites

Amazon sells ad space on its e-commerce site and on other sites that the company owns, accounting for a huge number of pageviews. At the beginning of September, they’ll no longer accept Flash ads on those sites, following a general trend online of distrust of Flash, especially after Yahoo’s ad network was used to potentially deliver malware to users in a Flash ad. [More]

Macy’s Hopes Tablets & Dressing Room Deliveries Will Speed Up Your Shopping Time

Macy’s Hopes Tablets & Dressing Room Deliveries Will Speed Up Your Shopping Time

Looking for a new outfit? You’ve got two options: Quickly buy online and hope what you purchase fits (and looks good on you), or go to the store and spend time scouring racks before trying things on to see if they fit and flatter. In an attempt to mesh the convenience of online shopping with the confidence of buying after trying, Macy’s is revamping its dressing rooms for the current generation of shopper.
[More]

Amazon’s Stupid Shipping Gang Sends Giant Off-Balance Box Of Kitty Litter

Amazon’s Stupid Shipping Gang Sends Giant Off-Balance Box Of Kitty Litter

Indira ordered a small box of cat litter, as boxes of cat litter go. The litter was fine, but she was a little concerned about the box that it arrived in. From what we’ve learned, this box was a bad choice both to accommodate the merchandise inside, and for its journey from Indira’s doorstep. [More]

NY Times Claims Amazon Is A Cruel, Soul-Devouring Workplace; Jeff Bezos Disagrees

NY Times Claims Amazon Is A Cruel, Soul-Devouring Workplace; Jeff Bezos Disagrees

Over the weekend, the New York Times published a lengthy article based on interviews with current and former (mostly former) Amazon employees about the company’s employment practices. They concluded that for most employees, the pace of work and atmosphere were unbearable, allowing employees no personal lives, encouraging snitching and paranoia, and working employees impossibly hard before spitting most of them out a couple of years later. [More]

Watch An Amazon Fulfillment Center In Action

Watch An Amazon Fulfillment Center In Action

Amazon recently announced that it will open a new fulfillment center in Dallas, which will employ 1,000 more people. To give the public an idea of what these jobs will be like, the Dallas Morning News sent a reporter, a photographer, and a videographer over to an existing center in the area to watch humans and robots work together in perfect harmony to get a pack of socks to you in 2 days. [More]

Mail Carrier Wedges Package in Box, Doesn’t Have To Leave Vehicle

Mail Carrier Wedges Package in Box, Doesn’t Have To Leave Vehicle

The weather in Alabama, where reader Alison lives, has been extremely warm lately. If she lived in an old cartoon, mercury would be bursting out of the top of the thermometers. With temperatures of about one hundred degrees every day, she doesn’t really blame her mail carrier for not wanting to get up. However, what takes more work: walking to the porch, or shoving a package in the mailbox so firmly that the customer can’t get it out? [More]

Amazon changed the way it provides sponsored links, instead of showing photos, the company now provides simple text links.

Amazon Ending Pay-Per-Click Ad Program That Took Shoppers To Other Retail Sites, Creates Text-Only Ads

Smaller retailers who pay to have ads appear on the bottom of Amazon search results will soon see less of their products and more text, as the e-commerce giant prepares to shutter a pay-per-click ad program that took shoppers away from its site.  [More]