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]

CFPB Reminds Retailers They Can’t Accept Military Allotments For Certain Purchases

CFPB Reminds Retailers They Can’t Accept Military Allotments For Certain Purchases

Allotments allow military servicemembers to automatically direct some of their paycheck to parties of their choosing, ideally for savings, insurance premiums, housing payments, and support of dependents. Until recently, allotments could also be used to make retail purchases, but such transactions weren’t covered by many of the legal protections that come with traditional payment methods like electronic checks and debit cards. Recently enacted rules now prohibit the use of allotments for buying personal property, and federal regulators are reminding retailers they have to follow the law. [More]

American Express Creates Its Own Version Of PayPal: Amex Express Checkout

American Express Creates Its Own Version Of PayPal: Amex Express Checkout

It might be hard for one to argue that there’s a lack of options when it comes to digital wallets and mobile payment systems. The list that includes among others Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Pay, and Square is getting longer as American Express announced today that it would make a foray into the increasingly crowded sector with Amex Express Checkout. [More]

(JeepersMedia)

Sally Beauty Looking Into “Unusual Activity” On Payment Cards At Some U.S. Stores

In what has become an unfortunately familiar experience, yet another retailer is announcing that it might’ve been the victim of a potential data breach: Sally Beauty confirms that it’s investigating “unusual activity” involving payment cards at some of its U.S. stores. This, a year after a breach that affected tens of thousands of customers. [More]

(Louis Abate)

Amazon Files First Lawsuit To Block Companies From Selling Fraudulent Positive Reviews

For the first time in the 20 years that Amazon has allowed users to review products, the company is taking legal action against businesses it claims sells fake reviews to third-party sellers. [More]

(Pamela Greer)

Retailers Only Have Eyes For You With Latest Online Marketing Efforts

On the one hand, it can be very convenient to get a coupon emailed to you based on your obsession with tacos. On the other, having every website you visit blast your eyes with ads for the same darn pair of lime green shoes you already bought as part of a Halloween costume and never intend to buy again. But some retailers say they’re working on tailoring such marketing efforts down to each person individually, to maximize effectiveness and cut down on irritation. [More]

High-End Online Retailers Net-A-Porter, Yoox Officially Tie The Knot

High-End Online Retailers Net-A-Porter, Yoox Officially Tie The Knot

It seems like just yesterday we were dreaming of a mega-luxury online retail platform where we could buy all the designer brands our wallets will never be able to afford. That’s probably because it was one day ago that reports began to swirl that online merchants Yoox and Net-A-Porter were thinking of merging to create one big high-end shopping destination on the interwebs. [More]

Net-A-Porter In Deal Talks With Online Retailer Yoox

Net-A-Porter In Deal Talks With Online Retailer Yoox

Amazon’s foray into the luxury apparel business may be over before it even began. Just a week after reports surfaced that the company was in talks to buy high-end retailer Net-a-Porter for $2 billion, the smaller company confirmed it’s seeking a possible deal with someone else. [More]

(Zeus Ocean Storm)

L.L. Bean Plans To Triple Its Retail Locations By 2020

Shh… can you hear that? If you listen very, very closely, it’s the grumbling of lumbersexuals and other hipsters across the land, groaning over the fact that their L.L. Bean duck boots are hopelessly backordered. And winter is almost over! Have no fear, in the future it could be easier to ensure your feet are properly clad in rubber-toed boots before you take a photo of them somewhere interesting, as the retailer is aiming to open a slew of new stores in the next five years. [More]

Apple Will Prevent Businesses From Tracking iPhone Users Via Wifi

Apple Will Prevent Businesses From Tracking iPhone Users Via Wifi

Remember when Nordstrom began tracking customers’ movements in and out of their stores by using smartphones’ individual Media Access Control (MAC) addresses if those phones tried to connect to in-store wifi, then abruptly stopped when the public found out about it? App developers say that Apple is ending such tracking in the next version of its mobile operating system by randomizing MAC addresses. [More]

Group Petitions Target To Ban Guns Following Open-Carry Demonstrations

Group Petitions Target To Ban Guns Following Open-Carry Demonstrations

A petition to ban guns at Target stores has garnered thousands of signatures after recent open-carry demonstrations at the retail stores. [More]

(frankieleon)

Target, Macy’s Reject Fee-Fixing Settlement With Credit Card Companies & File Fresh Lawsuit

Last summer, some of the country’s largest retailers reached a settlment with Visa and MasterCard that was supposed to put to rest qualms the businesses had with the credit card companies’ alleged practice of fee-fixing. The $7.2 billion settlement didn’t sit well with some, including Target and Macy’s, prompting a group of retailers to file a new lawsuit this week, effectively rejecting that previous agreement. [More]

(Consumer Reports)

Move Over Santa: Consumer Reports Issues List Of Naughty & Nice Companies

They’re making a list and checking it twice, and you’re about to find out who’s naughty and nice. Get it? Because Consumer Reports is coming to town? Or rather, it’s issued its annual list of the companies it considers to be bad little boys and girls and those who are to be held up as examples to the rest of’em. Let’s get to it [cue gleeful rubbing together of hands]! [More]

(photographynatalia)

How Retailers Can Turn Your Complaints Into Clothing You’ll Actually Buy

Usually when I’m caught commenting to a friend that “that shirt looks like my baby nephew threw up on it and then tossed glitter on it” by a store associate, I cringe. Because they work for that company and I just said something awful. But at some retailers, like Zara, sales associates actually take that kind of feedback to the powers that be so they can make clothing customers will want to buy. Fancy that. [More]

Survey: Zappos, Amazon Give Best Customer Service

Survey: Zappos, Amazon Give Best Customer Service

Zappos.com and its parent, Amazon.com, provide the best customer service, according to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation Foundation and American Express. The survey polled 9,291 consumers, asking them: “Thinking of all the different retail formats (store, catalog, internet, or home shopping), which retailer delivers the best customer service?”

Store Credit Cards Are An Even Worse Deal Than You
Thought

Store Credit Cards Are An Even Worse Deal Than You Thought

Next time a checkout clerk offers you an “opportunity” to sign up for a store credit card so that you can get an instant 10% discount on that pack of gum or box of tissues you’re buying, remember this: the price you’ll pay for that deal is an interest rate as high as 25%. And, yeah, you’re telling yourself that’s no big deal, since you’ll pay it off every month. But will you? And are you prepared for the other gotchas tied up in a bright ribbon by your friendly retailer? [More]

JCPenney Switching To Priceless Catalogs

JCPenney Switching To Priceless Catalogs

When JCPenney killed off its traditional Big Book catalog last year, the result was a drop in sales on its website, says the retailer’s chairman. Based on that successful strategy–wait, what?–JCPenney says it’s killing off its remaining 12 specialty catalogs as well. Instead, it will start mailing out thinner “look books,” which will contain a subset of merchandise and no prices. [More]

This Gap Manager Doesn't Want Your Groupon Coupon

This Gap Manager Doesn't Want Your Groupon Coupon

Alex and his wife bought into a Groupon offer for Gap, where you could buy $50 worth of merchandise for $25. Everything was going great until they ran into a manager at their local store who refused to even ring up the pants they’d chosen, saying anything already discounted wasn’t eligible for the offer. [More]