(Michael Sauers)

Free Shipping Not Actually Zero-Cost Or Zero Effort, And FedEx Wants Retailers To Pay Their Share

We’re nearly two decades now into the e-commerce era. Shop everywhere! Shop from your phone. Shop from your tablet. Shop (during your breaks, of course) from your work computer. But all that online shopping shares one thing in common: unless 3D printers become a lot more like Star Trek‘s replicators, and a lot more affordable, all those goods ordered in the cloud have to get to actual consumers on good, old-fashioned planes, trains, and trucks.

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Our Growing E-Commerce Addiction Means Mountains Of Cardboard

Our Growing E-Commerce Addiction Means Mountains Of Cardboard

It’s a great accomplishment of modern logistics and technology that we’re able to order a case of toilet paper once have new ones magically re-appear on our doorsteps every few months, but the amazing convenience of shopping online has a cost in addition to credit card bills. Shopping online means cardboard boxes, plastic wrap, and other protective packaging is used once and then thrown away, and delivery trucks visit individual houses instead of malls. [More]

Major Package Carriers Want To Help You Not Get Your Deliveries Stolen

Major Package Carriers Want To Help You Not Get Your Deliveries Stolen

No one wants to see their packages stolen from their front porch. Not even package thieves want anyone to steal their packages. That’s why, as we shift more of our shopping online, the major delivery services have devised new ways to ensure that our packages end up in our hands. [More]

Apartment-Dwellers Shop Online More, Create Nightmare For Complex Staff

Apartment-Dwellers Shop Online More, Create Nightmare For Complex Staff

This year, college students’ use of Amazon Prime reached critical enough mass to create mail center traffic jams. It’s not just young adults, though: apartment-dwellers are having so many packages delivered that current systems for managing resident mail aren’t working, and landlords are looking for other ways to manage the influx from online shopping. [More]

Amazon says it will stop selling rival streaming services Google Chromecast and Apple TV.

Amazon To Prohibit The Sale Of Apple TV, Google Chromecast

Amazon appears to be taking a page out of Apple’s playbook by removing competitors’ products from its virtual shelves. The e-commerce giant said today that would prohibit the sale of video-streaming devices from rivals Google and Apple that aren’t compatible with its own Prime video service.  [More]

Amazon Chops $32 Off Amazon Prime Membership Price In One-Day Sale For New Subscribers

Amazon Chops $32 Off Amazon Prime Membership Price In One-Day Sale For New Subscribers

Amazon is in a pretty good mood after snagging five Emmys for its original series, Transparent, and to celebrate, it’s giving new subscribers to its Prime service $32 off the usual price.

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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]

Amazon’s New Seattle Facility Reportedly Set To Test “Amazon Flex” Package Pickup Service

Amazon’s New Seattle Facility Reportedly Set To Test “Amazon Flex” Package Pickup Service

When making a purchase through Amazon there are several options for delivery, depending on where you live: free-two day shipping with a Prime membership, Sunday delivery via USPS, Prime Now one-hour delivery, drop-offs at an Amazon Locker, and, of course, traditional several-day delivery. Now, it appears the e-commerce giant is working on another, secret, service at a soon-to-open facility near Seattle.  [More]

TV Retail Meets Online Flash Sales In QVC Parent Company’s $2.4B Purchase Of Zulily

TV Retail Meets Online Flash Sales In QVC Parent Company’s $2.4B Purchase Of Zulily

In what appears to be a match made in retail heaven, the owner of QVC plans to purchase growing flash sale business Zulily for about $2.4 billion.

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Sephora Promises Epic Rewards, Customers Get Epic Letdown

Sephora Promises Epic Rewards, Customers Get Epic Letdown

Today was a special event if you’re a fan of cosmetics who has been spending a lot of money at Sephora: the company released just a few very valuable rewards, like valuable and rare makeup assortments, or even a trip to Paris. The rewards would be coming, Sephora told their customers, at some point during business hours today, Pacific time. Fans refreshed the page constantly looking for the prizes. Then the rewards were all gone. Update: Customers still aren’t pleased with Sephora’s reaction to their complaints. Another update: Sephora has promised to do something for these customers, but can’t say what and will get back to them in two weeks. Or in September. [More]

eBay Shutters Same-Day Delivery Service eBay Now

eBay Shutters Same-Day Delivery Service eBay Now

Three years after eBay launched its rapid delivery venture, eBay Now, the company is nixing the service as other e-commerce companies and retailers like Amazon, Uber and Whole Foods continue to dip their toes in the fast-delivery market. [More]

Jet.com Opens To The Public Today, Discounts More If You Buy More Stuff And Waive Returns

Jet.com Opens To The Public Today, Discounts More If You Buy More Stuff And Waive Returns

It’s easy to compare Jet, an e-commerce site that held its virtual grand opening today, to Amazon. The startup wants to be compared to and compete with Amazon: its founder’s last venture, Quidsi, sold household goods through the sites diapers.com, soap.com, and wag.com, and ended up acquired by Amazon. [More]

Facebook shows a fake brand in this mock-up.

Facebook Testing Shops Built Into Retailers’ Pages

Like Google, Twitter and its own Instagram platform, Facebook is toying with the idea of allowing users to buy stuff directly from retailers’ pages, instead of seeing those items in an ad and going outside the social network to purchase them.

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(tinakugler)

In India And China, You Can Buy Your Next Home Without Leaving Home

Depending on how you feel about the way real estate works now, the idea of sticking a house in your Internet shopping cart and clicking “Buy” may or may not appeal to you. Advances in technology mean that you can buy a new house without even going outside, and get a discount for doing so…in India. [More]

Colleen AF Venable

Barnes & Noble Shuts Down Third-Party Marketplace For Over A Week, Shrugs

Twenty years ago, you would not have been allowed to set up your own little kiosk in the accessories department at Walmart selling the same sunglasses at slightly lower prices. Yet that’s exactly what e-commerce sites let third-party sellers do, and it usually works smoothly for everyone. Unless you’re a seller on Barnes & Noble’s Marketplace site, which shut down with no warning more than a week ago. Sellers are still locked out. [More]

Will

Walmart Reportedly Working On An Amazon Prime Rival

Walmart’s latest attempt to stay competitive with Amazon reportedly includes taking the rival company’s iconic Prime service and making its own version. [More]

Jet.com Is Either The Future Of Retail Or A Doomed Wacky Scheme

Jet.com Is Either The Future Of Retail Or A Doomed Wacky Scheme

This week, a new e-commerce site launched to about 10,000 beta users who signed up for a preview. The easy-to-remember name of this new site is Jet.com, and its goal is to remove some of the inefficiencies of shopping online. Will they succeed? [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Pinterest Reportedly Planning To Rollout A “Buy” Button As Early As This Year

It’s not always enough to just look at pretty things pinned to your Pinterest boards; sometimes you desire to have them in your physical possession. That need for instant gratification may be why the scrapbook service is reportedly laying the groundwork for a “buy” button that would allow users to purchase products straight from the site. [More]