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.
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]
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]
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 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.
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]