Jenny Reiswig

Is Costco’s “Meh” Attitude Toward Online Sales Hubris Or Good Business?

By this point, bricks-and-mortar stores that haven’t also established a solid online presence are often put on death watch, but Costco continues to take a “we’ll get there someday” approach to its internet business without raising too many alarm bells. Is that shortsightedness or good business? [More]

Mike Mozart

Gap CEO Says He’s Open To Possibly Using Amazon To Reach More Customers

Although Amazon may be the big bad wolf at the door coming to blow the house down and eat up their business, some retailers are considering teaming up with the tech giant instead of fearing it. Like Gap, whose CEO said the company would consider working with Amazon if it means reaching shoppers. [More]

Akira Ohgaki

Amazon To Open More Physical Stores — Eventually

While its second bricks-and-mortar bookstore isn’t expected to open until later this summer, Amazon is already looking toward a future with more physical stores, as well as a beefed-up online presence through its subscription Prime service.  [More]

Senators Call On FTC To Do Something About Misleading Fashion Sites

Senators Call On FTC To Do Something About Misleading Fashion Sites

It seems that someone in the offices of Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) or Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), or perhaps both senators, has either ordered clothing from a misleading China-based site or read Buzzfeed recently. Both senators announced today that they’ve sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission chair Edith Ramirez, urging the FTC to take action against sites that advertise great deals and don’t deliver what customers expected. [More]

Site vs. reality, reflected in actual orders placed by CBS DFW reporter Cristin Severance  (photo: CBS DFW)

Facebook Will Maybe Start Doing Something About Ads For Shady Clothing Sites

You may have seen ads on Facebook or elsewhere online for what look like decent quality and trendy clothes at rock-bottom prices. They have some satisfied customers, but many of these sites offer ill-fitting clothes that barely resemble their photos. When shady overseas fashion purveyors advertise on Facebook to find new customers, does Facebook have any responsibility for what happens next? [More]

(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.

[More]

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.

[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]

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.

[More]

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.

[More]