Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 11, 2014 02:03 PM
The wearable technology train has logged quite a few miles so far this year, making big stops at CES, Mobile World Congress and now SXSW, where two more unlikely players are entering the space.
“Wearable devices are the next frontier,” Steve Yankovich, VP innovation and new ventures at eBay, wrote in a blog post. “Personalization will be key for the future of mobile—creating seamless experiences for shoppers on the go." The e-commerce company, which also owns PayPal, hopes to be a portal for mobile payments on every type of screen, whether its on a smartphone, smartwatch, or other wearable device.
eBay and PayPal—who are at the center of an activist investor tug of war—were busy touting their smartwatch apps at SXSW for both Pebble and Samsung's Gear line, which was recently announced at Mobile World Congress and now includes the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, as well as the Gear Fit. The apps were launched on Samsung's original wearable device, the Galaxy Gear, last year, so the apps have achieved a coveted spot as a "featured app" on the latest editions.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 31, 2014 12:38 PM
Amazon is building a point-of-sale system for merchants based on the Kindle Fire, coming to market as early as the summer, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Their check-out system is a mash-up of brick-and-mortar POS and the Kindle credit card reader, bridging the physical and virtual worlds and giving Amazon a deep dive into its customer’s in-store shopping habits, where over 90 percent of transactions still occur. Initially targeting small businesses, Amazon may also offer help with website development, data analysis and promotions.
Amazon’s acquisition of mobile payment platform GoPago in 2013 was integral to building the new system, one of two the company is reportedly creating, the second being a cloud-based P2P payment system accessible on mobile and desktop. Amazon is also considering a mobile wallet with stored credit-card information to help speed payments.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2014 09:22 AM
McDonald's brings in outsider as new CMO and ends "challenging year" with flat quarterly earnings, as it comes under tax scrutiny in France.
Rovio wants to be a bigger brand than Coca-Cola.
Goodyear and workers end fight in France.
AOL buys firm that personalizes web searches.
Arby's promotes variety with new ad strategy and calls new Smokehouse Brisket sandwich its most successful new product.
Boeing adds workers to boost Dreamliner production.
Kenny Chesney sues over unauthorized merchandise.
Chili's introduces Fresh Mex menu.
Coach reports weak North American sales.
Darden defends Red Lobster spinoff plan amid investor resistance.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 20, 2014 10:46 AM
eBay is reportedly boosting its e-commerce reputation by going from resale hotspot to direct-to-consumer trusted e-tailer. According to a report from Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter, eBay is planning on opening "The Plaza," an online mall that will allow major brands to sell their goods directly to consumers.
Schachter said brands can now sell through eBay "'without having to worry about weakening their brand' by placements alongside second-hand goods,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
eBay’s pivot to direct-to-consumer sales dramatically expands its retail hub in an offensive move against Amazon and Chinese e-commerce powerhouses, including Alibaba’s Tmall, which has 70,000 digital storefronts from brands including Apple, Nike and Gap, Alibaba-owned Taobao and Tencent.
While the e-commerce site has yet to confirm the reports, eBay spokesman Ryan Moore told CNET, "EBay partners with brands, designers and retailers—and sellers of all sizes—to help them grow their business. As such, we are always exploring new, innovative ways to help them market directly to eBay's global audience and connect them to the things they need and love.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2013 11:28 AM
Google Wallet was ostensibly created so that consumers didn’t have to carry around their loyalty cards, credit cards, gift cards, and cash in their actual wallets.
But in a move that perhaps indicates that consumers aren't quite comfortable enough yet with mobile payments, Google has introduced the Google Wallet debit card. The card allows users to pay for goods at shops that accept MasterCard and withdraw cash from an ATM—all with funds from their Google Wallet account.
The goal, AllThingsD notes, is to “mainly appeal to a subset of Google Wallet users who have had money transferred to them from another Google Wallet user and don’t want to wait a couple of days for the money to appear in their bank account.” For instance, users of Square Cash, the money-transferring spinoff of its mobile-payments parent, have to wait two or three days before funds appear in their account. There is also no monthly or annual fees associated with the Google card.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 25, 2013 02:56 PM
Popular photo-sharing app Instagram is easing its way into monetization with the introduction of its first ads, slated to begin running next week. And the Facebook-owned company couldn't be any more careful in its efforts to protect and preserve the Instagram community.
After announcing that ads would become a reality on the platform about three weeks ago, it posted a blog post with a sampling of potential ads from brands such as W Hotels, Michael Kors, Macy's, Lexus, PayPal, Ben & Jerry’s and Levis—the latter of which is using the app to track its novel station-to-station campaign.
The ads will function much like those seen on Twitter and Facebook; clearly marked with a "sponsored" tag in the upper right corner that users can tap to find out more about advertising. Users can also tap the "..." to enable ad settings and feedback.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 29, 2013 05:37 PM
Call it The Tesla Effect: a strange pack mentality that is said to have overtaken traditional automakers that don't offer an extravagantly expensive all-electric vehicle, weren't founded by a modern super-successful serial entrepreneur, don't dare the federal government to make crash tests harder and can't find a way to send supposedly rational investors into an Apple-like buying frenzy.
It has become a phenomenon. When Tesla's market valuation surged past the $20 billion mark this week, pundits began asking whether the EV maker had passed into some kind of new vertical that is perceived by investors as more related to the sexy high-tech industry than the mundane abode of auto companies. Why, not only was that assigned value more than that of Chrysler, it was almost half the value of GM and one-third that of Ford, USA Today noted.
"Tesla doesn't reflect the traditional automaker stock evaluation for the same reason that Amazon.com isn't valued in the same way as a traditional book seller," Andrea James, an analyst in Minneapolis, told the newspaper.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 15, 2013 12:57 PM
In the latest bid to expand its platform beyond social media, AllThingsD reports that Facebook will begin piloting a new payments product in partnership with JackThreads, a flash-sale site for men.
Launching within the next month, the service will allow consumers to make purchases via e-commerce mobile apps using their Facebook login (that is, if they've already provided Facebook with their credit card information). It is similar to a mobile-specific PayPal with the added value of getting Facebook more data on its users' purchasing and e-commerce habits.
The new service is a natural extension of Facebook Gifts and its in-game virtual goods that “not only facilitate e-commerce but also to add information resulting from those transactions to its ballooning social graph," comments AllThingsD. The product puts Facebook in direct competition with Google, Amazon and startups including Braintree, Stripe and Klarna, all of which are working to make small-screen checkouts easier and more secure.Continue reading...