Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2013 06:29 PM
Amazon has begun an ‘under-the-tent’ arrangement with Procter & Gamble using its employees to package, label and ship Bounty paper towels, Pampers diapers and other products from inside P&G warehouses.
Enjoying a unique relationship with its major suppliers, the e-commerce behemoth is greasing the skids as the next wave of internet sales, everyday consumer goods, explodes. The e-tailer reportedly is working out similar cost-cutting deals with other CPG suppliers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon’s program, Vendor Flex, leverages its supplier’s warehouses and distribution networks, reducing costs of moving, time and storage and giving them an edge over competitors like Walmart, Costco and Target. Household staples, considered too bulky or cheap to justify shipping costs, comprise just 2 percent of such goods purchased online—but that percent was valued at $16 billion in 2012, according to Nielsen, and will grow by 25 percent a year to $32 billion in 2015, which is why retailers like Amazon and Target are hotly pursuing the segment.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 15, 2013 03:42 PM
In a move preempted by high-profile collaborations, Apple has successfully poached Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to be its senior vice president of retail and online stores.
Over her eight-year tenure at Burberry, Ahrendts guided the global fashion brand through a period of great growth alongside creative director and newly appointed CEO Christopher Bailey, and her move to Apple represents just how well she utilized digital innovations and technology in her strategy that transformed Burberry's brand and overall customer experience.
Apple, which essentially set a new standard in retail with its streamlined brick-and-mortar stores, 'Genius Bar' customer service and in-store training is looking to keep its momentum as its recent succesful launch of its two new iPhones has set the stage for the brand to further infiltrate the Asian market—a key to future growth and success especially in mobile. Ahrendts will no doubt bring her knack for truly unique retail experiences to the personal tech giant—and her fashion prowess won't hurt either.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on October 11, 2013 05:56 PM
Everyone knows that Amazon is the king of e-commerce. The online book-seller turned everything-under-the-sun seller offers some of the largest and most competitively-priced inventories of consumer products out there, but one category it hasn't conquered is beauty—until now.
This week, Amazon launched its Luxury Beauty store—a dedicated landing page that features various beauty products from 24 prestigious brands including Nars, Burberry and Deborah Lippman, according to Mashable.
Prior to the launch, customers could find drugstore-brand cosmetics and personal care items on the site, but Amazon is now for the first-time offering customers direct purchase access to high-end brands that are often only carried by major department stores and specialty beauty shops like Sephora.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2013 07:07 PM
Readers often come across products while reading stories about them, garnering interest and and intent to buy—eventually. But now Wired magazine has teamed up with MasterCard to make the page-to-purchase process and instant shopping satisfaction.
Starting with the November tablet edition of Wired, which becomes available Oct. 15, readers will be able to simply click on products within the magazine’s content and dump it into a single shopping cart for purchasing, according to a press release. MasterCard’s technology for the effort is appropriately named ShopThis! and MasterPass.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2013 05:38 PM
It was one thing for Best Buy and other big box, commodity chains to suffer from “showrooming,” but the practice now appears to be afflicting haute cuisine enabler Williams-Sonoma. And its new CEO Janet Hayes, who was named in March, is trying to do something about it.
The chain—a sibling brand to the Pottery Barn and West Elm housewares chains—has posted same-store sales declines for five of the last seven quarters as Williams-Sonoma copes with the growing scourge of showrooming—an action that the high-end retailer once didn't have to worry about because of its exclusive inventory. But now a host of brick-and-mortar and online rivals are presenting much of the same stuff, including upstarts Cutlery & More and Sur Le Table as well as Macy’s and Amazon, according to Bloomberg.Continue reading...
let's make a deal
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 7, 2013 05:12 PM
Daily-deal sites have gone through various growing pains in recent years, with several efforts being shuttered. One of those was Microsoft's Bing Deals, but now the effort is getting new life under a new program, Bing Offers, which consolidates offers from such sites as GroupOn and LivingSocial. The initiative is currently being tested in Seattle.
According to TechCrunch, Microsoft has launched “a limited test of a new Bing Offers feature” that allows users to “link their credit cards to their Microsoft accounts.” Users will be able to swipe their linked credit cards to utilize a deal that they've pre-purchased online, eliminating the need to keep track of QR codes, emails and other forms of coupons. The capability comes through CardLinx, which counts Bank of America, Discover, Facebook and LivingSocial as clients. With a goal to “reduce consumer and merchant friction for payment-enabled offers and ads,” the technology behind the program is one being similarly utilized in efforts by Facebook and Amazon.
While Microsoft is currently only offering link-ups between businesses like Pizza Hut and Bucca di Beppo, it plans to take the initiative nationwide soon.
Posted by Dale Buss on October 7, 2013 01:42 PM
For decades, automakers have been trying to sidestep their dealers and sell directly to the American masses. But dealers' political clout in each state, and legal obstacles, have kept them firmly in the intermediary position—and not even the internet has been able to change that.
Now, General Motors is hoping that an expansion of its web-based application called Shop-Click-Drive to its entire dealer network will further disintermediate dealers to the benefit of making the purchase transaction more attractive to online-favoring American consumers who may like to avoid the new-car showroom altogether.
Set to become available to all of GM's 4,300 dealers, the app would let new-car buyers use their computer screen to lock in the price of a new car, get an estimate of the trade-in value of their old car, apply for financing and even arrange a test drive or delivery of their new vehicle, according to the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 3, 2013 03:49 PM
Earlier this week, US authorities brought down one of the largest black market brands in existence—and may have tripped up Bitcoin in the process, too.
On October 2, the FBI seized Silk Road, an online site located in the "deep web" that has been likened to a black market version of eBay. The two-year old marketplace began as a source for a wide variety of illegal drugs from global sellers but then expanded to forged documents, currency, firearms, and other illicit and counterfeit goods.
According to the FBI, Silk Road is "the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today." As part of the bust, the FBI arrested 29-year old Ross William Ulbricht, alleged to be the mysterious Silk Road owner who went by the name "Dread Pirate Roberts," a character from the movie, The Princess Bride. Forbes reports that Ulbricht, who brazenly sought out publicity under his alias, was arrested in San Francisco and has been charged with narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering. In perhaps the most surprising instance in the FBI complaint, the government alleges that DPR [Dread Pirate Roberts] attempted to use his site to arrange an assasination.Continue reading...