When I heard about Amazon Coins, the company's virtual currency for making Kindle Fire app and in-app purchases starting in May, I immediately grew worried.
Amazon's customer focus, something I find sorely absent at money-extraction engines such as airlines and banks, has kept me loyal for years. I'm concerned, though, that the Amazon Coins program is a step in the wrong direction for Amazon customers.
In short, I don't like the inflexibility, costs, changeable rules, and risks that can be attached to virtual currency. I dislike it when there's a special form of money that … Read more
Google has signed a deal to acquire e-commerce-solutions company Channel Intelligence for $125 million in cash.
Channel's parent company, ICG, announced the deal today.
Channel's technologies are designed to boost the sale of products online. The company offers a Facebook platform, product search engines, and other services created for companies looking to improve product sales. Channel, based near Orlando, Fla., claims that it "drives $2 billion in sales annually in referred sales online in computing products, home improvement products, appliances, consumer electronics, toys and a variety of other consumer packaged goods."
Google is obviously no stranger … Read more
For the first time ever, worldwide e-commerce sales exceeded $1 trillion, according to new data from research firm eMarketer.
The first $1 trillion mark was reached in 2012, with sales up 21.1 percent from the previous year, according to eMarketer. The company said that it expects e-commerce sales to grow this year by 18.3 percent to end 2013 at $1.3 trillion in worldwide sales.
In addition, the company expects North America to lose its position as the leading e-commerce market to the Asia-Pacific region. Last year, Asia-Pacific's share of total e-commerce spending was 30.5 percent, … Read more
It's a challenge for anybody selling a wide range of anything online: how do you get the right products in front of the right customers?
Shutterstock, which sells stock-art photos and videos to customers such as ad agencies and PowerPoint presenters, has the matchmaking problem in spades. With 550,000 active customers and more than 23.7 million images, pairing the right buyer with the right photo isn't easy.
Which is why the New York-based company, which went public last October, is retooling how it presents its products to better compete with iStockphoto and other rivals.
Shutterstock has … Read more
Newegg last week won an important ruling that could have a profound impact on e-commerce.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last week ruled (PDF) that Newegg has not violated patents held by a company called Soverain related to the function of shopping carts and other e-commerce technologies. The court found that Soverain's claims -- that Newegg was violating its patents through its online shopping cart -- were "invalid for obviousness."
Soverain doesn't actually make use of its patents in an e-commerce business. … Read more
It was one year ago today that an unprecedented outcry against the Stop Online Piracy Act proved to Washington officialdom that sufficiently irritated Internet users are a potent political force. After Wikipedia, Google, Craigslist and other major sites asked their users to contact their representatives, the deluge of traffic knocked some Senate Web sites offline, and votes on both bills were indefinitely postponed.
The massive public outcry that, by some counts, involved more than 10 million Internet users concerned about the proposals' impact on free expression has turned the protests into a cautionary tale on Capitol Hill. Aides now worry … Read more
Alibaba founder Jack Ma has announced that he will step down from his company's chief executive post.
Ma sent an e-mail to employees today, saying that it was a "difficult decision," according to Reuters, which obtained a copy of the note. He said that while he will be stepping down as CEO, he will stay on at Alibaba as chairman of the company's board of directors.
Ma and Alibaba have yet to name a successor, though Ma said his replacement would be announced May 10. It seems likely, given the tone of the 48-year-old Ma's … Read more
This is a rerun of a deal I posted last year. It was sweet then, and it's equally sweet now.
Is 2013 the year you make it big on the Web? Only if you have a home for your Web site. It's easy to find hosting packages for less than $10 per month, but 10 bucks for a whole year? Nice.
For the next 48 hours, Web Hosting Hub is offering your first year of Web hosting for just $10. That's $50 off the usual price.
Update: Sorry, folks, someone forgot to flip the switch: The deal … Read more
The phrase "shop by phone" took on new meaning in 2012, with U.S. consumer spending via mobile devices nearly doubling over 2011 levels.
Shoppers used their smartphones and tablets to make $25 billion in purchases last year, an increase of 81 percent over the previous year, according to data released today by market research firm eMarketer.
The researcher estimates that mobile devices accounted for 11 percent of e-commerce sales last year and expects that number to increase to 15 percent in 2013.
eMarketer expects consumers to make nearly $87 billion in mobile purchases by 2016, more than … Read more