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Amazon Opens Automated Grocery Store, Amazon Go, to the Public
January 22, 2018 at 11:14 am

Amazon.com on Monday will open Amazon Go, its automated grocery store in Seattle, to the public. The store replaces cashiers with a checkout-free shopping experience made with with what Amazon calls "Just Walk Out" technology that uses computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion — many of the same advances being used to develop autonomous…

Post-Holiday Consumer Spending and Trends
January 22, 2018 at 11:01 am

Since founding my payment technology company, I’ve been living and breathing payments trends in retail. Over the last five years or so, projections have been all over the place: Is Black Friday dead? Is anyone still going to malls? Do consumers feels safe using their credit cards? As of early December, the stock market was…

NRF 2018: A View on What’s to Come This Year
January 22, 2018 at 9:57 am

After speaking with a variety of retailers at NRF Big Show 2018 and attending some of the sessions, what was evident is that retailers put off capital investment in 2017, choosing instead to focus on continued efforts to reduce costs and consolidate operations. However, 2018 is anticipated to be a year when retailers will begin…

Amazon Raises Monthly Prime Membership Price by 18%
January 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Amazon.com said today that it's raising its monthly Prime membership rates. The premium membership that grants faster shipping and access to Amazon Video will now cost $12.99 per month, up from $10.99, an 18 percent increase. Amazon is also increasing the discounted student monthly rate from $5.49 to $6.49 per month for new sign-ups.The cost…

New Year, New You: What Digital Footprints Are You Leaving Behind?
January 19, 2018 at 8:42 am

Online shopping has become a significant convenience for consumers all over the world. From exclusive online sales to national shopping days like Cyber Monday, e-commerce is a part of the average consumer’s daily lifestyle. 2017 marked the year of data breaches, as confidential information, from social security numbers to credit card numbers and other personal…

Finding Your UGC Focus: 3 Trends and Tactics for 2018
January 18, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Things are feeling a little less festive these days. The cheer (and challenges) of the holiday season have passed. You may be riding high after beating your holiday goals, or struggling to find your motivation after a less-than-stellar season. Either way, it’s time to refresh and refocus. Your shoppers aren’t going to make 2018 easy…

4 Retail Technology Trends to Watch in 2018
January 18, 2018 at 11:48 am

As I look at retail technology trends to watch in 2018, they are underpinned by one common denominator: big data powered by advanced analytics. Smart use of data and analytics to understand the customer, both online and in-store, as well as using new tools to deliver the best customer experience, will be essential for retailers…

How Experiential Retail is Disrupting an Industry
January 18, 2018 at 11:07 am

The retail industry is undergoing a major transformation as e-commerce disrupts traditional brick-and-mortar store models and gives rise to new modes of “experiential retail.” The experiential retail trend is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing popularity of e-commerce, the decline in traditional department store traffic, and the proliferation of mobile devices.…

Alibaba Blames Politics as Taobao Retains Place on ‘Notorious Markets’ List
January 17, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Alibaba's Taobao marketplace is one of the 25 popular e-commerce sites listed by the USTR (United States Trade Representative) for counterfeiting and global piracy. It's the second year in a row Taobao has been included. TechCrunch reports the key concern of the report on Taobao is how Alibaba works with IP holders to remove counterfeit…

5 Ways Blockchain is Changing E-Commerce
January 17, 2018 at 11:49 am

“Bitcoin just hit $15,000.” “People are spending millions on CryptoKitties.” These stories are creeping into the mainstream and creating much more general awareness of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain than even a few short months ago. It’s still early in terms of the public’s understanding of blockchain technology, but the application that could change that quickly…

5 New Year’s Resolutions for the Retail Industry
January 15, 2018 at 10:21 pm

Last year marked significant change for the retail industry. We witnessed age-old retailers going bankrupt and names like Alexa surge in popularity. Amidst the turmoil, disruptors like Wal-Mart and Amazon.com dominated investment in emerging technologies, like voice-based ordering and robotics, and completed strategic acquisitions to expand into new markets. In 2018, we expect to see faster change and greater disruption.…

Supreme Court Will Review Internet Sales Tax Law
January 15, 2018 at 9:50 am

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider freeing state and local governments to collect billions of dollars in sales taxes from online retailers, agreeing to revisit a 26-year-old ruling that has made much of the internet a tax-free zone. Heeding calls from traditional retailers and dozens of states, the justices said they will hear South Dakota’s contention…

QVC is Using Technology to Overcome Business Challenges
January 15, 2018 at 9:19 am

As QVC continues to grow — its acquisition of rival HSN was completed last month — the challenges facing the business grow accordingly. To overcome those challenges, the retailer is increasingly turning to technology and a partnership formed by the company’s information technology team and the rest of the business. In a session yesterday at…

Top Women in Retail 2018: Paula Bennett, President and CEO, J.Jill
January 15, 2018 at 8:03 am

To see the full list of this year's Top Women in Retail honorees, click here. What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry? I’m a strong believer that to be successful, you have to love what you do. Throughout my career,…

How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect Retail's Future
January 14, 2018 at 10:27 am

Whether it’s job automation or secret languages, artificial intelligence (AI) has been the talk of many digital, security, and employment circles. But how does AI influence the retail industry? A new whitepaper from internet service provider Plusnet tackles just that. The whitepaper, How the future of the internet will influence retail, explores some of the ways…

4 Steps to Stop Unauthorized Online Sales of Your Products
January 12, 2018 at 12:41 pm

As retailers are well aware, the rise of online marketplaces on which anyone can sell products with little to no up-front investment has led to an abundance of products marketed over the internet by unauthorized sellers at steeply discounted prices. These products are often diverted from a brand’s authorized distribution channels and cause considerable consumer…

AI’s Impact on the Customer Experience and What it Means for Retail
January 12, 2018 at 10:40 am

As we begin 2018, it’s safe to say that artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to infiltrate our everyday lives and challenge business processes to become more intelligent and proactive. In fact, according to Forrester, 38 percent of enterprises are already using artificial intelligence, growing to 62 percent by 2018. Additionally, IDC believes AI will be a $47 billion…

Are Retailers Using Ad Trackers at the Expense of Consumer Privacy?
January 12, 2018 at 9:39 am

Consumers spent a record $6.59 billion this Cyber Monday, more than double the amount spent in 2016. This included an exponential increase in year-over-year online purchasing. And while retailers bask in the afterglow of a successful holiday season, consumers have been unknowingly left in the lurch. Despite massive profits, some of the most frequented e-commerce…

How Retailers Can Survive and Thrive in the Age of Amazon
January 12, 2018 at 9:10 am

Retail has become one of the most difficult industries in which to survive. Behemoths such as Amazon.com increasingly sweep weaker competitors off the map. So, how can retailers compete in the age of Amazon? Unfortunately, there's no “silver bullet” technology that can help here. The key is being able to adapt quickly and experiment with…

eBags Experiments With Higher Speed, Conversions Result
January 11, 2018 at 11:52 am

A common question regarding web design and performance is which is better, a rich customer experience or a leaner website that loads faster? This is a question eBags posed. And the path the online retailer of handbags, luggage, backpacks and travel accessories chose generated 10 percent more orders. Here's how eBags did it. New UX…