Game On, Amazon! eBay Rolls Out One-Hour Delivery, Targeting The Web And Wal-Mart
May 7, 2013

Picture this anxiety-provoking scenario: you're at an all-day conference, sweating bullets as you prep for a presentation in an hour's time. But you packed in haste and left your laptop charger at home. Your battery capacity is perilously close to zero. You don't have time to dash to Best Buy and you wouldn't dare ask a fellow presenter for a favor lest you show your hand.

eBay knows its customers (including you, the disheveled executive) and has been quietly working on a solution for this thoroughly modern conundrum.

Internet Sales Tax, Here We Come?
April 18, 2013

The days of shopping online and being able to duck sales taxes may soon come to an end. The U.S. Senate is slated to vote on the Internet sales tax sometime next week, according to Reuters.

Internet tax supporters, with backing from Walmart, Macy's, and Best Buy, are hoping a Senate vote will give them enough political leverage to require Americans to pay sales tax whenever buying goods online. This could usher in the first national Internet sales tax ever.

According to Reuters, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion on Thursday

Online Store Channels Seen Losing Advantage to Instore Prices
April 16, 2013

Anthem Marketing Solutions recently completed its fifth semi-annual report comparing online and instore prices of consumer goods across a range of categories. The categories included were: personal care for infants, toddlers, men and women, electronics, grocery, toys and games, entertainment, household products, and school supplies. Online and in-store prices were compared for: Wal-Mart, Target, Office Max, Office Depot, Staples, Sears, Best Buy, CVS and Walgreens; only in-store prices were taken for Jewel and Dominick’s, and only online prices for Peapod.com and Amazon.com.

Is Fifth-Generation iPad on the Way?
April 8, 2013

Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and MacMall have all announced iPad price cuts, reducing their 3rd-generation iPad and current iPad mini prices roughly 30% across the board. Best Buy commemorated the iPad’s third birthday with a clearance sale on a variety of iPad models, including examples of the Retina third-generation iPad selling for less than some iPad Mini models. Elmer-DeWitt thinks the iPad price cuts are a pretty

Online Retail’s Big Data Opportunity
April 1, 2013

The era of Big Data has arrived. But in a recent survey reported by eMarketer, more than half of retail executives were either not clear on what Big Data is, or not sure of its implications for retail.

Behind the Customers-as-Delivery-Men Idea, Walmart's Fear of Amazon
March 29, 2013

Wal-Mart Stores is considering an unusual foray into the crowdsourcing/sharing economy: asking its customers to deliver purchases made by online buyers. As company executives told Reuters, they hope the plan, if implemented and if effective, would help Walmart compete with Amazon's quick delivery service.

The idea, which is still in the brainstorming stage, would involve shoppers dropping off packages for online customers who live on their route back home. The retailer would offer a discount on the customers' shopping bill, essentially covering the cost of their gas in return for the delivery

Walmart Expands Self-Checkout in Stores Via its iPhone App
February 20, 2013

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has its sights set on the smartphone-wielding shopper, this week expanding use of the "Scan & Go" feature for its iPhone app to 40 stores in the Denver area. It has been testing the mobile commerce technology in stores in Northwest Arkansas, Atlanta, San Jose, CA, and Portland, OR, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman tells Internet Retailer. Scan & Go enables a shopper to scan the bar codes on products as she picks the products off shelves and puts them into her shopping cart. The app creates a list