FastCompany reported today that Amazon is temporarily discontinuing its Amazon Elements line of diapers (pictured above), after less than two months of selling them.
VentureBeat reported yesterday (Jan 15) on Google's Knowledge Graph panel, the summary widget that appears next to search results, that benefits peformers and their fans. "Official Official ticket links and delegated event links can now be added by the artist, as can events specific to comedians and to venues," wrote VentureBeat's Emil Protalinski.
As more and more retailers offer free holiday shipping of online orders, their ability to do it profitably decreases, according to a recent story from Reuters.
PC World reported today on new technology Facebook is using to track offline sales in order to serve targeted advertisements to its users.
What were the important retail trends from Black Friday 2014? Depends who you ask.
The U.K.'s Guardian published an interesting panel column on Monday (Dec. 1), where three retail/marketing experts weighed in on the significance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday after the fact.
Last week (Nov. 25), Fortune reported that Nordstrom is testing out brand-new dressing room technology developed by eBay.
A couple of news stories caught our attention today: Both were about social networks/platforms exploring ways to integrate e-commerce activity for users (and of course, for vendors).
Just in time for the holidays, online shoe retail giant Zappos.com just opened a 20,000-foot physical store in its hometown of Las Vegas.
Last week (Nov. 12), GroupM's digital boss said "Amazon will crush Australia's e-commerce like an Anaconda."
Mashable reported yesterday (Nov. 6) that Amazon is testing taxi cabs to deliver packages to customers in L.A. and San Francisco.
"Under the program, Amazon paid Flywheel (a taxi-hailing app) cabbies about $5 per package and loaded the cars with as many as 10 packages bound for a single ZIP code," wrote Mashable's Todd Wasserman.
This program would only work in cities with high population density.
This could be cost effective in high density neighbourhoods in cities like New York and London. Taxis have an advantage already in that they already exist in areas with high congestion -- they have designated taxi stopping areas and they are located all over. Cabs also have times in the day that are quieter than others, so they may be able to arrange deliveries around their normal cab fares.
If taxis were able to pick up from a central distribution point and go to a single ZIP code with a number of packages, it could make the trip well worth it. In buildings that have concierges, this would be very easy as the taxi could pull up out front and simply drop off the parcel in the foyer. This could also be extremely effective for late or after-hours deliveres. Say, I am a consumer and would like to get a package after 8 p.m. because that is when I get home from work. Having taxis, which operate 24 hours a day, make that delivery that would be great for me.
Heck, if Amazon let me drop off a few small packages each day on foot (and paid me $5 per), on my way home, I would do it.
Conversely, this model is not so feasible in smaller centers or suburbs where taxis would have to go out of their way to deliver something. This is not feasible in locations where the cab driver could be making more money finding a regular fare during the same time.
I could see taxi companies serving Amazon based on areas of a city where they are willing to deliver to. At $5 a package, this seems like a reasonable rate for Amazon to afford especially at busy times of the year like Christmas when courier companies get overwhelmed. If you can get enough packages in convenient locations, this becomes with it for the cabbie. Heck, if Amazon could let me pick up a couple small packages each day from my office building and drop them off to buildings with a concierge on my way home, I would do it.
If Amazon can harness a vast network of available vehicles to increase output and revenue, why not?
I think the hardest part of using this method as a service is the logistical nightmare of organizing packages, given companies that do not currently operate in this space. Even things like insurance and who is responsible for the package need to be considered.
I am not saying this is a foolproof solution, but when you think of it, you have a vast network of vehicles already on the road that routinely make trips all over major cities. If you can harness the extra capacity and increase output and revenue, why not?
The line between online and in-store shopping has been blurred for some time, but never more than this holiday season.