Unless you’ve been totally unplugged for the last 6 months, you’ve likely heard at least a little buzz about the ongoing “net neutrality” debate. Well, on Thursday this debate came to a head when the FCC voted to undo a series of regulations, often referred to as net neutrality rules, that have regulated broadband internet access since 2015. Many people believe that this decision could have long-lasting implications for internet usage, and as eCommerce is directly tied to the internet (duh), it’s fair to wonder what, if anything, the end of these policies could mean for eCommerce merchants.
We’re currently in the thick of the holiday shopping season, but if you’re anything like me, your gift shopping is just starting. Despite the convenience of Amazon and online ordering, I remain a classic procrastinator. Unfortunately, that habit might come back to bite me this year as the Washington Post reports holiday deliveries are already falling behind.
Tis the season for all things festive, including social media! It’s no surprise that retailers and brands are using every outlet they can to promote their products this holiday season, ensuring that they’re top-of-mind as shoppers scramble for the perfect gift. But the holidays aren’t just for those brands that make it on a consumer’s typical wish list (although, we wouldn’t say no to some KFC fried chicken under the tree). Many businesses are finding creative and festive ways to promote their brand this holiday season on social media, and we’ve rounded up ten of the most innovative.
We all knew it was coming – Amazon has officially opened in Australia. As suggested at Amazon’s Marketplace Seller Summit last month, the launch did not occur on Black Friday, but on the 5th of December – still plenty of time to get in a lot of holiday shopping.
ICYMI: Yesterday, YouTube (owned by Google) announced that it will no longer support service on the Echo Show and, starting January 1st, Amazon’s Fire TV — the latest salvo in what is apparently an ongoing war between the two tech giants. Google and Amazon have been battling it out, a la King Kong versus Godzilla, for several months now and Google claims it’s taking this radical step for two reasons: 1) Amazon’s recent removal of new Nest products (like Nest Secure and the E Thermostat) from their platform and 2) their continued refusal to sell Chromecast or support Google Cast in any capacity.
In today’s world almost any story can be traced back to Amazon (regular readers of our blog will already know that) and the CVS/Aetna acquisition is no exception. To get you up to speed, the pharmacy chain agreed yesterday to purchase Aetna for $69 billion. The deal has some experts weighing in on how it could change the way US consumers buy drugs and seek out healthcare. According to Quartz Media, CVS now has the potential to expand their primary-care and medical follow-up services as the result of the deal. Regardless of their specific plan, the acquisition does signify some type of shift in strategy, which may have been influenced by a certain eCommerce giant.
Some Good News for Brick & Mortar Retailers
Much has been written about the doom of retail at the hands of online merchants like Amazon. But traditional retailers – especially grocers – have several advantages over online that should keep shoppers coming back for years. Retail is changing, but not failing. Here is a list of 11 key advantages of traditional retailers over Amazon and other online retailers.
This year’s talk around Black Friday has some experts convinced that it’s dead and gone. According to Business Insider, the bulk of shoppers in the U.S. have evolved past the one-day shopping event in favor of online/mobile shopping and sales that last the entire month long. And for good reason – Market Track’s Shopper Insight Series survey tells us that 78% of those aged 21-29 view mobile buy pages to compare or complete purchases on a weekly basis. As a result, retailers are increasing the spread of their discounts instead of placing their bets on a single Friday to capture the ever-shifting attention of today’s consumers. Head retail analyst at NPD Group, Marshal Cohen, said “It’s no longer Black Friday, it’s now Black November.”
This year was full of gloom and doom predictions about Black Friday. Many people – including us – were predicting low turnout for what is traditionally the largest shopping day of the year. As it turns out, many retailers found themselves in relatively good shape this year. According to the WSJ, this year’s Black Friday sales are expected to come in at around $33 billion, a 4.8% increase from 2016.
I’m not much of a gamer these days, but I can’t deny the popularity of gaming systems around the holidays. This season, the Nintendo Switch is one console that appears to stand out from the others, specifically because there aren’t any deals on it. The videogame news website Polygon reported this week that holiday shoppers shouldn’t hold their breath for deals on the Switch, cleverly stating that the only Black Friday deal is finding one in stock.