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February 26 2014

February 12 2014

Parcel Delivers Packages After Hours, When You're Actually Home

Online shopping gives us a new level of convenience. With just a couple of clicks, anything can be delivered to your doorstep — that is, as long as someone's home between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to answer the door.

But for working city dwellers without doormen, this poses a bit of a problemParcel, the first delivery service specifically designed for New Yorkers, wants to make sure you never have to see a "missed delivery" sticky note again. It promises to deliver your online purchases at a time when you'll actually be home.

Here's how it works: You go to Parcel's website and sign up for a free account, which is tied to a unique shipping address at Parcel's facilities. Whenever you purchase from an online retailer, you enter the Parcel address instead of your own. When your package arrives at Parcel, you'll receive a text to set up a convenient drop-off time between the hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. on any day of the work week. Read more...

More about Online Shopping, Features, Ecommerce, Delivery, and Apps Software

January 21 2014

Amazon May Know What You Want Before You Buy It

Anticipatory shipping may be closest that retail can come to a crystal ballAmazon, which now has a patent for the algorithm-based system, could conceivably use the system to ship products before you even place an order.

Amazon filed for the patent, officially known as "method and system for anticipatory package shipping,” in 2012, and it was awarded on Christmas Eve of the following year. The patent summary describes a method for shipping a package of one or more items "to the destination geographical area without completely specifying the delivery address at time of shipment," with the final destination defined en route Read more...

More about Amazon, Online Shopping, Delivery, Business, and Marketing

January 20 2014

The Top 10 Reasons Why Your Website Is Losing Sales

The online retail game is not an easy one to win, but new research and analysis might help cast a light on the glaring problems causing your site to lose sales and customers.

Collecting user feedback and complaints from 400 websites over three years, Qubit has narrowed its findings to 10 main problem areas. The results paint a picture of a consumer with much higher expectations for retail websites and their user-friendliness.

Based on Qubit's research, here are the top 10 complaints that online shoppers have about their retail sites of choice. Read more...

More about Online Shopping, Features, Business, Retail, and Online Retailers

December 26 2013

What to Do if Your Amazon Order Got Caught in the Holiday Rush

It wasn't just your dumb luck. Thanks to foul weather and a shortened Christmas shopping season that saw a record number of customers purchasing online, there has been an unusually high number of packages that failed to arrive in time for Christmas.

Retailers and carriers are already offering refunds and apology gifts, but if you're one of the affected customers, you may have a lot of questions that need to be answered. Here's what you need to know:

1. Why did this happen?

The Great 2013 Christmas Delivery Debacle (alternate title: The Year Without a Christmas) is the result of a confluence of events. With Thanksgiving occurring so late in November, the official Christmas shopping season was just 26 days this year, shorter than usual. Obviously this isn't the first year Thanksgiving has fallen on Nov. 28, but the abbreviated shopping season was compounded by a record number of online shoppers, further straining delivery companies being pushed to their breaking points. Read more...

More about Amazon, Holidays, Online Shopping, Shipping, and Lifestyle

December 25 2013

How to Optimize Your E-Commerce Website for Holiday Shoppers

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday 2013 have come and gone, but the holiday shopping season has only just begun. Over the next several weeks, U.S. shoppers will be checking off their lists, and according to Shop.org, they'll be spending a projected $82 billion online this holiday season. If you're an e-commerce retailer, it's in your best interest to keep your website in tip-top shape this month.

Small e-commerce businesses, in particular, stand to gain a lot by putting themselves out there and competing with the bigger retailers during this peak selling season. Debbi Lechner, vice president of marketing for Web.com, suggested that small businesses improve their website right away in order to maximize sales. Read more...

More about Holidays, Online Shopping, Shopping, Website, and Holiday Shopping

December 24 2013

U.S. Mobile Shopping Offsets Drop in Last-Minute Mall Traffic

Need to go to the mall? Baby, it's cold outside

Shoppers unwilling to brave the elements for a final weekend of holiday shopping (although the East Coast didn't exactly have a frigid weekend) took to their phones and tablets to order last-minute knickknacks

PayPal logged a 96% increase in the number of customers shopping on mobile devices from Dec. 21 to 22 compared to the last weekend before Christmas in 2012, according to data from the online payment company. The growth falls in line with the holiday trend of embracing mobile shopping, including a third straight year in which Black Friday weekend mobile shopping has more than doubled from the previous year. Read more...

More about Online Shopping, Paypal, Mobile Shopping, Business, and Mobile

December 20 2013

12 Vintage Snow Suits Your Mom Made You Wear

In the icy winter of 1985, nothing kept families warmer than matching one-piece snow suits. Your family was the talk of the ski resort, tumbling out of the minivan all decked out in neon,

If you've ever wondered what became of your fabulous ski suit, it's possible that it is for sale on Etsy or eBay.

Bundle up with a dose of nostalgia — these 12 onesies will help you relive those childhood wintertime memories.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Homepage Image: Etsy, Madame Glam

More about List, Pics, Lists, Online Shopping, and Etsy

December 16 2013

10 Startups to Watch in 2014

If you only focus on the multi-billion dollar valuations of young companies like Pinterest, Uber and Snapchat, you might assume 2013 has been a very good year for tech startups. In reality, it has been more of a bittersweet year.

Many early-stage companies struggled to raise a Series A rounds of funding, a phenomenon commonly referred to as the "Series A Crunch," which for some meant to fight for their survival. Meanwhile, several later-stage companies like Fab and Rdio laid off large portions of their staff to rein in costs.

Even so, plenty of promising startups raised funds and launched (or teased) exciting features this year in markets ranging from mobile payments to media. What's more, the success of Twitter's IPO has boosted investor interest in other social startups and may help revive the market for tech IPOs, which suffered after Facebook's troubled public offering in 2012. Read more...

More about Online Shopping, Startups, Features, E Books, and Flipboard

December 15 2013

Your Hot Coffee Powers a Game of Mug Tetris

Product Name: Tetris Heat Changing Mug
Price: $14.99
Who would like this?: Old-school video game enthusiasts, geeks, coffee lovers, caffeine fiends, easily-entertained children

The Tetris heat changing mug is not your ordinary mug.

Sure, it does all the things your favorite mug already does. Will it hold your piping-hot coffee? Definitely. Your spicy chai tea latte? You bet. Your kid's peppermint hot chocolate? Sure thing.

So, what's so cool about this mug in particular? Its perfectly geeky heat-changing feature, of course. When you pour a hot beverage into the mug, its heat-sensitive coating comes to life. Before you know it, the once empty Tetris matrix printed on the mug's sides are filled with blocks of all sizes and colors. According to the mug's manufacturer, the blocks will stay vibrant for up to 30 minutes while you sip your cozy drink. Read more...

More about Holidays, Gifts, Online Shopping, Gift Guide, and Watercooler

December 10 2013

15 Christmas Ornaments Fit Perfectly for Nerds

When it comes to trimming the Christmas tree, we like to add a little personality into the mix.

As nice as it is to hang up grandma's hand-me-down ornaments, it's the fun and unique decorations that really put us in the holiday spirit. From Grumpy Cat to Dr. Who, there's an ornament that fits wherever your interests lie.

This Christmas, let your nerdy sensibilities shine with 15 ornaments that celebrate geek culture.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Image: Etsy

More about List, Lists, Online Shopping, Etsy, and Christmas

November 25 2013

14 Tips to Avoid Cyber Monday Scams

In the frenzy of limited time offers, last minute sales and one-click shopping, it can be difficult to stay secure while you shop online, particularly on days like Cyber Monday

Last year, consumers spent about 1.5 billion dollars on Cyber Monday, up 16% from 2011. Industry experts predict this season will see even more growth. Coupled with the boom in sales is a predicted increase in the amount and severity of online scamming and data theft.

We spoke with Will Pelgrin, CEO of The Center for Internet Security (CIS), a non-profit organization focused on improving the cybersecurity posture of both the private and public sector, who gave us a few helpful tips about staying secure online this season. Read more...

More about How To, Online Shopping, Features, Online Security, and Holiday Shopping
How to Shop Discreetly at Work

Cyber Monday is the best thing to happen to holiday shopping since Black Friday — same deals, but you don't have to wear pants to get 'em. We call that a win

That is, unless you're stuck at work. While more and more offices are becoming OK with Cyber Monday shopping, it's still a no-no for many jobs

If you're determined to get those deals without missing a day of work, we have some tips to keep your shopping on the DL. But remember, your company may legally peek at your Internet history on company computers, so shop at your own risk Read more...

1. Go Incognito

More about Gifts, Deals, Online Shopping, Shopping, and Features

November 24 2013

Amazon's 7 Best Black Friday Deals

If you're looking on Amazon for holiday deals this year, Black Friday now begins Sunday, Nov. 24.

Amazon just released some of its biggest deals for this year's Black Friday, including several HDTV deals and Google Chromecast. However, Amazon isn't making the Black Friday decision process easy, releasing new deals every 10 minutes starting on Sunday and lasting through Cyber Monday — a full eight days. You might want to get some friends together to tag team it this year

To keep track of special offers, sign up for the company's Daily Deals email newsletter, check out the Gold Box for extra sales and follow @amazondeals on Twitter for as-it-happens news. If you really can't wait, you can head over to Amazon's Black Friday Countdown Sale to start your shopping now Read more...

More about Amazon, Online Shopping, Retail, Holiday Shopping, and Black Friday

November 20 2013

7 Deal Aggregators for Holiday Shoppers

As the online shopping boom continues to, well, boom, more and more deal aggregation sites are popping up to help users sift through the retail wreckage.

These sites comb deals from around the web on popular coupon sites such as Groupon, LivingSocial, Amazon and even social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. As the holiday season and huge online retail days like Cyber Monday begin to roll in, these sites can help you cut down on your gift-searching hours — and who doesn't want that?

Looking to save time in front of the computer and some extra money in your pocket this holiday season? Check out this gallery of seven holiday deal aggregators that you can try today. Read more...

More about Deals, Online Shopping, Features, Holiday Shopping, and Advertising

November 16 2013

Gobble Up These 12 Ugly Thanksgiving Sweaters

Everyone has an ugly Christmas sweater tucked away in their closets. Whether you purchased it from the thrift store for a quirky college theme party, or you borrowed it from grandma only to keep it forever, you know you've got one stashed away for the holidays.

But just because you've got Christmas covered doesn't mean you're off the hook for Thanksgiving dinner. Lucky for you, Etsy has a whole slew of turkey-covered sweaters to fit your ugly holiday sweater needs.

So unless you want to embarrass yourself with your lack of Thanksgiving spirit, don't sit down to dinner without donning one of these 12 ugly sweaters. Read more...

More about List, Pics, Lists, Online Shopping, and Clothing

November 11 2013

Flipboard Embraces Ecommerce With Shoppable Magazines

Flipboard is tip-toeing into the ecommerce space with the launch of a new feature on Monday: shoppable catalogs.

In March, Flipboard introduced the option for users to create their own magazines full of articles for others to browse. Nearly eight months and more than 4.5 million user-created magazines later, Flipboard is building on this option by letting brands and individual users curate products in their magazines as well.

Brands, including early Flipboard partners like Banana Republic, Fab and eBay, will be able to create their own shoppable catalogs to promote their products. These catalogs, along with those curated by Flipboard staff, will be featured in a new shopping category on the platform. Users will be able to add items from this magazines in this category as well as from other ecommerce sites into their own magazines. Perhaps more importantly to brands, they will be able to make purchases directly through these Flipboard magazines. Read more...

More about Apps, Online Shopping, Ecommerce, Flipboard, and Business

November 07 2013

Physical Location Still a Factor in Online-Shopping Decisions

For retailing, the key change produced by the Internet is that shopping online spared consumers the economic costs (in time, grief and gas money) of visiting a store and locating a product. This has been called the “death of distance.” When even isolated individuals can buy anything from a global marketplace, physical location does not confer any commercial advantage, and online merchants might be expected to win every battle.

But an emerging body of economic research shows that there is no independent “online world.” Physical context matters to e-commerce. It shapes our choices and tastes, and it strongly determines what we buy online. With the rise of mobile computing, these local effects matter even more. Read more...

More about Mobile, Internet, Online Shopping, Business, and Consumers
Walmart Website Glitch Sells $600 Electronics for Less Than $10

Due to an internal website error, Walmart listed tons of expensive merchandise for sale at incredibly low prices Wednesday

Digital projectors and computer monitors normally costing $600 were listed for less than $10. And ABC reports the company “was selling a 24-inch high definition Viewsonic computer monitor, an InFocus IN2124 Projector digital projectors and other products, many for $8.85. The projector is listed for $578.89 on Walmart.com.”

In October, a similar incident in one of Walmart’s stores allowed customers to buy unlimited goods on SNAP food stamp cards, but this one on the e-commerce side was open to everyone. Read more...

More about Online Shopping, Sales, Website, Walmart, and Glitch

October 24 2013

FedEx Expects 11% Jump in Cyber Monday Shipments This Year

FedEx is expecting to ship 22 million packages on Dec. 2, a.k.aCyber Monday, this year, an 11% increase over last year.

The figure, reported in The Wall Street Journal, is almost double the 11.5 million packages the company shipped on Cyber Monday in 2007. Though the figure rises each year as more consumers shop online, this year Thanksgiving falls late on the calendar, meaning consumers will be under more of a time crunch to buy

Cyber Monday, the first workday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday, was traditionally seen as the day that consumers got back to their desks and felt the pressing need to buy presents. However, some see the day (and its throwback name) as a hoary concept as consumers embrace mobile technology. Nevertheless, Cyber Monday sales rose 30% last year, according to IBM. According to comScore, Cyber Monday spending in the United States rose 17% in 2012 from Cyber Monday in 2011, to $1.46 billion Read more...

More about Online Shopping, Holiday Shopping, Cyber Monday, Fedex, and Business
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