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Macy's Dips Toes in Brave New Marketing World
November 22, 2013
Blaring bargain news over PA systems may become a thing of the past if a pilot project launched Thursday by Macy's and Shopkick catches on with the brick-and-mortar set. The companies are conducting the experiments in Macy's San Francisco and New York City stores. The pilot feeds deal and discount information to shoppers as they roam through a store.
Debit Card Brings Google Wallet Offline
November 21, 2013
Google on Wednesday introduced the Google Wallet Card, a debit card that gives people instant access to the funds they have stored in Google Wallet. The card works like a traditional debit card, so users can swipe it to pay at a restaurant or store, for instance, or use it to get money from an ATM. It offers a few advantages over traditional debit cards -- most notably, the absence of any fees.
Keep Holiday Shoppers Happy, in 3 Easy Steps
November 21, 2013
This holiday season, everything from Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire Blasters to Doc McStuffins dolls and even diamond jewelry will be purchased via mobile devices to a greater extent than ever before. In fact, mobile shopping will surpass the growth of all other channels during the upcoming holiday season, eMarketer has predicted, as more and more consumers change they way they purchase gifts.
Chinese Chat App Exposes Kids to Prostitutes
November 20, 2013
China's massively popular WeChat messaging app has exposed school students to prostitutes through its "People Nearby" feature, which is sometimes used by prostitutes as a form of, shall we say, mobile advertising. A survey among students, conducted in a handful of major Chinese cities, found that the kids had indeed come across prostitutes' accounts when firing up the People Nearby function.
eBay Expects Holiday Season to Be a Nailbiter
October 17, 2013
eBay's third-quarter earnings report showed gains in revenue and earnings, but the company's stock dipped on its warning that a weak U.S. economy might lead to lower-than-expected fourth-quarter gains. Revenue was up 14 percent in eBay's third quarter, with the company bringing in $3.9 billion compared with the $3.4 billion it reported a year earlier.
When Your Mobile Meter Is Running, Google Will Pay the Tab
October 15, 2013
Google is planning to compensate users for letting it monitor their behavior via a mobile app currently in development. The project is part of Google's Screenwise market research program, which was launched about a year ago, said Google spokesperson Andrea Faville. "We conduct this research with small panels of volunteers to see how people are consuming media across screens," she said.
Amazon Seeks a Piece of Every Online-Payment Pie
October 11, 2013
Much the way PayPal is working to extend its reach into the bricks-and-mortar world, so Amazon.com is looking farther afield across the rest of the Web. The online purveyor this week launched Login and Pay with Amazon, a new program that allows online businesses to set up login and payment credentials through Amazon to ease the registration and payment process.
PayPal Digs Deeper Into the Bricks-and-Mortar World
October 09, 2013
PayPal on Tuesday announced Payment Code, a new tool that allows customers to pay for in-store purchases by simply presenting a QR code or four-digit number at the cash register. Similar in some ways to PayPal Beacon, which the company rolled out last month, Payment Code is intended both to simplify payment and to add a new layer of protection for consumers.
'Tis the Time for Mobile Marketers to Grease Gears
October 08, 2013
With so much riding on the holiday season for retailers, marketers pull out all the stops. This year, the latest ad technologies are being put to the test in the mobile realm. Retailers need to have a landing page optimized for mobile, and they need to prepare for an onslaught of visitors, suggested Chris Kivlehan, vice president of account management at INetU.
Google Makes It Official With Same-Day Delivery Debut
September 26, 2013
Google announced Wednesday that it is opening its Google Shopping Express service to shoppers in the entire San Francisco Bay Area, marking the official launch and first big expansion of the company's same-day delivery service. Google began testing the retail delivery service earlier this year among a limited set of invited consumers in a few areas within the Bay Area.
eBay Snags Braintree's Mobile-Payments Brain Trust in $800M Buy
September 26, 2013
eBay on Thursday announced that it is acquiring payment startup Braintree for $800 million in cash. eBay will combine Braintree, which provides technology for processing payments on the Web and mobile devices, with its PayPal payments division. Braintree expects to process some $12 billion in payments this year for thousands of online and mobile commerce companies.
Amazon's Fire HDX Could Torch the Competition
September 26, 2013
Amazon on Wednesday announced the Kindle Fire HDX, the third generation of its line of tablets. It comes in 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions and has an HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, more memory and dual stereo speakers. It includes free 24x7x365 tech support and a host of new features. Amazon "provides better hardware at a lower cost than Apple," said tech analyst Rob Enderle.
Facebook Adds Autofill to Ease In-App Purchase Pain
September 25, 2013
Facebook this week began testing a new feature dubbed "Autofill with Facebook" that aims to simplify mobile purchases by filling in customers' credit card information for them. "Autofill with Facebook gives people the option to use their payment information already stored on Facebook to populate the payment form when they make a purchase in a mobile app," explained Facebook spokesperson Tera Randall.
A Satellite's-Eye View on Mobile Payments
September 17, 2013
Turn-by-turn directions have become a common technological enhancement to the automotive world thanks to a set of satellites dedicated to the task. To date, these radio positioning signals have been supplied to consumers primarily by the U.S. military through a satellite constellation called "GPS," or Global Positioning System. Essentially, receivers on the ground interpret the signals and tell you where you are.
PayPal Lights Beacon for Hands-Free Payments
September 10, 2013
PayPal on Monday announced new technology that aims to make paying for goods as simple as walking into a store. Specifically, PayPal Beacon is a contactless payment system that uses Bluetooth Low Energy to connect with customer handsets to send offers and complete transactions. The mobile wallet-like payment system lets consumers pay for purchases hands-free.
New PayPal Mobile App Aims to Be Cash, Card Killer
September 06, 2013
PayPal introduced a new version of its mobile app on Thursday, unveiling features designed to make it easier for users to pay restaurant bills or take advantage of location-based deals while on the go. The updated app provides access to full menus from approved restaurants and lets users order ahead of time to cut down on wait times. Diners can also use the app to pay and tip.
Amazon Gives Devs 1-Click to Woo Them All
August 27, 2013
Amazon on Tuesday released the Mobile Associates API, new software that allows app developers to create ads for Amazon products with one-click purchasing. The new release is an extension of Amazon Associates, an affiliate program created by the online retailer in 1996. Under the mobile guidelines, developers can set up ads with specific Amazon products or categories that fit into the context of the app.
The Coming of the Digital Wallets
August 23, 2013
What are the three objects that you're most likely to grab as you leave the house today? They are likely to be your keys, your smartphone and your wallet, complete with cash and plastic bank cards. Well, if some forward-thinkers have their way, within a short time you'll just be grabbing the keys and phone only -- the plastic stays at home. Digital wallets may be about to go mainstream.
eBay Hustles to Reach More Customers on the Same Day
July 23, 2013
eBay revealed Monday that it has made its mobile-focused eBay Now service accessible via the desktop and expanded its same-day delivery service areas, as the competition among online retailers intensifies. The company first tested same-day delivery in San Francisco about a year ago. Later it rolled out the service in San Jose and New York. eBay's expansion will continue later in the summer.
eBay Banks on Core Strengths to Weather European Doldrums
July 18, 2013
Despite gains reported in core business areas, eBay is facing economic weakness in key overseas markets, which sent its stock tumbling following its quarterly earnings report Wednesday. eBay reported non-GAAP net income of $822 million, or 63 cents per share, compared with the $730 million, or 56 cents per share, that it brought in during the same period a year ago.
Mobile Ad Revenues Soar to $8.9 Billion Globally
July 10, 2013
Mobile advertising revenue skyrocketed by 82.8 percent in 2012 to reach $8.9 billion globally, according to a report released Tuesday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB Europe and IHS. North America, in fact, saw an even bigger leap, with a 111 percent surge over 2011 figures to $3.5 billion, or 39.8 percent of the global tally.
Beginning of the End of the Supermarket Aisle?
July 09, 2013
Shopping for groceries might not be top of mind for many rail commuters -- at least, not until they see one of Peapod's virtual supermarkets in a train station. Peapod, which has long been at the forefront of online grocery sales, has pushed its virtual offerings into the real world, and its strategy appeals to people who otherwise might not have considered digital grocery shopping.
Local Firms Can Ignore Online Reviews at Their Peril
June 28, 2013
It's no secret that online reviews play a key role in consumers' purchase decisions, but that's increasingly true for local brands as well, according to a report published Tuesday by BrightLocal. More and more, consumers are using the Internet to find local businesses, according to the company's Local Consumer Review Survey 2013.
FTC Leans on Search Engines Over Ad Labeling
June 27, 2013
The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection on Monday issued a letter to search engines including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, advising them to provide better labeling and notification of advertising that appears alongside search results. The letter is an update to guidelines issued in 2002. "We have observed a decline in compliance," the FTC explained.

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