Although some brick and mortar retailers are managing to thrive in the age of e-commerce, many others haven’t been able to compete against rivals like Amazon. This includes a good portion of America’s once mighty malls that now either struggle to keep tenants or have shuttered completely. In an ironic twist, however, abandoned malls are currently being purchased by Amazon and other companies to serve as product distribution centers. This video details why the location and size of Continue reading

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Starting in the late 1990s, Atlanta business owner Frank Reiss struggled to keep his small bookstore in operation. Along with the growing dominance of Amazon, he also lost much of his lucrative rare book business to the online auction house eBay. Reiss considered closing his beloved A Capella Books in the early 2000s until his father suggested that hosting events with authors could turn things around for the better. The plan worked: A Cappella sold more than 500 books Continue reading

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April 16, 2019

Last year consumers around the globe purchased more than 78 million smart speakers like the Amazon Echo. The e-commerce giant’s hit product is powered by Alexa, a voice-activated digital assistant that can respond to spoken commands. For example, ask Alexa what the weather is like and she will respond with the temperature as well as the chance for rain. In its marketing materials, Amazon says that Alexa “lives in the cloud and is always getting smarter.” But while many customers Continue reading

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February 19, 2019

In 2017 Amazon announced that it would open a second headquarters somewhere in the U.S., setting off a bidding war between cities all across the country. Then this past November the e-commerce giant shared its decision with the public: the new HQ would be split in two between New York City and Arlington, Virginia. But while many politicians and business leaders celebrated the announcement, activists, unions, and some local lawmakers in New York blasted the decision to give Amazon nearly Continue reading

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January 18, 2019

For many shoppers, a “buy one, get one free” deal is often too good to pass up. As this video shows, though, “BOGO” promotions aren’t as special as many consumers perceive them to be.

Questions:

  1. How do “buy one, get one free” deals sometimes deceive customers?
  2. Why do retailers like Amazon show customers a product’s original list price along with the discounted price?
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January 3, 2019

At the bottom of every product page on Amazon sits a collection of user reviews that serve as a resource for those who need a second opinion before making a purchase. And while regular customers write many of these reviews, there are also plenty of others who receive free products in exchange for their perspective. The following video shows the positives and negatives behind this system and how Amazon tries to filter out the worst offenders.

Questions:

  1. Do you think Continue reading
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December 13, 2018

While airports can be tense places at any time of year, they’re especially stressful during the holiday season. As crowds of travelers rush from security checkpoints to their gates, doing something as simple as buying a magazine or a bite to eat can become nearly impossible. That’s why Amazon is reportedly looking to expand its line of Amazon Go brick and mortar stores into airports. At these cashier-free retail outlets, customers simply grab items they want off the shelves and Continue reading

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October 4, 2018

Amazon’s market capitalization recently hit $1 trillion, placing the e-commerce giant on a level of success shared only with Apple. What’s more, last year the company’s revenue topped out at $178 billion, about a 40 percent increase from 2016. These factors allowed CEO Jeff Bezos to claim the title of world’s richest person as his net worth climbed past the $150 billion mark.

According to critics, though, Amazon’s workers have been largely left out of this bonanza of profit. Continue reading

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August 28, 2018

A few years ago, many tech industry analysts predicted that the Amazon Echo would soon dominate the growing smart speaker market. After all, the voice-activated device accounted for more than 75 percent of market share as the company moved “tens of millions” of Echo products in 2017 alone. Consumers were also becoming more familiar with Alexa, the virtual assistant designed to answer questions and perform simple tasks like turning the lights on and off. Given these factors plus Amazon’s ever Continue reading

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July 17, 2018

Amazon’s Prime Day has a bit of a misleading name: the e-commerce site’s annual offering of deals actually lasts 36 hours, starting yesterday afternoon and going until midnight tonight. One matter that isn’t up for debate, however, is the promotion’s ability to bring in a lot of money. Analysts expect that this year’s Prime Day will generate about $3.4 billion in sales for Amazon, which would beat 2017’s total by more than $1 billion. But despite this upcoming windfall, so Continue reading

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