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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September 18, 2018

When someone is looking to buy a new piece of furniture, it can be a struggle to find the right item to fit their personal taste as well as their floor plan. After all, just because something looks good in the showroom doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit in their living room. That’s why a number of home goods companies are integrating augmented reality into their online stores. Using a smartphone camera, the technology allows customers to visualize how a 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 19, 2018

As far as Instagram influencers go, Lil Miquela might not seem all that unique at first glance. More than 1 million people follow the teenager’s feed as she regularly shares stories about her life and shows off her stylish wardrobe. Miquela isn’t real, though, and not just in the “nothing is real on Instagram” sense: she is a computer-generated creation made by a Los Angeles startup. While that might seem bizarre at first, CGI influencers like Miquela give us a 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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In 1873, Colgate got its start by selling toothpaste stored in glass jars. Then about 20 years later the company began using collapsible tubes for storage, making it the first oral hygiene brand to do so. Colgate didn’t change much in the century that followed this revolutionary packaging decision, even after Palmolive purchased the company in the 1950s. And while it has since introduced new products like electric toothbrushes, Colgate’s central mission remains focused on selling as much toothpaste as Continue reading

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June 26, 2018

The e-commerce site Etsy is almost entirely powered by millions of independent sellers who offer everything from vintage clothes to freshly made slime. A good number of these entrepreneurs make their living by selling stuff on the site, which explains the anger that many of them felt towards a recent policy change at the company. Instead of collecting a transaction fee of 3.5 percent of sales, Etsy now plans to take a 5 percent cut of both sales and Continue reading

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June 22, 2018

In recent years, millions of consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of online shopping. Along with enjoying wide selections and free home delivery, e-commerce customers often don’t pay sales tax for items purchased online. However, that last fact could soon change thanks to a new Supreme Court ruling.

The decision reverses a previous ruling that prevented companies from collecting sales tax in states where they had no physical presence. Given that online retailers aren’t constrained by borders, though, a Continue reading

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March 16, 2018

As we saw yesterday with the sad state of Toys ‘R’ Us, the last few years have not been kind to brick-and-mortar retailers. The rise of online commerce has encouraged an increasing number of consumers to do their shopping at home, leaving many companies worried that they could be the next to go under. But while this is a new feeling for some, others like independent bookstore owners have had to deal with such fears for a long time. Continue reading

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March 15, 2018

Last year, we looked at how Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy after struggling for more than a decade with increasing competition and crushing debt. And while its future didn’t seem particularly bright at the time, the retailer at least had a plan in place to stay afloat in the short term. Along with taking out a massive loan to buy stock for the Christmas season, the company also claimed it had no plans to close any stores.

This relatively Continue reading

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