March 19, 2021

Last month, we looked at how NBA Top Shot sells digital basketball cards for thousands of dollars through its online marketplace. Since then, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) like Top Shot cards have skyrocketed in value, with one viral gif selling for $600,000 while a NFT artwork was sold through Christie’s auction house for tens of millions. This video explains how NFTs operate along with their possible drawbacks. 

Questions:

  1. How did some NFTs come to be worth thousands or even millions Continue reading
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February 16, 2021

After millions of Americans either lost work or saw their incomes drop during the pandemic, many started side businesses as a way to make up for lost revenue. In fact, last year new business applications increased by 24 percent compared to 2019, reaching their highest level on record. The retail sector comprised 54 percent of new businesses as many people used platforms like Shopify to sell products online. Founded in 2006, Shopify provides entrepreneurs with e-commerce tools that can handle Continue reading

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December 10, 2020

The e-commerce site Etsy was founded in 2005 as a place where crafty, independent creators could sell their wares online to consumers. In 2015 the company went public and greatly expanded its product offerings to include items from larger brands. The following years saw Etsy struggle with its brand identity as it cycled through different leadership and organizational structures. Then came 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused countless businesses to struggle or outright close in the last few Continue reading

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December 3, 2020

Black Friday began years ago as a one-day event where retailers across the country slashed prices to attract holiday shoppers into stores. Then the deals began to stretch into the weekend, then into Thanksgiving itself, and finally this year holiday sales spilled online into more than a weeklong extravaganza. With many retailers either remaining closed for indoor customers or open at limited capacity, experts expect that e-commerce will drive sales for many companies this holiday season.

Although foot traffic at Continue reading

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November 17, 2020

Since the start of the pandemic, takeout and delivery orders have taken on outsized importance at restaurants that have been unable to open to full capacity. As a result, some companies are investing in “ghost kitchens” that focus solely on pickup and delivery orders. For instance, last week Chipotle opened its first Digital Kitchen in New York, a location with no dining room that is largely closed off to walk-in customers.

“The Digital Kitchen incorporates innovative features that will complement Continue reading

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November 12, 2020

Since the 1990s, on November 11th Chinese retailers led by the e-commerce giant Alibaba have celebrated Singles Day with an abundance of discounts and deals. Initially started as a sort of anti-Valentine’s Day and celebration of singlehood, over the years Singles Day has grown into one of the globe’s biggest sales events. In fact, Alibaba said that consumers purchased more than $75 billion worth of products on its site during yesterday’s festivities. 

This massive haul represents a 26 percent Continue reading

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October 13, 2020

As brick-and-mortar retailers struggle to make ends meet during the pandemic, e-commerce outlets like Amazon are thriving as consumers purchase more products from home than ever before. Experts expect that this trend will continue into the holiday shopping season, which can drive as much as 30 percent of retailers’ overall sales. So while companies would normally be hiring extra cashiers to prepare for Christmas, this year they’re bringing in warehouse workers to handle the high volume of online orders.  Continue reading

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April 16, 2020

With thousands of stores closed around the country, U.S. retailers saw sales plunge by 8.7 percent in March. That represents the worst monthly decline on record as millions of consumers stopped visiting restaurants, bars, and shopping malls due to stay-at-home orders for coronavirus containment. While sales of cars, furniture, and electronics all experienced double digit drops, spending at clothing stores plummeted by more than 50 percent. Manufacturing capacity and oil production also fell to their lowest rates since the end Continue reading

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March 19, 2020

With millions of people across the country staying home and practicing social distancing, it’s no surprise that many are doing their shopping online through Amazon. As a result, the e-commerce giant has seen demand for household items and medical supplies increase dramatically over the last couple of weeks. In order to ensure that no essential products go out of stock, this week Amazon announced that its U.S. and European warehouses will now only hold “vital supplies.” This includes baby products, Continue reading

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February 13, 2020

In 2017, the home goods company Brandless launched with a novel way to take on Amazon as well as other big-box retailers. The direct-to-consumer startup sold high-quality, organic versions of everything from toilet paper to beauty products in simple, no-frills packaging. Brandless claimed that this eliminated the so-called “BrandTax” levied by many companies, which could account for as much as 40 percent of the product’s actual cost. With little money spent on traditional marketing, Brandless initially charged just $3 for Continue reading

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