Reviewing Retail in 2017, Part 1: Mergers, Acquisitions and Investments

Source: Istockphoto

2017 was a more eventful year in retail than many probably expected. This week and next, we will review the year, and consider what its developments tell us about the state of the sector and the strategies retailers are adopting… Continue Reading

“Will that Be Cash, Credit, WeChat Pay or Alipay?”

Mobile commerce

Some 40 years ago, American Express told its credit card holders, “Don’t leave home without it.” If that famous ad campaign were created today, it would likely refer to users’ smartphones, not their credit cards. That is because electronic payment… Continue Reading

Channel Swaps: Walmart Online vs. Amazon Offline

Walmart Truck

Walmart versus Amazon is perhaps the biggest retail battle of our times—and Amazon’s encroachment into brick-and-mortar grocery retailing with its Whole Foods Market acquisition has only heightened the competition. Coincidentally, both of these retail giants have recently made the unusual… Continue Reading

Alibaba Shattered Singles’ Day Records Again in 2017—Here’s How

Alibaba’s 11.11 Countdown Gala in Shanghai, China
Source: FGRT

Singles’ Day, November 11, is the biggest online shopping day in the world. The holiday was originally created in the 1990s by Chinese college students who wanted to celebrate their single status. In 2009, Alibaba used the idea to market… Continue Reading

Amazon Shopping List: Books, DVDs, Clothing, Groceries…and Prescription Medications?

Prescription Medication

Amazon, since its founding, has steadily expanded its product portfolio from just books initially to a massive assortment of goods. In the last couple of years, the company has experimented with offering clothing and food. In terms of clothing, Amazon… Continue Reading

The Holidays, Black Friday and the Discounting Spiral

Source: istockphoto

Putting the Holidays in Context Like it or not, the passing of Halloween means that we are now racing toward the holidays. There are a handful of calendar events that each contribute billions to US retail sales throughout the year… Continue Reading

As the World (Re)turns: Returning Stuff Is a Whole Lot Easier than It Used to Be

red mailbox on cartons. 3d illustration

In the ancient days, before e-commerce, when you wanted to return something, you had to go back to the store where you bought it (if you bought it in a store) or wait in line at the post office, if… Continue Reading

The Intelligent Voice Appliance Market Is Getting Quite Crowded

In the beginning, there was Siri. The groundbreaking voice assistant only worked with recent-model iPhones, however, and its imperfect voice recognition led it to be the object of many a joke and cartoon. Siri’s wake saw additional assistants from other… Continue Reading

How Can Brick and Mortar Stores Steal Back Shoppers From Amazon This Holiday Season?

holidays, x-mas, sale and people concept - happy young asian woman in winter clothes with shopping bags over christmas tree lights background

    In the battle against e-commerce—and especially against e-commerce behemoth Amazon—long-standing brick-and-mortar retailers are often urged to differentiate themselves by offering exclusive product and quality experiences. But what will actually drive shoppers to physical stores this coming holiday season?… Continue Reading