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The Podium

Blog posts tagged with 'Online Commerce'

Monday, November 26

Cyber Monday

By Brad

Today is “Cyber Monday,” the online post-Thanksgiving equivalent of “Black Friday.” While online holiday deals are a boon for consumers, Brendan Sasso of The Hill reports that some traditional retailers are unhappy about what they see as online competitors having a leg up:

A coalition of retail groups is pushing Congress to approve an online sales tax before the end of the year to ensure that this year’s “Cyber Monday” is the last one that goes untaxed

“This should be the last holiday shopping season that Main Street businesses have to compete on a playing field that is not level,” said Alison Joseph, a spokeswoman for the Alliance for Main Street Fairness, which is made up of brick-and-mortar retailers and other supporters of the bill.

Given how much online holiday shopping continues to grow, expect this tax fight to escalate. In the meantime, to see a snapshot of how much online shopping can save consumers, check out our report “10 Ways Being Online Saves You Money.”

Tuesday, November 29

Online Shopping Boost

By Brad

Yesterday was Cyber Monday, and it appears to have been a big success. How big? Over at TechCrunch, Leena Rao reports:

Cyber Monday online sales, according to IBM’s Coremetrics report, were up 33 percent over 2010, and up 29.3 percent over Black Friday.

IBM says that the average order amount was up 2.6 percent this year from $193.24 to $198.26. The shopping peaks during the day took place at 11:05am PST/2:05pm EST as well as after commuting hours on both the east and west coast.

Given ongoing economic concerns, this can only be counted as a big win all around.

Monday, November 28

Cyber Monday

By Brad

Today is “Cyber Monday,” the online equivalent of “Black Friday,” and business is expected to be brisk. But as Brendan Sasso of The Hill reports, customers will have a hard time connecting to some websites today:

The Justice Department and other federal agencies shut down 150 websites on Monday accused of selling copyrighted materials and counterfeit products.

The crackdown was timed to coincide with “Cyber Monday,” the most profitable day of the year for online retailers.

Speaking of today’s online shopping madness, over at GigaOm, Katie Fehrenbacher looks at the positive effect online holiday shopping has on the environment:

A couple years ago we commissioned a study for our subscription services GigaOM Pro on the greenhouses gas emissions of online holiday shopping versus in-store holiday shopping, and the trends still ring true. The study found that in-store purchases represented an increase of more than 15 times the green house gases of online purchases. Overall, the impact of Black Friday in 2009 was about 50 times that of Cyber Monday in 2009.

Friday, May 21

Protecting Consumers Online

By Brad

After a worrisome Commerce Committee report (PDF) warning that companies were increasingly duping online customers with deceptive sales tactics, Senator John D. Rockefeller has introduced the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act, legislation that aims to protect consumers. From the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation press release announcing the act:

Chairman Rockefeller’s bill will help put an end to the deceptive online sales tactics uncovered by the Commerce Committee’s landmark E-commerce investigation. The bill is sponsored by Senators Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and George LeMieux (R-Fla.). Chairman Rockefeller’s bill will protect online shoppers by:

Prohibiting companies like Affinion, Vertrue, and Webloyalty from using misleading post-transaction advertisements by requiring them to clearly disclose the terms of the offers to consumers, and to obtain consumers’ billing information, including full credit or debit card numbers, directly from the consumers.

Prohibiting Internet retailers and other commercial websites (“initial merchants”) from transferring a consumer’s billing information, including credit and debit card numbers, to post-transaction third party sellers, like Affinion, Vertrue, and Webloyalty.

Requiring companies that use “negative options” on the Internet to meet certain minimum disclosure and enrollment requirements, so consumers will not end up paying recurring fees for goods and services they did not intend to purchase.

Friday, May 14

Online Payment Boom

By Brad

GigaOm highlights a new report that projects mobile payments via smartphones and other wireless devices could hit more than $630 billion by 2014.

In 2009, the total was a relatively paltry $68 billion.

Thursday, July 09

Virtual Job Fair

By Brad

Looking for a job? Socially awkward in the real world? Well then online retailer Amazon has the job fair for you:

The very first Amazon Job Fair in Second Life will take place on Tuesday July 14th and will run from 6 AM to Midnight, PST.

This free event is a unique opportunity for candidates to have direct access to hiring managers and recruiters from around the world. Amazon is looking for all levels of technical and non-technical candidates – from hands-on engineers to program managers and game-changing principal architects. Visit our career site to see the open positions and then make plans to join us in-world.

We’ll be doing first-round virtual interviews (the equivalent of a phone screen) for real-world jobs.

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