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The biggest names in tech are waging a war over who gets to bring you fruits and veggies.

Google is planning to test a new option to deliver fresh grocery items from select food chains to customers through its Google Express shopping service in San Francisco and another yet to be named market, according to a Bloomberg report.

A source close to Google confirmed to Mashable that the company is expanding into perishable goods this year, after having previously offered only non-perishable items through its existing grocery delivery partnerships with Whole Foods, Costco and Fairway, just to name a few.

The move is a direct challenge to Amazon.

It also pits Google against well-funded startups like Instacart, Postmates and even Uber, the last of which began experimenting with fresh grocery deliveries last year. It’s also a reminder that Google hasn’t given up on its delivery operation even after numerous reports about its struggles to gain traction.

For Google, there is much at stake in satisfying our growing need for instant gratification. The Internet giant recognizes customers may increasingly bypass its search engine in favor of looking up and ultimately receiving goods and services from competitors like Amazon. That’s valuable data and a potential new revenue stream.

Alongside news on Tuesday of the fresh food delivery, Google also announced an expansion of its next-day delivery service throughout the Midwest after having previously launched its shopping option for groceries, home supplies, apparel and more in the usual early adopter cities along the coasts of the U.S.

“Our goal with Google Express is to offer a great shopping experience and connect people with their favorite stores,” Brian Elliott, general manager of Google Express, said in a statement. “Today, we’re very excited to be further expanding our efforts — making it easy for over 25 million people in the Midwest to get things they need from stores they love — delivered overnight.”

One report in 2014 said Google had earmarked as much as $500 million for what was then called Shopping Express. The service rebranded to Express late last year.

Elliott, previously the head of partnership for Google Shopping, took over Google Express in July after an executive shakeup to help the delivery service deliver better results.

PayPal.Me is the latest release from the payments corporation, with the technology allowing users to pay back money borrowed from their friends and family using a customised URL.

Taking control over IOUs Read more

Visa Checkout users are 17 percentage points more likely to complete an online purchase than PayPal Express Checkout users, the financial services company has said. Read more

Apple Pay has 425 financial institutions and is expected to have 1.5MM acceptance locations by year end. Samsung Pay is running a U.S. beta with plans for a commercial launch end September. MCX is getting ready for a public pilot. There are unconfirmed reports of Android Pay about to hit the market. Obviously lots of activity, or at least seems to be the case. Apple Pay which is coming up on its one-year anniversary is seeing tepid volumes despite all the cards provisioned. Of course, acceptance has been challenging given the lack of NFC terminals and common wisdom says that usage will pick up as more NFC terminals are deployed. We should get an early read on the importance of a mobile-ready merchant infrastructure in stimulating transaction volumes as Samsung Pay comes on stream.

Samsung is launching its mobile payment system, “Samsung Pay”, in collaboration with MasterCard to compete with existing mobile payment systems from Google and Apple. Read more

To the background of some jamming Latin tunes, Facebook cofounder and T-shirt enthusiast Mark Zuckerberg held a public town hall in Colombia today. In addition to announcing a new initiative to give free basic Internet access to everyone in the country, he fielded a question about the future of the Internet.

One eager Colombian asked what Zuckerberg thought Facebook would look like in 10 years, and he took it as an opportunity to opine about the future of social networks more broadly.

The short description is three major trends:

1). There will be (a lot) more people on the Internet.
2). We’ll be more likely to message people through photos or SMS than the old web interface.
3). The future of computing is augmented reality: distraction-free, heads-up communication.

The first two are somewhat unsurprising. Cisco estimates that India alone will double its user base by 2018, with an expected 526 million connected people.

As far as alternative messaging, the field is rapidly expanding. For instance, theFacebook-owned WhatsApp messenger has surpassed SMS in number of messages sent. Then there’s Snapchat, which is just communication through momentary pictures; it has exploded in growth, with a reported 100 million users.

Text may be a shrinking part of the future of the Internet. For example, the Apple Watch promises to keep users connected through haptic vibrations (like sending someone your heartbeat as a vibration on their wrist watch).

“The diversity of the ways in which people want to share, the moments that people want to communicate, and the tools that people need to stay connected are going to keep growing,” Zuckerberg explained, noting that this could be a major source of competition for Facebook.

But the real juicy prediction is augmented reality. “In another 10 to 15 years, you can imagine that there will be another platform, which is even more natural and even more built into our lives than mobile phones,” he explained. Zuckerberg’s imagination is worth quoting in full:

“I think it’s pretty easy to imagine that in the future we will have something that we can either wear — and it’ll look like normal glasses (so it won’t look weird like some of the stuff that exists today). And you’ll just be able to have context with what’s going on around you in the world and communicate with people and not have to disrupt your conversations by looking down.”

The swipe at Google Glass “looking weird” probably did not go unnoticed by his neighbors down the road in Mountain View. Zuckerberg did mention that virtual reality company Oculus could be an important part of that augmented reality future. This is probably why Facebook paid a bazillion dollars (OK, $2 billion to be more precise) for the nascent startup.

The last year has witnessed the rise of the buy button. Social media sites and search engines have attempted to hold on to traffic and increase ad revenue by allowing consumers to buy products directly from ads. Read more

By Christine Kern

Research shows online spending will hit $89 billion for this holiday season, or 14% of all retail spending. According to Forrester Research, holiday online spending will reach $89 billion in November and December, a full 14 percent of overall retail purchases.  This represents a 13 percent growth over holiday season 2013, and a 30 percent share of total eCommerce spend in 2014. It does also represent ”a deceleration in growth due to a shorter holiday selling season and capacity constraints in the package delivery network.” For the last three years, the web sales growth rate had stayed constant at 15 percent, following a growth of 16 percent in 2010. The projected growth is credited to an influx of new online shoppers and the increase in shopping via mobile devices. Read more

Banks all over the world are planning to invest around 16 million dollars in branch transformation and the new technologies this requires in 2017. A study carried out on behalf of Wincor Nixdorf by the American IT market research company International Data Corporation (IDC) maintains that the success or failure of a branch network is dependent on its acceptance by the customer. Now, to ensure its success, not only do the branch, online and mobile channels need to offer perfect service individually, they must also be completely integrated into the digital world, which is where more and more customers spend their time and manage their banking business. Read more

E-commerce and payments fraud remains high on the agendafor consumer-facing organizations, according to a recent Deloitte online poll. Nearly half (47%) of executives and managers reported that fraud protection ranks as a “high priority” for their organization, and a further 8% cited this as their organization’s number one priority.

Despite fraud prevention ranking as a high priority, only 9% of respondents stated that their organization currently provides customers with free fraud prevention solutions. Likewise, budget increases for fraud solutions have been minimal over the past twelve months, with only 9% stating that their fraud protection and detection budget increased substantially. An additional 22% reported fraud budgets had increased marginally, while a similar number (21%) stated that budgets remained unchanged.

“Along with the positive impact of digital commerce comes the risk of fraud to businesses and customers,”explained David Williams, chief executive officer, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. “With monthly phishing attacks increasing 40 percent last year, education and fraud solutions for the end-customer are often a powerful way for organizations to police and control fraud.”

Mobile fraud not a priority, say organization

Only 9% of respondents cited mobile fraud as a top concern for their business, even with mobile e-commerce solutions on the rise. The greatest area of fraud concern is online (35%) followed by e-mail (21%) and non-digital fraud (13%).

It’s surprising mobile isn’t more of a focus, given the rise of mobile banking and mobile apps introduced by retailers,” said Prakash Santhana, director, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. “Fraud risk and problems like malware will likely continue to rise as mobile commerce becomes more prevalent.”

The retail industry is undergoing a dramatic shift: E-commerce is capturing a  larger share of sales than ever before.   We’ve created a slideshow highlighting the retail categories where  e-commerce is having the most impact, and where there is still opportunity for  disruption. The shift away from physical retail toward digital retail is  happening faster than many observers expected. BI Intelligence is  a research and analysis service focused on mobile computing, digital media,  payments, and e-commerce. Only subscribers can download the individual charts and datasets in Excel, along  with the PowerPoint and PDF versions of this deck. Please sign up for a free trial  here.   Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider  through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

 

Click here to see the future of retail »

Read more:  http://www.businessinsider.com/the-future-of-retail-2014-slide-deck-sai-2014-3?op=1#ixzz2zkANaQoh

Karmacoin has announced a new service that will allow Twitter users to send tips to other users. The new service will enable Twitter users to seamlessly gift Karmacoin, a digital currency which has grown in popularity since its launch in February, by typing a simple command into their Twitter boxes. “We will soon be announcing a pilot program for SMEs, retail shops, and schools to take advantage of these reward mechanisms using their own platforms. This is only the beginning of a future where online tipping is more fully integrated into the social experience. It can lead to more engagement and a higher level of quality content for everyone,” said Tony Sorel, Director of Karmacoin. “Our technology being used on one of the internet’s biggest platforms is a substantial step forward in our effort for Karma Rewards to become synonymous with both online and offline reward programs, we will soon be announcing a pilot program for SMEs, retail shops, and schools to take advantage of these reward mechanisms using their own platforms.” Added Mr Sorel.

By Anna Rose Welch, contributing writer

Mobile-Specific Fraud-Prevention

As mobile becomes more prominent, merchants grow increasingly fearful of fraud  There’s no doubt that the mobile channel has begun to grow more important for retailers. However, as merchants begin to invest in mobile, their concerns about fraud and security are also increasing. According to the 2014 Mobile Payment and Fraud Survey by Kount, “Not only are organizations now more likely to find that fraud risk associated with the mobile channel is higher than with standard web e-commerce, but organizations are also more likely to believe the mobile channel acquires additional tools for managing risk.”

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Bitcoin Shop, Inc. has announced that it has acquired Bitcoinshop.us LLC, an ecommerce marketplace platform provider that enables shoppers to purchase products using virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, through a share exchange transaction.  In connection with the acquisition of Bitcoin Shop, the Company closed on the private placement of its Series C Preferred Stock and Warrants to certain accredited investors with gross proceeds to the Company of USD1,875,000.   Read more

Credit card details from almost half of all South Koreans have been stolen and sold to marketing firms. Read more

Canadians responded to extreme weather conditions in December by taking their holiday shopping online – and they reached a major milestone in the process. For the first time in Canadian eCommerce history, the online share of retail sales totaled 7.8% for the month of December according to MasterCard SpendingPulse.

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PayPal APAC is delivering innovative online consumer shopping experiences with the launch of mo.bi.pay, an innovative mobile payments solution developed for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs).

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Эксперты из Deutsche Bank представили исследование-прогноз о смерти традиционных банков в результате развития интернет-технологий.

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