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Category Archives: E-Commerce

Bookstores Are Struggling. Is a New E-Commerce Site the Answer?

The New York Times – “The rapid rise of Bookshop.org during the shutdown has been hailed as a boon for independent stores. But some booksellers worry it could become another competitor for online business…..Now Bookshop is on track to exceed $40 million in sales this year, blowing past the sum that Mr. Hunter initially hoped to reach by 2022. The site sold some $4.5 million of books in May, and more than $7 million in the first two weeks of June. More than 750 bookstores have joined, and Bookshop has generated more than $3.6 million for stores. The company is preparing to expand its operations to Britain later this year, where it plans to partner with the book wholesaler Gardners…Mr. Hunter is bullish about the potential for post-pandemic growth. The American Booksellers Association has more than 1,880 member stores, and about 40 percent of them have started using Bookshop. There’s also more ground to gain with customers: Just 21 percent of book buyers who shop at independent stores had heard of Bookshop, according to a survey of more than 4,000 people conducted by the Codex Group in late April. “If it’s sticky and it lasts beyond this Covid crisis, it’s going to really help bookstores thrive,” Mr. Hunter said…”

Amazon’s New Competitive Advantage: Putting Its Own Products First

Pro Publica – “Brands have long been able to bid for the premier slot at the top left of Amazon’s listings, but during the pandemic the online retailer has begun using this position for its private-label items, raising antitrust concerns. Although customers don’t necessarily realize it, brands have for years been able to bid on… Continue Reading

What Happens to Powell’s Books When You Can’t Browse the Aisles?

The New York Times – The enormous independent bookstore in Portland, Ore., became an unlikely tourist attraction. Now that it’s shut, Emily Powell, the chief executive, is having to rethink the books business. “Powell’s Books was selling books online before Amazon.com existed. Over the years, its flagship store grew to occupy a full city block… Continue Reading

How to take back the information you’ve given to all your favorite apps and websites

Popular Science: “Social media networks know a lot about you. In fact, that’s their primary job. They want to collect information about you and use that to sell advertisements that you can’t resist. In return for your data, these companies give you a chance to interact with other users and share your life no matter… Continue Reading

Amazon rivals thrive during the pandemic as shipping delays level the playing field

NBC News – “Over the nine months Andy Hunter courted investors for his online bookselling business, Bookshop.org, he was repeatedly told it was doomed to be crushed by Amazon. Three months since its launch with less than $1 million in funding, Hunter said the business has already far exceeded levels he’d hoped to achieve by… Continue Reading

Technology helped shape Asia’s early response to COVID-19

McKinsey – Six digital and mobile technologies that helped guide governments and businesses in Asia could help other countries around the world. “The COVID-19 pandemic is constantly evolving, and at the time of writing the data do not allow us to draw firm conclusions about the most effective way to fight it. Although we focus… Continue Reading

Chrome will soon block resource-draining ads. Here’s how to turn it on now

ars technica – Fed up with cryptojacking ads? Google developers have you covered. “Chrome browser users take heart: Google developers are rolling out a feature that neuters abusive ads that covertly leach your CPU resources, bandwidth, and electricity. The move comes in response to a swarm of sites and ads first noticed in 2017 that… Continue Reading

A Complete List of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scams

Self – “As anxiety around coronavirus increases, more scammers are taking advantage. While scams can happen any time, many companies are now preying on people’s fear about contracting COVID-19 and the financial uncertainty due to job and income loss caused by the virus, among others. Here’s what you need to know to help protect yourself… Continue Reading

For Bookstore Owners, Reopening Holds Promise and Peril

The New York Times – For Bookstore Owners, Reopening Holds Promise and Peril – “Across the country, booksellers are wrestling with how to safely open their stores. Some are racing ahead. Others feel it’s too risky. Among retail businesses, bookstores, especially smaller independent stores, face particular challenges as they navigate reopening. Many indies occupy cramped… Continue Reading

The Immunity of the Tech Giants

The New York Times – Kara Swisher: When the pandemic is over, we most certainly should fear the industry more than ever. “If power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, how can we best describe the kind of power Big Tech will wield when the coronavirus crisis is over? How about this: The… Continue Reading

Some Amazon Sellers Are Paying $10,000 A Month To Trick Their Way To The Top

BuzzFeedNews – An emerging black market offers Amazon sellers pricey ways to cheat the marketplace and mislead customers, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. “The most prominent black hat companies for US Amazon sellers offer ways to manipulate Amazon’s ranking system to promote products, protect accounts from disciplinary actions, and crush competitors. Sometimes, these… Continue Reading