If you’re one of the millions of individuals who orders products online, you are part of a revolution. Total e-commerce sales will reach $684 billion in 2020, and the two titans of retail, Amazon.com and Walmart.com, are competing for market share in a big way. But it’s a more complicated story than you might imagine. Each platform offers third-party sellers the chance to reach consumers, and though the online e-commerce playing field is currently far from level, Walmart.com is catching up. Amazon is saturated with third-party sellers in their marketplace, while Walmart.com potentially presents a big untapped opportunity for sellers.
In 2016, the three major carriers in the US - FedEx, UPS, and USPS - will all be upping their shipping rates. Some rate hikes have already happened, while others aren't scheduled to happen until later in January. Regardless, you need to be aware of what's coming so you can plan to deal with the increased rates accordingly.
CES ended just a few days ago, but the world is still abuzz with conversation about the latest and greatest gadgets revealed at the show.
Meshell Long, Doba Director of Marketplace Success, was at the show and provided the following report, videos, and photos that give insight into some 2016 trends that all retailers should be aware of as the year goes on.
The holiday season is over, so you can breathe easy, right? Well, don’t get too comfy yet. After all the stress that came with getting shipments made on time over Christmas, get ready for UPS and FedEx’s new switch to DIM (dimensional) shipping. For those of you who aren’t familiar, dimensional shipping is a pricing system based around the total dimensions, as opposed to actual weight, of the product you’re shipping. For example, say you had a 10-pound package to send. Regardless of the size of your package (up to 3 cubic feet), your price would be fairly consistent in the old weight-based pricing system.
Unless you’ve been living in a basement with zero reception or media feed, you’ve probably heard about the big split happening next year between ecommcerce giant, eBay, and it’s major financial appendage, PayPal. And it truly is big. eBay/PayPal have been synonymous since 2002. When people think eBay payment, they think PayPal. It’s secure, it’s safe, and it’s guaranteed. There was a comfort surrounding PayPal that many sellers fully embrace, and a majority of eBay sellers refuse any other type of payment. Yeah. Big.
When eBay/Paypal announced the split, you can imagine what the response was like. How would online businesses do payments? What would happen to the ease of the eBay buy/sell process? What will happen to the largest online auction business in the world? Well, for them, it’s quite a lot. For you, probably nothing huge. But before we go into that, lets take a look at why they split.
If you have never been to MAGIC Market Week, it is a spectacle of the latest sizzling fashions! MAGIC is held twice per year (February and August) at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. They filled nearly 1 million square feet with wall-to-wall fashion!
2014 was a lucrative year for hackers. Sony, JP Morgan Chase, even Home Depot were all targeted by unprecedented digital attacks. The year before, Target took its place in the crosshairs and ended up taking nearly $150 million in losses due to a massive security breach. So with everyone put on edge about making electronic payments, both in-store and online, it’s no surprise that 2015 will be a year heavily focused on security.
The biggest change in security coming this year is the shift to EMV payments in the United States. If you aren’t familiar with EVM (short for "Europay, MasterCard and Visa"), it’s a new form of payment card that does away with the traditional magnetic strips. Instead, it uses an embedded chip with a microprocessor that offers security measures that were impossible before. You may have noticed a metallic square on some of your credit cards? That’s the chip. But because the U.S. hasn’t fully shifted over to EMV payments, those cards also have a magnetic strip.
The new cards have been widely successful, with over 80 countries now using the payment system. In October of this year, the U.S. will be one of the last major countries to adopt the new system, and start making full use of the chip-based payment system.
So why are these cards so good at preventing fraud? A conventional magnetic payment strip contains a fixed, never-changing set of information. That’s what makes it so easy for fraudulent transactions to occur; once that information is read by a third party, it can be reproduced in myriad ways. With EMV technology, the information in the chip is constantly changing, making it substantially more difficult to replicate.
This great news doesn't come without consequences, however.
Record breaking attendance at the 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas is indicative of strong consumer support in a growing multi-billion dollar industry. Second amendment right enthusiast stood on both sides of over 1600 exhibitor booths containing products for the shooting, hunting, outdoors, and law enforcement industries.
What’s next in consumer electronics? As a retailer or wholesaler, knowing the answer to that question is critical to preparing for where consumer behavior will be trending. From robots and smart homes to wearables and curved screens, this year’s International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2014 had plenty of indicators and introductions to what is next.