E-Commerce Global Tech

Southeast Asia E-Commerce Surge Boosts Region

E-commerce companies moved hard into Southeast Asia in 2013. Armed with innovative strategies and lots of funding, global giants and local startups raced to promote online retailing in a region where brick-and-mortar stores still dominate. Their efforts will bring more than just convenience to tens of millions of net-enabled consumers. They’ll also boost living conditions and create opportunities for a new generation of ambitious entrepreneurs.   More

E-Commerce

Could Mobile Banking Apps Help You Spend Less?

With the holiday season behind us, you might be among the many Americans looking at their checking and credit card statements wondering just where their money went in December, or possibly even all of 2013. If so, 2014 may be when new apps help you get control of your finances. Several simple new tools leverage social media and mobile technologies to help manage your money and spending. Moven, Simple, and GoBank give users who have FDIC-insured, bank-backed debit cards links to mobile apps that provide services including expense categorization and spending alerts, as well as tools for budgeting, saving, and transfering money.   More

Analytics & Data E-Commerce Partner Insights

How Businesses Get ROI from Social Sharing

Social-media-savvy businesses are turning their best customers into direct sales forces online. By leveraging the social networks of their biggest brand advocates, retailers can extend the reach of their product promotions. It’s word-of-mouth advertising at a massive scale. Some companies have been using this “social sharing” approach for several years to build brand awareness and drive sales. Until lately, though, such initiatives were hampered by unsophisticated methods for managing and engaging customers as well as tracking return on investment. Now, new tools and apps are available to develop a smart social sharing strategy that enhances customer experience while providing true ROI data based on sales conversions.   More

Cities E-Commerce

Brookings’s Bradley: A Sharing Economy That Serves All

We know the sharing economy as an efficient and convenient resource, and launchpad for trendy startups like Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit. But the sharing economy could help address needs for a much wider swath of society, instead of just enabling better options for the already-privileged. At Techonomy 2013, Brookings Institution fellow Jennifer Bradley discussed the sharing economy's opportunity for inclusion, such as creating an Uber-like system to help low-income people get to work, and enabling the sharing of essential "means of production" like 3D printers and power tools.   More

E-Commerce

Gift Guide for a Techonomic Holiday

Unless you manage somehow to live off the grid (in which case you probably don't read articles at Techonomy) you are no doubt getting inundated with holiday promotions, news about Black Friday, and reminders of your gift history from any website where you ever bought anything. All of these signs point to a central conclusion: it’s time for the second annual Techonomy holiday gift guide! Our wishlist should appeal to those in your life who value science and technology, sustainable living, or just cool stuff.   More

E-Commerce Media & Marketing Partner Insights

What Shoppers Want: In-Store Shopping with Online Services

If the electronic commerce predictions of the late 1990s had come true, today's average 18-year-old may never have known what it was like to step in a store or participate in the whirl of shopping as millions of Americans will this holiday season. By today, he or she would have a phone or computer permanently attached to their hand, and anything they would need or want would be ordered online and then delivered directly to them. Who knows? Maybe some products were going to be transported—like Star Trek. But, we all know that has not come true.   More

E-Commerce Partner Insights

M-Shoppers Redefine the Mobile Shopping Experience

Mobile-assisted shoppers (m-shoppers) used to strike fear into the hearts of retailers. Armed with a handy mobile device, a savvy consumer could easily compare prices on the Internet and find the best deal available. Brick-and-mortar doomsayers called it the end of their world. How could a business compete with that? But hold on. All the Doomsday speak may have been a bit premature. According to new research from the Columbia Business School and Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management, m-shopping may ultimately provide a retailing asset in two distinct areas.   More

Techonomy 13 Cities E-Commerce Techonomy Events Video

The Sharing Economy and the Symbiotics of City Life

Sharing and so-called “collaborative consumption” is poised to alter city life, company life, and family life. We now use digital tools to assist in sharing cars, bikes and apartments. But we’ve always shared apartments, restaurants, libraries, workspace and health clubs. As a host of new platforms transform the economics of sharing, what are the parameters of these new transparent eco-systems? How are business, social and cultural norms re-orienting around collaborative consumption and the peer economy? Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution, Zachary Karabell of River Twice Research, Alex Rodriguez of the Arizona Technology Council, and Arun Sundararajan of NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress discuss. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

E-Commerce Techonomy Events

Shutterstock’s Jon Oringer on Data, Disruption, and Network Effects

At its core, our stock photography agency, Shutterstock, is a technology company. Forty percent of our nearly 300 employees are technologists—programmers, product specialists, and data scientists. People all over the world depend on us every day for images, videos, and instruction, or as a source of income for licensing their own creative work. But we’re essentially in the business of building two-sided marketplaces that are driven by network effects. Our business leverages data and network-effect mechanics to disrupt and grow.   More

E-Commerce Security & Privacy

The Hidden Secrets of the Deep Web

Early this month, U.S. officials seized and shut down a hidden but sprawling online marketplace called Silk Road, known as the eBay of illegal goods and services. More than 1.2 million transactions had been completed on the site, earning its owner some $80 million in commissions. How did a site that allegedly allowed users to buy illicit drugs, deal black market weapons, and even hire hit men stay above water long enough to handle that much revenue over its two-and-a-half years of operation? The answer lies in what’s called the “Deep Web” or the “Dark Web”—hidden corners of the Internet that can’t be reached by Google and require connecting to an anonymous network called TOR that was originally developed by the U.S. Navy.   More

Business E-Commerce

Airbnb Rallies its Community to Fight Back

Airbnb hosts in New York are fighting back against policymakers who are trying to rein in the sharing economy. Last week the New York Attorney General subpoenaed the records of all New York Airbnb hosts, and the community is not happy. Recently Airbnb has been working with officials to clarify complicated rental regulations. But now they are “fighting the subpoena with all we’ve got,” wrote Global Head of Community Douglas Atkin in an email sent to New Yorkers on Monday.   More

Business Cities E-Commerce

One Step Back for the Sharing Economy

In a setback for the sharing economy, the Office of the New York Attorney General has issued a subpoena demanding data about all Airbnb hosts in New York, The Wall Street Journal reports. Airbnb announced in a blog post that they are fighting this “unreasonably broad” demand from the Attorney General. The company recently made a commitment to clarify short-term rental laws, work with city leaders to ensure that the Airbnb hosts pay applicable taxes, and weed out the few “bad actors” among their community.   More

Bio & Life Sciences E-Commerce

This Entrepreneur Helps People Hear

No consumer product is more ubiquitous than the earbud. Unfortunately for the youth of the world, hearing impairment is a closely-associated byproduct. According to a recent report, one in five Americans in their 30s and 40s are now hearing-impaired, and more teenagers than ever are suffering hearing loss. Couple that trend with the painful reality of an aging baby boomer generation, and you’ve got a major emerging market for another technology: hearing aids.   More

E-Commerce

NYC Startup Offers Software for Airbnb Hosts

When Randy Engler and his wife started renting out their two homes using Airbnb, they soon realized it was hard to provide a high level of hospitality to their guests, especially while away. Engler, who has a background in Internet companies and an enthusiasm for the sharing economy, saw an opportunity: build an online service that takes care of cleaning, key exchange, and other rental logistics. The company he created, Proprly, supports rental markets for Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO in NYC and Brooklyn.   More

E-Commerce

Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: My Favorite Etsy Purchase

At our recent Techonomy Detroit conference, we presented Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson with a tough question: What was his own favorite Etsy purchase? The head of the Brooklyn-based handcraft e-marketplace struggled to narrow down his top buys to just one favorite, quipping "It's like children. Which one is your favorite child?" So what item did Dickerson end up picking? Hint: It saw its beginnings as a leather jacket, an army tent, and an army kit bag.   More

Business E-Commerce

A Big Victory for the Sharing Economy

A New York City Airbnb host has won an appeal with the New York City Environmental Control Board after being fined for renting out a room in his apartment, Airbnb reported on its Public Policy Blog. The Board reversed Nigel Warren’s $2,400 fine, delivering a major victory for Airbnb and the entire sharing economy. Airbnb is “a global community marketplace that connects travelers seeking authentic, high-quality accommodations with hosts who offer unique places to stay.” Unfortunately, many cities do not allow these temporary rentals. But Warren and Airbnb were able to successfully argue that as long as a permanent occupant is present during the stay, it does not violate New York law.   More

Business E-Commerce Global Tech

Baidu Eyes Group Buying With Nuomi

Barely a month goes by these days without rumor of a new acquisition target for Baidu, which suddenly seems anxious to buy up major assets in its bid to diversify beyond its core search business. The latest rumors say Baidu is close to a deal to purchase Nuomi, the group buying unit of social networking leader Renren. As one of China’s most profitable Internet companies, Baidu is hoping to take advantage of low valuations of Chinese Internet firms, many of which are running low on cash and have had trouble attracting interest from foreign investors.   More

E-Commerce Finance Global Tech

Alibaba Turns to Travel as Profit Zooms

Too much money isn’t always a good thing, as it often pressures companies to put that money to work even when good investment opportunities are limited. Baidu demonstrated that reality earlier this week with its purchase of an online app store that had little relationship with its core online search business, and now Alibaba is showing similar tendencies with its investment in an online travel services website. In Alibaba’s case, the new investment comes as the e-commerce leader posted a record second-quarter profit, and as it prepares for a blockbuster IPO that increasingly looks like it will take place in Hong Kong.   More

Arts & Culture E-Commerce

Kindle Worlds Is a Mixed Blessing for Both Authors and Readers

In my last post, I discussed the business implications of Amazon’s new fan fiction initiative, Kindle Worlds. But what does it mean for authors and readers of fan fiction? Kindle Worlds lets writers create stories about television shows created by Alloy Entertainment—including "The Vampire Diaries," "Gossip Girl," and "Pretty Little Liars"—using the same characters, setting, plot points, and story universe, thus producing original derivative fiction. As an author, I looked over the terms offered and a few less-than-attractive elements jumped out at me.   More

Business E-Commerce

A Former Banker on Helping Small Businesses Go Mobile

A year ago, Paul Choi wasn’t having fun anymore as an investment banker covering heavy equipment, metals, and mining companies. What did excite him, however, was mobile technology services. So he searched for a promising business in need of a boost. He found Worry Free Labs, an 8-year-old boutique digital design and development firm in New York that counted American Express, Disney, Expedia, and MailChimp among its clients, but wanted to accelerate its growth. Choi told founders Jason and Kristy Curry he would invest in the company if he could lead it. Since stepping in as CEO in September 2012, Choi has mastered the language of cross-platform app design and refocused the company on customers and the bleeding edge of technology and innovation.   More