Vice: How Mexico’s Most Powerful Cartel Used EBay to Arm Themselves With Military Gear

Vice: How Mexico’s Most Powerful Cartel Used EBay to Arm Themselves With Military Gear. “It started with his mom’s credit card, claimed Ismael Almada in March 2020, as he voluntarily spilled his guts to U.S. law enforcement officers during an interview in the Mexican city of Guadalajara. He’d originally used his mom’s card to order weapons accessories and tactical gear off eBay for his security business that focused on anti-spyware and surveillance technology, before eventually moving to PayPal to make the trail of U.S. goods to Mexico a bit more clandestine. He needed to. Most of the illegal imports went to the infamous Jalisco New Generation Cartel, known as the CJNG for its Spanish acronym.”

New York Times: Google Aims to Be the Anti-Amazon of E-Commerce. It Has a Long Way to Go.

New York Times: Google Aims to Be the Anti-Amazon of E-Commerce. It Has a Long Way to Go.. “In the last year, Google eliminated fees for merchants and allowed sellers to list their wares in its search results for free. It is also trying to make it easier for small, independent shops to upload their inventory of products to appear in search results and buy ads on Google by teaming up with Shopify, which powers online stores for 1.7 million merchants who sell directly to consumers. But like Google’s many attempts during its two-decade quest to compete with Amazon, this one shows little sign of working.”

Search Engine Land: YouTube experiments with automated lists of products detected in videos

Search Engine Land: YouTube experiments with automated lists of products detected in videos. “Google is testing a new feature that automatically detects products in videos and displays them, and related products, to viewers as a list, the company posted on its YouTube tests and experiments page yesterday. On Thursday, it also announced a new way to watch YouTube videos directly within Twitter on iOS.”

BuzzFeed News: Amazon Is Pushing Readers Down A “Rabbit Hole” Of Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus

BuzzFeed News: Amazon Is Pushing Readers Down A “Rabbit Hole” Of Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus. “Conspiracy theorist David Icke’s lies about COVID-19 caused Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Spotify to ban him. But on Amazon, Icke, who believes in the existence of lizard people, is recommended reading. Despite being filled with misinformation about the pandemic, Icke’s book The Answer at one point ranked 30th on Amazon.com’s bestseller list for Communication & Media Studies. Its popularity is partly thanks to the e-commerce giant’s powerful recommendation algorithms that suggest The Answer and other COVID conspiracy theory books to people searching for basic information about the coronavirus, according to new research shared exclusively with BuzzFeed News.”

TechCrunch: Walmart to host a new livestream shopping event on TikTok, following successful pilot

TechCrunch: Walmart to host a new livestream shopping event on TikTok, following successful pilot. “In December, Walmart partnered with TikTok on the first pilot test of a new livestreamed shopping experience in the U.S. on the video platform. That test seemingly performed well, as today Walmart announced it will return to TikTok to host another livestream shopping event, the ‘Spring Shop-Along: Beauty Edition,’ which will feature TikTok creators and influencers in an hour-long livestream.”

TechCrunch: After similar moves for Shopping and Flights, Google makes hotel listings free

TechCrunch: After similar moves for Shopping and Flights, Google makes hotel listings free. “Last year, Google made a significant change to its Google Shopping destination by making it free for e-commerce retailers to sell on Google, when before the Shopping tab had been dominated by paid product listings. It also made it free for partners to participate in Google Flights. Today, the company announced it’s now doing the same thing for hotel booking links on the Google.com/travel vertical.”

Yahoo News: Booming industry for fake Google reviews has ‘evaded detection’

Yahoo News: Booming industry for fake Google reviews has ‘evaded detection’. “A booming industry has emerged in fake Google (GOOGL) reviews, with businesses across the UK paying to artificially boost their ratings online. According to an investigation by consumer group Which?, fake reviewers were employing similar manipulative tactics for a wide range of businesses – from a stockbroker in Canary Wharf to a bakery in Edinburgh.”

New York Times: When You’re a Small Business, E-Commerce Is Tougher Than It Looks

New York Times: When You’re a Small Business, E-Commerce Is Tougher Than It Looks. “On a ledger of pandemic winners and losers, Holiday Market is in the positive column thanks to online shopping, which helped push the store’s overall revenue up 20 percent in 2020 compared with 2019. In fact, e-commerce is what prevented a catastrophic year for U.S. retailing. Instead of ending in a deep trough of red, online shopping pushed overall retail sales up nearly 3.5 percent, to $5.6 trillion, compared with the previous year, according to the research firm eMarketer. E-commerce alone grew by 33.6 percent in 2020. But Holiday Market’s success is an outlier for small merchants — the boom mostly helped big business.”

Young People Have a Popular Pandemic Pastime: Filling, Then Abandoning, E-Commerce Shopping Carts (CNBC)

CNBC: Young People Have a Popular Pandemic Pastime: Filling, Then Abandoning, E-Commerce Shopping Carts. “The internet equivalent of window-shopping isn’t new. People have been picking out items and abandoning carts for years. But the pastime appears to have increased due to the coronavirus pandemic, as consumers are in need of something to do and less willing to shell out money.”

SupChina: How China’s livestream industry is revolutionizing ecommerce

SupChina: How China’s livestream industry is revolutionizing ecommerce. “As office workers are going home, that’s when Cherie, who just turned 30 last year, begins her day. At 7:30 p.m. sharp, she greets her audience in her livestream room on Alibaba’s retail marketplace Taobao. In a plain white shirt and slim blue jeans, she prepares some mix-and-match games. She puts on a beige handmade wool coat, the first product she is selling tonight, and poses for the camera.”

WatchPro: Jaeger-LeCoultre returns 360 degree 3D images in Google search results

WatchPro: Jaeger-LeCoultre returns 360 degree 3D images in Google search results. “In November, Richemont, Kering, Farfetch and Alibaba Group announced the creation of a steering group with the lofty ambition to redefine luxury retail for this century. The latest initiative sees Richemont and Google working together to offer augmented reality presentation of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Control Chronograph Calendar directly from mobile search results.”

Washington Post: What negative candle reviews might say about the coronavirus

Washington Post: What negative candle reviews might say about the coronavirus . “Terri Nelson had an unusual question about covid-19: If the virus robs people of their sense of smell, would that be reflected in online reviews of fragrant products? To find out, the Portland, Ore., science illustrator and cartoonist said she looked up reviews of ‘the stinkiest holiday thing I could think of’ — scented candles. ‘There are angry ladies all over Yankee Candle’s site reporting that none of the candles they just got had any smell at all,’ she wrote on Twitter last week. ‘I wonder if they’re feeling a little hot and nothing has much taste for the last couple days too,’ she added, a nod to other common coronavirus symptoms.”