CNET: Pandemic purchases lead to surge in online shopping complaints, FTC says

CNET: Pandemic purchases lead to surge in online shopping complaints, FTC says. “As people rushed to buy supplies online during the coronavirus pandemic, not all shoppers got what they ordered, the US Federal Trade Commission said in a blog post Wednesday. Online shopping complaints about goods that never arrived surged in April and May, said the FTC.”

The Verge: Are TikTok activists actually shutting down Trump’s online merch stores? An investigation

The Verge: Are TikTok activists actually shutting down Trump’s online merch stores? An investigation. “Some critics of President Donald Trump have spent the last few days trying to lock up Trump-branded merchandise by leaving thousands of products from his online stores in shopping carts. But while the attack has become a kind of resistance meme, reminiscent of recent pranks on the president’s Tulsa rally, it’s far less clear whether the hoax actually prevented Trump’s stores from selling merchandise.”

Bing shopping: Introducing new image-based product search (Bing Blogs)

Bing Blogs: Bing shopping: Introducing new image-based product search. “Since the last month’s update on ‘4 ways to save money’, we continue to see more shoppers search for products on our platform to get the best price, across sellers. In this update, we are excited to introduce new image-based search experiences on Bing Shopping.”

CNN: The pandemic could be a turning point for online shopping in Africa

CNN: The pandemic could be a turning point for online shopping in Africa. “Covid-19 has brought untold hardship to Africa, but lockdowns are also driving a move to online shopping in a continent where it has been slow to take off. The whole of Africa had only around 21 million online shoppers in 2017 — about the same number as Spain. That’s less than 2% of the world’s total, according to the latest UN data.”

CNET: Google makes it free for sellers to list items on its shopping platform

CNET: Google makes it free for sellers to list items on its shopping platform. “Google on Tuesday said it’s opening up its shopping platform to make it free for sellers to list their products on the company’s search engine. Previously, search results for the shopping section of the site came from advertisers bidding on specific search terms, like workout gear or rice cookers. Now, sellers will be able to list products on the shopping tab of the search engine even if they’re not advertisers.”

ZDNet: Social media and influencers still dominate our online shopping habits

ZDNet: Social media and influencers still dominate our online shopping habits. “Online shopping will surge in popularity as we hunker down to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic by staying indoors. But we are influenced by others far more that we would like to admit. Redwood City-based social commerce platform Poshmark recently released its 2020:the year of social shopping report. It gained insights from 8,573 shoppers across the US and Canada, and Poshmark’s community of 60 million users.”

Engadget: Online-only platforms are going offline with permanent spaces

Engadget: Online-only platforms are going offline with permanent spaces. “The retailpocalypse started in 2010. It followed the 2008 global recession, with the parallel birth and rise of social media adding fuel to the growth of online shopping. Suburban and rural malls sat empty, underutilized or poorly maintained as the most affected brands lost their customer base in the squeezed middle class. Meanwhile, online retailers thrived without the overhead costs of a physical space. Nearly a decade later, the online-only platforms that disrupted retail are choosing to pay rent as an additional, unnecessary expense.”

Prime Power: How Amazon Squeezes the Businesses Behind Its Store (New York Times)

The New York Times: Prime Power: How Amazon Squeezes the Businesses Behind Its Store . “Amazon has transformed the small miracle of each delivery into an expectation of modern life. No car, no shopping list — no planning — required. But to make it all work, Amazon runs a machine that squeezes ever more money out of the hundreds of thousands of companies, from tiny start-ups to giant brands, that put the everything into Amazon’s Everything Store.”

Trustwave: Anyone Can Check for Magecart with Just the Browser

Trustwave: Anyone Can Check for Magecart with Just the Browser. “In the past, there have been plenty of articles and blog posts recommending the use of Content Security Policy (CSP) and Sub Resource Integrity (SRI) to prevent the insidious skimming malware from taking hold of a website. However, what can a small business owner do if resources are limited and implementing these countermeasures is just not feasible? What can a normal everyday user do to check and see if their favorite shopping site is compromised? In this blog post, I will go over a few steps that don’t require any security training to perform.”

Bing Blogs: This holiday season from Bing: flight booking and expanded visual search

Bing Blogs: This holiday season from Bing: flight booking and expanded visual search. “The holidays can be a busy time, but at Bing we hope to make your holiday season easier and more enjoyable! Today we’re excited to announce an advanced flight booking experience as well as expanded visual search shopping scenarios.”

Competitions watchdog: Facebook and Google could have ‘negative consequences’ for consumers (The Scotsman)

The Scotsman: Competitions watchdog: Facebook and Google could have ‘negative consequences’ for consumers. “The competitions watchdog has warned that the dominance of Facebook and Google in the UK could inflate online prices and have ‘negative consequences’ for consumers using their services – and said there is a ‘strong argument’ for the development of a new regulatory regime.”

Bloomberg Quint: Google’s Shopping Comparison Draws Justice Department Scrutiny

Bloomberg Quint: Google’s Shopping Comparison Draws Justice Department Scrutiny. “U.S. antitrust enforcers are examining Google’s conduct in the online shopping comparison market as they continue their probe of the search giant. Richard Stables, chief executive officer of the shopping comparison site Kelkoo Group, said he spent more than an hour with Justice Department officials on Thursday to discuss how Alphabet Inc. allegedly hurt his European-based business.”

‘Learn how to read English’: Kijiji discrimination case highlights human rights law online (CBC)

CBC: ‘Learn how to read English’: Kijiji discrimination case highlights human rights law online. “Eight years after the complaint was made, a decision has come down in a St. John’s human rights case that centres on discrimination in the world of online commerce. The decision in Zaid Saad’s case appears to be one of the first of its kind, according to the Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador, which explicitly states a person cannot be discriminated against on online commerce websites, like Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji or NL Classifieds.” I’m going to be thinking about this one a long time.

New York Times: When Is a Star Not Always a Star? When It’s an Online Review

New York Times: When Is a Star Not Always a Star? When It’s an Online Review. “An increase of just one star in a rating on Amazon correlates with a 26 percent increase in sales, according to a recent analysis by the e-commerce consulting firm Pattern. But while online reviews have become powerful sales tools, the ecosystem is relatively crude. Reviews can be easy to manipulate, and the operators of sites with the most reviews are not always motivated to crack down on fake ones planted to promote products. That leaves many consumers wondering what to believe.”

Reuters: Shopping rivals urge EU to act against Google for allegedly favouring own service

Reuters: Shopping rivals urge EU to act against Google for allegedly favouring own service. “Forty-one European price-comparison shopping services on Thursday urged EU antitrust regulators to act against Alphabet Inc’s Google for allegedly flouting an order to allow rivals to compete on equal terms, which they said is endangering their existence.”