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.”

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.”

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.”

KnowTechie: China is introducing tighter regulations for livestreaming

KnowTechie: China is introducing tighter regulations for livestreaming. “The National Radio and Television Administration in China has introduced new regulations for the livestreaming industry. Now, gift-givers and hosts will need to provide their real names. Furthermore, new regulations ban teenagers from making purchases. So the users will buy virtual goods only using their real names, and there will be a cap on tipping.”

New York Times: ‘Bleak Friday’ for Stores as Pandemic Pushes Holiday Shopping Online

New York Times: ‘Bleak Friday’ for Stores as Pandemic Pushes Holiday Shopping Online. “Analysts at Morgan Stanley estimated that retailers’ overall Black Friday sales fell 20 percent from last year, based on early reports of drops in store foot traffic and increases in online sales. Consumers spent $9 billion online on Friday, a 21.6 increase from last year and the second-biggest figure for online retailers ever, according to Adobe Analytics, which scans 80 percent of online transactions across the top 100 U.S. web retailers. The firm said online sales rose to $23.5 billion in the four-day Thanksgiving-to-Sunday period, up 23 percent from last year.”

KnowTechie: Amazon now has more than one million employees as demand for online shopping ramps up

KnowTechie: Amazon now has more than one million employees as demand for online shopping ramps up. “According to The Washington Post, Amazon has invested more than $30 billion this year in equipment, property, and other assets. At the same time, Amazon is apparently finding it challenging to deliver packages even after directing those massive investments at operations.”

BNN: Google tries to turn YouTube into a major shopping destination

BNN: Google tries to turn YouTube into a major shopping destination. “The world’s largest video site recently started asking creators to use YouTube software to tag and track products featured in their clips. The data will then be linked to analytics and shopping tools from parent Google. The goal is to convert YouTube’s bounty of videos into a vast catalog of items that viewers can peruse, click on and buy directly, according to people familiar with the situation.”

Futurity: How will COVID-19 change holiday shopping?

Futurity: How will COVID-19 change holiday shopping?. “The upcoming holiday season could really be another make or break point for a lot of retailers. As the pandemic has evolved, we’ve seen retailers that already had invested in omni-channel capabilities were better equipped to adopt their operations to the change in customer shopping habits from in-store to online shopping to serve their customers. We have also seen that the retailers that lacked such capabilities were—and are still—struggling.”

Retail Dive: Google’s new search features let shoppers see curbside, in-store pickup offerings

Retail Dive: Google’s new search features let shoppers see curbside, in-store pickup offerings. “Google’s decision to modify its shopping tools stems in part from search patterns the platform witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tech giant saw Google searches for terms like ‘curbside pickup’ and ‘safe shopping’ spike ‘tenfold’ over the past few months, Swati Trehan, product manager of Google Shopping, wrote in a blog post.”

Shoploop: an entertaining new way to shop online (Google Blog)

Google Blog: Shoploop: an entertaining new way to shop online . “The experience on Shoploop is more interactive than just scrolling through images, titles and descriptions on a traditional e-commerce site. All Shoploop videos are shorter than 90 seconds and help you discover new products in an entertaining way, whether you want to try at-home nail stickers, revive your second-day hair or get a concealer that gives full coverage.”