Tuesday, October 26News That Matters

Tag: E-Commerce

How to Protect Yourself From Online Card Fraud

How to Protect Yourself From Online Card Fraud

Business
The service is used by more than 10,000 merchants and has “tens of millions” of cardholder participants, said Sukhmani Dev, senior vice president of digital products, North America, at Mastercard.Here are some questions and answers about safe practices when shopping online:How else can I protect myself?The Federal Trade Commission offers these tips: Shop with a credit card online, and never buy anything from online sellers that accept payment only by gift cards, money transfers or cryptocurrency. Such payments are nearly impossible to trace and reverse, and criminals often tell people to use those methods so they can get cash quickly, the commission says.Vet unfamiliar websites before shopping by searching online for the merchant’s name and the word “complaint” or “scam,” the agency advise...
Google to Lower Its App Store Fees for Developers to 15%

Google to Lower Its App Store Fees for Developers to 15%

Technology
Google said it planned to lower the cut it takes on subscription-based apps in its Play Store for devices running its Android software, in the latest concession to regulatory pressure challenging whether the company has overcharged developers.In a blog post on Thursday, Google said it would reduce its commissions on subscriptions for apps that users pay through its Play Store to 15 percent. Currently, Google takes a 30 percent cut for the first year of subscriptions and then lowers the rate to 15 percent from the second year. Google will eliminate the two-step process starting in January and apply the lower fee from the beginning.Google also said some eBooks and streaming music services would be eligible for fees as low as 10 percent. It was not immediately clear which services or books wo...
Will TikTok Make You Buy It?

Will TikTok Make You Buy It?

LifeStyle
The Pink Stuff, an abrasive cleaning paste for hard surfaces, was doing “absolutely nothing for 15 years,” said Henrik Pade, a managing director at its parent company Star Brands, headquartered in the United Kingdom. In 2017, it gained a little boost from cleaning influencers on Instagram and YouTube. The company, which at the time sold most of its cleaning products through domestic brick-and-mortar grocery stores, started investing in social promotion, but “we didn’t know enough about it,” Mr. Pade said.Then came TikTok. “We can’t take any credit for it as a big strategic plan,” Mr. Pade said. “It happened, and we started to follow.” Videos of people cleaning kitchens, bathrooms and off-label items — shoes, car wheels — with the Pink Stuff have, in little more than a year, accumulated mor...
A T-Shirt Shop for the Semi-Ironic ‘Twilight’ Fan

A T-Shirt Shop for the Semi-Ironic ‘Twilight’ Fan

LifeStyle
Before 2020, Madison Sinclair hadn’t seen any of the “Twilight” movies. But after watching all five during quarantine, she grew completely enamored — and inspired to express her new fandom.“I wanted to make something that was like, ‘Is this satire or is this real?’” Ms. Sinclair, 21, said on a video call from her home in Houston. The result was a T-shirt, created using a clothing customization website, with the sentences “Bite me, big boy!” and “I love my vampire boyfriend” flanking a photograph of Robert Pattinson, the films’ male lead. On the back, it said “Edward Cullen’s biggest fan!” in bright pink letters.When Ms. Sinclair wore the shirt in a TikTok video, the comments soon filled with questions about where to buy it.“I was like, ‘They have to be kidding. This is the most random, spe...
TikTok, in Deal With Shopify, Adds In-App Shopping

TikTok, in Deal With Shopify, Adds In-App Shopping

Technology
TikTok and Shopify, the e-commerce platform, said on Tuesday that they were working together to add the ability for consumers to shop directly in the TikTok app for the first time.TikTok has largely been known as a video app that provides entertainment and memes. Users have not been able to buy products directly in the app, even though TikTok features many influencers who often talk up clothing, makeup and household products. Instead, users have been able to buy goods on TikTok only through ads on the app.But under the new partnership, Shopify merchants that participate in a pilot program will be able to add a shopping tab to their profiles and link to products within TikTok posts. Shopify said it expected to expand the feature to all of its merchants this fall.TikTok joins Instagram and F...
Luxury’s Gray Market Is Emerging From the Shadows

Luxury’s Gray Market Is Emerging From the Shadows

Business
Imagine you are hunting online for a pair of square-toed slides from Bottega Veneta, one of the most-hyped luxury brands of the moment. A new season pair can cost more than $550 from the brand’s website, an old-guard department store like Neiman Marcus or a newer e-commerce player like Net-a-Porter.But what if you chose to buy from Cettire, a website offering discounts of up to 30 percent on the latest fashion styles? You would be a player in the multibillion-dollar luxury “gray” market, a fast-growing sales sector that has historically operated out of sight of most Western consumers. However, with the arrival in recent years of companies like Baldinini in Italy, Italist in the United States and Cettire, which listed on the Australian Stock Exchange at the end of 2020, gray sales have been...
When the Fires Came, the Store Went Online

When the Fires Came, the Store Went Online

Technology
This is a preview of the On Tech With Shira Ovide newsletter, which is now reserved for Times subscribers. Sign up to get it in your inbox three times a week.Winthrop Mountain Sports went 40 years without needing to sell its outdoor gear online. Even the coronavirus pandemic didn’t change the owners’ plans. But the wildfires did.Tourists flock to Winthrop, a few hours’ drive east of Seattle, to ski, hike or drive through a beautiful stretch of the Cascade Mountains. Like many outdoor recreation stores, sales at Winthrop Mountain Sports were solid during most of the pandemic.Marine Bjornsen, one of the store’s owners and a former elite biathlete and skier, told me that there hadn’t been plans to sell products online now. “It is something that we wanted to do, but we didn’t think that we wer...
People Are Now Spending More Money at Amazon Than at Walmart

People Are Now Spending More Money at Amazon Than at Walmart

Technology
SEATTLE — Amazon has eclipsed Walmart to become the world’s largest retail seller outside China, according to corporate and industry data, a milestone in the shift from brick-and-mortar to online shopping that has changed how people buy everything from Teddy Grahams to teddy bears.Propelled in part by surging demand during the pandemic, people spent more than $610 billion on Amazon over the 12 months ending in June, according to Wall Street estimates compiled by the financial research firm FactSet. Walmart on Tuesday posted sales of $566 billion for the 12 months ending in July.Alibaba, the giant online Chinese retailer, is the world’s top seller. Neither Amazon nor Walmart is a dominant player in China.In racing past Walmart, Amazon has dethroned one of the most successful — and feared — ...
How Amazon Won Shopping

How Amazon Won Shopping

Technology
This is a preview of the On Tech With Shira Ovide newsletter, which is now reserved for Times subscribers. Sign up to get it in your inbox three times a week.I don’t want to let a milestone pass without blaring that THIS IS A BIG MOMENT.Amazon most likely passed Walmart recently as the biggest retail seller outside China, as my colleagues Karen Weise and Michael Corkery wrote on Tuesday. Shoppers around the world — but mostly in the United States, which remains Amazon’s biggest market by far — now buy more than $600 billion worth of stuff on Amazon each year. Yeah, that’s a lot. That’s about what Americans spent at restaurants and bars last year.Some of you reading this might be surprised that Amazon wasn’t already selling more than Walmart. Nope. Remember that people in most countries, in...
Alibaba Rape Allegation Reveals China Tech’s Seamy Side

Alibaba Rape Allegation Reveals China Tech’s Seamy Side

Technology
For years, as Alibaba turned from a scrappy Chinese start-up into an e-commerce behemoth, some of its business units welcomed new employees with an ice-breaking ceremony that alarmed many of those who endured it.Fresh hires were required to answer deeply personal questions in front of their colleagues, according to former employees: about their first loves, their first kiss and their first sexual encounters. The questions were phrased in ways that aren’t printable in this newspaper, they said.The Chinese technology giant has denied such claims. But last weekend, a female employee alleged on the company’s internal website that she had been sexually assaulted by a company client then raped by her manager — and the disclosure unleashed a slew of stories about ice-breaking activities. Former e...