Toys ‘R’ Us taps tech startup b8ta to bring its stores into the future


This post is by Megan Rose Dickey from TechCrunch


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b8ta, the retail as a service startup that has partnered with the likes of Google and Macy’s, is getting into the kids’ toys space. As part of a new joint venture with Tru Kids Brands, which owns Toys “R” Us, b8ta will bring its expertise in experiential retail to the iconic children’s toy store. Both entities will own 50% of the venture.

After about eight to ten months of working together, b8ta and Tru Kids Brands are pulling back the curtains on what they’ve been working on. With these new stores, parents and kids can expect theaters for movies and video games, a treehouse where kids can play, STEAM workshops and more. The first two stores, which will open in November in Houston and New Jersey, are about 6,500 square feet with future stores being closer to 10,000-square feet. For context, these are much smaller than the size of the

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EBay picks 5.5% stake in India’s Paytm Mall


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


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EBay said today it is buying a 5.5% stake in e-commerce marketplace Paytm Mall as the global firm makes another push to gain footprint in India’s fast-growing e-commerce market.

The two firms did not disclose financial terms of the deal, but a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that EBay has invested between $150 million to $200 million in Paytm Mall at a valuation of $3 billion, up from under $2 billion last year. Paytm Mall had raised about $650 million prior to today’s announcement, the source said.

The agreement will see more than a million products of EBay be made available for purchase to users on Paytm Mall, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm said in a statement. “We will jointly select the inventory we want to bring here. It will be done in a month’s time,” he added. EBay will continue to operate its

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EBay picks 5.5% stake in India’s Paytm Mall


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




EBay said today it is buying a 5.5% stake in e-commerce marketplace Paytm Mall as the global firm makes another push to gain footprint in India’s fast-growing e-commerce market.

The two firms did not disclose financial terms of the deal, but a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that EBay has invested between $150 million to $200 million in Paytm Mall at a valuation of $3 billion, up from under $2 billion last year. Paytm Mall had raised about $650 million prior to today’s announcement, the source said.

The agreement will see more than a million products of EBay be made available for purchase to users on Paytm Mall, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm said in a statement. “We will jointly select the inventory we want to bring here. It will be done in a month’s time,” he added. EBay will continue to operate its

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Facebook’s regulation dodge: Let us, or China will


This post is by Josh Constine from TechCrunch


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Facebook is leaning on fears of China exporting its authoritarian social values to counter arguments that it should be broken up or slowed down. Its top executives have each claimed that if the U.S. limits its size, blocks its acquisitions, or bans its cryptocurrency, Chinese company’s absent these restrictions will win abroad, bringing more power and data to their government. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, and VP of communications Nick Clegg have all expressed this position.

The latest incarnation of this talking point came in today and yesterday’s congressional hearings over Libra, the Facebook-spearheaded digital currency it hopes to launch in the first half of 2020. Facebook’s head of its blockchain subsidiary Calibra David Marcus wrote in his prepared remarks to the House Financial Services Committee today that:

“I believe that if America does not lead innovation in the digital currency and payments area, others will. If we

Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing On Facebook's Proposed Crypto Currency
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Amazon sells over 175M items during Prime Day 2019, more than Black Friday & Cyber Monday combined


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Amid worker protests and antitrust investigations, Amazon’s Prime Day sales event carried on as usual — and that means it again set new records for the online retailer. This time, Amazon says Prime Day 2019 was bigger than both Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, as Prime members purchased more than 175 million items during the event.

While last year’s Prime Day 2018 became the biggest sales day in Amazon history, it’s getting harder to directly compare one Prime Day sale with another, because Amazon keeps stretching them out.

Prime Day 2019, for example, was a full 48-hour sale, up from 36 hours last year and 30 hours the year before.

What we are able to tell, however, is that people will continue to shop as long as there are bargains being offered. During Prime Day 2018’s 36-hour sale, Prime members bought 100 million items. During this year’s 48-hour

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Uber riders now earn rewards for shopping during their trip with new Cargo app


This post is by Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch


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Uber is launching a new shopping app with commerce partner Cargo, a startup it signed an exclusive global partnership with last year. The app will feature items curated by Uber including products like Nintendo Switch, Apple hardware, Away luggage, Glossier cosmetics and more, and will be available to download for Uber riders making trips in cars that have Cargo consoles on board. The Cargo app will also provide in-ride entertainment, including movies from Universal Studios available to purchase for between $5 and $10 each (with bundle discounts for multiple movies), which are then viewable in the Movies Anywhere app.

Uber riders will also benefit by receiving 10 percent of their purchase value back in Uber Cash, which they can then use either on future trips, or on other purchases made through the Cargo app while riding. Uber drivers also benefit, earning 25 percent of the value of items purchased

Cargo App Home Screen

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Uber riders now earn rewards for shopping during their trip with new Cargo app


This post is by Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Uber is launching a new shopping app with commerce partner Cargo, a startup it signed an exclusive global partnership with last year. The app will feature items curated by Uber including products like Nintendo Switch, Apple hardware, Away luggage, Glossier cosmetics and more, and will be available to download for Uber riders making trips in cars that have Cargo consoles on board. The Cargo app will also provide in-ride entertainment, including movies from Universal Studios available to purchase for between $5 and $10 each (with bundle discounts for multiple movies), which are then viewable in the Movies Anywhere app.

Uber riders will also benefit by receiving 10 percent of their purchase value back in Uber Cash, which they can then use either on future trips, or on other purchases made through the Cargo app while riding. Uber drivers also benefit, earning 25 percent of the value of items purchased

Cargo App Home Screen

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Amazon amends seller terms worldwide after German antitrust action


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


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Amazon has agreed to make a raft of changes to the business terms it offers sellers on its marketplaces following an intervention by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (FCO).

The regulator instigated an investigation in November last year after receiving a large number of complaints from sellers pertaining to Amazon’s German marketplace, amazon.de: The largest of the company’s five European marketplaces.

Among the changes the ecommerce giant has agreed to make are amendments to its liability provisions towards sellers to bring it into line with European standards for b2b relations, and changes to account termination and blocking to remove its unlimited right to do so without justification — meaning ordinary account terminations will in future require 30 days notice.

In a statement, Amazon said:

We are making several changes to the Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement to clarify selling partner rights and responsibilities. The changes will become effective August 16th.

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Europe is now formally investigating Amazon’s use of merchant data


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


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European regulators have announced a formal antitrust investigation of Amazon’s use of data from third parties selling on its ecommerce platform.

Commenting in a statement, competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager said: European consumers are increasingly shopping online. Ecommerce has boosted retail competition and brought more choice and better prices. We need to ensure that large online platforms don’t eliminate these benefits through anti-competitive behaviour. I have therefore decided to take a very close look at Amazon’s business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer, to assess its compliance with EU competition rules.

The move is not a surprise as Amazon was already on the radar of Vestager’s department.

Last fall it emerged the regulator was making preliminary enquiries about Amazon’s use of third party sellers’ data — to try to determine whether or not merchants selling on its platform are being placed at a competitive disadvantage vs

Screenshot 2019 07 17 at 12.25.32

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Amazon Prime Day sees competition from more than expected number of retailers


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Amazon’s Prime Day continues to gain competition from rival retailers piggybacking on the annual event with their own sales. Ahead of this year’s Prime Day, RetailMeNot had forecast that this year’s sale would see competition from 250 retailers. Today, the firm upped this figure to over 300, saying it found that more retailers than earlier estimated have decided to run their own counter-sales.

As of 9 AM on the second day of Prime Day — Tuesday, July 16, 2019 — RetailMeNot says it has counted over 300 unique retailers running Prime Day-related offers. This is up from the 275 retailers it had uncovered yesterday afternoon, and up from the 250 it had forecast.

For comparison’s sake, Prime Day 2018 saw competition from 194 retailers; the year before that, just 119. And only 27 retailers ran counter sales back in 2016.

The rival sales come from retailers both large and small

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What we can learn from DTC success with TV ads


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


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One of the most-discussed plot twists in recent advertising has been the pivot of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands to linear TV. These data-driven, digital-first players are expanding well beyond Facebook and Instagram—and becoming serious players on the largest traditional medium in advertising.

A January 2019 Video Advertising Bureau study found that in 2018, 120 DTC brands collectively spent over $2 billion in TV ads—up from $1.1 B in 2016. 70 of those 2018 advertisers ran TV ads for the first time.

But while we know that they’re advertising on

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What we can learn from DTC success with TV ads


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




One of the most-discussed plot twists in recent advertising has been the pivot of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands to linear TV. These data-driven, digital-first players are expanding well beyond Facebook and Instagram—and becoming serious players on the largest traditional medium in advertising.

A January 2019 Video Advertising Bureau study found that in 2018, 120 DTC brands collectively spent over $2 billion in TV ads—up from $1.1 B in 2016. 70 of those 2018 advertisers ran TV ads for the first time.

But while we know that they’re advertising on

Continue reading “What we can learn from DTC success with TV ads”

Verified Expert Growth Marketing Agency: TrueUp


This post is by Yvonne Leow from TechCrunch


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It was the perfect storm when CEO and Founder Liam Reynolds finally decided to start TrueUp, a data-driven growth marketing agency/consultancy based in London. After decades of working for large creative advertising agencies, Liam quit his job right around the beginning of Silicon Valley’s growth hacking trend and plunged headfirst into running growth for early-stage startups.

TrueUp has since evolved from a one-man shop into an award-winning agency with a team of dedicated data, paid marketing and conversion specialists. Learn more about how they collaborate with clients and help them develop short- and long-term growth frameworks.

TrueUp’s approach to growth marketing:

“Rather than just saying ‘Look at these amazing results we’ve achieved,’ we would say, ‘Look, these are your growth opportunities, this is the process you need and here’s the framework unlock your true potential,’ We would build business models around this to show the opportunity in numbers, revenue

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Liam photo

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Highlights from Facebook’s Libra Senate hearing


This post is by Josh Constine from TechCrunch


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Facebook will only build its own Calibra cryptocurrency wallet into Messenger and Whatsapp, and will refuse to embed competing wallets, the head of Calibra David Marcus told the Senate Banking Committee today.

Calibra will be interoperable so users can send money back and forth with other wallets, and Marcus committed to data portability so users can switch entirely to a competitor. But solely embedding Facebook’s own wallet into its leading messaging apps could give the company a sizable advantage over banks, PayPal, Coinbase, or any other potential wallet developer.

Other highlights from the “Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations” hearing included Marcus saying:

Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick are again Prime Day’s best selling devices (so far!)


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Amazon Prime members again snapped up loss leaders like the Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Remote on the first day of Amazon Prime Day 2019, which has now been stretched out to a 48-hour sale. This is the third year in a row that the entry-level Alexa smart speaker, the Echo Dot, has been a Prime Day bestseller. The Fire TV Stick was a top seller last year, too, and sold well in years past — including in 2016, when it emerged at the overall best-selling device globally on Prime Day.

Amazon never provides hard numbers on Prime Day sales, but claims “millions” of these devices — the Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick combined — were sold on Monday to customers worldwide during the first day of Prime Day 2019.

Last year, Amazon claimed customers bought “millions” of Fire TV Stick devices alone, for comparison’s

echo show 5

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Mercari’s new Instant Pay feature transfers verified sellers’ balances to their debit cards within minutes


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


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For online sellers, waiting three to five days for e-commerce platforms to transfer their balance is one of their biggest pain points. Mercari is going after rivals with its new Instant Pay feature, which deposits money in a few minutes. Once sellers are verified, they can instantly transfer up to $500 per month of their Mercari balance to a debit card for a $2 processing fee.

Bradford Williams, Mercari’s head of communications, told TechCrunch in an email that the new feature is a first for peer-to-peer selling apps. “Uber and Lyft made instant payments table stakes for U.S. drivers; we’re extending that to casual sellers. Mercari U.S. is focused on casual sellers (versus power sellers); therefore, we’d like to attract sellers from all marketplaces/platforms,” he said. “Frankly, we see our biggest opportunity in influencing U.S. consumer behavior versus taking share incrementally from established competitors.”

To use

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Large retailers saw 64% increase in sales on Monday, thanks to Amazon Prime Day


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




It’s no longer a winner-take-all scenario for Amazon Prime Day — in fact, that hasn’t been true for years. As soon as other large retailers realized they could piggyback on Amazon’s annual sales event to boost their own revenues from counter-sales, they’ve been doing just that. According to new data from Adobe Analytics out this morning, large retailers have already seen a big jump — a 64% increase — in their U.S. e-commerce spending thanks to Prime Day on Monday, July 15, when compared with an average Monday.

That’s up quite a bit from the 54% increase seen by these large retailers (those with over a billion in annual revenue) last year, the report notes.

Smaller retailers did well yesterday, too. Niche retailers with less than $5 million in annual revenue saw a 30% increase in their online sales on Monday, due to more people shopping online for deals.

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Why commerce companies are the advertising players to watch in a privacy-centric world


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


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The unchecked digital land grab for consumers’ personal data that has been going on for more than a decade is coming to an end, and the dominoes have begun to fall when it comes to the regulation of consumer privacy and data security.

We’re witnessing the beginning of a sweeping upheaval in how companies are allowed to obtain, process, manage, use and sell consumer data, and the implications for the digital ad competitive landscape are massive.

On the backdrop of evolving privacy expectations and requirements, we’re seeing the rise of a new class of digital advertising player: consumer-facing

GettyImages 912948496

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On Prime Day, Amazon workers and immigrants rights organizations are protesting


This post is by Megan Rose Dickey from TechCrunch


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On the start of Amazon’s biggest sales event of the year, Amazon workers and activists are taking to the streets today in protest of the retail giant. Protests are planned for San Francisco, Minnesota, New York, Seattle and other locations across Europe.

The biggest employee-led one is happening in Shakopee, Minn., where Amazon warehouse workers protesting the working conditions, pay, benefits and general culture.

“These workers, primarily Muslim, East African immigrants, want humane working targets to reduce injuries, full-time instead of temporary working status, and fair opportunities for promotions,” a group of Amazon employees advocating for climate justice wrote on Medium a couple of days ago. “These FC workers reached out to us, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), asking for support.”

This is not the first time warehouse workers in Minnesota have organized. In March, workers went on strike for three hours to call for

Continue reading “On Prime Day, Amazon workers and immigrants rights organizations are protesting”

On Prime Day, Amazon workers and immigrants rights organizations are protesting


This post is by Megan Rose Dickey from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




On the start of Amazon’s biggest sales event of the year, Amazon workers and activists are taking to the streets today in protest of the retail giant. Protests are planned for San Francisco, Minnesota, New York, Seattle and other locations across Europe.

The biggest employee-led one is happening in Shakopee, Minn., where Amazon warehouse workers protesting the working conditions, pay, benefits and general culture.

“These workers, primarily Muslim, East African immigrants, want humane working targets to reduce injuries, full-time instead of temporary working status, and fair opportunities for promotions,” a group of Amazon employees advocating for climate justice wrote on Medium a couple of days ago. “These FC workers reached out to us, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), asking for support.”

This is not the first time warehouse workers in Minnesota have organized. In March, workers went on strike for three hours to call for

Continue reading “On Prime Day, Amazon workers and immigrants rights organizations are protesting”