Feds: Amazon Let Kids Buy In-App Goods Without Consent

Kindle Fire In January, Apple agreed to refund consumers $32.5 million to settle an FTC complaint that it charged parents for their kids' in-app purchases without adult consent. Google (Play) may soon be hit with a similar complaint. But today, it was Amazon that felt the sting of an FTC lawsuit (full complaint below). The FTC action says that "Amazon.com, Inc. has billed parents and other account holders for millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children." It seeks to recover millions of dollars in refunds to consumers for these alleged unauthorized charges. The FTC comp [...]


Google Invests $500 Million In Shopping Express To Win Larger Share Of Online Shopping Market

Google Shopping Express 1 In a push to win a bigger share of the online shopping market, Re/code reports Google is investing $500 million to expand its Shopping Express initiative, the search company's same-day delivery service for local products. According to the Re/code article: Investment so far has gone towards the marketing of the service in each new city and the buildup of a fleet of delivery vehicles, as well as towards paying for a network of couriers and workers to pack up the goods in stores and deliver packages to shoppers’ doorsteps. While the article did not list which new cities may get Google S [...]


Costly For What It Is, Amazon Phone Unlikely To Catch Fire

amazon-fire-phone-600 Much has already been said about Amazon's Fire Phone since its formal unveiling yesterday afternoon in Seattle. The biggest surprise to me was its price: $199 with a two year contact and $650 unlocked. In other words it's priced like an iPhone. The selling points of the phone have relatively little to do with the hardware, although it has what appears to be a very nice 13MP rear camera. Here is the combination of features that Amazon hopes will attract buyers: Free unlimited cloud photo storage Deep and extensive integration of the Amazon content and services ecosystem (including free [...]


Amazon Ready To Take On Samsung Android Juggernaut With New Smartphone

Chitika Android Traffic We're only a few hours away from the unveiling of the Amazon smartphone. In anticipation of that event, Chitika released data showing the distribution of Android traffic in North America, based upon "tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian smartphone- and tablet-based online ad impressions generated within the Chitika network from June 2 through June 8, 2014." According to the company's data, tablets generate 21 percent of all Android traffic in the region while smartphones drive the remaining 79 percent. Samsung is by far the dominant company, however. Amazon devices (Kindle tablets) wer [...]


Amazon Smartphone To Launch Tomorrow Through AT&T

Amazon Logo On the eve of Amazon's anticipated release of its first smartphone, the company said that apps available through its app store had "tripled" to reach 240,000. By comparison the iTunes App Store has more than a million apps and Google Play has a comparable number. While the Amazon announcement would ordinarily be "headlines" it merits attention because a perceived lack of apps would be a barrier for many to considering an Amazon smartphone (vs. other Android devices). A lack of apps has held back sales of Windows Phones until very recently. To further encourage developers to consider s [...]


Amazon’s Smartphone Coming June 18, Price The X-Factor

amazon-logo On June 18 it appears that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will introduce the company's first smartphone -- or smartphones, plural. The big question is: what will distinguish it/them from the pack of Android competitors? Rumored for many months, the phone is supposed to have a 3D interface, which a video on Amazon's site seems to tease. "That's really awesome," apparent users keep repeating. It's doubtful that a novel UI will by itself be enough to make Amazon a serious smartphone competitor. At one point there was a rumor that the phone would be free. However that was quickly quashed by Amazo [...]


Amazon Loses Bid For .Amazon Domain

amazon-featured Amazon's bid to own and operate .amazon as a new, generic top-level domain (gTLD) has been rejected. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers -- the governing body of the web's domain name system -- has sided with the recommendation from its Governmental Advisory Committee in rejecting the company's bid to get .amazon as well as the Chinese and Japanese translations of its name. The folks at Domain Incite explain what it means for Amazon this way: That basically means all three applications are frozen until Amazon withdraws them, wins some kind of appeal, manages t [...]


Italian Regulators Take Aim At “Freemium” Apps

mobile-web-apps-featured Claiming that so-called "freemium" mobile apps mislead consumers, Italy's competition regulator is taking aim at Google, Apple, Amazon and French game developer Gameloft. According to the Wall Street Journal, Italian authorities have begun to investigate the companies and the issue. Previously, the EU argued that freemium apps are potentially deceptive because they're initially free to download but generate revenues within the app, possibly without full awareness of users. The EU, and now the Italian authorities, worry that consumers may not know they're being charged for items within apps [...]


Chip Vendor Predicts $20 Smartphones This Year

moto x A $20 smartphone -- really? Yes, according to mobile devices chip vendor ARM. AnandTech reports that at its recent "tech day" event, ARM predicted the appearance of a $20 smartphone later this year. To be clear (and fair) that's the lowest possible cost for an Android-based smartphone, the rock bottom, according to ARM. More likely, the vendor said, the segment of entry level smartphones retailing for under $150 would dramatically grow to be twice the size it is today by 2018. That prediction is highly plausible and even inevitable. Today the cost of premium, unlocked smartphones is s [...]


Amazon’s Cart Gets More Mobile: Now Add To #AmazonCart While Browsing Twitter

AmazonCart on Twitter Reply with #AmazonCart to add the Banana Slicer to your Cart! http://t.co/B39jFZITc0 pic.twitter.com/CT81jLUE1M — Amazon (@amazon) May 5, 2014 Amazon has launched a new feature on Twitter that allows users to automatically add items to their Amazon shopping carts by including a hashtag along with an Amazon product link in a Tweet. Users can reply to any Tweet with an Amazon product link -- including those posted by the official Amazon twitter account, Amazon's affiliates or sellers -- with the hashtag #AmazonCart in the US -- or #AmazonBasket in the UK. After adding items to th [...]


Researchers Say Online Sales Tax Caused 10% Drop In Amazon Purchases

Amazon Logo A 42-page paper published by researchers from Ohio State University claims Amazon shoppers in states that have enacted online sales tax laws have reduced their spending on Amazon by 10 percent. Bloomberg.com reported on "The Amazon Tax" study which tracked the spending habits of 245,000 households that had spent at least $100 on Amazon during the first half of 2012 and followed their spending habits through 2013. According to the report, not only did spending drop 10 percent in the states with online sales taxes, but purchases totaling more than $300 plummeted 24 percent in those same st [...]


Report: Amazon Releasing Smartphone Later This Year

amazon-logo According to a report appearing in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) this afternoon, Amazon will, in fact, be releasing a smartphone in the second half of the year. This development had been rumored for a some time. The WSJ says that Amazon hopes to distinguish the phone with a 3D display that doesn't require glasses. However, that by itself is unlikely to differentiate the phone sufficiently to ensure success. It's probably the case that an Amazon smartphone will be like a smaller version of Kindle Fire: a device that would use the Amazon app store, with its roughly 200,000 Android-based ap [...]


Prime Price Hike Hurts Amazon Brand Engagement

amazon-featured Amazon is the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement leader for online retail. However last week, the brand measurement firm reported that the company's $20 price hike on its most loyal customers (Prime members) caused the Amazon brand to suffer a loss of engagement. Amazon raised the cost of its innovative free shipping and loyalty program from $79 per year to $99. In a Brand Keys survey conducted earlier this month (n=1,050 Prime members), the firm found some consumers were put off by the price increase: "the Amazon brand took a blow to its normally high overall brand engagement a [...]


Will Gains Offset Anticipated Customer Losses Over Amazon Prime Price Increase?

Amazon Prime Benefits Amazon has raised the price of its free-shipping and entertainment loyalty program Prime by $20 per year. That's not much but it may cause up to 10 percent of current subscribers (more than two million) to cancel or not renew. The cost of the innovative and highly successful program for Amazon users has been $79 per year. Now it's going to be $99. Amazon indicated it might boost prices by as much as $40 per year on its Q4 earnings call: "With the increased cost of fuel and transportation as well as the increased usage among Prime members we’re considering increasing the price of Prime [...]


Amazon Revs Its Advertising Power: Launches Video Ads Powered By FreeWheel

amazon-icon Amazon and FreeWheel, a video advertising technology provider, announced today that they have partnered to bring short form video advertisements to the e-commerce marketplace. Users will start to see more game trailers, movie trailers, how-to videos, and other endemic video content across several product categories in the search results. The companies say the videos will integrate relevant brands and e-commerce advertising experiences within the content. Call-to-action buttons such as "Shop Now" in a video game trailer will lead users to that title's page on Amazon with a single click. Mov [...]


The Future Of Internet Sales Tax: What’s Next After The Supreme Court’s Denial Of Amazon, Overstock Appeals?

law-legal-concept This week, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals filed by Amazon and Overstock.com that challenged the ability of states to collect sales tax on items sold online by out-of-state retailers. The appeals stem from New York's passing of what has become known as the "Amazon Tax," which expands the definition of  nexus to include in-state affiliate marketers. Amazon and Overstock.com claimed the expanded interpretation of nexus violates Constitutional interstate commerce law and due process. The retail giants point to the US Supreme Court's 1992 ruling in favor of mail-order business Qu [...]


Amazon Drone Delivery Ready For Takeoff But Are We Ready?

amazon-drone-featured On the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that the company had developed flying delivery drones. Called Amazon Prime Air, the technology has been tested and works today. The objective, according to Amazon, is "to get packages into customers' hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles." This certainly solves the same-day delivery problem that Amazon has tried repeatedly to crack. The drones can carry up to five pounds, which would address the majority of Amazon's package delivery inventory (86 percent according to Bezos). There are and will be t [...]


Report: Marketing Research Claims Tech Gadgets To Be Most Popular Gifts This Holiday Season

experian logo According to Experian Marketing Services, this year's holiday gift lists will be filled with tech gadgets. Based on search and click trends for the four weeks leading up to November 9, Experian claims the most popular product searches included fitness gadgets, mobile devices and game consoles. Experian's report showed Uggs won the No. 1 spot for the top ten product searches overall, but seven of the remaining nine spots were taken by tech products, including Sony's PS4, Xbox One, Fitbit and the iPhone 5s. For the most popular toy product searches, Experian discovered the Skylanders [...]


Exploring The Intersection Of E-Commerce And Advertising With Amazon: #AWX 2013

Forrester US Interactive Spend - 2011-2016 Hello and greetings from Advertising Week 2013! The morning of Day 2 welcomed Lisa Utzschneider, Vice President of Global Display Advertising at Amazon Media Group, to the stage as she explored with her crowd the intersection of e-Commerce and advertising - namely, how Amazon is mapping its own insights and takeaways from e-Commerce endeavors to its native advertising platform. Read on for a full recap. Tess's Summer Journal, Or, An Example Of How E-Commerce Expectations Are, By Now, Basically Innate Lisa began with a story about her daughter, Tess, who one day expressed utmost eagerness abo [...]


Study: Nexus 7 Usage Flat, Kindle Up Following Discounts

Amazon Original Kindle Fire Ad network Chitika has released data on the comparative traffic being driven by the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, prompted by the introduction of the new Nexus 7 in July. Chitika looked at North American tablet-based web traffic between June and August of this year. While Nexus 7 web traffic remained remarkably consistent during the period, Kindle's traffic increased, based largely on Amazon discounting to move devices ahead of the anticipated roll out of the next generation of Amazon tablets. What's the lesson? Price matters. In order to generate this report, Chitika examined "tens of [...]


Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!