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Next up for Amazon.com … India?

One of the overlooked tidbits in Amazon.com’s recent quarterly earnings report is that North American sales continue to grow at a robust pace, equalling the growth rate in international markets. But that breakdown naturally will start to change, especially if a report in The Times of India proves true. According to the publication, Amazon is… Read More

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Poll: How much do real bookstores matter anymore?

The demise of Borders is causing many of us to consider the role of bookstores — heck, the role of any physical stores — in our increasingly digital world. Sure, we like going to them, but with Amazon.com and others making it easier than ever to browse, buy and even read books in digital form, do… Read More

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Shades of Pets.com: Amazon unveils online pet store Wag.com

There aren’t any dog-talking sock puppets to be seen. But Amazon.com is doing its best to bring back one of the biggest dot-com bombs of the late 1990s. Operating through its newly-acquired Quidsi unit (best known for Diapers.com), Amazon today is unveiling a new online pet store called Wag.com. “At Wag.com, our mission is to make… Read More

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eBay growing in Amazon’s backyard

Online giant eBay is aiming to expand its operations in the Seattle region — becoming the latest Silicon Valley company to boost its presence here as the technology job market heats up. No official details yet from eBay, but GeekWire is hearing from multiple sources that the company is close to finalizing a lease to… Read More

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Startup Spotlight: LootTap helps shoppers find online bargains

Earlier this week, Decide launched a new service designed to tell consumers when to buy consumer electronic devices. But it is not the only Seattle startup looking to help shoppers find the best bargains. LootTap, founded five months ago by 30-year-old entrepreneur Trevor Hall, offers a personalized online shopping service for everything from tennis shoes… Read More

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eBay to compete with Amazon fulfillment with new shipping service

Amazon.com has long battled with eBay, but now the competition is getting even more serious. The Wall Street Journal reports that the online auction marketplace plans to begin a new “merchandise storage-and-shipping service for its sellers” that would compete directly with Amazon’s highly successful fulfillment service. eBay’s offering sounds as if it will be very similar… Read More

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Mercent plans HQ move to Amazon.com’s backyard, introduces retail paid search

After more than two years in development, Mercent today released a new search engine marketing platform designed to help retailers boost online revenues by promoting individual products on Google and Bing. Profitable and growing, the 9-year-old company also just inked a lease for 25,000 square feet of office space at 1633 Westlake Avenue North, just around… Read More

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Drugstore.com CEO Dawn Lepore to depart following Walgreens buy

Walgreen Co. has completed its $409 million purchase of drugstore.com, the Bellevue online seller of medicine, vitamins and beauty products. As a result of the deal, Walgreens President of e-commerce Sona Chawla will oversee the company’s online efforts. Dawn Lepore, the former drugstore.com CEO and chairman, will serve as an advisor to Chawla during a… Read More

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Expedia, Groupon plan to partner on travel deals

One of the veterans of online commerce, Bellevue-based travel giant Expedia, is announcing a partnership with daily deals site Groupon today to offer discounts on travel. The agreement is being announced today at the D9 conference, and Tricia Duryee of AllThingsD has the early scoop on the news. The companies say they will be able… Read More

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ShopIgniter lands $8 million to help retailers establish storefronts on Facebook

ShopIgniter has helped Nike, CafePress and more than 100 other customers establish retail outposts on Facebook. Now, the Portland startup is looking to supercharge efforts. The company today is announcing an $8 million venture capital round led by new investor Trinity Ventures, with participating from existing investor Madrona Venture Group. As a result of the… Read More

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Practical Nerd: Privacy vs. stupidity, a case study

This one goes out to you, Herbert. And to you, Phil. And yes, even you, Correspondent-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named. I’m afraid you’re all idiots. Because you are case studies showing that no matter how fervent the hue and cry is about Facebook’s privacy policies or tracking cookie abuse by marketers, a major threat to individuals’ privacy — and… Read More

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A $1M prize for the best product recommendation algorithm

How do you get people to buy more stuff on e-commerce Web sites? That’s the $1 million question, literally. RichRelevance and Overstock.com are offering the $1 million RecLab Prize — aimed at academics and other geeks — for the team that builds the most powerful online recommendation engine. The idea is to create advanced algorithms… Read More

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The Spotlight: ZippyCart reviews e-commerce shopping carts

You can find online reviews these days for just about anything, from restaurants to lawyers to new gadgets. But what about e-commerce shopping carts? That’s the idea behind ZippyCart, a bootstrapped Ballard startup that’s trying to transform the way people discover and learn about shopping carts and other e-commerce tools. We chatted with CEO Nick Grant,… Read More