How Apple and Amazon learned to share

The timing of the announcements of Apple’s and Amazon’s family sharing plans is not likely a coincidence. In fact, both companies have been working on the idea in parallel for several years, and the first public hints of the plans surfaced within a month of each other in early 2013.

Apple’s online store tops mobile shopper satisfaction survey

Apple delivers a highly satisfying online shopping experience not only to desktop visitors but also to mobile customers, according to a new study. In fact, Apple tops the list when it comes to mobile shopper satisfaction, edging out online shopping heavyweights like Amazon and eBay.

Amazon launches new touch-friendly Kindle Store for iPad

Amazon has now broken out its touch-friendly shopping experience for the iPad from its Kindle Cloud Reader product, in an effort to make it easier for everyone to buy books from the Kindle Store, and quickly read those purchases in Amazon’s native iPad Kindle app.

What’s driving the next phase of the e-commerce evolution

The outsize growth in online spending this holiday season suggests that e-commerce as a sector of the economy has passed some kind of tipping point and that factors beyond simply convenience and price — both long-standing hallmarks of online shopping — are propelling the e-commerce sector into a new phase in its evolution.

Smoother iPad ordering, new stock status added to Apple’s online store

Apple has made a couple of minor changes to its online store Friday morning, which, though small, should make shopping for products through the web-based portal even more painless. The first is a new iPad-ordering process, and the other is a change in stock level indicators.

Today in Cloud

Rosslyn Analytics, providers of cloud-based tools for the management of corporate spend data, today announced availability of a new online store to simplify access to the various tools provided by the company and its partners. In the context of my most recent Weekly Update, comments towards the end of my conversation with Rosslyn CEO Charles Clark were more relevant than his key proposition. To undertake analysis of customer data, Rosslyn currently stores and processes it in either UK or US-based secure data centres. According to Clark, there are ‘numerous’ opportunities to add value by means of suitably anonymised aggregation. Whilst looking at your own carbon footprint figures, you might be shown how you are performing with respect to other (probably unnamed) organisations in your market, for example.

As I explored in the Weekly Update, large data marketplaces should get more valuable as you offer mechanisms to aggregate across the whole. Even in situations like Rosslyn Analytics’, where the data are not explicitly being uploaded for sharing or sale, similar opportunities rapidly begin to manifest themselves. How does a company like Rosslyn (and it is far from unique in seeing this opportunity) begin to realise some of these ancillary benefits, without scaring customers for its core business?

Is Mobile Search About To Go Visual?

Amazon’s pick-up of SnapTell last week drew little media attention, but the move could go a long way in pushing image-based search toward mass-market adoption in the U.S., in part because it does away with the need for 2-D barcodes, which haven’t yet tempted U.S. consumers, handset manufacturers or carriers.