Shelfie is not only an au courant name for an app, but a cool concept for these next few weeks of retail frenzy. Once you have the Android or iPhone apps, whenever there's a product you're hunting for that's out-of-stock, you use it to snap a picture of the empty shelf. The info about what's not there will be valuable to both retailers and product manufacturers, Shelfie posits. The shopper's reward? Points that can be converted into gift cards for use at places like Starbucks, Amazon, or Target.
Read MoreShop 'til you dropCoherent Path aims to provide a 'gateway effect' for retail shopping
Amazon and Netflix are known as the pioneers in bringing you personalized recommendations for what to buy or watch next. A Cambridge startup unveiling itself today is hoping to one-up the sites in the quest for a better recommendation.
The trio behind Real Life Analytics is aiming for a Minority Report future. The MassChallenge finalists are building a system that will help retailers watch customers entering their stores and eventually serve them ads based on their age, race, and gender, sort of like the personalized treatment Tom Cruise’s character gets at the GAP.
Read MoreIPO Countdown?Wayfair and HubSpot prepare for the next big thing
Amazon has taken one more painful step out of its already patentedly short buying process: Now, instead of having to actually use Amazon's website or apps to put an item in your cart (the horror), users can just reply to any tweet with an Amazon product link with the hashtag #AmazonCart, and Amazon will go ahead and get it ready for order.
Read MoreJust browsingMobile commerce powers virtual window-shopping
By Philip Rooke
The latest trend in shopping is virtual window-shopping as the world of bricks and clicks merges. It is ironic- windows as software can power the browsing experience via tablet or mobile device as contrasted to the traditional meaning of window shopping- glancing at shop windows on street front. This integral phase of the shopping process usually takes place during "down time" cycles like commuting, waiting in line, or while watching television. Read More
Hipster apparel merchant Karmaloop has been one of Boston's rare consumer e-commerce hits: the company, founded in a Jamaica Plain basement in 2000, booked $165 million in sales last year, according to CEO Greg Selkoe. And the company's headquarters have progressively taken over the inside of what was once the landmark Shreve Crump & Low jewelry store in Back Bay, where it employs almost 200 people.
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