Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 7/9/12

The news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Digg sold to Betaworks for pocket change via CNN: Social news aggregator Digg was one of the hottest Internet brands a few short years ago. Now, post-decline, it’s been sold to Betaworks for a reportedly paltry sum. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal pegged the price tag at just $500,000.

Death to retail: The rise of the online-only brand via The Next Web: Whether it’s underwear from MeUndies, retro glasses from Warby Parker, or luxury soft t-shirts from Everlane, online brands with an irreverent disregard for retail are popping up in every category imaginable. These brands represent a new movement in e-commerce, a second generation that is focused on the vertical integration of manufacturing, branding, and distribution—while upending the traditional retail model in the process.

Another Dig Against Pinterest: Fancy Lets Users Make Money via Forbes: In a move that further separates it from competitor Pinterest, Fancy will begin sharing revenue with users based on a referral system designed to go viral. It works like this: Each time a user shares, say, an image of a Rolex Daytona, he will get a link with a unique referral code. If someone else discovers and buys the watch through that link–whether via Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere–the user who shared the photo gets two percent of the value of the purchase 30 days later as credit in his Fancy account.

Online shoppers see the future, and what they envision are showrooms via Internet Retailer: Bricks-and-mortar stores have long existed as places where money changes hands and consumers walk out with products. But according to a survey of 16,000 online shoppers around the world, 51% of them expect that by 2020 many physical stores will exist merely as a place to show products available for online order.

Jennifer Lopez Backs Luxury T-shirt Shopping Site via WWD: Jennifer Lopez, along with tech entrepreneurs MJ Eng and Brian Lee, and fashion entrepreneurs Erica Zoharand Jeff Marine, are launching, an online shopping destination for limited-edition luxury T-shirts.

NYC Is Turning Payphones Into Wi-Fi Hotspots via Mashable: New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications introduced the city’s first payphones-turned-Wi-Fi hotspots. They’re free of charge for any nearby New Yorker (or visitor) to use for connecting his smartphone, tablet or laptop to the Internet.


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