Tag Archives: shopping

Amazon to Introduce Ads in their App

It has become a common occurrence to see ads displayed on whatever website or app that you use. Well, expect to see more of them when you go shopping on Amazon.

Amazon has decided to start displaying video ads to online shoppers as a way to make more money for the company that seems like it doesn’t have enough money in the world.

This has been a part of a several months long beta that Amazon has been testing out on their mobile apps. According to a Bloomberg report, this rollout will be coming to the Android and iOS versions of Amazon’s mobile app in the coming weeks. The video ads that will play to users will be about search items that they have been looking at.

It will also include shoppers’ tips and how to items that Amazon sees as a way to make people stay on their app instead of leaving the app to look at videos of the product on sites like YouTube.

It is reported to be a way for Amazon to break up the monopoly of video advertisement that Google and Facebook have set up for themselves. Amazon will now account for at least 8.8% of the digital advertising market, while Google still claims over 37%, which is a decrease of 1% from last year,

Amazon is also increasing their budget to show ads online by 22%, equaling $16 billion for this year.

Amazon sees the opportunity to increase their value by doing this, and we will see in the end whether or not this will work for them.


Photo from Mobile App Daily

Things to Remember when looking for A New Smartphone

We are in the very beginning stages of the holiday season and that means one thing: shopping.

Apple, with their announcement of the new iPhone 8 and X on September 12th, marked the unofficial start of the season.  Along with the news came price cuts to the iPhone 6 and 7. You might be on the lookout for a new phone, and here’s what to remember when buying a phone or getting a contract for a phone.

The Apple Company Logo
The Apple Company Logo

Memory Size:  Phones can get very costly, fast.  For example, getting the iPhone 8 with 256GB will cost you $850 and don’t even get started on the 8 Plus and X costs.  So getting the 64GB iPhone would be the smart move here and it would also save you hundreds of dollars. Besides, do you even use over 36GB? That’s more than enough for me.

This year’s model or last year’s: Now, if you want to save a buck or two, going to an iPhone 7 or 7Plus would be the best option.  The price for a 7 with 32GB has gone from $649 to $549. A whole Ben Franklin saved just by getting a older model, and by the way, it’s the same thing as the iPhone 8 which comes out next week.

Camera Quality: This one is really obvious. I mean really…do I have to write it?  Ok, I will. These are the most outrageous prices that most will ever see for a phone, a damn phone. However, the iPhone X has all the gadgets, bells, and whistles ever needed for any photographer. A 3D camera with a sapphire cover with a six element lens. This thing has so many gadgets that this article would be small compared to all of the iPhone X’s specs.  However, pre-orders don’t start until October 27th and the phone itself won’t be available until November 3rd. Don’t even get started on pricing; prices start at $999 before taxes and storage choices.  So, whichever phone you choose, remember, nothing is cheap.

Black Friday: Heaven or hell?

The day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday” and has been around for many years. Normally, Black Friday involves different retail stores opening around 6 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving with spectacular sales on their items. Even though retailers lower the price of their items anywhere from 30 to 90 percent, this is the day of the year they make the most money. Continue reading Black Friday: Heaven or hell?

A new age: Dawn of the e-coupon

While most folks use coupons now and again, serious couponing has long been a niche reserved only for the few, the dedicated. Apple has changed that in one fell swoop with the introduction of its Passbook app. Now iPhone users will be walking around with a myriad of deals right at their fingertips — and it’s not clear whether that’s more a benefit to them or to the businesses offering the deals. Continue reading A new age: Dawn of the e-coupon

Yes, they are tracking you, shoppers

This Black Friday, some malls opted to track customers using their cellphone signals. The system allowed the mall to follow customers from one store to another, gathering valuable data in the process.

The two malls who used this planned cellphone tracking to gather data on their shoppers were Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond. They used a system called Foot Path developed by British Path Intelligence.

The system tracks the movement of shoppers in real time and records it on a computer system for later access. It does this through a series of antennas placed throughout the mall. These antennas intercept an ID signal from cellphones as users move about the mall. Once the signal is received, each phone is coded with a random anonymous number, preventing users from gathering any personal data on shoppers. This allowed the malls to get a idea of where people are shopping.

To further alleviate privacy concerns, the malls posted signs alerting guests their movements were going to be tracked. On top of that, the system had no way to take pictures or record what people were paying for and how.

Photo from Creative Commons.

Knowing where and when people shop is a big money industry, especially on days like Black Friday. It’s important to vendors to see where people shopped after being at their store and even more important for malls. It allows malls to keep an eye on foot traffic and spot any dead spots in the mall that aren’t doing well. Ultimately, following shoppers movements comes down to money.

Malls have been tracking shoppers for years, this is just the first time they have used cellphone signals as a means to do it. In past years they have used anything ranging from heat sensors, to security cameras, to undercover researchers who follow shoppers from store to store.

When compared with how shoppers were tracked on Cyber Monday, following people’s movements seems almost benign. Every purchase a shopper makes online will be recorded along with where they bought that item. Then some company out there using that data will tailor and add every shopper directly to their IP address.

The tracking will not stop once you finish shopping. For however long the tracking cookie remains on your computer, it will monitor and then report back where and what shoppers visited. The phone method of tracking doesn’t seem bad at all when compared with the invasive nature of cookies.

What shoppers and anyone should get from all of this is knowing where you go and what you do is big money. This means someone or something will always, at the very least, see where you go. This is just part of living in the cyber age.