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Can AI product review summaries help us make better purchase decisions?

Aug 17, 2023
Amazon is using the technology on its mobile app to synthesize stacks of user comments into one tidy paragraph. Do you buy the idea?
Amazon's new artificial intelligence-generated review system "is immediately going to be a target for sellers to manipulate," says marketing professor Brett Hollenbeck.
isiddheshm/Getty Images

FedEx meets lowered demand for shipping with cost-cutting and layoffs

Jun 21, 2023
As consumers favor services over buying goods, FedEx and other shippers are feeling the pinch.
FedEx is spending more on wages and equipment while people are choosing experiences over goods.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In California’s Inland Empire, the warehousing industry’s growth comes with consequences

Apr 19, 2023
Many worry that the industry’s growth has put the local environment and economy at risk.
Above, a massive processing and distribution center in Los Angeles.  Warehouses have boomed in California’s Inland Empire over the past decade thanks to the growth of online shopping.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Some welcome inflation news: Prices for goods online are falling

Apr 10, 2023
It's not inflation slowing, it's actual prices falling.
The price — and demand — for electronics like PCs has dipped substantially since the start of the pandemic.
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

For online shoppers, is too much variety a blessing or a curse?

Feb 21, 2023
With thousands of items and products to choose from, consumers need to protect themselves from making the wrong purchase.
Sifting through the thousands of product choices online is getting harder.
Tom Cooper/Getty Images

"Dark patterns": The deceptive arts of e-commerce

Jan 16, 2023
Emily Stewart of Vox explains how web tactics like countdown clocks and inventory trackers can create a false sense of urgency for consumers.
Many e-commerce sites use well-honed tactics to influence consumers to "buy, buy, buy." Emily Stewart advises consumers to learn about them and avoid impulsive shopping.
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Is the era of free returns for online purchases coming to an end?

Nov 4, 2022
Something to keep in mind as you start your online holiday shopping: Many retailers are getting stricter about their return policies.
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How companies use “dark patterns” to keep you locked into online subscriptions 

Oct 26, 2022
Subscription-based models have been around for a while, but the internet is making them more ubiquitous than ever.
Some companies' websites have design elements aimed at deceiving consumers into buying their products or services.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Return fees are happening because retailers are hurting

Jun 9, 2022
Americans sent back $760 billion worth of stuff last year. Now higher shipping costs and rising returns are hurting companies' bottom lines.
Zara is now charging customers in the U.K. when they return online purchases via mail. With rising shipping costs, other retailers may follow suit.
Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

The business of Shein, the fast-fashion brand that's dominating Gen Z's closets

May 6, 2022
The apparel maker was recently valued at $100 billion, more than competitors Zara and H&M combined.
Katy Perry speaks during a Shein virtual festival to benefit the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO on May 9, 2020.
Getty Images/Getty Images for Shein