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Amazon’s New Headquarters, Macy’s Gift Guide and FedEx Shipping Spike

Amazon Alexa by a computer

Amazon’s new headquarters

The wait is over. The two locations reportedly selected for Amazon’s HQ2 are Long Island City, NY and Crystal City, VA. Amazon has been back and forth on the new HQ2 location this past year, but this week, the news dropped that they were splitting it between two cities instead of one. This decision goes against what Amazon initially disclosed in 2017, saying the purpose of Amazon HQ2 was to replicate the current headquarters in Seattle. But hey, things change, we get it. Their new HQ2 locations could bring in up to 50,000 high-paying jobs (salaries of $100,000+) and billions of dollars in economic investments in the community.

What stood out to us? Two is better than one.

Why should you care? Ecommerce giants are taking over, one city at a time.

Present with long red ribbon

Macy’s Instagram gift guide

Holiday shopping just got a whole lot easier. As part of their holiday campaign, Macy’s is creating personalized Instagram gift guides. This new feature, Instant Gift Guide Carousels, will let customers find that perfect gift in a matter of swipes. Instagram users will be prompted to answer questions such as price ranges and interests, and Instagram carousel will lead them on a swiping journey following lines of ribbon to find that ideal gift. These carousels will also focus on people such as friends and family, so everyone’s shopping experience can be as easy as possible. Once users go through the entire carousel, the last part will be shoppable.

What stood out to us? Any shopping that doesn’t require long lines and angry people with shopping carts sounds great to us.

Why should you care? If you like sitting on your phone and you’re tired of deciding what to buy for the holidays, this is for you. There’s a little brain power required, but at least most of the work is done for you (and you still come out looking like you put a lot of thought into the gift).

Man moving FedEx boxes

FedEx 4.9% shipping increase

Lately, it seems like everyone has hopped on the free shipping bandwagon and the idea of paying for shipping has become rage-inducing for most consumers. However, the growing demand for logistics is beginning to drive up shipping prices for ecommerce businesses. FedEx has announced they are raising shipping rates 4.9% starting January 7, 2019, for US domestic, export and import services. For ecommerce, the primary service used is FedEx Ground, and you can expect to see those shipping rates go up. In addition, FedEx Freight is increasing 5.9%. FedEx released a full list of surcharge charges that will go into effect in January, detailing price changes from 2018 to 2019.  

What stood out to us? I guess we can’t be too surprised this happened, we just wish it didn’t.   

Why should you care? Do your online shopping before this hits where it hurts - your wallet.

In the headlines

  • Diwali deals: Amazon and Walmart celebrated Diwali with lower prices and faster shipping to smaller towns.
  • No Prime? No problem: Amazon is offering free shipping to non-Prime members for the holidays.
  • The Tide is high but ecommerce is holding on: Procter & Gamble is launching a special version of Tide that is made exclusively for ecommerce.  And no, it still isn’t edible.
  • Hey Google, I need groceries: Kroger is using voice-assistant for their online grocery ordering service. 

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