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If you're a Brand Founder, eCommerce Entrepreneur or Growth Marketer and looking to scale your eComm brand, then this is the podcast for you. We'll be interviewing industry leading eCommerce founders and marketing strategists and bringing their insights and actionable take-aways for you to implement and drive your revenue growth.
 
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As you have probably heard, or maybe experienced, there is a global shortage of computer chips. And carmakers, in particular, have been feeling the pinch. Without chips, they can’t make cars, which means there have been fewer cars available on the lot, and the ones that are there may not be what people want. This week, the chief operating officer o…
 
As you’ve probably noticed, your regular host Molly Wood is off the show. She has been creating a new Marketplace podcast called “How We Survive” about tech solutions to the climate crisis. This season is all about batteries. They’re key to getting us off fossil fuels. But most batteries in the world right now need lithium, a metal that’s only obta…
 
During the pandemic, a lot of school districts loaned laptops, tablets or other devices to students who didn’t have their own. And many of those schools installed software on the devices that can track what a student is searching for and looking at. School administrators say they need to monitor students this way so they can flag a kid who is in tr…
 
Last year, the holiday shopping season was kind of a disaster. With a lot more people shopping online because of the pandemic, millions of packages were delayed or delivered late. This year could be worse. There are shortages of materials, products, shipping containers and workers, and Deloitte estimates that online sales will jump by 11% to 15% th…
 
Let’s talk about computer chips. We’ve told you that they’re in short supply — because of COVID and materials shortages and shipping problems, and because a lot more people have bought digital devices during the pandemic. Sometimes when there is low supply and high demand, lots of counterfeits appear on the market. These could be chips taken out of…
 
When Facebook went down for several hours this week, we got a sense of just how much people rely on the company and its apps. And not just because they’re addicted to scrolling and likes. These platforms are also used for commerce and banking, particularly WhatsApp, the messaging service. In many parts of the world, you can also use it to send mone…
 
You ever log on to a social media platform and you don’t even know why you’re doing it? This stuff is addictive. Zamaan Qureshi is a 19-year-old student at American University and a policy adviser for a group known as the Real Facebook Oversight Board. He said that the physical act of swiping on Instagram can feel like “muscle memory.” Marketplace’…
 
The Senate held a hearing last week about the often old, outdated computer systems that our governments often use to run their programs and what it’ll take to move things forward. Those aging systems are a problem because when they break down or just can’t keep up with changing needs, it’s hard to fix them. One example: Last spring, the state of Ne…
 
On Wednesday’s show we talked about Tesla’s full self-driving mode, which it is about to make available to more drivers. And yes, the name implies that the cars will drive themselves, but the technology isn’t there yet. A human will still have to be in control. But while the technology is advancing, there is no federal regulation of self-driving ca…
 
Tesla will soon allow more drivers to have access to “full self-driving” mode, according to tweets by CEO Elon Musk. Drivers will pay $10,000 upfront or between $100 and $200 a month to use the software. Up until now, a beta version has been available to a select group of people. And the name “full self-driving” kind of implies that the car will dr…
 
Amazon hosted its annual hardware event Tuesday, where it announced updates to some products, like its Ring home security system, and debuted some new ones, like a home security drone. Microsoft and Apple hosted similar events recently. You know the kind of event we’re talking about, right? The kind pioneered by Steve Jobs. Big screens, fancy visua…
 
Facebook just announced that it’s pausing the rollout of Instagram Kids, a version of the platform for children under 13 years old, while it works to “demonstrate the value and need for this product.” The pause comes after a Wall Street Journal story a couple of weeks ago about the company’s research on how Instagram affects teens. One finding? A t…
 
In the U.S., about 20% of calls to cellphones and 40% to landlines are robocalls — many of them scams. Tuesday is the deadline for voice service providers, including some phone companies, to show the Federal Communications Commission what steps they’re taking to stop robocalls. Marketplace’s Marielle Segarra speaks with Brad Reaves, a professor of …
 
Next month, Epic Games will shut down Houseparty — the group video-chatting app that became popular in the pandemic — to focus instead on the metaverse. But, what is that, exactly? That is a topic for “Quality Assurance,” where we take a second look at a big tech story. While there are different visions of the metaverse to come, most digital builde…
 
Emoji users: Your vocabulary is about to grow. The Unicode Consortium, a group that approves emoji, has added 112 new ones, including a melting smiley face, a coral reef, an X-ray and more skin tone and gender options, like a pregnant man and pregnant person. The new icons will start appearing on your phones later this year. Marketplace’s Marielle …
 
During the pandemic, especially with gyms shut down or just less appealing, people bought a lot of wearables. Those are smart devices that you wear on your body — in your ear, on your wrist or as a patch, even — that track your activity in some way. Look at sales of smartwatches. They jumped by almost 18% in 2020, according to Gartner. The research…
 
World leaders are gathering for meetings this week at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Among the topics they’ll discuss is the ravages of climate change. This year, climate damage across the U.S. included devastating flooding, and while some people know they face flood risk, many do not. That’s largely because the official federal f…
 
For those in prison, privacy is already hard to come by. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is looking at patent applications from some companies that provide communication services to prisons. Some of the applications they’ve seen include ideas to incorporate ads on tablets that would be given to incarcerated people and plans for systems that…
 
Facebook knows a lot about how it affects its users, because it’s investigated possible negative impacts. For instance, internal research showed that one of its algorithms actually encourages angrier content. Or that Instagram, which it owns, makes body image issues worse for teen girls. And even though it knows all this, it doesn’t share the infor…
 
There’s been a surge in the buy now, pay later space, which is exactly what it sounds like: Get something you maybe can’t quite afford and pay it off in installments. You might not even need to have your credit checked. By some counts, more than half of Americans have used it. There are concerns that this new method of payment could be confusing us…
 
We’re exploring a new frontier in the eCommerce world with this episode! Scott interviews Casie Lane Millhouse, an Innovation and Technology Communicator consulting in the AR/VR space, about augmented reality, what it is, and its current place in the eCommerce landscape. While Casie believes that AR technology hasn’t hit its tipping point yet, more…
 
You’d look so good in these Ray-Bans, and you could capture the envious stares of people who can’t believe how good you’d look. Because these glasses are built through a partnership with Facebook. They allow you to take photos and share video via cameras in the frame. It’s the latest attempt by Silicon Valley to reap bundles of money by using tech …
 
Apple’s streaming event from California happens today and many expect there’ll be an announcement of a new iPhone model. Speculation always abounds, because Apple is notoriously tight-lipped with these events. One thing that they have announced is a new feature in iOS that pays attention to how we walk, or our gait. The idea is that it’ll be able t…
 
Bug bounties. They’re an important security tool in the arsenal of many tech companies. Here’s how they work. Give ethical hackers the chance to probe your systems for weaknesses, pay them for exploits they find and fix said exploits before ne’er-do-wells find and use them. Bounty programs vary from company to company. Marketplace’s Jed Kim speaks …
 
Friday marks the statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which has already been a very active and destructive one. Marketplace’s Jed Kim continues his discussion with Paul Robinson about how tech can help us cope with flooding. Robinson’s executive director of RISE Resilience Innovations, a nonprofit tech accelerator in Norfolk, Virginia…
 
Water infrastructure — it’s boring. Invisible. We only care about it when things go wrong, and things have been going wrong. Punishing storms have caused catastrophic flooding in New York, Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere. But water systems are expensive, time consuming and hard to fix. Technology may provide some relief. Marketplace’s Jed Kim talks …
 
When you’re sick, you can get treated with medicine or surgery. There’s a growing field, though, that looks at our own cells as treatment delivery systems. Many see it as the future of medicine, and that’s prompting a lot of investment in the field. This year, the industry is on track to raise more than $20 billion dollars, a record. That’s accordi…
 
Starting today, bitcoin is an official national currency in El Salvador, along with U.S. dollars. To use the cryptocurrency, Salvadorans need to download an electronic wallet. If they use the government-sanctioned wallet, they’ll get $30 worth of bitcoin to use. Stores have to accept bitcoin, provided they have internet access and can do so. They’l…
 
This episode originally aired July 19, 2021. The Federal Trade Commission is turning its attention to the right-to-repair movement — a pushback against manufacturers limiting who can repair the equipment they make. The agency put out a report on this in May that found “the burden of repair restrictions may fall more heavily on communities of color …
 
When buying apps or making in-app purchases, you’re pretty much limited to either Apple or Google’s systems, and those companies are paid a commission of up to 30% on your purchase. South Korea this week passed a law that will force them to allow alternative payment systems — ending commissions when developers sell things directly. It comes as Appl…
 
It’s that time of year again! Planning and preparation time for what we refer to as the ‘Superbowl’ for eCommerce - Q4 and more specifically Black Friday/ Cyber Monday Weekend. In what’s been a super challenging year for eCommerce brands with the roll-out of iOS14 updates from Apple and massively affecting performance across most traffic channels -…
 
Schools across the country are opening their doors to students again. Many have remote options for those who need it. But a handful of states, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, have largely banned remote learning, saying it’s just not effective enough. But as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, more kids may need to quarantine at home — and with…
 
Sex workers are planning to demonstrate outside of several major banks in New York City on Wednesday. They say Bank of New York Mellon and others are discriminating against them by refusing to process payments for companies like OnlyFans. That is the social media subscription site made popular by sex workers that recently said it was going to ban a…
 
The gender gap in tech starts pretty early. Look at computer science students: Roughly 4 out of 5 bachelor’s degrees in that field go to men. That’s why the nonprofit Girls Who Code aims to get girls interested at a young age — as early as third grade. Since the organization was founded in 2012, hundreds of thousands of girls have gone through its …
 
It’s the age-old mantra of parents who won’t let their kids have gaming consoles — too many video games hurt your brain! But last summer, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever prescription video game. It’s called EndeavorRX, and it’s meant to help treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in kids age 8 to 12. It’s not a stan…
 
The trial of Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO and founder of the blood test company Theranos, is set to begin next week. Holmes is charged with wire fraud, having allegedly defrauded investors about the accuracy of Theranos’ technology. She’s pleaded not guilty. Many other women founders — especially in biotech and health care — have been getting compa…
 
What drives you nuts about surfing online? Maybe it’s news sites that autoplay videos or cooking pages that bury their actual recipes below expanding ads. Or maybe it’s your dad, who keeps sending you links to Hampster Dance. Well, for some of the things that make you pull your hair out while browsing, there may be hope. By the end of the month, Go…
 
The electric vehicle market got a little shake-up this month after Chevy recalled all of its Bolts due to the risk of battery fires. The recall comes as the EV market is getting hot … uh, no. It’s set to explo — nope! There are going to be a lot more sales in the future. Like many people, Marketplace’s Jed Kim would like to know how a lithium-ion b…
 
There’ve been lots of big security breaches recently. Like in the recent case of T-Mobile, where about 50 million people’s personal information got exposed. And attacks on critical infrastructure, like the Colonial Pipeline hack. Remember those gas shortages along the East Coast? As hacks go up, so does the demand for help preventing and responding…
 
Early in the pandemic, Sidewalk Labs — an offshoot of Google — announced it was shutting down a big project in Toronto called Quayside. It was meant to be a testing ground for smart-city concepts, a hyperconnected neighborhood from the ground up, with things like an underground network of package-delivery robots. But even before the pandemic, it ra…
 
This week, some Microsoft apps, like Outlook, started their slow march to no longer working in Internet Explorer. Next year, the browser itself won’t be supported anymore, as Microsoft moves users to its Edge browser instead. It’s the end of an era for Internet Explorer, which was created back in the ’90s during the browser wars and was the focus o…
 
When the Afghan government quickly fell to the Taliban over the weekend, alerts went out with instructions to delete digital activity. Contacts, photos, music — anything that might link someone to something opposed by the Taliban. But in the absence of a coordinated evacuation effort, vulnerable Afghans are now being asked to share personal informa…
 
The Biden administration is reportedly considering recommending a booster shot of the COVID vaccine. But almost a third of Americans over 12 haven’t gotten their first dose yet. Some local health departments are pioneering a new way to reach the hold-outs through micro-influencers. These aren’t the big stars of social media with millions of fans an…
 
A lot of disturbing images have come out of Afghanistan. Some taken by professional media, such as people flooding a runway at the airport in Kabul, and many others taken by citizens on their phones and posted to social media. The technological ability of everyday people to document what’s happening on the ground has changed radically from when the…
 
High-speed internet, safe to say, has become pretty essential to our lives, especially during the pandemic, and yet many Americans struggle to get it. The government has mapped internet access for years, but those maps have overestimated that access. So Congress tasked the Federal Communications Commission with making better ones. The first results…
 
The Dixie fire in Northern California has spread more than 700 square miles, making it the largest single fire in California history. There are more than 5,000 firefighters working on the ground to contain it. Increasingly, technology is aiding firefighting efforts like this one — from above. Andre Coleman, a data scientist at Pacific Northwest Nat…
 
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, issued a report this week that laid out over nearly 4,000 pages the reality that many are already living: Climate change is here, and much of that change is irreversible — rising temperatures, more and bigger wildfires, extreme droughts and flooding. And to avoid things getting worse, the repo…
 
Google just announced a slew of new policies to make its products safer for young users. Facebook did the same just last month. Both said they will restrict targeted advertising aimed at kids and teens, though in slightly different ways. They’re also turning more protective features on by default — like setting kids’ Instagram or YouTube accounts t…
 
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