Facebook gives users more ways to like retailers

Facebook, emoji, retail, retailing todayA new collection of five emojis created by Facebook gives users of the social media platform new ways to express themselves that could have huge implications for retailers.

Facebook has released “Reactions,” a set of five emoji that expand upon the “Like” button. The new emoji are small icons representing love, haha, wow, sad and angry. Users will be able to respond with the expanded set of emotions to all posts, including advertisers, pages and accounts. The emoji will not be placed in Facebook-owned social products such as Instagram, at least for the time being.

Reactions will work on both the mobile and desktop versions of Facebook. Mobile users will see the emoji pop up when they touch the Like button, while desktop users will see the emoji when they hover over the Like button or click on it. Interestingly, one emoji that was piloted, “yay,” did not make the final cut.

As reported in Retailing Today. Read the article here.

Billionaire VC says that most companies will eventually pay an Amazon ‘tax’

Chamath Palihapitiya is a famous startup investor who runs his own venture-capital firm, Social Capital. He was an early Facebook employee and is now estimated to be worth over $1 billion.

Because Palihapitiya is a VC, he gets to invest in a lot of different companies. But if he had to put his entire capital in a single company and hold it for the next 10 years, Palihapitiya knows where his money’s going: Amazon.

Read the article on Business Insider

Here’s where Walmart is expanding its store base

On the heels of announcing it would close more than 150 stores in the United States, Walmart says it will open 15 supercenters this month in Canada.

These grand openings bring Walmart Canada’s total store count to 400 stores, including 312 supercenters and 88 discount stores. The company says its 15 supercenter projects represent an investment of more than $100 million and have generated approximately 700 new store jobs and 1,450 construction and trade jobs in that nation.

“We’re thrilled to open our 400th location in Canada this month, as well as our 300th supercenter,” said Preyash Thakrar, senior vice president, strategy and real estate. “These supercenters will provide even more Canadian communities with affordable access to quality fresh groceries and one-stop shopping, while also saving them money.”

Read the article from Retailing Today

Amazon is reportedly planning to open hundreds of bookstores. Here’s why.

In November, Amazon opened its first bookstore, and reports from the CEO of one of America’s largest shopping mall operators Tuesday afternoon suggest that the company is prepared to open several hundred new ones across the country. This prompted many to ask why the company that destroyed the physical bookstore industry would possibly want to operate a physical bookstore.

Part of the answer is that, as the announcement of the original store location said, “At Amazon Books, you can also test drive Amazon’s devices,” meaning Kindles, Echos, Fire TVs, and Fire Tablets “are available for you to explore, and Amazon device experts will be on hand to answer questions and to show the products in action.” Apple has physical retail stores for its digital devices, as do (albeit less successfully) Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung. Since Amazon makes Amazon-branded devices, why shouldn’t it have a store too?

Read the rest of the article (Vox.com)

These Are the Brands Americans Trust the Most

Who do you trust? A recently released survey showed which brand name products reign supreme among American shoppers.

BrandSpark International determined the most trusted brands in America by asking American shoppers about their favorites. The market research firm surveyed 38,000 people between Oct. and Dec. 2015 and recorded their “top of mind” answers. “The annual BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards honors the brands Americans trust most, those they would recommend to friends and neighbors,” president and CEO Robert Levy said in a press release. “This award boosts shoppers’ confidence when making a purchase decision in store aisles.”

Read the rest of the article (Fortune.com)