Amazon boasts of ‘biggest holiday season’ ever as in-store shopping plummets

Amazon says it has just had its “biggest holiday season to date” as customers turned to the site to shop rather than venturing out to physical stores. Although CNBC notes that the company did not share actual sales figures for either Black Friday or Cyber Monday, in a blog post the company revealed figures for independent sellers on its platform. Amazon says these sellers saw over $4.8 billion in sales through the two shopping days worldwide, an increase of 60 percent over last year.

“Through Cyber Monday, 2020 has been the largest holiday shopping season so far in our company’s history thanks to customers around the world,” Amazon wrote.

While Amazon’s sales reached record highs, traffic at physical stores has reportedly plummeted. Preliminary data from Sensormatic Solutions reported by CNBC said that in-store traffic fell by 52.1 percent this Black Friday compared with 2019, as customers stayed home to avoid

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Warp Drive races into Apple Arcade for the holiday weekend

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Teleport to the finish line and beat the competition in Warp Drive. 


Apple

Apple Arcade on Friday added Warp Drive, a new game from UK indie developer Supergonk, to its growing catalog of over 140 games. You can try your hand at the new futuristic racing game over Thanksgiving weekend across iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod Touch and Apple TV. 

Warp Drive isn’t an average racing game, it ups the ante by letting players teleport —  or warp — around the track to discover hidden shortcuts and courses. Take your quad rotor racer around a track where few rules apply. Compete in tournaments, drive on the ceiling, jump vast canyons and race up waterfalls. Along the way you can upgrade your car to drift and boost to stand a better chance of winning. 

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Why some holiday gifts ordered through social media might never arrive

Shopper Sandra Stephenson has a story to share, actually three of them, that should make anyone stop, step back and think three times before rushing to buy the next cute thing they spot on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms.

She ordered a “Mama Bear” T-shirt for herself.  Supercute with sunflowers, she says. She spent $36 and change. She faced long delays but ultimately a package did arrive. Unfortunately, it included a flimsy shirt that looked absolutely nothing like the “Mama Bear” on that Facebook ad. 

“What I got was some see-through  funky bear,” the Davison woman said. 

She ordered another item from another vendor, what looked like a really cool outdoor rocking chair for camping. Never showed up. “That one got me to the tune of $39.98,” she told me.

Sandra Stephenson, 45, says she ordered three items in the past year after seeing interesting clothing and products

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What To Get Your Colleagues, Employees, And Clients This Holiday Season

It’s that time of the year again! The time for showing appreciation to those who make your life possible or better. Every year, I curate my own list of what to give that special someone in your professional life, whether that’s your colleagues, clients or employees. Here’s my holiday gift guide from last year and a special edition mini gift guide for this year as well. 

Here’s my 2020 list of the best holiday gifts. I am truly hopeful that you will find something for everyone on your list. 

For the Kitchen Maven:

Tovala: The ultimate

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Holiday gaming gift guide: What to know about the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch

So many games, so little time. From bottom left, clockwise: Xbox Series S (white); Xbox Series X (black); Nintendo Switch; PlayStation 4; Xbox One; Nintendo Switch Lite. (Thomas Wilde Photo)

This is the first holiday season for the ninth generation of video game consoles, as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (XSX) have recently hit the market, and Nintendo’s hybrid system the Switch is still a hot seller. The PS5 and XSX are likely to be two of the most-wanted gifts this year, for everyone from kids to nerdy adults.

That, however, assumes that you can find them. Both the PS5 and XSX are currently in short supply at every major retailer, with new shipments selling out almost faster than they can be put on sale. This is fairly typical for any new gaming console for the first couple of months, but in 2020, it’s been exacerbated by scalpers,

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Apple on Track for Strong Holiday Sales for AirPods, IPhone 12, Analyst Says

Apple  (AAPL) – Get Report is likely to see the AirPods and IPhone 12 flying off the shelves this holiday shopping season, a Wedbush analyst said Wednesday. 

Shares of the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant were up nearly 1% to $116.15 on Wednesday morning.

Analyst Daniel Ives, who has an outperform rating on Apple with a $150 price target, said that “as we head into Black Friday and the start of holiday shopping season we are seeing a surge of consumer demand for Apple’s AirPods Pro with some good discounts on the horizon.”

Ives estimates that Apple will sell sell roughly 18 million AirPods during the course of the next month and is on pace to yet again be “a clear star” of Black Friday and the holiday season.

“We estimate that Apple is on pace to sell over 90 million AirPods units in 2020 and is now on

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Walmart Continues Amazon Rivalry With Faster Holiday Shipping

Move over Amazon. Walmart is ramping up its shipping speed.

Walmart (WMT) is preparing for an onslaught of orders on its e-commerce site this holiday season by changing the way it handles fulfilling purchases. The retail giant is shifting some of its fulfillment directly to its more than 2,800 stores in an effort to get orders to customers without delays.

In a blog post, Tom Ward, Senior Vice President of Customer Product at Walmart, said, “We’ve created a program that routes some Walmart.com orders to be fulfilled straight from our stores. We’ll use our existing local delivery capabilities to get orders to customers faster, while reducing the load on our online fulfillment centers.”

The change in strategy comes as Walmart has seen more customers shop online as talk of “shipping woes” during the holidays surface. Delays in shipping are expected during the holiday season as consumers stay away from brick-and-mortar

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What’s hot for tech holiday? ‘Practical’ gifts like routers and computer monitors

Are you feeling practical?

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We’re days away from Black Friday and intense holiday shopping time during an era of COVID-19. Do you know what you’ll be purchasing? 

Stephen Baker, a longtime analyst with the NPD Group, which tracks sales of consumer products, says to expect a holiday filled with non-sexy products like computer monitors, external mice and keyboards and routers. Yes, routers. 

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“You’re not going to give a spa certificate or holiday tickets to Bermuda,” said Baker. “Instead, we’re seeing more tangible gifts like a router. Give your family the gift of better internet connectivity.”

This year, the pandemic has put a twist on consumer electronic sales. Shoppers have already pushed huge sales gains for products that make it easier to work and learn from home, Baker said.

Router sales: up 50%. Computer

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Holiday Gift Ideas: 6 discounted drones that change the game for photographers

If you’re a photographer, you’re used to keeping up with the latest gear. But there’s one tool that you need to add to your arsenal if you’re obsessed with getting those cinematic shots: A smooth-flying drone.

Sure, drones are fun to zip around. But they’re also invaluable tech when it comes to capturing sweeping, panoramic vistas. Some do it better than others, and we’ve rounded up six models that also do it for less – just in time for the holidays.

Whether it’s 360-degree flips or smooth flybys, this drone is up to the challenge. The Spectre is easy enough for beginners to learn on but is fully capable of taking pro-level HD video in a variety of conditions. You can even strap on VR goggles (not included) and put yourself in the virtual pilot seat.

MSRP: $149

Sale Price: $59.99

Get breathtaking footage with the 720p HD camera and

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Cyber Risk & Record Web Traffic May Disrupt 2020 Holiday Shopping

SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Imperva, Inc., (@Imperva) the cybersecurity leader whose mission is to protect data and all paths to it, releases State of Security Within e-Commerce, a new threat intelligence report from Imperva Research Labs. The report illustrates the varying cybersecurity attack risks facing the retail industry and the impact the global pandemic had on the volume of attacks and web traffic. The findings suggest peak levels of traffic will be seen throughout the holiday shopping season as a flood of consumers turn to online channels to purchase goods.

As detailed in the Imperva Cyber Threat Index — a monthly measurement and analysis of the global cyber threat landscape across data and applications — shortly after stay-at-home orders were issued, web traffic to retail sites spiked by as much as 28 percent over the weekly average, eclipsing the record

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