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Will Monegraph open the doors to a new ecommerce market for digital artists?

Will Monegraph open the doors to a new ecommerce market for digital artists?

Most sea­soned e‑commerce ana­lysts will know that the world beyond the web has come to be known as “meat­space”. And for one species of poten­tial entre­pre­neur, visu­al image artists, meat­space is where they have to stay if they’re to make a liv­ing. But New York start­up Mon­e­graph is poised to change all that. A new ecom­merce mar­ket in dig­i­tal image art beck­ons. Authen­ti­cat­ing dig­i­tal orig­i­nal­i­ty  The prob­lem that dig­i­tal artists have is that it’s vir­tu­al­ly impos­si­ble to des­ig­nate an orig­i­nal dig­i­tal image as, well, orig­i­nal. In a nut­shell, it takes a lot of skill and labor to make a con­vinc­ing copy of an oil paint­ing and no copy will cor­re­spond in every detail with the orig­i­nal. But any­one can make a copy of a dig­i­tal image in an instant: with­out the scarci­ty fac­tor inher­ent to meat­space art, there’s no viable mar­ket for dig­i­tal artists. Mon­e­graph, which was cre­at­ed this year for the Rhi­zom Sev­en On Sev­en con­fer­ence by fel­low New York­ers Kevin McCoy (a mul­ti-media artist) and Anil Dash (entre­pre­neur and writer), is about to open real e‑commerce prospects for dig­i­tal artists. Any e‑commerce ana­lysts out there intrigued by how this fete will be actu­al­ized should lis­ten up now. Artists sign in to the…

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A new contender in the office supplies arena: meet Chalkfly

Chalkfly.com The New Contender in Office Supplies

On hear­ing the phrase “office sup­plies”, most peo­ple prob­a­bly con­jure up the big brands in their heads. But that could be about to change: the likes of Sta­ples, Office Depot and Office Max have a new and agile con­tender in their are­na in the form of e‑tail start­up Chalk­fly. E‑commerce ana­lysts with a fond­ness for David and Goliath sto­ries will like this one. Inno­va­tion When ex-Google and IBM employ­ees Andrew and Ryan Lan­dau looked at the office sup­plies mar­ket, they decid­ed there was a lot of room for inno­va­tion, and quit their jobs to do just that. The bur­geon­ing uptake of tablets and smart­phones has changed the for­tunes of e‑commerce and dealt a series of blows to the big-box chains, forc­ing them to cur­tail many of their bricks-and-mor­­tar oper­a­tions. While Sta­ples has led the way for­ward to date (the Wall Street Jour­nal recent­ly revealed that, with 40 per cent of its sales now com­ing from its online oper­a­tions, it’s become the sec­ond biggest online mer­chant to Ama­zon), in gen­er­al the big beasts of office sup­plies have been slow to adapt to e‑commerce. The broth­ers Lan­dau spot­ted an oppor­tu­ni­ty. This $30 bil­lion indus­try, they found, hasn’t real­ly changed much in twen­ty…

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The Pebble smart watch finally arrives on doorsteps to a chorus of approval

After wow­ing donors at Kick­starter last year to such an extent that it went away with over $10 mil­lion in invest­ment, Peb­ble has final­ly start­ed ship­ping its smart wrist­watch, which has been hit­ting doorsteps for a few weeks now. E‑commerce man­agers and e‑commerce ana­lysts want­i­ng to know more about expec­ta­tion man­age­ment could learn a lot from Peb­ble.  After promis­ing ship­ments would begin last fall, a huge order back­log ensured and it took con­sid­er­ably longer to get the ball rolling.  But it’s been extra­or­di­nar­i­ly deft at keep­ing its pre-order cus­tomers reg­u­lar­ly and ful­ly informed via sto­ries, videos and pho­tos. Mass pro­duc­tion The first recip­i­ents, of course, have been the startup’s Kick­starter back­ers, but with mass pro­duc­tion now in full momen­tum with 15,000 being man­u­fac­tured every week, every­one else who pre-ordered will soon have theirs if it hasn’t already arrived.  The watch, which con­nects to the iPhone and to Android devices, is mod­est­ly hand­some as opposed to riotous­ly gor­geous, but that crisp, cus­tomiz­able, black-and-white e‑paper dis­play is a real win­ner, remain­ing high­ly read­able even in sun­light. E‑commerce ana­lysts keen to spot the next big thing might do well to fol­low the Pebble’s for­tunes. It not only dis­plays incom­ing caller IDs, Face­book mes­sages,…

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Troop ID opens the e‑commerce door to the military community

A Wash­ing­ton based start­up has devel­oped a means of bring­ing the USA’s 26 mil­lion-strong mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ty into the dis­count­ed e‑commerce mar­ket­place, cour­tesy of a unique iden­ti­ty ver­i­fi­ca­tion wid­get. For the first time, Troop ID has devised a secure way of sup­ply­ing vet­er­ans and active duty mem­bers with dig­i­tal cre­den­tials – some­thing they’ve nev­er pre­vi­ous­ly enjoyed.  In prac­tice, hav­ing to rely sole­ly on phys­i­cal ID doc­u­ments has meant that the mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ty has been locked out of online dis­counts.  Despite wish­ing to offer spe­cif­ic dis­counts tar­get­ed at the mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ty, brands sim­ply weren’t able to ver­i­fy online that a cyber-cus­­tomer real­ly was a vet or in active ser­vice. An indis­pens­able e‑commerce inter­me­di­ary E‑commerce ana­lysts and e‑commerce man­agers will sure­ly be impressed by Troop ID’s solu­tion. A wid­get pro­vid­ing online traders with guar­an­teed ver­i­fi­ca­tion of a mil­i­tary customer’s ID.  All ser­vice mem­bers need to do is enter a pass­word and unique user-name on Troop ID’s web­site, where­upon the com­pa­ny ver­i­fies it against a Gov­ern­ment data­base. Essen­tial­ly, the start­up acts as the mid­dle­man oth­er firms e‑commerce can’t do with­out, because they don’t direct­ly access Gov­ern­ment data but they do need the ver­i­fi­ca­tion if they’re to tap into the mil­i­tary per­son­nel e‑market.  And it’s…

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London-based startup Shutl shuttles toward the USA

Lon­don based e‑commerce start­up Shutl has just bagged an addi­tion­al $3.2 mil­lion in invest­ment which it plans to use in aid of its forth­com­ing USA launch. Hav­ing expand­ed spec­tac­u­lar­ly through the UK over the last twelve months, Shutl’s extra mon­ey came from sources old and new.  Exist­ing investors include Hum­ming­bird Ven­tures and the strate­gic ven­ture wing of UPS, while the rest came from new back­ers Notion Cap­i­tal and e.ventures. An ultra-fast Shutl E‑commerce man­agers and e‑commerce ana­lysts alike will be inter­est­ed in Shutl’s unique angle, as the mar­ket is undoubt­ed­ly get­ting more crowd­ed.  Wit­ness moves by big box stores like Sta­ples and Home Depot to step into the e‑commerce space.  Unlike fel­low start­up Beautylish, which is focus­ing on cus­tomer engage­ment as part of a longer-term m‑commerce strat­e­gy, Shutl makes a bold but sim­ple promise.  It will deliv­er any prod­uct paid for online either with­in a few min­utes or inside any hour-long win­dow cho­sen by the cus­tomer. The genius touch lies in its web platform’s links with local same-day couri­ers.  So far, its record is a deliv­ery tak­ing just 15 min­utes after pay­ment pro­cess­ing. Sched­uled for the first quar­ter of 2013, the state­side launch will be cen­tered ini­tial­ly in San Fran­cis­co…

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