These stories reveal insights about e-retail business strategies and showcase merchants who are innovating online.

Spring is here, the sun is out, but we all know e-commerce never rests. We published 60+ fresh stories, charts and infographics in the last two weeks. Here are 10 highlights.   –The Editors

 

Hiring Spree

The Home Depot is hiring more than 1,000 technology employees

Amazon goes on a tech hiring binge

Why it matters: Amazon’s and Home Depot’s hiring announcements primarily call for data technologists and developers—more than 6,000 of them. There’s already a shortage of qualified developers, and demand for them continues to rise. Employment in the category is projected to grow 24% through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With large employers vacuuming up talent, mid-sized and smaller online retailers will need to get creative if they want technologists in house.

Research & Data

The best- and worst-performing online retail categories

How online grocery shoppers behave

What you’ll learn: These research-driven articles provide a status check on some of the most active and highest-growth retail categories online, hitting on home goods, health and beauty and grocery.

Legal

Retailers win an important victory against patent trolls

Why it matters: This wasn’t a retail case, but the Supreme Court’s decision has a long reach. It costs an average of $2 million to fight a patent suit in court, and retailers have often paid off patent holders to avoid court rather than fight. Many suits are for patents granted in the early days of the internet—patents that, in review, are being ruled invalid. This decision supports the patent review process that is dissolving these old patents.

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Sporting Life

Decathlon.com makes its on-site search smarter

How OrderMyGear built a big business out of small-team gear

What you’ll learn: Sporting goods chain Decathlon has entered the U.S., primarily online, to pick up on the opportunity left by the demise of The Sports Authority. The French chain implemented an AI-infused site-search technology to understand the finer points of American English searches and learn how U.S. consumers shop. Meanwhile, OrderMyGear is taking on sporting goods from the ground up, providing a technology service to organize sales of custom gear for teams.

Sales & Strategy

Wayfair creates its biggest sales day ever

Amazon pulls the plug on PLAs

Zenni Optical focuses on $200 million in sales

What you’ll learn: Wayfair is the latest retailer to create its own sales holiday—a la Amazon’s Prime Day—and it delivered. Amazon, meanwhile, changed course on its Google Shopping ad buys, which may mean some good news for competing ad buyers. Lastly, Zenni Optical executives explain the business strategy that has led them to quietly take over a huge chunk of the online market for glasses.

 

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