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Shoppers trust Amazon for last-minute shopping, surveys show

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Amazon packagesAmazon has changed the way people do their holiday shopping.Getty

  • Amazon has unleashed a slow revolution on holiday shopping, becoming one of the most important places people turn to when they shop for the season.
  • Last-minute shoppers now increasingly trust only Amazon to deliver their orders in time, according to data from Rakuten Intelligence.
  • Amazon is ensuring it stays that way, giving out free trials of Prime like candy, ensuring prices stay competitive, releasing a physical toy guide, and offering free shipping, for every order, later in December than ever before.
  • It’s clear Amazon has become part of the fabric of holiday shopping — and will be for the foreseeable future as online shopping grows.

Amazon is home for the holidays.

The e-commerce company has become essential to the fabric of holiday shopping. Though much of America’s holiday shopping is done the weekend of Thanksgiving, it’s rivaled by the weekend right before Christmas, which includes a day that analysts have dubbed “Panic Saturday.” 

Basically, last-minute shopping is how America prepares for the holiday. And no other retailer is in a better position to capture that market than Amazon.

As Christmas gets closer, shoppers increasingly say they trust only either Amazon or going to physical stores, according to a survey of 500 shoppers by retail platform Teikametrics. While 56% percent said they’d go to a store, 40% said they would most likely turn to Amazon for holiday shopping. Only 5% said they would trust a retailer not named Amazon to ship them their gifts in time.

According to Rakuten Intelligence data reported by The New York Times, Amazon’s share of e-commerce sales fluctuates hugely during the holiday season. 

This year, it dipped lower than 20% on Thanksgiving. But that share tends to rebound, shooting up near 50% as Christmas draws closer. The busiest day for Amazon last year was December 18, while for other retailers it was December 10, according to Gartner L2 data.

Read more: People are accusing Amazon of ‘ruining’ Christmas by sending items without their own boxes, but there’s a really easy fix

Amazon is now so ingrained in holiday shopping, it’s effectively become the default online. For many shoppers who enjoy the convenience of online shopping, the choices are to either brave the crowds in stores or see when Amazon guarantees delivery by. 

Amazon has gone out of its way this year to make itself a holiday destination.

It’s also ensuring it stays that way, giving out free 30-day trials of Prime like candy and offering a week of Prime for $2, offering deals, releasing a paper toy guide, and offering a free-shipping promotion, for every order, later in December than ever before.

Amazon gave free shipping to all orders this season, regardless of size. Then, Amazon extended its non-Prime free shipping deadline twice this year, first to December 18 from what was originally December 15, then another day to December 19.

It’s clear Amazon has become part of the fabric of holiday shopping — and will be for the forseeable future as online shopping grows.

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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