Black Friday grows mobile purchases–Interlinked Weekly Investment News – Dec. 4th, 2014

Shopping on a Phone Is Still Uncommon but Growing Fast

Black Friday has passed, and the numbers are in. Shopping in person still trumps shopping on mobile devices. But it looks like the gap is shortening. Each year, online sales are increasing over in-person sales, and it’s changing the landscape of marketing. Now, online sales, specifically from smartphones are climbing fast, despite still making up the minority of total sales during the Black Friday, post-Thanksgiving shopping weekend.

E-commerce accounts for only 6 percent of total retail spending. But sales made on computers are growing much faster than sales in offline stores — and sales on mobile phones are growing faster still. Offline sales this holiday season have been forecast to grow about 4 percent from last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Desktop e-commerce sales will grow 13 percent and mobile sales 33 percent, predicted comScore.

Already, many people use phones to research items, including while shopping in stores, even if they don’t make the final purchase on a phone. There has been a spike in mobile shopping on Black Friday, as people in stores find better deals on their phones.

Source: The New York Times

SoftBank Is Investing $250 Million In Uber Rival GrabTaxi

Uber is pretty much the hottest tech company on the block these days. It has raised billions in funding, grown at an unprecedented rate, and fought off criticism, all the while expanding its business into new markets all around the world. Now, Japanese telecom firm SoftBank is making a power move to help another upstart transportation company compete. That company is called GrabTaxi.

GrabTaxi, which allows customers to order cabs closest to their location by mobile phone, operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. In a statement, the two companies said the funding will be used to accelerate the app’s expansion in the region.

The investment in GrabTaxi comes about a month after SoftBank and its billionaire CEO and founder Masayoshi Son announced a $627 million funding into online marketplace Snapdeal as part of a plan to put $10 billion into India’s booming online retail market.

Source: Business Insider

Signs of Strong US Job Market to Spark Wage Increases

The US markets had a surge over the past 4 months, and finally, after years of economic recovery, is making the turn-around that’s expected of it. And while there’s still a long ways to go to get back to sustained growth, this market is showing signs of a very important potential trend: wage increases. Wage increases are predicted to rise as job growth increases, and the job market diversifies and builds. Here’s why.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In order to predict wage increases, you need to see a viable trend first. Evidence of a rebound in employee earnings is appearing in certain industries and regions, including Texas and North Dakota, which are riding the energy boom and the strengthening homebuilding market in the U.S. Southeast. While plenty of slack remains in the economy, raises are likely to filter to other areas as job creation whittles away at U.S. unemployment. And that’s a great thing for emerging businesses. A strong economy inspires investor confidence, and even better, a competitive workforce.

According to a recent interview in Bloomberg, the wage growth trend is worth watching. They quoted…

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