A must read for all e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers. Features include news and updates on internet shopping trends, mobile commerce and location-based marketing technology. Learn how to improve online conversions, drive consumer traffic to physical store locations and increase retail sales performance.

Thinking ahead to the Q4 holiday shopping season? Visit our special Holiday Retailer section for in-depth Black Friday and Cyber Monday coverage, plus marketing tips and tactics to round out your holiday promotional strategy.

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Groupon Running Pilot Program In Chicago To Help Local Stores With Inventory Overload

Groupon Logo A report on Re/code claims Groupon is testing a new business initiative, partnering with independently owned retail shops in Chicago to help the stores sell extra inventory. According to the report, Groupon's pilot program would work as a "liquidation service" for stores, notifying Groupon customers when a local business was offering discounted products. In the article, Re/code reporter Jason Del Rey references "two people" who were given information on how the new Groupon initiative would work: Under the new business, Groupon customers would order a product from a local store through [...]


Study: Americans Fall Into One Of 6 “Deal Personas”

Deals-shutterstock-image Experian is out with a study of "deal personas." It seeks to measure how different consumer groups identify themselves and their interest in offers and discounts. The data are drawn from the "Spring 2013 Simmons National Consumer Study, a comprehensive survey of 24,374 US adults." Experian says these data can be projected to the entire US population. If that's true, then every adult in the US would fall into one of six primary deal orientation categories according to the study. Among the total US adult population, 42 percent of people are totally or largely impervious to deals while the [...]


A Look Back On 2013 In Digital Marketing

pageviews-traffic-smartphone-Adobe This year was all over the map in terms of consumer optimization and conversion trends. Crowdfunding was propelled into the next stratosphere and mobile maximized every moment in our lives, while apps and couch commerce exploded, thanks in part to a semi-restored global economy that gave billions even more disposable income to toss around — and shifted emerging markets to the (almost) top of the buying food chain. It was an amazing year for marketers, no doubt. We shopped from our phones and from our couches, and we consumed content in every imaginable way. Cheers to what was a great year [...]


Report: Online Retailers See A 30% Increase In Site Traffic During Thanksgiving Week

online shopping According to a report from marketing technology provider BrightTag, online retailers experienced a 30 percent increase in  traffic volume on the Monday preceding Black Friday this year, compared to the same day in 2012. BrightTag says the gains in shopping traffic were most likely the result of retailers sending Black Friday promotions a full week prior to Thanksgiving week, a stretch of days that now includes the biggest shopping weekend on record. Processing data for more than 1,000 clients, BrightTag says it measures online traffic volume for a selection of the world's largest brands [...]


Mobile Activity On Xmas Eve 24 Pct. Higher Than Black Friday

smartphones Last minute shoppers this holiday season will shift their activity from PCs to mobile devices, according to an analysis of retail traffic data xAd. The mobile ad network found that mobile lookups and search activity spiked during Black Friday weekend but were even higher on Xmas Eve, which xAd is calling "mobile eve" (perhaps unfortunately). The findings show that mobile-retail activity was 24 percent higher, using last year's data, on Xmas Eve than on Black Friday weekend and so-called Cyber Monday, which this year emerged as the largest single day for e-commerce to date. This all makes [...]


The Awesome Shop: Target’s Pinterest-Powered Online Shopping Site Lists Only Top Pinned Items

pinterest-logo Target has launched an online catalog with products completely curated from Pinterest, taking its relationship with the image-focused social media site to a new level in online shopping. According to a report on InternetRetailer.com, the Target Awesome Shop is a Pinterest-powered site being tested by the retailer, featuring the "best-reviewed" and "most-pinned" items from Target.com. As of today, the site included 1,229 products total, but Internet Retailer claims products on the site will be refreshed daily. To access the Awesome Shop, Target has placed a frame at the very top of its [...]


ComScore: Cyber Monday Desktop Sales Hit $1.735 Billion, Confirming Biggest Online Shopping Day Ever

ecommerce-online-sales-retail Yesterday's comScore Cyber Monday report confirmed this year's online shopping numbers represented the biggest Cyber Monday on record, generating $1.735 billion in desktop sales. As previous reports showed, this record-breaking day was an 18 percent increase over 2012's Cyber Monday spend. According to comScore, US retail ecommerce spending for the first 32-days of this November-December holiday season (November 1 through December 2) reached $23.9 billion, an eight percent increase over last year's sales during the same time period. At $5.3 billion, online desktop sales during the five-day [...]


Record-Setting Cyber Monday: Sales Rise 18 Percent, Mobile Drove A Third Of Orders

shutterstock_92512636-tabletShopping The latest data from e-commerce reporting firm Custora Pulse shows this Cyber Monday was the biggest day in e-commerce history. Online sales rose 18 percent compared to Cyber Monday 2012. Mobile again showed its ascendency, with one in three purchases completed via phones and tablets on Monday. Both tablets and phones took order share away from desktops/laptops this year. According to Custora's data, phones drove 18 percent of orders in 2013, compared to 13 percent in 2013. Tablet share of orders increased to 11 percent, up from 8 percent in 2012. Cyber Monday's record results follow [...]


How To Survive The Holiday Shopper Afraid To Buy Too Soon

harry and david What do you do when the holiday sales plan doesn't seem to be going to plan? Take a deep breath, assess everything and see if there's another way to proceed. In a case study on our Search Engine Land site, read how Harry & David got past consumers fearful to buy, because they'd been trained to expect better deals to come as the holiday shopping season progressed. Here's the article: Black Friday – A Cautionary Tale From An Online Retailer [...]


Last Minute Google Shopping: Best Practices In PLAs

Imageretailomni Congratulations! You're now fully entrenched in the holiday shopping season. Of course, we know the majority of marketing campaigns were locked down in August (right?), but this doesn't mean you don't have any wiggle room to make last minute adjustments, especially if you're not yet seeing the results you anticipated. One area where you can make small changes and yield big results is in your Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs), Let's take a closer look at how you can improve your returns from Google Shopping this holiday season with the following seven ways to boost PLA results. 1. Ensur [...]


Holiday Retail Ecommerce Sales Set To Hit $61.8 Billion In 2013 [Report]

santa-online-shopping-featured This holiday season, the retail sector is on track to rake in $61.8 billion in ecommerce sales, a 15 percent increase over 2012, according to eMarketer's latest estimates. Sales in November and December will account for 23.5 percent of all US retail ecommerce sales this year, on par with last year's share. Overall, retail ecommerce sales are expected to hit $262.2 billion for the year, an increase of 16.4 percent from 2012. Digital ad spend in the retail vertical is projected to increase 15.7 percent over 2012 to $9.5 billion in 2013. Growth is expected to slow in the coming years as [...]


A How-To Guide For eReceipts

Full wallet You've been there before, on the losing end of what seems like the world's longest receipt for the shortest order possible. It's the point-of-sale equivalent of an appliance box used to ship a tube of toothpaste. If you need further proof, just check out the Twitter parody account @CVS_Receipt. With the holidays in full swing, expect to hear a lot more requests for your email address at the register. More than ever, retailers are offering a digital receipt option to their customers. Some estimates show between 35 and 40 percent of retailers offer eReceipts as an option, with an increasin [...]


Infographic: Black Friday & Cyber Monday Shopping Stats

The holiday shopping season is about to kick-off once again with "Black Friday," the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving in the US. Meanwhile, "Cyber Monday," which follows Black Friday, continues strong. Will 2013 break records set in 2012? That seems likely. Below are stats about both days, compiled into an infographic by the folks at Ignition One, showing the growth of sales plus highlights trends such as tablet-based shopping: Want the infographic for yourself? You'll find it here: Holiday Shopping Goes Digital. Also, Nielsen has its own infographic out with Black Friday & C [...]


Walking In A Winter WonderLab: Google Opens Retail Shops In Time For Holiday Season

Google Winter Wonderlab logo Google is trying out a new retail experience this holiday season, launching six Google Winter WonderLab locations across the country.  Opening in New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey and Sacramento, Google says the Winter Wonderlab shops will offer customers a chance to try out Google products like the Nexus tablet, Chromebook and Google Chromecast. According to the Winter Wonderlab website, customers are invited to, "check out new gadgets like the Nexus 7, make a slow-motion video in the giant snow globe, or just escape the holiday hustle with endless games, mus [...]


Report: Marketing Research Claims Tech Gadgets To Be Most Popular Gifts This Holiday Season

experian logo According to Experian Marketing Services, this year's holiday gift lists will be filled with tech gadgets. Based on search and click trends for the four weeks leading up to November 9, Experian claims the most popular product searches included fitness gadgets, mobile devices and game consoles. Experian's report showed Uggs won the No. 1 spot for the top ten product searches overall, but seven of the remaining nine spots were taken by tech products, including Sony's PS4, Xbox One, Fitbit and the iPhone 5s. For the most popular toy product searches, Experian discovered the Skylanders [...]


E-Commerce To Cross $200 Billion Threshold This Year

ecommerce-online-sales-retail It's all but certain that when the smoke clears after Q4 holiday shopping in the US, e-commerce will have crossed the $200 billion threshold for the first time. That's based on extrapolating from data released today by comScore. The firm reported that e-commerce in the third quarter was $47.5 billion. That's up 13 percent vs. Q3 2012. We can probably expect fourth quarter e-commerce spending to be more than $60 billion, which would easily lift the full-year 2013 total to more than $200 billion. These are impressive figures and the market shows robust growth. However a much bigger an [...]


Facebook Expands Partner Categories Including More Targets For Retail And Automotive

Facebook Logo Facebook announced it is expanding the list of partner categories that advertisers can target from 500 to more than 1,000. The audience segments are pulled from Facebook's third-party data partners Datalogix, Axciom and Epsilon. The Ahead of the holiday season, Facebook is emphasizing the additional partner categories that are relevant to retail and automotive brands, in particular. The new categories include "active buyers" targets such as Shopping > Women's Apparel – Accessories: Active buyers of women's accessories. A deeper level of automotive audience targets are also availab [...]


Infographic: What Holiday Shoppers Want From Retailers In 2013

Tis the season Infographic FINAL high res The first holiday shopping ads have already hit TV. Once again, the season seems to be starting earlier than ever. But for online retailers, you can never prepare early enough. Are you ready? Here's a preview of what holiday shoppers are looking for this year. The folks at shopping search engine Pricegrabber have compiled the results of its Winter Holiday Shopping Survey into the infographic further below. But first, a summary of findings. Customer Service, Free Shipping Key To Loyalty, Motivation Conducted last month, involving nearly 3,000 online shopping consumers in the US, the surv [...]


Former Google, Apple Executive RJ Pittman Joins eBay

new ebay logo Online commerce giant eBay announced Friday that it had hired RJ Pittman as Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer for Marketplaces. His role, which is newly created, does not include PayPal. Pittman was most recently in charge of worldwide e-commerce at Apple. He occupied that role since 2010. Before Apple Pittman was at Google where he presided over a wide range of properties and projects during his three years there. According to Pitman's LinkedIn profile he did the following while at Google: Portfolio of products under management include: Image Search, Finance, News, G [...]


Report: Only 45% Of Top 100 Internet Retailers Employ Tag Management Systems

Ecommerce Lima Consulting Group and tag auditing firm ObservePoint audited Internet Retailer's top 100 companies of 2012 to examine how retailers are deploying tag management systems and determine connections between site load times and site overhead. According to the report, only 45 percent of the sites employed a tag management system. To conduct the audit, nearly 48,000 pages of the top 100 Internet Retailer websites were analyzed. Lima and ObservePoint's data identified four major pain points for the sites: incomplete tag implementations, JavaScript errors, slow load times and high duplication ra [...]


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