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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Exploring The Intersection Of E-Commerce And Advertising With Amazon: #AWX 2013

Forrester US Interactive Spend - 2011-2016 Hello and greetings from Advertising Week 2013! The morning of Day 2 welcomed Lisa Utzschneider, Vice President of Global Display Advertising at Amazon Media Group, to the stage as she explored with her crowd the intersection of e-Commerce and advertising - namely, how Amazon is mapping its own insights and takeaways from e-Commerce endeavors to its native advertising platform. Read on for a full recap. Tess's Summer Journal, Or, An Example Of How E-Commerce Expectations Are, By Now, Basically Innate Lisa began with a story about her daughter, Tess, who one day expressed utmost eagerness abo [...]


Curalate’s Fanreel Gives Brands The Power To Integrate User-Generated Images Into Websites

curalate-logo Visual analytics provider Curalate has launched Fanreel, a solution that allows brands to integrate user-generated images into their website. According to The Dessy Group, an online retailer and Fanreel beta-user, their site has experienced more than a 30 percent increase in engagement with the newly launched platform. Curalate says images can be submitted to Fanreel via Facebook, Instagram, or directly from a mobile device or desktop. Once images have been uploaded, a brand can moderate the images and automatically add user-generated photos to product pages. Along with The Dessy [...]


Amazon And eBay Same Store Sales Growing Faster Than Overall Ecommerce

Amazon & Ebay Marketplace growth outpaces overall ecommerce market ChannelAdvisor's August report on Same Store Sales (SSS) shows that, despite slight dips from July, Amazon and eBay continue to show stronger growth than the ecommerce market as a whole. Amazon SSS rose 24 percent in August while eBay SSS increased by 19 percent, compared to 16 percent growth for overall ecommerce (excluding travel) in Q2 as reported by comScore. Amazon's SSS growth rate has declined steadily since the fall of 2012 when it hit 43.7 percent in November as shown in the chart below: Source: ChannelAdvisor Yet analysts remain positive, focusing on the ecommerce giant's abili [...]


Google Stays Quiet On StellaService Ratings Integration Launch, Despite Fall Rumors

google-stellaservice Back in May, Google announced a partnership agreement with online customer service ratings firm StellaService. The licensing deal is designed to bolster the search giant as the go-to destination for product search. The actual integration has yet to launch, and Google is remaining quiet on any roll-out details. A Forbes report earlier this week claims Google is planning to launch the Trusted Stores initiative with StellaService this fall. A launch in time for the holiday shopping season would be ideal. Google has declined to comment on timing, however. The article also says StellaService [...]


eMarketer: Retail Industry Expected To Spend $9.42 Billion On Paid Digital Media This Year

eMarketer logo A new report from eMarketer says that the US retail industry will spend $9.42 billion this year on paid digital media. By 2017, that number is expected to grow to $13.5 billion, representing a 10.5 percent compound annual growth rate. As a consistent top spender in digital paid media, eMarketer reports the retail industry will keep its lead during the four-year forecast period, but lose a small portion of its share of total US digital advertising dollars, dropping from a 22.3 percent share this year to 22 percent share in 2017. With the largest portion of retail digital ad dollar [...]


Is Your Marketing Program Ready For Holiday?

computer holiday sale Q4 is closing in and retailers are bracing for yet another record-breaking onslaught of promotions, traffic, sales and revenue that will make or break the business calendar. With the end of back-to-school comes the inevitable code freezes and holiday lockdowns. So while production teams audit for site stability, scalability and vulnerability, there's no better time to take a step back and audit your marketing program. In this post, I'll present three different ways you can take your marketing program to the next level -- conversion rate optimization, intent recognition and product exposure. [...]


10 Holiday Gift Guide Ideas For Email

Pottery Barn - Parties Planning your holiday email campaigns? You should be. There are any number of tried and true approaches to engaging your subscribers over the holiday season. Gift guides, in particular, tend to be high performers. In fact, I strongly recommend that, rather than running just one gift guide campaign, you consider the following ideas to extend your gift guide campaigns throughout the season. Even better, several of the examples below combine multiple concepts into one campaign! 1. Price The most straightforward gift guide is to offer by price. Gift givers generally have a threshold in mind f [...]


Amazon Beats Combined Online Sales Of Major US Retailers

amazon-featured The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Securities & Exchange Commission recently asked major traditional retailers to break out specific figures regarding their online sales, rather than simply reporting percentage growth rates. It turns out those actual numbers, combined, don't equal their nemesis Amazon. Amazon's 2012 revenues were $61.1 billion. However Amazon's margins are less than razor thin. Though many of the retailers mentioned in the WSJ article now see a healthy percentage of annual sales from the Internet, some, like Target, underperform the market. Target disclosed [...]


Twitter Hires Its First Head Of Commerce To Make Shopping In 140 Characters A Reality

twitter-logo-2012-new Twitter has hired Nathan Hubbard, formerly the CEO of Ticketmaster, as its first Head of Commerce. Hubbard reportedly began his new position yesterday, and will be tasked primarily with helping to grow Twitter's revenue by making it more friendly to the retail shopping experience. Hubbard's hire was announced this morning via a tweet from Twitter's revenue chief, Adam Bain, who'll oversee Hubbard's efforts in commerce. Hubbard also tweeted about his new role with a reference to his time at Ticketmaster, where commerce is all about the live event. To me, Twitter is a cardiogram of the pa [...]


Unlike Google’s Strictly Paid Model, Bing Opts For Paid And Free Shopping Formats

bing-b-logo Today Bing announced that it will be sunsetting Bing Shopping, the separate product destination that relies on merchant product feeds in Bing Merchant Center. Instead, the company is rolling out Bing Product Search in the next few months. In addition to the new image Carousel, shown above, Bing Product Search also incorporates Snapshot to display more product details like specs and reviews. An example of Snapshot is shown with the Canon EOS 60 listing above. Unlike Google, however, Product Search results will include a mix of paid and free formats with Product Ads and a newly introduced [...]


Holiday Road: Boost Q4 Results By Better Understanding The Customer Journey

online shopping There's nothing like the August sunshine to bring out a creative spark to drive your holiday campaigns! If you're like most e-commerce marketers, chances are good that you're already knee-deep in end-of-year planning -- and it's also highly likely that your boss has raised the performance bar yet again. After all, if the past two years are any indication, we can anticipate another lucrative e-commerce holiday season. Below are three reasons why. [caption id="attachment_56575" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] E-Commerce holiday shopping continues to bre [...]


ComScore Reports Retail E-Commerce Sales Reached $49.8 Billion In 2Q

ecommerce-credit-retail-shopping-featured According to comScore's estimates for Q2 2013, last quarter saw a 16 percent year-over-year growth in desktop-based retail e-commerce sales with $49.8 billion in spending. The earnings mark 15 consecutive quarters of positive year-over-year growth and eleven consecutive quarters of double-digit growth. "Increased spending growth for the quarter not only reflects the long term share shift towards digital commerce, but also the near-term signals of sustained improvement in consumer sentiment," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, "This strength is particularly significant since the second qua [...]


Study: New Page Speed Metric Shows Retail Websites Are Moving In The Wrong Direction

shutterstock_alarmclock In March of this year, application delivery and security provider Radware reported that the median load time for the top US retail websites was 7.25 seconds, more than four seconds over the optimal three-second load time. Radware's latest study reveals that the median load time for the same group of websites was even slower in June, measuring 7.72 seconds, a 13.7 percent drop since Spring 2012. Not only are load times slowing down, but Radware's newly introduced Time To Interact (TTI) metric offered further evidence that retail website performance is moving in the wrong direction. Measur [...]


What It Takes To Sell Luxury Online: 5 Questions With Smart Furniture CEO T.J. Gentle

5-Questions-ML Starting with its flagship product SmartShelves, Smart Furniture has led the luxury furniture market with its pioneer Design on Demand model. By leveraging manufacturers with advanced design capabilities, Smart Furniture allows customers to build and order customized furniture online, without the usual wait that comes with customized furniture purchases. "We wanted to provide an easy way to use the Internet to build furniture," says Smart Furniture President and CEO T.J. Gentle, "And, we wanted our customer experience to be simple and fun." Now with more than 120 luxury furniture brands [...]


Fancy Brings E-Commerce To Google Glass

fancy-logo-200px Fancy has launched an app that brings product discovery and e-commerce to Google Glass. The help page linked above offers a detailed video tutorial that shows a user taking a photo, getting product suggestions based on that photo and completing a transaction -- all within the Glass interface. The Fancy app even confirms the purchase with a receipt sent to Glass. It all happens -- after authorizing the app -- by setting up Fancy as a sharing contact in the user's Google Glass account. Once a photo is taken, the user shares it with the "Fancy Color Search" contact. Fancy then returns a num [...]


Online Retailer Boticca Using Customer Instagram Photos On Homepage & Product Pages

Boticca With the help of social photo crowdsourcing solution Olapic, the fashion website Boticca.com has started using customer photos on their homepage and adding the photos to product pages, as well. Launched last week, the website's new photo Gallery feature will showcase Instagram and regular photos taken by customers wearing Bottica's jewelry and accessory items. According to the company's announcement, Boticca's founders Avid Larizadeh and Kiyan Foroughi realized that "street style" content was impacting a large portion of sales on the website. "We were keen to harness the power of street [...]


Janrain Announces Integration With “Login With Amazon,” Amazon’s New Social Login For Ecommerce

Today, Janrain announced it is among the first companies to support Amazon's new third-party login service, Login with Amazon. Janrain's ecommerce, consumer brand and other sites with registration processes will now be able to add Login to Amazon authorization to their sites. Janrain's user management platform already incorporates over 30 social login providers including Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn. What the company, and Amazon, believe sets Login with Amazon apart is the ecommerce context of Amazon's login service. Login with Amazon turns guest checkout visitors into recogniz [...]


Amazon Launches “Login With Amazon” Service For Third-Party Sites, Apps And Games

Login With Amazon logo Amazon is hoping to extend its reach and integration beyond its own properties with yesterday's launch of Login with Amazon. The new service lets Amazon's 200+ million users to sign into websites, games and apps with their Amazon logins. Third-party developers can implement Login with Amazon on their web and mobile properties in the same way they integrate social logins like Facebook, Twitter and Google. Unlike those social logins, however, Amazon has the unique appeal for ecommerce and transactional developers as it allows users to sign in and checkout using their Amazon accounts. Login [...]


Google Sunsets Google Checkout To Put Focus On Google Wallet

Google Checkout Logo Google is putting Google Checkout out to pasture and placing its payment processing future solely on Google Wallet. The company has announced it will retire Google Checkout in six months. The news comes a week after Google announced several new features for the Google Wallet platform. The new Instant Buy Android API is designed to make it easier for users to buy physical goods and services in native Android apps in as few as two clicks. The Wallet Objects API allows merchants to integrate their loyalty programs and offers into Google Wallet. And a new integration with Gmail will enable [...]


Amazon Developing Not One But Two Smartphones — WSJ

amazon-icon Adding more fuel to the "Amazon is building a smartphone" rumors, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported today that the company is developing two smartphones and an audio-only music device. Though, the report doesn't say these devices will likely carry the Kindle brand. The WSJ describes one of the two smartphones as a having a 3-D screen: One of the devices is a high-end smartphone featuring a screen that allows for 3-D images without glasses, these people said. Using retina-tracking technology, images on the smartphone would seem to float above the screen like a hologram and appear three [...]


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