Pinterest Bolsters Its E-Commerce Ties With Shopify Partnership

pinterest-promoted-pins-featured Pinterest, which for many users serves as an online shopping catalogue, moved further down that road this week, announcing an agreement with e-commerce platform Shopify. Pinterest has moved cautiously with advertising, finally last month launching a self-serve tool to give a limited set of businesses access to buy Promoted Pins, but it hasn't been shy about touting the online shopping proclivities of its 70 million-strong user base. Stopify, Pinterest's Vivian Chow wrote in a blog post, said its online merchants get significant referral traffic from Pinterest. Now those businesses wi [...]


Senators Resuscitate E-Commerce Sales Tax Issue With New Bill

tax-money-180px The push to pass a so-called Online Sales Tax is back in play after languishing for nearly a year. A bipartisan group of senators have introduced the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (MITFA), which essentially tacks on a slightly amended Internet Tax Freedom Act to the Marketplace Fairness Act that it passed last year. The bill was introduced in the Senate yesterday by Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Pryor (D-AR). It's a move by the Senate to reclaim the issue of allowing states to collect sales tax on [...]


E-Commerce Holiday Preparation – Making A List (And Checking It Twice)

holiday-retailer7-600 Although it feels early to be talking about the holiday season, anyone in retail will tell you it's impossible to be too prepared for the busiest season of all. In fact, it's a good idea to start the holiday preparation now, as the most important items take the most time to get ready. Here are some of the best ways to prep your e-commerce store. Promotions No holiday rush is complete without door busting sales. But there are a couple key components I always consider when deciding which promotions to run and when. What Are My Competitors Doing? For the most part, retail sales are [...]


Removing The Fog From The Marketing Cloud

Another foggy day in the marketing technology cloud. Consider this: just 20 years ago, a retailer having a website was a huge novelty. Back then, the main purpose was to connect customers to service reps or find a store, and it took years before you could effectively showcase and optimize products like you can today with a marketing cloud. [caption id="attachment_90111" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Another foggy day in the marketing technology cloud.[/caption] Websites and e-commerce have evolved in the past 20 years largely due to third-party technologies. These technologies have helped optimize the overall brand experience, build cus [...]


The New Shopper Marketing Paradigm Part 3: Solving the Digital Paradox Of Performance

shutterstock_129636221-warehouse Return On Ad Spend, or ROAS, is a wonderful metric of digital media, but it is ultimately a measure of an acceptable cost of advertising. The real goal for product manufacturers is volume – to actually see a rise in orders shipping out of the factory. When something really works at scale, you don’t need fancy metrics to know. But most consumer product brands want to take baby steps into digital, or at least into new digital media opportunities. Modest budgets can generate incremental sales, but it will probably be hard to actually “feel” the incremental sales among the larger oce [...]


4 Data-Driven Tips For A Successful Mobile Marketing Plan

mobile-devices-trends Mobile marketing is coming into its own. With the 2013 mobile e-commerce market valued at $43 billion and mobile traffic making up nearly 50% of site visits in the first quarter of 2014, the savviest retailers -- e-commerce, brick-and-mortar and omni-channel alike -- are investing in building out dedicated mobile marketing teams and capabilities. These numbers come from the Custora E-Commerce Pulse Mobile Report, soon to be published by Custora (disclosure: my employer). These metrics and others hint at the size of the opportunity for marketing teams that are able to harness the power [...]


The New Shopper Marketing Paradigm, Part 2: Measuring Impact For Product Brands

shutterstock_196202399-new-shopping Consumer product marketers have long had to operate under the assumption that direct sales attribution, while an ultimate goal, is largely unobtainable and that marketing success must be judged through predictive modeling and sophisticated estimation. The exception is when brands decide to operate their own stores or e-commerce sites, where they can use and measure direct response tactics to drive traffic and purchases. However, the vast majority of product brands either do not have their own stores, or they operate a small e-commerce site that serves as the brand backbone but carefully [...]


Infographic: Using User Generated Content To Boost Sales

If you do online retail, you probably know all about SEO, SEM and other acronyms. But how about UGC: user generated content? UGC might be a good way to allow your own customers to make pitches to new ones about your products. The folks at Offerpop have put together an infographic pull of ideas, such as using photos and videos from customers to aggregating customer reaction to your social campaigns: Want the infographic for yourself? You'll find it here: How to Fuel your Sales Engine with Social Content. [...]


Apple Beats Staples: Ranks No. 2 On Internet Retailer’s List Of E-Commerce Sales Leaders

apple-store-600 According to a report from the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Apple has edged its way into the No. 2 spot on Internet Retailer's list of 2013 e-commerce sales leaders, second to Amazon, and now ahead of office supply store Staples. The report claims Apple's leap into the No. 2 position is a result of Internet Retailer's recent decision to include Apple's online hardware sales. Previously, Internet Retailer had only used digital sales from Apple's App Store and iTunes. Wall Street Journal claimed Apple's online sales were up 24 percent last year, reaching $18.3 million, while Staples onli [...]


Amazon’s Cart Gets More Mobile: Now Add To #AmazonCart While Browsing Twitter

AmazonCart on Twitter Reply with #AmazonCart to add the Banana Slicer to your Cart! http://t.co/B39jFZITc0 pic.twitter.com/CT81jLUE1M — Amazon (@amazon) May 5, 2014 Amazon has launched a new feature on Twitter that allows users to automatically add items to their Amazon shopping carts by including a hashtag along with an Amazon product link in a Tweet. Users can reply to any Tweet with an Amazon product link -- including those posted by the official Amazon twitter account, Amazon's affiliates or sellers -- with the hashtag #AmazonCart in the US -- or #AmazonBasket in the UK. After adding items to th [...]


Google’s Same-Day Delivery Pilot Goes Bi-Coastal

Google Shopping Express 1 In a sign that Google's pilot program for same day delivery has legs, the program is now available on both coasts. Consumers in Manhattan and the West Los Angeles area can turn to Google to get items from local shops delivered to their doorstep within a matter of hours. The company began testing its same-day delivery program, Google Shopping Express, in the San Francisco Bay area last spring. The program is designed to marry the convenience of online shopping with the instant satisfaction of brick-and-mortar purchasing -- and compete head-to-head with the Amazon Prime delivery service. T [...]


E-commerce Q1 2014 Revenue Up 11% Since Last Year

Based on e-commerce data from over 100 US retailers, Custora's E-Commerce Pulse report claimed online retail revenue saw an 11 percent year-over-year growth rate for the first quarter of 2014, with online orders up 13 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Tracking online and offline retail revenue, the report showed online retail revenue has experienced a steady incline since 2000: At the end of 2013, the share of online sales out of all retail sales in the US was six-percent, up from only one-percent in 2000, three-percent in 2006, and five-percent in 2012. Online Retail Reven [...]


Frictionless Mobile Commerce: 5 Examples Of Companies That Are Leading

frictionless_commerce In 2000, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Michael D. Smith published a paper titled, Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers. Their thesis centered around the fact that the World Wide Web had evolved into a platform enabling a "nearly frictionless market" connecting buyers and sellers and providing the ability to instantly find whatever goods or services desired. Even more powerful, buyers could comparison shop in real time and then purchase these goods and services instantaneously. This evolution from traditional brick-and-mortar shopping gave t [...]


Get To Know: Bigcommerce’s VP Of Marketing Kirsten Knipp

KirstenKnippHeadshot With more than twelve years of technology marketing experience, Kirsten Knipp serves as Bigcommerce's vice president of marketing, product marketing and brand. She and her team of brand, creative and product marketers are tasked with educating and empowering clients to build business dreams via their own online stores. Prior to joining Bigcommerce, Knipp held sales and marketing leadership roles at Solarwinds and HubSpot, where she led the creation of HubSpot's Inbound Conference, a massive industry event for marketing professionals. While earning her graduate degree from MIT Sloan's [...]


The New Shopper Marketing Paradigm: Centering On The Shopper

shoppingcart Shopping has undergone a revolution, and it is still changing. It started with an Internet bookstore and an online swap meet introducing new ways to shop. Fast forward two decades, and online shopping continues to grow. In fact, in its report, "US Online Retail Forecast, 2012 To 2017," Forrester predicts that e-commerce will reach $371 billion by 2017, when it will account for 10% of all retail sales. The explosion of digital devices and media, open information, real-time word of mouth, and same-day delivery illustrate the landscape is still being created. Today's shopper is differen [...]


Study: Retail Website Page Load Times Are 47% Slower Than 2 Years Ago

slow-slugs-snails-600 According to a new report from Radware, the time it takes for a retail website to load is getting worse, with load times now 47 percent slower than in 2012. Analyzing the top 500 retail websites, Radware's Ecommerce Page Speed and Web Performance State of the Union report found the median load time for ecommerce home pages has reached 10 seconds, more than three-seconds slower than 2012's median load time of 6.8 seconds. Median Load Times for Retail Home Pages Since 2012: Radware also discovered that the median load time for the top 100 websites was seven percent slower than top 500. Acco [...]


Researchers Say Online Sales Tax Caused 10% Drop In Amazon Purchases

Amazon Logo A 42-page paper published by researchers from Ohio State University claims Amazon shoppers in states that have enacted online sales tax laws have reduced their spending on Amazon by 10 percent. Bloomberg.com reported on "The Amazon Tax" study which tracked the spending habits of 245,000 households that had spent at least $100 on Amazon during the first half of 2012 and followed their spending habits through 2013. According to the report, not only did spending drop 10 percent in the states with online sales taxes, but purchases totaling more than $300 plummeted 24 percent in those same st [...]


You Need More Than Just Google Analytics To Succeed Online

analytics-featured If you want your online business and campaigns to succeed, Google Analytics will not meet all of your measurement needs. That may seem like crazy thinking because GA has a huge array of capabilities. However, there are many areas where we have better tools for understanding visitor behavior such as interaction, user sentiment and impact from change. Without using these tools to gain insight, you will not be as successful as you can be. So, if GA isn't enough, where do we turn for gaining the insights we need into visitor behavior? I wish there was a single tool with everything ne [...]


3 Tips to Get Your Affiliate Network Working For You

shutterstock_171989792-gears-work Times are tough for affiliates. In February 2014, the affiliate channel accounted for only 7% of e-commerce transactions -- down from 9% in February 2013, and a drop in the bucket compared to major e-commerce traffic sources like organic search (24%), paid search (19%), and email (18%). The above figures come from The Custora Pulse, a free US e-commerce industry benchmark, aggregating transaction and customer data from over 100 US e-commerce retailers, developed and updated by e-commerce marketing analytics company Custora (disclosure: my employer). But don't go feeling bad for affili [...]


Report: February E-commerce Sales Up 10% Over Last Year, Outperforming US Retail Sales

ecommerce-shopping-credit-600 According to Custora's latest reports, last month's e-commerce revenue climbed 10 percent over February, 2013. The growth in online sales represents a significant increase compared to overall US retail sales which Custora says grew a meager 1.5 percent compared to last February. Tracking over 100 US retailers and 70 million shoppers, the report revealed transactions were also up 12 percent year-over-year, along with average order value which experienced a slight one-percent growth rate. Custora's numbers show mobile e-commerce continues to grow, with purchases made on smartphones and [...]


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