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 [...]


As Mobile Revolutionizes Commerce, How Marketers Are Taking Advantage

AmericanApparel-ShoppingAssistant How many of your daily tasks would be nearly impossible (or at least more difficult) without mobile devices, e-mail and the internet? It's tough to imagine accomplishing even the simplest of tasks, especially when it comes to buying and selling goods. Mobile has revolutionized commerce, including the way consumers engage, research and ultimately purchase products. On the flip side, advertisers now have more ways to reach and influence their audiences. Retailers are now witnessing first-hand how traditional "brick-and-mortar" ideology is rapidly transforming into a new "brick-and-click" real [...]


Putting The “R” Into E-Tail: Adopt A Holistic Retail Marketing Approach

Tablet There are a few "signs of the times" that most retailers would agree on: Online sales as a percentage of total sales is growing for all retailers Amazon is a competitor for all retailers Showrooming -- the practice of looking at something in a store and then buying it cheaper online -- is becoming increasingly common However, the strategies for online and offline sales are often completely different, and companies are struggling to create a cohesive experience within the two. Even Apple only brought its offline and online stores together in Q4 2013 when they hired Angela Ahrendt [...]


Conversion Optimization For E-Commerce Shopping Carts

shoppingcart E-commerce websites come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: the shopping cart. For something that is so easy to do in real life, the online shopping experience is usually done so badly you'd think some companies were trying to turn away shoppers. Those companies that get it right find themselves on the Internet Retailer 1000 list. When you don't have an e-commerce team to make regular changes and ensure that people find what they want and buy more stuff, what should you be doing to increase conversions? When 1% Means 6 Figures You need to create a clear pictur [...]


E-commerce Sales Up 8% In January, With 20% Of Mobile Orders Happening On An Android

ecommerce-online-sales-retail Marketing analytics firm Custora says US e-commerce sales were up eight percent this January over January 2013. While combined offline and online transactions were down 0.4 percent last month compared to a year ago, Custora claims January was a strong month for e-commerce, with a 6 percent increase in traffic to e-commerce stores. Based on e-commerce transactions from over 100 retailers and 70 million shoppers, Custora's data also revealed a slight increase in the average conversion rate last month, holding at 2.2 percent compared to 2.1 percent in January 2013. Mobile accounted for a [...]


Rise Of The Real-Time Inbox: The Opportunity For Email Marketers In 2014

email-marketing-globe-world-featured Before the advent of the internet, marketers relied on snail mail to reach audiences in mass quantities, not knowing for certain whether the people they targeted would even be interested in what they had to offer. Thankfully, the digital era has simplified the process of reaching audiences through other channels like email, social and mobile, and has provided the data necessary to know generally what that person will be interested in. Yet, even in this digital age, marketers are missing opportunities to provide targeted and relevant messages to each individual customer or prospect. As the s [...]


Fancy.com Screenshot Shows How Twitter E-Commerce Might Work

Twitter logo If a screenshot found today on Fancy.com's website is accurate, the company may be close to partnering with Twitter to bring e-commerce to individual tweets. Re/code broke the news this afternoon of a program called Twitter Commerce and reported that Fancy.com would be at least one of the consumer-facing partners that would make shopping from a tweet reality. Fancy.com's part of the program is detailed in publicly available image that Re/code discovered on Fancy.com's website. The image was available at s3.amazonaws.com/twitter_fancy/Twitter-Fancy-storyboard.png but has since been remove [...]


Why And How Brands Must Go Omni-Channel in 2014

ML Display Stats Jan 2014 copy You visit your favorite retailer's website. Upon your arrival, the site drops cookies on your browser. Next thing you know, you're seeing a television ad promoting deals available via the retailer's mobile app. And before you know it, you are accessing information on your mobile device and then visiting the brick-and-mortar store. As you browse through the store, you look up products online and perhaps even scan a QR code in search of a deal. Meet the omni-channel consumer -- you. In MIT's recent report, "Beyond the Checkout Cart," the omni-channel consumer is the central force shaping the [...]


Holiday Mobile Orders Shot Up 50 Percent In 2013; Social Commerce Remains Negligible, Organic Still Dominates

Ecommerce More than one in four US e-commerce orders this holiday season came from mobile devices. Custora released its complete E-Commerce Pulse data for the 2013 holiday season, an update of its post-Cyber Monday report that showed record sales in the US. This final analysis looks at e-commerce performance between November 1st through December 31st, highlighting Black Friday, Cyber Monday and online's last-minute rush period between December 12 through 18. Overall, holiday online orders are estimated to be up 12 percent over 2012, compared to just three to four percent growth estimated for total US [...]


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 [...]


Mobile Affiliate Sales Hit All-Time High Of 27% In December, Affiliate Window Says

affiliate-marketing-featured More evidence of the big shift to mobile in 2013: Affiliate Window, an affiliate network based in the US and UK, says that sales made via mobile devices hit an all-time high of 27.09 percent in December. That's almost double the 14.77 percent that mobile sales accounted for in January 2013. In fact, when we last checked in with Affiliate Window in May 2013, mobile sales were at a then-record of 18 percent. (The company says it's now using an improved tracking system, and that figure from May has been revised upward to 19 percent.) Since May, mobile sales through Affiliate Window's net [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


An Expensive E-Commerce Game: Product Page Roulette

image_thumb41 Like so many online shoppers, we sometimes have trouble making buying decisions here at Conversion Sciences. However, most online shoppers don't have access to the special tools we have here in the lab. This is a story about how we used our optimization tools to tell us which website we should buy from. There are some important lessons here for you if you work on an e-commerce site. Roulette is a game of chance. Your product pages shouldn't be a game of chance. Product Page Roulette is a geeky game we invented to tell us which sites are gambling and which are changing the odds by testing [...]


The Future Of Internet Sales Tax: What’s Next After The Supreme Court’s Denial Of Amazon, Overstock Appeals?

law-legal-concept This week, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals filed by Amazon and Overstock.com that challenged the ability of states to collect sales tax on items sold online by out-of-state retailers. The appeals stem from New York's passing of what has become known as the "Amazon Tax," which expands the definition of  nexus to include in-state affiliate marketers. Amazon and Overstock.com claimed the expanded interpretation of nexus violates Constitutional interstate commerce law and due process. The retail giants point to the US Supreme Court's 1992 ruling in favor of mail-order business Qu [...]


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 [...]


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