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 [...]


NeverWet Gets 30-Second TV Ad, But Product’s 5-Minute Demo Is Real Viral Sensation

neverwet-video-featured Can a simple product demonstration outperform a slick TV commercial? You bet, in the case of Rust-Oleum's NeverWet, the spray that seemingly causes anything to magically resist water. The product's five-minute YouTube video demo has had four million views since it was released a month ago, versus its new 30-second ad-agency produced commercial with at 600 views. The demonstration, which went up on June 16, has company employees, including the CEO, demonstrating various ways the NeverWet hydrophobic coating spray can be used, from waterproofing a toilet bowl scrub brush to coating the [...]


Nordstrom Takes Pinterest Engagement To New Level, Turns Most Pinned Items Into In-Store Displays

pinterest-nordtsrom-featured After Geekwire.com's report last week highlighting how Nordstrom is using  popular Pinterest items as display promotions in a select number of stores, we wanted to find out more on the retail giant's plans to transition their social media marketing efforts into actual in-store results. According to the report, the pilot program is running in 13 Nordstrom locations across the country, with Pinterest display promotions being tested in the dress, handbag and shoe departments. Products being tested include Pinterest signage with text reading, "Top Pinned Items" and the Nordstrom hashtag. [...]


Study: Email Lands More Customers Than Facebook Or Twitter, But Still Fewer Than Organic Search

email-marketing-featured A new report from marketing software provider Custora found that customer acquisitions gained via email marketing has quadrupled since 2009, with email delivering more customers than Facebook or Twitter. According to the report, email accounted for only .88 percent of online customers acquired in 2009, but that number grew to 6.84 percent by Q2 2013. Facebook and Twitter's combined customer acquisitions have accounted for less than one percent this year. Even after an upswing of nearly seven percent during the last four years, email still falls behind organic search, which has accoun [...]


Amazon Calls Minnesota Sales Tax Law Unconstitutional & Closes Minnesota Associate Accounts

amazon-logo The Minnesota Star Tribune reported today that Amazon is terminating all relationships with their Minnesota associates after the state's Governor Mark Dayton signed the Minnesota E-Fairness legislation. The new law classifies independent bloggers and online reviewers -- which will include websites that post links to online merchant sites in exchange for advertising fees -- as a physical presence of a business. The new legislation will force Amazon to collect taxes not only on any new sales generated by these websites, but on all sales in Minnesota. "The tax on online sales is already due [...]


Mobile Affiliate Traffic, Sales Reach All-Time Highs In May [Affiliate Window]

mobile-web-traffic-featured Mobile traffic and sales at affiliate websites hit all-time highs in May, according to the affiliate network Affiliate Window. The company shared its May stats this week, which show the increasing impact of mobile in the affiliate space: more traffic and more sales are coming from mobile devices than ever before. Affiliate Windows says it's recorded more mobile sales so far in 2013 than it did in the first 11 months of 2012. In May, there was a record of 572 sales per hour via mobile devices. Across its network, 18.16 percent of all sales in May were mobile. That's up from 16.48 perce [...]


Removing Marketing Silos To Better Understand The Customer Journey

[caption id="attachment_47842" align="alignright" width="279"] Image via shutterstock[/caption] Take a look around any marketing department today, and you’re likely to find clusters of marketers responsible for various functions such as display, targeting, search, and the affiliate channel. On the one hand, this allows you to cultivate teams with deep expertise in their areas of specialization. On the other hand, it creates silos that limit your ability to see the full scope of the customer’s journey. For example, your back-to-school campaign may be a full-on marketing push throug [...]


Marketplace Fairness Act Won’t Pass Says House Judiciary Chairman

tax-money-180px In an interview with Roanoke, VA NBC affiliate WSLS10, Representative Bob Goodlatte says it's unlikely the Marketplace Fairness Act will pass in the House. The act would require online businesses to collect sales tax even in states where they don't have a physical presence. The Republican Congressman from Virginia said the bill, which already passed in the Senate,  is unfair to consumers and that states should come to an agreement that leaves Congress out of the process. Admitting that's unlikely to happen, Goodlatte said House Republicans are working on their own version of the bill. [...]


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 [...]


Online Sales Tax: Why E-Commerce Companies Are On Both Sides Of The Debate

tax-money-180px If passed by the House, the Marketplace Fairness Act, which aims to level the playing field between online retailers and brick-and-mortar businesses, could go into effect as soon as this fall. As it stands now, the bill would require remote sellers, including online businesses, with gross receipts over $1 million to collect sales tax in qualifying states -- even in states where a business has no physical presence. There is a high level of industry debate over the bill, with e-tailers on either side of the issue. Will it be the panacea proponents claim, making sales tax collection fa [...]


Retail E-Commerce Spending Hits $50.2 Billion, First Time Ever To Hit $50 Billion In 2 Consecutive Quarters

ecommerce-online-sales-retail According to a new report from comScore, retail e-commerce spending reached $50.2 billion for the first quarter of 2013, surpassing the $50 billion mark for the second consecutive quarter on record after reaching $56 billion in Q4 2012. This is the fourteenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth and tenth consecutive quarter to earn double-digit growth, with sales up 13 percent for Q1 2013. While still strong, last quarter's 13 percent growth rate was slightly less than growth during previous quarters. "One potential explanation for this mild deceleration is the payroll tax increase [...]


Report: The Online Retailer With Highest Sales Growth In Last 10 Years Is? (Not Amazon)

money-growth-chart-featured Amazon.com is the poster child of e-commerce, having grown from a bookseller to a company that sells just about anything and everything (and even has its own mobile devices). But, according to a new report, Amazon doesn't own the best growth rate among online retailers over the past 10 years. That honor goes to Urban Outfitters. According to the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide, Urban Outfitters has experienced a 65.2 percent compound annual growth rate in the last decade -- putting it atop the rankings of online sales growth. Coming in second is the sports gear retailer Fanatics [...]


eMarketer: Mobile To Win 15% Of Online Retail Sales This Year

mobile-payment-wallet-featured A new report from eMarketer estimates that 15 percent of online retail sales will be made on a mobile device this year, climbing upwards of $39 billion by the end of 2013. The majority of sales will be made from a tablet with only 35 percent of m-commerce happening via a smartphone. This year's expected m-commerce sales reflect an 11 percent increase from 2012. Total m-commerce sales are projected to reach 25 percent by 2017, topping out at $108 billion in the next four years. This year's $39 billion in retail m-commerce sales is nearly triple the amount earned in 2011. According to [...]


Shopping.com Rebrands As eBay Commerce Network: What It Means

ebay-logo-240px Shopping.com, is rebranding as the eBay Commerce Network. The move marks the site's transformation from shopping comparison engine to e-commerce advertising platform, where scale is the goal. In an email notice to current Shopping.com merchants eBay VP, Gautam Thakar wrote, "This new name more accurately reflects who we are today. As an eBay company for the past 8 years, we have evolved from our legacy as a comparison shopping site into a robust commerce network. Our strategy and investments are focused on enhancing and scaling this network." Merchants advertising on the eBay Commerce Ne [...]


Blurring Online And Offline, Google Tests Same Day Delivery With “Shopping Express”

Google Shopping By some measures, e-commerce is doing very well. This past year, US retail e-commerce hit $186.2 billion, according to comScore. The firm added that Q4 was the first $50 billion quarter, which was also the "ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth." However, things are not all smiles and good cheer in e-commerce land. Relatively soon, sales tax for online purchases will be commonplace (as it now is in California), removing one of e-commerce's key advantages over traditional retail. Taxes are coming because e-commerce is now perceived as relatively stable, strong and mature (no l [...]


Rumor: Google Creating Amazon Prime Competitor Including Same Day Delivery

Google Shopping According to TechCrunch, Google is creating an Amazon Prime competitor. The two twists are: it will apparently be cheaper and also offer same-day delivery from selected brick-and-mortar retailers. TechCrunch says the new service will be called "Google Shopping Express." Apparently stores like Wal-Mart and Target are some of the potential offline retail partners. If any part of this is true (and it's likely that there's at least some truth to what TechCrunch is reporting) it's very interesting. Google is stepping up its campaign against Amazon, the undisputed king of online e-commerce. If [...]


Report: Worldwide Online Sales Topped $1 Trillion For First Time In 2012

Ecommerce Worldwide e-commerce sales surpassed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2012, according to a new eMarketer estimate out today. The research firm estimates that B2C online sales grew 21.1 percent last year to $1.097 trillion. Leading the way was the US e-commerce industry, which grew 13.9 percent to an estimated sales total of $364.66 billion. EMarketer expects that to grow in 2013 to just above $409 billion. Despite that growth, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow even faster and take over the top spot in online sales in 2013 - with an estimated 33.4 percent of all e-comm [...]


Study: M-Commerce Ticket Sales Less Than 10 Percent Of Total

smartphones Depending on your perspective, mobile sales of 5 percent to 10 percent are either disappointing or promising. However that's what Retention Science found in analyzing roughly $40 million of US sports and concert ticket sales during the first eight months of 2012. The following chart shows three groups of ticket buyers. Essentially, they're grouped into categories depending on when they bought their tickets (early, middle, late relative to the event). Regardless, the percentage (of even late purchasers) who converted on mobile devices is pretty consistent -- less than 10 percent. Sou [...]


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