About Cynthia Boris

Cynthia Boris is a freelance writer, social media consultant and a firm believer that content is still king. A former magazine staff writer and book author, she now devotes all of her time to the world wide web.

Small Business mobile is on the rise while check-in apps fall behind

Constant Contact Mobile MadnessIt took some time but small businesses are finally seeing the power in going mobile. A new infographic from Constant Contact shows that over three-quarters (77%) of small businesses are now using mobile technology, an 11% jump from 2013.

One of the biggest areas of growth is the mobile optimized website. Last year, only 34% of SMBs were mobile ready. This year, it’s 60%. And additional 32% say they’ll have their site optimized within the next six months.

It’s a huge mind-set change and you can see it in these two numbers.

  • In 2013, 28% of small business owners said they had no plans to optimize their website for mobile.
  • In 2014, only 8% said no to mobile optimization.

Facebook launches Internet.org app, bringing vital data to the world

internet-org-app11I’m US-centric. I admit it. I try to think globally. I try to remember that there are millions of people in the world who don’t have what I have but it’s easy to forget. When the car breaks down I forget that there are people who don’t have a car or access to any means of transportation beyond their own two feet. People with kids who can’t get them to a doctor. People with crops that are failing because they don’t have the technology they need to fix what’s wrong.

But today, I’m taking off my “the sarcasm is strong with this one” shirt and putting on my “whoohoo!” shirt in honor of Facebook’s new Internet.org app. Yes, I’m applauding Facebook.

F-commerce takes another hit; Facebook shuts down Gifts

FB GiftsIt seemed like a good idea. Facebook already reminds you when a friend is having a birthday, so why not give users the ability to send a gift with a click! It’s so intuitive, I almost did it when I saw the birthday reminder in my sidebar. (Happy Birthday, Chrissy!) Almost – but I didn’t because I started thinking about the process. How would I pay for it. How would she get the code? What if she doesn’t log-on to Facebook? Why don’t I just buy an Amazon gift certificate from Amazon and send it via email?

The Facebook route is actually easier but it feels less secure. I know, I just went on a rant about how online is more secure than offline but it’s all about perception.

How mobile and digital are impacting back-to-school sales

Deloitte Back to School Infographic 3Even if you don’t have school-age children, you can’t help but get caught up in this time of year! Pencils. Notebooks. 3-Ring binders and paste. Wait. . . do kids still use paste in school? That thick stuff that looks like sticky marshmallow fluff? (Extra points if you remember that brown liquid glue that came with the chisel tip, rubber top.)

I know I’m always singing the “Times Have Changed” blues, but it’s true. Even back-to-school shopping isn’t what it used to be and I have Deloitte to back me up on that.

Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Retail & Distribution practice leader says;

The secret to Pinterest: no faces and new heights [Infographic]

Ripen Pinterest Infographic 2A psychologist could spend a month explaining why we’re attracted to certain types of photos but we haven’t got that kind of time. What we do have is a new infographic from Ripen eCommerce that shows us which kinds of Pinterest pins are more likely to succeed.

Before I give away the secrets, let’s talk about why Pinterest is an important tool for eCommerce sellers.

The average check-out value of a Pinterest customer is $140 – $180 dollars that’s about double Facebook and way higher than Twitter. With more than 2.5 million page views per month, Pinterest is the second highest referral platform after Facebook.

Three stars for Google’s new Product Listing Ad rating system

File this one under: you mean that wasn’t there yesterday?

I would have sworn that Google sponsored results always had star ratings on them but apparently not – because Google just introduced the star rating system as if it were a brand new product.

Sofia the First

Tada! Product Listing Ads will now have happy stars underneath each qualified item. (Note that one retailer has no stars. . . why is that. . . let’s investigate. . . )

First, the facts. Star ratings and review counts will appear on both Google searches and on Google.com/shopping.

The data is aggregated from multiple sources including “merchants, third party aggregators, editorial sites and users.”

Majority of YouTube gamers say no to pay for play

The FTC says it’s okay for bloggers and YouTubers to accept money and free products in return for a review as long as those facts are clearly disclosed. So it’s legal – but is it ethical?

Gamasutra surveyed more than 100 YouTubers who specialize in video game coverage and asked them if they’ve ever been paid for coverage and here’s what they found out:

gamasutra pay for play

The chart is divided into two sections; YouTube channels with less than 5,000 subscribers and those with more. Under 5,000, only a tiny percentage have ever been paid to play. Clearly that’s the breaking point for video game companies. Over 5,000, the majority still say no but 21% said yes.