Smartphones Are From Mars, Tablets Are From Venus

Before I bought my iPad, I thought tablets were just over-grown iPhones; bigger screen and keyboard (nice) but too bulky to fit in my purse (not so nice.) Then I bought one and everything changed. Certainly, there’s a quantity of crossover between the two mobile devices but a year down the road, each one has its own purpose in my mind.

Phone calls, texting, coupon apps and music are all a part of my iPhone. Social TV apps, online shopping, writing, and video are all handled by my iPad. And then there are games. I have games on both devices but 90% of the time, I’m playing them on my tablet.

What’s the rest of the world doing? Have a look at this chart from Flurry.

In Case of Emergency: Do You Have a Plan?

Between Hurricane Sandy in the East and the recent 7.7 earthquake and tsunami warning in the West, it’s starting to feel like the end is nigh. But soon, it will be back to business as usual for most of us. That’s the good news. The bad news is that day may be further away than we’d like.

Even if you’re not in the path of the storm, Hurricane Sandy is going affect you. Here are a few things to think about to help lessen the storm’s impact on your online business.

Shipping:

We know from what happened after Hurricane Irene, shipping services are going to slow down and in some cases even stop for a number of days. That means checks that you expect to get in the mail won’t arrive on time and inventory shipments will be delayed as well.

Consumers Pay More Attention to Celebrity Gossip Than They Do to Online Ads

Wow. Harsh.

And if you think that’s bad, check this out:

I’m glad to know that so many people are paying attention to the speed limit and their spouses, but Online Ads come in below Celebrity Gossip. I’m hurt by that. Not shocked, but hurt.

This new data comes from Adobe’s “The State of Online Advertising” report and you have to give them points for creativity. There are only so many ways you can say people dislike online advertising and we’ve heard them all before. Still, it’s my job to bring you the latest research, so let’s mine for interesting nuggets. How about this:

When asked what kind of ads they favor, the majority of consumers (45%) said ads in print magazines. (Who said print is dead?)

Consumers Warm Up to the Idea of Varied Pricing Per Channel

Want to pick up a new Kindle Fire this weekend? You can get one from Staples for the same price as Amazon, but you’ll get a $20 Staples gift card as a bonus. Only thing is, you can only get the deal if you go to the store because they’re not available through Staples.com.

That’s a better scenario than when you research an item online then go to buy it at the store only to find the price is higher. The logic is that it costs more to run a store, so they have to charge more. Even if it’s true, is that good business?

A recent study by RetailWire shows that almost half of consumers surveyed said it was fine for retailers to price things differently online and off. Which means almost an equal number said prices should be the same across all channels.

As Thanksgiving Day Sales Become the Norm, We’re Left to Wonder What’s Next?

In 2011, consumers using RetailMeNot.com reported saving more on Thanksgiving than they did on Black Friday. Additionally, consumers using RetailMeNot.com spent 5% more on average per order on Thanksgiving than on Black Friday.

That tidbit comes from the WhaleShark report with the long-winded but accurate title of “OctoNovemCemberTM: Why an Unsteady Economy Is Causing Consumers to Search for Deals Long Before Black Friday.”

What it means is that the retailers who were vilified last year for daring to put profits above family time went laughing all the way to the bank when it opened the next day. Even more retailers pushed their Black Friday opening times back from ‘crack of dawn’ to ‘stroke of midnight’ to make the whole event even more tiresome and exciting.

Real Models and Video Boost Online Apparel Sales

Buying clothes online is hard. Just because you wear a size 9, doesn’t mean you’ll look good in every size 9 dress. And more than once, I’ve bought a piece of clothing that looks luxurious online, only to find that it looks and feels cheap in person. Unlike one-size-fits-all DVDs and books, people want to touch clothes and try before they buy because we’re emotionally attached to what we wear. Don’t believe it? Ask a woman which outfit in her closet makes her feel good, which one is for bad days and which one is for those “feeling fat” days. (Men, do you do this, too?)

Coupons.com Adds Retail Discount Codes to Passbook

Passbook is one of those iOS apps that is better in theory than in reality. The concept is a version of the digital wallet. Instead of holding your money, it holds on to all those plastic loyalty cards, tickets for movies and concerts, even airline boarding passes. Easy digital access to those bits of paper you’re always fumbling to find. Neat.

In reality, Passbook is a barely there app that only works in conjunction with a limited number of partners. If you fly often or go to more than a few ticketed events per month, it’s a handy app. But this isn’t an optional download, it’s part of the official iPhone landscape so it ought to serve more people than that.