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.

Ebay Pushes FedEx Shipping and Encourages Sellers to Take a Loss

When I first joined eBay, back in the late 90’s, it was all about the one-off auction. It was the place to go for a Lost in Space lunch box, a mint-in-box Barbie, or a rare Frankenstein poster. Back then, the majority of sellers were individuals looking to clean out their attic and make a little cash. It was the ultimate, online, treasure hunt for collectors like me.

While you still find this type of item on the site, they’re now buried under 50 listings of the same new DVD release, wholesale electronics, even listings from major retailers like Toys R Us.

That Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lair is pretty cool, but still, I don’t like this trend. With every step, eBay moves further and further away from their roots and closer and closer to becoming Amazon.com.

What Online Businesses Can Learn from the Hulu Plus Upgrade

Hulu, the online streaming video service, has just announced a snazzy new upgrade to go along with Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 8. Since I like Hulu, I thought I’d use their new design to point out some trends that online businesses can use to elevate their own branded properties.

It’s all about the grid

These days, website design is all about rows of graphical boxes that fit together like an old fashioned slider puzzle. We see it on Pinterest, the new MySpace, StumbleUpon and Facebook.

The new Windows 8 interface is all about the grid, using colorful boxes and graphics as navigational tools. Want to watch Family Guy on Hulu – click the box. No more tiny icons or long lists of links. This option works best with tablets and other touch screen technology, but the main point is that the grid is in.

In the World of Apps: Retention is Up But Frequency is Down

What’s the oldest app on your phone or tablet that you still use on a regular basis? Which app do you access most often?

According to Flurry, you probably chose two different apps because retention rate and frequency rate don’t usually go together.

Flurry created this chaotic chart which shows average app usage by category. Look it over and then we’ll discuss:

The top right corner, Quadrant 1, are the rare apps we use frequently and over a long period of time. Communication apps are accessed an average of 8.8 times a week. News gets a 5.2.

4 Out of 10 Consumers Will Start Holiday Shopping Before Halloween

The Ho Ho Ho-lidays are here! Yes, I know Halloween is still a week away, but according to the National Retail Federation, 41% of Americans have already started shopping for the holidays. (I’m almost done, how about you?)

Shopping early means you don’t have the benefit of all those steep Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but that doesn’t mean consumers are going to miss out. 36.6% of consumers said that sales and discounts would determine where they shop this year.

And here’s great news, 51.8% plan to shop online, buying an average of 38.8% of their gifts. Both of these numbers represent a jump up over last year. The forecast for the season? Cold and blustery with a 12% rise in online sales. That’s $96 billion dollars up for grabs, so make sure you get your cut.

New Study Says Men Want the Right Thing, Not Just the Newest Thing

Break Media has just released a new report called “The Definitive Guide to Men.” When I saw it, I thought I’d finally get the answers to the questions I’ve had burning in my heart for years — sadly, it’s only about men as consumers. That’s good for you, the marketer, but not as helpful for me, the woman.

But let’s not dwell on my disappointment. Let’s see what we can learn from this intimate look at the buying behaviors of the American male.

Break surveyed 2,000 men and found that the major of them were striving to be a “good guy.” They’re interested in doing what’s best for their family and their friends. They were willing to give up career goals in order to be more of a family man and 55% said they’d like to be a stay-at-home dad but they feel pressured to be the major breadwinner.

SoLoMo Infograph Shows Impact of Mobile and Social on Locale

If you own a small, brick and mortar or service business, you need to know about SoLoMo. Don’t worry, it’s not illegal, it’s not even really a secret, it’s just a cool acronym that combines three of the hottest trends in marketing – SOcial, LOcal, and MObile.

Last week, Frank asked the question, “Is Doing Mobile a No-Brainer for Your Company?” Well, of course it is. Everyone has to have mobile. . . because . . . look!

Gotta have a piece of that, right? But check out this block from the new Monetate infograph titled “Retailer’s Guide to SoLoMo.”

Ouch. That’s a lot of thought for only a 1% conversion. Maybe mobile isn’t the yellow brick road after all. But wait, before you fire your developer, take a look at this;