Groupon Now Gives Chicagoans Dinner for a Dollar

In order to promote their new Groupon Now service, Groupon is offering a number of dollar deals for folks in the Chicago area. $1 for $10 meal at Manny’s Coffee Shop and Deli, $1 for $18 at Baba Pizza and Pasta, or perhaps you’d like to pay $1 for beers at Grace Street Tap.

The promotion is running today only, but if it’s successful, it’s likely Groupon will repeat it when they open Now in other cities. It’s also assumed that Groupon is picking up the tab for the discount, but that’s not for sure.

Groupon Now is a variation on the daily deal site that preys on hungry, bored people who don’t want to plan ahead. It’s heavily mobile-dependent, using your current location to offer you deals in your area.

Which Traffic Source Has the Best Conversion Rate?

We spend a lot of time around here discussing the concept of whether or not social media marketing is worth the effort. We’ve seen reports that show that website traffic from social media networks is pretty low and I’m about to show it to you again. But this time, I’ll take it a step further thanks to the folks at SeeWhy.

SeeWhy studied a sampling of 60,000 ecommerce transactions across a variety of sites in February 2011. The first thing they did was chart where the traffic came from, but not all of the traffic. Since running an online store is about selling things, they looked at only the people who actually loaded items into their shopping cart. Here’s what they got:

Bezos Says Amazon Sales Tax is Unconstitutional

For awhile now, Amazon has been fighting the battle over the collection of sales tax. The simple version goes something like this. The rule up until now has been that if you don’t have a physical presence in a state, then a retailer does not have to charge sales tax when shipping to that state.

Now, some states are saying that having affiliates in a state, is equal to having a physical presence. One by one, states have been enacting this new law and one by one, Amazon has been canceling affiliate deals with people in those states.

Starbucks Teams Up with Lady Gaga

Starbucks has just announced that they’re teaming up with Lady Gaga. Yes, the woman who wore a dress made of raw meat to the VMA’s. The promotion will include exclusive videos and downloads through the Starbucks Digital Network and a Gaga scavenger hunt game across all of the store’s social networks.

Store appearances are not on the agenda, at least not until they can figure out how to create a dress out of coffee.

The announcement came shortly after Forbes listed Lady Gaga as the world’s most powerful celebrity, knocking Oprah down a peg. It was previously noted that the star would be teaming up with Farmville as well. So perhaps there’s a triple cross-over event in there somewhere.

Magazine Apps Have Readers Opting In and Coming Back

A new study by digital publisher YUDU, states that 40% of people who download a reader app register their personal information when given the option. It’s a surprisingly high number given all of the public outcry over privacy online and “do not track.”

Magazine apps had the highest opt-in rate at 41.48%,with brochure apps coming in just below that at 38.65% and catalog apps at 37.48%. YUDU thinks that the number of people opting-in to the sales apps is surprising in its own right. As a shopper, however, I see it the other way around. I’m happy to give a company my personal data if it’s going to help me buy a product I want, but why does a magazine need my address when it’s all digital?

8 Out of 10 Women Believe in Supporting a Cause

Cause marketing isn’t just for non-profits. Almost every high profile company has been involved in some kind of charity effort to the point where it can look more like a play to up profits and less like an honest attempt to do good.

If you’re involved in cause marketing, take a look at the results of this study by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication.

The study is called Dynamics of Cause Engagement and it explores a wide range of areas including, in this case, the differences between the sexes.

More than four in ten Americans (45%) are actively involved with supporting causes, and women make up a significantly larger part of this group than men.

Blip.TV Builds a Better Mouse Trap

Blip.TV has a new mission. They’ve turned the site into a consumer-facing repository for the best original shows on the web. They did this because, according to CEO Mike Hudack, no one else had done it, but I’m sure YouTube would argue the point.

What Hudack and his team really did, was build a better mouse trap, or in this case, a better original video viewing experience. They did it by honing in on what it is that annoys people about the current experience and that’s smart thinking.

Here are some of the points they addressed and how you can use their ideas to make your site better.

The entire site is curated by humans.