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Is Amazon’s Sunday Delivery Scheme a Good Idea or Just PR?

o9rdPbSAmazon made a big noise this week when they announced Sunday delivery courtesy of the US Post Office. It sounds like a monumental move – no one delivers packages on Sunday, not Fedex, not UPS. And the US Postal Service has been fighting to eliminate Saturday mail delivery but now they’re going to add a day instead?

The reality is that Saturday delivery is costing the post office a fortune but Sunday delivery will be profitable since Amazon is presumably spending a pretty penny to make it happen.

But Sunday mail delivery is like opening a retail store on Thanksgiving in order to capitalize on Black Friday. Sure, it may be profitable but there’s a large portion of the American population that thinks it’s simply not right. I wonder how the mailmen (and women) feel about having to work Sundays.

Study Shows the Old Fashioned Print Catalog is Good for Internet Sales

1962-sears-christmas-bookWhen I was little, my sisters and I nearly burst with excitement when the Sears Christmas Wish Book landed on our doorstep. We’d sit together on the couch and slowly go through it page by page (even the boring pages because the anticipation was part of the fun), working our way back to the toy section. We’d play “pick,” choosing our favorite item on each page as if we were creating the world’s biggest wish list.

I wonder if today’s kids feel that way about the Toys R Us catalog that shows up in the Sunday newspaper?

The excitement level may not be the same but a study by global management consulting firm Kurt Salmon shows that print catalogs actually help boost online sales.

Men Go Mobile in a Big Way this Holiday Season

It’s that time of year when hundreds of holiday shopping surveys and infographics are released into the wild, wild, web. It’s quite a sight – so many numbers and percents in a wide variety of colors and sizes. We can’t spend time with all of them, but in the coming weeks, we’ll take a closer look at a few of them in the hope that you’ll find an inspirational nugget to inspire you during this competitive season.

Today, we have the Burst Media “Spending Season 2013″ infographic. This one is simple and clean. Nothing special graphics wise but there’s a particular segment that caught our eye:

burst media mobile shoppers 2013

Mobile Users Plan Plenty of Game Time While Shopping for the Holidays

game playing this seasonYou know what they say, all shopping and no play makes Jack a prime target for marketers. But this holiday season, Tapjoy says marketers should combine both shopping and play for an even bigger payday.

First, let’s be clear about who came up with these numbers. Tapjoy’s business is mobile, in-game advertising, so keep that in mind as you view their results. (Not saying they’re not legit results. . . just want to be clear.)

They¬† conducted a survey on their platform to find out more about mobile holiday shopping habits. It’s interesting to note that 62% of the respondents were male.

Even though men are traditionally known as last minute shoppers, almost three quarters of the respondents said they’d begin shopping before December 1. With Hanukkah coming in November this year, we should see an earlier than usual spike in holiday shopping.

Holiday Survey Shows Good Customer Service Equals Repeat Business

Tis the seasonIt’s November 1st! So let’s kick off this holiday shopping season with a jolly infographic from PriceGrabber.

For their Winter Holiday Shopping Survey, PriceGrabber asked 2,887 US online shopping consumers about their plans for the next few weeks. The most significant piece of data to come out of the survey is this:

69% of consumers plan to shop at the same retailers as they did last year.

When asked why, 70% said they would remain loyal to certain retailers because of good customer service.

This is significant because customer service is the one area where a smaller retailer has a chance of beating the big boys. Small retailers can’t slash prices to match Walmart. They certainly can’t price competitively and still offer free shipping. And they can’t beat the selection at Amazon. But they can go above and beyond to make sure their customers find great gifts without a lot of effort.

eBay’s New Curated Collections Could Lead to Big Sales for Sellers

In their never-ending quest to become more than just an auction site, eBay has launched a new feature that is both familiar and unique. It’s called Collections – curated boards of related (or not so much) items culled from a variety of eBay sellers. Unlike eBays traditional listings, the photos are big, bold and. . . (we’re all thinking it, so why not say it) Pinterest-like.

ebay collections

At a glance, Collections are trendy and cool looking. eBay stacked the deck by employing 200 “celebrity” trendsetters to curate the first batch of boards. Sadly, I must not be hip enough because I only recognized two names in the long list eBay included in the press release; Pharrell Williams and Solange Knowles. Alexandra Cousteau is also on the list. I wondered if she was related to the famed man of the sea, so I searched her name on Google and found this at the top of the page:

This Holiday Season, the Internet is the Number One Place to Shop

For the first time in the history of the Deloitte Annual Holiday Survey, the internet came out on top as the place to shop for the holidays.

In prior years, discount / value department stores reigned supreme, but this year they fell 7% to the number two spot.

delloitte holiday 2013


Note that shoppers will hit an average of 4.5 different venues before settling in for a long winter’s nap with a total buying power of $421. Last year, the average shopper only spent $386 on holiday gifts.¬† One word of caution here. This survey was conducted in mid-September so it’s possible – maybe even likely – that the recent government shut down could eat into this rise in spending.