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Facebook Pulls Physical Gifts From Gifting Program: Guess Why

choose a giftFacebook has learned an interesting lesson: people don’t like to buy physical things for people in their virtual network.

A year ago, they opened the Facebook Gift Shop where you could purchase actual items to send to your online friends. Birthday reminders came with a small push to gift but in the end less than 20% of users took advantage of the service.

People did use the gifting service to send digital gift cards to friends so Facebook is going to continue that part of the service.

The whole concept was an interesting experiment but this screengrab includes a clue to the future of the service.  Digital gifts are listed under the heading “Instant Gratification” and that pretty much says it all.

Groupon Launches Partner Network, So Daily Deals Aren’t Dead?

Groupon affiliateMy how internet time flies. In a few short years, Groupon went from being one of the fastest growing internet businesses to one of the biggest internet business disasters. Small businesses blamed the company for roping them into deals that hurt rather than helped, stock prices dropped 89%, then CEO and co-founder Andrew Mason was fired fueling the rumors that Groupon was going down.

Now, Groupon is fighting back with the formation of the shiny, new Groupon Partner Network.

Groupon already has affiliate deals in place with, I’m guessing, 1,000’s of partners, but they were always run through a third party such as Commission Junction. With this new program, Groupon is taking control of everything from the banners to the stats to the payouts.

Back-to-School Survey Shows Most Shoppers Go Mobile from Home

Yes, I’m here with another back-to-school survey. This one is from PriceGrabber and when you boil it down, it’s says the usual – parents are looking online for deals and they really like Facebook. But there’s a box on the accompanying infographic that I’d like to discuss.


Let’s get a few facts straight first. PriceGrabber surveyed 1,937 US online shopping consumers for this report. Important word – online. They didn’t call people without computers to find out how they plan to back-to-school shop, so obviously this report skews high on the e-commerce side.

I’m okay with that because I think the numbers are still good. Here’s why: check out the honest answer in the lower right corner.

Will buyers use their smartphones to shop in 2013?

CafePress Moves Forward with New Social Commerce Tools and Smart Product Engine

cafepressWhen you create a product, you have to dump a ton of money into the start-up costs. Since you have to factor the costs for the original design, the printing screens, etc over the cost of the entire run, the item cost goes down as your quantity goes up. This is great for companies who sell their shirts at Hot Topic but not so good for the gal who wants to make 10 shirts for the family reunion.

Enter CafePress. They went online in 1999 as a viable option for small runs. They had the technology to turn out T-shirt, tote-bags and coffee mugs on demand at a high but not too high price. That made it the perfect printer for the Shiny Shoes Bowling League, Patty’s Preschool and the Miller family reunion.

Run an Online Store? There’s a Fifty Percent Chance Your Customer is On Mobile

mm mobile retailHere’s a crazy fact for Monday morning: The amount of time spent in retail content on smartphones has grown 385% since 2010 and combined, more time is now spent on smartphones and tablets than desktop.

Here’s the proof in blue, green and orange.

The numbers, and the graphic, both come from Millennial Media’s newest Mobile Intel Series report. This one is all about the retail sector and it’s full of interesting tidbits for online sellers.

For example, did you know that the mobile retail audience skews slightly male. Most are 18 – 44 (with 25 – 34 being the optimal age) and more than half have an income greater than $75,000.

When deciding whether or not to buy something via their smartphone, customers take several factors into consideration. I’ll bet you can guess which factor tops the list. . .

Customers Say Amazon Provides the Best Online Experience. Who Provides the Worst?

Tempkin Group caught up with 10,000 people who had interacted with a website in the prior 60 days and asked this question:

Thinking back to your most recent interaction with the websites of these companies,  how satisfied were you with the experience?

The respondents rated their experience on a scale from 1 to 7 and Tempkin averaged out the results to arrive at this — a list of the best and worst on the internet by customer experience.


No one scored 100% but Amazon took the top slot with a 77% rating, a full 2 percentage points higher than the next guy in line USAA Bank.

Though they landed in the 70% or under category, these companies still had at least 10 points over their competition: Kaiser Permanente, Advantage Rent A Car, eBay, QVC, Sonic Drive-In, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity Investments.

Amazon’s New Collections Feature Could Be a Hot Spot for Retailers

Amazon has quietly launched a new feature called Collections that asks users to create themed boards with their favorite products.  The end result is the usual, grid–style, graphics heavy page but with one big twist — these images lead the consumer right back to the Amazon shopping page where they can buy the item with one more click.

Amazon collections

TechCrunch says Amazon has been testing the program for awhile, that they even had bloggers test driving Collections earlier this year. Now, it looks like they’re ready for the big push because even I have a My Collections link under the Account tab when I log in.