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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. . . Retailers Say Mobile is In, Social Media is Out

It’s August! That means it’s time to start thinking about that most wonderful time of the year. The holiday season is a time of giving, of peace, of ledgers in the black for the first time in nine months – so very exciting.

Baynote sent its minions out into the world to find out how retailers feel about the upcoming holiday buying season and here’s what they found out.

We start with the Holiday 2012 benchmark.

baynote holiday benchmark

$579.8 billion in sales with a huge rush in the two days leading up to Christmas.

38% of Baynote’s survey respondents said they expected to see an 11-20 percent increase in sales over last year. 22% were expecting to top a 21 percent increase.

Cross-Border Online Shopping: The Multi-Billion Dollar Oppourtunity

If you were an entrepreneur in the 15th Century, you would probably be a spice trader. These fellows hawked their barrels of cinnamon, cardamon and turmeric all over the globe in return for gold and native goods. (Which they’d then turn around and resell in their homeland as precious, foreign treasures.) They understood the value of taking an item commonly found in one country and selling it in another. They were only trying to make a buck, but the traders of the Spice Routes inadvertently helped the spread of culture, language and some amazing food.

Paypal just released a new report for Nielsen that looks at today’s cross-border selling as a modern version of the old Spice Routes – bringing culture and commerce to all parts of the globe.

Majority of Consumers Plan to Go Back to the Store for Back-to-School

1110956_pencilsThe average person divides the year into four seasons – winter, summer, spring and fall. But for retailers, the seasons are defined by the highpoints in the shopping cycle. Mother’s Day is over, as is 4th of July and that means it’s time for back-to-school.

Last year, consumers spent a total of $84 billion over seven weeks. This year, because unemployment is down and consumer sentiment is up, everyone is expecting to see an increase of around 4%. just published the results of their back-to-school survey and there was some good news and bad news.

First, they asked parents of school-aged children to estimate their total spend.

  • 21% will spend $1-$100
  • 22% will spend $101-$200
  • 21% will spend $201-$300
  • 8% will spend $301-$400

Study Looks at Why Most Consumers Still Won’t Buy Their Bananas Online

996981_clermont_ferrand_indoor_marketIt’s Wednesday. That means that as soon as I’ve finished this post, I’m in the car and on my way to pick up this week’s farm basket.

I belong to a CSA called Abundant Harvest Organics. Each week, the fine farmers fill my crate with a variety of just-picked fruits and vegetables then a truck delivers my crate to a local flower shop where I go to pick it up. Usually, while I’m out and about, I stop at the local grocery store to pick up ingredients to turn my fresh goodies into meals. The entire process takes a couple of hours and though I do like to grocery shop, I always come home feeling stressed about the time away from the computer.

New Study Shows Cultural Impact on Shopping Habits

It may be a small world but according to a new study by Nielsen shopping habits vary widely depending on your country of origin. Why is this important? Because to succeed in business these days, you need to move beyond borders, so keep these cultural variances in mind when promoting your company to folks on the other side of the world.

Deal Sensitivity

Everyone loves a bargain but in some countries the lack of a deal can be a deal breaker.

nielsen global shopping habits 1

Fancy Launches Affilate Program for Tumblr

According to comScore, Tumblr had 29.2 million unique visitors in March 2013. And in this case the word “unique” has double meaning. Tumblr people are younger and more creative than the folks you’ll see on the other, more popular social networks. Skimming through the site you’ll see endless streams of artwork, witty captions, sarcastic outbursts, and trends that are so new they’re not even a blip on Twitter’s radar.

Tumblr folks love fashion, design, color, and they love quirky which is why they’re a perfect match for

Fancy is a crowd-curated catalog of cool and offbeat things like wooden martini glasses and micro luggage scooter. The product photos are big and bold and they run top to bottom in traditional blogger style. The site looks like a Tumblr page only, you can buy things. Now, they’re bringing that same functionality to Tumblr with their Fancy Anywhere button.

17% of Ecommerce Merchants Don’t Know if They’re Optimized for Mobile

683316_mobile_communicationsI think every business should have a website. Small, big, brick and mortar retail, cafe or hair salon – the web is where people go to find you when they want something. Websites are inexpensive and easy to build so there’s no excuse for not having at least a single page with a map, hours and an explanation of what you do.

Next, you have to think mobile. Yesterday, I desperately wanted a cheesesteak but an errand took me to the other side of town from my local Philly’s Best. I knew it was a franchise, so I took out my phone and looked it up. Sure enough, there was another location just a few blocks away. I got my cheesesteak and that franchise owner got a new customer.