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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.

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