Marketing Pilgrim's "eCommerce" Channel

Sponsor Marketing Pilgrim's eCommerce Channel today! Get in front of some of the most influential readers in the Internet and social media marketing industry. Contact us today!

Girl Scouts Shut Down Reality Star (?) For Selling Cookies Online

girl-scouts-cookies-vintage-photosShocking news. The Girl Scouts slapped down reality star Honey Boo Boo for selling cookies online!

Incredibly, this isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned the low brow, precocious pageant princess on Marketing Pilgrim, but I believe it’s the first time I wrote a piece based on a tip from TMZ. For that, I apologize, but I think there’s something worth discussing here.

The story goes like this: little Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo), posted a banner on her official Facebook page offering to sell autographed boxes of Girl Scout cookies by mail.

Alana is not a Girl Scout. She was selling the cookies on behalf of a friend and the instructions clearly stated that money orders were to be made out to the troop. She was doing a good deed but the Girl Scouts made her stop.

Warning: Using a Mobile Phone While Shopping Leads to Unplanned Purchases

ipsos reason cloudA new IAB study offers more proof that offline retailers needn’t fear the mobile shopper. Sure, they may be using their phone to see if they can find a better price online, but one third of those showroomers made an in-store purchase anyway.

The new report, which was compiled by IpsosMediaCT, doesn’t deny the fact that mobile encourages online shopping, it does reveal a few bright spots for offline retailers.

First off, let’s be clear about the numbers. Only 31% of consumers use a mobile device while shopping in a store. I say “only” because that means that the majority of consumers who walk through your door are going to follow traditional shopping behaviors.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore the wants and needs of the mobile shopper, but it’s good to have perspective.

Holy Impulse Buying! American Express Launches Twitter Shopping

amex syncHave you ever skimmed your Twitter feed and thought, wow, if only I could buy an Amazon Kindle just by replying to a Tweet? No? Me, neither. But American Express is making it happen anyway with Amex Sync for stuff. (That’s not exactly what they call it, but it fits.)

Here’s how it works. You see an offer on the American Express Twitter feed that you want. You Tweet using the assigned hashtag. Confirm your Tweet and bam, the item is on its way to you.

It’s a little more complicated than that – but not much, and that’s both cool and scary.

About Report Details the Evolution of the Purchase Funnel

220px-Purchase-funnel-diagram.svgElias St. Elmo Lewis mapped out the route that potential customers take prior to purchasing a product. It’s referred to as the Purchase Funnel because it’s depicted as an inverted triangle funneling folks down to the moment they pull out their wallet. There are four steps in the process:

  • Awareness – the customer is aware of the existence of a product or service
  • Interest – actively expressing an interest in a product group
  • Desire – aspiring to a particular brand or product
  • Action – taking the next step towards purchasing the chosen product

Mr. St. Elmo Lewis came up with this idea in 1898, slightly before the invention of the internet.

Since then, things have changed a little and that’s the subject of About.com’s latest report which they call “The Purchase Loop.”

Multiple Balances, One Gift Card: Facebook Introduces a New Piece of Plastic

facebook gift cardAll hail the guy who invented the gift card. These nifty bits of plastic allow you to buy what you want with someone else’s money. It doesn’t get better than that.

The only downside to gift cards is that you have to carry them in your wallet, remember to use them and mentally keep track of how much is left on each one. Facebook has a solution – sort of.

Introducing the Facebook Card, which isn’t what you think it is when you hear the name.

The Facebook Card is a gift card that has nothing to do with Facebook except that you buy it through the site. Here’s how it works:

Experts Predict 14 Billion Dollar Increase in Mobile Commerce in 2013

sephora to goMobile has been very, very good to beauty product retailer Sephora. Speaking at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2013 conference, exec Johnna Marcus noted that the company saw a 167% increase in mobile orders last year, a 75% rise in mobile traffic and more than 50% of their email opens are now coming in from mobile devices.

Their goal is to develop mobile as a consumer’s personal shopper delivering reviews, keeping track of preferred brands and highlighting hot, new items on an on-going basis. They’re also highly invested in the concept of a mobile wallet that integrates with the Sephora gift card. And see that scan button in the upper corner of the app? That allows consumers to scan barcodes on in-store packages or items in their girlfriend’s purse in order to instantly see reviews and buying options. It’s a make-up lovers dream.

Consumers Don’t Trust Reviews But They’re Swayed by Them Anyway

shandwick - consumer review 2Like most people who shop online, I pay attention to the reviews posted about an item before I make the decision to buy. It seems like the prudent thing to do except for one thing – reviews are notoriously inaccurate. I was looking at laptops last week and my first choice had reviews that ranged from “Excellent computer for the price” to “Piece of garbage” with little in between.

In the past week, I’ve seen a review on a book the reviewer didn’t read and I saw a DVD review where a woman gave it 1 star because she bought the wrong item. Add in all the phony, paid for positive reviews and you definitely can’t believe what you read. Still, a recent study by Weber Shandwick shows that 65% of potential consumer electronics buyers were inspired to consider a different brand after reading a review.