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Google Launches Free ‘Search As You Type’ Pilot for AdWords Customers

Google is looking to help Adwords customers convert better on their websites with the pilot program introduction of ‘Search As You Type‘ functionality for US based advertisers. Here’s a quick video from Google’s Commerce blog

This could be a great boon to any ecommerce site while larger sites can really benefit as this could streamline the product discovery process for site visitors.

The post says

The Search As You Type pilot is available to US-based AdWords advertisers for free, up to 25 million searches annually, after which licensing fees would apply.

Search As You Type uses Google’s predictive suggestions and instant product results to enhance a merchant’s existing website search functionality. When shoppers type a search query into a merchant’s site, Search As You Type shows them product suggestions and photos, making it faster and easier for people to spot the product they’re looking for and click through to make a purchase.

US Based Tumblr and Groupon Captivate European Women

Tumblr took top honors this week as one of the top 10 sites for European women on the basis of time spent.

According to comScore, the social, visual blogging network was primarily visited by women (69% of the mix) in May 2012, each woman spending an average of 71.1 minutes on the site. The only site that kept women around longer was Mail.ru, the online email and Russian social network provider. Average time spent there? 398.8 minutes. Wow.

Half of the top ten are retail sites including the the German retail site Otto Gruppe which came in number two. And look at good old Groupon, holding its own in Europe. I never would have guessed that.

The Rise of Couch Commerce (Infographic)

Online sales by way of a tablet has been dubbed Couch Commerce, but could as easily be called Bed Commerce since nearly equal numbers of people do it from either location. Then again, I suppose people could easily misconstrue “Bed Commerce” so it’s probably best that we stick with the couch.

The furniture in this equation is important because it represents a shift in how we shop online. There’s a psychological difference between sitting down at a desk and firing up the PC to shop, and sitting on the couch shopping while you watch TV in the evening. The size of the tablet and the touch screen makes it more engaging and since you’re sitting there watching a Storage Wars marathon anyway, there’s no need to rush. In other words, tablets turn shopping into entertainment and we humans do love to be entertained. (As evidenced by the fact that we’re watching Storage Wars.)

The Local Store Advantage In An Online World

Offline retailers have been struggling with the move by many consumers to doing their shopping online. The move online is continuing so rather than lick their wounds these supposed retailing dinosaurs are finding that they may actually have an advantage or two to exploit over the pure online play.

Many online retailers will put their hand on their belly, lean back and give their best “Oh, that’s rich!” accompanied by the look of derisive sarcasm at the mere thought that a physical store can be an integral part of the increasingly online world. If a recent article from the New York Times is to be believed that is a mistake of youthful arrogance that may come back to haunt them. With new attitudes and approaches even the practice of ‘showrooming’, where shoppers look at items in a store then buy them online from elsewhere, can be combatted.

Can eCommerce Thrive on Tumblr? One Company Says Yes

When looking to combine the power of social media with the revenue generation of ecommerce, Facebook would seem to be the place to go. However, attempts to sell actual goods through F-commerce haven’t fared all that well.

Pinterest seems the next logical choice, but monetization there is currently about affiliate links and nothing more.

Enter Coexist Digital and the Tumblr store.

I learned about this new venture from AdAge and I was fascinated, to say the least. Tumblr is one of those don’t care / can’t live without social sites, like LiveJournal. People who love it, really love it and they spend a good portion of their free time perusing the posts of others and adding to their endless stream of mostly graphical messaging.

Pinterest is the Fastest Rising Social Icon and Other Interesting Facts

If you want to know what’s happening in ecommerce marketing, all you need to do is crack open ExactTarget’s latest Subscribers, Fans & Followers report called Retail Touchpoints Exposed.

The report details the off-line, online, mobile and social media marketing efforts of the 100 hottest retailers. Today, we’re going to look at that last part and see what we can see.

At the start, it’s clear that social sharing is now a common factor in online marketing. 87% of the retailers promoted their Facebook pages and 84% promoted their Twitter account. Only 14%  displayed a Pinterest icon, but that number doubled in the time it took them to put their report together making it the fastest growing social icon on the web.

Why Shoppers Love Online Most of the Time

Nielsen published a simple chart today that defines how consumers feel about in-store, online, and mobile shopping.

What’s exciting to see, is that online shopping came out on top, beating the other two in three out of five categories.

Take a look at the chart and then we’ll talk.

Let’s work backwards starting with Safest. No surprise that mobile barely registers on the safe scale, but I’m surprised by how low online is as compared to in-store. It appears that people still worry about sending their credit card information into the great beyond, but they’re not afraid to hand their card over to a store. I’ve had my credit card information stolen only once and it happened when thieves siphoned off the data from my local grocery store.