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Shopping Engagement: Facebook Has the Reach but Pinterest Has the Passion

When it comes to online shopping neither Facebook nor Pinterest has had much success with conversions, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Bizrate Insights asked consumers to list the reasons they use either of the social sites, then they compared the results with this handy-dandy chart.

Users of both sites found them to be entertaining and a good place to connect with people who have similar interests. But after that, it’s all Pinterest. Look at the second set of bars. 70% of Pinterest users said the site inspires them to buy things. That’s huge.

Shoppers Use Mobile for Deals and Research But Rarely to Buy

Every year, we expect mobile to become an even more significant factor in holiday shopping but its use is still far from mainstream.

According to Marketlive’s 4th Annual “Mindset of a Multi-Channel Shopper” survey only 16% of shoppers plan to do all or most of their shopping with a mobile device. That is up 3% from last year, but given the flood of tablets and smartphones on the market, shouldn’t that number be higher?

There was a significant increase in the number of shoppers using mobile to research a purchase, 29% up from 12% in 2011.

Survey Says a Large Portion of Online Shopping is Done After Dark

When I get up in the morning, my inbox is filled with marketing messages from the brands I follow. I delete most of them without reading them. Why? Not because I’m not interested, but because I can’t deal with this deluge personal information at the start of my work day. If only these brands would send the emails in the evening when I’m sitting on the couch browsing with my iPad. . . (hint, hint.)

According to a new study from Yesmail, 60% of consumers say they’d rather interact with brands on social media between 6 pm and 2 am. 40% say they do their online shopping after 6 pm.

Conversely, only 5% of email campaigns are set to hit between 6 and 10 pm and the majority of Facebook campaigns launch during the day.

Just In Time for the Holidays, Facebook Gifts

Now we are getting somewhere.

Facebook is rolling out a service called, creatively enough, Facebook Gifts which allows Facebook users to buy gifts for friends from inside of Facebook. No, it’s not a virtual gift and yes it can be done from a mobile device. So Facebook appears to have killed two previously unwanted birds with this one deal. From the LA Times we hear

The social networking giant announced a new service Thursday afternoon called Facebook Gifts that will let users buy and send each other presents they can enjoy in real life.

To start, these presents include Starbucks gift cards, stuffed animals and cupcakes, but Facebook said it will continue to add more options every day.

If you like pictures to tell a story here you go.

Mobile Marketing Goes Postal with Holiday eCommerce Promotion

It may not seem like it, but mobile is actually the perfect compliment to the US Postal Service. When a customer uses their mobile device to buy something online, that something has to be mailed to them and there’s a one in three chance that that something is going to arrive via the US Postal Service.

In order to encourage this symbiotic relationship, the USPS is offering a special holiday direct mail promotion aimed specifically at mobile marketers.

The 2012 Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion gives online merchants a 2% postage discount as long as they have a a mobile bar code or QR code that leads back to the web. (You’ll find the specifics here.)

The Fancy: All the Top Social Commerce Trends, All in One Place

What are the top trends in Social Commerce right now? Photo galleries (Pinterest, Lover.ly). Subscription boxes (Love with Food, Birchbox). Daily deals are hanging in there (Groupon, AmazonLocal). Gamification is always hot, as is social sharing and referrals. Put them all together and they spell The Fancy — a new place to buy more stuff.

I got The Fancy bug after reading comScore’s article called From Pin to Purchase. The piece talks about that illusive social media fellow, the conversion. You know, 10,000 Likes on your Facebook page but only 1 sale. Hundreds of photo repins on Pinterest but not one clickthrough.

The Fancy is working to change all that by providing users with every opportunity to not just covet and share what they see on the page, but to buy it, too.

Gasp! Survey Reveals That Many Online Reviews are Fake!

My world has been rocked, not once, but twice this week. First I found out that the reality series The X-Factor hid the fact that a 13-year old contestant was actual a Broadway pro in order to make the episode more compelling. That makes it more of a semi-reality series, doesn’t it? Appalling!

While I was still reeling from that shock, I checked into Mashable and found this: By 2014, 1 in 10 Social Media Reviews Will Be Fake. 

Say it isn’t so! I, like most internet users, trust those online reviews to give me the scoop before I check into a hotel, eat at a restaurant, or buy a new product. If 10% are fake, whom am I to trust?