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E-Commerce Confusion: Mobile Shoppers Choose M-Web Over App

Apps may be all the rage, but a new study from Nielsen shows that it’s mobile websites that are getting all the attention from shoppers.

This past holiday season, Nielsen monitored the smartphone shopping habits of 5,000 volunteers. They concentrated on five big sellers — Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Target and Walmart — and found that, combined, they reached nearly 60 percent of those shoppers.

In spite of all the hoopla around holiday shopping apps, the majority used the mobile websites to complete their purchases.

Though all of the retailers had a usage bump around Black Friday, Amazon was the overall winner when it came to reach.

You could look at these stats and say that people don’t want to shop with apps but it’s more likely a case of e-commerce confusion.

Social Networking Personas: Who Are Your Customers?

“Untangling the Social Web” is a multi-part whitepaper from Integer that attempts to quantify the relationship between social media and business. They just released “Part 3, Social Networking Personas: A Look at Consumer and Shopper Mind-Sets” and it’s loaded with information that can help you sharpen your social media efforts.

The basis of the report is that social media users can be dived into four types: The Bonder, The Sharer, The Professional and The Creator.

Each type comes to social media for a different reason and thus responds to brands in different ways.

The Bonder uses social media to locate old friends and keep in touch with family. Typically, she’s a femle, under 40, and 63% are employed. For her, it’s all about the relationships. She’s checking Facebook first thing in the morning and often throughout the day so she’s always there to support a friend having a bad day or cheer for a cousin who got a promotion.

Facebook Rolls Out Offers for Some

I was tempted to start this post with a sentence about Facebook making an offer you can’t refuse but that would be cliche and I’m better than that, right? (Hush, you.)

So let’s skip the pleasantries and go right to the meat. Facebook has a new “deal” option called Offers. Using the system, a business can place a coupon on their Facebook page. Fans click the coupon to claim it, they get an email with the coupon code, and hopefully they use the coupon to spend money at your business.

Neat.

Here’s a sample:

Facebook only just made the announcement official, but one Facebook marketing blogger, noticed a few of these offers back in February.  She has a great post outlining the whole claiming process with lots of graphics. As she points out, these ads are one-click simple and they work on Facebook mobile, which is huge.

eBay Pushes Sellers to New Heights of Customer Service

When you think of eBay, you probably don’t think about stellar customer service, but the online (don’t call it) auction site, wants to change that. They may have begun life as the world’s biggest garage sale, but they have their mind set on becoming the world’s biggest river.

To get there, eBay is instituting some changes that all revolve around quality listings and better customer service.

Of benefit to all is the addition of up to 12 free photos for all listings. Previously, you had to pay to add more than one photo which discouraged many sellers from showing all angle views. Views that are especially needed to assess the condition of used items.

Four Stars for Microsoft’s People Powered Stories Ads

Social advertising is all about using the comments and recommendations of one person to influence the buying habits of another. Facebook does this handily by mentioning which of my friends like the ads that appear in my sidebar. But, to be effective, recommendations don’t have to come from friends.

A recent study by BazaarVoice showed that 51% of the all-important millennial consumers were influenced by the online comments of strangers. So that’s probably why they’ve teamed up with Microsoft Advertising for a new kind of ad they call “People Powered Stories.

The test revolved around the Windows 7 “back to school” campaign. The ads were designed to pull in real review data from college students, then deliver it to other college students as they surfed the web.

Facebook Stores: A Failed Experiment or Worth Another Shot?

Gamestop, Nordstrom, Old Navy, The Gap. All blockbuster retailers who know how to drive customers to spend big bucks and not one of them had success selling on Facebook.

The failure of F-commerce is an interesting conundrum. Facebook is the most visited site in the universe. People also spend money on Facebook to buy virtual items and upgrades for their games. Facebook is also growing faster than anyone else for display advertising, pulling in around $2 billion in revenue last year.

Taking all of those factors into consideration, Facebook stores should be pulling them in like Best Buy on Black Friday. So why don’t Facebook stores work?

Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research told Bloomberg,

The Sharing Economy: Could It Be the Next Big Thing?

Back in the days when we all knew our neighbors, borrowing from them was a common occurrence. Lawn mowers, hand tools, and that insane “cup of sugar” that appeared on nearly every TV show in the 50′s and 60′s.

Jump forward to the 90′s and borrowing wasn’t so hot anymore. Much of this was due to the change in the way we live and socialize. People who knew their neighbors well enough to ask a favor became the minority. We also became more possessive. If we wanted it, we bought it. If our friends had it, we bought it. Even if we were only going to use it once, we bought it.