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And So It Begins: Sears Botches Their Early Black Friday Sale

The Black Friday craziness has begun and we have our first casualty – Sears.

Hoping to do something nice for their “Shop Your Way” members, they had a pre-pre-pre Black Friday sale on Sunday night.

According to, Sears was selling a 32″ HDTV for only $97. Buy online and pick up at your store. Wow.

Things started to go wrong immediately thanks to poor coding of the website’s countdown clock. Instead of counting down to 5 pm Central time, it adjusted based on each shopper’s time zone, so unless you happen to live in the Central Time Zone, you had the wrong start time on your computer.

New Study Details States That Like to Browse Vs. States That Like to Buy

In real estate, location is everything and according to a new survey by Monetate, it’s pretty important in ecommerce, too.

The EQ3 2012 edition of the Ecommerce Quarterly has some pretty interesting information about how people from different states shop online. Get this, of the top five states that drive the most ecommerce traffic, none of them have the highest conversions. What’s that all about?

The Browsers:

My fellow Californians are responsible for the largest amount of ecommerce traffic on the net. What does that say about us? That we dream big? We love to shop? We have a lot of spare time on our hands?

Folks in Wyoming are barely shopping online at all. Maybe they’re too outdoorsy to spend time looking for new DVD releases on Amazon.

Who Supports Small Business? Survey Says Facebook, Not Etsy

There’s not usually a long line at the window where you leave compliments for Facebook, but in a recent survey by Manta, they did alright.

Manta asked 1,087 small business owners which online marketplaces offered them the most support. Facebook came out on top with 29% of the vote. Granted, that’s not a huge slice but the fact that anybody thought Facebook was supportive of small businesses is pretty amazing.

What’s more amazing is the site that landed on the bottom – Etsy. This site is made up entirely of artists, crafters and vintage dealers, many of which are one-man operations. But 47% of those surveyed said they thought the site was the least supportive of small business owners. Ouch.

You know who else landed on the bottom? eBay, Amazon and Groupon!

10 to 14 Percent of Consumers Plan to Spend More This Holiday Season. Yeah! And Boo!

In a press release titled “Consumers Show a Little More Cheer this Holiday Season,” The Conference Board by Nielsen reveals that “Nearly 10 percent of consumers said they plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year, up from 7 percent last year.”

More spending! That’s great news.

The PeriscopeIQ Retail Intelligence Survey agrees. . . sort of. Their press release has this subtitle: “Consumers Indicate a Lackluster Holiday Season vs. 2011,” and it says “only 14 percent say they will increase holiday spending from 2011 levels.”

Only 14%! Boo!

Wait a minute, Periscope is in agreement with Nielsen, even predicting a slightly higher level of increase spenders. Yet Periscope’s “only” makes the stat sound negative where Nielsen is rejoicing over a shopping bag half full.

Ikea’s New Holiday Catalog: Now That’s How You Do Interactive

Ikea has just released a brand new, online holiday calendar that has me very excited. It’s not the store, or the products, it’s the catalog itself because it’s the future of digital advertising.

The world is changing and people no longer respond to a jiggling banner ad the way they used to. People want to interact with the screen and now, with Windows 8 and touch-screen tablets, that’s become an even bigger priority.

Have you ever read the kid’s book Pat the Bunny? Each page has a touch component such as Daddy’s scratchy beard (a bit of sandpaper) and a cloth you can lift to play peek-a-boo with Paul. We naturally like to interact with our surroundings and we remember and respond to things we can touch, watch, smell, taste and hear. Just last week, I wrote about a study that showed people’s natural inclination to touch the screens of their tablet while reading.

Hottest Trend in eCommerce: Alternate Shipping Options

Shipping is often the make it or break it portion of an ecommerce sale. Cost of shipping, length of time and delivery method all come into play. Amazon jumped ahead of the pack by offering free 2-day shipping with their Prime membership. BestBuy and other online / offline retailers allow you to buy online and then pick-up at the store. Amazon’s version of that is buy online and pick up via a locker at Staples.

Now we have ShopRunner, a third-party program that is all about getting your e-purchases delivered cheap, fast and safe with PickupPoints.

To prove the need, ShopRunner commissioned a study and found that 75% of Americans are concerned about having packages delivered to their homes.

Biggest worries?

52% said theft

Holiday Shopping: eCommerce Expectations Are High, mCommerce Not So Much

They say good things come to those who wait and retailers have waited long enough for a boost in sales! Looks like this might be the year.

Chase Paymentech talked to a variety of retailers and found that the majority (59%) of them expected 2012 sales to top those of 2011. They were also very optimistic about the percentage of sales coming in through online channels.

Now, I’d like to present my reward for the Short and Sweet Graphic of the Week. It goes to eMarketer!

Seriously folks, it doesn’t get more plain than that. eCommerce is on the rise but mCommerce is still barely a blip on the radar.