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Facebook launches multiple image carousel ads

Facebook Multi AdFacebook just released a brand new ad unit that is nothing I’ve ever seen before (but maybe I simply haven’t been paying attention?) The ad contains a side scrolling carousel with three product images. In this screengrab, you can just see the second image coming in on the right. You can see it in action on the Facebook for Business blog.

I’m not a fan of ads that slide, jump, jitter or repeat but I’m digging this Multi-product ad. The scrolling movement is slow, giving you enough time to look at each image as it travels by. I wish that when it got to the end it would continue on like a solid loop. Instead it jumps back to the start like a Vine video. Smooth would be better but I can let that go. (Now that I’ve made my thoughts known.)

Tablet commerce expected to reach 293 billion by 2018 [Infographic]

Usablenet Tablet commerce2018 may sound like the title of a sci-fi disaster movie but it’s also the year the tablet may take over the ecommerce world. Usablenet predicts the rise of the hand-held machine in their new infographic, saying tablet sales will increase five fold by 2017. That’s over 1 billion tablets and a large percentage of owners will be using those tablets to shop.

Tablet commerce is expected to reach $114 billion in 2014 and rise to $293 billion in 2018.

All of that sounds wonderful but right now only 12% of people in the US are using a tablet to access the web. Of those that do, the majority are at home relaxing on the couch or in bed. These are people who have time to research and browse. They’re willing to spend a few more minutes reading the blog post or watching the video so give them the information they desire.

See it. Click it. Buy it. Amazon Fire phone just shortened the purchase funnel

Amazon FireflyAmazon is now in the smartphone biz. Not a huge leap seeing as how Amazon’s original Kindle made ereaders cool and their new generation of tablets is slowly eating up the iPad’s territory. So, an Amazon branded smartphone isn’t as far out as it seems. But a smartphone isn’t a tablet and folks are used to having a wide selection of apps that they’re not going to find on the new Amazon Fire Phone.

What they will find is a nifty new Firefly Button that lets you search for items you’re interested in buying with a single touch.

Here’s the skinny from Amazon:

A second look at #AmazonCart – is it working?

AmazonCartLast month, Amazon launched a new service that lets you shop right from Twitter. The concept sounds simple but even after several tries I’m still a little confused.

The idea is this, you’re reading your Twitter feed and someone you follow posts a Tweet about a new DVD release. The tweet includes an Amazon link. You want this DVD so you reply to the tweeter and you add #AmazonCart to your Tweet.

Sometime later (first try took days, second try took seconds), you get a confirmation message from Amazon saying the item has been added to your cart. To actually buy the item, you have to go to Amazon and checkout. For obvious reasons, you can’t checkout via another tweet.

Simply Measured put together a chart showing related actions following the initial announcement.

Amazon tests boundaries for advertising toys online

He man toysWhich came first, the cartoon or the toy?

  • Transformers
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Smurfs
  • He-Man

Some toys are so inextricably connected to their media brother that it’s hard to tell which begat which. In the 80’s, cartoons based on toys and vice versa were so popular that Saturday morning TV was the equivalent of watching two hours of infomercials.

To protect children from undo influence the FCC put rules in place that force a separation between cartoons and related toys.

The FCC also requires that, in television programs directed to children ages 12 and under, program material be separated from commercials by intervening and unrelated program material. The purpose of this separation policy is to protect young children who have difficulty distinguishing between commercial and program material and are therefore more vulnerable to commercial messages. If a program fails to adequately separate program and commercial material, the entire duration of the program may be counted as commercial material (a “program-length commercial”).

Planning a vacation: value trumps loyalty and search engines rule

Booking a vacation used to be a job for a qualified professional, but now everyone’s a travel agent thanks to sites like Kayak, Orbitz and Expedia. But online booking sites come in second to the good old, everyday search engine.

The Great American Vacation Study: How Travelers Seek, Shop and Save,” from parago takes an in-depth look at how Americans are planning their leisure travel and I think there’s a lot to learn here – even if you’re not specifically in the travel industry.

It starts with a big number. 90% of the people who responded said they travel for leisure at least once a year. 82% of women and 74% of men always or almost always plan the trip themselves. I don’t know if that speaks to the ease of online bookings or a rise in our need to control all things.

Shoppers shout ‘I am not a number!’

oe9N7VseBay has been hiding things from me. I suspected it was true and now I know I’m not being paranoid. When I search, I only get back a portion of the items available for that keyword.

They say it’s for my own good. That they’re helping me weed through the clutter so I can get the best item for the best price. But frankly, I’d rather wade through an extra page of listings than have a computer decide what I should buy.

McCann Truth Central’s “Truth About Shopping” says that consumers are getting tired of being treated as part of an algorithm. Which is not to say they don’t like personalized service. The difference falls somewhere between personal and personalization.