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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.

Looking for power consumers? You’ll find them on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Consumer Buying PowerLinkedIn released an unusual report this week called “Harness the Power of the LinkedIn Pro-sumer“. Unusual, because the topic is shopping – not an activity I usually think of when I think about LinkedIn. But the B2B social network claims that their users have more buying power than visitors to any other social network.

Here’s a graph to prove it —>

Look at LinkedIn, towering over even Pinterest and way over Facebook.

Are we talking about business buying power? Office supplies? Expensive hardware and software? Inventory?

No, LinkedIn appears to be talking about the same kind of consumer goods we all buy.

  • $839 annually on clothing
  • $2000 – $3000 yearly on vacations
  • 41% more likely to have spent over 30K on a new car

Nearly half of all consumers expect a customer service response within an hour

lithium impatient customersThere are companies with a team of dedicated customer service professionals whose job it is to monitor and instantly reply to all consumer queries.

Your company probably isn’t one of them. How can I make that assumption? Because I know that a large number of online companies are small businesses. Some a run by 1 person or a couple. Some are manned by an owner who also has another full-time job. These are the companies that can’t afford to lose even one customer, so attending to questions and complaints is even more important.

Trouble is, 66% of consumers in a recent Lithium survey said they expect a same-day response to their online request

  • 43% expect a response within an hour.
  • 14% expect a response in a lightning fast five minutes or less.