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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.

Is it Over for Location Check-in Apps?

Foursquare has always been the leader in the location check-in app battle. For a little while, though, Gowalla was looking like some real competition. Then Facebook bought Gowalla and on March 10, 2012, they shut them down.

Yes. Gowalla has gone-walla.

This would seem like good news for Foursquare but it might just be a sign of the times. A sign that location-based check-ins aren’t on trend anymore.

Earlier this month, Foursquare’s CEO Dennis Crowley spoke with TechCrunch about the future of the business.

“People are using the app, but they’re not checking in. I asked myself: did we break something? But in fact, it’s because people are using Foursquare to look for where their friends are, to find things, and as a recommendation service. It’s almost like it doesn’t occur to them to check in.”

Digital Ad Budgets Follow Mobile Trends

With studies showing that there are 100 million smartphones in the US alone it only makes sense that advertisers are seeing that they need to be where their customers are. According to research from Valueclick media advertisers (via eMarketer) are starting to shift more ad dollars to the mobile space as well as video. The chart below shows their findings from December of last year.

This should come as no surprise but with the immaturity of the mobile and video space there is a real risk of throwing good money after untested or simply bad choices. Marketers will need to show some serious discretion when it comes to advertising spend in these areas. Since the area is relatively new space in terms of online marketing. Innovations are happening rapidly and with that rapid growth comes a level of panic to “do the right thing”.

The New iPad and the Marketer

The new iPad and the Marketer. Sounds like the name of a modern fairytale but don’t expect a Cinderella story. The new iPad is faster, sharper and slightly more functional than its older sibling, but it’s not a huge breakthrough for marketers. What it is, is proof that tablets are going mainstream and can’t be ignored in your marketing plan.

The new iPad (they’re not calling it the iPad 3 for some reason) has a screen resolution that is unprecedented. CNET says it’s like watching HD TV for the first time. It not only tops all other tablets, but it even makes high-quality computer monitors look bad.

Apple has also upgraded the processing speed, which was already fast. I imagine the new iPad will anticipate what you want and deliver it before you can ask – seriously, that’s the only way I can see it being any faster.

Cosmopolitan Passes Digital Subscription Milestone

Print isn’t dead. . . yet, but we can start writing the obituary.

Cosmopolitan Magazine says they just hit 100,000 paid, digital subscribers and they did it at a higher price point than the print subscription. (Why digital and ebooks often cost more than the print version, I’ll never understand.)

Cosmo, the smart but still sexy magazine for women, also has more than 3 million print subscribers. In 2010, the VP of publishing said that the magazine sells “430,000 copies every month through Walmart alone.” Compared to that, digital is a drop in the virtual bucket, but it’s still a huge achievement.

Magazine and newspaper subscriptions have been a hard sell online and on mobile. It’s not about economics, it’s about psychology. We’ll drop $10 on a latte and muffin or $15 to see a movie, but we don’t want to pay $19.99 for a full year of a digital magazine.

Google Adds Feature for Local Search Across Devices

Google is working real hard to make sure you are logged into your Google account when you do anything with the company. Of course, that is the secret to Google getting as much data about you to use for advertising so it makes sense.

The latest entry into this is a service that allows desktop searches you conduct about local questions to be viewed on your mobile device when you are logged in and doing a search from Google.com. You will see a “Recent” tab that when used will give you the recent searches you did on another device so you don’t have to repeat the process while on the go. Here is a picture from the Inside Search blog with some visuals

Senator Calls FTC to Probe Apple and Google on Mobile Privacy

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has never met a chance to get in the headlines that he didn’t like.

His latest effort comes in the form of a letter to the FTC chair and wants the agency to look into mobile phone privacy in general. He has “specific” concerns that he was certainly briefed on (I wonder if he has truly experienced anything himself) but in the end this is likely to bring Apple into the fray (which they usually steer clear of somehow) while just bringing Google to another hearing in DC. Here are the contents of the letter courtesy of the Times Herald-Record

Dear Chairman Leibowitz,