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70 Percent of Shoppers Believe Holiday Discounts are Fake

100percent off40% off! 50% off! Prices so low, we’re losing money on every sale!

Discounts just aren’t as special as they used to be and this time of year they’re the norm not the exception. Retailers both online and off are slashing prices or offering large discounts in hopes of getting holiday buyers to fork over just a little bit more cash. That’s right – they’re charging less and hoping to get more.

Insane? Not really. It’s all just a mind game, after all.

According to a survey by UK marketing expert David Rawlings, 70% of US shoppers believe that holiday discounts are fake.

Older, more affluent shoppers and those who live in the Northeast are even more likely to believe that retailers are lying about discounts.

50 Percent of Retailers Are on Instagram. Can You Name the Top 3?

I hear it over and over from entrepreneurs and authors – I’m not fond of Facebook but I have to be there. A year ago, I would have agreed wholeheartedly, but now . . . not so much. Facebook is a tough place for anyone trying to build an audience from scratch. If you’re a top retailer, it’s a different story.

Campalyst gathered data on the top 250 retailers in social media and found that 98% had Facebook Pages and 78% had more than 1 million fans. Average fan count across all of the top retailers is 1.79 million. Four out of the top five retailers didn’t surprise me – one did.

campalyst Facebook

Adidas? Really? What’s even more interesting is that while Walmart, Target and Amazon rule on Facebook, they don’t even make the top 5 on the other social media sites.

Study Says Choice Overload Leads to No Sale

product groupingTake a run around the internet and you’ll spot the trend right away – images, images, images with very little text. Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, image sites are hot but that doesn’t mean it will work for your ecommerce store.

A new study from the University of Miami School of Business Administration shows that, if your goal is selling products online, image overload might actually work against you.

The researchers began by studying consumer preference while performing typical online shopping tasks. They then asked the participants whether they’d prefer to have an assortment of products shown as a group of images or as a group of descriptions. They ran the test with a variety of product types and the result was the same; from crackers to mutual funds, everyone preferred the visual presentation.

What Showrooming Giveth, Webrooming Taketh Away

laptop-and-cellphone-1269437-mLast Christmas, brick and mortar retailers were worried that showrooming would cut into their bottom line. This is when a customer visits a store but then uses their smartphone to find the same item for a lower price online. I swear this is why some of my favorite stores have the worst cell phone reception inside their walls. No problem, I’ll just step outside to search.

This Christmas it’s the online retailers who need to worry thanks to a new trend called webrooming. (That’s web – rooming, not we-brooming.)

According to a new Harris Poll, more customers will be doing their initial research online before running out to buy at the store.

Let’s start with a clearer definition of terms. Here’s the way Harris phrased the question:

The Black Friday Results Are In and It Was. . . .

thanksgiving weekend. . . .mostly good!

It’s Cyber Monday, which means folks are supposed to be making the switch from brick and mortar deals to online deals. During the night, the good people at the National Retail Federation pulled out their adding machines and set to crunching the Black Friday numbers. Here’s what they found out:

More than 141 million unique shoppers took advantage of the Thanksgiving weekend to do a lot of their holiday shopping. This is up from 139 million last year.

Many people grumble about stores that open on Thanksgiving but 27% more people shopped after dinner bringing the total up to 45 million. That’s a number that will certainly encourage stores to continue the practice.

comScore October Media Metrix: Talking Politics and Fashion

comScore stayed up all night counting the ballots and the results are in. According to the Media Metrix Ranks Top 50 U.S. Desktop Web Properties for October 2013 politics and fashion were the big winners.

Unfortunately for many Americans, the boost in political traffic was due to news of the government shutdown. This resulted in a 21% uptick from the prior month.

Comscore Oct 2013In 2012, the top category was also the result of bad news. 83,197,000 logged on to weather related sites to learn more about Hurricane Sandy.

This year, we left the disasters behind for a taste of glitz and glam. 61,661,000 people visited a beauty, fashion or style site in October of 2013. Last year, that category didn’t even make the top 10. Was there a big fashion story that caused the bump this year? If you’re a fashionista and you know, tell us about it in the comments below.

Forget Black Friday, Is Your eCommerce Store Ready for Thanksgiving?

target pressWalmart, Target, K-Mart, Staples – they’re just a few of the stores that will open their doors on Thanksgiving with hopes of getting a jump on the holidays sales season. Many believe this is another step in the decline of the human race but honestly, is it more crazy to go shopping at 8 pm on Thanksgiving (leaving family members behind to clean up the mess) or stand in line at 1 am on Black Friday?

(Can we all take a moment to appreciate the blond woman in this press shot from Target. She’s simply having a wonderful Christmas time.)

The good news for online retailers is that a large portion of holiday bargain hunters aren’t going to venture out until it’s officially Black Friday. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to shop.