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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.

Facebook Leads Social Shopping Conversions but Polyvore Has Highest AOV

polyvoreDavid Selinger, CEO of RichRelevance says that social shopping accounts for less than 1% of the total online shopping sessions but hey, that’s still money in the bank, right? So, his company put together this lovely, holiday-themed infographic that shows how the top social shopping channels stack up.

The first thing you’ll notice when you review the panels is the inclusion of a site we don’t often talk about – Polyvore. This social site asks user to curate sets of products from a variety of online retailers. The example you see on the right is someone’s idea of a cool living room. Click on the objects and you get a detail page including the price and where to buy it. One more click and you’re on the site that sells it.

Study: Marketers Woefully Out of Touch With What Consumers Respond To

If you are a marketer of any kind you may not want to read on. Why? Well, some research that was done by x+1 and Research Now reveals that what goes on in the marketing echo chamber may be further from reality than you imagined.

The research as reported by eMarketer shows that what marketers feel is important to consumers often isn’t even close to what the consumers themselves want. If you are ready, look for yourself.

Marketers v Consumers

Is it possible that that marketers are really that disconnected from the consumer? Based on the amount of hype and sheer junk that often passes for analysis and advice in the Internet marketing space alone the answer is yes. For years the Internet marketing industry has run miles ahead of reality and it continues to do so today.

US Consumers Would Switch Online Stores before Switching Grocery Stores

In the retail business, loyalty is everything. Returning customers are the bread and butter of most businesses and you can’t afford to lose even one. Unfortunately for online shops, customer loyalty is iffy at best.

switching online retailers

The Nielsen Global Survey of Loyalty Sentiment report shows that online retailers come in last by a pretty wide margin.

They surveyed 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries across 16 categories and found that people were more likely to be loyal to brands / companies they use everyday such as banks, mobile phone service and cable providers.

I see it a different way. It’s not loyalty that keeps customers hanging on – it’s lack of options coupled with the hassle factor (not to be confused with the Hassle-hoff.) Changing your mobile phone provider often means paying a penalty for ending a contract early or losing upgrade benefits you’ve accrued over time.