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Amazon Deals Offered in Groupon’s Backyard

I know, I know. I just asked yesterday whether anyone gave a rip about the deals space. Surprisingly more people than I thought actually did which is good to know.

Today this article from the Wall Street Journal caught my eye not just because of the deals aspect but more from a pure business marketing aspect. Amazon is a monster in the same way that Google is. It has a ton of weight to throw around and it doesn’t mind doing so. It offers local deals in a few markets (Boise, LA and others) just like Groupon does. Amazon invested in Groupon’s biggest competitor. So what better way to pee in Groupon’s corn flakes than to go after their home market of Chicago?

The Tablet, the Hockey Stick and the Future of Online Shopping

First there was the traveling salesman, then the mail-order catalog. Then, TV shopping networks made it even easier to shop right from the comfort of your own home. When the internet came around, we thought that was the ultimate home shopping experience, but it’s about to go one better. Forrester’s new white paper says the tablet is going to be the next big thing in e-commerce, trumping even the much talked about mobile phone.

Though only 9% of web shoppers currently own tablets, Forrester expects to see a “hockey stick” develop for adoption stats over the next five years. A hockey stick. You know, a short, slight rise from the tip to the heel then a near vertical rise four times the size. (I assume that’s what they mean, someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)

No Rise in Back-to-School Spending Says NRF

Back-to-school is the second largest seasonal shopping event, but this year it’s barely holding its own. New numbers from the National Retail Federation show a very slight dip in the expected spend. This year’s average spend for families with kids in grades K-12 is $603.63. Last year, the figure was 606.40 and that includes apparel, school supplies and electronics.

That still adds up to $22.8 billion in sales for the lower grades alone. When you add in college buying, the number climbs to $68.8 billion.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says,

“Families aren’t opposed to spending on what they need, but parents want their children to take a good look around at what they already have before deciding what to buy for back to school this year.”

Comparing Prices Tops List for Social Media Product Chatter

Hear that? That’s the sound of potential shoppers talking about your product online. What are they saying? According to a new study by ROI Research, mostly, they’re talking about the price.

eMarketer made a nice bar graph that explains it all.

I’m not surprised that “deal” talk is high on the list, but I am surprised that “compare prices” landed so high. I shop online all the time, but I don’t usually go to Facebook to ask if anyone can beat the price of the laptop I want to buy. Apparently, others do, so if your pricing isn’t competitive, you might as well get out of the game.

The big takeaway here, is that nearly half of all respondents are talking about products and services on social media. They’re talking, but are you listening?

Google Offers Goes Coast to Coast (Kinda, Sorta)

Google has floated the Google Offers trial balloon in cities like Portland, OR (which appears to be Google’s guinea pig for all things local) but now it is hitting the true top tier cities with its beta introduction in San Francisco and New York City. So we can say that Google Offers are coast to coast in a “if you ignore most of the middle of the country” sort of way.

This video from the Official Google blog highlights a few of the businesses that are part of this latest offer from Google.

Of course, these classic urban settings are best suited for the on the go offer finder so this is how the cool kids will see offers on their mobile device.

Women Want Solutions, Men Only Want the Very Best

He’s won trophies for his game face alone. He is the life of parties he’s never attended. Sharks have a week dedicated to him. He’s the most interesting man in the world and he’s right on point.

According to a new chart from comScore, men respond to commercials that makes superiority claims while women prefer to see solutions to their problems. It’s a sad, sexist state of affairs but we’ve seen the evidence on our TV screens for years. Female oriented commercials taught us how to remove ring around the collar, get a full serving of vegetables into our kids without a veggie on the plate, and look years younger and pounds thinner.

Commercials aimed at men promise faster cars, prettier women, adventure, and excitement. As unbalanced as it is, it’s hard to find fault when it’s a system that obviously works.

American Express Has a New Twist on the Old Deal

Everyone loves a discount, but remembering to print or cut, then carry and redeem a coupon is a hassle. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone out to eat, only to realize that I left the coupon at home. And I’m here to tell you, most places won’t give you the deal without that golden ticket in hand.

Enter American Express. They’re working to eliminate the hassle of coupon redemption by eliminating the coupon, printable or otherwise. They’ve teamed up with Foursquare on a new program that gives consumers cash back on their American Express card when they fulfill a deal requirement. No coupon needed.

SmartBlog talked with American Express Vice President of Global Marketing Capabilities Dave Wolf about the idea and here’s what he had to say: