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Bing Launches Daily Deal Aggregator

Daily deal sites are out of control. They’re like. . . well, you know. . . everybody’s got one. Now Bing has one, but instead of running their own deals, they’re aggregating the ones that are already out there.

In theory, it’s a good concept. In practice, I’d say they have a little work to do.

First off, the PR on the site says it’s all about daily deals, a phrase that has come to take on a certain meaning. A daily deal is one of those short-term, limited quantity, discounts usually for some kind of food or service. But the top line on Bing’s very graphically-oriented deal site is dedicated to retail items with a “find the best price” engine attached to each. That’s not a daily deal. That’s not even necessarily a deal!

Look! No Velcro! Google Wallet Arrives

Without getting all prognosticate-y about what this offering means to the general happiness of the human race, we will tell you that Google Wallet has arrived as rumored. Google’s official announcement comes on the heels of several days of rumors that served to do nothing other than keep some people writing. Now that it’s here you can learn about it for real and see just what it does and doesn’t do in the first iteration.

From the Google blog

We’ve been testing it extensively, and today we’re releasing the first version of the app to Sprint. That means we’re beginning to roll out Google Wallet to all Sprint Nexus S 4G phones through an over-the-air update—just look for the “Wallet” app. Here’s a demo of Google Wallet in action:

Now the video

The Borderless Consumer and Other Game Changing Trends

Holiday shopping used to mean a trip to the local mall and a Saturday jaunt out to the outlet center in the next county. But this year, people in the US will be buying gifts from all over the world because they can do it easily and cheaply, from the comfort of their home.

The borderless consumer is just one of the game-changing retail trends discussed at a recent event sponsored by WomenCorporateDirectors.

Instant currency conversion tools, multi-language websites and no-borders web hosts like eBay and Etsy, have made it just as easy to buy a gift from Spain as it is from Kansas.

Not only are geographical boundaries disappearing, but so are the old-school “retail channels.”

Susan Chambers, Executive Vice President, Global People Division for Walmart said,

Analysts Predict a Happy Holiday Season for Retailers

It’s only been September for a couple of days now, but its time to start thinking about Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls and that jolly guy in the fur-trimmed red suit. Horror tales of a poor economy might have you worried about a horrendous Grinch-mas, but the analysts over at eMarketer say this holiday season will be merry and bright (ish.)

Take a look at the numbers from the MasterCard Advisors’ “SpendingPulse” report. That’s an average retail sales growth of 14% over the same time last year.

The news gets better for online retailers, as experts say more people than ever will be using a virtual shopping cart instead of the metal kind this holiday season.

Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer principal analyst says;

Layaway Returns to Wal-Mart

78% of people who responded to Fannie Mae’s latest survey said they thought the economy was headed down the wrong track and for the fourth month in a row, there’s been an increase in the number of people reporting a financial decline.

Wal-Mart believes it, because they’re doing something they haven’t done in awhile — offering holiday layaway on toys and electronics.

When I was a kid, layaway was as common as the bank Christmas Club. It was the perfect way to spread out gift-buying expenses albeit a strain on the gas tank as you drove back to the store every week to plunk down the payment due. As credit cards became more popular, layaway faded into the background and Wal-Mart discontinued the program in 2006.

Marketers See Triple-Digit Rise in Mobile Coupon Use

Coupons are my life but mobile coupons. . . not so much. Like many Americans, I’m just beginning to navigate those choppy waters. According to stats from eMarketer, 15.6 million smartphone users will redeem a mobile coupon this year which is a 117% change from the prior year.

And though the numbers will continue to rise, the triple-digit returns are expected to level off by next year.

Part of the reason for the rise is that mobile coupons are becoming more common and thus easier to use. This week, I had a Buy 1 Get 1 meal special from a local restaurant that said I could print the coupon or simply show it to the waiter on my phone. I printed it because the phone has been an issue in the past. Waiters know how to deal with paper coupons but digital ones? Not so much.

Increasing Percentage of Online Shoppers Can’t Get No Satisfaction

More people than ever are shopping online. That’s the good news. The bad news is that customer satisfaction is dropping and shopping cart abandonment is on the rise. (Don’t hate me, but I abandoned two just this weekend.)

iPerceptions has a new report that looks at post shopping experience feedback. What they found was that overall customer satisfaction was down from 73% last year to 70% this year.

The biggest concern is that only 60% of customers who came to buy walked away with what they came for. Says iPerceptions,

“For a business that does $10 million per year in online sales, a 60% Task Completion rate among buyers means $6.7 million in business is simply walking away.”

For the small business owner, losing even one sale can really hurt, let alone 40%.