Marketing Pilgrim's "Shopping" Channel

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LivingSocial Living High on $400 Million in Funding

The online deals space is certainly heating up as more and more marketers get in the game. The decision for many is whether they want to build their own version of a deals site or whether they want to use one of the big names in the space.

For the most part, the biggest name in the space is Groupon. They are in the news constantly for a variety of reasons which are a mix of good (tremendous growth) and bad (poor executive decisions about marketing etc) but they are the de facto industry leader.

Unlike the search marketing game though Groupon’s position is less than bulletproof since the ability to copy the process isn’t a high barrier to entry. What is tough is scale and that’s where Groupon has the edge over most little guys.

Smartphones Are a Mommy Must Have

Moms are the original multi-taskers. They’re geniuses when it comes to getting things done in small chunks of time and from the bleachers during a Little League game. So it’s not surprising to find that mommy smartphone usage is on the rise.

BabyCenter says;

Overall adoption of smartphones among moms has risen 64% over the past two years, and 51% of moms say they are “addicted” to their smartphone.

The pregnancy and parenting website surveyed 5,000 US moms to find out how and when they use their smartphones. More than half the women said that they bought a smartphone “as a direct result of becoming a mom.” Once they became a mom, the camera became the most important feature, followed by the video option and then apps. The survey said that before becoming a mom, apps didn’t even make the top ten list of important phone features.

Nearly Half of All Mobile Users Use Their Phone to Shop

While 89.7 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 to 64 have mobile phones, only 49.1 percent are using their phones to shop.

That fact comes from a recent study conducted by Arc Worldwide that was reported on by Reuters. They took a close look at the behaviors of 1,800 mobile shoppers and found that 80% of them fell into the “light” category leaving 20% on the heavy side.

Here’s the graphic from Reuters that explains it all.

Not surprisingly, the iPhone was the preferred phone for mobile shopping and the heaviest shoppers are younger people who tend to be “in the know.” It is surprising to see that men are the heaviest mobile shoppers. That could be because they don’t see shopping as a fun activity as many women do, so they just want to get what they need and be done with it.

Facebook Deals: Could Specialization be the Key to Success?

Facebook is launching a deal site. Who isn’t? But according to Network Effect, Facebook is going to be specific about the kinds of deals they promote and that could be the key to success.

The word is that the deals on Facebook will only be for social activities that you can share with a friend. Half price movie tickets and lift freebies for a ski resort as opposed to discounts on teeth whitening and carpets for your home. Daily deal site KGB will be partnering with Facebook for a five-city test and they say their deal vouchers will be delivered in minutes. I take this to mean that I can sit down with friends on a Friday night, choose an activity and we can all be sharing that discounted fun later on that same evening.

Hotmail Gets Interactive

Did you know that Hotmail is the second most used web-mail client, beating Gmail by over 94%? Gotta wonder how many of those accounts are throw aways for junk mail, but I digress before I even get started.

Microsoft is looking to strengthen its bid to make Hotmail the leading web-mail client by making it more interactive.

Right now, email is either text or HTML based which means your only real option for hooking people up is to include a link in your email. Microsoft wants to take that link and deliver that information right inside the email blank.

Imagine getting that YouTube video of a cat eating spaghetti right in your email client. No need to click! Even better, is the ability to add real time information in an email such as this example from Netflix.

Bing Upgrades Their Mobile Browsing Experience

Bing has just released an upgrade to their mobile browser that takes the best of apps and combines it with the best of the browser for a faster, easier user experience.

SHOPPING

Like the Bing app, the Bing mobile browser offers a scrolling list of categories to help narrow down your choices from the moment you start to search. From there, you can jump to the updated shopping helper which uses more graphics than text to guide you through the next steps. Each category drills down at least twice until you’re presented with a list of pre-selected items, which, unless you’re gift shopping for someone you don’t know, is fairly useless.

Mobile, Mortar and the Scan and Scram Shopper

Yesterday, I went to the closing sale at my local Borders (sigh, and yes, I have book sales on the brain today). They had blu-ray box sets marked down 40%, so thinking I was getting a great deal, I decided to buy one. After I bought it, I used my Google Goggles to look up the item online and found that the price I paid was the same as Amazon’s everyday, low price. If I had scanned before I bought the item, I probably wouldn’t have bought it as it wasn’t the great deal I had hoped for. I would have been a “Scan and Scram Shopper,” and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Reporting from the CTIA Wireless 2011 conference, CNBC says;