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Groupon IPO Is Finally A Go

Finally Groupon has announced its IPO. We could talk all day long about what this means but I think it might be best to just read the letter that CEO Andrew Mason wrote to future stockholders. It went something like this. Buckle up, apparently Andrew likes to write.

Dear Potential Stockholders,

On the day of this writing, Groupon’s over 7,000 employees offered more than 1,000 daily deals to 83 million subscribers across 43 countries and have sold to date over 70 million Groupons. Reaching this scale in about 30 months required a great deal of operating flexibility, dating back to Groupon’s founding.

Amazon Gets in on the Local Game

It was inevitable really, Amazon, who pioneered many of the currents trends in online retailing is now a follower. Introducing AmazonLocal! Likely coming soon to a city near you, but right now, only from Boise.

Now, I’ve got nothing against the folks of, what I’m sure, is a lovely city in Idaho, but really? According to TNW, Amazon chose the city because they liked their sense of whimsy, as demonstrated by BSU’s blue football field. Got me on that one, but everything has to start somewhere so why not Boise.

When I went to check out the service, it already knew my name, which always creeps me out. Obviously it pulled my name from my Amazon login, but it still wanted to know where I lived. As I moved through the process, I had this strange feeling of deja vu. TNW says that’s because Amazon isn’t sourcing their own deals (yet), they’re getting them from partnerships with other sites such as LivingSocial.

Consumers to the Internet: We Trust You, We Really Trust You!

When it comes to finding information about items they’d like to purchase, 69% of the respondents in Yahoo’s new study said they trusted the internet. They study is called “The Long and Winding Road: Gamesmanship of Shopping” and it’s the lead up to a webinair they’ll be delivering later this week.
The concept they’re after here is that thanks to the internet, consumers have the ability to do a lot more research before a purchase than they could in the past. They’re using search engines and online content to explore their purchase options and getting recommendations from friends through social media. Because of this, buyers are less impulsive, which isn’t necessarily the best news for marketers.

One thing that does spur a buyer on to faster action is the deal.

Groupon Now Gives Chicagoans Dinner for a Dollar

In order to promote their new Groupon Now service, Groupon is offering a number of dollar deals for folks in the Chicago area. $1 for $10 meal at Manny’s Coffee Shop and Deli, $1 for $18 at Baba Pizza and Pasta, or perhaps you’d like to pay $1 for beers at Grace Street Tap.

The promotion is running today only, but if it’s successful, it’s likely Groupon will repeat it when they open Now in other cities. It’s also assumed that Groupon is picking up the tab for the discount, but that’s not for sure.

Groupon Now is a variation on the daily deal site that preys on hungry, bored people who don’t want to plan ahead. It’s heavily mobile-dependent, using your current location to offer you deals in your area.

Which Traffic Source Has the Best Conversion Rate?

We spend a lot of time around here discussing the concept of whether or not social media marketing is worth the effort. We’ve seen reports that show that website traffic from social media networks is pretty low and I’m about to show it to you again. But this time, I’ll take it a step further thanks to the folks at SeeWhy.

SeeWhy studied a sampling of 60,000 ecommerce transactions across a variety of sites in February 2011. The first thing they did was chart where the traffic came from, but not all of the traffic. Since running an online store is about selling things, they looked at only the people who actually loaded items into their shopping cart. Here’s what they got:

Bezos Says Amazon Sales Tax is Unconstitutional

For awhile now, Amazon has been fighting the battle over the collection of sales tax. The simple version goes something like this. The rule up until now has been that if you don’t have a physical presence in a state, then a retailer does not have to charge sales tax when shipping to that state.

Now, some states are saying that having affiliates in a state, is equal to having a physical presence. One by one, states have been enacting this new law and one by one, Amazon has been canceling affiliate deals with people in those states.

Memorial Day Emails Outperform All Other Holidays

Memorial Day is one of the few holidays that encourages relaxing around the house. You don’t have to buy a gift. You don’t have to make dinner reservations. At most, you may have to throw some steaks on the grill, but no big hardship there, right?

Maybe that’s why people are in the mood to shop online come Memorial Day. According to Experian CheetahMail, Memorial Day emails have the highest transaction rates of any holiday.

The report states that Memorial Day has a higher level of pre-holiday browsing and that transactions peak one week prior and on the holiday itself.