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eBay Buys Local Shopping Site Milo.com

eBay took another step today toward becoming Amazon.com and away from the collectibles auction site we all fell for more than ten years ago when they bought Milo.com, a website that locates in-stock merchandise on the local level.

According to Business Insider, eBay payed $75 million for the company and they seem to think it’s a good buy. It may be because, as we all know,  when it comes to deals and shopping, local is everything these days. Local isn’t even a buzzword anymore, it’s a god marketers must bow down to every morning and I don’t like it.

FTC Online Privacy Report Endorses Do Not Track

The FTC issued a report today that outlines their plan to deal with privacy issues on the internet. Even though online advertisers are working on a self-policing program,it looks like the federal government is going to have their say and their say trumps anything from the private sector.

The report states that industry efforts have been “too slow, and up to now have failed to provide adequate and meaningful protection.” The FTC says that current privacy policies, which are long and full of legalize, are confusing to consumers if they can find the policy and they take the time to read it. The report wants to shift the responsibility away from the consumer and on to the advertisers. They call it “privacy by design,” suggesting that companies build “privacy protections into their everyday business practices.”

Groupon Intros Deal Feeds and Groupon Stores

While the rumor mill now has Google trying to buy Groupon for somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.3 billion (nice neighborhood considering Twitter is garnering $4 billion valuation talk for its next round of investment) the deal site continues to add more features.

In Groupon’s blog called Groublogpon (you read it right so it goes to show they are not anywhere near perfect) they explain how the new Deals and Stores idea evolved. With expansion like these offerings now it might start making more sense why Google is coming after the site with a huge wad of cash.

Cyber Monday Sales Resulted in Smart Spending

Yesterday, while shoppers were clogging the internet with holiday transaction, reporters at CNN were waxing on about how Cyber Monday is a myth. More to the point, they said it was a marketing ploy (gasp!) and is erroneously labeled “the biggest online shopping day of the year.”

It might not turn out to be the biggest day, but retailers aren’t complaining this morning after seeing a 19.4% increase over last year. The numbers come from Coremetrics, an IBM Company’s third annual Cyber Monday Benchmark Report and here’s how it adds up.

Cyber Monday 2010 Compared to Black Friday 2010

  • Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales were up 31.1 percent, with consumers pushing the average order value (AOV) up from $190.80 to $194.89 for an increase of 2.1 percent.

Online Spending Up on Turkey Day and Black Friday

It appears as if turkey isn’t the only thing consumed on Thanksgiving Day as the online purchase number reported by comScore shows a 28% increase in online commerce for the holiday.

That increase was also reported for the Black Friday online event. We await, of course, data from CyberMonday but until it actually happens we’ll refrain from giving numbers :-).

As has been the case for the past few years, year over year numbers need to be considered in the context of what the previous year has been like. We are still slogging through the worst recession in a long time (oh wait that’s right, the recession is over according to Washington’s latest Fantasy Economist League report). As a result, when you see large increases year over year it’s not always a sign of huge growth. It’s more like a sign of the hope of recovery.

5 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from Black Friday

It’s noon and Black Friday is almost over. Well, it is if you realize that most big box stores opened around 4:00 am. I slept in this year, hitting Staples at 9:00 and just made it under the wire on the items I wanted. Got the last two on the shelf. From there I hit CVS where I bought $26.00 worth of items and was handed a gift certificate for $26 at the end of the transaction. In other words, it was my favorite word – FREE!

Now it’s time to take off my bargain shopper hat and put on my marketing hat for the 5 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from Black Friday. Here we go.

1. Tweet, text, post or pigeon: Communication collaboration is the key

PlacePop Offers Loyalty Programs for Small Business

Local. Checkins. Deals. These are the top three buzzwords of mobile marketing. Though mobile’s been around awhile, this holiday season is poised to be the biggest when it comes to the use of mobile phones to facilitate shopping. But for every Old Navy, there are a hundred small business owners who would like to get in on the game but are overwhelmed by the process. PlacePop.com can do something about that.

PlacePop isn’t one of the biggest players in the checkin game (not yet) but they have something Foursquare doesn’t have and that’s simplicity. The site, which was created by Kent Lindstrom, the former CEO of Friendster, was originally designed as an application that would allow people to share their favorite restaurants and shops with friends. Now, they’ve converted the app into a loyalty program for small businesses.