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Walmart Does Groupon Without Groupon

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I’m not sure Groupon felt the love when they saw Walmart’s new marketing plan on Facebook.

They call it the “CrowdSaver,” and guess how it works. When a deal reaches a certain customer threshold, the deal is unlocked and everyone gets to buy in for a discounted price. The only difference between Walmart’s CrowdSaver and Groupon (and it’s a big one) is the upfront money.

When you choose a deal on Groupon, you’re committed to buy provided that the deal hits the threshold. (I’ve always wondered what percentage of deals never hit the mark. . .. ) Walmart isn’t looking for your credit card info or a purchase promise. All you have to do to join the deal on their Facebook page is “like” the deal.

Smart, Rich, Responsible People Love Coupons

When you think of coupon clippers, you probably picture a stay-at-home-mom snipping in front of the TV in order stretch the family budget. But according to a Deals.com poll, that’s not completely true.

MyType conducted the poll on behalf of Deals.com and they returned some surprising results, like the fact that “People with household incomes in excess of $100,000 per year are roughly two times more likely to be coupon lovers.”

So this is how the rich get richer!

Being an avid couponer myself, I was happy to see that the poll categorized me as being an imaginative, extravert who is socially responsible. I can buy that (but only if you give me $1.00 off.)

Here are a few more “coupon lover” facts:

Ebay Gets It’s Group-On

Ebay is the latest in a series of websites to partner with deal site Groupon and it  looks like a win-win for the two websites – but what about the site users?

The first deal to hit the site was The Body Shop offering $40 worth of product for $20 and just in time for the holiday shopping season. Groupon has its own eBay page which is tied to your IP address so you’ll only see offers that are national or local to your area. 1676 people picked up the deal today and as a bonus, they also received $1.00 in eBay Bucks.

eBay Bucks is a new loyalty program that gives you a small kick-back on every eBay purchase and purchases of related deals. At the end of the quarter, eBay gives the user back the bucks in the form of a gift certificate that they can spend on eBay.

Afterlife Well Spent: Zombies Take Over Sears.com

You may think of Sears as a stuffy, old fashioned brand, but they’re working hard to change your opinion with a brand new social shopping site and zombies!

Sears has outdone themselves with a Halloween site makeover that doesn’t miss a trick and is loaded with treats. They’ve taken the basic website and replaced the ads with zombie versions such as dead hands showing off rings and a fridge complete with brains on ice. Clicking through the links will take you to a real page where you can buy real items and how can you not buy with an enticement like this?

The center of the page features a Zombie Gift Guide where you’re asked to choose the zombie type (slow, cranky, dirty) and brain preference (runny, chilled, boiled). These lead to more zombie graphics with gift suggestions that are legit.

Local Franchises Lag in the Social Media Market

Over the years, my husband has spent thousands of dollars on tools from Snap-on, but his connection to the company was always through a local franchise owner and not with the corporate office. But if you look for Snap-on on Facebook, you’ll find only a few dealers have pages. Of those, most are out of date and one is friends locked. That’s no way to do business.

According to comScore’s Local Search Usage Study, (as reported by Clickz) “69% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information on a social networking site.” 22% contacted a business after finding them on a social network and 67% of those consumers went on to make a purchase.

Amazon iPhone App Offers Scan, Tap, Buy

The latest version of the Amazon iPhone app (1.2.8) connects the offline world to online sales like never before by offering a camera based barcode scanner similar to those available on popular price comparison apps like Red Laser. The new Amazon app supports a more integrated offline-to-online shopping experience by supporting purchases directly inside the app and the ability to add items to your wish list for later purchase.

If you’re selling on Amazon, this is good news for you because you’re more likely to connect with potential customers as they engage with the real world. If you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer, you’re probably cringing at the thought of your customers scanning your products and then making the purchase with your competitor right there in your store. Ouch.

Google Price Index–Real Time Data for Online Pricing

Utilizing their vast collection of shopping data, Google is developing an alternative means of tracking inflation known as the Google Price Index (GPI). The effort is being headed by Google’s chief economist Hal Varian, and has the grand goal of providing more timely price index data.

The well known Consumer Price Index (CPI) provides a monthly measure of inflation based on pricing data gathered by hand from brick-and-mortar retailers along with other sources. The CPI data is published monthly and can be delayed by several weeks. Google’s method of utilizing online sources of pricing data offers a more real time reflection of pricing indexes.