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Online Spending Up Year Over Year for Black Friday

Black FridayLet’s face it this holiday season is a pivotal one for all of us from a macro point of view. While many retailers will be focused on their individual bottom lines it will be important to look at how this whole ‘first weekend’ of the holiday shopping season plays out from start to finish with the latest entry, Cyber Monday, happening as you read this.

First the good news. Online sales for Black Friday were up 11% over last year according to comScore and the rest of November was an improvement over the prior year. Let’s remember, though, that last year’s holiday season was on the heels of “Bailout 1” and waiting for a new president to be inaugurated. In other words, last year sucked so any improvement over those numbers needs to be tempered.

Google Product Search: Give Me Cashback or Give Me Death!

As I mentioned yesterday, I love Bing’s shopping engine. In no small part because I can earn some serious cashback. As long as I make sure I’m getting the lowest price in the first place, the cashback makes it worth using Bing.

So, Google Product Search can wave all the new fancy features in front of me that it wants, if I ain’t getting a kickback, I ain’t using Google!

OK, maybe some of you aren’t quite so price conscious as me. Maybe for you, shopping is more about the journey, than the destination. If that’s the case, you’re going to love the scenery Google just added.

First, we have a new gallery view:

We also have new review summaries:

Nearby stores:

Rupert Murdoch to Google: “Steal” Someone Else’s Stories!

I’ve decided that I really don’t need as many of you coming to Marketing Pilgrim each day.

In fact, I’ve decided to start charging for the content that we publish.

Oh, but I will still keep the advertisers’ money. They’ll just have to get used to the idea that we don’t have as many eyeballs viewing their ads.

And, lastly, I’m kicking out Google. Yeah, I don’t need it bringing any additional readers to the site. They just consume extra bandwidth.

Have I gone insane?

I haven’t–I’m not really doing any of the above–but media mogul Rupert Murdoch quite possibly has!

Speaking in an interview with his own Sky News Australia channel, Murdoch–whom I can never look at without thinking of Spitting Image–bluntly explained how he might ban Google from indexing his newspapers’ content:

E-commerce. Up? Down? All Around?

ConfrontationWelcome to this Friday’s version of surveys, research and statistics to ponder. Of course, how and what you ponder always has more to do with the source of the statistics and your mood which makes the numbers kinda funky but ‘Hey!’, if we didn’t have stats what would we do with our days?

This latest statistical ‘he said / she said’ consists of different numbers regarding the state of e-commerce. Today’s particpants are, “In the red corner”, comScore. They are in the red corner because they are reporting that e-commerce is slipping for the first time in the history of the world (you get it right?). “In the blue corner” is Forrester who tells everyone to not get our knickers in a twist because even in the cruddy economy e-commerce is the light on the hill or a veritable economic ‘beacon o’ hope’. Today’s match is brought to you by the Wall Street Journal.

All Your eCommerce Are Belong to Google

Google CrownI think every single one of us could share a frustrating online shopping experience, especially one about trying to find a product you know a retailer offers, but doesn’t show up in their search results. Google wants to make it easier for all of us with their new enterprise offering, Google Commerce Search.

To participate, you submit all your data to Google Merchant Center and Google Product Search (via data feeds, direct uploads or the API), and then customize the look and feel of your search engine with Google. Although Google doesn’t mention this in the documentation, I can only assume you have to do something to incorporate the Commerce Search into your site (probably replacing your old search engine). (Oh, and PS, it starts at $50k/yr.)

Did Old Navy Acquire

Other than looking like an Old Navy commercial, I really don’t know what to make of this new TV ad.

Still, when did ads ever make sense? ;-)

Amazon Goes Mobile–Mobile Payments, That Is

amazonI know it’s a conundrum you’ve just puzzled over for years. When will “the mobile” “arrive”? What will it take to get mobile payments off the ground in the US? A month ago, we looked at Read Write Web’s series on this subject, where they concluded that mobile payments wouldn’t take off until a site users know and trust implemented a secure system.

Facebook has already announced a mobile payments “solution” (all buzz words get scare quotes today) with Zong—but Amazon might beat them to the punch. Amazon, one of the (if not the) most popular online commerce sites, premieres its own Mobile Payments System today—and it’s not just for their site.