Ecommerce News

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 4/16/12

The headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Meet Generation C: The Connected Consumer @TheSocialCustomer– Connected customers or Gen-C is only becoming more pervasive in society and ultimately your economy.  Now’s the time to recognize how your customer landscape is shifting and to what extent traditional and connected consumers discover and make decisions differently.

Data Points: Spending It @AdWeek– People are getting more comfortable shopping online, but they’re also demanding more of retailers.

7 Surprising Facts about Mobile Shoppers @Mashable– Consumers aren’t just using their phones for e-mail & text anymore, many use their smartphones to bridge the gap between brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce.

The Hottest Trend in E-Commerce? Clothes @AllThingsD– Apparel is the fastest-growing segment in e-commerce this year, thanks to new ways to display clothing online.  EMarketer predicts that the category will grow by 20% this year.

Facebook Check-Ins Check Out. Offers Are On.

Facebook is saying goodbye to check-in deals, as it welcomes in Offers.

Offers allow page owners to post coupons that Facebook fans can collect from the News Feed or ad units. Unlike the previous check-in deals, Offers can be redeemed in-store or online, but don’t require users to visit a physical location.

Facebook is currently beta testing Offers with select businesses. The general thought is that Facebook is opening up Offers to larger brands first that are working with the social network as a premium advertiser under the guise of discover and resolving any issues with the creation and redemption of offers before taking Offers live to all pages.

Facebook says Offers will be available to all pages soon, but there is no clear timetable for the rollout.

The potential of Offers vastly outshines its predecessor, check-in deals, for several reasons. Check-in deals were difficult to create, needed Facebook approval, and their discover was difficult. Offers, on the other hand, are a more streamlined process. Page owners can create Offers as page posts, so they’ll be distributed to the page’s existing fan base. Claiming an offer is just as simple –one click sends a coupon to a user’s email address –which results in prominent News Feed stories that increase awareness of the promotion. Businesses may also purchase Sponsored Stores to support the offer.

Macy’s posted the first Offer last month. The coupon ran for three days and contained a 25% discount on purchases of $100 or more. The offer was claimed by more than 41,000 customers.

Sources: InsideFacebook.com and PracticalEcommerce.com

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 3/19/12

The headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Tim Cook On The New iPad’s First Weekend Sales “We Had A Record Weekend” @ TechCrunch– Apple has “record weekend” according to CEO Tim Cook with over 3 million new iPads sold in first 3 days.

Google Analytics Update Connects Social Marketing With The Bottom Line x @ TechCrunch – Given the increasing importance of social marketing and social network traffic, Google Analytics has finally added social-focused reports.

Happy 6th Birthday, Twitter @ Mashable – Everyone’s favorite micro-blogging platform turns 6 years old. And with over 500 million users, it is the largest one-to-many open communication platform on the web today.

Eventbrite Builds its Own iPad Card Reader  @ Mashable – Taking a hint from mobile payment companies like Square, online ticketing upstart Eventbrite has created its own branded credit card reader for the iPad.

50 Most Stylish New Yorkers 2012 @ StyleCaster– Congratulations to Stacey Bendet, founder of alice + olivia and one of our favorite clients, for making Stylecaster’s list of 50 Most Stylist New Yorkers!

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 3/12/12

The headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Instagram’s Highly Anticipated Android App Is Coming Soon @ Wired – The Instagram party is about to go from a few cocktails with friends (27 million iOS friends to be exact) into a raging kegger. An Android version of the super-popular photo-sharing app will be released “very soon,” according to the company’s founder.

New iPad: A Polishing of the Old @ New York Times – The new Apple iPad is finally here and The New York Times had plenty to say about Apple’s newest tablet.

SXSW 2012 Roundup @ CNET – SXSW has officially come and gone and our friends over at CNET give us the best from Austin with none of the hangover or dehydration.

PayPal Takes On Square, Launches ‘PayPal Here’ Credit Card Reader @ Mashable – PayPal is set to go head-to-head against mobile payment pioneer Square for part of the small business pie.

Money Matters – PayPal Enters Mobile E-Commerce Arena

Fresh off of a series of announcements from Square, the point of sale mobile application and service, e-commerce giant, PayPal has stepped into the mobile e-commerce arena with its sights set on trying to be Goliath to Square’s David.

PayPal announced PayPal Here this week, and is positioning itself to go head-to-head against Square in the mobile payment small business category with a mobile app and card reader that accepts credit and debit card payments.

Credit card and check transactions can be accepted by capturing a photo of the check or card in question, and customers select a tip amount and sign for the transaction directly on the phone’s screen.

While the PayPal Here app is designed to be used hand in hand with the card reader, the app can also be used to accept checks, keep track of cash transactions, and accept credit card transactions in situations where you might not have your card reader present.

How does PayPal stack up against Square?
PayPal Here is available for iPhone and Android, while Square is available for iPad, iPhone, and Android.

PayPal Here takes a 2.7% cut for each credit card or PayPal transaction, while Square takes a 2.75% cut for each credit card transaction.

PayPal Here is available in a limited release to 1,000 merchants who use iOS devices. Sam Shrauger, vice president of global product and experience, said the company will roll it out to the public over the next month or so, at which time he said an Android app will also be available.

“One of the game changers PayPal could offer would be to accept mag stripe and EMV in the same device,” Andy Schmidt, research director at consulting firm CEB TowerGroup, said, referring to the so-called “chip-and-pin” cards that are ubiquitous in many other parts of the world. Here, older, magnetic stripe is still the dominant technology.

Gwenn Bézard, research director at consulting firm the Aite Group said, being able to process EMV cards would give PayPal an edge over Square, both because those cards are expected to become more prevalent in the U.S. in the future and because it would give PayPal a jump on Square in overseas markets.

PayPal Here can’t process EMV cards via swiping now, although Shrauger said that will change as PayPal introduces the device in other countries. “Obviously, we’ll support chip-and-pin in markets where those are prevalent,” he said, although he declined to comment on when American users could get chip-and-pin compatible devices.

Even without EMV, Shrauger was bullish about Here’s chances against Square because PayPal lets businesses accept so many forms of payment. “We want them to have one payment solution regardless of how they’re selling,” he said.

Sources: Paypal.com, Mashable.com, SquareUp.com, MSNBC