More online retailers than ever chose to entice customers with free delivery offers over Christmas. It's something that web shoppers have pointed to as a major factor in their purchase decisions.
Retailers who hadn't previously done so, started offering it, while others like Amazon dropped their threshold for free delivery. We have previously advocated this as a sales driver, as well as being useful bait for marketing campaigns, so did it work for etailers in Xmas 2008?
The importance of online product reviews to retailers, manufacturers and consumers cannot be underestimated. They've become a prominent fixture on ecommerce websites and are used extensively by consumers to make purchasing decisions.
The key to their value: authenticity. Any manipulation of these reviews threatens the credibility of the reviews, and in the case of retailers and manufacturers, potentially the perception of their brands.
The NRF Foundation/American Express Survey just announced the winners of its Customers’ Choice survey, with L.L. Bean coming out on top.
The survey, conducted by BIGresearch which polled 8,167 consumers, named Bean the hand-down winner in online, as well as offline, customer service channels.
Now it's a few weeks after Christmas, a few more stats on sales figures over the festive period have been released.
Due to the consumer downturn many retailers have reported a fall in like-for-like sales, but online retail has continued to grow this Christmas, though this is not necessarily enough to compensate for poor high street sales. Here's a round-up of some of the most recent e-commerce stats.
Since the dawn of US ecommerce, the question has been "to sales tax, or not to sales tax?"
Consumers and online retailers are squarely in the don't-tax camp, while state governments, which stand to reap the tax dollars, are of a differing opinion. New York state has been trying to get out of state sellers, such as Amazon, to collect and pay state sales tax on transactions, which could reap hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue for the cash-strapped government (particular now that once-lucrative Wall Street revenues are fading fast).
The rule of thumb has long been that if the online seller has a bricks and mortar local presence in the state, e.g. Apple.com has local Apple stores, state tax is levied on online transactions. Amazon, as well as other online-only retailers such as Overstock.com, challenged New York's attempt to get them to pony up 8.25 percent on all New York state transactions.
Yesterday, a NY State judge dismissed Amazon's suit as groundless.
Facing perhaps the toughest retail environment in decades,
multi-channel retailers in the United States turned to paid search in
the run up to the holiday shopping season in an effort to boost sales.
SearchIgnite, a search management provider, today reported that US
multi-channel retailers increased their spending on paid search by 12%
in Q4 2008 as compared to Q4 2007.
Amazon Marketplace was featured on Watchdog last night, with complaints about dodgy sellers and the availability of pepper spray on the site the target of the consumer programme.
Watchdog (on iPlayer) found several instances of customers buying items on the Marketplace, receiving emails purporting to be from Amazon, paying by transfer service Moneygram and not receiving the products.
Perhaps I'm simply tiring of the economic news (or becoming immune to it). Increasingly, I find myself being drawn more and more to random news stories unrelated to the flurry of bad news that seems to come on the economic front.
Tis the season to be jolly, right? Here's this week's hodgepodge of news and it's not all bad.
There are some tasks that computers and software programs just can't perform. Sometimes, these tasks are tedious or the 'resources' required to complete them require more man-power than you have.
As Patrick talked about on Monday, 2009 may turn out to be the year for mobile internet, and companies need to be thinking about their mobile strategies.
Some websites have already adapted well to the use of mobile internet, but others seemingly have a long way to go. A new ebook (pdf) from dotMobi takes a look at the best and worst on the mobile web.
Here are a few best practice tips for mobile websites...