Posts tagged with Amazon

FTC cracks down on paid bloggers

Journalists have long been held accountable to readers about what companies they receive money from and invest in. But bloggers have had more leeway in exchanging free products and services for coverage. But the Federal Trade Commission would like to change that, with new rules that would require bloggers to disclose any conflicts of interest in their online coverage.

According to the Associated Press:

"New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers--as well as the companies that compensate them--for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest. It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say and do online. The common practice of posting a graphical ad or a link to an online retailer — and getting commissions for any sales from it — would be enough to trigger oversight."

As blogging becomes more institutionalized, the matter of where money goes online becomes more important. However, with the new guidelines unfinalized, it remains unclear on how effective — or ruthless — they will be.

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Online companies are using offline advertising. Now they just need to measure it.

Offline advertising may be suffering right now, but that doesn’t mean that online brands can’t still profit from it. According to AdWeek, online entities like Zappos, Amazon and Kayak are working with traditional agencies — and advertising — to fatten up their profits. But the thing they still needs to get worked out is how to measure the effectiveness of cross-channel campaigns.

Trying to foster more brand awareness and utilize growing budgets, online companies are looking past search and display toward more traditional methods. Barry Lowenthal, president of The Media Kitchen here, a unit of MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, tells AdWeek that television ads bring "people into the fold that aren't already participating in the category or, if they are already participating in the category, might not be considering your brand. It's much higher up the purchase funnel.”

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Google's eBook hypocrisy

Google runs the risk of a serious and potentially damaging investigation into monopolistic or anti-competitive practises. The search engine has been careful not to fall foul of the strict American rules but will a careless slip with eBooks cost them dear?

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Delivery costs sending bargain hunters offline

Cash-strapped shoppers are moving offline and shopping at discount stores like Primark and Matalan, mainly to save on delivery charges, according to a survey released this week.

Verdict Research's e-Retail 2009 report predicts online retail growth of 13.3% this year, to £20.9bn, but also had some interesting stats about how the recession is affecting online shopping habits. 

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Are UK retailers not bothering with m-commerce?

While mobile commerce seems to be taking hold in other markets, especially Japan, the UK's retailers seem to be slow so far to anticipate this trend, with very few having launched transactional mobile sites.

Looking at a US article on mobile commerce usability today from GetElastic, I was struck by how many of the big name retailers in the States are already catering for customers on mobiles.

Sears, BestBuy, Ralph Lauren, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and others all have m-commerce sites, yet I can think of very few in the UK.

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Scribd looks for a foothold in the eBook market

Amazon has quickly emerged as the leader in the nascent eBook market, but a company launching today has the potential to change all that.

Amazon has the upper hand versus Sony's Reader because of its prolific backlog of content. Most important to their foothold is the way that they control content. Books purchased in the Amazon store are only viewable on the Kindle and the Kindle iPhone app. But if a company can undercut Amazon's prices and get access to the same quality content, they could unseat Amazon.

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Publish your blog on Amazon Kindle in 10 easy steps

Amazon has launched a very simple self-publishing tool for the world’s blogger community, to expand the amount of blogs available on Kindle.

Kindle Publishing for Blogs allows bloggers to sign up and submit their feed/s. Amazon will turn your blog feed into a Kindle-ready format. Why wouldn't you?

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Amazon relying on brand credibility instead of good usability

Amazon and The Book Depository logosIf ever a retailer could get away with having exceptional cross-selling and up-selling functionality, yet provide a new visitor checkout process and web forms that break many usability rules, Amazon is certainly one of them. On the other hand one of Amazon's competitors, The Book Depository, certainly appears to focus more on providing better usability throughout the buying journey, especially for new customers.

Following the recent e-commerce training course I delivered for Econsultancy, the usability benchmarking that is part of the course threw up some really interesting market insights. Although many retailers are featured in the course, providing examples of good and bad e-tail usability and best practice, I purposely refrained from including Amazon.

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How to organise e-commerce product reviews

User reviews are a well proven sales tool; there are plenty of surveys that show how important they are to customers when making a purchase decision, but what is the best way to help customers make sense of reviews?

Amazon uses the 'was this review helpful?' option to great effect, which helped users to make sense of large numbers of reviews and, according to Jared Spool, added $2.7bn to the online retail giant's bottom line.

When retailers get to a certain number of reviews on product pages (perhaps 15-20) some organisation is required to make them more meaningful to other shoppers, so how are other e-tailers handling this?

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Amazon sales ranking 'glitch' sparks furor

Twitter wasn't the only high-profile internet company that didn't have a peaceful Easter weekend.

Online retail giant Amazon found itself on the receiving end of a firestorm over the apparent removal of sales rankings from gay and lesbian-themed books.

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Amazon shuts the book on PPC arbitrageurs

PPC arbitrage has always been a touchy subject for search engines, marketers and affiliate program operators.

Countless millions have been earned by arbitrageurs who purchase ads through Google, Yahoo and the link and send that traffic to affiliate programs through which they can earn more than they spend on those ads.

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Q&A: Nick Usborne on writing sales copy for websites

Nick UsborneNick Usborne has been a copywriter for thirty years, and worked on direct mail campaigns before moving exclusively online in 1997. He has just written a guide to optimising online sales by writing better copy.

He believes that this is an area where many e-commerce sites have plenty of room for improvement. In his new e-book, he talks about how websites could use proven sales copywriting techniques to improve their conversion rates.

I've been speaking to Nick about why he feels that some sites need better copy, and the challenges of online copywriting...

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