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Group buying sites are growing like weeds in the digital commerce space. Every day it seems there's a new one offering discounts to expensive restaurants or a new approach to the flash sale. That's because the category is bringing in revenue hand over fist.
Just yesterday, I wrote about how these sites are using gaming tactics to separate shoppers from their money. And today comScore released some numbers that help explain the growing popularity of these sites. In addition to the great revenue they bring in, they're actually getting people to spend considerably more money online.
When major advertisers and agencies are looking to buy media online, they typically turn to companies like comScore and Nielsen for audience measurement data. That makes these companies extremely important to publishers.
Unfortunately, smaller publishers and startups in most cases simply can't afford to jump in bed with the comScores and Nielsens of the world. That has created opportunity for upstart competitors like Quantcast and Compete, which are aiming to away at their positions in the market.
Two recent studies this week underscore a trend obvious not only to smartphone owners (a segment rapidly achieving dominance in the mobile phone market), but also to those early adopters of Kindles, iPads and the like. What matters in mobile is the data, not the vox.
How much traffic does your website get? On the surface, it seems like it should be an easy question to answer. But unfortunately, it isn't so cut-and-dry. Companies like comScore are in the business of helping publishers and advertisers find the answer, but according to Jason Calacanis, comScore is running an "extortion ring".
In a fiery post this weekend, he rails against comScore, calling it the "technology industry’s biggest bully" and even suggesting that traders short the company's stock.
The economy has been making some hints at ressurgance in the past few months, but it's nowhere near a complete rebound, and according to ComScore today, most of the bright spots in third quarter are only relative to the dismal results that occured last year. During its quarterly report "State of the US Online Retail Economy," ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni characterized a generally dismal third quarter for retailers.
However, it's not all bad. Amid struggling revenues and rising unemployment, some retailers are increasing conversion rates and site visitations. What's their secret? Low prices and reliable online experiences. And there is promise in the fact that young, upper income earners are opening up their wallets again.
Display ad purveyors have desperately been trying to climb out from under the thumb of click-through rates, and a new study from comScore shows that they better do so quickly. The number of people who have clicked on display ads has dropped 50% in the last year. Even worse, only 8% of people online accounted for 85% of the display ad clicks.
On the heels of Adobe's quarterly earning call, where they announced the grim news about software sales, they also announced the acquisition of Omniture. Is this a play to be a player in the analytics market, to have a strong presence in the SAAS space, to take advantage of Omniture's recurring revenue model, or something else?
This week, Nielsen announced its new "Internet Meter" will be available by the end of the year. But it won't actually be useful until 2011. And the cable companies' plans for TV Everywhere are likely to be put off until 2014. While television companies are talking a lot about putting their premium content online, it could be awhile before this becomes serious business.
The end of the summer is usually a high point for retailers. But it's mid-August and registers have not been ringing at their usual rate. In fact, back-to-school revenues are the lowest they've been in over a decade.
That spells bad news for the 2009 economy. But if there's one thing that is becoming more important in the moving of consumer goods, it is online marketing.
The click-through is arguably the most powerful metric on the internet. It is largely the criteria upon which many online ad campaigns are judged and a billion-dollar economy has been built upon it.
But is the click-through really all it's cracked up to be? Sure, it works well when you're doing direct response advertising. But what about brand advertising?
Banner ads aren't going down without a fight. Marketers and publishers have been hearing for awhile that display ads are not nearly as effective as search. And in terms of click through rates, they aren't.
But just because people aren't clicking on banner ads, it doesn't mean they aren't working. That's long been the cry of display ad sellers, and now comScore has come out with a study that shows how display contributes to sales, even if consumers aren't immediately clicking through to purchase.
Google commands a dominant share of the search market and there's no sign that this will change anytime soon.
But should it be worried about Microsoft's recently-launched 'decision engine', Bing?