Posts tagged with Amazon

US Census Bureau: ecommerce slumped in Q4 2008

We all know the 4th quarter was a tough one for retailers. Despite the holidays, the global economic crisis had consumers pinching pennies and retailers were forced to discount heavily in an effort to entice them to spend.

Some online retailers such as Amazon.com reported 'record' holidays but many weren't quick to quantify what those 'records' meant to the bottom line and according to new numbers, Q4 2008 online sales in the United States were disappointing.

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Retailers need to look to mobile internet - survey

Mobile shopping25% of shoppers are using mobile phones as part of the buying process when in retail stores, using phones to compare prices and look for reviews or recommendations from friends.

A recent survey suggests that retailers have an opportunity to get more mobile users shopping instore by providing them with mobile apps and more mobile-friendly websites to allow customers to access this information to help make a purchase decision. 

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Amazon bows SMS shopping

262966 spells A-M-A-Z-O-N on your dialpad. It's the shortcode for TextBuyIt, the online retailer's new SMS shopping system.

Just type what you want - iPod Nano, for example, text it to that number and numbered search results appear on your handheld device's screen. Respond with the number of the item you want, respond to the prompt for your email address and postal code, and you'll get a call from Amazon to complete your purchase.

It's all so instantaneous, except for the waiting for it to arrive in the mail part.

Amazon TextbuyIt

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Did free delivery work this Christmas?

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?

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Belkin: a case study in social media sin

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.

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LL Bean tops in customer service

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.

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Christmas online retail stats round-up

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.

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Recession collides with "Amazon Tax"

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.

Blame.....the affiliates?

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Report: US retailers upped paid search spend before holidays

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.

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Amazon gets the Watchdog treatment

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.

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The Web Week in Review

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.

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Crowdsourcing with Amazon Mechanical Turk

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.

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