Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reducing Friction in the Online Sales Process | Get Elastic Blog

Awesome article by the Get Elastic Blog, looking at most elements creating resistance of consumers in the purchasing process on an e-commerce website.

The guys from Elastic Path review examples of friction in the key areas of the purchase funnel:

- Home Page
- Navigation
- Site Search
- Category Ppage
- Product Pages
- Cart Summary Page
- Sign-up Forms
- Checkout Process
- E-mails
- 404 Pages

Read the whole article here: Reducing Friction in the Sales Process | Get Elastic

Monday, December 29, 2008

Social Media Influencers Predictions 2009 By Trendsspotting

Happy Holidays.
See you in 2009!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Latest e-commerce launches by Digitas

Time for shameless self-promotion... Here's a list of the latest e-commerce websites that went live in the last weeks, made with love (and sweat) by Digitas:

www.thekooples.com - The newest high-end Fashion brand
www.vin-malin.fr - Wine retail pure play
www.cultura.com - Major retail stores chain in France for Music, Video, Books and creative DIY
www.wesco-group.com - European leader in childcare equipment for professionals

Shopping clubs are hot: Brands4friends.de raises €10M (via TheNextWeb.com)

German shopping club Brands4Friends.de has raised a €10 million round of funding. It’s their series C, led by Partech International. Some old friends from previous rounds joined them: Mangrove Capital Partners and Holtzbrinck Ventures both chipped in. In these rough economic times, such a large boost in an e-commerce site is quite spectacular.

Yet when you read Brands4Friends’ story, the financial backing makes complete sense.

The full story here: Shopping clubs are hot: Brands4friends.de raises €10M

Also see http://www.pehub.com/24601/brands4friends-raises-e10-million/

Monday, November 24, 2008

Recession special: state of online retailing - US & France

We're starting to get alarming messages from the US and Europe regarding online retail's growth in these tough economic times.

"State of the Union"
On the one hand, according to ComScore, 'Online sales growth barely moves the needle in October in the US': the economic slowdown is starting to seriously affect the online retailing industry.

The latest: Online retail sales in October grew a scant 1% over sales in October 2007. ComScore says it is the lowest monthly growth since it began tracking e-commerce in 2001 and October was the sixth consecutive month of lower growth than the month before.

The decline in growth rate was precipitous, from a height of 28% in August 2007 to 1% only 14 months later. (InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Tuesday, November 18, 2008)

At least, it's not as bad as offline retail over there: The U.S. Commerce Department reported that retail sales, which include autos, gasoline stations and restaurants, decreased 3.3% in October from October last year.

Hereunder a table comparing sales and year-on-year growth for offline retail and e-commerce in the US:

Source: US Census Bureau

"News from the Old Continent"

On the other hand, e-commerce growth is also slowing down in France, albeit on a smaller scale: according to Fevad, the French e-commerce and distance-selling federation, year-on-year e-commerce growth for Q3 slowed down to 27% instead of 30% in Q1.

Read the full analysis here at Journal Du Net (in French, sorry...).

But French analysts still foresee this Christmas to be the biggest for e-commerce ever in France. We're even having our first Cybermonday over here on November 24th (10 years in the making!).

Let's wait & see...

Friday, November 14, 2008

The New Credit Card with a Keypad, Built to Fight Online Fraud

Visa have shown off their new card built to combat online shopping fraud. The card, to be tested in Britain next year has a 12 button Keypad and display powered by a battery which  should last 3 years.

Card holders will be required to key in their pin every time they make a purchase online. A security code is then sent to the card which appears on the display which then needs to be typed into the website.

The New Credit Card with a Keypad, Built to Fight Online Fraud

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Off topic: Bill Gates to unretire? :)

:) Download Google Chrome here...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More video you can shop

Remember SeenOn? The shop-what-you-see-on-TV online retailer is still here... And their cool "Shopisode" feature is still running. SeenOn enables shoppers to shop the outfits showcased in US TV shows by checking out excerpts of aforementioned shows. The videos are 'chapterized' by product appearance.

Check it out for yourself, embed below:

And a screenshot:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Publicis Groupe acquires Performics

Another digital grab for Maurice: Google has announced that it will sell its Performics search marketing business (acquired with DoubleClick earlier this year) to Paris-based Publicis Groupe. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008. Performics will join the ViVaki network.

Check out the official Google/Publicis Groupe press release here.

Amazon takes on PayPal and Google Checkout with new payment service | InternetRetailer.com

Amazon this week unveiled two payment services, Checkout by Amazon and Amazon Simple Pay, which enable other e-retailers to process payments through Amazon. Checkout by Amazon includes some features, such as shipping and tax calculation and order management services, which Amazon Simple Pay does not. Amazon has been testing the payments services since last summer.


The biggest draw of these new payment services will be the 81 million consumers already familiar with checking out on Amazon. This is likely to attract small and mid-sized retailers, but bigger players will stay away because they view Amazon as a competitor.

Another concern for all retailers considering the service, is that Amazon will use the data it collects about what’s selling to enhance its own product offerings. An Amazon spokesman replies, "We simply plan to use the data to improve the service for our merchant customers."

InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drugstore.com starts a push for overseas sales | InternetRetailer.com

Drugstore.com, will use E4X’s FiftyOne Global Ecommerce Solution to expand sales internationally. Drugstore.com expects to sell in 34 countries before year's end.

“International shoppers are streaming to U.S. e-commerce web sites to buy virtually all categories of consumer products, and for good reason,” says Michael DeSimone, CEO, E4X. “The low U.S. dollar means they’re going to save significantly—as much as 40% in some instances—even when shipping costs, import tariffs, and taxes are included.”

InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rising gas prices and tightened budgets have US consumers using the Internet to save money while shopping online and off | InternetRetailer.com

Visits to online coupon sites increased 56% year-over-year for the week ending June 6, with Coupons.com receiving the largest market share at 29%, according to Hitwise. Coupon Mountain and Eversave accounted for 14% and 16% of visits, respectively, during the same period.

Also for the week ending June 6, U.S. visits to comparison shopping sites increased 51% year-over-year, while U.S. visits to discount retailers increased 25% and to traditional department stores increased 15%, Hitwise says.

InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's Official: There Is No Bubble - ReadWriteWeb

So, it is official - there is no bubble in public Internet stocks... According to ReadWriteWeb. There might be in private valuations, but that is almost impossible to analyze accurately without access to hard data on late stage VC valuations.

ReadWriteWeb analyzes the financials of the 7 publicly traded Internet Big Cos and of the "middle 20" (publicly traded web technology stocks with a market cap over $1 billion), here's the wrap-up:

It's Official: There Is No Bubble - ReadWriteWeb

iPhone 3G is the largest consumer electronics launch in History …

Turns out the hyperbolic press release with which Apple announced the iPhone 3G’s first sales numbers today may have been more of an understatement than overstatement. Because iPhone 3G’s stunning opening weekend may go down in the books as the largest consumer electronics launch ever.

Read full story at AllThingsDigital.

michaelslevy.com now mobile too!

My blog is now available on your phone (there's a classic mobile phone version and a cooler iPhone version). It's here: http://m.michaelslevy.com, bookmark it!

Courtesy of Mofuse.

Here's a little preview:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Digitas France 2008 Showreel

Digitas France 2008 Showreel from Michael S. Levy on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chiara is here!

I'm a proud and starry-eyed daddy since early Thursday morning!
She's amazing, she's gorgeous, and I'm in love.
You can say 'hello and welcome' to her on her very own Facebook Page!

Here's my Chiara playlist:

Découvrez Kid Sister!

And my Chiara music video:

Monday, June 16, 2008

YOOX.com targets 2009 for IPO | InternetRetailer.com

An e-commerce IPO in Europe!

YOOX, the online apparel and accessories retailer, is planning an initial public stock offering on the Milan Stock Exchange in the first half of next year.

The online apparel and accessories retailer has retained Italian investment banker Eidos Partners as financial advisor to manage the IPO.

Established in Italy in 2000 by CEO Federico Marchetti, YOOX Group operates in 53 countries and receives nearly four million visitors a month to its online stores.

In 2007 the company delivered more than 1 million items to customers across the world and reported web sales of $121.7 million.

InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Wednesday, June 11, 2008

LicketyShip: Founding CEO Out, Ditches Business Model To Focus On Couriers As A Web Service

LicketyShip company is preparing a relaunch, and will be focusing on aggregating courier services for more than just deliveries of retail goods. In effect, they’ll be taking the huge but highly fragmented courier market and turning it into a web service.

Any e-commerce site or retailer, for example, could build in an option for immediate courier delivery. All that would be required is that they have a warehouse near the customer.

LicketyShip: Founding CEO Out, Ditches Business Model To Focus On Couriers As A Web Service

Monday, June 9, 2008

Big e-commerce website outage = big-time $$ losses | The Amazon case study

When your business is online, being temporarily 'closed for business' is NOT good.
Amazon suffered a service outage in the US on Friday, for a little over an hour and a half. Amazon hadn’t had a big outage for a while...

Amazon availability on Friday

According to a calculation by CNET, this has resulted in a theoretical loss of about $3 million ($31,000 per minute). Ouch...

(Apparently, the outage did not affect International websites and Amazon Web Services.)

It's Amazon, but still, this is a nice reminder to set your e-commerce business up with a reliable and redundant hosting infrastructure from the get-go. Once your website is live, there's no closing hours. Your shop is open 24/7, and customers flock at all times, day and night :)

Techcrunch's take:

CNET's take:

Mashable's take:

No official Amazon news release yet.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Multi-Store eCommerce: 4 Stores - 1 Checkout | Get Elastic

GAP + Banana Republic + Old Navy + Piperlime = 1 Checkout

Closing the gap between its e-stores, Gap now allows customer to shop all of its stores online as though it were one site. Customers can switch shops just by clicking tabs, add products to a single cart and check-out in one go.

(From Get Elastic Blog)

Multi-Store eCommerce: 4 Stores - 1 Checkout | Get Elastic

Monday, May 26, 2008

Finally! Pizza Hut Serves Up Online Orders direct from your desktop | Mashable.com

Pizza Hut customers in the US can now order their pizza online and via their PC desktop, by installing an Adobe AIR app, called the Pizza Hut Shortcut, available here, courtesy of the pizza chain website.

Apart from eBay, I believe it is the first 'mass market' Adobe AIR app out there...

A few screenshots:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Video merchandising cont'd: video lookbook

The Jordan Brand shows off its collection via a video lookbook, driving to the Nike Store.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Digitas is the # 1 Digital Agency

According to Advertising Age, Digitas is the #1 digital agency for 2007 in revenue, in front of Avenue A/Razorfish and Rapp Collins.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reebok launches in-house updated global e-commerce site | InternetRetailer.com

Reebok is launching a global e-commerce site that will better promote its brand, allow users to send product details to their mobile phones and convey the feeling of shopping in a store, the company says.

The footwear and apparel retailer began a soft launch of the updated site for its customers in the UK and France and will roll the site out to several other undisclosed countries throughout 2008. The new site will mark Reebok’s entry into e-commerce in some of the countries.

The site automatically redirects to the browser language country, and is in full-Flash & Flex. Although loading times are a little slow, the user interface is nice.

InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Digitas US Portfolio Highlight Reel

Here's a video reel of a few 2007 projects from Digitas US.
You can also check out Digitas France's portfolio at www.digitas.fr.

Digitas US 2007 Highlight Reel from Michael S. Levy on Vimeo.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Rapper Chamillionaire is a web 2.0 geek (and an astute businessman)

Rap artist Chamillionaire talks with Pete Cashmore from Mashable about music and the Web, ringtones and what's wrong with the industry's current metrics. Smart and insightful comments with a ghetto entrepreneur twist.

Friday, May 2, 2008

GSI Commerce reports revenue up 34% in first quarter | InternetRetailer.com

E-commerce platform provider - and e/merchant blueprint model - GSI Commerce Inc. has reported a 34% increase in first quarter revenue and reiterated its earlier projection of $1 billion in revenue in 2008, which would be a 33% increase from $750 million in 2007.

Also noteworthy, organic growth of e-commerce sales of the about 85 online retailers on the GSI platform is running at about 20%.

InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Friday, April 25, 2008

More video-powered online sales

Update: This feature is provided by Factory 515.

US Online fashion store Bluefly.com has soft-launched a cool new feature called 'Shop the Shoot' for its 'b*fly' section. Customers receive an e-mail inviting them to discover the shoot of the b*fly collection at Bluefly studios, which links to an embedded video player within Bluefly's blog, 'Flypaper'.

The video is pretty straightforward, with an interview of Ford model Heather and 'making-of' takes of the photo shoot, but there's a 'CLICK TO BUY' link on the player, which displays an interactive overlay, listing the on-screen items and links to jump to the product pages. A true Youtube-like Flash player for e-commerce video.

Pretty neat and enticing. I like it.

Here's the e-mail creative and a couple of screenshots of the video player, but you can also check it out for yourself.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Exclusive: Zappos Zeta

US online retailer Zappos' upcoming version of their website, currently in "Zeta", complete with their new product categories: https://zeta.zappos.com/

Monday, April 21, 2008

The New Zappos: going into Amazon territory | from CNET News.com

The company's two warehouses in Kentucky hold around 4 million items, but at just under a million square feet, Zappos has plenty of room to grow. And that's just what they're planning on; by the end of 2008 the company hopes to be selling footwear, apparel, sunglasses, watches, bags, bedding/linens, cosmetics, luggage, and electronics, according to the CEO's blog.

Zappos prides itself on attention to customer service--an 800 number is plastered on every page, along with notes promoting the company's 24/7 customer service line and 365-day return policy. So far, this approach has been working: Zappos, which launched in 1999, had gross sales of $840 million in 2007, up from $1.6 million in 2000. As of the beginning of April, the company had a customer base of 7.7 million people.

The privately held company reported an operating profit in 2007, and "we exceeded (our goal) a little bit," Hsieh said. In fact, things are going so well that the company recently told its 1,600 employees they would each receive a bonus equal to 10 percent of their 2007 salary.

New Zappos: Shoes--and gadgets to boot | Tech news blog - CNET News.com

Visual Mobile Search for Shopping!

Here's a demo video from Evolution Robotics' ViPR technology: snap a pic of any product off a store shelf with your mobile phone (ANY mobile phone), send it to the ViPR server via e-mail or through the ViPR app, and you get detailed info about the product including copy, specs, video from YouTube and even music from iTunes.

Think of it as mortar shopping meeting online shopbots, all on your mobile phone screen:
> For consumers: it's so much faster than typing on their (mobile) keyboard
> For ViPR: it's fully trackable (sent pictures logs) thus easily monetizeable (mobile user profiles colmplete with search history and product interests!)

Great Stuff!

Enjoy the demo:

New Brand Jordan Commercial.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Online shoppers will return to socialize - Internet Retailer

More than 60% of consumers are drawn to online retailers that employ interactive and dynamic Web 2.0 tools and techniques, according to a survey by web technology consulting firm Guidance and market research firm Synovate:

"35% say they’re most likely to return to an e-commerce site if it offers customer product recommendations. 26% desire a unique experience each visit, which the continually changing content of Web 2.0 features facilitates, the firms say. And 6% say they’re most likely to return if a site makes them feel part of a community with other shoppers."

InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Google Will Not Kill the Agency Star, Says Publicis CEO [SearchEngineWatch]

While the business model for advertising agencies needs change, Publicis CEO Maurice Levy says that agencies will adapt and not become obsolete.

Levy says that agencies are the ones who develop the creative, something that companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo do not provide.

"Agencies do need to gain a better understanding of new media in order to develop better creatives for channels such as video games and cell phones", according to Levy.

Publicis may be well on its way to doing just that, having acquired digital agency Digitas for $1.3 billion last year.

Google Will Not Kill the Agency Star, Says Publicis CEO [SearchEngineWatch]

"Who's #1? iTunes, thats' who!"

Apple’s online iTunes Store has surpassed Wal-Mart Stores as the leading U.S. music retailer based on January and February sales, research firm NPD Group says.

I beg to differ: iTunes is the leading music retailer in the whole wide world.
Among retailers online AND offline.

“We launched iTunes less than five years ago, and it has now become the number one music retailer in the world,” says Eddy Cue, vice president of iTunes.

To date, iTunes has sold more than 4 billion songs to more than 50 million customers.

Ouch for Walmart, for music store chains accross the world... and for all the major music distributors who are scrambling to get on the online music bandwagon a little late.

Apparel and accessories top category for US web purchases

Apparel and accessories led all product categories in number of online purchases in the USA in February, Nielsen Online reports.

Apparel and accessories led all product categories in number of online purchases in February, with 9.87 million, or 16% of all online purchases, Nielsen Online reports in its MegaView Online Retail report.

It adds that eBay led all retail web sites in number of online purchases in the apparel and accessories category, with 4.6 million, 47% of the market , followed by Victoria’s Secret, with 870,000 purchases and a 9% of the market.

Forrester Research concurs: in its State of Retailing Online 2008 report, the apparel category, which surpassed computer gear for the first time in 2006 as the top online sales category, is projected to hold onto the top spot again in 2008, accounting for $26.6 billion in sales, up 17.2% from $22.7 billion last year.

E-commerce will grow 17% to $204 billion in the US this year - InternetRetailer.com

Despite the US economic slowdown, e-commerce sales will grow nearly 17% from $175 billion in 2007 to $204 billion this year, according the first installment of the three-part State of Retailing Online 2008 report from research and consulting firm Forrester Research and Shop.org, the online retail arm of the National Retail Federation, a merchant trade association.

E-commerce sales also grew 17% from 2006 to 2007, the report says. Online sales will account for 7% of U.S. retail sales this year, up from 6% last year, the report says.

“Even in 2008, when retailers in general are expected to encounter challenges with growth due to uncertain or adverse economic circumstances, we project that online retail will continue to erode market share from other channels,” the report says. Forrester has reported separately that, although 61% of U.S. online shoppers expect the economy to worsen in the next year, 85% say they will spend the same or more online in the next year.

Half of online retail sales in 2007 came from five categories: apparel, accessories and footwear; computer hardware and software; autos and auto parts; consumer electronics; and home furnishings. The apparel category, which surpassed computer gear for the first time in 2006 as the top online sales category, is projected to hold onto the top spot again in 2008, accounting for $26.6 billion in sales, up 17.2% from $22.7 billion last year.

53% of marketing budgets will be devoted to online customer acquisition and 21% to online tactics for retaining customers, according to the survey of 125 retailers. Search engine marketing is the leading acquisition method, accounting for 35% of new online customers, followed by organic traffic 18%, affiliate programs 7%, e-mail to prospecting lists 7%, and comparison shopping sites 5%.

Other highlights of the report include :
- The retailers surveyed manage an average of 31,839 paid search terms, on average pay 50 cents per click for a search ad and realize $8.47 in revenue per click.
- Cost per order for online banners averages $84.21, compared with $50.74 for deals with traditional web portals, $50.11 for social network ads, $32.12 for e-mails to prospecting lists, $27.45 for comparison shopping engines, $19.33 for paid search, $12.24 for affiliate programs, $8.63 for natural search and $6.85 for e-mails to house lists. The average order value is highest for social network ads at $168.80, followed by online banners $133.01, affiliate programs $122.51 and e-mails to house lists $120.27.
- While 85% of retailers say they offered free shipping on certain orders, last year, only 33% plan to increase such promotions this year. 57% plan to increase use of offers in outgoing packages from web orders, 45% online-only sales and 40% gift with purchase.
InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Video merchandising features coming up...

Now that broadband access has become the norm in major e-commerce markets and CDN/bandwith pricing has come down (thank you Amazon services), clothing online retailers enrich their product pages with video merchandising.

A couple of cool examples:

Saks Fifth Avenue (USA)
Saks has just launched its 'Fashion in action' video catalog, where 17 selected looks from this Spring's collection are spotlighted. Videos are short-length, with a classic TV-style narration and background music. Kudos for the jewelry cross-selling by the narrator while describing a dress.

They've been doing it for quite a while, with their 'Catwalk' video feature, directly accessible from the product page (under the product picture area). Great stuff: extra-short length video of a model wearing the item and walking back and forth on a runway, with a current radio hit song playing in the background.

Videos of models wearing the clothing pieces are really a plus: consumers can see how the item is worn, how it fits and flows on a real person, and from all angles. Also a great way to suggest outfits and full looks, from tops to bottoms to accessories...

Next up I hope: an interactive video, where users can click each piece worn by the model in order to directcly access the product page?

PPR's fashion pure play has just launched its 'Fashion Week' online runway video feature. Select a theme/style and check out men and women models sporting this season's latest fashion. Very nicely done and enticing.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Small changes but big impact on Amazon product pages - from Grokdotcom.com

You probably didn’t notice, but Amazon just made it easier to quickly glance at the product you want and get all the information you need in order to buy.

Some small tweaks that really improved the ability to 'skim' product pages, and most probably their already great conversion rate (up to 17.6% in December) ...

Big Impact, Small Changes on Amazon

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Top 10 lessons learned by Toney Hsieh, Zappos CEO

Really great stuff. Powerpoint of presentation given by CEO Tony Hsieh at the 2008 SXSW Interactive conference.

SlideShare Link

Lipdub : Digitas France featuring Partenaire Particulier

Online sales continue to trample catalog sales at Foot Locker - Internet Retailer

E-commerce was the sales leader for Foot Locker Inc. in 2007. Internet sales at the multi-channel athletic footwear and apparel retailer increased by 6.3% to $287 million in 2007, up from $270 million the prior year, whereas catalog sales fell by 30%, or $33 million, to $77 million in 2007 from $110 million in 2006.

A trend also identified in 2007 at numerous catalog companies in the US who have launched their e-commerce business in the early 2000s.

InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

Cool stuff!! ASCII Art in Google AdWords

ASCII Art in Google AdWords

NYC Alcoholics rejoice! Wakozi is Kozmo For Booze ...

A great local e-commerce service is back on the block in Manhattan...

One of the great flameouts of the 1990s tech boom was Kozmo, which started in Manhattan, and let you order a pint of Ben & Jerry’s online and a Kozmo bike messenger would deliver it to your door. After burning through $280 million in capital, they closed shop. Well, now New Yorkers have Wakozi. It just launched and only covers Manhattan wine shops, liquor stores, and delis. But they’ve learned from the failure of Kozmo. They don’t actually deliver anything themselves. Instead, they only list inventories of shops that make their own deliveries.
Wakozi is Kozmo For Booze

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Amazon Still Reaping Benefits from Risk on Amazon Prime | BNET.com

Amazon is reaping the benefits from the risk they took with their Amazon Prime offer...

Jeff Bezos, who was deemed crazy at the time of the Amazon prime launch in early 2005, said this:

"Amazon Prime is all-you-can-eat express shipping," Bezos says. "Though expensive for the company in the short term, it's a significant benefit and more convenient for the customer."

Well, it turns out Bezos was right. The Amazon Prime strategy has helped to accelerate user growth, purchase frequency and unit growth at the company in the past year, while the e-commerce market has "deteriorated".

Meaning: free delivery/unlimited delivery for an annual fee generated more costumers, induced cross-category shopping, increased average basket value and purchase frequency!
Amazon Still Reaping Benefits from Risk on Amazon Prime | BNET Intercom | BNET.com

Google's 'Search Within A Site' makes e-retailers mad...

On March 4, Google introduced a new feature that lets users stay on Google to find pages inside major sites. The search box appears when someone enters the name of certain Web addresses or company names rather than searching for specific terms (see screenshot above, courtesy of Techcrunch).

The feature is drawing the ire of many e-retailers, who raise two primary concerns:

  • First, ads for competitors can be displayed on the Google results page of a site search. This could mean lost traffic and sales for the searched retailer!
  • Second, performing a site search on Google does not take into account merchandising rules retailers create for their own in-site search tool.
Techcrunch's take

The New York Times' take

Internet Retailer's take

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Straight from Sequoia Capital: key drivers of success

Great stuff from venture firm  Sequoia: key drivers of success for any startup looking for venture capital to drive growth.

Here there are:

Clarity of Purpose

Summarize the company's business on the back of a business card.

Large Markets

Address existing markets poised for rapid growth or change. A market on the path to a $1B potential allows for error and time for real margins to develop.

Rich Customers

Target customers who will move fast and pay a premium for a unique offering.


Customers will only buy a simple product with a singular value proposition.

Pain Killers

Pick the one thing that is of burning importance to the customer then delight them with a compelling solution.

Think Differently

Constantly challenge conventional wisdom. Take the contrarian route. Create novel solutions. Outwit the competition.

Team DNA

A company’s DNA is set in the first 90 days. All team members are the smartest or most clever in their domain. "A" level founders attract an "A" level team.


Stealth and speed will usually help beat-out large companies.


Focus spending on what's critical. Spend only on the priorities and maximize profitability.


Start with only a little money. It forces discipline and focus. A huge market with customers yearning for a product developed by great engineers requires very little firepower.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

iPhone showing great promise for mobile commerce...

Surveys by rating and review site Viewpoints.com found big differences in the way iPhone owners use their phones compared with other cell phone owners:

48% of iPhone users said they frequently look up information online, compared with 5% of users of other cell phones

Which means they might be more inclined to shop online using their iPhone?
More details on the survey here:
InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Amazon launches two applications for Facebook... Finally!

Amazon has just put out two applications for social network Facebook:

- Amazon Giver allows users to view friends’ wish lists and link directly to Amazon to purchase gifts.

- Amazon Grapevine displays a Facebook member’s friends’ recent Amazon.com activity (reviews, wish list adds, tags, purchases).

Both applications share information only with friends that the Facebook user selects when adding the application., but not with ALL the user’s friends, in the face of widespread criticism that Facebook's Beacon system violated users’ privacy.

Given Amazon and Facebook's user base size and overlaps (everybody?), and Amazon's huge product catalog, this is going to be a great tool for word-of-mouth marketing. I'll try it out and post some more...
InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Thursday, March 13, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Social Shopping Facebook Application - MyShopping from SecretPrices.com

SecretPrices.com, a 'shopping mashup combining price comparison, bargains and coupons', from NextGen Shopping LLC in the US, launched yet another social shopping app for Facebook, called MyShopping.

Add the app to your profile, and you can start searching, rating, sharing/recommending and purchasing products within Facebook. Product data comes from the SecretPrices database, and products can be purchased from merchants participating in the SecretPrices program.

A revenue sharing program for the app users is coming soon, according to the company's blog.

Social Shopping Facebook Application - SecretPrices.com

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Up Next: on-board e-commerce

Want to shop online while on a train, plane or boat?
Be careful what you wish for, it's coming your way...

Canadian solutions provider GuestLogix has launched a "Mobile Virtual Store", which once installed, enables passengers to shop from their seat, whether it be a cup of coffee and meal from the on-board bar or any other product that transport companies wish to offer to increase passenger service and profitability from seat rental...

New British train campany Grand Central Railway Company has installed it on its three brand new lines.

Check it out online at GuestLogix™ | Powering On-Board Retail™

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Social Commerce : Turn your Facebook profile into an online store

BSocial Networks Inc. has launched 'Market Lodge', a system designed for Facebook that enables the social network's users to create miniature e-commerce stores on their Facebook pages.

It's yet another approach to Social Commerce. Facebook users can set-up a personalized marketplace, picking products from about 50 retailers so far, and share revenues with BSocial (www.bsocialnetworks.com).

Here's the link to the 'Market Lodge' Facebook application if you'd like to try it out: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=7274648061&b&ref=pd

Also see Zlio, www.zlio.com, one of the Social Shopping pioneers, where you can set up an affiliate online store replete with products and content in minutes.
InternetRetailer.com - Daily News for Monday, March 3, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Social Shopping : la vidéo de la 4ème convention E-Commerce

Here's a link to the video archive of a round-table about Social Shopping, from the 4th E-commerce convention in Paris last September. Among the participants: Zlio, Blog Shopping, Prestigium, Loomeo and OhMyBuzz.
Social Shopping : la vidéo de la 4ème convention E-Commerce

Sorry, Boys, This Is Our Domain - New York Times

The prototypical computer whiz of popular imagination — pasty, geeky, male — has failed to live up to his reputation.
Sorry, Boys, This Is Our Domain - New York Times

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How to Un-Incorporate Your Company Culture « FoundRead

Chuck Longanecker is the founder of the Web2.0 consulting firm, digital-telepathy, based in San Diego, Calif. Chuck wrote previously for Found|READ about how to optimize your “startup life” in Run Your Company From The Heart. This piece, on how to recast your startup’s culture, is the second in a series.
How to Un-Incorporate Your Company Culture « FoundRead

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Kid Sister ft. Kanye West - in HD!

Kid Sister ft. Kanye West - "Pro Nails" from Ruben Fleischer on Vimeo.

eBay modules are cool.

eBay launched their own Flash widget embed offering, eBay modules. Hereunder, I pasted the code for an auction for a night at the Everland hotel in Paris. Cool features, and great way to promote one's auctions on blogs, social networks & co.

Trendwatching.com: 2008 - ecommerce|the sequel

8 important consumer trends for 2008

A Gimmick Becomes a Real Trend - New York Times

Two years ago, Cyber Monday was a marketing gimmick in search of shoppers. This year, it seems to be a genuine trend that retailers have embraced.

A Gimmick Becomes a Real Trend - New York Times

To build, buy or outsource

Neil Kugelman, CEO of US online jeweler Goldspeed.com, is convinced there is no better way to run his business than outsourcing his e-commerce platform.

InternetRetailer.com - To build, buy or outsource

Ecommerce Trends: Issues in Behavioral Targeting

Even though behavior targeting has been around almost as long as the Internet, it had a resurgence of popularity last year. Many in the ecommerce world became enamored with the idea of being able to offer product recommendations based on immediate behavior.
Ecommerce Trends: Issues in Behavioral Targeting :: Varien :: Open Source eCommerce Development and Consulting Firm

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