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Did You Know??? 4.0 (VIDEO)

November 28th, 2009

If you haven’t seen the “Did You Know” videos by now, you should definitely check them out — here is the one Sony did for their annual of meeting of executives in Rome. It currently has 2.5 million views on youtube. A new version is now online, this one by The Economist magazine. It is, perhaps, not as dramatic as the Sony one, but a few statistics certainly pop out. For example, more content has been uploaded on youtube in the past TWO MONTHS than if ABC, CBS, and NBC had been airing new content since 1948! We had to watch it twice to make sure we got it right. What this all tells us of course, is how radically different our world is, and how the WWW has simply revolutionized how businesses are built and millions are made.

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Black Friday Counter-Intelligence

November 26th, 2009

Here’s a handy list of what retailers are doing this year. This would be good to put into your intelligence file, for your own internet store. Here’s a summary of the top five: (details at Iteya)

1. Amazon: Free Super Saving Shipping on $25+ orders

2. eBay: Up to 90% off retail for some items

3. Fingerhut: Low monthly payments and six special offers

4. Walmart: Big markdowns on certain products

5. Kmart: $5 off $50 purchase with code KMART5OFF50

Happy Thanksgiving

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Some Facts About Cyber Monday

November 22nd, 2009

Cyber Monday is, of course, the online shopping version or followup to Black Friday. Is Cyber Monday the busiest online shopping day of the year? No. According to Snopes, the busiest day for internet sales occurs around mid-December. Cyber Monday, meanwhile, has only been about the 12th busiest online shopping day. Cyber Monday is a relatively new invention, having been dreamed up as a promotional event by Shop.org in 2005.

It pays to be aware of how consumer shopping habits are evolving around Black Friday. There is now a “2-Day” sale that runs from Friday to Saturday. There are also “Pre-Black Friday” sales that run the four days leading up to Thanksgiving, often advertised in Sunday circulars. So there are many variations, and you can certainly come up with something that might work for your internet store. Here’s another fact to keep in mind, as reported by Snopes: consumers are going online Thanksgiving Day, to plot their strategy for the big day. Mass merchants incorporate their online operations into BF. Cyber Monday is now a secondary priority for the onlines ops of these retailers. They will still take advantage of the Cyber Monday opportunity — but BF and 2-Day are more important to them.

Should you do a Cyber Monday or Black Friday promotion for your site? It’s not an automatic yes but the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is when retailers make most of their money. And don’t think you’re too late. While, the big brick and mortars plan for BF a year or more  in advance, we’ve heard from one source that at least one big retailer went into the weekend still making their online plans — ah, the power of digital.

If you want to see what’s going on, check out www.cybermonday.com. The site is run by shop.org, a community of over 700 digital retailers.

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Amazon Offering Up to 15% Commission on Black Friday Sale

November 20th, 2009

Amazon is reminding its Associates (aka affiliates) to link to its Black Friday deals and earn up to 15% . An important reminder: Don’t forget to take down the links after the sale ends.

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Warning: Bad Shipping Deal Can Kill Your Internet Store

November 20th, 2009

Here is a scary statistic as reported by USA Today: “More than 40% of people who abandoned their online shopping carts said they did so because of high shipping costs, according to a recent survey by the online payment company PayPal.” In other words, nearly half of all your customers — that you work to bring to your site, that you work to get a sale from — will dump you on the sole reason of the shipping charge. And that percentage is undoubtedly going to grow:

Increasingly — especially during the holiday period — consumers want free shipping, no strings attached. “While 25% of retailers offered no-strings free-shipping deals during the holidays five years ago, 57% say they’ll do so at some time this holiday season.”

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Black Friday/Cyber Monday: “10 Last-Minute Tips” for Internet Retailers

November 20th, 2009

Channel Adviser is offering “10 Last-Minute Tips”  for internet retailers, who want to maximize sales during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. For your contact info, you get to download a PDF with the tips.  Here’s one of the tips:

“Prominently display holiday shipping deadlines
It’s vital to eliminate every possible reason for a shopper to abandon your site and purchase from somewhere else, so have your
holiday shipping cutoff dates as easy to find as possible on every single page of your store. Label it clearly: “Guaranteed Christmas
Delivery,” “Holiday Shipping Cutoff” and “Gifts on Time” are better than “Holiday Info.” Keep in mind that you are serving a variety of
customers who may celebrate different holidays, so make sure to weave this into your policies and messaging.”

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Huff Post’s “Megan Fox Wears Panties; Lifts Foot Above Head (PHOTOS)”

November 19th, 2009

You gotta admire Huff Post for the eye-catching headlines, like this one.  The Huffington Post, a liberal blog and news site, was launched in 2005 and now has 22 million unique visitors a month and is the most linked-to blog on the internet. While Megan Fox, her panties, and photos of both are not the typical content of Huff Post, this is an example of how a blog can build its breadth and expand its audience (yes we’re serious and having serious fun writing this). Never underestimate the power of an eye-catching headline in your blog or other site — especially when it gets linked like this :)

Image: Megan Fox Wears Panties, Lifts Foot Above Head (PHOTOS)

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The Internet: A Rabbit Hole for Those Who Try to Control It

May 13th, 2009

As you may have heard, Craigslist is closing down its Erotic Services section, after a continuous attack by politicians and cops.  Ultimately, though, as many have noted, modern-day bureaucrats cannot control the internet or the oldest profession:

As PC World reports: “The notion that Craigslist and [its] officers should be held responsible for third-party content on their site because they didn’t do enough to satisfy the individual whims of respective state attorneys general is wholly inconsistent with the law,” says (Electronic Frontier Foundation) senior staff attorney Matt Zimmerman.”

The internet is, increasingly, a rabbit hole for those who want to control content, which is to say, the internet has already beat them.

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Ebay Cuts Fees For Casual Sellers

May 12th, 2009

“The online marketplace eBay is eliminating some upfront fees to attract more sellers who occasionally auction off items.”

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Peer-to-Peer Online Loans

May 3rd, 2009

Prosper.com is an online peer-to-peer lender. Over S150 million (in amounts as small as $50) have been lent and borrowed by over 750,000 members of the site.  The business model may prove to rewrite the way people get loans, whether they need money for school, to build a business (an internet business perhaps), or for just about any other funding need. The model isn’t without its problems. In November, the SEC shut them down. for violation of the Securities Act of 1933. But on April 28th, Prosper.com was given special dispensation in California and, for now, it can operate in that state.

There are other internet sites offering peer-to-peer financing, for example DebtX: As The Economist magazine reports, While “Prosper aggregates lots of small bids, from ordinary investors, DebtX sells larger loans in asset classes such as commercial property…”

There are still many question to be worked out: “As of August 2008, approximately 18.5% of all money loaned on Prosper from inception (February 2006) through June 2008 are in some form of delinquency” But imagine how all of this internet innovation is changing — or redefining —  long-time traditional finance.

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