Did you do your hair today?

by Brad on August 14, 2012

Well, if you want the world to be able to track your every move without the hassle of having to check into each location, then a Nashville company may have solved that problem for you.  Facedeals wants to place cameras in retail locations that scan your face as you enter the location and then automatically checks you into that location on Facebook and offers you deals that the retailer has authorized.

You can see how someone thought this was a good idea during a brainstorming session possibly.

“What pain are we solving?”

“Well, we can let people passively be tracked and receive offers as they move from location to location.”

“Brilliant! Let’s build it”

It is, in my opinion, unfortunate for these folks that have invested time and money in this idea that cooler heads did not prevail.  I think that the likelihood that consumers will opt in to a service that scans their face and theoretically logs them into every location that they enter is like asking people to voluntarily have tracking chips embedded in their skin.  While that might be acceptable for my dog, I don’t want anyone keeping tabs on my every move.

I’m sure that the creators of the technology will argue that it is a convenience, and that we are already being tracked on our cell phones and through our web browsers.  While that may be the case, I don’t feel that one invasion of privacy justifies another.  Perhaps my reaction to this is based on a minority opinion that values privacy over $0.99 fries.  I would be very interested to hear what our readers think of this use of technology!

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Etsy Trend Report

by Elizabeth on June 1, 2012

Let's Talk EtsyEtsy has issued it marketing and trend report for June 2012.  This list, compiled monthly, shows the items, genres, and trends they expect to be at the top searched keywords for the upcoming month.  Even if you’re not an etsy seller, this list is always useful for insights into trends that could affect your .com or blog.  We recommend incorporating some of their keywords into your tags – it increases your chances of being included in high quality treasuries.

So what are Etsy’s expected trends for June 2012? The obvious points are Father’s Day, Graduation, Weddings, and Summer.  Other interesting finds include fortune cookies, wishbones, biking, customizable shoes, fingerprints and Mad Libs.  The list is quite extensive, so you should read the Etsy June 2012 Trends Report yourself.

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Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Nashville.  So, when I met a long-time friend for lunch and we got a nice table on the outside patio of a local restaurant, we lingered and discussed several timely topics as we enjoyed the last few days of crisp spring air before the oppressive humidity of June settles on the South.  My friend is a marketing strategist who does consulting work for several large companies that I cannot name (but at least one of  them sells a lot of quarter pounders)!  He is always good to spark some spirited technology debate.  So, as you might guess based on the events of this week, our discussion soon turned to Facebook and their recent IPO.  With all of the hype and discussion around the offering, it seems like everything possible has already been said about Facebook, and there were certainly a lot of investors interested in buying in to the idea that Facebook is worth somewhere close to $100 Billion.

One thing that he and I could both agree upon is that we would never have put down any of our hard earned dollars based on that kind of valuation.  Our reasoning has nothing to do with sophisticated financial models, projections of future earnings, or cash on hand.  It has only to do with our own experiences with advertising for eCommerce companies and trying to drive converting traffic through those Facebook ads.  The simple truth is that Facebook ads don’t convert to sales for most products.  Sure, you can generate a ton of impressions through those ads, and if you only care about brand impressions, then it may be a good place for you to advertise.  But, if you simply care about how many people you can convert into buyers, then Facebook is not an efficient advertising vehicle.  I believe that the reason for this lies in the behavioral patterns of the Facebook users.  When you go to Google to search for the “best laundry detergent”, you are seeking information relative to consuming a product.  When you log on to Facebook to see the new photo’s that your sister-in-law uploaded of your nieces and nephews, you simply aren’t in the mindset to consider product offers.

All of that is not to say that Facebook isn’t a valuable company.  After all, how could 900 million users be wrong?  Even if they are wrong, I’d like a piece of that pie!  But what I am saying is that advertisers ultimately care about  converting audiences into consumers, and Facebook does not do that well.  Facebook believes that they can achieve better conversion by inserting “relevant” ads into my news feed.  Wrong!  That is the last thing most Facebook users want.  I think that the only thing that strategic move will achieve is to create a few million former Facebook users.  Facebook should focus their revenue strategy on providing goods and services that can be consumed and shared from within the Facebook platform and be careful not to allow advertising to ruin what Mark Zuckerberg created to be cool.

Now Contrast this to the type of engagement that Pinterest creates.  Shopify did some great research with 25,000 of their online stores to provide some very interesting data. (see their great infographic below)  What they found was that Pinterest is already the top traffic referral site for their retailers!  Does that amaze you as much as it does me?  I know many average folks who haven’t even heard of Pinterest yet, and it is already the 3rd most popular social media site in the world.  All of you folks trying to sell products out there need to listen to these next few facts.  Referral traffic to Shopify retailers is already equal to that of Twitter and significantly more than Google+, but here is the important fact.  Pinterest traffic actually converts!  Shopify found that Pinterest traffic is 10% more likely to buy than traffic from other sites.  Not only is that traffic more likely to buy, but they also spend more.  In fact, the Average Order Value of the Pinterest traffic is $80.  That is more than double the AOV of the Facebook traffic.  Etailers will also want to note that pins with prices get 36% more likes than those without.

Pinterest just raised $100 million in a private round of financing.  So, I’m sure we will get the opportunity to see their IPO in the next couple of years, but if you are selling online, then it sounds like you better get to know them now.

Infographic from Shopify

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Sometimes you have time to read an interesting blog post, but sometimes you just need to find something to help you get your work done quickly.  We are compiling a list of resources for the small business owner that we have found useful in the past.  Reference the list regularly to find some useful applications and service providers.  If you don’t see the information that you are looking for on the list, don’t be afraid to email us a question.  Your question will help us build out the resource list for other readers.

Thanks!

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