Archive for the ‘amazon’ tag
It’s no secret that I’m an iPhone fan and I often get a lot of flack from commenters regarding my obvious bias. But I can’t help it when the numbers simply go my way. Like this set of numbers from media and marketing research firm Arbitron:
A greater percentage of iPhone users (67.5 percent) use mobile apps for commerce compared to Android users (43.9 percent).
iPhone users went on an average of 35 virtual shopping trips in a month, while Android users only went shopping 29.5 times.
In addition, iPhone users spent more time using mobile commerce apps (105.3 minutes/month vs. 87.6 minutes/month).
The survey doesn’t offer any conclusions as to why this is so, but I suspect there are two factors involved. First, I’d guess there are more ecommerce apps for the iPhone than there is for Android. According to Venture Beat, the iTunes and GooglePlay now have roughly the same number of available apps, but I often see apps that are available only for iOS. Look at Instagram, they waited 18 months to release an Android version of their app.
Then there’s the fact that iPhone users tend to be more affluent. Their average household income is $105,200, compared to Android with average income of $89,300. They’re also younger and that adds up to more discretionary income.
Here’s a surprise. When it comes to shopping apps, eBay knocks Amazon out of the top spot.
eBay not only has more users, but look at the time spent: 108.4 minutes vs only 40 minutes a month on Amazon. And sessions per month are more than triple what Amazon sees. Some of that comes from the natural way we use both sites. With Amazon, you go in, you buy, you get out. With eBay, you browse, you watch, you bid, you come back several times to check your bid and then you buy. eBay encourages multiple visits so that does pump up their volume.
Craiglist Mobile has the lowest percentage of users but those who do log on stay twice as long as they do with Amazon and they log more sessions. I’m a Craigslist fan, but I’ve never used the mobile app, so that’s going on my To Do list.
I’m not a fan of Amazon’s mobile app. Even though I have it on my phone, I prefer to use a browser to connect to the website. I am not alone in this.
This chart represents smartphone users who shop via a mobile website. Here, Amazon knocks eBay off its pedestal, easily claiming the top spot for percentage of users. But look at little old Craigslist taking the top spot for minutes and sessions per month. Walmart also makes the top five which leaves me wondering why their app doesn’t rate.
As for Amazon, with all the power they have behind them, you’d think they could turn out an app that trumps all when it comes to m-commerce. Until they do, they’ll have to be content with sharing the spotlight with up and coming rival eBay.
I have been fortunate enough to live on this planet and learn every day for 43 years. I do feel old. My body is stiff and sore. My eyes get tired fast. My hairline is slowly receding back. There is more white in my beard than any other color. And I love it.
But, because of this passage of time, I found myself thinking of my childhood, my very nerdy and weird and quirky childhood. And I thought of some of the stories that would never likely see the light of day, made from normal moments, and sometimes imagined moments. And I started writing. And writing and writing. And I put together an entire book of (not really) poems. And I’m going to stuff this in the Kindle store, but because it’s my birthday, I wanted to give you a copy for free. Because that seems right. Gifts to you on my birthday. : )
If you see the awesome artwork at the top of the post (supplied by his awesomeness, Josh Fisher), click it and that’ll take you straight to a pdf file. If you want to download it, simply right-click or command click and select “save as” and you can download it onto your whatever or read it at your leisure on your computer.
It’s nerdy stuff. It’s fun for me to have written it. It might resonate with you in some way or another. The references are obscure. You’ll either feel like we shared a similar childhood or you’ll be lost and feel like I am speaking another language. Either way, I win!
The book is here. Enjoy.
The book is now live in the Kindle store on Amazon. If you’ve read the book, would you consider writing me a review? : )
Here’s a simple but not easy question: how subject to cyclicality is your marketing?
Human beings are naturally cyclical in nature, because that’s how the planet around us operates. We do things differently when it’s summer weather than when there’s a foot of snow on the ground. That’s so obviously logical that it shouldn’t need to be pointed out. Strangely, many marketers forget this basic truth when they design their marketing programs and instead assume a static customer who does the same thing all the time.
Here are two quick tests to examine whether your business is experiencing any level of cyclicality. First, go to Google Insights for Search, switch to time range, choose the last four years, and type in the top search term for your business. Here’s an obvious example of cyclicality in the searches for iced coffee:
It should be absolutely no surprise that search volumes for iced coffee go up when the weather gets warmer. Go look at search traffic for your own business for the last four years and see if there’s any cyclicality in it.
Second test: go into your web analytics and download the monthly dataset for as long as you have data. Create charts that do exactly the same thing – show you year over year website traffic. Again, look for cyclicality. For bonus points, repeat with funnel metrics like conversions, closed sales, and revenue.
Is there a cyclicality to your search results from test #1 that you don’t see in your website traffic or business data? If so, you may be missing business opportunities that your audience is looking for that you’re not providing!
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I recently heard from a TED speaker who was able to quote, verbatim, truly nasty comments people had posted about her talk.
And yet, I’ve never once met an author who said, “Well, my writing wasn’t resonating, but then I read all the 1 star reviews on Amazon, took their criticism to heart and now I’m doing great…”
There are plenty of ways to get useful and constructive feedback. It starts with looking someone in the eye, with having a direct one on one conversation or email correspondence with a customer who cares. Forms, surveys, mass emails, tweets–none of this is going to do anything but depress you, confuse you (hey, half the audience wants one thing, the other half wants the opposite!) or paralyze you.
I’m arguing that it’s a positive habit to deliberately insulate yourself from this feedback. Don’t ask for it and don’t look for it.
Yes, change what you make to enhance delight. No, don’t punish yourself by listening to the mob.
Well, Barnes and Noble seems to be in a giving mood today. The company revealed earlier this morning that eager customers can nab themselves a 16GB Nook Tablet for $199 — $50 off its original price. Meanwhile, the 8GB Nook Tablet now goes for $179 (down from $199), and aging Nook Color can how be had for the relatively low price of $149.
As for why Barnes and Noble has suddenly decided to slash prices — well, there are a few reasons why the move makes plenty of sense.
We’re already knee-deep in August for one, which means the back-to-school buying frenzy is starting to heat up considerably. Students (with parents in tow, naturally) will be trawling their local big box stores and online retailers for gadgets to accompany them to school, and a little price break makes the Nook lineup just a bit more palatable.
Perhaps more important here is the issue of competition. B&N’s line of e-readers are right up there with Kindle series, but its Nook Tablets have plenty of strong rivals to contend with and a lower price tag couldn’t hurt. After a bit of a rough start, Google’s impressive little Nexus 7 is endearing itself to those watching the low-cost tablet space, and it shouldn’t be long before Amazon releases something new to stymie its rival. In fact, recent rumblings indicate that Amazon may make its move sooner rather than later.
Barnes and Noble isn’t the only e-reader peddler that has recently futzed with product pricing — Amazon slashed the price of its aging (and hefty) Kindle DX earlier this week, and astute observers were quick to point out that models like the Kindle Touch 3G were curiously unavailable from the online retailer.
Gizmodo took the news as potential proof that Amazon was trying to burn through existing inventory ahead of a long-rumored Kindle announcement they believe will take place next week. While multiple sources have pointed to a new Kindle unveiling in the third quarter, I’m not quite convinced the timing is right just yet — each previous crop of Kindles were on the market for over a year before its successors were revealed. Amazon’s most recent Kindle announcement was also preceded by an invitation that went out to the press a week prior to the event, and so far as I know nothing like that has hit anyone’s inbox yet.
That’s not to say Amazon won’t make a move next week, but I’m not quite onboard with the notion yet. Then again, I wouldn’t mind being wrong this time — my 2nd generation Kindle is getting a bit long in the tooth.
Google may be taking the ill-conceived Nexus Q back to the drawing board, but the Nexus 7 tablet has been quite a hit since it went on sale a few weeks ago. Since then, though, Google has faced a number of supply issues and the company even suspended sales of the 16GB for a few days to catch up with demand. The latest data from ad network Chitika shows how those supply issues have stalled the growth of Google’s first tablet – at least when measured by web traffic from Nexus 7 owners.
Just a few weeks ago, Chitika reported that the Nexus tablet was on its way to surpass the Kindle Fire in its traffic rankings. By now, the company predicted, the Google tablet was supposed to be ahead of the Fire. Instead, its latest data shows that it’s still trailing Amazon’s tablet by quite a bit. While traffic from the Nexus 7 to Chitika’s network of member sites grew rapidly during the first few weeks after it went on sale, growth stalled over the last three weeks. Chitika reports its tablet data relative to the iPad and the Nexus 7 currently accounts for 0.35 impressions per 100 iPad impressions. That’s virtually unchanged from the 0.3 impressions it reported three weeks ago.
With only a few new Nexus 7 owners surfing the web due to Google’s supply issues, the company’s numbers probably reflect the usage of existing users. ”While the Nexus 7 experienced a huge initial surge in both sales and Web traffic, users don’t seem to be surfing as much as one might expect them to.” As the novelty of the device wears off and as the honeymoon phase comes to an end, people simply don’t use it as much as they used to. Now that the Nexus 7 is back on sale, it will be interesting to see if the growth rate picks up again.
For the past few years, Zuberance has focused on helping companies turn their customers and fans into advocates for their brand and products. (In fact, founder and CEO Rob Fuggetta has written a book on the topic.) Today, Zuberance is turning its attention to a new group of potential advocates — a company’s employees.
With its new Employee Advocate product, Fuggetta says Zuberance has basically taken the company platform and repurposed its applications (specifically Advocate Stories and Advocate Answers) for a different audience. Instead of encouraging fans to post positive reviews on Amazon or Yelp, businesses can now ask employees to share positive testimonials for recruiting, for example. Done badly, this could come off as phony or overbearing, but hopefully that won’t be the case if your employees are communicating with enthusiasm and honesty — after all, they should be some of the most knowledgeable and passionate people around when it comes to your company and products. That means large enterprises could potentially tap into “employee advocate armies” with hundreds of thousands of members.
Some of this workforce advocacy is happening on its own, of course, but Fuggetta says many companies are “not really effectively and systematically leveraging their employees.” To illustrate how Zuberance would help, he says a large technology business could use the platform to survey employees on how likely they are to recommend the company as a place to work. The ones who give high scores are probably going to be the best advocates, so companies can then ask them for written or video testimonials, which can then be incorporated into the company’s recruiting materials, as well as shared on Facebook or Twitter. Zuberance also offers analytics that show whether the message is spreading effectively.
It’s not just about recruiting. Like consumers, employees can also be important promoters of a company’s products. And they can help defend the company during “social media ambushes” (as Fuggetta puts it) — if there’s a backlash because their CEO says something controversial on Twitter, employees can jump in to defend the statement or offer context. (Another startup called Addvocate is also developing tools to manage employee advocacy, but for now, at least, its’ mostly focused on sharing company content.)
Zuberance now serves about 100 large businesses and consumer brands, Fuggetta says, including Intuit, GMC, 24 Hour Fitness, and Symantec. You can read more about the employee advocate product here.
Amazon has just dropped the price for a Kindle to $269 in a fire-sale “deal of the day.’ Some folks, including us, are taking this as a sign that a new Kindle is on the way.
The usual list price for the Kindle DX, Amazon’s big ol’ 9.7-inch e-ink reader, is $379. Unfortunately, in a world replete with seven-inch e-readers and 10-inch tablets, the Kindle DX was a bit too large to fit in with its own kind and a bit too bare-bones in its feature set and applications to fit in with devices of the same size.
We have also been hearing rumors that Amazon is getting ready to roll out a 10-inch Kindle Fire. Fire is the company’s entry into the world of high-powered, full-featured Android tablets, and it’s been selling like crazy since its launch. With other 10-inch competitors on the market from companies like Samsung, Asus, Sony, and (of course) Apple, it makes total sense for Amazon to kick the Fire’s screen size up a notch.
In fact, the wee, seven-inch model has already played a big role in taking a bite out of Apple’s share of the tablet market. Overall, Android tablets gained 10 percent market share from Q4 2010 to Q4 2011 and now represent 39 percent of the overall tablet market; and Fire, which was first announced just last September already represents 35.7 percent of total Android tablet application sessions.
As revealed in one of Amazon’s recent quarterly earnings calls, the Fire tablet is still Amazon’s best-selling, most gifted, and most wished for product, as it’s been since the day it launched.
Filed under: mobile
If you’re an avid fan of the Evernote application, then you’ll appreciate this little-publicized feature that Chel Wolverton pointed out to me.
Take any text list on either your mobile Evernote or your desktop Evernote and hit the checkbox button, once at the beginning of each line, and voila! Instant checklist that you can tap or click to check items off as you’ve done them.
Mobile Version (iPad):
If you already use Evernote anyway, this is a great, simple, and easy tip to make it even more powerful for managing to-do lists and more.
What are your favorite simple Evernote productivity tips?
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Wantworthy Is Wanted: The “Instapaper For Shopping” Raises $1 Million From RRE, Google Ventures And Others
Wantworthy, a 2011 TechStars NYC grad offering an online shopping tool for tracking everything you want to buy in one place, has just raised a $1 million in seed funding. RRE Ventures led the round, and Google Ventures, Quotidian Ventures, and several NYC-area angels also participated.
Although on the surface the company might appear to be competitive with Pinterest, various bookmarking tools, or even Amazon’s Universal Wish List utility, for example, Wantworthy has a bigger vision. The long-term goal is not just to be a place where you collect things you want to purchase, it will also tell you when to buy them.
CEO Lauren McDevitt says she came up with the idea because she was an avid online shopper. “I was constantly finding products I liked, but wasn’t ready to buy in the moment,” she says. “The whole process was kind of a mess. I’d have a whole bunch of tabs open. I’d try to bookmark the links – which obviously wasn’t very efficient. I wanted a tool that would help me keep all the products I wanted when I shopped online in one simple list.”
Some might say that’s what Pinterest is being used for these days, but co-founder Josh Wais explains the two services are actually quite different once you scratch the surface. Most users on Pinterest are not saving things from outside the site, he says, they’re using Pinterest for discovery instead. This changes the nature of what people tend to save. “They save aspirational stuff,” he says. “What we see with Wantworthy – some of our top stores are Forever 21, ModCloth, Urban Outfitters – it’s real shopping.”
Another big difference is that the lists on Wantworthy are private by default, and the sharing functions – which will arrive next week – are also completely different. “We didn’t want to slap on some cheesy social model,” says McDevitt. “We looked at the way people were organically using Wantworthy, and we found they were sharing links with maybe five to ten closest friends and bookmarking them. We wanted to foster that experience,” she says.
With the sharing features, it’s not about repinning or reposting links. Users instead can invite their friends to give feedback. In addition to support for comments, the items will have three buttons which friends can click: “must buy,” “like it,” and “meh.”
What’s even more exciting (at least to heavy shoppers) is what the team is working on next: price alerts. With this feature, expected out later this fall, Wantworthy will alert users to when prices change. And that’s not necessarily implying a drop or when an item goes on sale, but any change. Further down the road, the company will work with individual retailers to alert users to inventory level changes, such as when something is running out of stock, for example. And it will help retailers connect with their customers through offers and promotions, to encourage them to move from “thinking about buying” something to actually buying it.
The site launched into beta following its debut at TechStars NYC’s demo day in October, so it’s too soon for them to talk user numbers, the founders tell me. However, they will talk engagement numbers, which indicate that at least its earliest adopters are fairly active. Users save, on average, 12.5 items per week, and conversions are “orders of magnitude” higher than the industry average of 2%-3% (which Wantworthy tracks via its current affiliate model). The top products saved tend to be apparel, accessories, home goods, and beauty products, which also speaks to a certain kind of shopper – yes, generally women.
With the additional funding, the focus will be on developing the new features sooner than later, through the additional of two or three more engineers.