Facebook is rolling out a new way to sell things.
It’s letting certain stores sell their products directly through the social network via a “buy” button on their Pages, BuzzFeed’s Alex Katrowitz reports.
Although Facebook’s just testing its so-called “shop section,” the move makes sense, given its recent introduction of peer-to-peer payments capabilities, new ways to let stores communicate with people via messages, and its increasing dedication to keeping people within the Facebook ecosystem as much as possible.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has taken a stab at ecommerce.
Back in 2011, Facebook allowed a bunch of different brands like Gamestop, Gap, JC Penney, and Nordstrom to open stores on the site.
They all closed within a year.
At the time, several merchants said that they decided to close their shops because consumers preferred shopping on their regular sites, so there wasn’t a big enough return on investment.
Of course, ecommerce has swelled hugely since then and its become much more normalized for people to buy things on their phones. Google, Pinterest, and Twitter now all have their own buy buttons too.
Facebook told BuzzFeed it won’t take a cut of sales.
Don’t expect to see a bunch of buy buttons cropping up right away.
“We are planning to expand the test in coming weeks to include more businesses, but it will remain very small for now,” a spokesperson told Business Insider.
Americans are spending more than twice as much time using smartphone apps as they did just three years ago. But we’re spending most of that extra time in a small number of familiar apps, rather than spreading it among a bunch of new ones.
According to research from Nielsen via Statista, American iPhone and Android phone users spent an average of 37 hours and 28 minutes using smartphone apps in the fourth quarter of 2014, more than double the figure of 18 hours and 18 minutes from the last quarter of 2011. But the number of apps used has barely budged, moving from 23.3 to 26.7.
That’s good news for app makers if they can break into the top echelons of popularity, as companies like Google and Facebook have managed to do. But it’s not so good for budding app developers who are hoping that more time on our phones means more time downloading and using new apps.
SEE ALSO: Teens are abandoning TV in droves
Macy’s is in trouble.
The retailer’s same-store sales growth has been weakening over the last several years, and Deutsche Bank analysts expect things to only get worse for the department store chain.
Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell on Monday downgraded Macy’s from “buy” to “sell,” saying he has “low confidence that the company can bust out of its same-stores sales rut.”
Sales declines at Michael Kors, one of Macy’s key vendors, were cited as a primary reason for the downgrade.
“We are especially concerned as we see no obvious juggernaut to replace the lost dollars, and we note ongoing challenges at other key vendors as well,” Trussell wrote, specifically naming Coach, Guess, and Ralph Lauren, as additional venders that could cause problems.
Michael Kors’ same-store sales declined 6.7% in North America during its most recent quarter. The company’s shares are down 43% since the beginning of the year and nearly 52% in the last 12 months.
Michael Kors’ downfall is the result of its widespread popularity. The name became too ubiquitous to remain cool, analysts say.
But Michael Kors isn’t Macy’s only problem.
Trussell also cited concerns about declining revenue from tourists, as well as a major shift in discretionary spending from products (like clothing) to experiences and technology.
Macy’s is also suffering from a shift toward direct-to-consumer business models, in which brands use their own websites to sell directly to customers without going through a department! store l ike Macy’s.
At a recent conference, Bloomingdale’s Chairman and CEO Tony Spring said this changing landscape keeps him up at night.
“Our vendors are our partners and suppliers. But many have also become our competitors,” Spring said at the Retail Marketing Society’s “Reinventing the Store” conference in June, according to Trussell.
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Jun 11, 2015
Hang around the crowdfunding scene long enough and you'll hear tales of campaigns that were too good to be true, or creators who simply took the money and ran. It's scary stuff, we know — but you'll be glad to hear that the Federal Trade Commission now has your back when the host sites' safeguards aren't enough. The government body has taken its first action against a crowdfunding fraudster, reaching a settlement with Erik Chevalier after he cancelled a Kickstarter board game project and reneged on promised refunds. The culprit won't pay restitution, unfortunately (he's allegedly unable to pay), but he's barred from any deceptive crowdfunding practices and obligated to honor whatever refund policies he sets. A slap on the wrist, then? Maybe, but it's still a shot across the bow of scammers who are only interested in padding their bank accounts.
[Image credit: Getty Images]
eMarketer estimates that US programmatic digital display ad spending will leap 48.9% this year to hit $14.88 billion, or 55.0% of total digital display ad spend. While the majority of those dollars will likely focus on direct-response efforts, April 2015 research by Econsultancy in association with Quantcast finds that programmatic branding adoption is relatively high, and spending will rise in the coming years.
Among UK and US senior marketers polled, 62% said their companies ran programmatic advertising campaigns for branding objectives. What was holding back nearly four in 10 non-users from buying in, or existing users from investing further? Data privacy concerns and difficulty proving return on investment were the two most common issues, each cited by 23% of respondents. Lack of quality data (18%), a complex marketplace (17%) and lack of transparency (16%) rounded out the top five.
When asked about the benefits of using programmatic for branding, respondents were most likely to cite increased efficiency, reduced overall advertising costs and the ability to optimize and target the right audience in real time as “major” benefits. Among all benefits included, at least 45% of respondents rated them highly beneficial.
Notes: While TV’s share of adults’ daily media time has shrunk slightly in the past couple of years, the medium continues to pull in a disproportionately high share of ad spending, according to new eMarketer estimates. This year, TV is expected to account for 36.4% of adults’ daily major media time, while raking in slightly more than 40% of media ad dollars. And while consumption of – and ad spending on – digital video has been rising quickly, digital is expected to pull in just 4.4% of ad spend versus its 10.9% share of adults’ media consumption this year. The disparity may be related to the greater perceived influence of TV advertising; eMarketer attributes TV’s continued strength as part inertia and part concern from advertisers over digital video ad viewability and completion rates.
After spending a couple months in Swiss robot prison, the Random Darknet Shopper (RDS) is once again free to purchase random goods from the deepest corners of the Internet. The robot, originally designed as an art installation, was built to navigate the Darknet and autonomously purchase goods using Bitcoin currency. During its three-month run at Kunst Halle St Gallen art gallery in St. Gallen, Switzerland, the Shopper made a variety of purchases, most of which were completely legal. It did, however, also purchase 10 tabs of ecstasy from online retailer Agora, which is what instigated the authorities to step in. The cops confiscated the machine and the Molly. They also threatened the RDS’ creators with legal action. However, a panel of judges ruled in favor of the artists, known as the Mediengruppe Bitnik.
“In the order for withdrawal of prosecution the public prosecutor states that the possession of Ecstasy was indeed a reasonable means for the purpose of sparking public debate about questions related to the exhibition,” the duo recently wrote on their website. “The public prosecution also asserts that the over-weighing interest in the questions raised by the artwork «Random Darknet Shopper» justify the exhibition of the drugs as artefacts, even if the exhibition does hold a small risk of endangerment of third parties through the drugs exhibited.”
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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