Like there was ever any doubt, right? Netflix — which serves up over one billion hours of video streaming to some 30 million members per month — owes it to itself to keep track of which ISPs are killing it, and which simply need to be killed. Now, the outfit’s finally ready to begin publishing its findings, ranking America’s major Internet Service Providers based upon “actual performance across all Netflix streams.” The shocker to end all shockers? “Google Fiber is now the most consistently fast ISP in America, according to actual user experience on Netflix streams in November.”
Of note, however, Verizon’s fiber-based FiOS offering came mighty close. Of course, Google’s Fiber isn’t available outside of the Kansas Cities region, while Verizon has (loosely) confirmed that it has no plans to expand the existing FiOS infrastructure beyond the 13 states that were lucky enough to get it. Broadly, cable shows better than DSL, while AT&T’s U-verse — dubbed a “hybrid fiber-DSL service” — ranked quite poorly compared to both Google Fiber and FiOS. Head on over to the source for the full rundown, and feel free to begin the relocation process to Kansas. Good internet, good barbecue, Collin Klein — what’s not to love?
This holiday season, small retailers are leaving Groupon off their lists as far as sales strategy goes.
This shopping season is the biggest one of the year, and small businesses often rely on sales made during this period to bring them into the black as the year comes to a close.
A sales strategy that didn’t work during the rest of the year is out of the question for the holidays, says Pamela Springer, CEO of online small business network Manta.
This doesn’t bode well for Groupon and other daily deals sites. Only 3percent of retailers got repeat customers out of daily deals promotions, according to a survey Manta released Oct. 30.
“They’re doubling down on things that work, and leaving things that are less proven or they’ve had experience with and didn’t work off to the side,” says Springer.
If businesses aren’t getting repeat customers out of Groupon deals, they’re losing money, says Anthony Bruce, CEO of retail data analyzer Applied Predictive Technology. Groupon often charges businesses as much as half the revenue of a deal sale, which is usually a drastic discount already.
“If there are future purchases that occur because of a Groupon, that’s great,” says Bruce. “If it’s an incremental visit I wouldn’t have gotten anyway, it’s bad. If it’s a visit I would have gotten anyway but did it with a Groupon, that’s terrible.”
Jennifer Untermeyer says she won’t use Groupon this holiday season, because she lost money on the five daily deals she ran last year for her business, TravelKiddy, an online store that sells toys and games to keep kids busy during road trips or plane rides. She ran her first $10 deal for $20 of merchandise on Eversave last November, trying to snag holiday travelers, and ran four more similar deals on niche mom-! themed d eals sites, hoping to score new customers.
It didn’t work.
“We can tell how many people we’ve had repeat, and it’s eight or nine out of 3,000 deals,” she says. “We ended up in an overall loss, even factoring in the marketing benefits.”
Sales chief Kal Raman says Groupon helps businesses retain customers through its reward program, which is sort of like a frequent-flier program for customers. The program helps businesses track purchases a Groupon customer has made, and after a certain level of spending is reached, Groupon automatically sends the customer a free deal.
“We effectively become their loyalty-management company,” says Raman, who sees Groupon as a great way for retailers to sell inventory they’d otherwise be sitting on. “As a small-business owner, you can aim high, and we can hedge that risk.”
Will Ander, senior partner of retail strategy firm McMillan Doolittle, says liquidation is the only good thing Groupon does for small retailers. “It’s more effective than giving it to the Salvation Army.”
If there was doubt as to whether or not Android would soon become the majority smartphone platform in the US, that’s just been erased by Nielsen. Google crossed the tipping point in the second quarter after getting close in the winter, with 51.8 percent of current smartphone users running some variant on the green robot’s OS. As we’ve seen in the past, though, the increase is coming mostly at the expenses of platforms already being squeezed to within an inch of their lives, such as the BlackBerry (8.1 percent) and Windows (4.3 percent combined). Apple still isn’t in a position to fret: it kept climbing to 34.3 percent and swung the attention of recent buyers just slightly back in its direction. The real question for many of us might center on what happens in a summer where Samsung has thrown a Galaxy S III-sized curveball at Americans and any new iPhone is likely still a few months away.
Filed under: Cellphones
Nielsen has Android! near 52 percent of US smartphone share in Q2, iPhone ekes out gains originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 12 Jul 2012 17:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into why Groupon revised its first quarterly earnings report as a public company, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Groupon made the revision on Friday after market close, when the company discovered that a higher number of customers than usual returned their coupons unused in January, says the report. The revision increased Groupon’s loss by $22.6 million.
Groupon’s stock plunged almost 17% today.
The Journal reports that the company’s chief accounting officer Joe Del Preto discovered that the number of refunds in January was higher than all of Groupon’s models had predicted.
According to the Journal, Groupon did not have enough money in its reserves to cover the refunds.
The SEC has not launched a formal investigation, says the report. Groupon’s top execs have reportedly examined the situation and are confident that only certain types of coupons are being returned.
So this could all blow over and turn out to be no big deal. But drawing the attention of the SEC is never a good thing. Especially when Groupon had to amend its IPO filing twice after the SEC complained.
- Groupon’s Andrew Mason: We Were ‘Toughened Up’ By Quiet Period
- Groupon Eyes Foursquare Territory And Acquires Location Database Startup, Hyperpublic
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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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