flash sales

Groupon Shares Suffer As eBay Enters The Daily Deals Business (EBAY, GRPN)

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/Z_i5pA-wFn8/groupon-shares-suffer-as-ebay-enters-the-daily-deals-business-2012-10

andrew mason groupon

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 10 (Reuters) – EBay Inc has quietly launched an online marketplace for deals on local services, taking on Groupon Inc and expanding into a potentially big category.

Called eBay Lifestyle Deals, the offers are being run in a limited number of urban areas, including the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

Recent deals included $12 for a one-hour dog-walking service worth $25; $50 for a month of Yoga classes worth $110; and $180 for six private gym sessions worth $360.

The move is potentially a big step for eBay, which has traditionally focused on products rather than services.

“We have a big marketplace and a lot of people who come to eBay don’t just come for one thing – they stay and buy across categories,” said Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces.

“It makes perfect sense to experiment with new categories, and services is one of these things. We’re seeing whether deals and services are attractive to our customers.”

EBay has teamed up with start-up Signpost, which arranges the deals with local merchants and posts them on a new section of eBay’s online marketplace, www.ebay.com/exp/lifestyle-deals.

Signpost, backed by Google Ventures, already provides deals for Google Offers, a rival to Groupon.

EBay plans to add more daily deal providers if the effort goes well.

“Signpost is a merchant, just like merchants selling physical goods on eBay,” Wenig said. “A merchant may sell local or even global servi! ces on e Bay in the future.”

BIA/Kelsey, which tracks the local media industry, expects U.S. consumer spending for online deals to reach $5.5 billion by 2016, up from $1.8 billion last year. That includes daily deals, and other discounted online sales channels, such as product deals and flash sales.

Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason has estimated the total local-commerce market is worth $3 trillion.

EBay has run daily deals on physical products for about two years, but this is its first foray into discounted services in the United States.

Groupon started the daily deal craze in late 2008 and quickly grew into a company with thousands of employees and well over $1 billion in annual revenue.

That growth attracted a lot of deep-pocketed rivals, such as Google Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Facebook Inc . However, growth has slowed recently as consumers tired of endless deals from multiple providers. Facebook shelved its first effort in the market last year.

Groupon shares have lost about three-quarters of their value since the company went public last year.

However, Google and Amazon have stuck with their daily deal businesses.

EBay shares rose 0.5 percent to $46.45 on Nasdaq at midday. (Reporting by Alistair Barr; Additional reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Copyright (2012) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions

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Thursday, October 11th, 2012 news No Comments

One Theory On Why The iPhone Is Dominating Flash Sales Site Traffic

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/one-theory-on-why-the-iphone-is-dominating-e-commerce-2012-5

Doug Mack, One Kings Lane CEO

At Fab.com, a flash sales site, 95 percent of its mobile visits (which make up a third of its overall visits) come from the iPhone.

At OneKingsLane, another designer flash sales site specializing in home decor, iPhone and iPad owners stand far above other mobile devices among mobile shoppers (who make up more than 20 percent of OneKingsLane’s revenue).

Why?

We sat down with Doug Mack, CEO of OneKingsLane, to find out why. Here’s one theory:

  • Before the iPad came out, very few shoppers came from the iPhone — or any mobile device. Very few of the site’s sales came from the iPhone just 18 months ago. There wasn’t enough screen real estate to trigger a shopper to buy something on OneKingsLane, Mack said.
  • After the iPad came out, mobile sales shot up like crazy across the board. They now account for more than 20 percent of OneKingsLane’s revenue. There’s more screen real estate on the iPad, so it removed a mental block on shopping on a mobile device.
  • iPad owners are probably more likely to own an iPhone. So it’s natural to expect that the sales would translate to the iPhone from the iPad. The iPad version of the website is now the second-most visited version of OneKingsLane, behind the desktop website.

There is a little bit of cross-over for OneKingsLane’s audience, though, since most of its users use Mac computers, Mack said.

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Sunday, May 13th, 2012 news No Comments

Google Still 80 Percent Of E-Commerce Referrals

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-still-80-percent-of-e-commerce-referralsbut-facebook-up-92-percent-2012-2


Google is still e-commerce’s best friend, at least for the time being. Social is just beginning to change  business online, but search engines still dominate referral traffic to e-commerce sites.

Google alone accounts for over 80 percent of e-commerce traffic referrals, according to a study by RichRelevance. Meanwhile, Facebook made up 0.5 percent of traffic, but that number was up 92 percent from the year prior.

There is some anecdotal evidence that this may be changing. At yesterday’s Social Commerce Summit, Sheezan Bakali, Director of Marketing at hot flash sales startup Fab, indicated that Facebook was its third largest source of traffic after direct traffic and e-mail referrrals. Nonetheless, search still powers e-commerce—for now.

Drivers of E-Commerce Traffic

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Layoffs Underway At Two Of New York’s Biggest Flash Sales Sites, Gilt Groupe and Lot18

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/layoffs-gilt-groupe-lot18-2012-1


lot18

Last week BetaBeat’s Nitasha Tiku first reported impending layoffs at Gilt Groupe. We confirmed the rumor from a source who said 50-60 people would be let go in the next week or so.

Some of those cuts happened yesterday.  A source told Betabeat the experience was “super uncomfortable” and the “general atmosphere was terrifying.”

Gilt Groupe isn’t the only flash sales site that has been trimming some of its fat.  RueLaLa let go of many employees and Lot18, the one-year-old flash sales site for wine and gourmet food, also made cuts yesterday.

BetaBeat’s Adrianne Jeffries reported 15% of Lot18’s staff was let go after she spoke with co-founder Philip James. That comes out to about 14 people.

James called the layoffs “a natural part of the way a business grows and evolves.” James, like Gilt Groupe’s Kevin Ryan, indicated the layoffs were happening in places where the site was over-staffed, but said hiring would continue.  “We’re hiring heavily in areas that do make sense for us,” James told BetaBeat.

For Gilt Groupe, the layoffs seem to be a part of the plan to get to cash-flow break-even by Q2.  Best of luck to everyone at the companies.

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

The Owner Of Flash Sales Site Rue La La Is Laying Off A Big Chunk Of Its Staff

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-owner-of-flash-sales-site-rue-la-la-is-losing-up-to-half-its-staff-2012-1


rue la la

UPDATE: Rue La La has reached out to us to update the story with some additional information.

Rue La La just laid off 11 percent of its 500-person staff, according to the company.

The Boston Business Journal first reported the layoffs.

Site owner Retail Convergence is also shutting down SmartBargains.com, a discount shopping site, according to the report.

Some employees were offered other positions in the company, and everyone was offered some kind of severance package, a source close to the company told us.

“It was a mess upstairs. People were crying all over the place,” one unnamed employee told the Boston Business Journal. 

Rue La La operator Retail Convergence raised about $25 million from General Catalyst Partners and Breakaway Partners before being acquired by a company called GSI Commerce for $350 million, reports The Boston Business Journal.

eBay then bought GSI Commerce in 2009, and Rue La La got $500 million in debt and equity financing as part of the deal, according to the report. Retail Convergence, the owner of Rue La La and SmartBargains.com was spun out as part of that deal.

Here’s the full statement from Rue La La:

Since launching in 2008, Rue La La has transformed online shopping and has become a leader in the “private sale” shopping space.  In a continued effort to revolutionize off-price shopping, we have made the strategic decision to double down on our core business.  This heightened focus on our core includes the restructuring of our Rue Local business by outsourcing our sales force and consolidating SmartBargains.com into Rue La La. SmartBargains.com was originally launched 1999.  These moves unfortunately resulted in the elimination of some staff positions.  Rue La La has continued to see dramatic growth with nearly $300MM in sales in 2011 and similar growth planned for 2012 and beyond.

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012 news No Comments

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