holiday

Early Shoppers Prefer Mass Merchants

Source: http://blog.compete.com/2012/11/01/early-shoppers-prefer-mass-merchants/

Holiday Shopping

Image from: Holiday Shopping / Shutterstock

As we reach the end of October, more consumers are focusing their sights on December.  As of October 21, about half the consumers surveyed in the Compete Holiday Intelligence™ survey had already begun shopping for the holidays, up 5 percent in 2 weeks.  In fact, almost 1 out of 10 consumers had already finished half of their holiday shopping.

What percent, if any, of your holiday shopping have you already completed?
While more consumers got into the holiday spirit last week, they did not favor any one particular category.  Shopping was up across almost all product categories.  One of the most noticeable changes that occurred over the past few weeks was the decrease in gift card shopping and the increase in photo gift shopping.  Perhaps consumers shop for generic stocking stuffers early and are now focusing on more personalized gifts.

Why types of products did you buy last week as part of your holiday shopping?

Mass merchants continue to be the preferred destination for early holiday shoppers.  Both in store and online shopping at these retailers increased last week compared to the first week of October.    It is interesting to note that while Walmart in store purchases increased more than Target in store purchases, the opposite is true online.  Target.com purchasing increased 150 percent whereas Walmart.com shopping only increased 58 percent.

Which retailers did you purchase from last week as part of your holiday shopping?

The Compete Holiday Intelligence™ survey is your source for holiday insights.  Be sure to check back in the coming months as we continue to track consumer shopping.

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Monday, November 5th, 2012 news No Comments

37 million iPhones, 15.43 million iPads, 5.2 million Macs, 15.4 million iPods

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/24/apple-q1-2012-iphone-ipad-ipod-mac-hardware-sales/

We touched on the numbers in our report on Apple’s Q1 earnings, but the company’s throwing out a lot of “record” figures so we thought we’d take a moment to focus on just how its hardware sales stack up. The standout number is, of course, the 37.04 million iPhones sold during the quarter, which is up 128 percent from the same quarter a year ago (and up from 17 million in the previous quarter, a jump of 117 percent). That notably puts Apple back ahead of Samsung, which sold a total of 35 million smartphones in its most recent quarter. And as if that wasn’t enough, Apple’s Tim Cook also said on the company’s earnings call that it could have sold even more if it had more supply.

iPad sales also set a new record with 15.43 million units sold during the quarter, which is a 111 percent jump from the 7.3 million sold a year ago, and a 39 percent increase from the 11.1 million moved in Q4 2011. Once again, however, iPods are the one category that continues to decline in the face of the growth of smartphones. Apple sold a total of 15.4 million iPods — over half of which were iPod touches — which represents a 21 percent decline from the 19.4 million sold a year ago. The holiday shopping season did boost sales considerably from the 6.6 million sold in the previous quarter, though.

Mac sales were also on the upswing, totaling 5.2 million units — a 26 percent increase year-over-year. Breaking things down further, that translates to 1.48 million desktops (including iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Pro), and 3.7 million laptops (including the basic MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro). As for the company’s “h! obby,” t he Apple TV, it rang up 1.4 million in sales for the quarter, and 2.8 million for the 2011 fiscal year. Fans of charts can get their fix after the break.

Continue reading Apple’s Q1 hardware sales: 37 million iPhones, 15.43 million iPads, 5.2 million Macs, 15.4 million iPods

Apple’s Q1 hardware sales: 37 million iPhones, 15.43 million iPads, 5.2 million Macs, 15.4 million iPods originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 Jan 2012 17:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

If You Use Any Of These 25 Passwords On Your Computer You Better Change Them Now

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/if-you-use-any-of-these-25-passwords-on-your-computer-you-better-change-them-now-2012-1


hackers computerRemember how all those lazy Subway managers caused millions of dollars to be stolen from customers?

A band of hackers was able to guess the passwords to their point-of-sale systems and went to town nabbing credit and debit card numbers from everyone who walked into the restaurants.

Don’t let that happen to you, people.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center just released 25 of the most commonly hacked passwords of 2011.

It boggles the mind to think people are still using these everyday words [e.g.: Monkey, football, 123456) to protect devices that hold all their financial data – especially in the workplace.

Raise your virtual hand if your employer assigns workers a single password to access company databases, content management systems or email accounts. (See 11 ways to protect yourself when shopping online.)

“Sharing passwords among users in a workplace is becoming a common theme to continue the flow of operations,” the ICCC says, but “users have prioritized convenience over security when establishing passwords.”

Here’s the full list of passwords to avoid:

  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. monkey
  7. 1234567
  8. letmein
  9. trustno1
  10. dragon
  11. baseball
  12. 111111
  13. iloveyou
  14. master
  15. sunshine
  16. ashley
  17. bailey
  18. passw0rd
  19. shadow
  20. 123123
  21. 654321
  22. superman
  23. qazwsx
  24. michael
  25. football

Now see the dirty dozen internet scams to watch out for this holiday season >

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 news No Comments

If You Use Any Of These 25 Passwords On Your Computer You Better Change Them Now

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/if-you-use-any-of-these-25-passwords-on-your-computer-you-better-change-them-now-2012-1


hackers computerRemember how all those lazy Subway managers caused millions of dollars to be stolen from customers?

A band of hackers was able to guess the passwords to their point-of-sale systems and went to town nabbing credit and debit card numbers from everyone who walked into the restaurants.

Don’t let that happen to you, people.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center just released 25 of the most commonly hacked passwords of 2011.

It boggles the mind to think people are still using these everyday words [e.g.: Monkey, football, 123456) to protect devices that hold all their financial data – especially in the workplace.

Raise your virtual hand if your employer assigns workers a single password to access company databases, content management systems or email accounts. (See 11 ways to protect yourself when shopping online.)

“Sharing passwords among users in a workplace is becoming a common theme to continue the flow of operations,” the ICCC says, but “users have prioritized convenience over security when establishing passwords.”

Here’s the full list of passwords to avoid:

  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. monkey
  7. 1234567
  8. letmein
  9. trustno1
  10. dragon
  11. baseball
  12. 111111
  13. iloveyou
  14. master
  15. sunshine
  16. ashley
  17. bailey
  18. passw0rd
  19. shadow
  20. 123123
  21. 654321
  22. superman
  23. qazwsx
  24. michael
  25. football

Now see the dirty dozen internet scams to watch out for this holiday season >

Please follow Your Money on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 news No Comments

We’ve Bought $41 Billion in Unused Gift Cards Since 2005 [Factoid]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5871883/weve-bought-41-billion-in-unused-gift-cards-since-2005

We've Bought $41 Billion in Unused Gift Cards Since 2005Gift cards are the laziest, lousiest, most convenient, popular and widely given present. And this is your yearly reminder of just how much they stink. Since 2005, we’ve tossed out more value in gift cards than the entire GNP of Ghana.

$41 billion is pretty hard to defend. We’re lazy; we have things to do; we… didn’t really want the damn things in the first place. Things have gotten a little better over the past few years, since the Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act passed in 2009, but in 2011 there are already $2 billion in unused cards. That’s down from $8 billion in 2007, but still, $2 billion a massive amount of waste.

According to TowerGroup, which provided the gift card data, 85 percent of gift cards are used within 65 days. After that? Not so great. So do yourself a favor and get out there and actually spend the money your generous but highly inconsiderate family members gifted to you this holiday season. [ABC News]


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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 news No Comments

Will Groupon Thrive Or Tank In Q4? This Chart Holds The Key (GRPN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-chart-tells-you-whether-groupon-will-thrive-or-tank-in-q4-2011-12


groupon girl

Groupon’s Q4 2011 couldn’t be more crucial: Will it see the revenue bump it needs from holiday shoppers to justify its business model? Or will sales collapse following CEO Andrew Mason’s promised pullback on marketing and customer acquisition spending?

The Wall Street Journal reports that gross billings at the company rose just 1.5 percent from September to October, and not 22 percent as previously estimated.

Has the company reached a plateau before falling of a cliff? Or is it merely taking a pre-Thanksgiving breather before continuing its climb up the Christmas sales ladder?

The company could go either way. Until recently, the company has been dependent on a cash float (and the money it raised in its IPO, of course) to stay in business. Groupon generally makes a loss each quarter. It funds its operations by taking revenues from customers’ credit cards immediately and then delaying for 30 days or so the share of those sales it owes to the merchants who made the offers. As long as there is a greater amount of new money coming in than old money owed, Groupon continues to function.

But what happens if Groupon enters a period in which its revenues decline? At most companies that isn’t too problematic — management can cut expenses to remain profitable. But at Groupon the company’s marketing and customer acquisition expenses are closely related to its revenues. It is not at all clear whether Groupon’s revenues will continue to rise if Mason cuts costs. ! Here’s a chart showing Groupon’s net revenues plotted against its total operating expenses:

groupon

As you can see, in Q3 Mason pulled back on expenses (the green line) in hopes of seeing a profit, but revenue growth (the red line) began to lose steam. The WSJ report suggests it hasn’t regained momentum since, but the October sales period doesn’t include the Christmas run-up.

In Q4, this chart is all you will need to understand whether Groupon can mature into a business that isn’t funded by stock sales. If Mason can get the red line above the green line, or if he can keep the red line moving upward, then he should be congratulated.

If he cannot, then the company — and its investors — will need to do some serious thinking about whether their daily deal business model is viable or not.

SEE ALSO: Groupon Allegedly Hacked Merchant’s Email To Alter Contract

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Monday, December 12th, 2011 news No Comments

A False Groupon Offer Ruined Christmas In This British City

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/groupon-uk-christmas-york-2011-12


york

A false Groupon offer for a Santa’s grotto in the English city of York has lead to the resignation of one of Santa’s elves, reports the Telegraph.

Groupon mistakenly sent out an email to parents saying that the grotto would be offering a festive train ride. It wasn’t, and when 2,000 families turned up with vouchers from the website and learned of no train ride, it wasn’t a pretty scene.

It is reported that the grotto’s staff received so much abuse from angry parents that one of Santa’s elves resigned, unhappy at the treatment he had been subject to.

It is thought that Groupon may have confused the grotto in York with another one in the nearby city of Hull, which did have a train ride.

The mistake comes as Groupon is under investigation by the British Office of Fair Trade with the company reportedly violating 50 advertising regulations this year.

The Telegraph reports that the company could be taken to court over the violations and may face both criminal and civil charges.

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Friday, December 2nd, 2011 news No Comments

Cyber Monday E-Commerce Makes History

Source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/cyber-monday-e-commerce-makes-history-20215/

Cyber Monday reached $1.25 billion in online spending this year, rising 22% from 2010 and representing the heaviest online spending day in history, and just the second day on record to surpass the billion-dollar threshold, according to November 2011 research from comScore. Data from comScore’s analysis indicates that for the holiday season-to-date (November 1-28), $15 […]


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Thursday, December 1st, 2011 news No Comments

The Smartphone Is Becoming A Goliath In The Retail Industry

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-smartphones-are-revolutionizing-the-shopping-experience-2011-11


cuba mobile phone

A study by the Times finds many retailers–including major ones like Best Buy, Nordstrom and Amazon–offer the most promotional deals for smartphones, which generate millions, if not billions, in revenue.

Amazon, for example, will make $5.37 billion in sales through mobile devices by year’s end, according to a recent survey by Internet Retailer.

Flash deal and group-buying sites are also jumping on board with mobile-exclusive deals of their own. Gilt Groupe, for example, started offering special holiday promotions on Friday, November 25 at 6 a.m.

Surprisingly, it’s bricks-and-mortar stores who will be making the biggest mobile-deal push. One of the main reasons is because they must compete against the growing consumer trend of using price comparison apps, says Time Moneyland’s Brad Turtle. These apps let you scan an item, compare retailers’ prices and read product reviews, which have become increasingly popular in the last year.

What’s funny, though, is how many retail stores started arming their salespeople with the same equipment. Reuters reports that companies like Lowe’s, Best Buy and Toys R Us gave their people smartphones of their own to research products, check rival’s prices and even make purchases.

More than 40 percent of retailers now have a policy of competing against lower online prices through mobile phones, according to the research firm RSR.

Lowe’s alone is using over 42,000 Apple iPhones and distributing them to 1,700 of their stores.

With the equipment, employees can engage customers more effectively by using iPhones to track down the same information consumers are tracking. They’ll also be able to quickly see if products are in stock, or still available on the website or at another nearby store.

Some companies are also allowing their employees to either match or beat prices that a consumer finds somewhere else on their phone—good news for the consumer.

Check out 8 amazing and free phone apps to help you save >

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Monday, November 28th, 2011 news No Comments

Compete Holiday Insights

Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/11/04/compete-holiday-insights%e2%84%a2-2011/

With Halloween behind us, retailers are now full swing into the Holiday shopping season.  And consumers aren’t too far behind.  By the end of October, a little more than half of consumers surveyed said that they have begun their Holiday shopping.  In fact, 1 out of 10 consumers have completed at least half of their expected Holiday shopping.

Toys and games, electronics, and gift cards were popular gift items to purchase last week.  And while 1 in 3 consumers bought books the week end Oct 16, only 14 percent purchased books last week.  Santa was in a part mood last week, as can be seen by the jump in event ticket purchases.

Overall spend increased, probably do to the increase in higher ticket value items.  The average consumer spent $190 dollar online and $264 dollars in-stores on Holiday gift and items.  At this point in the season, consumers are still favoring in-store purchasing.

And where are consumers spending all of those in-store dollars?  Walmart, Best Buy, and Kohl’s were the most popular retailers to shop at last week.  Macy’s saw a large jump in foot traffic, probably due to their Party & Holiday Home sale.

Compete Holiday Insights™ will be your source for tracking consumers’ online and offline holiday shopping, so stay tuned for more posts like this in the coming weeks.


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Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 news No Comments

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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