US Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) outperform text search ads in click-through rates by 47%, in conversion rates by 38%, and in return on ad spend (ROAS) by 25%, according to [download page] an October 2012 report from Kenshoo covering Q3 activity. The average ROAS among the select merchants examined was $3.96 from PLAs versus [...]
Facebook Inc said it will start charging businesses to run Offers on its social network, turning a previously free service into a potential revenue generator at a time when Wall Street is demanding new sources of growth and profit from the company.
Facebook launched Facebook Offers earlier this year, letting retailers and other local merchants send deals to their Facebook fans.
Users claim the offers from their News Feeds and redeem the vouchers at stores to get discounts.
The service has been free, but in coming weeks Facebook will require merchants to pay at least $5 on related ads to promote each Facebook Offer to a targeted audience of fans and friends of fans. The cost will vary based on the size of a company’s Facebook pages.
Since Facebook went public in May, the company has been under pressure from Wall Street to show how it can turn its giant social network into a money machine. Facebook shares have lost about 40 percent of their value since the IPO.
The commerce potential of Facebook, known as f-commerce, has yet to materialize, partly because retailers have been able to feast on a host of free tools on the social network to attract customers.
Tying Facebook Offers to a paid ad service suggests the company is working to change this.
“We think this aligns incentives nicely,” said Gokul Rajaram, director of product management for Facebook’s advertising and Pages businesses. “The best results on Facebook Offers will come from organic distribution plus paid distribution.”
In the past, some Facebook Offers have not been relevant to all users, partly because some people saw deals in their News Feeds from merchants located far away from where they live, Rajaram ad! ded.
“The requirement to pay for related ads will focus merchants on who and where they want the offer to reach,” he said.
Facebook is also expanding Offers to online-only businesses, he added. Before, the service was available only to merchants with physical locations.
Facebook is also adding barcodes for offers, so customers can redeem offers more easily. The barcodes work globally, Rajaram noted.
The executive declined to disclose how many Facebook Offers have been run so far, how many merchants have taken part, or how many deals have been claimed and redeemed by consumers.
However, he said Facebook is “very happy” with the success of its Offers business.
“That’s why we’re expanding and investing more in it,” Rajaram said.
(Reporting by Alistair Barr and Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
iPhone/Android: This Saturday, December 10 would be a good day to go shopping. Amazon’s offering 5% off (up to $5) for select items if you barcode scan them using its Price Check app; the offer can be used three times.
To get the discount, you’ll need to check prices on a qualifying item in one of these categories: Electronics, toys, sports, music, and DVDs. After putting it in your shopping cart with the Price Check App, you’ll have 24 hours to buy it (you can do it from the Amazon website or other Amazon apps) and get the 5% discount automatically applied.
As we’ve noted before Amazon Price Check is a really versatile price checking app you can use to look up products using your voice, photos, barcodes, or old-fashioned text search.
The promotion starts at 9pm PST December 9 and runs through 11:59pm PST December 10. So go download the app by the weekend, if you haven’t already.
It sounds a lot like Amazon Prime, Amazon’s $79-per-year service that offers fast shipping and other benefits.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the service, and confirmed that Macy’s had been approached by Google to participate.
The next-day shipping will apparently be combined with Google Product Search, which today lets users find products and compare them across different e-commerce sites to get the lowest price. When people buy a product from one of the sites after finding it on Google Product Search, they’ll get an offer for one day shipping for a low fee, the Journal says.
Google won’t be running an e-commerce site or stocking products in warehouses like Amazon does, but will instead create a system that figures out which retail partner’s stores are nearest to a customer and have the product in stock. Then it would team up with UPS and local couriers for delivery.
Still, e-commerce fulfillment is a pretty big step removed from Google’s core mission of organizing the world’s information. Lack of focus has been a problem for the company, and CEO Larry Page has killed a lot of non-core products this year
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The best discounts are for things you actually buy. Free web service Offermatic uses your credit card, through the same back-end as Mint.com, to offer 40-90 percent discounts on products similar to what you’ve already purchased.
If you’re not squeamish about providing financial information to financial scanning sites like Mint.com, Offermatic is a pretty sweet deal. You register your credit cards with Offermatic through their secure system, which then scans your purchases and spits back out high-discount offers from their advertisers, made to match your interests. You won’t necessarily get coupons for the exact stores you shop at, but the examples seem to be highly related.
Depending on how much you spend, you can also make up to $15 a year back per card (though, to be honest, we’re not about to spend $1,000 a month just to get $15 back at the end of the year, and we wouldn’t recommend you do either). But getting 40-90 percent off some pretty popular stores isn’t bad for a free service. For the folks on the fence about how Offermatic makes their cut, here’s what their FAQ has to say:
- If your service is free, how do you make money?
We make money by saving you money. We get a commission from the advertiser when our users purchase their offer through us.
- Do you sell my personal or individual data?
Never. When we send you an offer from one of our advertisers, it’s based on your anonymous purchase history. Advertisers do not know your name, email address, or location. Only if you choose to purchase an offer will that information be provided to the offer merchant so you can redeem the offer with them. We do not – and will not – provide or sell any personally identifiable information in order to present you an offer.
So, if you’re less than frightened about card-watching sites like Mint or Blippy, Offermatic is a deal you’ll want to take a closer look at.
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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