Posts tagged Buying

Amazon Reveals Our Bonkers Holiday Buying Habits

The gift-giving season was very good to Amazon, judging by the e-commerce giant’s holiday tallies. It boasted some eye-opening wins, and a revealing look at what and how we shopped during the holidays. 

While the company can’t resist bragging about how its own devices ruled some categories, the real spotlight was on how consumers stormed its site and what that says about how more of us will be shopping in the future. 

See also: Brace Yourselves For Amazon’s Big Holiday Blowout

TL;DR version: We’re crazy for mobile shopping and fast shipping, so look for those efforts to expand next year. 

Amazon Was Primed And Ready For Growth, It Said

Amazon Prime membership ballooned over the past few weeks, a fact that tickles Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. 

The company took on more than 10 million new Prime members this season and shipped to more than 185 countries, he said in a press statement. Prime Members get unlimited free two-day shipping and the ability to borrow more than 700,000 books, listen to a million songs, save unlimited photos and watch tens of thousands of films and TV episodes.

The retailer also revealed that its “Fire TV Stick is the fastest-selling Amazon device ever.” The tiny device landed on RW’s holiday gift list, and now the $39 device still sits as the number-one selling electronic on its site, a position that Chromecast has largely occupied since its launch in 2013.

See also: TV Streaming Gadgets: ReadWrite’s 2014 Gift Guide

Top products highlighted by Amazon include Chromebooks (computer category), Samsung 1080p TVs (televisions) and its own Fire tablets (tablet computers), all of which benefitted from budget pricing or discounts.

Much of those transactions took place on smartphones. The mobile commerce industry will want to note that nearly 60 percent of Amazon’s holiday shoppers purchased through their phones and tablets, an impulse that grew stronger as the season advanced.

Next Year: More Places To Get Fast Shipping

Next year, the company hopes to extend its Sunday Delivery service and Prime Now one-hour delivery service, which just launched in New York. “We are working hard to make Prime even better and expanding the recently launched Prime Now to additional cities in 2015,” Bezos said in a press statement.

Impulse and last-minute shopping swelled this season. The company fulfilled more than 10 times as many same-day delivery orders this year as in 2013. The company can’t resist mentioning that the last Prime Now order delivered by Christmas—health drinks purchased on December 24 at 10:24pm—landed at the customer’s doorstep at 11:06pm.

Which sounds great to everyone, except probably for the poor delivery guy who had to work late on Christmas Eve. Perhaps next year, we can get our beverages via drones

Lead photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

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19 Things I’ve Learned About Buying Websites by @markdaoust

In July, I shared the lessons I have learned selling websites with Quiet Light Brokerage since 2006, but the seller is not the only important part of the equation. Buying an online business can seem scary, but if you go in knowing how to conduct a deal you’ll improve your success rate immeasurably. I learned these lessons by observing literally thousands of smart buyers over the years, some of whom saw returns of over 1000% in their first year alone. The deals are out there, and these 19 lessons will help you get your footing (and your money’s worth) as […]

The post 19 Things I’ve Learned About Buying Websites by @markdaoust appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Black Hat Social Media: How Buying Accounts or Follows Can Hurt Your Business by @albertcostill

You just released a new piece of content and want to give it a little bit of traction on social media. While you could sit and wait for it to grow legs on it’s own, you decide to go the easy route and pay people to like share, retweet, or comment. No harm, no foul, right? You gain a bit of popularity on social media and someone makes a couple of bucks. What’s the big deal? This tactic, known as black hat social media, can actually be detrimental for your business. Before we get into why buying accounts is a […]

The post Black Hat Social Media: How Buying Accounts or Follows Can Hurt Your Business by @albertcostill appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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SearchCap: Twitter Renews Focus On SEO, Facebook’s New Places Directory & Mobile Search, Shopping & Buying Tips

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: EBay Dumps Google Syndicated Ads For Bing Ads On Mobile Devices Quietly, eBay has dumped Google AdWords sponsored text ads from mobile devices in favor of Bing…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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The 4 Cs Driving Mobile Search, Shopping & Buying

Mobile is driving the evolution of shopping behaviors. Contributor John Cosley explores how marketers can meet consumer needs and win customers.

The post The 4 Cs Driving Mobile Search, Shopping & Buying appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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The Evolution of Digital Media Buying & Omni-Channel Personalization by @teedubya

Who you partner with in business can make or break your future—and LiveRamp has a knack for teaming up with only the best. The latest dynamic duo is LiveRamp + Ensighten. Together, these companies are offering 1:1 personalization solutions complemented with simple integration. From 2007-2008 I had an unfunded start-up called Adiqus which focused on Advertising Intelligence, so I’ve spent a ton of time thinking about how to make advertising work better. Finally, after seven years, we are at the point where advertising is truly intelligent. This partnership is the most exciting marketing/advertising breakthrough, possibly ever. If your company has a huge budget for […]

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Google Buying Twitch for $1 Billion, According To Reports

Google is reportedly purchasing video game livestreaming platform Twitch for $1 billion. A Google spokesperson has declined to comment on the rumors.

Twitch, the world’s largest gaming website and community, lets gamers broadcast their live videoplay for viewers. It’s like the Netflix or Hulu for livestreamed games.

Livestream gaming on Twitch 

Google is hoping for lightning to strike twice with their affinity for online video. For what Google accomplished with online video gargantuan YouTube after its purchase in 2006 for $1.65 billion, we can expect the same from Twitch.

This reported purchase also signifies the mainstream growth of the online video gaming community and the legitimization of gaming as a sport that people actually want to watch. It’s a huge opportunity for gamers and the advertisers who can profit billions from the virality.

The livestreaming platform has already developed an enormous community, albeit a niche one within the gaming subculture. And according to Twitch’s numbers from last year, audience numbers are skyrocketing.

The gaming service saw 45 million unique visitors per month last year, and 12 billion minutes of gaming were consumed each month in 2013. With one million broadcasters, Twitch sees more peak traffic than Facebook and Hulu.

Google’s reported acquisition also shows that the search engine giant is paying attention to YouTube’s thriving gaming community. Gaming channels like Stampylonghead and The Diamond Minecart have amassed over 3 million subscribers apiece.

YouTube’s most subscribed channel of all time stars Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, whose gaming channel has now close to 29 million subscribers. Like many other gaming channels on YouTube, Kjellberg uploads videos of himself playing and reacting to games, popular draws being games like Happy Wheels and Flappy Bird.

With such a clear connection to the gaming community, YouTube and Google’s embrace of Twitch comes at the perfect time. We’ll just have to wait and see what Googly things might come from the gaming network in the future.

Images courtesy of Flickr user The World According To MartyDucksauce on

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Reach Customers at Every Step of the Buying Journey: An Interview With Erik Ford by @murraynewlands

As part of our coverage from the sold-out Searchmetrics x Search Engine Journal conference in San Francisco on SEO, content marketing, and analytics, I caught up with Erik Ford of Boost Media to discuss multi-channel marketing. Erik explains how the most successful marketers are reaching their customer at every step of the buying journey. Hear him discuss this in detail in the video below: Here are some key takeaways from the video: The big thing driving the focus on multiple channels is the realization that the customer journey is a multi-channel journey. People are using their smartphones, tablets, desktops, and social media to […]

The post Reach Customers at Every Step of the Buying Journey: An Interview With Erik Ford by @murraynewlands appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Why Samsung Buying SmartThings Should Have Us Worried

These days, every tech giant of note is staking a claim in the smart home, and Samsung’s no exception. In April, the company imagined a universe of smart-home appliances and devices hooking to its smart TVs and apps for automation and control. 

Now it appears to be rethinking this approach. The South Korean tech giant is reportedly negotiating to buy SmartThings, according to TechCrunch. SmartThings, a Kickstarter-backed project to connect your home devices together, makes a hub that talks over various network protocols so you don’t have to worry about whether individual devices are compatible with each other or with your phones and tablets.

Such a deal would make perfect sense—for Samsung. And yet, I can’t help but feel some dread over this prospect. Here’s why. 

Sammy Needs To Bring Some Smarts Home

See also: Apple Makes Its Move In The Smart Home With HomeKit

Samsung’s peers in the tech industry have all been very plain about their intentions toward wiring up our homes recently. 

This summer, Apple announced plans to rally connected home devices under its new iPhone-friendly HomeKit protocol. Earlier this year, Google picked up Nest, which has been busy buying Dropcam, another smart-home device maker, and creating its own home-networking protocol.

Microsoft has been playing around with its connected “Home of the Future” concept for years, but only recently got serious by pursuing a relationship with Insteon, a long-time player in this space. The pair even worked on the smart home’s first viable voice-command feature, courtesy of an update to Insteon’s Window Phone app and Cortana, the platform’s baked in voice command.

Samsung, perhaps more than any of these competitors, should have been in front of this movement. The parent corporation has numerous home-appliance divisions, some of which make things like connected refrigerators. And a connected oven is in the works.

Samsung Galaxy S4

But Samsung’s connected appliances operate within a very limited universe. Apart from integration with its own TVs, they don’t connect or cooperate with other devices, especially those from other manufacturers. In other words, what Samsung lacks is the interoperability that a cohesive platform could provide.

Big surprise for a company that still can’t stop bouncing between different operating systems for its TVs, phones, tablets and smartwatches. 

Is It A Match Made In Heaven … Or Hell? 

The smart thing about an acquisition is that Samsung wouldn’t have to grow its own smart-home platform from scratch, or get its various corporate division to play nicely together. 

SmartThings hub and sensor kit

SmartThings seems like an ideal candidate. The startup has been lighting up the DIY segment of the smart-home industry, where people set up devices themselves instead of paying thousands of dollars for a professional installation.

After having raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter in 2012, the company added another $12.5 million from investors, putting it all to good use by focusing on developers—and marketing buzz—to build out its platform. 

Now it can boast a growing, creative network of more than 5,000 developers, as well as compatibility across a slew of devices, from moisture sensors and lighting kits to fitness trackers and home audio speakers.

SmartThings has now gained a reputation for creativity—perhaps more so than simplicity and reliability—and that too makes it a perfect fit for Samsung, a company known for having a “pray and spray” approach to consumer technology. 

Just take Samsung’s Galaxy line of mobile devices, for example. While these are terrific phones, they’re also full of bloated house-made apps, including S Health, S Translator, S Voice and other features users generally ignore. Meanwhile, on the hardware side, the minute size differentials in its ever-burgeoning line of mobile devices just keep on coming, complicating developers’ efforts to target specific screen sizes.

In other words, you put a startup that likes creativity and values developers with the vast resources of a multinational corporation that loves to experiment, and what do you have? Maybe a major new smart-home contender that can give your home limitless possibilities. But more likely, a big fat mess of complication, confusion and bloat. 

And that’s why, if Samsung-SmartThings happens, it may make Samsung’s corporate strategists look clever for a day. But we doubt it will make our homes any smarter.

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Targeting Your Audience Earlier in the Buying Process – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Bigger audiences and less competition aren’t actually that hard to find; we just have to reach a bit farther up the funnel. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains the benefits of this largely unexplored place, showing you how to reach potential customers before they’re even aware that they’re looking for you.

Here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard:

Video transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today I’m going to talk a little about targeting your customers and your potential audience earlier in their buying process.

So you’re probably familiar and have seen diagrams, maybe even from marketing class if you went to marketing class, about the buying journey. Usually, the buying journey starts somewhere around here. There’s awareness, research, establishing criteria, evaluating vendors, and then making a buying decision.

I want to challenge us to think even a step ahead of that. Before we know that we’re going to be aware of a potential product, we are pursuing our own interests. We are living our lives. We are maybe trying to chase away boredom or downtime on our mobile phones or browsing random sites on the Internet or following our interests.

Whatever we’re doing actively, that’s the first place where we usually start to have awareness about something. That awareness of a potential problem or an issue or something that we might want to invest in, a business could have those awareness issues, an individual could, a family could.

Then, once we get to an awareness stage, then we start realizing, “Hey, I have a need. I’m going to start researching this need, this problem, this challenge.” Then, after I’ve researched a little, if I decide to keep going, I’ll establish criteria by which I’m going to make a buying decision. I’ll evaluate some vendors, and then I’ll buy.

As you can see, this is often framed in terms of a funnel because there’s usually a lot more people up here than there are down here. Some people decide the problem is just not that big, and they don’t need to research it. Some people who research it decide it’s too expensive, or they satisfice and do something else. Some people who start to evaluate vendors decide they don’t like any of them, and so they never buy anything. And that’s fine.

Here’s the problem. In the SEO world especially, but even more broadly in Internet marketing, we think about all of our marketing efforts down at the bottom of this process. Even the most broad ones usually think in the awareness and research phase. Very, very rarely does anyone think about that “pursuing interests” phase, but you can do remarkable things here.

For each of these phases, there are questions that you want to ask yourself as a marketer and your team, things like: Where does your audience spend time online, and what are they doing on the Web? Who do they listen to? 

Those big broad questions, because that can tell you, “Hey, we can create awareness even before that awareness exists on its own.” This is the challenge of overcoming that branding problem that a lot of companies face, especially those who aren’t very transactionally focused.

Then, when you get to that awareness stage, what are the earliest questions that your audience has around your topic? Not around the purchase or the criteria or the vendors, but around the broad topic. Then, in the research phase, how would someone discover the potential choices or solutions? What broad resources already exist out there that they might be navigating to in some way already?

Once you get to establishing criteria and evaluating vendors, you know what? Too late. You are too late. This is where everyone is already doing SEO. Every keyword phrase, term, every retarget or every content marketing effort, they’re all here. Only a few of them are here, and almost none of them are up here. That’s why it’s so exciting.

Early means less competition, because there are so few people operating in here. It means more link opportunities, because a lot of the content that you create down in here is going to be very transactional, very promotional, not likely to pull in a lot of links, not reference worthy.

This stuff is super reference worthy. This is where content marketing plus link earning plus social sharing, that’s where you really get that wonderful, wonderful effect of earning those links, which gets you more domain authority, which gets you the ability to rank higher for all your content, which then means the next time you produce content, it’s easier and easier. That’s the boulder rolling down the hill.

Earlier in the process means a bigger audience. A bigger audience, that means this is a great place to build community. This is a tough place to build community, not an impossible place, very tough compared to these.

But there are challenges that come along with this too. This is extremely hard, sometimes impossible to measure. In fact, I would say it is impossible to fully measure the efforts that you put in here and what comes out at the bottom of the funnel. You have to be willing to accept some serendipitous outcomes and some unmeasurable results.

Because of that, there’s a lot less competition. By the way, you get a low overall conversion rate. You’re going to target a ton of people. Look at Moz. I mean, our audience is 2.5 million, well maybe it’s 3 million or more people coming to our website every month. There’s not even close to half a percent of those people who are taking their free trial. Our audience, because we’re reaching so far up into the phases of pursuing interests and awareness and research, we’re not just spending time down here at the bottom of the funnel. For that reason, the overall conversion rate is very, very tiny.

Because of these things, because it’s hard to measure, because so many of the results are serendipitous, and because of that low overall conversion rate, it’s super hard to get managers or executives or clients to buy into a process like this. A lot of people are just going to say “no,” and not do it.

I love marketing opportunities where lots of people are saying “no.” You know why I love them? I love them because it means that there’s opportunity for me. It means I can make a lot of mistakes, I can not be perfect at it, and I’m the only one there. It’s a beautiful thing.

So, I’ve created a quick example to kind of walk you through this. Here’s Rand, and I get an email from Darren Rowse at ProBlogger, and he’s inviting me to come speak in Australia. Boy, Australia is a long ways away. But you know what? I want to make the trip. The ProBlogger conference sounds awesome, super cool audience. I love bloggers. I think they’re a fantastic group for me to be presenting to. I think I can make a really good deck, and it’s a great opportunity.

So all right, I’m going to go, but I’m also going to have three or four extra days in Queensland while I’m there. What should I do with those days?
Where should I go? Well, I’ve already been pursuing some interests, doing things around this. I happen to know some stuff about Australian tourism and particularly one of Queensland’s projects.

So I have some awareness preexisting, but the places where I hang out, social networks, technology events, tech and marketing sites have only ever once, once ever seen a company that was smart enough to do marketing alongside an event. It was like a technology search event that I went to in Utah, and a local skiing, snowboarding, slopes company had partnered with the event to run something, an offer, a discount, and this kind of thing. So a ton of people at the conference went to that skiing/snowboarding event, which was very smart because they got a lot of extra rentals. It was kind of off-season for them normally anyway. So very smart.

But these are not places where vacation folks are normally thinking about hanging out. Maybe they should. The questions that I’m asking, those early questions that I’m asking: What time of year? What will the weather be like? What about normal travel things, like adaptors and currency and prices I should expect to pay for all sorts of things? What about tipping customs? All the usual travel questions. Airlines, I’m trying to get from the West Coast of the United States to Australia.

So I have all of these kinds of questions, which a shockingly small number; I think there was maybe one or two hotel websites that I eventually found that offered this type of information. So I had to go research them elsewhere. By the way, those elsewheres were not places where any of those companies were advertising or marketing or had a partnership. What are they doing?

The places that already exist to help me find these potential choices, these are places like the Queensland Tourism Bureau and hotel resort listings and travel aggregators and blogs and forums. This is where I started to see a lot of marketers being intelligent. They had gotten to this research phase already.

But if you can take your marketing efforts and think up the funnel, rather than down, and think about keywords, websites, content, social accounts, potential influencers, all of these types of folks and opportunities, you can have an immense impact on your downstream funnel, and you can do so with far less competition and oftentimes a much larger audience.

So, hopefully, some of you are going to think a little bit earlier in the funnel around your SEO, your social, and your content efforts. We look forward to having you join us again next time for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

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