Online fraud was down in 2010, although we shouldn’t be too excited about it – it’s more than likely due to the general decline in the economy, rather than improvements in security. Check out the full article at the New York Times GadgetWise blog.
MerchantCircle released a big survey yesterday detailing the rise of social media among small businesses as a cheap, effective marketing tool. Among the more interesting results is the conclusion that “social media are now the top marketing strategy for local businesses” – we wonder if that trend will continue or if social media-based marketing is simply having its moment in the spotlight right now.
What raised our eyebrows was this statistic: “55 percent of people who have run a daily deal campaign said they would not do so again.” That means that Groupon, LivingSocial and all the other group-buying knockoffs are either doing a terrible job at customer retention or that perhaps the group-buying premise is a flawed one – at least for the businesses themselves – to begin with.
Our experience with group buying in a business-to-business e-commerce environment has been mixed. Everyone seems to want it, yet once it’s implemented, adoption tends to be very low (or, in some cases, nonexistent). At least part of the reason for this is that, despite the appeal of group discounts, many business purchasers don’t really want to wait to see if their colleagues are going to buy something just to get a discount; purchases are driven by need, as opposed to by impulse.
Few of us would call calculators fun – although I do recall enjoying a few upside-down calculator messages back in middle school – but the folks here at eBlox got a kick out of building calculators for two big site launches for 2011. Then again, we are geeks.
First up is the product page calculator on the new 3M Promotional Markets website. 3M has always had pretty complex pricing and decoration options, so we actually took on the rather ambitious task of not only wrestling their pricing into a more structured model, but also building the ability to calculate that pricing accurately and quickly right on the product page.
If that wasn’t enough, 3M threw in freight quoting as well – in real-time. So, we take product and quantity options, work out the total (including decoration) and then go fetch a real-time freight quote from UPS, all right there on the product page. You get an estimated total within seconds.All of this is made possible with storeBlox 2, the most flexible, customizable e-commerce solution for promotional products suppliers and distributors.