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FTC Leans on Search Engines Over Ad Labeling
June 27, 2013
The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection on Monday issued a letter to search engines including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, advising them to provide better labeling and notification of advertising that appears alongside search results. The letter is an update to guidelines issued in 2002. "We have observed a decline in compliance," the FTC explained.
GrubHub, Seamless Merge to Boost Restaurant Delivery Chops
May 21, 2013
Two well-known restaurant delivery services -- GrubHub and Seamless -- announced plans to merge on Monday. The services enable users to search local restaurants that deliver by ZIP code and food specialty. Combined, the companies' footprint will cover 500 cities and connect users to more than 20,000 establishments.
Google Wallet Takes on PayPal With Gmail Money Transfers
May 17, 2013
In an effort to boost adoption of Google Wallet, Google this week added features to the service that allow users to send money as an Gmail attachment. The company is also trying to simplify the mobile payment process for consumers and businesses. As a way to market the new features, Google Wallet payments via Gmail are being sent out through invitations.
Square Stand Lets Small Retailers Put Their iPads to Work
May 15, 2013
Square announced Tuesday it would reach out to retail outlets with its new Square Stand, an iPad dock that can handle business transactions and customer analytics. The mobile payments processing startup said small and medium-sized businesses would be able to collect customer loyalty information when they ring up sales. Square Stand replaces the cash register.
Groupon Regroups With Q1 Revenue Gains, Mobile Growth
May 09, 2013
Groupon reported a better than expected first quarter thanks to strong North American revenue growth and an uptick in mobile customers. That helped send the daily deal website's stock soaring Wednesday. The company reported revenue of $601.4 million, an 8 percent jump from the $559.3 million during the same time last year.
Yahoo Alum Will Help Shazam Tune Up for IPO
April 30, 2013
Shazam on Monday announced that former Yahoo executive Rich Riley will be its new CEO as the song identification app company prepares to launch an IPO. Riley will take over for Andrew Fisher, who had been the company's CEO since 2005. Fisher will remain at Shazam as the executive chairman. The company also recently snagged the BBC's Daniel Danker as a chief product officer.
Will Your Shopping Cart Roll to Where Your Customers Are?
April 20, 2013
Can I be everywhere my customers want to shop? The good news is that this rhetorical question is not all that far-fetched any longer. In its day, the Sears catalog revolutionized the consumer shopping experience and ruled the market. Decades later, it has been rendered obsolete by the ultimate, innovative consumer shopping medium -- the Internet -- and its current lead innovator, Amazon.
The Hidden Risks of Mobile CRM, Part 2
April 19, 2013
Mobile marketing may just be in its infancy, but it already has ushered in a world of new risks -- or rather, existing risks that have been repackaged. They range from running afoul of still-developing regulations to security concerns, to consumers misinterpreting content. As people connect with the Internet through multiple access points, keeping a marketing message consistent is becoming more essential.
eBay Likely to Be Forgiven for Q1 Misses
April 18, 2013
eBay posted solid first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, but the company underperformed based on projections by Wall Street. eBay then delivered guidance that did not meet the mark, doubling investors' disappointment. As a result, they are casting worried eyes toward eBay's future. "eBay, though economically resilient, is not immune to the slowdown in Europe," said Charles Lewis Sizemore, a Covestor model manager.
The 6 Secrets of Highly Successful M-Commerce
April 15, 2013
If we take a page out of our not-so-distant past, we can see that on the web, both commerce applications and functionality have contributed to the demise or success of mobile apps. The success of business models, return on investment and viability of mobile initiatives all depend on how well m-commerce is managed and handled.
eBay PayPals It Forward
April 02, 2013
eBay is enjoying a surge on Wall Street in the wake of last week's analyst day, when it reassured Wall Street and investors that growth from its core Marketplaces and PayPal businesses was on track. It was the first time since 2011 that analysts had gathered at the company's San Jose, Calif., headquarters.
The Revolution Is Over, and M-Commerce Is Here to Stay
March 16, 2013
In case you missed it, 2012 -- the so-called "year of mobile" -- came and went pretty quickly. Now we simply live in a mobile world. E-commerce is moving to mobile devices more and more, and that trend is not likely to stop anytime soon. U.S. retail mobile commerce sales will grow from $13.63 billion in 2011 to $86.86 billion by 2016 -- increasing from 7 percent to 24 percent of all retail e-commerce, eMarketer predicted.
FTC Puts a Damper on Freewheeling Digital Advertising
March 13, 2013
The Federal Trade Commission released its updated Dot Com Disclosures guidance on Tuesday, emphasizing the requirements for advertisers targeting mobile devices. In short, the rules that apply to ads in newspapers, radio and television also apply to mobile devices and social media. The update is the first since the guidelines were released in 2000 -- an era when smartphones and tablets were far, far less ubiquitous.
Samsung Adds Its 2 Cents to the Digital Wallet Market
February 27, 2013
Samsung opened up its new Wallet app at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Wednesday, joining Apple and Google in the market for electronic storage and scanning of tickets, memberships and discounts via smartphones. The company's announcement comes two days after it said it had entered a worldwide agreement with Visa to offer the latter's PayWave near field communication payment system.
Upgrade Points to Mobile as Groupon's Real Deal
February 15, 2013
Groupon got a stock bump this week following an analyst's upgrade, a rare occurrence for the daily deal site; its stock price has plummeted since its debut on the public market. The company's evolving business model, an increasing presence in mobile commerce and an international push can help the online coupon dealer hit $9 per share over the next 12 months, according to analyst Arvind Bhatia.
M-Commerce Is on a Tear, Survey Says
February 14, 2013
Mobile commerce sites showed growth during the 2012 holiday shopping season as they gave consumers more on-the-go options for buying and researching products, according to the latest ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index. ForeSee, a customer experience analytics firm, saw the Index jump two points over Christmas 2011 to a score of 78 on a 100-point scale for its Holiday Retail Edition.
The Key to Mobile Marketing: A Strong Opt-In List
February 09, 2013
Mobile messaging -- which includes SMS, MMS and rich media messaging -- has quickly become a staple in the world of marketing campaigns for many large brands. Mobile messaging, although still in its infancy, has drastically impacted the marketing landscape and is vital to any program. Mobile messaging creates a very personal link between a brand and its customers.
Headless Commerce Lets the Product Sell Itself
January 26, 2013
If done right, online selling of digital content -- including software, games, e-books, periodicals and other digital media -- can take traditional retail e-commerce a huge step further into a new and very different -- but potentially highly impactful -- sales and relationship-building environment. Unlike physical goods e-commerce, selling digital content should happen in the context of life.
Target Fights Showrooming With Price-Matching Scheme
January 10, 2013
Target has announced that its brick-and-mortar stores will extend the company's holiday season price-matching policy year round. It has promised to match the prices customers find on identical "qualifying" products at Amazon, as well as the e-commerce websites of Walmart, Best Buy, Toys 'R' Us, Babies 'R' Us and others.
App It Up: Mobile Strategies for Small Businesses
January 04, 2013
Even when Darien Gold's pilates clients aren't in her studio, they can work on their moves by following the instructions and imitating the positions on her mobile app. Gold uses the app to expand the reach of her business, according to Bharath Lingam, CEO of PurpleTalk, which worked with Gold to develop her app.

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