Guest Blog by Millie Park

A recent Forrester report showed that compared to older generations, 18-to-24-year-olds don’t mind that their data is being shared online. According to the report, only 33 percent say they are concerned about access to their behavioral data. By contrast, 47 percent of 55-to-64-year-olds said they were worried about that kind of access. Also, the younger group is more willing to exchange personal data in exchange for discounts. Clearly, brands should target younger demographics to share data and make online purchases, right?  

Guest Blog By Michael Hemsey

For Toys “R” Us, February has not been a good month. The global retailer’s CEO, Gerald Storch stepped down after the company failed to hit revenue targets, as well as lackluster same store and overall store sales during the 2012 holiday season. While Toys “R” Us’ recent miss stems from heightened discount competition, some of the company’s shortcomings might be internal too – hyper-reliance on excessive discounts. Discounts, as we have seen, can do a lot of damage. But at least there’s a lesson to be learned by other retailers.

 Ambushed by Amazon The e-commerce giant started out as a threat to booksellers, but it’s fast becoming Enemy No. 1 to retailers of all stripes…Amazon will prove an “extremely disruptive force,” as Kantar Retail’s Bryan Gildenberg puts it, with the rise of “showrooming.”

Guest Blog by Mark Simon

Paid Google product listings (PLAs) accounted for 17 percent of ad spend at the search engine this past Q4 2012. Across the entire search engine market, PLAs accounted for 10.7 percent of overall spend -- almost as big a slice as that accounted for by Bing and Yahoo. PLAs – which power Google’s now-paid shopping service (formerly known as Google Base and Froogle) had only been introduced in October, so the spend ramp up was especially impressive. Okay – we know that PLAs are working out for Google. But how are they performing for marketers?  Is there performance comparable to tried and true text ads?

Guest Blog by Ralph Crabtree

According to a 2012 New York Times column on the psychology of queuing, (Why Waiting is Torture,) Americans spend roughly 38 billion hours each year waiting in line. And those billions of hours aren’t exactly flying by. . . People overestimate how long they’ve waited in a line by an average of 36 percent. Author Alex Stone states, “The dominant cost of waiting is an emotional one: stress, boredom, that nagging sensation that one’s life is slipping away.” Not the experience that retail stores, supermarkets and other brick and mortar businesses want to be giving their customers, especially when the competition is just a mouse click away.

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