Guest Blog by Suzie Brown

Deals and savings are now a part of consumers’ regular shopping experience as they seek savings from multiple sources and digital deals continue to evolve. They are gaining attention in the media and among consumers as interest in deal seeking remains strong. Just as consumers are exploring new ways to get a deal, marketers also are testing various methods to attract today’s shopper. There will continue to be a blend of traditional and new media as consumers seek value in planning their purchases.

Guest Blog by Steve Wellen

Mobile retail was sometimes perceived as a bandwagon, and it has turned out to be the boat that no one can afford to miss. Now, retailers are discovering that even with a mobile site, they need better data to turn opportunity into revenue. Back in 2009, Forrester Research Group forecasted that online retail would reach $229 billion in 2013. It was a cautiously optimistic gauge that had us all crossing our fingers in the heat of America’s mini-Depression.

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.

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 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?

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