Tag Archives: Shopping

Google iCatalogs…err Just Catalogs

18 Aug

Google debuts an iPad app, Google Catalogs, for customers to shop 50 catalogs from retailers including Crate & Barrel, L.L. Bean, Patagonia and Williams-Sonoma. Retailers can, for now, add their catalogs for free.

Shoppers can flip through the pages with the swipe of a finger on the tablet screen. Small price tags appear on product images; touching a price tag opens up a window with products details. On the details screen are two buttons: Buy on Website and Find Nearby.

Touching Buy opens up the product page on the e-commerce site of the retailer without leaving the app and customers can buy the product. For now, Google does not charge retailers to be included in the app, nor does it take a cut of sales generated by the app. There is also a “Find Nearby” ability which will  displays a map with a listing of the retailer’s nearby stores based on the tablet’s GPS capability.

 “For years, shoppers have enjoyed flipping through glossy print catalogs to be inspired, discover new trends and find great products,” writes Kinnari Jhaveri, strategic partner development manager for the Google commerce team, in a Google blog post. “Today, mobile technologies can make catalog shopping more engaging, social and creative. Google Catalogs enables you to browse all of your favorite catalogs and interact with new layers of rich-media content.”

Google created the popular Android mobile operating system for smartphones and tablets yet opted to launch Google Catalogs for competitor Apple Inc.’s iOS mobile operating system, which runs the iPad, along with the iPhone and iPod Touch.

“We develop mobile applications for a variety of platforms, including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia,” the spokeswoman says. “As with all of our mobile products, we try to make them available on as many devices as possible. Development of the Google Catalogs app for Android is already in the works and will be available in the coming months.”


Shoppers tell Retailers, “Don’t Mess With Me”

11 Feb

67% of consumers say their expectations about the quality of their online shopping experience had increased from the previous year – and 80% say they would would be less likely to return to a retailer’s site after a negative online shopping experience, according to an Allurent survey. Major reasons cited for the rising expectations:


  • I know that technology is constantly changing and improving and I expect that online shopping should also be getting better (66%).
  • I see that most retailers consistently advertise their websites so I expect to see them invest in making those sites better than they were last year (46%).
  • I have high-speed bandwidth and expect to see more online stores better presenting products in a way that takes advantage of my faster internet speed (41%).
  • I am familiar with interactive and visual sites like Google Maps or Facebook and I expect to see more online stores being innovative like these sites (29%).

Nearly half (48%) of 18-24 year-olds cited interactive web experiences, such as those of Google Maps and Facebook, as the reason for the rise in expectations.

The third annual “Holiday Shopping: Online Customer Experience Survey” sought to better understand consumer online shopping behavior and attitudes toward online retailers. Allurent worked with the e-tailing group to establish pre- and post-holiday benchmarks.

Below, additional findings from the survey.

Negative online experiences damage brands


  • An overwhelming 80% said they would be less likely to return to a site after having a negative online shopping experience there – i.e., with most customers, retailers have one chance to make a great impression.
  • Consistent with the results of Allurent’s two previous holiday surveys, consumers confirmed that they do not differentiate among channels:
    • Nearly 40% said a frustrating online experience would make them less likely to shop at that retailer’s physical store.
    • 60% reported that when they have a frustrating shopping experience online, it negatively impacts their overall opinion of the retailer/brand.

Customer service features are valued, especially by women


  • When asked to rate customer service features that are most important to them when buying online:
    • 74% of consumers rated a perpetual shopping cart as an important feature (ranking it a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-5).
    • 70% rated one-page checkout as an important feature, rather than having to click through multiple checkout pages.
  • These two features were rated above other options such as access to a toll-free telephone number, available live help, and accessible contact information.
  • More women than men found customer service features to be of high importance.

Interest in desktop shopping is strong

More than half (53%) of consumers surveyed expressed interest in virtual catalogs and circulars that can be downloaded directly to their desktops, so retailers could update information on new merchandise and special offers.

2008 online holiday spending outlook is good

  • Consistent with the past two holiday surveys, consumers reported that they purchased more holiday gifts online this year than they had in the past.
  • Based on their online shopping experience this year, 67% plan to shop online more during the 2008 holiday season.

About the study: The 2007 “Holiday Shopping: Online Customer Experience Survey” was conducted in January 2008 via Zoomerang, an online survey services provider, and is based on 721 respondents (46% male, 54% female).


Retail Sales Down 4.4% After Black Friday

6 Dec

ShopperTrak RCT, which tracks sales at more than 50,000 U.S. retail locations, said retail sales for the week ended Dec. 1 fell 4.4 percent compared with same period a year ago, marking the largest year-over-year sales decline since March.

Total retail sales fell 12.5 percent compared with the previous week ended Nov. 24, which included the start of the Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend, while store traffic fell 22.3 percent, it said.

Anecdotally that’s what I am seeing from online retailers as well. While the total revenue has been good or excellent, the last week has dipped somewhat. — Jeff Buechler


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