Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Facebook Send Button

Facebook's new "Send" Button allows users to easily send a merchant's content to their friends, with the option to send the URL in an inbox message to their Facebook friends, to the group wall of any Facebook group they are a member of, and as an email to any email address.

While the Like Button allows users to share content with all of their friends, the Send Button allows them to send a private message to just a few friends.

In addition to the URL specified in the send button, you can also include a title, image, and short description of the link, and can specify what is shown for the title, image, and description by using Open Graph meta tags.

Get a combined Like and Send button

According to Facebook, "you can implement the send button on its own, but if you also want a Like button on your site, you can simply add send=true as an attribute to the Like button. This will render the Like button and Send button next to each other."

For further information, see the documentation on the Like button page.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Padopolis Supports Catalog Shopping on iPad

Padopolis has launched an iPad application, Catalog Spree, to provide a catalog shopping experience for the iPad.

Calling itself "the first shopping app to fully integrate the catalog experience with mobile shopping," Catalog Spree’s virtual marketplace lets consumers shop, share and flip through a variety of catalogs, including DwellStudio, Serena & Lily, Tea Collection, NapaStyle, Filson and Artful Home.

Catalog Spree allows people to make purchases from multiple retailers, while saving and social sharing favorites on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

mCommerce: A Hard-Headed Look

The New York Times takes a hard-headed look at mCommerce: Retailers Retool Sites to Ease Mobile Shopping. It's a good summary of the plusses, minuses, and elements that need special attention, such as payment options. But Hipmunk's option to handle payments later by emailing a link or generating a secret password to enter later on a computer seems a bit lame, like a dangling participle. If you want to read a true success story in mCommerce, take a look at eBay Leads Mobile Commerce.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Future of the NCOF

I spoke at the National Conference on Operations and Fulfillment (NCOF) last week in Las Vegas. As most of us suspected it would be, attendance was WAY down, and the exhibit hall had only a skeleton representation of about two dozen vendors. Even though I was encouraged by the enthusiasm of the attendees (I spoke to a dozen very interested professionals on the subject of Mobile Commerce -- see Forum post above), it is still clear that the future of the conference is in jeopardy. The fact that for the first time in 20 years the conference program and Website failed to announce the site of next year's show was a strong indication that there may not be one.

Jim Tierney of Operations & Fulfillment/Multichannel Merchant magazine has a good blog post on that - check it out.

It was I, in fact, who suggested that the NCOF might become a members-only organization (which Tierney mentions), like the B2B Roundtable used to be or the Young Presidents Organization still is, where members must attend at least 3 of every 5 meetings, come prepared to make a 10-minute presentation and get feedback from the group on it, and have this group serve as a kind of mentoring/sounding board.

On the other hand, I had a chance to meet and talk with Larry Kimmel, the new CEO of the Direct Marketing Assoc. about the future of not only the NCOF but of the DMA in general. I found him open-minded and eager to get the DMA into the mix of where multichannel marketing is headed. That's a tall order, though. I myself find it hard to know which way the wind is truly blowing. And there are issues like privacy and data security that may prove difficult to get out in front of (the PCI Data Security Council is having a tough time dealing with mobile payment applications - see this report from Internet Retailer). For some of my comments on those issues, see a recent post on this blog. And as always, I invite your ideas and feedback.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

How Does Social Media Relate to Website Traffic?

Social media has little direct impact on Website traffic, according to a new report released today from ForeSee Results, reports WebPro News. Only one percent of site visitors come from a social media URL, with 18% of site visitors reporting being influenced by social media to visit a Website.

These numbers represent averages, with individual companies showing a wide range of direct and indirect influence. “What this tells us is that traditional clickstream metrics don’t give us a full picture of what value social media efforts are bringing to our business,” said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee Results.

However, the Social Media Value Benchmark also shows that people who are influenced by social media have a higher average order size, higher customer satisfaction, and higher loyalty than those who aren’t influenced by social media.

Monsoon Acquires Stone Edge

Monsoon Commerce, Inc., a provider of online marketplace solutions, has acquired Stone Edge Technologies, Inc., a provider of order and customer management software, in an all-cash transaction.

Stone Edge, a Philadelphia-based company, is the developer of The Order Manager, a solution used by over 2,500 online merchants for customer, order, and inventory management and fulfillment that integrates with over 50 online shopping carts, including Web stores hosted by eBay ProStores, Magento, Miva, Volusion, 3DCart, and Yahoo! Stores. In addition, the Order Manager provides integration with QuickBooks and shipping systems like UPS and FedEx.

Kanth Gopalpur, general manager of the Monsoon Commerce Seller Solutions division, said, “Our solutions help sellers grow their business rapidly on marketplaces like and eBay. In the rapidly evolving online space, Monsoon Commerce customers want richer order management options and seamless integration into more online properties. Adding the Stone Edge Order Manager to our Seller Solutions offering will provide the growing Monsoon Commerce customer base with even more opportunities to expand their own businesses and increase their sales online.”

“Joining Monsoon Commerce was a natural fit for Stone Edge,” said Barney Stone, president and founder of Stone Edge Technologies. “There has been a growing interest from our customers for solutions that will help increase their sales on the major online marketplaces like and eBay. The suite of products and services provided by Monsoon Commerce addresses this growing demand.”

Stone Edge will join the Monsoon Commerce Seller Solutions division but will continue to operate out of Philadelphia and be led by Barney Stone. The Stone Edge team will remain committed to supporting its dedicated base of customers and looks forward to delivering the enhanced sales solutions this new partnership will provide.

This should be a win-win for both companies and for their respective users. As Barney suggests, the Stone Edge users will benefit from easier management of marketplace sales, which many of them are eager to pursue more aggressively. And likewise, Monsoon's users certainly need what Order Manager can provide them for managing the "back end" of their business.

Friday, April 01, 2011

mComm Site Development

I'll be speaking on mCommerce solutions at NCOF next week in Las Vegas. I'll have plenty to post on that subject then. But for the moment, I know of two very experienced eCommerce and direct marketing systems experts who are willing to build merchants an mCommerce solution at an extremely reasonable rate. If you are interested, please leave a comment below on this blog entry.
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