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Welcome back and Happy New Year!

Welcome back! Here are a few things you might have missed in the world of online retail whilst polishing off that last bit of turkey..

GoogleAdwords new metric to help measure in store conversion

At the height of the holiday shopping period, Google announced that it would add a new store conversion metric to Adwords. Although multi channel ecommerce has continued to grow rapidly over the last year, eMarketer has put forward statistics that suggest that 95% of retail sales still take place within physical stores. However, this data also includes customers who have been led to a store via location-based search ads on desktops, mobiles or tablets, meaning the new add on should  be interesting to businesses who are both online and off. Currently only available in the US, Google will calculate store visits by using location history data and connecting it with clicks on AdWord ads. Ultimately, this means the more location targeted your paid ads are, the more likely the clicks will turn into customers physically coming into store. Businesses will have to validate their locations with Google and then associate them with created campaigns and from this, reporting will then be provided.

Amazon’s new price negotiations

Before Christmas the online retail giant decided to roll out their newest offering which will allow shoppers to negotiate prices with merchants. Items such as collectables and fine art (further products will be added if the first roll out is successful) will now display two boxes, one allowing customers to make an offer, the other stating its fixed price. Negotiations are not made public and buyers won’t have to pay more than what the product was first listed at. Welcome news to online shoppers? Yes, the experience could provide a new and engaging way for customers to negotiate lower prices. And for merchants? Possibly. When an item listed receives little interest, a merchant can stretch themselves a little to see what people will ultimately pay, finally gaining much needed customer loyalty. Amazon suggests it will be more like a physical shop where customers will feel more comfortable asking for a better price and will drive harder for the right deal.

Lessons learned from the Cyber Five

There has been a shift in who rules the biggest weekend before Christmas. Now Black Friday/Cyber Monday, rather than the second Monday before Christmas owns that crown. This year it was all about the smaller brands claiming the largest valid transactions, mainly due to an acceptance to selling on multiple channels like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba. Good news, but smaller retailers should be careful when planning to discount products. Large retailers can afford to reduce the price of their stock, but smaller merchants may find that although this initially boosts sales and attracts more customers, too much too often could ruin a business. The manic shopping weekend also revealed that more customers wanted sites to provide a click and collect service to reduce delivery challenges, meaning a possible rehaul in website design and infrastructure for both brands and merchants alike in 2015.

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