Quoted – Retailers add tweets, pals to advertising – Houston Chronicle

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“Hey. You there,” the message on Facebook begins.

The casual style might make it seem like something written by the pal of a Facebook user, but it’s from Staples advertising a sale.

About two weeks ago, Staples sent its Facebook fans and Twitter followers a sneak peak at some of its Black Friday deals.

This is the first year the office supply superstore has used social media to advertise during the holidays and not the last, Staples spokeswoman Amy Shandler said.

“This is where people live and spend their free time, and it’s a more conversational medium. It’s a two-way dialogue,” she said, noting that Facebook and other social media users often give their feedback on the ads.

Other chains, including J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Home Depot, Toys R Us and Sears, are embracing social media during the holidays.

Advertising on social media during the holidays — or at any time — “is very cost-effective,” said Scott Testa, professor of business at Cabrini College near Philadelphia, whose research includes retail and social networking. It is also a way to differentiate yourself, especially for the early adopters — those retailers that are among the first to have a presence on social media, he said.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/6739734.html

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Quoted – How to Get the Biggest Savings this Holiday Season – Denver Post

A typical Best Buy store at the Ravenswood 101...
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Stores are stocking less inventory this holiday season, so Traci Lunsford decided to start her shopping last month.

“I will receive the bill in November and have it paid off by December,” says the Thornton resident, who has been using coupons and daily deals from Upromise.com to help curtail her holiday spending.

Marketing experts say zealous coupon clippers and tenacious bargain hunters such as Lunsford will reap the greatest savings this holiday season.

But they also warn that shoppers are unlikely to find the usual last-minute price cuts in the days before Christmas.

Why? To compensate for soft sales throughout the past year, retailers are keeping inventories low to prevent stock from languishing on shelves. Black Friday and Cyber Monday — the weekdays immediately after Thanksgiving — promise shoppers the deepest discounts.

“The more expensive the item . . . the more open the store will be to negotiating,”says Scott Testa, a business-administration professor at Cabrini College in Philadelphia.

“Consumers have nothing to lose,” he adds. “If you have money to spend, you will get as good a deal as you will ever see.”

Wal-Mart and Best Buy both advertise price-matching. To take advantage of it, shoppers should arm themselves with mailers and inserts before hitting the stores.

“Bring your laptop into the store,” Testa says. “Show them the ad you found on Amazon with a $999 price compared to their $1,050 and ask them if there is something they can do for you.”

http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_13835889

http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20091125/ARTICLES/911209864/1008?Title=How-to-get-the-biggest-savings-this-holiday-shopping-season

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091127/LIFE/911270302

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Quoted – Amazon offering Private Label Products – ECommerce Times

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Quoted – Amazon offering Private Label Products – ECommerce Times

Amazon is raising hackles among some of its partner manufacturers by cutting out the middleman with its new AmazonBasics line of consumer electronics products. Amazon is attaching its own branding to inexpensive cables and blank DVDs at the moment, but it plans to expand the line of offerings soon.

Offering a private label is a smart move for any retailer, said Scott Testa, business professor with Cabrini College.

“Private-branded items generally have higher profit margins,” he told the E-Commerce Times, pointing to private label products from retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) More about Best Buy as an example.

Amazon has benefited from decades of watching as other brand names have outsourced the manufacturing process while maintaining control of the customer Boost customer satisfaction + retention with Salesforce.com Service Cloud 2. Click to learn more. — Testa cited Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) More about Dell as an example.

Amazon’s fundamental business model — as aggregator of other manufacturers’ products — may pose some challenges for the retailer.

“No manufacturer wants to see a retailer coming out with its own private label goods,” Testa explained. “It is the retailer who will have the best leverage with the clients.”

In the case of Amazon, that leverage is huge, he added. “For all intents and purposes, a retailer like Amazon is perfectly able to cut out the middle man and feel few ramifications.”

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/Amazon-Links-Its-Brand-Image-to-CE-Accessories-Line-68173.html?wlc=1253703004

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