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Vanessa’s Variety for the Week of July 18th, 2008

Posted on July 18, 2008 by Vanessa

Happy Friday readers.  Today is a special day for me, when I leave here today I am heading to the hospital to hold my new God Daughter and my best friend will be a mom.  It is surreal to me, but it was bound to happen sometime, so I thought I would share my excitement.  As you may have noticed I spent some time at this week in Huntington Beach for their Merchandising Workshop, I hope my notations helped as I feel like I got a lot out of attending.  So let’s see what else went on this week….

  • Tracking the influence of online shopping and research, and the effect it has on in store purchases is becoming a hotter topic.  Multi channel merchants have been trying to analyze this and it seems that ShopLocal has come up with a way to do so.  According to the CEO, Vikram Sharma “The results are clear and the index strongly supports analyst forecasts of the rapidly growing use of the internet for shopping in-store.”
  • Pure play internet retailers beware:  “In one city (New York), a judge determines that an Internet retailer’s use of thumbnail product images, even those published by a manufacturer to sell its own products, is permissible “fair use” when used by the Internet retailer to sell that manufacturer’s own products, and hence dismisses a claim for copyright infringement by the manufacturer. In another city (Phoenix), that same fact pattern and the same statute results in a trial for copyright infringement!”  Read the full article here
  • eBay is slumping while other internet retailers are succeeding, um can I say duh here?  A few months ago they totally change feedback and best match search, essentially killing longtime loyal sellers.  Now they have struck a deal with, which seems to be infuriating individual sellers.  Now eBay’s general manager of North America says “Frankly, we are challenging some of the core assumptions that we have made about our business…Instead of focusing on being an auction business, we are looking at what it takes to create the best marketplace out there.”  Really eBay?  I seem to recall you ostracizing a whole lot of your core merchants when you tried to kill them with fees in 2006, and a few months ago with the changes to how seller’s products are returned in search results.  Honestly I am not surprised that eBay is floundering, we are still trying to make it a viable marketplace, but with their outdated UI, poor reporting, and constant changes how are sellers supposed to invest their time, effort and other resources and still make a profit? 
  • If you are looking to hire a paid search marketer or agency make sure you familiarize yourself with this list of questions to ask before you sign anything. 
  • Watch out Hollywood, there is a whole new breed of celebrities, and guess what, they are nerds just like us.  Techcult just released the Top 100 Web Celebrities.  I was a bit jealous at first thinking to myself, I can’t believe I didn’t get any of the fantastic people that I work with on this list, but then I saw who was number one, and I am not joking it’s Tila Tequila!  When people like Seth Godin are at number five and Jeff Bezos at number 21, and Tila and Perez Hilton get numbers 1 and 2 respectively, it scares me to think of what this world is coming to.



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