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August 16, 2013

Facebook Isn't Offering a Mobile Payments Platform. But What They Are Offering is Far More Interesting.

August 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

Facebook moving into commerceOn yesterday’s podcast, I mentioned that Facebook was launching a PayPal competitor as reported by AllThingsD. Turns out, not so much.

But, what they are doing is really interesting all the same.

TechCrunch clears up the confusion noting Facebook’s payments test is a companion that fills in billing info. Key story highlight:

” The feature pre-fills credit card and billing info for making easier purchases through PayPal, Stripe, Braintree or other payment processors in third-party mobile apps. It’s not a payment processor itself, but could help Facebook prove the ROI of its ads.” [Emphasis mine]

Now, clearly there’s a need for this kind of app. I’ve mentioned before how poor usability hurts the growth of mobile.

But the bigger trend, one I’ve mentioned in the past is that “he who owns the data, owns the customer.” (You can read more about that in my presentation on where marketing and online distribution are headed below):

Companies like Facebook, and its AGFAM brethren—Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, plus eBay who deserves an honorable mention—recognize the value of customer data.

You’d think Facebook would love to get a piece of the highly profitable payments pie. But this move shows where they believe the real value lies.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of marketing on the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

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April 11, 2013

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March 7, 2013

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February 6, 2013

Can Facebook Deliver Sales?

February 6, 2013 | By | No Comments

Can Facebook deliver sales? Zappos says yesMashable looks at Zappos Facebook activity over 2 months and finds it drives 85,000 website visits. Money quote:

“Overall, each status update during the period had a conversion rate of 1.75%, meaning that roughly one person in 50 clicked from the update to buy something. Bryan Eisenberg, a marketing ROI expert, says Zappos’ results are decent since the average conversion rate for retail is 2% to 3%.”

So, Zappos isn’t just getting traffic from their Facebook marketing, they’re also getting sales (though I would caution most people from reading too much into “industry average conversion rates”).

Again, the key point is that they’re getting sales. Today. Right now.

Social commerce (much like mobile) maybe something you’re looking at “in the future.” Just remember that the future’s already here.

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter and get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy.

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January 25, 2013

Tim Peter

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October 12, 2012

10 Social, Search and Mobile Tips to Know This Week (Small Business E-Commerce Link Digest)

October 12, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social, search and mobile links I liked this weekLoads and loads and loads of social, local, mobile links this week worth checking out. So, as I often do, I’m going to skip the setup and get straight to the links:

  1. First up, Techcrunch reports on a Forrester study showing 66% of employees use 2 or more devices at work, 12% use tablets. Mobile isn’t a coming thing any longer. It’s here.
  2. I mentioned this in yesterday’s podcast, but it’s a clear sign of the growth of mobile when Google revamps its homepage for mobile phones.
  3. Speaking of search, Search Engine Land says that Yahoo’s search share continues its downward slide. I’m not sure that’s news, sadly. Your website’s stats probably tell you the same thing.
  4. Search Engine Watch details a new study that claims 53% of organic search clicks go to first link. Not terribly surprising and a great reminder of why you want to both improve your search engine ranking and find additional traffic sources, such as social.
  5. Speaking of social, here’s a great example of how social leads to Big Data. LinkedIn has a blog post that reveals insights into U.S. talent pools based on their use of the professional networking site. Cool stuff.
  6. And if you want to see examples of social commerce in action, Business Insider looks at brands testing Facebook’s ‘want’ button
  7. Long-time e-commerce players are learning lessons from the social world, too. For example, EBay has updated its site to be more personal, Pinterest-like
  8. Continuing on the social scene, I read a great piece yesterday that argues why Instagram will be the next big social media platform. For what it’s worth, I agree. In particular, note Jeremy Floyd’s comment, which notes, “What stands out to me about Instagram is that the bar for creators is so low. Your data may reveal this, but it seems that the disparity between creators and consumers is lower on Instagram than other networks.”
  9. Of course even on sites like Instagram creating content isn’t always the easiest thing. HubSpot looks at how to keep your marketing engine chugging with community-generated content
  10. And, wrapping up this week, I’ve often said that email is the “forgotten social network.” Search Engine Watch agrees, explaining why email marketing shouldn’t be an ugly stepchild. Good read.

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. Look forward to seeing you back here next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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September 25, 2012

How Big a Deal Are Facebook's Privacy Problems?

September 25, 2012 | By | One Comment

Privacy and FacebookYesterday, I dove into what you can learn from Apple’s Maps debacle. Now, let’s take a look at Facebook’s latest privacy kerfuffle. It wasn’t my intent to spend this week talking about screw-ups, but, here we are…

It seems some Facebook users were seeing posts on their wall that looked like private messages. Uh-oh… cue the privacy police.

Except for one thing. The bug wasn’t showing private messages. Old public posts were reappearing instead. In other words, “move along, nothing to see here,” right?

Well, apparently not.

Some bloggers are suggesting that Facebook’s privacy concerns will make social business a tougher sell. Money quote:

“The thing is, when you look at [enterprise social tools] Chatter, Yammer or similar tools, it’s impossible not to at least think of the word Facebook. Which may lead more users to wonder about moments like this week’s alleged privacy breaches. The onus will be on IT departments to provide assurance that sensitive business data will be far more secure than anything on a public service.”

OK, first things first. I’ve had plenty of problems with Facebook’s treatment of consumer privacy (to say nothing of Facebook in general) in the past. And IT departments will need to ensure security of their firms’ proprietary data before putting too much super-secret, highly classified information in the social sphere.

At the same time, let’s be clear: Social is here to stay.

Suggesting that consumers and companies won’t adopt social because of privacy concerns ignores history. I worked for a large financial services company back when email and the Internet generally started coming on the scene. And, at the time, companies like mine had enormous concerns around whether they could incorporate these new tools without risking customer data, regulatory oversight, decreased productivity, increased costs or some combination of all four. Guess what happened.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. My father loves telling the story about working in a bank back in the early 1950′s (What can I say? He’s really old). It seems the company didn’t want their clerks using new-fangled technology to update their ledgers and accounts. The “new-fangled” technology? Ball-point pens (they worried the ink wouldn’t last as long as the ink from fountain pens). True story. Again, guess what happened.

Technology wins out in the long run, given one major criteria: Consumer adoption. If consumers use it, businesses will, too — whether they want to or not. It was true of the Internet. It was true of the web. It was true of email. It was probably true of the telephone (I wasn’t there, though I suppose I could ask my Dad). A much bigger threat to social in the enterprise is whether businesses make any money from it.

I’m not suggesting Facebook will be the ultimate winner. It might be Twitter. It might be Google+. It might be Foursquare or Path or Instagram or Pinterest or The Fancy or some site we’ve yet to hear about.

A better plan for your business is to figure out how to protect yourself and your interests while using social to interact with your customers. But unless privacy concerns keeps consumers away, they won’t keep businesses away either.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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November 23, 2011

It's All E-commerce… And F-commerce, Too.

November 23, 2011 | By | No Comments

Facebook Commerce growsAnother great stat from TechCrunch this week noting 50% Of e-commerce site visitors are logged in to Facebook. Money quote:

“A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that ecommerce sites are increasingly adding social features. She shared with us a new statistic: 88% of Internet Retailer Top 200 retail sites are integrated with Facebook.

Sociable Labs’ founder and CEO Nisan Gabbay explained that the target age market for an ecommerce site has surprisingly little influence on the percentage of visitors that were logged in to Facebook. Those aimed at college students were closer to 60%, but even those with middle aged saw at least 40% of visitors logged in.”

At the risk of repeating a broken record, e-commerce is now everywhere. “Shopping behavior” and “purchase funnels” intersect with ordinary, everyday activities on a regular basis. And the integration will only deepen over time. Stay tuned.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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November 18, 2011

Social, Local, Mobile… Oh My! (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – November 18, 2011)

November 18, 2011 | By | No Comments

I’ve been asking all week whether you’re still talking about the mobile web including looking at whether you need an app for customer reviews. And, I’m not the only one. Here’s this week’s round-up of the best social, local, mobile write-ups on the web:

Finally, I’ve shared a couple of videos this week to demonstrate the power of the local, social, mobile web. But it’s possible little can illustrate it as effectively as Social Revolution’s 2011 presentation, which I’ve got right here:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. We’ll catch you back here on Monday.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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November 10, 2011

Killer Facebook Ads: Master Cutting-Edge Facebook Advertising Techniques by Marty Weintraub (Book Review of the Week-ish)

November 10, 2011 | By | No Comments

Usually, the books I review cover strategic aspects of e-commerce and online marketing. Which makes Marty Weintraub’s “Killer Facebook Ads: Master Cutting-Edge Facebook Advertising Techniques” a bit of an anomaly.

But that’s OK.

There’s no question that Facebook remains both tantalizing and an enigma for many marketers. They know there’s “gold in them thar hills.” They just haven’t figured out how to get it out yet.

Read this book and you can expect that to change.

While Weintraub spends a little time explaining why you might want to market on Facebook, he assumes you’re already interested in advertising on Facebook—why buy a book called “Killer Facebook Ads” otherwise—and really just want to know how to make your advertising work better.

It’s a wise choice.

This book is a treasure trove detailing how to get the most out of Facebook Ads, whether you’re a novice at online advertising or an old hand. Each chapter covers one aspect of Facebook’s Ads platform and how to use those ads to reach the right customers, whether through improving your body copy, your headlines, or, most important, your targeting.

My favorite feature of Facebook Ads is their inherent targeting abilities. Weintraub recognizes this and more than delivers, spending two full chapters on the topic. Chapter 5, which Weintraub calls “…the crux of the book,” is worth the price of admission all by itself. And the detailed look into esoteric, but ultimately valuable techniques like Occupation Targeting and Country/Language/Interest combinations can make a huge difference in your results.

So, yes, “Killer Facebook Ads” is not focused on social marketing strategy. I say, in this case, don’t worry about it. If you’re planning on advertising on Facebook, you owe it to yourself to read those two chapters and the rest of the book, too. And, if you’re not planning to advertise on Facebook, read the book and ask yourself, “Why not?”


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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