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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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April 19, 2013

Why You're Slowing the Growth of Mobile Commerce

April 19, 2013 | By | One Comment

I’ve talked repeatedly about how big mobile commerce stands to be. I’ve also taken a look in the past at e-commerce errors hurting your sales. Today, I thought I’d highlight where those two things come together.

I was trying to book a hotel on my mobile phone the other day, when I found myself facing the following screen:

Mobile checkout page1

Scrolling further down the page, I got more questions.

Mobile checkout page2

Oh, but we’re not done yet. Nope. There’s another screen still…

Mobile checkout page 3

Remember, the folks who built this site expects their customers to type all this information on a mobile device, potentially when standing on a street corner or in an airport or on a subway.

Um… no.

Mobile commerce has the opportunity to be huge. But it will only get there if you make it easy for your customers to buy what you’re selling.

According to Pew Research, 55% of cell phone owners use their phone to access the Internet and 17% use only their phone to go online. Channels are collapsing. Consumers will use whatever channel works for their needs to accomplish their goals. But, again, only if you make it easy for your customers to do that.

Mobile will continue to grow rapidly over the next few years. That’s inevitable. But the companies who help their customers accomplish their goals will realize the benefits of that growth more quickly. Why not be that company?

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter and get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy. And, if you’ve got a minute, you might enjoy some past coverage of mobile, including:

Tim Peter

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February 12, 2013

How to Improve Your Site's Bounce Rate in 15 Minutes

February 12, 2013 | By | One Comment

E commerce tipsI’ve talked at length about bounce rate in the past (see the list below for more details) and how important it is to get your customers to come back to your site.

  1. Pick a goal you want your customers to complete on your site. (High bounce rates prevent people from reaching their goals. The following steps will highlight what prevents them from getting there).
  2. Get an account at UserTesting.com or OpenHallway (I’m not an affiliate, they’re just good folks with cool products — and full disclosure: I’m a UserTesting.com customer).
  3. Put together a quick testing script (you can download an example here).
  4. Wait for people to complete the test.
  5. Watch the videos your testers submit.
  6. Fix the problems your testers identified.

That’s it.

Seriously.

It’s no secret that I love analytics. But your analytics don’t always tell you the whole story. Watching your customers (or people who represent those customers), can help fill in the gaps.

Fixing your site doesn’t need to be hard. And it doesn’t need to take a lot of time. All it really takes is paying attention to your customers.

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter and get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy. And check out our past coverage of improving bounce rate here:

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Tim Peter

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January 9, 2013

What Target's Online Price Matching Teaches You. And Teaches Your Customers.

January 9, 2013 | By | One Comment

M-commerce and price matchingSo, the changes mobile’s likely to bring in retail have been on my mind a lot lately (probably due to my Biznology Webinar next week: “It’s All E-commerce”, which you can still register for here). Anyway, given what’s on my mind, Larry Dignan’s piece on CNet explaining why Target’s online price match is unlikely to curb ‘showrooming’ caught my eye. Money quote:

“Those policies are just too damn complicated and most folks won’t bother.”

Dignan’s right. Most folks won’t bother. I used to run my company’s best price guarantee and have seen plenty of my clients in the hospitality industry offer the same protections for consumers with little (albeit some) difficulty. Some customers will do this. And that number will likely grow, particularly when they’re carrying competitive prices in their pockets. But not “most,” to be sure.

In fact, Kevin Hillstrom at MineThatData argues convincingly that “showrooming” isn’t the real problem. The real problem is common-sense pricing.

I completely agree. If Target is a dollar more expensive than Amazon (for instance), anyone who checked the price while standing in their local Target (before Target’s new price match policy) would probably buy the item at Target without grumbling about the difference. And under the new policy, few consumers are going to find the dollar worth their time to go back to the store within the seven days just to collect their “lost” dollar (of course, many will look to collect if they’re going back to the store anyway).

However, what Target is doing with their new policy is ensuring that customers know the correct—or as Kevin would call it, the “common sense”—price for most items they purchase (or at a minimum, all those products above a certain price threshold).

Some industries and segments have seen this shift for years. For instance, in most e-commerce activity, consumers shop between 10-12 sites before making a purchase decision. But in travel—with its myriad distribution channels among brands, suppliers, online travel agencies, and the like—consumers typically shop 17-22 sites before buying.

Why?

Because consumers have learned that if they just keep looking, they’ll find a better deal. So much for “common-sense” pricing, eh?

The point is this: Your customers carry the Internet in their pocket. Those numbers continue to grow. And now companies like Target are teaching customers to keep shopping for a better deal (ask Best Buy how that worked out). The net result is that consumers will exhibit increased common sense when it comes to what they’ll pay for your products and services.

The question is whether you can depend on your competitors to exhibit equal common sense in what they charge.

What can you do about these changes?

Well, for starters, you can tell the right kind of story about your brand. You can ensure that your customers understand the value of buying from you. (You can also register for next week’s webinar where I’ll talk about this in more detail. Or contact me to help you with your strategy). And, ultimately, you can avoid running the “race to zero,” choosing instead to offer your customers differentiated products and services, ones worth buying and worth buying from you.


If you can help those dealing with the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the American Red Cross.

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.

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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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December 17, 2012

The 13 most important topics for 2013 as voted by you

December 17, 2012 | By | 4 Comments

Mobile phone streetI’m a big believer that the market will tell you when you get it right. It’s one of the reasons I’m so keen on A/B testing. No matter how smart you are, the market is always smarter.

So today I’m rounding up your favorite Thinks posts from the last year. Each of these posts was shared at least 50% more often than average by the readers of this blog. And if that isn’t an indication of what you care about next year, I don’t know what does.

By the way, the three most common keywords in all these stories:

  1. Mobile
  2. Trends
  3. E-commerce

Maybe I ought to blog about that more often… 😉

Anyway, on with the list:

  1. Though not about mobile trends, e-commerce trends or any other kinds of trends, “What is a “brand story” anyway?” was by far the most shared story in 2012.
  2. Next up was my look at “3 Key Trends for 2013.”
  3. Another big marketing question asked, “What do I mean by “marketing” anyway?”
  4. Our first “pure” mobile post asks “Is Mobile Overtaking Desktop Internet Use?”
  5. Another mobile winner: “Why mobile first matters next year.”
  6. And another: “Got Mobile? Consumer Trends Show Mobile Tipping Point Is Here.”
  7. And another: “The argument against “mobile first.” And why it’s wrong.”
  8. My podcast got some traction, with the favorite being “Thinks Out Loud Episode 9: Is Social Media a Waste of Time?”
  9. A recent post looking at 9 Trends for 2013 got a lot of love.
  10. My look at Google’s 2012 Traveler “Road to Decision” Presentation won lots of fans.
  11. My e-commerce link digest looking at myriad mobile SEO tips and tricks ranked very well among readers.
  12. You shared this look at whether there will be over 2 billion smartphones by 2015 with your friends, fans and followers.
  13. And, finally, my recent look at 2013 trends: It’s all e-commerce got a lot of support.

Enjoy the list Big Thinkers. And look for lots more about mobile, e-commerce, and the trends they illustrate going into 2013. And beyond.


 If you can help those dealing with the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the American Red Cross.

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.

Tim Peter

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October 2, 2012

What Happens When "Free Shipping" Is Irrelevant?

October 2, 2012 | By | One Comment

Focus on the futureConsider the following:

We’re near to the age when almost any product can be digitized and downloaded. Have you ever seen the “food replicators” on Star Trek: The Next Generation? ‘Cause they might be in your house before you know it. Even doctors face disintermediation, replaced by their patients’ iPhones and Androids.

Whether you think this is terrifying or the next great opportunity depends entirely on your outlook. But if you want to pretend these changes aren’t coming, the next thing you print on your 3D printer might be this product:


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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