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Visualizing 15 Years Of Acquisitions By Apple, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, And Facebook

Hi Folks,

Its been a while! I wanted to share a very interesting article from Josh Constine and Tech Crunch about 15 years of acquisitions by leading tech giants. Check this out. Pretty interesting stuff.


Visualizing 15 Years Of Acquisitions By Apple, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, And Facebook

You grow old, you slow down, and you die. That is, unless you can inject some fresh blood. After watching the last generation of tech giants wither or stagnate, today’s juggernauts are relying on acquisitions to keep them young and relevant. Check out the interactive infographic below to compare the size, frequency, and focus of the last 15 years of acquisitions by Apple, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, and Facebook.

Business insurance provider Simply Business created this infographic, which is only available here on TechCrunch. Each dot’s size represents the price paid for that startup if it was disclosed. Scroll over them for a link to learn more about the deal. The plus and minus buttons in the top right let you zoom in on specific time periods. Select categories at the top to filter for certain types of acquisitions. The Frequency toggle reveals phases when companies did heavy buying. And you can click any of the tech giants’ logos to view a complete list of their full-scale acquisitions (small acqui-hires excluded). Sorry to our mobile readers, but it’s much easier (possible) to navigate this on the web.

Trends crystallized by the Simply Business infographic include:

The drought of acquisitions by Yahoo in 2011 and 2012 before Marissa Mayer began her buying spree after being named CEO.
Apple has kept the price of its acquisitions low despite its huge cash reserves, as it prefers to buy for technology rather than market share.
Facebook accelerated its talent-focused acquisitions following its IPO to combat brain-drain.
While Steve Jobs saw acquisitions as a “failure to innovate,” Tim Cook has been proactive about buying companies to bring new intellectual property to Apple.
There was a recession in acquisitions in the “Rest In Peace: Good Times” era from 2008 to 2009.
Social, mobile, and hardware acquisitions have come into favor as search, media, and advertising buys have waned in the past few years

And the biggest acquisitions (with disclosed prices) by the giants were:

  • Apple – Anobit ($390 million), AuthenTec ($356 million)
  • Amazon – Zappos ($900 million), Kiva Systems ($775 million)
  • Google – Motorola Mobility ($12.5 billion), Nest ($3.2 billion), DoubleClick ($3.1 billion), YouTube ($1.65 billion)
  • Yahoo – Broadcast.com ($5 billion), Overture ($1.83 billion), Tumblr ($1.1 billion)
  • Facebook – WhatsApp ($19 billion), Instagram ($1 billion, closed at $715 million)



Written by David Frederick

February 26, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Consumer Products That Stalk Their Buyer

Many of you have probably heard about the hub bub around Wal Mart using smart RFID tags to improve and manage inventory, product loss control, store shelf restocking, etc.

Well, here my friends at Unilever have taken things to a new level. Kinda freaky in a way. Defiantly innovative. But not sure of the total ROM/ROI. It could backfire due to consumer privacy concerns. This is clearly not something that would go over well in the U.S. and Western Europe due to privacy concerns, and would probably back fire with consumers ultimately damaging the brand and generating negative brand gravity.  Check it out! What do you think?


Is Your Detergent Stalking You?

From AdAge – Posted by Laurel Wentz on 07.29.10 @ 12:23 PM

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Unilever’s Omo detergent is adding an unusual ingredient to its two-pound detergent box in Brazil: a GPS device that allows its promotions agency Bullet to track shoppers and follow them to their front doors.

Starting next week, consumers who buy one of the GPS-implanted detergent boxes will be surprised at home, given a pocket video camera as a prize and invited to bring their families to enjoy a day of Unilever-sponsored outdoor fun. The promotion, called Try Something New With Omo, is in keeping with the brand’s international “Dirt is Good” positioning that encourages parents to let their kids have a good time even if they get dirty.

Omo accounts for half of Brazil’s detergent sales and is already found in 80% of homes there, so Unilever’s goal is more to draw attention to a new stain-fighting version of Omo and get it talked about rather than looking for a big increase in sales.

That made the idea of doing a promotion where the prize finds the consumer, rather than the consumer having to look for the prize — and maybe not bothering — appealing.

Fernando Figueiredo, Bullet’s president, said the GPS device is activated when a shopper removes the detergent carton from the supermarket shelf. Fifty Omo boxes implanted with GPS devices have been scattered around Brazil, and Mr. Figueiredo has teams in 35 Brazilian cities ready to leap into action when a box is activated. The nearest team can reach the shopper’s home “within hours or days,” and if they’re really close by, “they may get to your house as soon as you do,” he said.

Once there, the teams have portable equipment that lets them go floor by floor in apartment buildings until they find the correct unit, he said.

Of course, Brazil has a high crime rate, and not everyone is going to open the door to strangers who claim to have been sent by her detergent brand to offer a free video camera. Bullet has thought of that. If the team tracks a consumer to her home but she won’t let them in, they can remotely activate a buzzer in the detergent box so that it starts beeping. And if the team takes too long to arrive, and the consumer has already opened the box to see if she’s a winner or just do laundry, she’ll find, along with the GPS device and less detergent than expected, a note explaining the promotion and a phone number to call.

“Anything can happen,” Mr. Figueiredo said. “We have to be innovative, but we don’t know what reaction to expect from consumers.”

In a big web component, the site experimentealgonovo.com.br (Portuguese for “try something new”) goes live in August, and will include a map showing roughly where the winners live, pictures of each winner and footage of the Bullet-Omo teams hunting down the GPS-enabled detergent boxes, knocking on doors and surprising consumers.

“It costs more than a traditional promotion and is riskier because it’s never been done before, but it’s worth it,” Mr. Figueiredo said. The technology aspect of the promotion costs less than $1 million, out of Omo’s overall marketing budget of about $23 million.

“We believe in using new technology for promotional marketing,” Mr. Figueiredo said.

Plus Bullet just likes figuring out how to ingeniously embed stuff in products. Two summers ago, sales of Unilever’s Fruttare Popsicles soared when Bullet disguised 10,000 iPod Shuffles as popsicles and popped them in freezer cases. The agency’s creatives had noticed while reading their iPod instruction manuals that an iPod can operate at temperatures below freezing. They immediately began freezing their own devices as a test, then constructed a fake ice-cream bar case that mimicked the popsicle but fit an iPod, and a wildly successful summer ice cream promotion was born.

Written by David Frederick

July 30, 2010 at 3:06 PM

The 10 Biggest Brand Disasters of 2010

Have you seen the new Verizon television commercial showing the “tween” boy waking up and getting up out of bed, instantly grabbing his Verizon phone and subsequently montage through his day – breakfast, ignoring mom and dad, school, recess, class, after school doing nothing by the way, home, dinner, bed all the while staring at his Verizon phone? If this is not a said state of human evolution, anti-social down right idiotic behavior and marketing, I don’t know what is. There is more to life than staring at the tiny screen of your smart phone ALL DAY LONG! Note: You don’t have to be an anti-social “tween” to do this either. I know plenty of so called adults that do exactly the same thing. Get a life people!!! Unplug from the mother ship and come back to the real world. We miss you!

Anyway, this horrible, dumb, ignorant commercial made me think of this article that came out today regarding the 10 biggest brand disasters of 2010. Check it out. I guess, Verizon isn’t alone in marketing garbage and an unproductive lifestyle.


The 10 Biggest Brand Disasters of 2010
By: DOUGLAS MCINTYRE (read the full article here)

It’s been a rough year for those in the branding business at big corporations. SEC investigations, massive product recalls and oil spills (among more traditional factors like competition and slowing sales) have taken a toll on the reputations, as well as the stock prices, of some of America’s most well-known companies.

Calculating the value of a company’s brand is as much an art as a science because it requires looking at an array of factors. The two largest brand valuations firm — BrandZ and Interbrand — come up with radically different numbers for the same companies or products. Each of the brand valuation operations give general descriptions of their methodologies, but keep many details of their calculations secret.

Using the firms’ data as a reference, 24/7 Wall St. chose 10 big-name brands operating in the U.S. that have lost substantial chunks of their brand valuations in the first half of this year. We then examined a whole host of other criteria, including the value the brand has to its parent company’s market capitalization, the change in stock price over the first six months of the year compared to both the S&P 500 and firms in its peer group (each of these company’s stocks underperformed the broader market during the time) and the company’s earnings for the 2009 calendar year and the first quarter of 2010. Of course, another consideration was whether the company had a major negative event that made headlines. Toyota’s recalls certainly qualified, as well as BP’s massive oil spill.

Intangibles also play into 24/7 Wall St.’s calculations just as they do in other brand valuations. Numbers alone may show that BP’s brand value dropped 60% in the first half. But there’s a powerful case that BP has zero or even negative brand value because of the lasting impact the rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf will have on the company’s financial health and reputation.

In total, the 10 companies on our list have lost well over $100 billion in brand value since Jan. 1. Here they are:

1. BP (BP)
Brand value Jan. 1, 2010: $20 billion.
Brand value June 30, 2010: $0.
Change: -100%

BP has the distinct honor of being the only brand to lose virtually all of its value in less than a year. (The only recent comparable case is AIG.) BP’s management is reviled by nearly everyone, and its gas stations have lost plenty of customers.

The firm has put $20 billion into escrow to cover cleanup and liability costs from its Gulf oil spill, but that the amount could be far below BP’s eventual liabilities. It’s in the process of selling some assets to raise money. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is always a possibility however remote in most experts’ opinion. Even if BP recovers financially, its brand will suffer for years, perhaps decades. Ironically, the U.K.-based company was rated as the No. 1 oil company brand just last year by BrandZ because of its reputation for being environmentally responsible.

2. Dell (DELL)
Brand value Jan. 1, 2010: $16 billion.
Brand value June 30, 2010: $9 billion.
Change: -44%.

Since founder Michael Dell returned as CEO in early 2007, Dell has been sliding. Revenue for the fiscal year ended Feb. 1, 2008 was $61.1 billion versus fiscal 2010’s $52.9 billion. Net income has been cut in half to $1.4 billion between the two periods.

But a sales decline may be the least of the problems. In 2007, after a year-long investigation, Dell disclosed an accounting scandal aimed at inflating its financial performance. As a result, it was forced it to restate financial results for fiscal years 2003 through 2006 and for the first quarter of 2007.

Unbelievably, Dell didn’t seem to learn its lesson. In 2008, government investigators found that it had a relationship with Intel (INTC) that federal, European Union and New York State authorities claimed helped the chipmaker maintain an unfair advantage in the PC market and artificially inflated Dell’s earnings performance. Dell admitted to these transactions with Intel and recorded a $100 million liability in its first quarter of fiscal 2011 to establish a reserve for a potential settlement with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The settlement would involve a civil injunction against Dell for alleged violations of federal securities laws. Michael Dell is currently in settlement talks with the SEC.

That’s not Dell’s only legal woe. Another lawsuit, which has been ongoing for three years, claims Dell shipped as many as 12 million computers containing faulty electrical components. Some of the e-mails disclosed in the case indicate that Dell employees were aware of the problems. It’s always tough to calculate the toll suits like these take on a company’s reputation, but it’s pretty clear that Dell’s standing has sunk.

3. Adobe (ADBE)
Brand value Jan. 1, 2010: $7 billion.
Brand value June 30, 2010: $4 billion.
Change: -43%.

Apple has damaged the prospects of several of the companies on this list, but none more than Adobe. Its Flash player has been the dominant multimedia software on the PC, a position it took from Microsoft and RealNetworks (RNWK) years ago. But Flash needs to migrate to mobile devices, where Apple has very effectively blocked a portion of that migration by refusing to allow Flash software onto its iPhones, iPods and iPads.

In April, Jobs wrote: “Flash was created during the PC era for PCs and mice. The mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open Web standards, all areas where Flash falls short.” Ouch.

Adobe’s stock dropped from $35 the day that Jobs wrote the statement to $32.50 five trading days later. Apple’s App store, which has over 200,000 applications and claims in excess of 3 billion downloads, allows Jobs’s company to almost entirely control what kind of software and multimedia technology runs on its products. Apple also forbids Adobe’s Creative Suite software to run on its devices. Google’s Android, however, runs Flash — so all is not lost in mobile devices.

Adobe recently posted strong sales, but concerns about its mobile future still dog the company

4. Sony (SNE)
Brand value Jan. 1, 2010: $12 billion.
Brand value June 30, 2010: $7 billion.
Change: -42%.

Once the consumer electronics darling of the 1990s, Sony has lost its footing, and it doesn’t look like it’ll regain its premier position anytime soon. In its fiscal 2010 (ending in March), it recorded major losses, and revenue fell for the third year in a row as sales of TVs and digital cameras continued to decline.

Sony’s leading edge in the video-game market has also evaporated. Competition from Microsoft and Nintendo has been so successful that, according to BrandZ, the PS3 has a brand valuation of $426 million compared to the Wii’s $10 billion and the Xbox 360’s $4.6 billion.

5. Goldman Sachs (GS)
Brand value Jan. 1, 2010: $16 billion.
Brand value June 30, 2010: $10 billion.
Change: -38%.

Goldman may be the only brand on this list to have regained some of its value recently. Many regard its $550 million settlement with the SEC as a victory that will lift a black cloud from the company (even though that settlement took quite a toll on the investment bank’s latest earnings). Others argue that the SEC essentially got Goldman to admit wrongdoing by forcing it to pay such a large fine. The SEC investigation and settlement may put off some current and potential customers, but Goldman also has other challenges to deal with. It may still face legal charges from authorities other than the SEC, including the New York State attorney general.

Goldman’s actions are also part of the government’s review of AIG’s collapse. The bank will also remain under fire for its compensation practices, although it’s not clear what actions, if any, the federal government will take.

More serious is the wave of financial reform that has swept across Europe and the U.S. In Europe, Goldman may have to reserve pay for some of its bankers, and it may face direct levies to cover the costs of future financial firm failures. Goldman’s investors are particularly nervous about provisions in the U.S. financial reform bill that will restrict proprietary trading — the most critical engine of Goldman’s profits — and new regulations of derivatives. Analysts believe that new regulations could cut $1.5 billion from Goldman’s profits. In its second-quarter earnings report on July 20, Goldman reported that revenue from investments and trading had plunged 40% year over year.

6. Research In Motion (RIMM)
Brand value Jan. 1, 2010: $25 billion.
Brand value June 30, 2010: $16 billion.
Change: -36%.

RIM’s BlackBerry dominated the smartphone market from 2002 until 2009. But then it began losing its grip thanks largely to the Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone. Google’s Android-based phones, as well as smartphones from LG, Motorola and Samsung have also helped erode RIM’s lead. Recent data from Changewave, a well-regarded wireless research firm, showed that in June, 52% of people polled said they planned to buy an iPhone (up from 31% in March), 19% planned to buy an Android-powered HTC phone (up from 12%) and only 6% planned to buy a BlackBerry (down from 14%). Recent data from research company Comscore show a similar shift but not nearly as dramatic.

RIM has also struggled to expand into the consumer market, but new handsets like the Curve have mostly fallen flat. And while revenue keeps growing — up 24% in it most recent quarter year over year to $4.24 billion — analysts remain concerned about RIM’s prospects.

7. Nokia (NOK)
Brand value Jan. 1, 2010: $40 billion.
Brand value June 30, 2010: $27 billion.
Change: -33%.

Even though Nokia reins as the largest manufacturer of mobile handsets in the world and claims up to 37% of the global market, it has failed to gain traction in high-end smartphones. Its shares have plummeted 67% in the three years since Apple started selling the iPhone, and now it’s rumored that Nokia’s board is shopping around for a new CEO to replace current chief Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo.

Nokia has virtually surrendered the high-end smartphone market to the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android-powered handsets. The loss in market share is beginning to take a toll on Nokia’s financial performance. In June, it projected that second-quarter revenue for its mobile devices and services division will be below its previous forecast of $8.2 billion to $8.8 billion. Nokia attributed the change to lower-than-expected average unit prices.

As a result of its failure to penetrate the most lucrative and fastest-growing portion of the handset sector, Nokias shares are down 32% this year to a 12-year low. S&P recently revised downward its credit rating on Nokia’s debt because the rating agency doesn’t expect “a material improvement in profitability over the near term.”

8. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Brand value Jan. 1, 2010: $45 billion.
Brand value June 30, 2010: $33 billion.
Percent change: -27%.

Johnson & Johnson has been in the top 10 of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies list since 2006 (it was No. 4 in 2010), but that standing may not hold following a series of recalls of some of the most popular medications from J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare division. Since May, McNeil has recalled more than 135 million bottles of medicine for children and infants, including, Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl.

McNeil has shut down its Fort Washington, Pa., manufacturing plant, where the drugs were made and where conditions have been described as “deplorable.” The plant’s problems have caused mean that drugs like Tylenol and Benadryl could be in short supply well into next year. On Monday, the Food & Drug Administration cited yet another plant for poor conditions, this one in Lancaster, Pa.

Making matters worse, FDA documents presented at a congressional investigation of the recalls indicated that J&J may have covered up some of its knowledge of the problems. Describing what FDA investigators found, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Representative Edolphus Towns said in a statement: “These documents are extremely troubling. We can’t tell where the spin ends and the truth begins.”

Earlier on July 20, J&J announced second-quarter earnings, in which it saw a very slight bump in sales year over year. More troubling to J&J investors, however, was the company’s outlook. To reflect the recalls and the Fort Washington plant shutdown, J&J lowered its earnings guidance range to $4.65 to $4.75 a share for the full year, down from $4.80 to $4.90.

J&J not only faces plunging sales in one of its largest divisions — and a potentially huge number of liability suits — but it will also certainly lose its position as the country’s most well-regarded health-care product and drug provider.

9. Google (GOOG)
Brand value Jan. 1, 2010: $100 billion.
Brand value June 30, 2010: $74 Billion.
Change: -26%.

Google’s decision to largely abandon China, the fastest-growing Internet market in the world, and slowing growth in its search engine business have taken a toll on the company’s brand value this year.

After disputes with the Chinese government over censorship and Google’s accusations that its servers were broken into by a government-supported group, the search giant decided to move its presence to Hong Kong. While ethically defensible, Google’s choice has the potential to cost the company billions of dollars in future revenue. Google has lost its competitive advantage in Chinese search to local search company Baidu and to Microsoft’s Bing. China has reapproved Google’s license to operate in the country, but the relationship remains testy.

As if losing ground in the fastest-growing market in the world weren’t enough, Google’s core search engine business has also started to slow. The company has been adding costs in order to buttress the business and to work on diversifying its revenue streams. So even though revenue rose from $5.5 billion in the second quarter of 2009 to $6.8 billion in its most recent quarter, expenses have increased even more sharply, from $3.6 billion to $4.5 billion during those periods.

10. Toyota (TM)
Brand value Jan. 1, 2010: $30 billion.
Brand value June 30, 2010: $24 billion.
Change: -20%.

A series of major recalls has severely damaged the world’s largest automaker’s reputation for quality, safety and customer focus. Toyota has flagged defects in nearly 10 million cars worldwide since the beginning of the year. That news was bad enough, but then allegations surfaced that top executives knew about many of the problems and either failed to report them in a timely manner or attempted to cover them up. As a result, Toyota has agreed to pay the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration $16.4 million, the maximum fine the agency can levy. But Toyota also faces hundreds of liability suits that could eventually cost billions of dollars. On June 19, Toyota received its second grand jury subpeona regarding the recalls, this time related to steering problems.

Once ranked near or at the top of J.D. Power & Associates’ rankings, Toyota fell to the next to last spot in the firm’s recently released annual Initial Quality Survey. Toyota’s 2010 story has one surprising twist: U.S. vehicle sales haven’t fallen. In fact, they were up 9.9% during the first six months of 2010.

Even though the economy is reeling, there’s no excuse for big corporations to take their eye off the ball in such a damaging way.

Written by David Frederick

July 29, 2010 at 11:15 AM

iPhone jailbreaking (and all cell phone unlocking) made legal

Well, this is interesting. This should have an interesting impact on revenue models, digital rights management, and mobile carrier ULA’s. Stay tuned. Check it out!


iPhone jailbreaking (and all cell phone unlocking) made legal

While the courts have been busy making decisions about digital rights, Washington has also been having its say on copyright law, at least as it relates to the iPhone and other handsets. Key new rules arrived Monday morning.

Most notably, the FCC has made the controversial practice of “jailbreaking” your iPhone — or any other cell phone — legal.

Jailbreaking — the practice of unlocking a phone (and particularly an iPhone) so it can be used on another network and/or run other applications than those approved by Apple — has technically been illegal for years. However, no one has been sued or prosecuted for the practice. (Apple does seriously frown on the practice, and jailbreaking your phone will still void your warranty.) It’s estimated that more than a million iPhone owners have jailbroken their handsets.

Apple fought hard against the legalization, arguing that jailbreaking was a form of copyright violation. The FCC disagreed, saying that jailbreaking merely enhanced the inter-operability of the phone, and was thus legitimate under fair-use rules.

The upshot is that now anyone can jailbreak or otherwise unlock any cell phone without fear of legal penalties, whether you want to install unsupported applications or switch to another cellular carrier. Cell phone companies are of course still free to make it difficult for you to do this — and your warranty will probably still be voided if you do — but at least you won’t be fined or imprisoned if you jailbreak a handset.

In addition to the jailbreaking exemption, the FCC announced a few oth er rules that have less sweeping applicability but are still significant:

• Professors, students and documentary filmmakers are now allowed, for “noncommercial” purposes, to break the copy protection measures on DVDs to be used in classroom or other not-for-profit environments. This doesn’t quite go so far as to grant you and me the right to copy a DVD so we can watch it in two rooms of the house, but it’s now only one step away.

• As was the topic in the GE ruling I wrote about, the FCC allows computer owners to bypass dongles if they are no longer in operation and can’t be replaced. Dongles are rarities in consumer technology products now, but industrial users are probably thrilled about this, as many go missing and are now impossible to obtain.

• Finally, people are now free to circumvent protection measures on video games — but, strangely, only to investigate and correct security flaws in those games. (Another oddity: Other computer software is not part of this ruling, just video games.)

— Christopher Null is a technology writer for Yahoo! News. To read the full article click here.

Written by David Frederick

July 26, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Online Retailers Focus On Checkout To Increase Sales, According To State Of Retailing Online Companies Hope Shipping Changes Lower Cart Abandonment

Online Retailers Focus On Checkout To Increase Sales, According To State Of Retailing Online
Companies Hope Shipping Changes Lower Cart Abandonment

Cambridge, Mass., July 15, 2009 . . . When it comes to how people buy online, retailers are paying as much attention to how the shopping experience ends as to how it starts. According to “The State Of Retailing Online 2009: Merchandising Report,” conducted by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), which surveyed 117 respondents, this year retailers plan to focus heavily on improving customers’ checkout experience. Companies will also place an emphasis on image enhancement located on product detail pages and site search filters to aid shoppers more easily in their search. The report will be released this morning at Shop.org’s Online Merchandising Workshop in San Diego. “In today’s economy, retailers need to be one step ahead, especially when it comes to attracting shoppers who have money to spend,” said Executive Director of Shop.org Scott Silverman. “Companies are investing in their Web sites to set them apart from their competition and make the shopping experience informative, efficient, and even fun.” Retailers Focus On Transparency Of Shipping Charges, Checkout Experience According to the survey, eight out of 10 retailers (79 percent) said enhancing the checkout process was on the top of their to-do lists for the remainder of the year, with 90 percent of medium-sized retailers* listing checkout as a top priority. The largest initiative in this area among retailers seems to be an emphasis on shipping, with retailers specifically increasing the transparency around shipping charges to reduce shopping cart abandonment. According to the survey, 88 percent of retailers will focus on providing more shipping information within the next year, including such details as when a customer can expect to receive a package and information about when products have left the warehouse. In addition, two-thirds of retailers (67 percent) said they would pay special attention to calculating the loaded cost of an order prior to checkout. “Retailers realize that, particularly during an economic downturn, shoppers who understand shipping charges at the beginning of the checkout process are less likely to abandon their purchases,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, Forrester Research vice president, principal analyst, and lead author of the report. In an era of tight budgets, the increased focus on checkout is balanced by a somewhat lessened focus on home page improvements, with 60 percent of companies saying they would concentrate on improving their home page, down from previous years. According to the report, retailers have learned that many shoppers bypass the home page altogether because comparison shopping engines and search engines often direct them to specific pages on retailers’ Web sites instead. As a result, retailers are focusing more on product detail pages and search results pages. Companies Prioritize Image Enhancement On Product Detail Pages With customers wanting as much information as possible before buying, retailers continue to enhance the quality of information on product detail pages. According to the survey, retailers will focus on adding alternative images of products (50 percent), zoom, and color or fabric swatches (31 percent) this year. Retailers are also relying on shoppers themselves to provide key information on product detail pages. According to the survey, more than half of retailers (60 percent) use customer ratings and reviews, and 55 percent of companies will make ratings and reviews a priority for the coming year. In addition, 34 percent of companies will incorporate automated recommendation tools by third parties for their site. In addition to improving detail on current pages, retailers are adding new pages to their sites to better accommodate shoppers on a budget. According to the survey, 89 percent of retailers say that they are introducing sale or clearance pages to their sites in the coming months. Retailers Invest In Search Capabilities To Help Shoppers Find Products Many online shoppers have specific items in mind, and retailers are paying special attention to site search features to make customer searches easier. According to the survey, nearly three-quarters of retailers (73 percent) plan to add different skins or filters to their search functions, which would enable shoppers to choose multiple attributes like brand, color, price, and size to their site search. In addition, 41 percent of retailers surveyed said they are evaluating introducing an entirely new search engine to their Web sites. “The State Of Retailing Online 2009: Merchandising Report” is currently available to Shop.org members and can also be purchased directly at http://www.shop.org/soro. Forrester clients will be able to access the report directly on http://www.forrester.com as part of their subscription service starting on August 14, 2009.

About Forrester Research

Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 19 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research, consumer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 25 years, Forrester has been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For more information, visit http://www.forrester.com.


Jon Symons
Director, Media Relations
Forrester Research, Inc.
+1 617.613.6104

Written by David Frederick

August 20, 2009 at 6:57 PM