Christmas Creep, Social Commerce and more on this week’s Knowledge Share…

Christmas Creep Good for Businesses, Bad For Everyone Else

Topic submitted by Lisa Goldberg

Each year we see more and more businesses getting into the holiday spirit before the Halloween candy has left the shelves. But are consumers influenced by the early holiday advertising? Or is it a business response to consumer demand? First coined in the 1980s, Christmas Creep describes the urgency of merchants to exploit the holiday shopping rush. By moving up and extending the holiday shopping season, retailers have more opportunities to make sales. While these efforts can be off-putting to some shoppers, studies show that generally consumers don’t seem to mind.

A done by found that a third of shoppers had already begun this year’s Christmas shopping as early as September. Shopping websites for major retailers such as also reported the word “Christmas” as the most popular searched item since September 3rd. Approximately 65% of consumers self-identify that TV ads influence their buying patterns during the holidays. Therefore, it’s no surprise to see big marketers starting to move their budgets to accommodate. However, at the same time, consumers seem more receptive to certain methods of holiday marketing than others. Almost 80% of consumers thought that window displays, decorations and in-store displays make for an enjoyable shopping experience, while over 75% of consumers found staff wearing Christmas hats off-putting.

Why would consumers welcome early advertising? It could be the enticing layaway options and prospect of lower costs, or it could be credit card culture. But is there a tipping point for Christmas Creep? Will we soon see Christmas lights next to summer swimwear?

Social Commerce – I’m #SOLD!

Topic submitted by Sammy Joachim

Is social commerce the next big thing? is an e-commerce service that allows consumers to purchase items using #hashtag purchase technology on Facebook and Instagram. In order to buy a product, consumers simply have to comment using the directed hashtag and they will receive an invoice confirming the order. This would allow users to continue browsing their social media pages virtually uninterrupted, and overcome the sales barrier most e-commerce sites have with shopping carts and inputting payment information. For merchants, Soldsie’s comment-based transaction leads to viral impressions while also boosting sales. Soldsie has partnered with other e-commerce platforms The one caveat is that users must register with the Soldsie application, but once the user does so, payment authorization and information is saved.

Why does it matter? So far, Soldsie has already reported 70% completion rate for sales, compared to 30% for traditional shopping carts due to the barriers of the checkout process. The one-click purchase method provides consumers with the ease of use and instant gratification they seek. The social foundation allows it to embrace the power of social influencers seamlessly. As for results, businesses that have partnered with Soldsie have seen as much as a 300% lift in sales for social campaigns. Similar to ApplePay, security concerns may be a sticking point for now, but we are definitely seeing both business and shoppers showing strong interest in these types of services.

Win, fail or fiasco? Definite win that allows brands and merchants to build social connections and increase sales at the same time, all with minimal effort by the consumer.

Don’t worry, you can listen to Tswift on YouTube’s Music Key

Topic submitted by Alison Pantano

YouTube just announced a beta version of  y, a music streaming service that directly challenges the likes of Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio. In response to music lovers playing YouTube clips in order to listen to songs from their favorite artists, Music Key will house these songs in a music player that listeners can access on their desktops and mobile devices – both online and offline. The goal is to ‘unlock’ new ways for fans to discover and enjoy music, while also creating a place for fans and artists to connect. Listeners will be able to link directly YouTube for extras like ‘behind-the-scenes’ clips, studio session recordings and remixes through the service, all for $7.99/month (current beta version). What does this mean? Users will be able to listen to full albums and watch videos in one place.

YouTube says that with Music Key, they are trying to find more ways for musicians, such as Taylor Swift, to have their music discovered and to earn more revenue. Following Taylor Swift’s abrupt departure from Spotify 2 weeks ago citing poor compensation, Music Key will certainly put up fierce competition to an already crowded field.

Win, fail or fiasco? Uncertain – sometimes I just want my music without all the extras, and with a few extra dollars in my pocket.

Yahoo buys BrightRoll to buoy ad revenue

Submitted by Jason Morton

Yahoo, the search and media company, just dropped a cool half billion dollars on  , a video ad servicing platform. This follows Yahoo’s sale of its stake in Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce company, for which it pocketed $10bn. This is a strategic move for Yahoo, who’s seen a decline in display ad revenue and overall slow growth over the past few years. With BrightRoll, video advertising presents a great growth opportunity for Yahoo by offering ad package buys for merchants. This acquisition is also Yahoo’s first big purchase following the sale, and it will be interesting to see what will come next.

Win, fail or fiasco? Too soon to tell.

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