In the ecommerce and Internet marketing industries, breaking news stories have surfaced rapidly. From Facebook launching its unprecedented IPO to the world on Friday to Google’s new Knowledge Graph, these industries were booming with activity. According to statistics from Google, mobile web browsing is becoming increasingly popular, and Pinterest has now joined the billion dollar club with a new investment by the largest Japanese ecommerce company. In other news, ecommerce sales topped $50 billion in the first quarter, setting a new record for Q1 ecommerce activity.
Mobile Search Use Grows by 500%
Nearly two thirds of smartphone users in the UK access the Internet from their mobile device, according to data released by Google’s “Our Mobile Planet.” The statistics were revealing, with mobile search growing by more than 500%, 85% of users searching for local stores with their smartphone, and 28% of users checking their phone before getting out of bed in the morning. 20% of online sales are now being made on a mobile device as a result of the convenience and efficiency of mobile shopping.
Google Launches Knowledge Graph
Google is interested in improving the user experience for their users, and Google is taking a step in the right direction by introducing the innovative Knowledge Graph. This new invention has been in the works for several years, and the Knowledge Graph will be displayed on the right side of many search pages and will contain information on the search phrase that has been entered. Google will use the Knowledge Graph to display a summary of information that is relevant to your search terms, and it will also provide a list of related topics. Users can also clarify what they are searching for in the Knowledge Graph. It is expected the Knowledge Graph will affect search engine optimization by putting a much greater emphasis on content and backlinks from trusted websites.
Ecommerce Sales Soar by 15.4% in Q1 with Shoppers Spending More than $50 Billion
In the U.S. alone, ecommerce sales have seen a tremendous hike. In the past year, the first quarter is already showing record sales of $50.27 billion, as opposed to 2011’s first quarter where ecommerce sales reached $43.58 billion. Online sales have now topped $50 million for the first time in any quarter other than the fourth. The fourth quarter is the busiest for retail activity due to holiday shopping. Ecommerce now accounts for 4.9% of retail spending, which is also up from the 4.6% of market share the virtual shopping industry commanded in 2011. This figure may be deflated a bit since certain products – like automobiles – cannot be bought online. Internet Retailer estimates that ecommerce accounted for 7.3% of retail sales instead of 4.9%.
Facebook Sets Record for Trading but Price Stands Still
The much anticipated first trading day for Facebook brought a record setting day for stocks sold, but the price went up just 23 cents from the original, pre-set price of $38. According to Sam Hamadeh, the CEO of PrivCo, Facebook’s IPO was propped up by the financial underwriters who took steps to prevent a fall in price on the first day of trading. “The underwriters had to step in with a supporting bid,” Hamadeh said. Some observers of Facebook’s trading strategy were disappointed to see the valuation of the stocks rise only slightly on the first day. While the price of the stock stood still, this was a very successful IPO by any standard, especially in the technology industry. Facebook set a record for the total number of shares sold, which topped 567 million by the end of the day. Facebook will need to find a balance in their online marketing strategy so they can please their users, their advertisers and their shareholders.
Pinterest Gets $100 M Investment: Now Part of the Billion Dollar Club
With so many investors looking to capitalize on the hottest tech start-ups, Pinterest has announced a new line of funding for $100 million provided by Rakuten. As Japan’s largest ecommerce company, Rakuten Ichiba has now taken an interest in Pinterest’s ever growing popularity. Most experts have concluded that Pinterest may have a sustainable business model and will develop solid revenue streams, which has opened them up to new investments. In many circles, Pinterest is viewed as the third largest social networking site and has gained tremendous popularity over the last few years. With this new revelation, Pinterest is positioned to become an increasingly valuable power player in this virtual space.