Stephen Bagg

Retailers Don’t Take A Holiday

The Compete Retail 200 Report contains monthly data on eCommerce categories and sites, similar to the preview data provided here. If you would like to be added to its distribution, please email Matt Pace at or Dillon McGovern at With only days left until the end of the retail’s biggest season, there are few opportunities remaining to draw consumers to the checkout line. With improved product viewing and

Halloween: An Experiment in Retail Blitzing

If the Retail world sees the end of the year as the Triple Crown, Halloween would be the Kentucky Derby. It is the initial measure of shoppers’ purchasing power leading into the holidays, and companies are quick to be the first out of the gate with sales of costumes, candy, and decorations. Search behavior offers a unique perspective on how consumers use the online channel for Halloween shopping; being relevant

Tale of the Clippings: The Changing Landscape of Coupon Sites

Coupon sites are in vogue these days. Traffic to the largest ones, which include those sites offering discount codes and printable coupons, is up 34% from this time last year, reaching just over 22.6 million deal-hungry shoppers last month. These sites typically fall into two categories: those primarily offering manufacturer coupons (40¢ off Viva paper towels), and those primarily offering retailer-specific coupons (25% off your Target purchase). Considering how search

The Housing Crisis Ripples Across the Web

It’s hard these days to be a homeowner. The housing-turned-credit crisis has sharply lowered home values across the country, and the proposed solutions have focused more on major industry players than on deed holders. This week, the New York Times reports that Bernanke’s newest innovation is to lower mortgage rates to a level last seen around the time JFK was sworn in — but it would not apply to current

Slow Back-to-School Season for both Wal-Mart and Target, but Strong in Electronics, Apparel

As economic woes seep out of the financial sector and gas prices shake consumer confidence, American shoppers are learning how to be bargain hunters. However, for Wal-Mart and Target, two of America’s most popular discount retailers, September sales fell short of expectations in a Back-to-School season that usually lifts the books. In the online world, last month was certainly a dismal one for growth as these retail giants maneuver for

Retailers Race to be Head of the Class

As the end of summer approaches and July turns to August, many families are overcome by grief and relief: the former from students, that the first homeroom is near, and the latter from parents, for the same reason. With every advertisement baiting families with the "best" Back-to-School sales of the season, three major office supply retailers prepare to battle for the buck in the online channel. A baseline check ranks

Movie Searches: No Country Adds Top Search Honors to Awards List

Wanna see a movie? You’re not alone. Every weekend, millions of Americans head to their local cineplex to trade $20 for questionably buttered popcorn, sugar soda and a seat cushion in the name of entertainment. Magazine franchises, personal careers and the entire microeconomy of Southern California rise and fall with the popularity waves of this weekly ritual. As with most things, many moviegoers turn to the internet to guard against

The Kindle, Amazon's Latest Search Traffic Driver

Launching a new product is hard work, and sometimes you have to twist reality for the sake of revenue. Just ask about their recently-released Kindle, the newest offering for portable reader technology. Back in December, the venerated month of holiday ka-ching, a "˜sony reader’ search on Amazon listed the Kindle as higher in relevance than the Sony reader itself. Contrast that with a kindle search, where, at the time

YouTube Revolutionizes Embarrassment

YouTube has revolutionized embarrassment in America. Given a personalized channel, twenty tags synonymous with "awesome hot sexy funny," and a snappy title, little stands between a poor-quality video clip and the nation’s rapt attention, 47 million strong each month and counting. The population most at risk, the disoriented celebrity, can no longer act with impunity when devouring a sandwich a là kitchen floor or starting an awards-show comeback with less-than-perfect

Harry Potter and the Last Hurrah

(Alert! The following post contains NO Harry Potter spoilers, you big cheater.) Wildly popular products follow strict protocol when it comes to their release, typically on the order of extreme modern travesty. The seventh Potter novel is no exception: blindingly record-breaking numbers, waiting lines measured in city blocks, and mere internet spoilers spurring tens of millions of dollars in litigation. Cynics delight, and lawyers win again. Harry’s fate notwithstanding, tonight

Battle Royale: Talk Show Diva Edition

(Note: The following is a true account of the online melee between America’s 4pm sweethearts) It was an all-out brawl last month when four of the nation’s most popular talk show hosts tapped gloves to begin the online sparring match for the title of April’s daytime Big Mama. As expected, Oprah weighed in heavily, at just under 1.5 million (individuals visiting her site), while Rachael was sitting pretty at 550K;