Some further exciting e-commerce news from the past few days.
Business Insider has dug up the Copywriting Guide from Groupon. It describes the writing style which should be used for the descriptions of the daily deals. The style of writing is credited with adding charm and a “fun-factor” to the US based company. (Not to be confused with the German Groupon/CityDeal site, which uses a far more classical/straightforward writing style).
In the USA, the significance of the writing style has already been recognized:
"The Atlantic piece goes on to note that some observers have credited Groupon with being one of the top “alternative storytellers” in the media industry, thanks in part to the company’s dedication to teaching its writers how to create engaging and often hilarious copy for the group discounts it sends out to subscribers. And the Groupon handbook of writing tips does have a number of helpful suggestions for making your writing more interesting, such as using the active voice and not resorting to clichés, or employing comedic mechanisms such as absurd comparisons or “fake history”."
In addition: Groupon has hired Amazon veteran Jason Child as new CFO.
Etsy is working on a new recommendation engine. ReadWriteWeb:
"The tool, available at tastetest.etsy.com, offers you a short quiz where you click photos of things you like. You can choose to look at either photos of items for women or items for men. The end result is a list of recommended items matching your taste... in theory at least; the experiment is still very new and results can be mixed."
In addition, the NY Times has an Etsy update:
"Since it was founded in 2005 as a way for hobbyists and crafty types to sell their goods, Etsy has blossomed into a thriving e-commerce site and one of New York’s hottest start-ups.
The company says it expects to bring in $30 million to $50 million in revenue this year and has been profitable for a year. It has seven million registered users, nearly twice what it had a year ago."
Google Shopping APIs
Google is working further on their e-commerce offering and is building out their APIs:
"The Content API for Shopping allows retailers to upload product data to Google for use in multiple places online like Google Product Search, Product Ads, Google Affiliate Network, Google Commerce Search, and Shopping Rich Snippets.
The Search API for Shopping makes it easy for our Google Commerce Search customers, Google Affiliate Network publishers, and developers to build innovative applications using product data."
Facebook wants to use their platform to increasingly help drive e-commerce forward.
"In a just-published interview with BusinessWeek, business development director David Fisch says that Facebook set up a commerce partnerships group in November, that is “meeting with retailers to help Facebook develop software that lets users solicit advice and product reviews from Facebook friends in real time, even while they’re shopping on other sites.” Fisch also says that it is working on analytics tools that will let retailers learn more about which users are drawn to which products.
It’s not yet clear how Facebook might work with or compete against third parties offering apps and other services to retailers on Facebook."
Depending on the direction that Facebook goes with this, it could definitely be disruptive for the entire sector:
"Facebook is adding e-commerce features to attract users, keep them logged-on longer, and generate higher advertising sales. The effort may turn the company into an online shopping alternative to retailers such as eBay (EBAY), says Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research (FORR). "It's not natural to go to Facebook to shop—yet," says Mulpuru, whose firm is based in Cambridge, Mass. "But it's not a long step.""
A good overview of the current state of 3D-Printing can be found on Venturebeat:
"Elley explained that the entire 3D printing market (sales of machines, materials and services) is currently worth about $1B annually. By comparison, the “digital manufacture” market brings in over $30B. In his opinion, wider usage of 3D printing is not the result of advances in the printers themselves (the technologies have already been around for 20 years), but in 3D printing software, which is becoming more accessible and easy to use.
Peels says that 3D printing is moving from being a technology that lets marketers and engineers create prototypes, to one that is used broadly for the production of final products. Clément Moreau, CEO of Sculpteo, seconds this and adds that the materials used for 3D printing have improved to the stage where they can be used to not only create prototypes but functional and aesthetically pleasing objects.
On the other hand Lars Scharf, the founder of Blueprinter, contends that 3D printing is still mainly a powerful but complicated and expensive technology reserved for the few."
Originally posted in German by Marcel Weiss, adapted for excitingcommerce.com by Jason Soo.