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PowerReviews Bi-Weekly Industry News Roundup

And just like that the holidays are over and we’re back with another installment of the PowerReviews Bi-Weekly Industry News Roundup! Here’s the past two weeks’ worth of the most topical industry news for your reading pleasure. Dive in!

While the majority of retailers are going “new school” with their guerrilla marketing by blasting their message out via social media, one retailer, Karmaloop, is going “old school” by hiring brand representatives–and it’s working. In fact, 27% of Karmaloop’s sales last year came from its network of over 96,500 representatives that promote Karmaloop in exchange for merchandise from the retailer. Anyone can sign up to be a representative–and when they do they’re given a unique promo code that they can then distribute. When people use the code the representative earns points they can then use to get free merchandise. Zak Stambor of Internet Retailer examines this phenomenon:

Karmaloop’s peer-to-peer marketing pays off

Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to price check items in Brick and Mortar stores, relegating these stores to mere showrooms for purchases later made at home. This, to no surprise, has retailers worried–and they’re reacting in different ways. Best Buy has responded by agreeing to price match the same item at other brick and mortar retailers–however, online retailers can still undercut them a significant amount. Other retailers like Brookstone are increasingly relying on stocking proprietary brands that aren’t available online or at other retailers. Dan Mattioli of the Wall Street Journal discusses:

Retailers Try to Thwart Price Apps

The holidays are over, and the results of this year’s spending spree are pouring in. According to comScore, shoppers spent $32 billion online, a 15 percent increase over last year. On top of this, shoppers have been much more willing to use their smartphones to not only research purchases but make purchases as well. Tablets in particular have become the consumers’ mobile device of choice (beneath the laptop, of course) to peruse ecommerce sites for goods. Retailers are attempting to fill the demand by building personalized apps for their sites that allow users using mobile devices to make purchases. Claire Caine Miller of The New York Times breaks down the trends of how people shopped:

How People Shopped Online This Holiday Season

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