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PowerReviews Bi-Weekly Industry News Roundup

Welcome back to another edition of the PowerReviews Bi-Weekly Industry News Roundup! These last two weeks have been rife with interesting news in our exciting industry. From Google’s decision to rank UGC higher in their search results yet again, to consumers’ continued interest in making purchases on the go, PowerReviews has curated the best e-commerce/social shopping news so you are given only the crème de la crème.

December was a big year for retailers, who saw a surge in the amount of sales made through mobile devices. Specifically, according to the IBM Benchmark report that tracks online sales of some 500 retailers, sales stemming from smartphones and tablets accounted for 11% of total online sales. This number is up from 5.5% reported in December of 2010. Moreover, the same IBM benchmark also found that 14.6% of all online sessions on retailers’ sites were initiated from a mobile device, again besting the previous years number by two times (5.6%). It’s no surprise that the iPad was the king of this new mobile shopping category. Bill Siwicki of Internet Retailer reports:

Sales from mobile devices double in December

At the National Retail Federation’s 101st Annual Convention & Expo earlier this month there was a panel dedicated to emerging trends in retail. The first of these trends was to “keep it short”–consumers are in the age of Tweets. If you can say what you’re selling in 140 characters or less, it’s off the market. The second trend is mobile commerce, which retailers can take advantage of by offering location-based apps and offering coupons to shoppers. Another encouragement is to embrace the consumers’ preference to shop at odd hours “outside of our agrarian time schedules” by remaining open at odd hours. Teresa Novellino of Portfolio examines these recommendations and more:

Trends for Your Retail Radar

At CES, Chris Ely, manager of industry analysis for the Consumer Electronics Association, outlined results of a study during the session “Tech Accessories in the New Social Paradigm.” During this session Chris examined whether or not social media helped consumers make buying decisions. His results? Yes and no. According to Ely, social media is still driven by the desire to communicate with friends. However, people are using social media, to a lesser degree, to find deals. This is especially apparent in the way consumers interact with company profiles on social networks such as Facebook, where there is a higher likelihood for them to follow a company if that company is offering special deals. Susan Rush of SmartBrief reports:

Do consumers turn to social media to make tech-accessory buying decision

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