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Digital News Roundup: March 5, 2010

March 5, 2010

This week’s top stories run the gamut — from web design trends among online retailers to new stats from comScore about social network usage. We also highlight an innovative campaign from Universal Pictures that integrates mobile with offline to promote the new film “Repo Men.” For more insights all week long be sure to follow us on Twitter — and if you’re looking for exciting careers in digital today is a great day to do so. It’s #findajobfriday here at 360i and we’ll be tweeting opportunities throughout the day.

E-Commerce Sites Poised for Improvements in 2010

According to a study by Internet Retailer and Vovici, web retailers have big plans to provide better online shopping experiences for consumers. The “Website Design Strategies & Tactics” report found that two-thirds of retailers plan a site redesign in 2010.

Reports eMarketer on the study: better organization, “updating of home, category and product pages” are the top priorities among web retailers improving their sites. Improved SEO is also on the agenda for many e-commerce sites. Retailers surveyed said the biggest reasons for the redesigns were to increase sales and to build buzz for their brands among new visitors.

Approximately 25% of retailers surveyed said they will introduce personalized product recommendations in order to optimize conversions on their sites.

Report: Huge Gains in Mobile Social Network Usage YoY

ComScore released a study this week that pointed out the substantial increase in social media usage via mobile devices from January 2009 to January 2010. The report found that more than 30 percent of smartphone users access social sites via a mobile browser in 2010 – up from 22.5 percent a year ago. Broken down by social network, Facebook saw 112 percent gains and Twitter enjoyed a nearly 350 percent boost.

As Mashable points out, the study likely underestimates the gains, as it only encompassed data from mobile browsers (not mobile apps). Mobile social network usage should continue to grow as leaders like Facebook and Twitter continue to enjoy increasing popularity with mobile alternatives.

Universal Pictures Repo Men Campaign Ties Mobile to Offline Creative

A new promotion for “Repo Men” integrates mobile bar codes powered by Red Laser with offline media in order to build buzz around the film. The new Universal Pictures film (disclosure: Universal is a 360i client) involves selling organs via bar code scanning, “so it is not only a good digital integration but also a cool tie-in with the subject of the film,” writes MobileMarketer.

The mobile component of the campaigned ties directly to offline creative found online and among the top 15 markets in the United States.

“Red Laser met two important needs for the program: it’s one of the most popular mobile applications especially for tech-savvy early adopters, and they had the flexibility to incorporate real bar codes for fictitious products from the film,” said David Berkowitz, Director of Emerging Media & Innovation, in the MobileMarketer article.