Quick Hits: Is Drunk Ecommerce Up?, Facebook Ads and Self-Image, Google Sued Over Secure Shopping Concepts

Inplace #2

ADOTAS – Yesterday, the New York Times reported on the patently self-evident fact that people are more inclined to spend money when they’re inebriated. (If you need stats, the article points to a study conducted by British comparison shopping site Kelkoo that says nearly half of respondents in the U.K. admitted to shopping online after drinking.) What’s more illuminating is how retailers might be responding to that. ChannelAdvisor, which provides software that helps retailers sell their goods online, has said its orders peak at 8 p.m. (presumably after happy hour?) and that orders for 9 p.m. to midnight are up this year from 2010; the article lists a number of email promotions from higher-end retailers — Saks, Gilt Groupe, Neiman Marcus — that landed in inboxes between 6 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. Now, though anyone who’s ever had three drinks on a payday will probably recognize how effortless (triumphant, even) it feels to order anything online in such a situation, it’s worth pointing out that the hours referenced in the Times story are simply times when people who work nine-to-fivers are at home, and thus are in a much better position to conduct personal business than they are when they’re at work. Then again, that’s not as much fun as imagining a bunch of drunk people ogling bathmats on an Amazon store late at night.

In other news of things that make sense, Facebook‘s blog today mentions a Journal of Consumer Research study that says people identify more personally with brands whose ads pop up on their own Facebook pages than they do with brands whose ads appear on strangers’ pages. To take it a step farther, the higher a person’s self esteem, the more they’ll identify with those brands advertised on their own pages. The concept this hinges on is implicit self-referencing, and the premise goes like this: If you have healthy self esteem, you’ll feel positive emotions when you look at your own Facebook profile. That lends itself to a positive association with the brands whose ads show on up your profile, especially if those brands have some connection to your self-identity.

• Google’s being sued for patent infringement, and the way buySAFE, the company bringing the suit, puts it, it sounds strikingly personal. Here’s the gist: buySAFE offers a secure online shopping service, which the company says is unique and protected by patent law. Since 2006, the lawsuit says, Google had tried to partner with buySAFE. buySAFE eventually shelved those talks, but, says the suit, those discussions plus Google’s 2010 recruitment of the then-COO of a buySAFE client company granted Google enough proprietary information to launch its own copycat service. You know it as Google Trusted Stores. Or maybe you don’t — Google Trusted Stores just launched in October. And yet, the lawsuit goes on to accuse Google of timing its launch of Trusted Stores to “impede buySAFE’s effort to raise additional capital,” as well as giving retailers that participate in Trusted Stores a higher search ranking and telling retailers they could use either Trusted Stores or buySAFE, but not both. Here’s a copy of the lawsuit. If buySAFE is right about this, Google pulled a few pretty brazen maneuvers. And if buySAFE isn’t right, it at least put in a good hustle: They’re laying the smack down on Google Trusted Sites before the latter is even remotely a household name.