The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

Subscribe To My Feed

Follow Me on Pinterest



Read my blog on Kindle



Looking for a job in product innovation or product design? 


example: innovation, product, mobile, design

city, state or zip

Jobs by SimplyHired




Entries in twitter (16)


The Next Stage of Social Commerce  

Written by PHILIP ELLIS on 28 November, 2014 at 11:11 via

Following fruitful trials on Shopify and BigCommerce, Seattle-based company Zantler has rolled out its social commerce platform to retailers on Amazon Webstore this week, ahead of the busiest shopping month of the year.

Zantler’s Shoppost enables merchants to post shoppable content to a variety of online channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and blogs.

Merchants will now have the capability to import product information, including colour and size options, directly from Amazon Webstore to social media. There is also video functionality – something that Amazon Webstore currently doesn’t support on-site. Each post mirrors an online storefront, and comes complete with a buy button which transports customers directly to a branded shopping cart, essentially providing a seamless social shopping experience. 

Read more....

{Disclosure: I am a member of the Board of Directors of Zantler, a Seattle, WA based company.}


UPDATE: Three Reasons Why Twitter's Buy Button May Not Fly With Retailers and Consumers 

Twitter's recently announced launch into the online commerce space has gotten a lot of buzz, as practically any move Twitter makes these days does. The ability to buy directly from a tweet seems to be the natural extension of Twitter's card capability, and a clear response to the pressure to monetize social conversations.  However, on closer inspection, the Twitter experience may not ultimately create fans among retailers and their customers.  Why? Just look at the answers to these three questions:

1. Who owns the customer?  The customer will purchase an item from a retailer, but give their credit card to Twitter. That likely means a customer can't use the retailers own credit card, that often earns them loyalty points. Twitter's action to capture the customer data will fall under the Twitter Terms of Service, not the merchant's. Be careful to watch for updates to the privacy policy and Terms of Service agreements once credit cards are used. Will Twitter be permitted to provide my Macy's purchase history to Nordstrom's?

2. Who services the customer? Everyone knows that buying online inevitably leads to a return or exchange. In fact, sometimes when my friends purchase shoes they buy two sizes to ensure they get the one that fits properly. Will Twitter process the returns and credit? Occasionally, a merchant mixes up my order and sends me the wrong goods, or bills me for something I didn't receive. If I buy from Twitter, who will I call to make things right? The merchant? Twitter? My credit card company?  The lack of transparency around how Twitter plans to handle problems with fulfillment and returns could create hurdles to purchase for consumers, especially in the wake of credit card theft with more trusted merchants like Target and Home Depot.

3. Who bills the credit card? Recently, Squarespace, the platform behind this site, switched to billing through Stripe, the processor now working with Twitter. One day my Amex bill showed a monthly charge under the name "Stripe", prompting me to call Amex about the potential fraud for a charge I didn't recognize, only to discover it was placed on behalf of Squarespace.  As far as the credit card company is concerned, Stripe was the merchant who billed. As a customer, though, I thought I purchased from Squarespace. If I  have a dispute as a consumer, it is always telling who my credit card company communicates with on my behalf. Will the merchant brand, Twitter, or Stripe protect my credit interests best? 

Online shopping depends on a trusted relationship between the consumer and the merchant.  However, with the introduction of the Twitter Buy button, there are now a number of platforms involved in disintermediating that relationship when purchasing through Twitter. Consequently, it is hard to imagine that this trusted relationship will remain unaffected by the social giant participating in - and actually managing - these transactions on behalf of well-loved retail brands.

September 22, 2014 UPDATE:

Having just received a Burberry tweet with a BuyNow button embedded in it, I was able to test the end to end process and easily access a link to Twitter's new Commerce Terms. 

A few interesting things to notice about their approach to the above questions...

1. Who Owns the Customer? Twitter indicates that the transfer of title and liability for the product arriving in good condition rests with the merchant. "The transfer of title and risk of loss for any Product you purchase using Buy Now is solely between you and the Merchant. Twitter is not responsible or liable for any Product loss, destruction or other damage, whether during delivery or otherwise."  This indicates the Merchant remains the owner of the customer, and although Twitter is also storing all valid customer data they are not providing any consumer service for the benefit except facilitating repeat purchases.

2. Who Services the Customer? The language around Twitter's role in a consumer dispute related to a transaction that happens on Twitter is quite clear - Twitter is not involved. Go to the merchant, and please don't contact us if your order doesn't go through as you might have expected.

a. Customer Service. You agree that you will direct all customer service inquiries, complaints, problems and other issues, including disputes, to the Merchant who sold the Product you purchased.

b. Merchant Disputes. Twitter does not handle disputes on behalf of the Merchant. If you report any customer service issues relating to a purchase made through Buy Now Features to Twitter, we may forward that communication to the appropriate Merchant.

One way to avoid handling customer disputes is to indicate that a product bought through this method are not eligible for return (let alone a free return.) So read the return policy carefully.

3. Who Bills the Credit Card? It matters who bills your credit card, especially when unauthorized charges might appear on your statement. So it is important to note Twitter's position on this as I stated above. Once again, Twitter indicates they are not to be held accountable for unauthorized charges, despite the fact they are storing your credit data.

a. Unauthorized Charges. You agree that the applicable Merchant, not Twitter, will be solely responsible for resolving any unauthorized transaction claims or any other transaction disputes, and you will need to contact such Merchant directly to resolve any transaction claims or concerns.
b. Notification of Unauthorized Charge. You agree to notify Twitter immediately (for Twitter’s informational purposes only) if you believe an unauthorized transaction has occurred under your Twitter account using the Buy Now Features.


The thing to understand as a consumer is that Twitter's Commerce Terms are crafted solely to position their platform as a service with virtually no accountability for its role in handling the purchase transaction. "Twitter only provides the platform for facilitating the transaction and user services" and "assumes no responsibility or liability for the Product Listing, Products, order fulfillment (including shipping and returns), the actions or inaction of Merchants, or any dispute or communications you have with the Merchant."

Buyer beware.




A Cartoon History of Social Networking


Favorite Tweets Of The Day

@dannysullivan can we agree? it's not an NYT paywall, it's an idiotwall. designed by idiots to get money from idiots, the idioci. Prob will work a bit, too

@gary_hustwit "You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free." Jasper Johns

The importance of storytelling RT@PeterGuber How to Make Your Career A Hollywood Blockbuster


5 ways social media will change your marketing plan

First published in iMedia Connection

Article Highlights:

  • Campaign ideas will be deconstructed into smaller, more digestible messages
  • Applications will continue to adapt to user behavior, leading to hyper-personalization
  • User-generated content will influence marketing strategy

Reputation and relationship management skills are foundational to architecting an effective customer development strategy for both B2B and B2C enterprises; this will be acutely true in 2011. No longer just the responsibility of a community manager, social communication will be integrated into service and support experiences, product, point of sale, and commerce solutions. Because official spokespeople are no longer the sole purveyors of your company's message, social channels can be counted on to accelerate and amplify the conversation between customers and brands. Look for the following trends to drive changes to integrated marketing plans in the year ahead... read more here


Favorite Tweets Of The Holiday Weekend

@kenradio Why Bing "Likes" Facebook, Facebook should give Microsoft an edge against search rival Google -

@bgershon Ad Execs Gaze Into 2011 Crystal Ball - Great overview.... 

Social Media in 2011: Expect a Big Dose of STFU from my pal @

Great article from @ to start the new year, Design Thinking and the courage to do things 

RT@quirkyinc The NY Times Pogies celebrates product features which are "clever twists that make life just a little bit better" 


Favorite Tweets Of The Day

RT@saschasegan: More sad, bad tales of KIN: and” MSFT took the Sidekick down with it. Strange trip.

Hilarious @CraigyFerg "a magazine is like a paper-y blog." They came before there was AOL.


Will Consumers Be Better Than Broadcasters At Programming Online Video?

First published on Technorati June 22, 2010

Most days, the average Internet user curates a flood of content from multiple destinations into a patchwork of information, updates and insights that help them stay connected. It’s a lot of work to hunt, gather, personalize and sample all the content available, and even more if you are part of the growing percentage of consumers interested in watching video. Tubemogul reports Web media brands posted 326 million video streams in the first quarter of this year, which is an increase of more than 300 percent compared to Q1 of 2009, and does not include all the user generated content uploaded to photo and video sharing sites.

“Some times you just want to push play, and see what’s on,” said Blair Harrison, CEO of Frequency, a real time video site that lets you lean back and watch samples of video playing continuously from all over the Internet. “But with so much video coming online each hour, there really is no way for a consumer to get a sample of what’s playing on the web” Harrison contends that consuming video on the web has become a laborious and disjointed experience, forcing people who want to enjoy rich media online to jump from link to link, collecting clips or navigating between embedded players and web pages just to sample video content.

Launched earlier this month by Harrison, the former CEO of IFILM, which sold to Viacom for $49 Million in 2005, Frequency aims to make it easy for anyone to quickly scan and tune into what’s playing online at any time. He brought together a crew of experienced digital media engineers from that company, and built a platform that offers content publishers a promotional engine for long form video clips. Frequency’s tools create a continuous stream of previews, auto-generated in different bitrates, from feeds aggregated by the company’s platform. Users navigate the clips which play like previews of coming attractions, touting the longer version on the publisher’s website.

When consumers enter the Frequency site, there is always something playing. Like a stream of 140 character headlines on Twitter, the Frequency player cycles through fifteen-second clips from across the web, categorized by topic and source. If you want to learn more on a topic, simply pick a tag, and the player pivots to play previews that share that term in common. If you like to follow a particular publisher or collector of videos, you can create a personalized channel that just tunes into their “frequency”, or channel of auto-play clips.

“There are over 200,000 video clips being posted to the web every hour,” said Harrison. “We want to make it simple for anyone to quickly discover and watch what is appealing to them at any particular moment they’re looking to tune in. “

Frequency is a privately funded, early stage video network, and is also client of Waldo Finn, LLC, a business and strategy consulting firm, which employs the author of this post.


For A Day, Ashton Kutcher And I Had the Same Number of Followers

Was it an accidental search for fellow fans of an eighties rock band or the nefarious hacking of a hidden Twitter application command that bankrupted celebrities like Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) and Perez Hilton (@perezhilton)  of millions of followers today?

According to Gizmodo, a regular Twitter customer in Turkey claims to have accidentally stumbled upon a way to force any Twitter user to follow you. By simply entering the word "accept" with a username - for instance, type [accept oprah] into the Twitter status field - anybody could get themselves followed by people like Oprah, Jack Welch or even Kim Kardashian. The action is similar to adding "RT" before a username to repost a user's status.

The value of a follower is a hotly contested topic in marketing circles these days, and having celebrities follow you is a sign that a fan may have gotten the attention of a star. While the bug was being investigated by Twitter, followers were set to zero, and the notorious celebrity leaders of the Twitter pack had to laugh off their sudden unpopularity.  Wrote @bodhielfman "I have more followers than @aplusk." In addition, marketers who measure the success of their campaigns by fans and followers had to do a day of client-side vamping to manage the fall in metrics that normally would be considered catastrophic by most brands measuring the reputation and reach of their social media spend.

Later in the afternoon, as following counts were returned to users profiles, there was still damage control to be done, since it appeared forced followers were still showing up in users' lists that they hadn't really joined. @ConanOBrien posted the disclaimer, "if it ever says I have been following more than one person, I have been hacked. I'm a completely monogamous Twitterrer - I only follow Sarah Killen."


If only Tiger had tweeted instead of sending SMS, he could have said someone just co-opted his account.


Favorite Tweets of the Day

A weekend reading list o' links, brought to you by the folks I follow on Twitter...

@rcrwirelessnews RCR Special Report: Mobile Marketing's Promise: A Universe of One. Sponsored by Mobile Marketing Association.

@SignificObs Concept? Rocks. Writer? Rocks. Cause? Rocks. Bid on one of the last @SignificObs @girlswritenow (via @R_Nash)

@communiquepr Social Media Contests Have the Power to Drive Massive Awareness & Engagement |

@mcuban The Bifurcation of Twitter: In case you haven’t noticed, there are now 2 Twitters. The first Twitter operates just...



Favorite Tweets of the Day


RT@TechFlash Zappos' Tony Hsieh on company culture and locking in employees

RT @ Joepemberton New post: Extending Brands in the Mobile Space: A Response to App-vertising #mobile#branding


RT @frogdesign 19% of Internet Users now update their status on services like Twitter (up from 11% in April) PEW: (@nickbilton)



Majority of Internet Users Don't Share

CXP2WR2VBQHG - A recent report by eMarketer on the trends in user-generated content indicates that less than half of the world's Internet users maintain a social networking profile or upload photos and videos to a website. In addition, with more than 130 million blogs indexed by Technorati, less than 13% of US users surveyed engaged in writing a blog.

See the complete story on Technorati by clicking here.

And if you are wondering about the funky alphanumeric at the start of this post, Technorati elves are using it and you can ignore it.


Favorite Tweet(s) of the Day

one of the best Silicon Valley service companies (via @Scobleizer and feedly)

No wonder brands struggle RT @technorati: Only 23% of marketers think their traditional agency can handle digital

Used to it but don't love. my husband worries a lot if he hung up RT@triciad: Are iPhone users used to the lack of end call button? #mnbuzz


Favorite Tweet of the Day

Does Everyone Agree? RT @techstartups: Top 10 Mobile Web Products of 2009 


Hey, You, Get Off Of My Cloud

 Published: on November 21, 2009 at 10:55 pm

I don't know about you, but I feel like practicing good password-hygiene is getting harder and harder these days. The more places I have accounts, and the more ways I might want to connect to my stuff, and my stuff with my friends, the more unique passwords I need to have to keep my personal things secure.I have been told as a consumer I should have a unique user name and password combination for each service just in case a hacker gets one of them, he or she doesn't have access to my all my data.

I have also been cautious about allowing the linking of my identities across the various social networks, photo sharing sites, financial accounts and memberships I access. Every time Twitter or Facebook ask me if I wish to allow a new application to access my information, I feel my security lax.

But is my stuff where I really think it is? What's moving around between sites that "shake hands" isn't always clear to me, and I'm supposed to be a tech savvy buyer. Sure, there are privacy policies posted and I check the box on the page that says I've read them. But I'm going to admit right here and now that I haven't had the time or inclination to read them all. Lawyers often don't make entertaining writers. And some times, I'm in too much of a hurry buying that belated birthday gift that I don't even read the fine print about the return policy or back-order. So do I know who really has control of my content? Click here to read the rest of the post on



My List o' Lists - 7 Lists You'll Want To Follow


The most frequent social media tip I heard when I started this site was that posts with lists drive lots of click throughs because they create quick digestible pieces of insight with little investment for writer or reader. (This comes as no real surprise in the ADHD world of 140 character headlines, does it?) And with the introduction of the Twitter List feature, I can now let others find people and their the relevant small kernels of content for me. 

But first, I need a list for my lists, so I tried a new directory service for Twitter lists today, called Listorius.  Listorius is one of a growing category of tools that help consumers digest the massive amount of content produced on the web.  Remember when we all thought web search would solve all of our discovery problems, because relevance could be data driven and all we needed was the Google algorithm?

As more personal media is produced, hashtags have facilitated content relevance for search engines, but consumers use the '#' subjectively and eradically, often placing underscores, hyphens, or  abbreviations into their tags. Some common words are also brand names - Sidekick, the phone and sidekick, the companion, for instance.  Proper names become symbolic of behavior, as in "she pulled a Palin" or "that was so Kanye", so when I search on Twitter for #Palin or #Kanye, do I want to see more posts about her new book, girls talking about their boyfriends named Kanye or celebrity headlines? Since social media produces a ton of additional content to parse through on top of the long tail of blogging sites indexed for search of the web, these directory destinations have emerged with a consumer value prop to simplify the discovery of content through the filter of like-minded people. (After all, isn't that why it's called social?) As a result,  social media directories create new information frameworks for discovering conversations around a topic.

To show you what I mean, here are some of the topics of digital conversation that I like to eavesdrop on when I have a few minutes to discover new ideas on technology, design, and branding.  Please create and add your own in the comments sections below. Listorious is only a few days old and even the most popular topics only have a dozen or so lists, so contribute your view on the trends and topics you create or track. Make your own lists we can explore together.