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INDUSTRY STUDIES

Social-networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook have little impact on influencing online retail sales, driving only about 12% to buy more than planned, according to a report by New York City-based JupiterResearch. The effectiveness of these sites in driving retail sales is still emerging. The report also found that social and community sites help reaffirm purchase decisions, as 29% of online shoppers say they make better decisions after using these sites.… The average time it takes a shopper to make an e-commerce purchase decision has jumped from about 19 hours in 2005 to 34 hours and 19 minutes this year, according to a report by Napa, Calif.-based security service ScanAlert. The report suggests that the increase is due to more extensive comparison shopping.

ACQUISITIONS

Online shoe giant Zappos.com, Henderson, Nev., is signing a definitive agreement to purchase the assets of 6pm.com from Denver, Colorado-based eBags, Inc., an online retailer of luggage and bags. 6pm.com, formerly Shoedini.com, is an online footwear and accessory source that delivers a fun and interactive shopping experience.

MOBILE MARKETING

Mobio Networks, Cupertino, Calif., has launched Cheap Gas, a free widget designed to let users instantly locate the cheapest gas stations from their mobile phone. Mobio’s Cheap Gas widget allows a consumer to filter search results by brand. The program pinpoints the most relevant results and displays a map for the closest stations. Mobio uses data from GasPriceWatch.com, which offers the latest information about gas prices in the United States and Canada.… Sprint and GPShopper have launched Slifter, the first mobile local-product-search application that employs GPS technology to find products at neighboring retail locations. Sprint customers can search and find more than 85 million products at retailers, see price and availability information, and get directions to any of the 30,000 participating nationwide stores.