Citrus Lane: New Subscription Service For Moms

Subscription commerce is one of the newest trends.  Another start-up joining the ranks of BirchBox, Kiwi Crate, and Babbaco is Citrus Lane.  This subscription service is geared towards moms, from those that are expecting to moms with three year olds.  The Citrus Lane service will send a box of kiddie goodies to their members each month (which is themed) filled with the latest and greatest toys, snacks and ‘Best Of’ products.  For example, March’s theme was “Dining Out With Baby,” and included snack cases, a sippy cup, apple crisps and baby food. The startup prides itself on delivering organic and natural products.”  Another great example of a box would be one for expectant parents, which could include “swaddle blankets, newborn skin balm, body wash, a gift card to Minted for baby announcements, a tin that allows you to take a print of your baby’s first hand or footprint and a rattle.”

The service can be done on a month-to-month basis (for $25), a 6 month membership at $125 or a full year for $250.  For more information and to check out this service, go to:

If any of our Rox readers already use this service or purchase it as a gift for a friend, please let us know what you think of these boxes! We would love to know if the products are “Best Of” and “Must Haves.”

Dongle Wars

Fresh on the heels of PayPal’s ‘Here’ dongle announcement, Intuit’s GoPayment application has some news of it’s own. The GoPayment mobile application will be releasing updates today that allow US based fundraisers to easily accept credit card donations directly from a smart phone or tablet.

This announcement and venture also suspiciously follows Square’s partnership announcement with the Obama and Romney fundraising camps. Square will be providing each organization with dongles that allow their teams to accept donations wherever, whenever. But GoPayment’s donation upgrades are boasting that they do not require customization or the creation of a new app, per the “Obama Square App,” and it’s use isn’t limited to the presidential election either. All users will have to do is install the upgraded software and then switch the app into donor mode when they make a donation. They can then just as easily flip the switch and go back to normal mobile payment mode.

Additionally, since Intuit is the company behind the very successful Quickbooks, Mint and TurboTax financial programs, the back-end of their app will be very user/business friendly. The GoPayment app will easily allow each user to input their donations from the year into Intuit’s financial software, so that small businesses and donation based organizations can easily keep track of their finances. A big win for this mobile service that neither Square or PayPal Here can offer yet.

For more information, check out:

Which program or dongle do you use for your business? We would love to get Rox readers pros and/or cons with their dongle experiences!

Update: PayPal Launches Mobile Payment Dongle – “PayPal Here”

PayPal is taking on Square in the mobile payment space.  PayPal’s new mobile payment dongle, PayPal Here, is shaped like a triangle and functions similarly to Square, Intuit’s GoPayment and Veritone’s PAYware.  Using the dongle to swipe credit cards directly from a user’s smartphone is an up and coming space with few large players.

“PayPal charges a fee of 2.7 percent of the purchase price for all types of credit and debit cards — including those issued by American Express Co; transaction fees for processing AmEx cards are often higher on other services. That compares with the 2.75 percent charged by Square.”

This venture into offline mobile payments is in line with PayPal’s recent moves.   In November, the company “announced PayPal Wallet, a card that lets consumers pay from multiple accounts, store and use gift cards, access special offers and store receipts,” which is expected to roll out this year.  PayPal is also moving some of its business in-store.  The company has recently partnered with Home Depot to integrate “PayPal software into existing point-of-sale terminals so users can pay either by swiping a PayPal pre-paid card or by entering in their phone number and PIN, which connects to their account.”

PayPal’s mobile dongle will be taking on Square, which specializes in small business-based mobile payment solutions.  Square is currently processing $4 billion worth of payments and has 1 million small business customers.  The product is also working on new areas of commerce, which includes New York taxis.

Here is an updated link with more details following today’s official product announcement:


PayPal Competitor: Square

Getting To Know Google Play

Google is unifying its digital media services with Google Play.  Google Play combines Google Music, Books, Movies, and Apps into one place.  Here are 5 things you need to know about this service (even if you are not an Android user).

  1. Combining Google Music, Books, Movies and Apps can all be done from and then will all be stored in the cloud.  Your web and mobile devices stay synced, which is great.
  2. The site is already live online and is quickly coming to Android phones.  There will be four app updates within the next few days, so Android users get ready.
  3. Google Music, which is now becoming Play Music, already allows users to store up to 20,000 songs, no matter if you’ve already purchased and uploaded them.  Movies are another story, as the Play Movies app only acts as a movie rental service and does not allow you to upload your own movies.
  4. Any Google user can use these Play services!  Though Android users will benefit the most, if you have a Gmail account you can still take advantage of the cloud-based content management service.
  5. Google Play’s cloud-based nature will not kill your data plan.  Books, movies and music are all able to be accessed “offline.”

For more information, check out this great article:

New Start-Up: Karma

There is a new start-up that hopes to boost your karma rating by allowing users to gift on the go.  Unlike other apps that provide virtual gift options, Karma’s gift selection includes Magnolia cupcakes, bottles of champagne and Moleskine journals.  Kate Spade, Gund and are also close to signing up.  This way if you see your friend’s birthday notification on Facebook or a Google Calendar reminder and totally spaced on buying a gift, you can get great gifts from your smartphone with your friends/family being none-the-wiser.

Gift receivers will get a text, email or Facebook message regarding their gift and asking for the address that they would like the gift to be shipped to.  Another cool feature of this program is that users can choose their cupcake flavors, and even swap out the gift or donate it to charity if they don’t want it or can’t use it.

For more information, check out the website:


Pet owners are some of the most engaged people on the web recently.  New websites are continually popping up that provide pet lovers with pet-specific news and entertainment, and let’s be honest who doesn’t love pet videos on YouTube?  Technology and the internet are also starting to play a large role in pet care marketing.  Whether it’s a site that encourages social engagement, useful apps or better more efficient ways to order pet supplies, this is a new thriving marketing.  Below are 4 ways that digital marketing is making a play in the pet world.

  1. Subscription Services – BarkBox is a service that was launched in November 2011 that focuses on product discovery.  BarkBox delivers “homemade, all-natural treats and other high-quality products in each box — things you can’t find at the typical big-box pet store,” while also donating a portion of the profits to a rescue or shelter.  If you want your tried and true brands, Petflow, is the way to go.  The site offers more than 100 pet brands and features an “auto-replenishment” system saving customers time and money.
  2. Brands Going Social – Pet parents are highly engaged, so when sites like host a “Mascot of the Week” contest, it’s no surprise that the site’s 15,000 fans are quick to respond to polls, upload photos of their pets and share the contest virally. also donates $1 for every new fan it acquires to the Best Friends Animal Society.  In addition to utilizing Facebook and Twitter, some brands are cleverly using Foursquare to encourage fans to engage with their brand.  A perfect and very successful example of that is the GranataPet Food campaign in Munich and Berlin. Finally, a bit component to most successful social campaigns is giving back to charity.  Last June, Pedigree donated one pound of dog food to a shelter for every Like, post or tweet about its “Every Dog Deserves…” campaign, which ended up producing 100,000 pounds of donated food.
  3. High-Tech Pet Care – There are a lot of hospitals that are choosing to update all of their systems to include electronic health records, and veterinarians are no exception.  The ability to easily use digital pet records will not only help the hospital, but will provide owners with all the information they need as well.  Additionally, doggy day cares are using technology.  There are a lot of facilities installing webcams so that owners can check in on their friends throughout the day.
  4. There’s An App For That – There are a ton of new apps available for pet enthusiasts.  Whether it’s DoggyDatez is a location-based mobile platform for finding new friends, or Petcentric is an app from Purina that helps you find pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and parks or MyPetED, which contains your pet’s medical records and vet contact info on the go, there are a lot of fun and useful ways the internet can enhance pet ownership.

For more details about pet marketing, go to:

Mobile Is the Winner in SB TV Spots

The Super Bowl is the opportunity for one football team to become World Champions, but it is also an opportunity for advertisers to win the same title.  Whether it’s the hype of the Brady vs. Manning showdown part 2, the Madonna’s halftime performance, or being one of the first to spot the “next great commercial,” there is no doubt that advertising is always something that has non-football fanatics tuning in.

While there will always be personal favorites when it comes to commercials (feel free to vote here) ads that added a mobile element, were the real winners.  For the first time in history, ads were able to add second screen experiences to a live television event.  Brands like Best Buy, Chevy, Toyota, Pepsi and Subway all included mobile strategies in their SB spots.  Some of those strategies included: “developing their own mobile app for the game, tagging TV advertising with a mobile or social call to action, sponsoring mobile games expected to be used by viewers during the game or partnering with an app such as Shazam that lets users tag ads to unlock exclusive offers and content.”  Adding these elements provided each ad with a lot more life and engagement opportunities than a 30-second ad could ever provide.  In fact, research from Velti and Harris Interactive shows that nearly 60% of mobile users planned to engage with their mobile device during the game, including texting, using Facebook or Twitter, etc.

We all know the large investment that these companies make to produce and feature their ads in the Super Bowl.  The companies who add these second screen experiences have the opportunity to continue the interaction with their brand or product and will hopefully see a large(r) return on their investment.  It will be very interesting to see how many companies will develop ads with these mobile calls-to-action moving forward and how the 2013 Super Bowl ad landscape is affected by it.

For more information, go to:

Mobile Bar Codes on Menus?

Chili’s is embracing mobile bar codes by placing them on 800 corporate-owned restaurant menus to advertise new products.  The bar codes link to seven new healthy menu items, where they are taken to a website which lists the nutritional information as well as more detail about the dishes.

They are also testing mobile bar codes on kid’s menus, where they will serve the same purpose, educating parents on the nutritional information of the meals.  These codes are part of a larger campaign, Kids LiveWell, which includes a partnership with the National Restaurant Association.

Chili’s has had some success in the mobile bar code department.  Most recently, the company ran a campaign that asked users to scan bar codes to donate.  The campaign generated 291,000 scans (see story).  Additionally, the company already has iPhone and Android apps in the marketplace that allow customers to place food orders from their phone.

This will be a very interesting test.  If consumers respond to these bar codes, it might open up the doors for other restaurants to start listing their nutritional items on websites, instead of paper take aways.  For more information, check out the full article at:

Interactive Learning

In anticipation of Apple’s big announcement regarding “learning” taking place tomorrow (January 19th) at the Guggenheim, several products are making themselves known and hoping their programs are enhanced with whatever Apple presents or if they will become Apple’s competitors.

Kno is an iPad textbook which will release two new features this week: Kno Me and Kno Flashcards.  Kno Me is an interactive graphical dashboard that helps you understand your learning habits by detailing how much time you spent in a book, understanding the key terms as well as test grades.  Kno Flashcards are automatically drawn from a book and randomly compiled into flashcards.  The program’s software then uses metacognition, spaced repetition and episodic memory to help you learn.

Additionally, BioBook, is making headlines for its interactive learning approach.  BioBook is an interactive tool for tablets that allows professors to monitor their students progress.  Professors can see how far each student is in relation to others in the class as well as what page each student is currently at in the book.  This tool was developed in hopes that it can spark some interest in biology with the non-biology majors.  Since biology is a subject that is not linear, it is a tough concept for people to understand, this tool aims to assist those early in their college careers to understand the subject and perhaps not write it off entirely because it is a bit tough.  It is also a great tool for students with learning disabilities.  For more information, go to:

Stay tuned for the BIG Apple announcement tomorrow!

Looking For Lunch Plans: GrubWithUs

There’s a new app that’s making it fun to go to lunch, even if you don’t have anyone to go with.  GrubWithUs already has 30,000 people that have signed up to dine with strangers.  This website (and now app) hosts dining experiences in seven cities (including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC), with a theme and negotiated fixed menu.  Anyone is able to attend and people can sign up and pay through the GrubWithUs website or app, so there is no awkwardness when it comes time to pay the check.

The addition of the GrubWithUs mobile site makes the experience more well rounded for the guest.  Users can pull their reservation up on the can and also chat with fellow diners, a function that is available but somewhat hidden on the website.  The app also keeps track of favorite diners’ meal plans, which means users can star other’s profiles and when they sign up for an experience, the other users will get an alert.

Check out the website here: or download the app here: Full Movie Streaming Online and Download