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Steve Jobs passes away while experts predict growth for this year’s holiday sales.  You can find these headlines and more in this week’s industry news update!

Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs Passes Away
Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple Inc., has sadly passed away at the age of 56.  An original thinker who helped create the Macintosh also reinvented the portable music player with the iPod and reordered the cell phone market with the iPhone.  The introduction of the iPad also jump-started the tablet market, and now it dominates the field.

Holiday Sales to Rise 2.8% to $465 Billion
The National Retail Federation says it expects holiday spending to rise just 2.8% this year, to a total of $465.6 billion.  While that gain is far less than the 5.2% gain retailers saw last year, it is still above the 2.6% average of the last 10 years.  Retailers have posted sales gains for the last 14 months but ongoing concerns about the economy have them worried.

Google Analytics Adds Real-Time Traffic Data
Google for the first time is providing a window into real-time web traffic with Google Analytics Real-Time.  Real-Time reports are available in the new version of Google Analytics, and administrators with Analytics accounts will get Real-Time reports.  For users trying to gauge how a campaign or post is performing, Real-Time will track the immediate impact to site traffic.

Mobile Ad Spend to Hit $1 Billion
According to eMarketer, mobile ad spending could reach $1.23 billion for U.S. advertisers by the end of the year, up 66% from last year’s $743 million figure.  They also predict that this figure will continue to see escalating growth, reaching $4.4 billion by 2015.

Google Launches Trusted Stores Program
To ally doubts about the legitimacy of the e-commerce sites, Google has announced a new program to highlight exemplary online merchants.  Google Trusted Stores aspires to help shoppers recognize online stores that offer compelling shopping experiences.  Google has already begun admitting merchants into the program, which will require participating sites to share shipping and customer service data with Google.

Flash-sale E-mails Spark More Purchases When Sent Late in the Afternoon
Flash-sale e-mails sent after 3 P.M. generate more transactions and more revenue than e-mails sent out earlier in the day, according to an Experian CheetahMail analysis.  The data reveals that messages sent after 3 P.M. have an open rate 90% greater than e-mails sent at mid-day.  Late-day messages stand out more in consumers’ inboxes because fewer e-retailers send messages late in the day.