ECOMMERCE: Using 1010data’s E-Com Insights, this report assesses the CPG online market to determine which categories and brands are currently crushing it in this space. For the purpose of this analysis, we focused on the following key CPG categories: Health Supplements, Pet Care, Facial Care, Cosmetics, Drinks, Baby, Hair Care, Health OTC, Oral Care, Cleaners, Shaving, Hand Body, Laundry & Dish, and Sun Care. In the first half of 2016, CPG online sales have grown 42 percent in our key CPG categories when compared to the first half of 2015.
DNVB: A younger generation of companies saw the decline of legacy American brands as an opportunity to redefine premium fashion and educate customers about how high-end goods are made. The first out of the gate was Everlane, which launched in 2010 with a radical concept: Next to each item sold on the website, there was an explanation of manufacturing costs, broken down into the price of raw materials, labor, and import duties. The information was meant to show that Everlane's prices were reasonable compared to its competitors because there was no retail markup.
INNOVATION: It’s probably too early to tell what all of this means, especially with limited visibility. This car-of-the-future stuff is hard, as Google’s struggles — and Tesla’s — confirm. And Apple is known for playing the long game when it’s serious about something. Still, these reports don’t make it sound like the Apple/Jony Ive dream car is a certainty, if it ever was. And just making the “underlying technology” for someone else’s self-driving cars forever doesn’t seem like a particularly Apple-like project. So we’ll see.
ECOMMERCE: As you read this, companies like Shoppable and ShopStyle are hard at work building universal shopping carts capable of allowing users to store products from a variety of retailers in a single location one click away from checkout. In the not-too-distant future, consumers will be able to use a single shopping cart for all of their ecommerce activity. All that’s missing is the link between the video content people love and the shopping cart that holds the products they want to buy next. Indeed, the future of shoppable video is well within our reach.
OMNICHANNEL: The camera shop on Ninth Avenue is a cultural icon in Manhattan. But B&H Photo Video’s high-volume, high-performing ecommerce website is the real engine that creates loyal customers and drives business upward. It’s a standout in an online landscape where competition is cutthroat and unrelenting. “We take pride in the performance of our website and ecommerce environment,” says Krishna Tangirala, CTO at B&H. “Every millisecond translates into dollars.” So it’s with nervous optimism that B&H is moving its entire ecommerce system to an updated hardware platform built using Oracle’s SPARC T7 servers, which employ the SPARC M7 processor.
BRAND: Adidas' big new sports campaign, which kicked off during the NFL season opener, is a fierce, punchy effort that pitches the brand as the one for creative sportspeople, with flair and talent that's not just about hard work and training. In what appears a deliberate dig at Under Armour and its ads featuring armies of doppelgangers, the voiceover starts off by dissing "cookie-cutter, copy and paste blah," as we see rows of bored-looking athletes.
ECOMMERCE: The reasons behind the challenges are far from unique to Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS). In its earnings announcement last week, the chain cited “lower traffic and the challenging retail environment,” something that should sound familiar to any retail business that thrived until Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) presented customers its version of convenient and cheap one-click shopping. Count one-time bookstore behemoth Borders and big department stores like Macy's (NYSE: M) and Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD) among those in that group. So what does the retailer's future hold?
DESIGN: The ethos of IBM’s design renaissance is radically different from its storied Corporate Design program that it maintained for 20 years. In 1956, IBM founder and president Thomas J. Watson looked to the “imaginative use of design” to boost sales with the now famous call-to-arms “good design is good business.” But today, instead of hiring big name geniuses like Eliot Noyes, Eero Saarinen, Paul Rand, and Charles and Ray Eames as it famously did in the 1960s, IBM is aggressively hiring new graduates and mid-career designers with an aptitude for collaboration.
MEDIA: The site, which showcases BuzzFeed-like content such as “15 times athletes joined Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest,” reaches about 7 million unique visitors per month and just announced a new design and $1 million in seed funding today. Co-founder – and “true unicorn” in the tech industry as a black, female co-founder and CEO of a startup – Morgan DeBaun came on the TechCrunch Disrupt SF stage for the first time today to chat about all that it takes to make it when there aren’t many like her raising or running a company in Silicon Valley. “You can see it within 5 minutes if a VC is going to get it,” DeBaun said of startups focused on diversity.
DATA: When the car is approaching an overhead highway road sign positioned on a rise in the road or a bridge where the road dips underneath, this often looks like a collision course. The navigation data and height accuracy of the GPS are not enough to know whether the car will pass under the object or not. By the time the car is close and the road pitch changes, it is too late to brake. This is where fleet learning comes in handy. Initially, the vehicle fleet will take no action except to note the position of road signs, bridges and other stationary objects.
CB Insights: Subscription eCommerce Financing On The Rise