ECOMMERCE: We know that eCommerce is taking away from brick-and-mortar sales; a new study has revealed the details on just how big a bite that’s becoming. Yesterday (May 3), the strategic retail advisory firm HRC Advisory released the findings from a study showing that operating earnings from sales have declined by up to 25 percent.
MEDIA: In a new study, "The Rise of Native Ads in Digital News Publications", I looked at sponsored content through the lenses of 14 news organizations, including prominent national publications such as Forbes and The New York Times, local newspaper and broadcast companies.
BRANDS: Luxury brands are facing today what their nonluxury counterparts faced a decade ago. They know there’s an online world and many understand the need to be part of that world, but they don’t know in which shape or form. There are three main things luxury brands wrestle with in relation to their online strategies.
ECOMMERCE: These are the signs and symbols that portend a new album in 2016. As listeners have shifted away from CDs and downloads, artists have become nearly as creative with their album release strategies as they have with their music — all in an effort to stoke excitement for the few records that still have a chance at netting major sales.
ECOMMERCE: The album has reportedly shifted just under 750,000 units, combining sales and streams. That figure was shared via email by BuzzAngle Music, a company that tracks sales and streaming figures for the music industry. In just the first twenty-four hours it was available, Views actually sold an incredible 575,000 copies. To put that accomplishment into perspective, that is larger than the entire first-week sales of Beyoncé‘s Lemonade
DATA: Netflix—which is famously tight-lipped about its own data—has been doing experiments to better understand which images capture our attention and why, and shared some of its findings with Fast Company as well as in a post on its blog. The effort was both science and art: Data scientists analyzed user statistics, while creative teams considered the colors, emotions, and words that appear on pictures.
MEDIA: Vox Media announced a bunch of new partnerships Wednesday (see: corporate synergy), including a new partnership between SB Nation and Telemundo to create "the first-ever mobile, bilingual sports property to reach Hispanic millennial sports fans," and an expanded partnership with Snapchat.
ECOMMERCE: Amazon is typically guarded about the performance of its business units and doesn’t even publish the number of members in its expedited shipping and entertainment content subscription program, Amazon Prime. Wilson, however, said the one-year mark was a good time to “share some of the momentum” for Amazon Business, which now has more than 300,000 customers and is growing at a clip of 20% each month.
DATA: GIFs are one of the Internet’s true native art forms next to memes. Anyone who’s been on the Web any time in the past 20 years will have encountered them, first in the form of goofy text animations, and more recently, in campy frame grabs of pop culture video.
MEDIA: Netflix's latest out-of-home campaign lets Snapchat users in France swap faces with its TV characters including House of Cards' Frank Underwood and the namesake of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Urban passersby can take selfies in front of a Netflix billboard.
BRAND: Many wouldn’t consider ballet a sport, but Copeland exemplifies the broader definition of sports that brands like Under Armour are embracing. In the “I Will What I Want” campaign, Under Armour juxtaposed Copeland with a phoenix rising from the ashes — not letting a rejection letter discourage her, focusing on her strength and substance.
DATA: LiveNinja has been best known for a chat and video interface it sells into brands that want to interact with customers via the web. Their next move will address the need for a dedicated messaging app which ties into a brand’s CRM system. Competitors include LivePerson, Intercom, Zendesk, and oLark.
Last Word: why brick and mortar is dying.
Just 40 or so days ago, I wrote on the dying brick and mortar experience in the United States. Not just for fashion or gear retail, for all retail. In the past three months, I've visited my neighborhood grocery store 62 times. The average wait time for a line was 8m21s. Companies like Kroger, Inc. employ a practice of lean management where a 20,000 sq. ft. store will staff 10 total employees, only one of which is manning a checkout line.
The average checkout process from 'first product scan to cashing out' took 7m12s on average. So far, that's 15m32s. The next problem with grocery retail is that the jobs are so undesirable that a basic understanding of technology and efficiency isn't consistent among the ranks. Example, purchasing 17 small to medium products and having them delivered to you in 11 plastic bags. This user experience will drive a human insane. I cannot be the only person that feels this way (and yes, I track this data).
The frightening thing about grocery stores, especially urban ones (where the median level of patron patience is shorter), is that they will not survive without the further proliferation of mCommerce apps like Postmates, Instacart, and Google Express. The entire structure and presence of urban grocery stores could change in the next five years.