ECOMMERCE: It’s about a simple and intuitive navigation. It’s about creative browsing experiences. It’s about an effortless checkout experience. It’s about reinventing the way people shop. The way in which a merchant represents themselves online, and the experience their customers have when buying, is one of the key differentiators in our digital age.
ECOMMERCE: As the battle between Premier League rivals increasingly takes place off the pitch Liverpool have been one of the most active clubs in growing their Asian sponsorship portfolio in a bid to take advantage of the region’s huge population and wealth. Continuing this push the club have now partnered with JD.com to launch an official Liverpool FC store on its JD Worldwide platform which will sell club merchandise across China.
MEDIA: But this transition has not exactly gone according to plan — particularly on the advertising front. Digital ad revenues have failed to offset slumping print ad revenues, which are now falling much more sharply than they were a year ago. “They’ve gone off a cliff,” says one newspaper executive.
BRAND: The average user played with Taco Bell's ad for 24 seconds before sending it as a "snap." In terms of unique plays—or the number of times individual people interacted with the ad—the campaign generated 12.5 years' worth of play in a day, according to Snapchat. Taco Bell and Snapchat credit the campaign as a success because the taco-shaped head was subtly branded and automatically played the chain's famous "bong" sound.
MEDIA: The infographic predicts that these methods could come to eclipse all others, and that 90 percent of the ad market could be steered programmatically within one decade. This year, programmatic will account for 63 percent of display ad spending, and by the end of 2017, sales are expected to increase to $32 billion. By 2020, programmatic could account for 85 percent of targeted banners and 67 percent of streaming video ads.
BRAND: To understand this new mental model for brands, it is helpful to see how the concept has evolved. A brand started out as an identifying mark. Cattle owners would “brand” their cattle to indicate ownership. We can still see the “brand as object” model in the American Marketing Association’s definition: “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
DATA: The CEO of J. Rogers Kniffen Worldwide Enterprises spoke after Macy's reported its worst sequential same-store sales decline since the financial crisis. Macy's and other retailers got slammed by a warm winter and cool spring, as well as the continued migration of millennials to fast fashion and off-price stores, Kniffen said.
DATA: "Apparel is fighting an uphill battle," Cowen & Company analyst Oliver Chen told investors. "As evidenced by surprisingly weak April trends at L Brands, pressure at Macy's and department stores, and specific issues at Gap, retail is in the midst of a transition." Further signs of retail's health — or lack thereof — will come later Thursday and early Friday, when Nordstrom and J.C. Penney report, respectively.
DATA: Retailers now swim in more data than they know what to do with. And they’re working overtime to digest that data — collected from e-commerce transactions and via merchandising, CRM and POS systems — to glean useful insights. Many are turning to predictive analytics in an effort to use cutting-edge data science to forecast trends and personalize messaging.
DATA: top retailer has been hit hard and looks like a solid value play at current trading levels. Nordstrom is one of the leading fashion specialty retailers based in the United States. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, Nordstrom now operates some 260 stores in 35 states, including 117 full-line stores, 140 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques and one clearance store.
Last Word: Mall's Weren't Killed, They Hurt Themselves
I recall the very early days of attempting to position a menswear startup in department stores. While the company is having much success, today, yesteryear's distribution was a different story. Anchor stores like Nordstrom, Sak's, and Macy's operated within the confines of legacy inventory systems that made it nearly impossible for fresh, upstart brands to run an omnichannel operation. While the brand did eventually pierce the department store scene, it wasn't without its logistical and marketing difficulties.
A department store purchasing $1M of your inventory was a young brand's goal but, back then. It would give you the cashflow to grow like the pre-IPO brands of old. But you needed five to seven years of brand traction. This combination of aging technology and distributorship politics all but eliminated many of the major brands of today from receiving their start in traditional department stores.
So, consumers went elsewhere. Bonobos' Andy Dunn listed brands, many of whom were ignored by department stores in this emerging encyclopediaof digitally-native brands. While heritage-thinking harmed the department store ecosystem, external factors contributed. With the advent of Postmates, Instacart, and there top players in the on-demand mCommerce space, buying habits have altered over the years. In the essay, Brick and Mortar Experience Sucks, I explore the factors that undermine the remaining positives of department store retail.
The on-demand speed and efficiency of 90 minute deliveries to the home and office have been a consumer luxury that continues to evolve into a standard with each passing quarter. Not to mention, the worst technological advancement in recent years has been the chip-enabled credit card.
Originally invented to prevent in-store fraud, the card has actually increased online fraud. This, while slowing checkout processes to a halt. In the next few years, a reported 35% of all American malls will shutter. For the higher end malls like the L Brands-owned Easton Mall (Columbus, Ohio), innovative thinking will add to its shelf life and preserve the mall's struggling anchors.
Why malls are dying:
Same-day delivery (i.e Postmates, etc)
Young brands are seldom placed in department stores
Improved eComm operations within young brands
Chip-enabled cards hurt experiential shopping
Fast-fashion is not just about the clothes, it's about the more efficient, in-store discovery and checkout processes.