ECOMMERCE: The Wall Street Journal, citing a Twitter spokesman, reported that Twitter's management has decided to no longer allocate company resources toward supporting and developing ads for the foreseeable future. Instead, the company is eyeing a new ad product offering, which appears to have seen initiation success with retail partners. The publication continued that Twitter will focus on customer service and commerce-related ads, calling dynamic product ads.
BRAND: President and Chief Merchandising Officer Fran Horowitz, on a Thursday conference call with stock analysts, said sales in the core U.S. business were up in the quarter. That means the rank-and-file Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister stores in malls, with the sales drag coming from international stores and tourism-heavy U.S. flagship shops. She also said conversion is up in stores, meaning the customers that are coming in are buying.
MEDIA: We decided to extend Topics, which we launched a few months ago, and create a bot to help makers, reporters, investors, and teams stay up-to-date with what’s launching in their industry. Add Kittybot to your Slack here and select one or more topics you’d like to follow, including Bots, Internet of Things, Drones, Virtual Reality, Developer Tools, Venture Capital, Open Source and a bunch of others.
ECOMMERCE: eCommerce is driving up demand for prime warehouse space closer to urban centers, Bloomberg reports, as Amazon and competing retailers build more warehouses to speed up fulfillment. Online retail accounts for 20% of current demand for warehouse space, according to Green Street Advisors, quoted by Bloomberg.
BRAND: The influencer-brand relationship is experiencing some uncomfortable growing pain. For brands, most of the problems stem from not knowing how to pick or pay influencers, or even how to measure returns on investment. But the influencers themselves are often stymied by how little brands really know about them. We polled members of influencer agency Sway Group’s community to find out what’s really bugging influencers when it comes to working with brands.
BRAND: Still, the retailer’s quarterly report doesn’t turn the page in the major storyline. Loyal customers, who were willing to pay more for its classic designs and who kept favorite J. Crew items in their closets for decades, seem to be more estranged from the brand. Some consumers noted that while J. Crew's apparel quality appears to have declined, the price tags haven’t followed suit.
DATA: Sportswear retailer Foot Locker on Friday reported first quarter net income of $191 million, compared with net income of $184 million a year earlier. Earnings were $1.39 per share on revenue of $1.98 billion, a 7.8% increase from the $1.29 per share in Q1 2015, but missed estimates from analysts expecting $1.39 per share on revenue of $2 billion.
ECOMMERCE: Users can only shop for a limited number of products on social media, and those platforms cannot store inventory for brands the same way Amazon does for retailers. When viewers click on an image, for example, they may find a dead link or a product that is not shoppable. “On Pinterest, the intersection between what people want to buy and what is available to buy is huge,” said Mulpuru. “The majority of most popular pins are not buyable.”
MEDIA: At F8, Facebook's annual developer conference last month, the company demonstrated how customers can interact with a chatbot on Messenger, the social network's stand-alone messaging app. "To order from 1-800-FLOWERS, you never have to call 1-800-FLOWERS again," Facebook told the crowded auditorium.
DATA: Google's Data Studio 360 product for pulling together charts and dashboards from a range of data feeds now has a free sibling.The firm launched its Data Studio 360 beta in March as part of its new Analytics 360 suite. Data Studio 360 offers enterprise teams, such as marketing and research departments, the tools to visualize data from multiple sources and create reports and graphs that can be shared within a business.
Last Word: 2PML is Growing
I started the 2PML project to host pertinent information for polymathic business types. The story isn't always behind the links. Often, it's what is communicated by the context of the whole. We have reached 1,500 superstar industry executives, entrepreneurs, and influencers. For a daily letter, that's probably "nothing." But that's not how I see it. From the feedback that I receive each day, this is one of the smartest audiences within the digital space and I'm very proud of that. No ads, no asks, just value delivered to you at 2 PM or so.
Do I want it to grow? Sure. But only how it is growing today; I think that there is beauty in seeing growth 5-10 people at a time. One value-add that you will notice is 2PML's feature interviews with some of 2PML subscribers.
One of them is Dylan Whitman, coFounder and CEO of one of my favorite Shopify agencies.
He's achieved tremendous growth and his San Diego firm's headcount is now at 45 people with triple digit revenue growth each year. We will be hosting a chat on Monday May 30 (more details to come) for all who'd like to tune into to hear how and Kyle Widrick and Dylan built a service-based titan in just a few short years. Topic: What's the future of eCommerce for small business?