BRAND: How do you cultivate a “cool” brand when nobody cares about your product? As sneaker brands try to elbow their way into a market dominated by Nike, some suspect the answer is to get people to resell your shoes, even though that doesn’t directly earn the shoe-makers a single cent. You see, this lucrative industry relies on buzz to get consumers lusting after their product—a thriving resale market is not a scourge, but rather an organic marketing engine, powered by sneaker collectors and those who gather up the shoes just to flip them for a big profit.
DATA: Some of you are thinking these are inefficient ways to measure true expertise and influence. In fact, some of these experts decided to stick-it-to-the-man and remove many of their social profiles and Klout accounts. While not a perfect science, we believe ranking them by social influence, would give you a better sense of who you may like to follow to get more tips to convert more. And for each CRO and copywriting expert, we also included some of our favorite blog articles, videos, and Slideshares to help you improve your conversion game.
MEDIA: Time Inc. today launched Extra Crispy, a new digital editorial brand dedicated to obsessively documenting breakfast, brunch and the culture surrounding it all. Extra Crispy is the second original brand from Time Inc.’s Brooklyn-based creative lab, The Foundry. Following the same successful launch model of The Drive, which debuted in September 2015 and now reaches more than 2 million monthly unique visitors*, Extra Crispy is a multi-platform brand with a digital property, social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and live experiences.
ECOMMERCE: Salesforce made its name originally with cloud-based software to help salespeople manage their leads and close deals; and today the company took a big step into the business of sales itself. Today the company announced that it would spend $2.8 billion to acquire Demandware, a cloud-based provider of e-commerce services to businesses big and small. The deal also will spearhead a new business division: the Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
MEDIA: The social media platform has unveiled a new suite of tools that lets businesses obtain an unprecedented level of access into followers and posts. This suite will let businesses and brands on Instagram understand their audiences better and advertise their products more effectively. Approximately 60% of Instagram's 400 million monthly active users (MAUs) learn about new products and services through the platform, according to the Financial Times. The new tools could increase that percentage.
ECOMMERCE: Thanks to the Internet, entrepreneurs can now do more than ever before. Yes, brick and mortar businesses still have their place in the world of entrepreneurship, but many people are now building incredibly successful e-commerce brands from the comfort of their own homes. Whether it be through a personal website, eBay account, or Etsy profile, there’s a reason e-retail spending is pegged to increase by upwards of 62 percent in 2016 -- the digital marketplace is an active marketplace.
ECOMMERCE: Entrepreneurship is deeply rooted in one-on-one sales. Even today, more retailers and market merchants sell their wares from booths at craft shows, on tables nestled in rows at farmer’s markets, or in a physical shop on Main Street. More online retail darlings are even making the transition from clicks to bricks, including the likes of Pintrill, Warby Parker, ShoeMe/Shoes.com, and even Amazon, opening their own storefronts to get in on the in-person selling opportunity.
BRAND: Under Armour will lose $120 million in expected sales to The Sports Authority this year as the chain liquidates in bankruptcy , the Baltimore-based brand said Tuesday. The sports apparel maker said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it will recognize only $43 million of $163 million in anticipated revenues from the sporting goods chain this year. The bankruptcy court recently approved the retailer's liquidation rather than a restructuring or sale of the business.
BRAND: In a new note, Morgan Stanley analyst Jay Sole cut his rating from overweight to equal-weight and reduced his price target for the stock by to $60 from $69. He gave the following reasons for the downgrade: apparel slow down: Broadly, there’s been a slow down in US athletic apparel sales. During the quarter, Nike’s core channel apparel sales growth has slowed 1% due to retail bankruptcies and store closures where Nike product are sold resulting in excess inventory. There’s also the continued shift to online shopping.
DATA: The fastest way to learn everything going on in tech is to read this report. Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker has become a legend for publishing these compilations of the most critical stats and trends about how technology is evolving. From the funding climate to smartphone adoption to the tech giants to cutting-edge inventions, the Mary Meeker Internet Trends report has it all. You’ll find the full 2016 report embedded.
Last Word: Why Salesforce Acquired Demandware
With Salesforce's acquisition of Boston's Demandware, eCommerce investments may heat up, again. Demandware ($2.94B market cap) was purchased for 2.8B today. By comparison, Shopify was trading at a volume that placed their market cap at $2.52B. Shopify has ~300,000 merchants and Demandware has 349 merchants. In this instance, it's not the quantity that counts. It's the (revenue-generating) prowess of vendors. Salesforce's services are not cheap.
According to Rare.io's Taylor Sicard, the average Shopify merchant sold $8,500 in 2015 while Demandware serves over 30 merchants that are generating $100M+ per year.
Demandware is the provider of e-commerce technology to 52 retailers in the Top 500 and 18 in the Second 500, according toTop500Guide.com. Demandware clients include L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and No. 28 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, L.L. Bean (No. 34), Lands’ End (No. 44), Nike Inc. (No. 47) and Abercrombie & Fitch (No. 58).Salesforce is listed as the provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software for just one retailer in the Top 500, Coach Inc. (No. 163).** (via Internet Retailer)
With eCommerce emerging as a dominant force in American retail, it should not be surprising that there are shifts in the CRM space. This move by Salesforce gives them a new opportunity to attract dozens of new vendors to its CRM (from the Demandware platform), giving them a strategic advantage over competing CRM NetSuite, who has but two clients in the eCommerce top 500 and 19 in the top 1000.