This is issue no. 89 of 180. Last letter saw a 42.8% open rate with 10.84% going to this [unlocked] article on Dollar Shave Club's payout by Sarah Lacy. Tell an industry colleague about Two PM Links. The letter has some 🔥 technical improvements in store.
ECOMMERCE: Kahan acknowledges that pulling Birkenstock products from Amazon and not allowing other merchants to sell its shoes and other products on the online marketplace, likely won’t stop the proliferation of counterfeit Birkenstock products on Amazon. “Sadly, after this policy change goes into effect, products marketed as ‘Birkenstock’ will likely still be offered on Amazon.com,” he writes. “By taking this course of action, we are, in effect, leaving the Amazon marketplace to counterfeiters, fake suppliers and unauthorized sellers with whom we have no relationships.”
DATA: Windstorm stated that she might have considered bots to be overhyped even 18 months ago, but now believes they can drive real value in the market, and she thinks they’ll be especially valuable when able to autonomously operate in various contexts. When a bot can be tied to a customer relationship manager (CRM) software, for example, and a Whole Foods customer gets online with a chatbot to check on the status of a delivery, that chatbot should (and presumably will) be able to pull up a personalized profile that allows it to respond accordingly.
ECOMMERCE: Foodservice delivery is the ultimate in dining convenience and is winning visits at the expense of restaurant drive thru, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Over the past four years, delivery has grown by 69 million visits (orders), while drive thru traffic fell by 128 million visits from May 2012 through May 2016, according to a recently released NPD report on foodservice delivery. The growth in foodservice delivery is even greater when pizza delivery is taken out of the equation.
RETAIL: A July 14 report by research firm NPD Group found that 75% of US apparel purchases across all retail channels come from shoppers who also shop for clothing at off-price stores, such as Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Ross. Put another way, if 100 people walk into a Macy’s, 75 of them are also off-price clothing shoppers. That means Macy’s and other US clothing retailers are vying directly for most of their customers with competitors who only sell at a discount.
ECOMMERCE: The company learns about its audience and curates messages specifically meant to keep them engaged. With each delivery, customers get a "Bathroom Minutes" magazine. Designed to resemble the funny pages of a newspaper, the little pamphlets feature life and shaving tips, as well as articles answering questions about such important bodily functions as why fingernails grow faster than toenails.
MCOMMERCE: Sephora's mobile and desktop site now includes two new features—dubbed "swipe it, shop it" and "beauty uncomplicator" that help shoppers whittle through thousands of makeup and beauty tools to find what they're looking for. The features support, "the biggest single ad buy that Sephora has made for the Sephora Collection brand," that will roll out this fall, said Deborah Yeh, svp of marketing and brand at Sephora.
INNOVATION: Interestingly, the latest blog post comes two days after Tesla Motors changed its web address from teslamotors.com to tesla.com—a move that some have suggested is as significant as when Apple Computer became simply Apple. On that day in 2007, Apple unveiled the first iPhone in what was the first major leap into becoming the multi-faceted technology company that it is today. And if Musk’s latest master plan is fulfilled, then electric cars are just the beginning. Like the first, he sums it up succinctly:
BRAND: According to Nike’s press release, the “Da Da Ding” spot was created in collaboration with Wieden+Kennedy Delhi, directed by French director François Rousselet and set to a thumping tune by Gener8ion, featuring American rapper Gizzle. It celebrates India’s female athletes across a diverse range of passions, including basketball, football, running, training and India’s national obsession: cricket.
ECOMMERCE: Investors and analysts are now shifting their attention to the company’s e-commerce growth in its domestic market to see whether the retailer can resurrect its growth rates which have been slowing down as of late. As of the recent quarter results, Walmart reported that its e-commerce division just surged 7%, which was quite disappointing for the company especially when comparing it with its largest rival, Target, which reported 23% growth in online sales.
ECOMMERCE: What happens when a Goliath ecommerce company creates its own holiday? It creates waves, and lots of them. Although both the media and consumers agreed that last year’s inaugural Amazon Prime Day was a bust, this year the company reported that it was the biggest day in company history. More specifically, the company reported a 60% growth in sales on Prime Day in 2016 vs. 2015. On the flip side, smaller retailers, including some that also sell on Amazon, saw two very different sets of results.
BRAND: As fast fashion starts to get even cheaper with the arrival of the wildly cheap Primark in the US, other consumers are veering away from shopping cheaply, and, rather, toward shopping smartly. "There are two extremes happening," Liz Dunn, CEO of Talmage Advisors, told Buzzfeed. "There is this complete consumption bubble but at really cheap prices, buying more and more things for less and less money … and this whole capsule dressing, limited wardrobe, really responsible approach that’s gaining a lot of momentum, too." And the former fast-fashion generation is growing up.
MEDIA: The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Jon Loomer, a marketing expert who specializes in Facebook advertising. Jon is host of the Social Media Pubcast and blogs at JonLoomer.com. Jon explores Facebook ad changes and what you need to know. You’ll discover updates to the 20% text rule, custom audiences, and more.
MEDIA: In an industry heavily geared around tips, tricks and word-of-mouth recommendations, a blog is a beauty brand's bread and butter. It might seem like an outdated notion in today's Snapchat-style world, however for many, it is the linchpin behind a truly effective content strategy. Whether you're into beauty or not, the following examples are well worth a look. With its unique domain name, L’Oréal’s makeup.com is designed to feel like an independent publication rather than a brand blog.
ECOMMERCE: 70% of all sales were from first-time buyers. Just one-third of purchases were from loyal shoppers. If Jet.com wants to continue growing — while also competing with Amazon — the company will have to focus on getting shoppers to return. The company should consider implementing loyalty programs that provide customers with exclusive sales and promotions that will entice them to return for another order. Jet.com might even consider relaunching an optional subscription.
Last Word: Facebook's Trojan Horse?
Facebook's test was successful and now, remote areas will begin to see the fruits of the internet's labor. And of course, Facebook will reach more users than ever. But I dug a bit deeper into this amazing new innovation and I did the math. In short, I converted the areas of the top 150 largest cities in the United States into diameter and then each's radius. There are only four cities in America with radii of more than 50 miles. Each of those four cities are in Alaska. Why does this matter? Who needs wired internet from the existing industry when we all use Wi-fi anyway? The existing cable and phone provider industries could face further disruption and well, so could Google's Fiber program.
There are two "if's" to consider. IF Zuck's carbon fiber plane can withstand the forces of flight at 60,000 to 90,000 feet (where no commercial flying objects roam) for an extended period of time and IF the provided internet is capable of speeds comparable to today's standard. Then, we may be looking at a new competitor to the broadband industry. This, just as Comcast, Charter, Cox Communications, and the rest of the cable industry has finally begun to offset cable subscription losses by emphasizing increased broadband packages to support our growing streaming habits.
Facebook's internet provider drone network could drive revenue by servicing paying, wireless clients across much of America with just 150 of the planes that they've just tested. While the project started off as a way to address the next one billion Facebook users, it may have interesting competitive effects here at home. Surely, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Cox, and Comcast know this. What an amazing feat for their team of engineers.