ECOMMERCE: The irony is, Macy's has been a fervent believer in investing in retail technology as can be been in this CMSWire interview with Yasir Anwar, head of Digital Technology and Group Vice President at Macy's. Anwar is also the founder of Macy's Labs, which is focused on experimental digital initiatives. "We have built an organizational DNA that allows us to innovate frequently," Anwar told us in February 2016.
ECOMMERCE: The subsidy “wars have just been brutal. Well, great for the consumer, but brutal in terms of burning cash,” says William Bao Bean, an investment partner at SOSV. “And they’ve trained Chinese consumers to not be loyal, but instead to go anywhere to seek out bargains. Consumer loyalty means nothing in China.” China’s consumers are a force to be reckoned with.
MEDIA: Cincinnati-based P&G spent approximately $8.3 billion on advertising globally in the year that ended June 2015, down 8% from the previous year, according to company filings. P&G said it increased ad spending by 1% in its most recent fiscal year and plans to increase it around 5% for the year that started July 1. P&G’s push to find broader reach with its advertising is also evident in the company’s recent increases in television spending. Toward the end of last year P&G began moving more money back into television, according to people familiar with the matter.
INNOVATION: The next step is to let commercial customers edit environments for their own purposes. eeGeo’s newly launched Smart Workplace solution lets businesses visualize and play around with their own real estate, whether to use space and resources in better ways or provide easier navigation for visitors. The premises might be a hospital, museum, theme park, airport, university campus, sports arena, shopping mall, or a large office building.There are potential applications for facilities and asset management, and the planning of Smart Cities.
MEDIA: There are natural growing pains, like convincing marketers who are very comfortable spending their money on Google’s search ads and Facebook’s ads to try something new. Then there are the perception problems spurred by the look-heavy, link-light app catering to brand advertisers since debuting its first ads in October 2013. And the need to bridge the mobile gap for an advertiser segment still accustomed to a desktop world. And finally the looming shadow of Facebook’s dominant direct-response business.
BRAND: Consumers are attracted to underdogs, but there still are some perceptual hurdles to overcome. For instance, underdogs often are viewed as less competent than top dogs, so positioning the brand on performance and expertise could be challenging. But consumers also see underdogs as more passionate and determined. This can foster feelings of warmth and gratitude — which are equally important for building brand relationships and conveying brand image.
BRAND: The complicated, often confusing differences in the sponsor rules can have fascinating effects when it comes down to the actual Olympic events. On Tuesday night, Phelps was about to swim in the 4×200 freestyle relay when his own cap snapped in half as he pulled it on. He had to borrow a cap from American teammate Conor Dwyer—but Dwyer is sponsored by Speedo. Phelps left Speedo after the 2012 Summer Games in London, and has been with Aqua Sphere since. Dwyer knowingly turned the cap inside out for Phelps. In other words, even the athletes are super-aware of the marketing rules.
RETAIL: The company has not released a list of which stores are closing, and Hoguet said the final decision has not yet been made. Macy's has closed five locations in cities' downtowns since 2013. Hoguet previously admitted that the downtown Cincinnati store isn't one of the chain's greatest performing. Scott Saddlemire with OnSite Retail Group told me it would be a big setback if Macy's decided to close its location at Fountain Place. "Downtown can be a tough environment," he said. "If there aren't enough residents and you require people to drive in, parking becomes an issue.
ECOMMERCE: Only about 3.4% of what you see for sale on Amazon is sold by Amazon itself, according to research firm 360pi. The other nearly 97% comes from third-party sellers. (To be sure, the mix of items actually sold probably isn’t the same—many of the third-party products are obscure “long tail” items that it wouldn’t make sense for Amazon to buy and stock anyhow.) Amazon has had a so-called “marketplace” since 2000, allowing outsiders to offer their goods for sale on Amazon.com. What’s more recent is the rising popularity of the company’s Fulfilled by Amazon program.
ECOMMERCE: Amazon could eventually be a more valuable identity platform than Facebook’s platform. Amazon’s platform gives merchants the ability to understand their customers, both in-store and online using historical and real-time purchasing data. As Facebook builds out a real world attribution system for its advertising products, Amazon already has the functionality to monitor and understand customers’ actions and preferences in both physical and digital retail. Amazon has a built an impressive platform that is far-reaching and has the potential to go even further.
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