This is issue no. 109 of 180. The last issue saw a 😐 38.2% open rate with 12.26% going to this spreadsheet covering ten VC-backed, vertical brands who have a loyal consumer base - making tangential product expansion easier. As a recap, one example of this is how Dollar Shave Club began selling butt wipes. Right now, Bevel's NPS is off the charts as well.
ECOMMERCE: “I fear [the two acquisitions] will attract more investors, but for the wrong reasons that will not adequately evaluate the investment opportunity,” said Mike Jones, a Dollar Shave Club board member whose startup incubator, Science, put the first investment dollars into the startup. That is to say, it seems more likely these two deals will turn out to be exceptions rather than the rule. In the wake of the Dollar Shave Club sale, Jones published a blog post that alluded to the reasons why a startup like Dollar Shave Club became a big business.
BRAND: Mizzen+Main, a four-year-old startup in Dallas, features high-tech men’s apparel that combines the comfort and flexibility of athletic wear with the fit and elegance of custom suiting. It’s a new category of fashion, a hybrid that 30-year-old founder and CEO Kevin Lavelle calls "luxury performance." The snappy, proprietary fabrics, which are wrinkle-resistant, machine-washable, and moisture-wicking, are proving a draw not just for professionals but also pro athletes. EDITOR NOTE: That's a $500M M&A face, to be honest.
ECOMMERCE: The development, if true, assumes significance in the the light of the news that Chinese giant Alibaba is looking to acquire another market place Shopclues in its bid to gain a strong foothold in the Indian online shopping market. Interestingly, Alibaba holds a stake in Snapdeal too. There is no confirmation on the latest Snapdeal move for now. In fact, the company has rubbished the report with a spokesperson telling TechCircle that its "so-called ‘news’ is baseless". "...We categorically deny this speculative, unfounded story.”
BRAND: Turns out, you don’t have to be an official sponsor — and shell out tens of millions of dollars — to reap the benefits associated with the Olympics. And no one knows that better than Under Armour. The sports brand launched its emotional “Rule Yourself” campaign ahead of the Olympics in March, fully compliant with the Rule 40 restrictions in that it didn’t contain any Olympic intellectual property. It ensured visibility for itself though by sponsoring 250 athletes including Michael Phelps and renting a series of outdoor gyms in Rio to set up marketing outposts and host daily workouts for fans during the games.
DATA: Facebook, in its omniscience, knows that you’re wondering — and it would like to reassure you. The social network just revamped its ad preference settings to make them significantly easier for users to understand. They’ve also launched a new ad education portal, which explains, in general terms, how Facebook targets ads. “We want the ads people see on Facebook to be interesting, useful and relevant,” a Facebook spokesperson said. But it remains to be seen whether users are pleased or frightened by the new information they suddenly have.
MEDIA: I’m the first to decry how the click-obsessed business of journalism is killing journalism. I built The Information because there is a better way. But while I agree with your analysis of the sorry state of the media, I disagree with your decision to paint journalists as a major threat to privacy. Even the bad-acting journalists are hardly the only—and not even the greatest—threat here. And the good-acting ones are playing an important part in protecting privacy. So, continuing to attack journalists in the media—and personally through lawsuits, as the lawyer in the Hulk Hogan case you backed has done.
BRAND: This creative process started over a year ago. We want to take athletes of all types, whether it's elite athletes or everyday athletes, regardless of skill level or age group, and help them reach their full potential. One of the insights that we drilled into is that there are a lot of perceived limits for athletes, and so we wanted to get to this place where athletes achieved an 'unlimited' mindset. What that means is that rather than focusing on all the limits you do have, you get to that place where you realize there are no limits.
DATA: Uber emerged as the U.S. leader in ride-sharing because it created a marketplace where it didn’t own the cars (the physical assets), its software’s marginal cost went to zero and it created reliable rider-driver experience. Uber is bringing that mindset to the autonomus vehicle space because it knows that its success lies in owning the network that powers other companies’ services (its new drivers). Initiatives like UberRush provide a very useful test case for how an Uber-run logistics platform may operate in a fully-autonomus future.
MEDIA: From the beginning, Instagram hasn't allowed you to add links to your updates. 500-million users later, that policy hasn’t changed. However, where there’s a massive audience, there’s money to be made. In 2015 Instagram opened its platform to all would-be advertisers. Brands showed up fast and discovered the selling power of Instagram - especially ecommerce companies, and especially those targeting Millennials. Instagram’s creative environment and engaged audience is ideal for eCommerce.
MEDIA: One of the most efficient types of targeting in Facebook (second to retargeting, of course) is lookalike audience targeting. Lookalike targeting is basically a targeting type that allows you to use first party data (e.g. customer lists, remarketing lists, etc.) as a seed audience to find new users with very similar characteristics, behaviors, and traits. It’s applicable for all business models (B2B, B2C, EDU, etc.), but in this post, we’ll lock in on best practices for ecommerce.
Last word: A Shift in "Industry Standard"
Once thought of as 'second fiddle' to the legacy platform - Magento, Shopify is now the platform responsible for operating large-scale eCommerce operations like Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop.com, BVAccel's prized possession Kylie Cosmetics, most of Wondersauce's portfolio, and everything that Kanye West does.