ECOMMERCE: According to the company’s Chief of Operations Ravi Gupta, one of Instacart’s primary innovations isn’t all that high-tech. The startup secures exclusive lanes in grocery stores to which it sends a high volume of orders, and staffs them with a “CBT” (cashier-bagger-tagger). Instacart’s shoppers — who pick up all the items that customers order online, then pay for and pack them before delivery — breeze through Instacart-only express lanes at stores like Costco, Whole Foods and regional groceries.
ECOMMERCE: Watchpoint’s data shows that Dell’s desktop site loaded in an average of 1.15 seconds between August 14-28. Dell is No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide. That speed was 2.05 seconds faster than the average load speed during the same period for the 100 e-retailers included in Catchpoint’s desktop performance index. Contacts retailer 1-800 Contacts Inc. (No. 84 in the Top 500) was close behind, ranking No. 2 on the desktop performance index and loading in 1.15 seconds, and Apple Inc. (No. 2 in the Top 500) ranked third, loading in 1.19 seconds.
MEDIA: For its flagship 2016 Video Music Awards, MTV is touting the biggest digital reach ever in the awards show’s history. Overall, this year’s VMAs served more than 173 million video streams from Sunday, Aug. 28, through Tuesday, Aug. 30, up 313% from last year. That included a booming presence on Snapchat, the social dynamo with 150 million users: MTV’s Live Story feed on Snapchat for the VMAs reached nearly 21 million unduplicated global unique viewers, versus 12 million in 2015.
ECOMMERCE: At 1.3 million square feet, the Under Amour distribution center will be equal in size to the largest e-commerce distribution center currently operated by an Internet Retailer Top 500-ranked e-retailer, according to Top500Guide.com data. The Home Depot Inc., No. 7 in the Top 500, operates five e-commerce distribution centers that are an average of 1.3 million square feet. By comparison, most of the large-scale, robot-assisted distribution centers that top-ranked Amazon.com Inc.is building using its “eighth generation” warehouse design are about 1 million square feet.
BRAND: The line, with its "fresh take on traditional pre-game outwear," seems to be a direct competitor to Nike's successful premium Sportswear line. Both product lines capitalize on the athleisure trend, which is defined by workout clothes that are stylish enough to wear to work, happy hour, or brunch. The Athletics line is starting off with the Z.N.E. ( “Zero Negative Energy”) Hoodie, which was "specifically engineered to remove distractions and maximize athletes’ focus in the make-or-break period before they compete." It will retail for $100, in line with other premium sportswear lines.
BRAND: The latest iteration of Outdoor Voices’ partnership with A.P.C. begins at the two parties shared focal point: the fabrics. Outdoor Voices’ signature fabrics—Textured Compression and Stretch Crepe—kick off a collection that’s filled with seamless knits, sweat-wicking materials, and a bevy of technical touches that make the capsule collection right at home both in the gym and on the sidewalk. Naturally, with both labels’ respective history with stripped-down design, the collection keeps things simple with details like bonded seams, wrapped in a understated color palette.
MEDIA: Deviating from the flat $10 monthly subscription is more complex for prospective users and for Spotify itself. Any mid-tier, cheaper offer must be structured carefully so as not to cannibalize the base nor result in money being lost on each customer. Spotify's deals with record labels, which are being renegotiated, include minimum guaranteed payments plus a fee for each song streamed, so it can't cut prices too deeply. Nevertheless, more price points would be good for Spotify's central mission: persuading more people to sign up for paid subscriptions.
INNOVATION: Not satisfied with shaking up the $100-billion-a-year taxi business, it has its eye on the far bigger market for personal transport, worth as much as $10 trillion a year globally. Uber is not alone in this ambition. Companies big and small have recognised the transformative potential of electric, self-driving cars, summoned on demand. Technology firms including Apple, Google and Tesla are investing heavily in autonomous vehicles; from Ford to Volvo, incumbent carmakers are racing to catch up. An epic struggle looms. It will transform daily life as profoundly as cars did in the 20th century.
MEDIA: “The deal will either be canceled or the price will be reduced,” said Meir Slater, head of research at Bank of Jerusalem. “The majority of the company’s value is tied to Amos 2 and Amos 6. These satellites are insured, so the bondholders are covered, but in terms of the shareholders, they lose out because any damage done to the satellites means a loss of customers such as Facebook.” The destroyed satellite was intended to beam internet service to sub-Saharan Africa as part of a collaboration between Facebook and Eutelsat to connect people in remote parts of the world.
RETAIL: The second store pictured is part of a mall, which aren't as popular as they once were, with new fast-fashion competitors from overseas prioritising high-street, flagship style stores. Macy's recognises that with online shopping maturing, customers need more reasons to visit a physical store. Boring real estate won't cut it. This is part of a change across retail, where stores must offer a rich experience to compete. That rich experience I mention is flagged up prominently in the Macy's store-closure press release.
Yesterday, I noted that I'd feature five media groups who've successfully added eCommerce to their revenue arsenals. The requirement to be on this list: (1) they have an editorial team (2) the sales are direct (not affiliate) sales (3) they also maintain a thriving ad-sales revenue stream (display and/or native).
Barstool Sports: has a cult following in sports. They are rumored to generate $9M / year in eCommerce sales.
Monocle: is a meticulous and artful online media company and print magazine that generates over $10M in eCommerce sales on just < 450,000 uniques per month.
Hypebeast: is the queen of the throne, rumored to generate over $15M per year in eCommerce sales.
Hodinkee: is my personal favorite. They are generating between $5M and $7M per year in watch and accessories sales.
Goop: has figured out editorial eCommerce. Gwyneth Paltrow's brand just raised another $10M to go full speed into eCommerce, leaving ad-based media in the dust.
Editorial eCommerce is the next wave for revenue-driven media companies. But it takes more than a pretty homepage to execute this strategy. As display ads continue to be challenged by vendors who prefer direct clicks, this type of traffic monetization will continue to thrive.