ECOMMERCE: APPLE’S NOT TALKING about it. Tim Cook and company are too busy trumpeting a new iPhone that’s pretty much like the old iPhone (except there’s—gasp—no headphone jack!). But if Apple’s not talking about it, that probably means it’s far more interesting—and far more important. And indeed it is. This week, with the arrival of the new iPhone operating system, Apple Pay now works inside web browsers. Yes, that’s more interesting than no headphone jack.
BRAND: After snapping up Dollar Shave Club, the cheeky razor blade subscription service, for $1 billion in July, Unilever has expressed an interest in buying actress Jessica Alba's natural consumer products company.The mooted price tag for Honest, co-founded by Alba, is more than $1 billion -- significantly less than a $1.7 billion valuation put on the company in a fundraising round last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
MCOMMERCE: Express rocketed 32 spots higher in Internet Retailer’s mobile performance index after dropping some major home page weight. Some retailers made big jumps, but mobile site speed leaders kept their top rankings in this month’s mobile performance index, provided by digital performance analytics company Catchpoint Systems Inc. The monthly index ranks the speediest mobile sites among the top 100 online retailers.
ECOMMERCE: The enhanced mobile website in Messenger will allow people to seamlessly enjoy and interact with a business' mobile website within Messenger. Businesses and developers can customize the height of their website displayed within Messenger and use partial heights to create richer interactions in threads without losing the context of the conversation. We will also be simplifying payment and checkout experience for websites in Messenger.
ECOMMERCE: In what’s sure to be a college student’s dream come true, drones will soon be delivering burritos on the campus of Virginia Tech. The experimental service, to begin this month and last just a few weeks, is a test by Project Wing, a unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and the Blacksburg, Virginia, university have agreed to participate. The Federal Aviation Administration approved the venture, the most extensive test yet in the U.S. of what many companies -- including Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
MEDIA: A digital recruiting platform for crowdsourcing talent, wanted to get the attention of the millennial, coding-minded world this week during TechCrunch's Disrupt conference in San Francisco. But the Somerset, N.J.-based company wasn't able to make the 2,900-mile journey in order to attend. So, Reflik's execs—which launched their company about a year ago at Disrupt NY—essentially pulled out three $20 bills, snagged a Snapchat geofilter and probably made more headway than had it spent much, much more.
AGENCY: McDonald's, the largest chain of fast-food hamburger restaurants in the world, recently selected Omnicom as the lucky winner of all its U.S. advertising business. Last year, McDonald's spent almost a billion dollars on advertising, which makes it one of the most coveted accounts in the advertising world. The deal created a splash, not just because it's such a huge account, but because the true profitability of the deal is a bit of a question for Omnicom. Contract details haven’t been released.
ECOMMERCE: Unexpectedly, this report comes from ShareBetter, an anti-Airbnb lobbying group, and was funded in part by the hotel industry. Though it arrives at the conclusion that Airbnb costs on average as much as a hotel room in 20 big US cities—damning for a “sharing economy” company that has positioned itself as broadly affordable—a closer look at the data, compiled by analytics site Airdna, reveals it does not include shared and private rooms listed on Airbnb.
MEDIA: Under the Coalition for Better Ads plan, ads will be screened and scored according to a set of criteria that are expected to range from load time to creative execution. To help determine standards, the coalition will combine its members' expertise with information from consumers about the kind of online ads that they do and don't consume. In addition to the Washington Post, publishers and publishing bodies involved include Digital Context Next, the European Publishers Council and the News Media Alliance.
MEDIA: Instagram’s direct response ads have now been available for more than a year, and so far they’ve seen pretty good response, with most advertisers reporting comparative performance to Facebook ads – and some seeing extraordinary results. In that time, Instagram’s also been examining what’s working and what’s not, and has made various refinements to how their ads work. One of those changes came in June, when the platform released an enhanced call to action button which extends across the full width of the ad with the call to action text appearing on the left hand side.
BRAND: Brand authenticity is something successful entrepreneurs are able to create, and big corporations are increasingly being forced to buy from them, said the co-founders of CAVU Ventures Partners. "You can't outsource authenticity. Entrepreneurs are really good at ... creating these brands that have heart and soul," CAVU's Clayton Christopher told CNBC's "Squawk Box" in an interview on Friday. "That's what big companies are starved for."
ECOMMERCE: Data released from the U.S. Department of Commerce on Thursday (Sept. 15) revealed that the eCommerce market took a small dip in sales during the third quarter. Though the Q3 figures showed online sales have grown 10.9 percent in August, which is a healthy gain for the quarter, it’s still not as strong as last quarter’s numbers, Internet Retailer reported. Q2 saw eCommerce sales increase by 15.8 percent, the biggest year-over-year gain in roughly two years.