ECOMMERCE: One challenge for Stripe with Radar is that there are already many other fraud prevention services out in the market — they include Trustev, Kount, Forter, Signifyd, and many more. And some of Stripe’s customers are already using them. Stripe believes that its machine learning, and close monitoring of transaction data on its own platform, giving it an edge of a lot of the third party offerings. One area, Collison noted was in how Stripe tracks IP addresses, a detail he claims is not always part of the evaluation process.
ECOMMERCE: If you want your friends’ suggestions about what to do either in your city or while traveling, you can use the new Recommendations feature. It automatically appears when Facebook’s artificial intelligence detects that you’re writing a status update requesting advice from friends. If you turn on Recommendations, a big request for suggestions will appear in the News Feed, and comments from friends will be added to a map and Recommendations bookmark for easy browsing. Now it will be a lot easier to solicit and manage answers to “Where should I go in Tokyo?” or “What’s the best burrito in San Francisco?”
MEDIA: Snapchat says it’s done sharing with media companies. The red-hot messaging app wants to make a major change in the way it works with companies that supply it with content for its “Discover” section. Instead of sharing ad revenue that section produces, Snapchat wants to pay content partners a flat license fee up front and keep the ad money for itself. It’s the same model that TV networks use when they buy programming.
ECOMMERCE: But for many brands that still rely on bricks and mortar sales for the majority of their revenue, e-commerce has been a net negative. Even when they build robust e-commerce channels, the negative experience is accelerating because most of them can’t attract a critical mass of buyers to their sites or have to spend so much on driving traffic and offering discounts that e-commerce is a money loser.
ECOMMERCE: eCommerce in China is fundamentally mobile. According to Bloomberg, the country has more than 1 billion smartphone users. Nearly 90% of Chinese shoppers have purchased items via a mobile phone. Many Chinese simply bypassed the PC era altogether and leapfrogged into mobile. Since e-commerce in the West started during the PC era, many functions on e-commerce sites are PC-centric. Mobile applications often have limited capabilities and serve as a complementary tool to the full website.
ECOMMERCE: In the beginning, we’re high-fiving each other, this is a thing. Then Q2 came along, and we started spreading across the Midwest. In Q3 we tracked the dispersion of the U.S. population. We’re not taking customers away from Costco, and it’s not that people don’t have a car to go to Sam’s Club in Texas. And while consumers know Boxed as a retailer, a large portion of our business, and the fastest-growing portion of our business, is B2B. The FORBES office is probably not ordering all the coffee and snacks from Amazon.
BRAND: Amazon has the distinction of capturing three of the top 20 spots in the 2016 Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders. Apple captured two spots this year. More than a third (35%) of the list are digital technology, social networking brands, or brands that facilitate digital tech or social networking. That is the key finding of the 20th annual survey conducted by Brand Keys, Inc., the New York-based brand and customer loyalty and engagement research consultancy.
BRAND: Going with the new sneakers, Michigan's new Jordan Brand uniforms are classically designed white, maize and blue uniforms. The uniforms will remind Michigan fans of the simple look worn by Rose's old Fab Five teams. Michigan is the fifth college basketball program outfitted by Jordan Brand, joining North Carolina, Georgetown, California and Marquette in men's basketball and North Carolina and Georgetown in women's basketball. As per the contract with Nike, the program will wear only Jumpman uniform, clothing and shoes.
ECOMMERCE: We researched into eCommerce websites across the Web, identified common problems and compressed these findings into a cumulative case study. The design listed below is just an example of our approach towards development of eCommerce MVP (Minimum Viable Product). We understand that building great eCommerce requires lots of research, thousands of A/B and usability tests, and we are working hard on these aspects when designing the projects for our clients.
MEDIA: Pinterest is building a new media channel for publishers and brands to create videos and multimedia posts, according to advertisers familiar with the plans. The Pinterest media section is similar in concept to how publishers work closely with Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the advertising sources said speaking on condition of anonymity. The design and content would be uniquely Pinterest but it gives publishers and brands a more structured playground to share to the site.
Last Word: What Happened To News, Will Happen to Brick and Mortar Commerce
I already explained what happened to newspapers when distribution erased local newspapers moats in the blink of an eye; as I suggested at the beginning, though, this was not an isolated incident but a sign of what was to come. Back in July I laid out how the acquisition of Dollar Shaving Club suggested the same process was happening to consumer packaged goods companies: leveraging size to secure shelf space supported by TV advertising was no longer the only way to compete. A few weeks before that I pointed out that television was intertwined with its advertisers; the Internet was eroding the business of linear TV, CPG companies, retailers, and even automative companies simultaneously, leaving the entire post World War II economic order dependent on sports to hold everything together.
The ways these changes arrive are strikingly similar; I call it the FANG Playbook after Facebook-Amazon-Netflix-Google:
None of the FANG companies created what most considered the most valuable pieces of their respective ecosystems; they simply made those pieces easier for consumers to access, so consumers increasingly discovered said pieces via the FANG home pages. And, given that Internet made distribution free, that meant the FANG companies were well on their way to having far more power and monetization potential than anyone realized…
By owning the consumer entry point — the primary choke point — in each of their respective industries the FANG companies have been able to modularize and commoditize their suppliers, whether those be publishers, merchants and suppliers, content producers, or basically anyone who needs to be found on the Internet.