This is issue no. 162 of 180. The last issue had a 43.68% open rate with 9.39% of you visiting this article on Snapchat's vision for the Spectacle.
Thank you all for enduring the second (4 day) break that I've taken during this 2PML experiment. I've been heads down working on a new eCommerce project and consulting for two retailers and frankly, I've needed every minute of the day. I remain passionate about 2PML and I'm glad that you're here.
ECOMMERCE: Some investors believe Amazon will eventually start selling cars on its US site. Morgan Stanley wrote in a note published in August that the launch of Amazon Vehicles, its partnership with Hyundai to deliver test drive vehicles, and the Echo integration with car brands all points to a new car selling site in the future. During its most recent earnings, Amazon downplayed these speculations, saying the new Vehicles site is simply intended to be a research destination.
ECOMMERCE: Amazon.com is hoping to extend its big lead in Alexa voice apps by adding some designed for the workplace. But developers working on the apps complain about the developer tool kit and about the lack of analytics, which could prompt some to switch their development efforts to rivals such as Google Home. That growth could insulate Amazon from the impact of the rival devices now hitting the market, just as Apple’s iPhone fought off rivals with its dominant app store.
BRAND: So, J. Crew is trying to make changes. In November, the retailer axed its popular bridal line. A month earlier, J. Crew launched an athleisure line with New Balance. In an effort to see what these changes actually mean for shoppers, Business Insider visited a J. Crew location in Manhattan. The shopping trip revealed some of the biggest problems at the retailer.
MEDIA: People expect answers there and then. Some brands with big budgets and teams respond in a matter of minutes. For everyone else, it has made it very difficult now there’s that sense of urgency. Smaller brands must incorporate social into their customer service in the best way we can. So the social team becomes customer service reps as part of the job.
BRAND: They declined to be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the company. J. Crew could be limited in how it ultimately proceeds with Madewell because of a provision in its agreement with lenders. The provision, meant to protect the lenders' collateral, prohibits J. Crew from selling Madewell if its total debt compared with a measure of profit exceeds a certain ceiling. J. Crew, including Madewell, had roughly $2 billion in debt as of July 30 and just $49.2 million in cash.
BRAND: Our first one was in the mid 70s when skateboarders adopted us as the brand to wear, followed soon after by the BMX kids. We did not do traditional sports, but supported individual passions. Then we saw another in the early 80s, with the Fast Times movie. This was a big awakening for us with whom we were, and still are today, as Southern California, cool, surf and skate brand. Then into the 90s we added a music element to our brand by sponsoring and owning the Vans Warped Tour
ECOMMERCE: In addition to rolling out a global CAP Code, the company is looking at other ways to innovate using computing hardware and its extensive datasets. Many car dealerships in the UK use iPads and interactive apps on forecourts to show customers how much their vehicles are worth. "The dealer might wander around with an iPad app powered by Cap HPI data, asking the customer to tap it to reveal where the damage is and how much that affects its value," says Albyn. "
DATA: Big Data plays an important role in tracking the entire journey of a customer, from entry to exit. An average online shopper may not realise that every click is being monitored and that all purchases being made are captured from beginning to end. Dividing customers into different segments based on a combination of purchase patterns and demographic details makes it easier to target them better.
ECOMMERCE: Overall, e-commerce grew 20.6% this quarter. These figures don't include sales from Jet.com, recently acquired for $3.3 billion. Those sales won't be factored in for 13 months after the deal closes, though Jet likely helped prop up Walmart.com's SKUs. The e-commerce ramp-up comes amid larger changes at Walmart. The company is investing in employee wages, improving store appearance, and making stores easier to navigate.
BRAND: Brands seeking fresh ideas for a marketing campaign, listen up - there’s a lot we can take away from the wild success of Stranger Things and the nostalgic, or “throwback,” products and entertainment that have emerged over the past few years. As one study conducted by the Journal of Consumer Research discovered, people actually spend more money when they are feeling nostalgic. Because of this, there's been an increasingly popular trend among smart brands to engage.