ECOMMERCE: The speedy checkout technology matters because retailers have been trying to crack the checkout process for decades. If Amazon can solve one of brick-and-mortar retail's biggest sources of friction, then that could be a harbinger of how else the company might turn physical retail on its head. Walmart once said it could save $12 million for every second it cuts from the checkout process in the U.S.
BRAND: Unfortunately now the really hard part begins, convincing said visitors to part with their hard earned money and turning them into customers. With 74.6% of online baskets being abandoned, this is no small feat. As marketers we tend to think that abundance of choice in products is one of the key strengths of ecommerce. But without proper management and structure, this can become a hindrance and not necessarily result in more sales.
MCOMMERCE: The Frenzy app will work with partner retailers and brands, so it should cover a range of bases in one place, which is more convenient for a consumer versus looking around at vertical-specific retailers and/or chartering helicopters. I may have engaged in some frenzied online ordering a time or two myself, and the app looks to streamline in all the ways that anxious buyers with twitchy ordering fingers will appreciate, getting you from browse to checkout in as few taps as possible.
ECOMMERCE: But Tiny Hearts’ location and its work with Shopify aren’t the only connections between the two firms. As Jama explained in his blog post, he created his first app Pocket Zoo in 2009, but its revenue dipped in 2011, nearly killing his company. His online storefront, Busy Building Things, which was built on Shopify’s platform, ended up saving his business. Just as revenue was failing for his app, the store had a good week, bringing in over $6,000, he said.
ECOMMERCE: Some of the explanations for how Amazon would be able to connect a product with a specific shopper could stoke some privacy concerns if the company actually creates such a tracking system for a retail store. The application describes the use of cameras that would snap photos to show, for example, when a person entered the facility, when she removed something from a shelf and when she left with an item in her hand. There is mention of “facial recognition.” How would Amazon know who is who?
BRAND: The agreement comes at a time when demand for sponsors for teams, leagues and players is surging, with Under Armour and a rebounding Adidas AG spending more to challenge Nike Inc. (No. 47), the world’s largest sports brand. Under Armour recently signed a partnership with the University of California at Los Angeles, while Nike took the National Basketball Association sponsorship from Adidas (No. 66) and signed Ohio State University.
ECOMMERCE: Now, Wal-Mart is getting help with gathering all that necessary content—at least when it comes to the dizzying array of food items for sale on its site. Walmart.com, No. 4 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, signed a deal with product image and data exchange company ItemMaster that allows it to access and use product photos and videos from ItemMaster’s database of 82,000 items from 1,700 manufacturers.
ECOMMERCE: Competing with ecommerce behemoths like Amazon is a popular topic in the retail community. Practical Ecommerce receives countless press releases and pitch emails describing how a new platform, new tool, or new technique will allow small ecommerce businesses to compete with Amazon and the like. Some of the pitch letters we receive imagine that Amazon, Walmart, and similar companies are small business killers, crushing mom-and-pop shops with extra low prices and superior logistics.
RETAIL: Here’s one: “Never make predictions, especially about the future.” That one’s been attributed, of course, to Yogi Berra, as well as Hall of Famer Casey Stengel. And yet, we do all get into the predictions game, in every walk of life, across industries and personal endeavors, serving as roadmaps for the upcoming 12 months and beyond. What we believe helps shape what we will do.
BRAND: Brand evangelism or advocacy is the willingness of your target audience to profess their interest in or appreciation for your brand. It serves as an extension of your brand visibility and promotion strategy and comes with a host of benefits, but as social media and marketing strategies change, your brand evangelism approach needs to adapt accordingly. So, how can you find new brand evangelists more reliably in 2017?
Graphic of the Week: Basic Education v. Industrial Autonomy