This is issue no. 206. The last issue had a 🔥 49.17% open rate with 5.32% of you going to this article on how Vans skated past big retail milestones. In an era of subscription eCommerce, here is the most efficient software that we've found for mid-market eCommerce owners.

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Today's Top Intelligence (11 Reads)
Inside Condé Nast’s Digital Strategy
By 2PML Reader, Chantal Fernandez: Large and successful companies rarely survive the kind of technological disruption currently facing Condé Nast. It’s not because they don’t see change coming, but they often fail to adopt new technologies or business models that can give them an edge in the future because they have too much to gain from the way things have been done in the past, argues Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen in his seminal book “Innovator’s Dilemma.”

The Strategy
END OF AN ERA: Lyons' post-J.Crew plans are not yet known, but the indelible mark she has made in defining American fashion for the past decade cannot go unacknowledged. As for J.Crew, this announcement is expected to be the first in a series of strategic changes that will allow it to perform in its next iteration.

ECOMMERCE: The Influencers are given a unique vanity URL on Amazon’s domain that will be easy for customers to remember and find. Here, shoppers will be able to browse through the curated selection of products that the influencer recommends. The URL could be placed in the comments section of a YouTube video or in Instagram, for example, to reference the products mentioned.

BRAND / DATA: The US is currently in the midst of a major retro trend that helped sales of a few different styles on NPD’s list, including Nike’s Jordan XII, which debuted during Michael Jordan’s incredible 1996-1997 season. Adidas was also the top brand overall in 2016. Adidas’s broader success and the retro surge combined to push the Superstar to the top—even though its standard style retails for $80, while the second-place Jordan XII costs $170, meaning Adidas sold a massive number of Superstars to win the title.

BRAND: Though Nike has some big apparel contracts, the top of the spending list is actually dominated by Adidas and Under Armour. Nike has just four of the nation's 15 most valuable apparel deals. But scrolling down that list reveals that Nike is hardly skimping on the spending side. But rather than concentrate a tremendous amount of spending into a few select schools, Nike has widely spread the wealth. The brand has 45 of the 65 most valuable college apparel deals.

ECOMMERCE: The retailer is building out its team and infrastructure in Shanghai to capitalize on the digital opportunity in Asia. APAC has been the fastest-growing region for the company, which opened stores in China last year following the success of its flagship store on Tmall in 2015.

DATA: The ranking is based on interviews with more than 3 million consumers plus data on the financial and business performance of each company, using data from Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel. These are the top 10 most valuable brands in the world and an analysis of what happened over the last 12 months to shift those companies into their respective rankings.

BRAND: With that exposure came massive growth on the campus along the Spokane River. Enrollment has nearly doubled to 7,800 over the past 20 years, with the number of full-time faculty up 55 percent. New buildings dot the campus, with more under construction, including the Volkar Center for Athletic Achievement next door to The Kennel, where the Zags play. Budgets have increased as the school's endowment has climbed over $200 million.

FINTECH: Amazon Cash will be available at brick-and-mortar retailers across the U.S., including CVS Pharmacy, Speedway, Sheetz, Kum & Go, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarkets, and VG’s Grocery. Other stores will be added in the future. The service is not all that different from a similar effort by PayPal, whose PayPal My Cash Card lets you add funds to your online PayPal account, using cash from your wallet.

ECOMMERCE: In China, e-commerce is also merged with entertainment, creating a new form of e-commerce called "entertainmerce." At last year's Singles Day shopping festival, Alibaba live-streamed an 8-hour "see now, buy now" fashion show on Tmall, where consumers could buy in real time the latest designer clothes before the runway show even finished. Since then, live-streaming has gone mainstream.
ECOMMERCE: Success can be a curse in crowdfunding. Kickstarter is debt. Projects that require significant R&D efforts can burn through crowdfunding capital leaving insufficient funds for manufacturing if product development hits a snag. Even if a product is ready to produce once a campaign ends, any blip in production can bankrupt a fledgling company.

Last Word: What's Cool?
Click 👇🏼👇🏾👇🏾 to read the 24 page report
Generation Z, in size and power, is not to be underestimated. Buying power: $44B annually, $200B annually when their uncanny ability to influence parents is considered.
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