This is issue no. 215. The last issue had a 45.64% open rate with a 8.01% of you reading up on Shopify's stock being downgraded. To be fair, Shopify is currently trading at an all-time high. You will want to see the Fyre Festival's pitch deck 🙄. Here is the backstory from that event, if you hadn't heard. It was both a marketing feat and an operational travesty.

Buy online, pick up in store is rivaling e-commerce as a percentage of sales at 14%. - @BrendanWitcher

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Today's Top Intelligence (14 Reads)
The Business of the Business of Fashion
The Takeaway: Surely a media giant, Vice for example, has been asking whether Amed would like to sell? He could make a lot of money. "The company is not for sale. It will happen one day. We've gone from me writing ten articles a month, to posting 40 articles a month; from 150,000 unique visitors a month to nearly one million. But I don't really believe our users want simply more content. They want breadth. And quality. We could go into different areas, beauty, wellness, technology - all these industries are intertwined within fashion."
Read On
The Takeaway: Many retailers have over-invested in boosting e-commerce, neglecting their physical locations in the process, an approach that Simon said must change and is changing. Pure-play e-commerce players are simply not going to survive without some pivot to brick and mortar. ”How they overspent in the internet versus the store fleet continues to be a concern for me,” he said.
The Takeaway: Grocery is poised for disruption, in much the same way bookstores were two decades ago, and Amazon has functioned as the great retail disrupter for two decades now. Yet, the e-commerce kingpin has been picking at grocery retail for about half of that time, signaling that legacy retailers could withstand the competition, if they also make the right moves.
The Takeover: The moves come as Etsy is being attacked by the activist investor Black-and-White Capital, which is pushing the company to cut costs, improve its user experience and consider a sale, according to Bloomberg. “The company’s historical pattern of ill-advised spending has completely obfuscated the extremely attractive underlying marketplace business model,” Bloomberg quoted Black-and-White as writing. 

The Takeaway: And yet J. Crew has also faced fundamental problems beyond its control. Earlier this year, in an article for the magazine The Business of Fashion, Chantal Fernandez explained why “America’s most beloved mall brands”—J. Crew, Gap, The Limited, and Abercrombie & Fitch—are all in crisis

The Takeaway: Wish shoppers are hardly less alienated from the labor that makes their purchases possible than Walmart customers or iPhone owners are. But their experience at least hews closer to the global economic situation as it truly exists. Services like this offer us a preview of a maximalist capitalist future, in which the near-entirety of current-day retail — stores, humans and even storelike websites — have been identified as gatekeepers or sources of friction and accordingly obliterated.
The Takeaway: The new T-commerce ad unit will let viewers engage directly with a commercial and make a purchase. For example, during an ad for a film, a personalized location-based overlay would provide the ability to buy tickets to nearby movie theaters via connected TVs. 
The capability will be available for other product categories, including retail and quick-service restaurants, in 2018, according to Peter Naylor, senior VP of ad sales for Hulu.
The Takeaway: In its first week of tests, the shoppable posts have driven 87 percent more clicks to retailers’ sites than previous commerce-focused articles, according to PopSugar (the company did not comment on conversions). Chris George, svp of product marketing and sales strategy at PopSugar, expects that number, along with the number of posts, to increase as the company learns what works best. The new format is intended to bridge the gap between reading and shopping, two activities that both retailers and publishers have struggled to bring closer together.

The Takeaway:  Once a manufacturing hub, Baltimore over the decades has bled well-paying jobs with the loss of companies like Bethlehem Steel and Proctor & Gamble. Although Under Armour manufactures overseas, Plank believes new technologies and processes can make Made-in-the-USA economically viable again. He is now experimenting with local manufacturing at Under Armour. And he is building an ecosystem of startup manufacturers engaged in the same grand experiment.

The Takeover: Many upstart ecommerce brands have great products and great ideas. But winning market share is no walk in the park. To win in the world of ecommerce, digital execution has to be flawless, and there has to be something distinctive that keeps customers coming back to buy. The site’s user interface is probably the top make-or-break factor, but there are other keys to success as well. 

The Takeaway: During Beaudoin’s tenure, Amazon entered several strategic partnerships to beef up its high-end fashion credibility, sponsoring New York Fashion Week: Men’s with the CFDA, the Met Gala in 2012, as well as international fashion weeks in India and Japan. It also picked up “The Fashion Fund” unscripted series documenting the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2015.

The Takeaway: Adidas’s strong performance in the U.S. was not matched in Russia, where the sporting goods market shrank in the quarter as international sanctions and a lower oil price drove consumers to shop for cheaper clothes. The company has closed almost one in 10 of its Russian stores, Rorsted said. 

The Takeaway: At their best, these digital style companions offer little more than a jumping-off point when it comes to getting dressed or developing personal style. At their worst, these “style assistants” perpetuate a dated binary of a “right” and “wrong” way to dress. The reality is that the slow-to-change fashion industry is finally beginning to embrace diversity across race, size, and gender. 

The Takeaway: These tools will rollout in June to everyone in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia and more. Until then, they’re in testing with a set of over 20 businesses, though other companies can apply to be testers too. Digiday reported last month that the self-serve tool was coming.

TACTICS: Research by Business Insider indicates that there could be up to $4 trillion dollars in merchandise just waiting to be recovered in abandoned shopping carts. With the right tactics (which we’ll teach you), you could recover up to 64% of that. Before you can do that, however, you must first understand why people leave. First, think about the people who visit your site.

Some are random, some came from paid ads, and some are from social media. Just because they landed on your store on purpose, however, doesn’t mean they’ll buy. But those people who add something to their cart and reach the checkout? They’re motivated.

If they got that far, what caused them to leave without taking the plunge?

Want to decrease cart abandonment? Read on.

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