Issue no. 244. The last one had a 40.03% open rate with 4.5% of you reading up how to avoid Bodega's PR disaster. Albertson's acquires Plated. "I doubt that eCommerce will ever dominate retail." - FedEx CEO 🙄

For media groups who move into eCommerce, there are several areas that must become core competencies: product sourcing, vendor relationship growth, shipping logistics (or 3PL management), customer service control, product copy editing, product photography, CRO (conversion rate optimization), and native brand growth. And depending on resources, front and back end development.  - Issue No. 243

In the last issue, BuzzFeed's Product Labs was highlighted for the unit's relentless pace of product development, sourcing, and promotion. The latest launch (Mural Kit) is linked below. The eCommerce launch combined an advertising partnership with a product collaboration with the advertiser. 
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Today's Top Intelligence (14 Reads)
The Economics of eCommerce Surprised the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court held 25 years ago that a state can collect sales tax only from a retailer that has a physical presence in the state. At the time, the justices did not anticipate that the explosive growth of e-commerce would lead to a dramatic rise in cross-state sales, and their decision has had a devastating effect on state finances in recent years. Fortunately, a new case will give the Supreme Court a chance to correct its quarter century–old error. It should seize the opportunity.
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Content Commerce: The publisher, which has around 50 brands focusing on specialist interests like music, gaming and photography, has seen e-commerce revenues increase by 72 percent from the last year, according to its financial review, reaching £6 million ($8.1 million) in revenue during the first half of 2017, or 15 percent of the publisher’s total revenue.

Data: eCommerce drug companies are trying out a new funding model to test vitamins, supplements, and other “enhancing” substances. The industry currently operates in a wild west regulatory environment where contamination, mislabeling, and undisclosed ingredients are common. Governed by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, the supplements industry operates on what amounts to an honor system.

eCommerce: Brooklyn’s boosters say the large amount of space under development may entice Amazon to put down stakes in the borough, which has so far come up short in its effort to attract big-name companies. As of May, not one non-government employer had signed a lease for more than 100,000 square feet, a typical minimum size for a building’s anchor tenant, since mid-2015.

Brand: Instead, the 60-second commercials feature Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard fly-fishing on Wyoming’s Snake River, while warning that public lands have “never been more threatened than right now,” thanks to “a few self-serving politicians who want to sell them off and make money.” The ads urge viewers in Utah, Nevada, and Montana to tell U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke not to sell or shrink any of America’s national monuments.

Brand: The increased female focus is part of Adidas’ strategy to double its share of the female sporting goods market by 2020. In an investor address in March 2017, board member Eric Liedtke said that the company is “not happy where we are today” when it comes to its position in the women’s market, which represented 23 percent of Adidas’ revenue in 2016. He vowed to lift that proportion to 28 percent within four years.

Fashion: Hip-hop is one of those cultural movements that isn't simply a movement. It can literally build communities or, as some people have generalized, cause bloodshed. In the right hands, it can become something that unifies and symbolizes hope, happiness and ebullience. But, in others, it can be made a mockery of. There's a very thin line, and it isn't black or white. Many times, it's green.

Retail: But Best Buy’s rebound has been surprisingly durable. Revenue figures have beaten Wall Street’s expectations in six of the last seven quarters. The company’s stock price has risen more than 50 percent in the past year. Workers are happy. And judging from several other visits I paid to Best Buy stores, the chain appears to have avoided the bleak fate of other big-box retailers.

Brand: But did consumers choose the chocolate born from a mistake because the mistake happened to have turned out well — a case of serendipity or a happy accident? What about when a mistake makes the product worse? To test this, we presented consumers with a work of art that contained a blemish that detracted from its appeal. 
Media: According to other reports it seems that Amazon wants to buy as many channels as they can put them on their Amazon Channels service in hopes it pressures other major channels to join up. Amazon has already taken steps into the sports world by securing rights to Thursday Night NFL games. It has also been reported recently that Amazon is in talks with professional sports leagues about streaming rights.

Media: Paltrow, after all, has given readers plenty of reasons to be interested in Goop that extend far beyond her star power, including’s infamous detox diets, clean beauty regimens and “invigorating” jade eggs, which have become stories in and of themselves. Now with a new perfect-bound print edition, Paltrow hopes Goop’s aspirational wellness lifestyle will reach a new audience that might not be receiving her weekly newsletter, which launched as a personal passion project.

Media: For all the steps Facebook has taken to support publishers, two new reports offer a stark reminder of who’s really in charge. data shows that across its 2,500-site network, Facebook declined as a source of referral traffic to publishers, with Google surpassing the social network to become the biggest referrer. Social analytics firm BuzzSumo, meanwhile, reported that Facebook engagement across 880 million posts from publishers and brands fell 20 percent since January.

eCommerce: Patreon has a very simple business model: Fans give money to Patreon to pass along to their favorite content makers; Patreon takes a 5 percent cut and gives those content makers a platform to host subscriber-only content. This year, the company says it is on track to process some $150 million in contributions from one million fans, spread out among 50,000 creators.

Retail Real Estate: For many struggling store workers, the answer seems to be: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Amazon says it doesn’t count how many of these people it has hired. But, according to the U.S. Labor Department, the number of workers who lost their jobs at department stores like Sears, Macy's and J.C. Penney since 2000 is about the same as the 444,000 hired by the warehousing industry.

An argument for brick and mortar:
Below are two examples of digital properties that've invested in brick and mortar success. As flagship stores and pop-ups have grown in popularity over the last several quarters, data is finally helping to explain the appeal of leaving the digital-only model behind.

Excerpt one: 
And it's not just Amazon that's noticing this development. Aerie's brick and mortar presences are having a profound effect on digital consumers, as well.

Excerpt two: 
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