MCOMMERCE: As consumers get comfortable with shopping on mobile devices, they are looking for more sophisticated, streamlined experiences that help them quickly find what they are looking for and make a purchase. JCPenney recognizes the importance of mobile shoppers and wants to ensure they have a positive experience with its app as the retailer aims to reignite sales, which have been weak this year. “Rather than brand new features, the update was focused on redesigning the app to offer a cleaner look and feel."
AGENCY: It takes courage to go after results, not easiness. Setting up conversion targets takes extensive testing and time and relies heavily on a lot of variables. Many of these variables are unknown or often unstable. But in life, nothing worth waiting for comes easily. This challenge is worthwhile for agencies and clients to go all-in for it, because that is the only approach that delivers a real business result. Clients and agencies need to be working together to take the current state of business to the next level.
ECOMMERCE: AMP’s greatest contribution, however, may not be in how it impacts search, but how it forces web developers to think about page construction or about what really matters to a mobile site visitor. “One of the good things about AMP is that at the end of the day it is a bunch of best practices for building mobile web pages,” wrote eBay Principle Engineer Senthil Padmanabhan on his company’s technology blog. The AMP “initiative helped us…incorporate these best practices as a part of our regular development life cycle itself,” Padmanabhan wrote.
ECOMMERCE: Dwell time has taken on a digital personality now as powerful new software platforms look to insert commerce into the places that consumers now “dwell” online. These software platforms tap into the depth and breadth of a customer base that lingers inside of their ecosystems – ecosystems that they are able to access using any device and across operating systems. Their MO is to use their critical mass of consumers to enable and uncover new commerce experiences for themselves and brands on their platform.
ECOMMERCE: Earlier this year, Visa announced the start of its second annual Everywhere Initiative, where startups go head-to-head to imagine the future of commerce. Three real-life business challenges gave 15 competing companies the chance to flex their commerce chops. Participants could use Visa’s APIs to create a payment solution, leverage social media channels to engage people at Visa-sponsored events or persuade Visa cardholders to go careless. Karen Webster sat down with the winners of the competition to learn more about the inspiration behind their innovations and why they walked away with the prize.
MEDIA: ESPN has no plans at the moment to offer its full programming lineup directly to consumers, a move that would alienate the cable and satellite operators that now carry ESPN’s suite of cable channels. But by going direct with a narrow offering, ESPN can capture people who aren’t subscribing to pay TV and can learn about what will and won't work online. The audience that doesn’t subscribe to pay TV has slowly expanded in the past couple of years, including both millennials who’ve never subscribed to pay TV and other people cutting off their subscriptions.
BRAND: The World War II military Jeep -- the forerunner of today's Wrangler -- spawned the Land Rover in 1948 and, in the early 1950s, Toyota's BJ and FJ, which morphed into the Land Cruiser. Later the civilian Willys Jeep CJ series was the inspiration for all other competitors, from the International Scout and Ford Bronco of the 1960s to the Suzuki Samurai and Daihatsu Rocky of the 1980s. Then there's the 1984 Jeep Cherokee XJ -- the first unibody SUV -- which is the template for the modern SUV and has been copied universally.
BRAND: There has been a lot of talk about Ralph Lauren. Some are asking has the brand failed to keep pace with the changing times? Stores have been worried. Some space has been unproductive leading to cuts in allocated selling space. I think a lot has happened in the last few months to boost the company’s outlook. Here I list some of the reasons why I think this iconic brand continues to be a mainstay of American fashion. I believe the brand will see renewed growth under its new leadership.
ECOMMERCE: Amazon points out that since it bought robotics firm Kiva in 2012 for $775 million, the number of employees in its warehouses (which it dubs fulfillment centers) has continued to grow. In the fourth quarter of 2014, there were some 154,100 full-time and part-time employees in the company's warehouses, compared to 230,800 employees in the fourth quarter of 2015. However, to credit this growth in employment solely to efficient robot helpers seems overly optimistic. Amazon currently has about 30,000 Kiva robots working in its warehouses.
MEDIA: Marking a major shift for Snapchat, the popular messaging platform is slowly rolling out Memories -- a feature for saving and sharing old Snaps and Stories in a private archive. “It’s a personal collection of your favorite moments that lives below the Camera screen,” the social giant notes in a new blog post. Users can search through their Memories using keywords like “school,” vacation” or “cat.” Memories can also be used to create new Stories from Snaps that users have previously taken, or longer narratives by combining various Stories.
ECOMMERCE: With Apple’s recent announcement to offer Apple Pay checkout on Safari, much has been said about the game changing impact this will have on online payments. In almost all the publicity this move by Apple has garnered, very little attention has been paid to the potential challenges of merchant adoption. Indeed, most commentators have fallen for the typical ‘cult of Apple’ argument: “Of course all merchants will adopt this new wonderful Apple solution”. I believe this is a naive argument.
BRAND: Nike reports that at the European Championships, 62% of all minutes played in the tournament so far have been by players in Nike boots (compared to 29% for their nearest competitor adidas). Tiempo has been the most popular Nike model. Of all the goals scored, 65% came from players in Nike boots (compared to 29% for the adidas). Cristiano Ronaldo has been the spearhead of Nike’s dominance with his own personal records as the first player to score in seven different Euro Championships games and to have scored three or more goals in two different Euro tournaments.
Last word: The Mainstreaming of Augmented Reality
I'm not quite sure that we've ever witnessed adoption of a digital product, like this. We have to consider the advertising, consumer incentive, and eCommerce implications to follow. The pace of Pokemon Go's user growth (and the subsequent effect on it's ownership group) has been astounding to watch. It's opened several questions that we'd never imagine asking ourselves, just a week ago.
To summarize, the game's IP owner is Nintendo. The game's maker is an outfit that was formally owned by Google called Niantic. This isn't their first GPS-based product, in fact, it's basically their first product + Nintendo's IP (Pokemon). Nintendo's market cap has grown by over $11B since the app's launch.
The app feels like a gimmick at first. But then you walk to the park, bumping into adults holding their phones and you think, "are they....no way." And then you approach your city's park, mall, concert venue, body of water, and you see droves of people standing or walking while staring at their phones, "this can't be real, right?"
This was all on the third day after the app's North American launch. So this begs the question. Considering its existing network effects, what can be done with this type of game? Here are 2PML's top ten things that entrepreneurs will attempt:
Expanded in-game commerce to include physical products delivered to your home or in-app play of other famous Nintendo titles.
Augmented reality brand billboards.
Bricks and mortar reward systems for stores and restaurants who welcome Pokemon play. [here is an MVP via Product Hunt]