Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 16, 2013 01:49 PM
Having conquered the internet, video and now launched into music, Google is moving into shopping through YouTube's new "channel gadget."
"To shorten the path to purchase and translate video views to sales, today we’re introducing a new channel gadget on YouTube that will enable consumer goods brands to connect consumers directly with retailers throughout the entire YouTube experience," Google wrote in a blog post. "This new channel gadget will enable shoppers to seamlessly move from browsing how-to videos and featured products to finding which retailers carry them, check availability, compare prices and make a purchase, all with fewer clicks than today."
Google's first client is Unilever’s Tresemmé, which already has a robust YouTube channel in place featuring celebrities and style setters. Now users can click on the products in demo videos for purchase information, a perk that will only appear on brand channel pages.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 8, 2013 06:26 PM
Target Corp’s Cartwheel, released in public beta today, combines social networking and discounts in the retailer’s latest move to lure traffic to its physical stores and away from online rivals.
As brick and mortar retailers struggle for relevance, fighting the growing trend of “showrooming,” they’re turning to social media to attact consumers with unique deals. Target worked with Facebook for about a year on Cartwheel, whose tagline reads, "A whole new spin on saving," where shoppers can choose from hundreds of deal items such as Target's own Threshold home goods as well as brand goodies like M&Ms candy and Coca-Cola soft drinks.
The Cartwheel launch includes 700 new offers, and claiming any one generates automatic News Feed posts on Facebook unless the user turns them off.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 6, 2013 02:39 PM
Amazon launched its Android app store in China over the weekend, becoming the first Western technology company to offer paid-for Android apps in China. (Google’s Chinese store offers only free apps.) The update effectively launches a new version of Amazon's app store built in Chinese in the form of an Android app, along with a Chinese-language site for developers.
It’s a promising alternative to Google Play for Chinese developers like Tencent and Sina. TechCrunch notes that Amazon's app store provides easier access for developers, who previously had to sell through third-party stores, a global customer base and an "attractive revenue sharing model."
Currently, there are home-grown services that offer paid apps to the Chinese market, the worlds largest in mobile, but many local versions are pirated or have malicious software issues. The Amazon store promises "quality and safety testing" and may very well be the prelude to the launch of its Kindle e-readers in China.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 29, 2013 07:02 PM
Kraft Food Group’s Crystal Light is open for business online as the brand launches its first e-commerce platform, Shop.CrystalLight.com. As more consumers shop online, niche brands like Crystal Light are establishing beachheads for easy access, mindshare and money.
"For years we have heard for some of our most loyal fans that they want easier access to the flavors they love, especially Crystal Light Pure," said Adam Butler, Senior Brand Manager for Crystal Light in a release. "This new e-commerce platform enables us to make a wide variety of unique flavors and varieties readily available to fans anywhere in the country."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 24, 2013 07:48 PM
While the United States Postal Service is floundering, it apparently still has plenty of cash to fund a hefty contract that ensures mail is transferred between US airports. FedEx announced that it had won the bid to fly Express and Priority mail for the next seven years to the tune of $10.5 billion, despite some competition from UPS.
The new contract, which will begin in October, continues the previous relationship between the USPS and FedEx, and ultimately saves FedEx from another dip in profit and stocks.
“This contract win is a sorely needed shot in the arm for FedEx,” Justin Yagerman, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York told Bloomberg. FedEx shares have fallen 15 percent since its 2013 high on March 15. If that business had gone to UPS, the stock would have surely seen continued decline. Last year, FedEx received about $1.62 billion a year from USPS, while this new deal will see it receiving $1.5 billion. While the margins are lower, things could have been much worse.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 24, 2013 01:41 PM
Sometimes a brand blazes a trail, only to find itself outrun by the competition.
Back in 2006, entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, who made his name and a small fortune as a contestant on reality TV show, The Amazing Race, came up with a unique proposition for a new brand, TOMS Shoes. The business model: TOMS would donate a pair of shoes to a child who lived in poverty for every pair of shoes sold. The philanthropic concept quickly became a sensation that catapulted the company's brand awareness to superstar status.
Not surprisingly, other companies started to knock off the idea. The most egregious copycat has been a line of shoes called "BOBS" that Skechers introduced in 2010. BOBS not only look exactly like TOMS signature shoe, right down to the logo stitched on a visible exterior label, but Skechers also shamelessly followed TOMS' "one-for-one" model of giving away a pair of shoes for every pair sold.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 22, 2013 03:41 PM
Back in 1994, when Amazon was just a book seller, online sales tax was a thought as far away as standard same-day delivery. But today, the biggest online retailer and its constituents—eBay, Etsy, Walmart—are keeping states from collecting billions of dollars in tax revenue, and they aren't too happy about it.
According to the National Retail Federation, 45 states lose a combined estimated $24 billion annually from unreported internet purchases. In turn, the Marketplace Fairness Act—legislation that would force online merchants to collect sales tax for America's approximately 9,600 state and local taxing authorities—was recently approved by the US Senate. While e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart support the bill, others like eBay, which have large communities of sellers, are fighting back against the mandate.
eBay CEO John Donahoe is reportedly sending emails to the site's 40 million users asking them to email Congress and let them know that the Marketplace Fairness Act is actually unfair to online small business owners, and places an inordinate amount of burden on sellers, who should be exempt.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 19, 2013 05:18 PM
Since its inception in 1970s Paris, Sephora has been a disruptive force within the beauty industry. Today, the retailer has 1,750 stores in 30 countries and is turning out revenues upwards of $4 billion.
From its very birth, “this new stand-alone beauty and fragrance store was a real shock for store operators throughout the world,” notes Forbes. “The department stores believed they had the only retail format capable of effectively selling premium beauty and fragrance products. They were wrong.”
Acquired by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy in 1997, the first Sephora store opened in New York in 1998. Today there are close to 706 stores in the US, including 386 boutiques inside JCPenney stores, a key element that has kept the ailing department store from drowning. Breaking the barrier of entry, Sephora applied that iconoclastic spirit to wooing a new, younger consumer than those frequenting department stores, with modern brands and a cross-sell of products by in-store sales associates who primp and paint customer’s faces from their choice of products, arranged alphabetically.Continue reading...