Ecommerce News

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 3/5/12

The headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Gilt Picks Your Next Discount Amount Based On Your Klout Score @ Mashable – Flash sales website Gilt Groupe has partnered with Klout — which measures a social media user’s online influence from 0 to 100 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Foursquare — to offer the unique discount on Klout’s Perks platform and will give out discounts solely determined by its members’ Kloutscores, with rollbacks as high as 100% off apparel and home decor.

Twitter Plots Big Changes to Brand Pages @ Ad Age – Twitter continues to work on fine tuning its brand pages to add experiences, including e-commerce, contests and sweepstakes, according to three executives familiar with the matter. Read our deep dive into the most recent brand pages updates here.

PayPal’s New Digital Wallet Will Offer Personalized Deals, Flexible Payments, And More @ TechCrunch – “PayPal is changing, and this is the first major revamp of the core PayPal product. We’re known as an online payments brand but this is all part of PayPal becoming an actual wallet.” It seems like our wallets are going to get a even more digital if Paypal has its way.

AT&T announces $400 Beats by Dr. Dre Beatbox @ cnet– AT&T will begin offering an exclusive Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Beatbox to its customers. The $399 device is a wireless audio system with a built-in dock connector for smartphones. Featuring a pair of easy-carry handles, the speaker system comes with a remote control and Bluetooth connectivity and gets its power from six D-cell batteries.

NYT @ SXSW @ Tumblr page – It’s SXSW time and this is one of our favorite Tumblr accounts that let’s us experience the wackiness of Austin without the tired feet, long lines and wet weather.

Square Business

Square, the start-up co-founded by Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey, has recently unveiled Square Register, a free Apple iPad app designed to evolutionize the point-of-sale experience for merchants and customers.

The new app, Square Register, replicates and according to Square, enhances the features of a cash register for small business merchants. The app accepts cash and credit payments, allows merchants to easily list menu items, and tracks the history of customers’ purchase.

In addition, an analytics program allows small business to dissect sales data so they can adjust their business practices and operations accordingly.

Currently, the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission is rolling out pilot program from Square to replace Taxi TVs in 30 cabs with an embedded encase iPad in metal sleeves providing a streamlined payment experience for the passenger. The iPads will be attached to credit card swipers where passengers can pay their fare – even before the fare is calculated. Receipts will be sent to passengers’ phones by email or text.

What exactly is Square?
Released in 2010, Square, Inc. is a mobile application available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android. Square’s two apps are Card Case, which allows customers to view merchant menus, do mobile payments, receive virtual receipts, and discover other Square-enabled merchants, and the aforementioned Square Register.

Square derives its revenue through collecting transaction fees. More than 1 million people are able to accept credit cards with Square. Their average purchase is $75.

The original Square card reader has more than 1 million users nationwide.

Square’s current valuation is more than 1 billion dollars having raised $168 million since launched in November 2009. Square is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in Saint Louis and New York City.

Sources: USA Today, Mashable.com, SquareUp.com, Wikipedia, CNET

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 2/27/12

The headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Clicks and bricks via The Economist – An insight into how many retailers are being too slow in reinventing themselves for the age of online shopping.

U.S. Online Retail Sales to Reach $327 Billion by 2016 via Mashable – The future of ecommerce looks bright with online retail sales in the U.S. forecast to reach $327 billion by 2016.

Apple’s Market Cap Shoots Above $500 Billion via The Wall Street Journal – With the upcoming release of the iPad 3, Apple shares are up yet again, officially pushing the company’s market cap above the $500 billion barrier.

E-Commerce Goes Global, But Still Needs the Local Touch via Adotas – Fueling the growing e-commerce marketplace is global broadband penetration, increasingly sophisticated online shopping experiences and the huge popularity of smartphones and other web connected devices.

Square Is Headed To New York City Taxi Cabs; Will Be An iPhone And iPad Experience via TechCrunch – The mobile payments platform Square, which can be plugged into the bottom of people’s smartphones via a small white plastic square, allows users to take payments by their mobiles and has been approved to being trialled in 30 NYC taxis.

Microsoft Unveils Its Next Operating System, Windows 8 via The New York Times – Microsoft pulled back much of the scaffolding and secrecy surrounding Windows 8, the biggest redesign of the company’s software since Windows 95. The preview is available for download.

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 2/20/12

The headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Pinterest Pins Are on 9% of the Top Online Retail Sites via Mashable – About 9% of the top online retailers are offering Pinterest pins on their sites, according to a researcher.  Among the list, which was based on Internet Retailer magazine’s ranking, are Etsy, Tory Burch, Hanes, Barneys New York and Aeropostale.

Big 4 Sites Control Future Of E-commerce via MediaPost – Half of all online shoppers start their search on: Google, Amazon, Apple, or Facebook.

3 Tips for Getting Started with Subscriptions via Practical Ecommerce – Product and service subscriptions give ecommerce businesses a reliable flow of revenue, predictable inventory requirements, and the opportunity to cut costs. Here are three tips for getting started with subscriptions.

NBA Turns To Twitter, TechCrunch Disrupt Winner Shaker For A More Social All-Star Game via TechCrunch – The NBA is stepping up its social media coverage of the All-Star game this year, and made some crowdsourcing-type (or should we say dunk-sourcing) changes to the Slam Dunk Contest.

alice + olivia Spring 2012 Video “Get Into Our Pants” – A MUST SEE video from our friends at alice + olivia for their upcoming spring 2012 campaign.

Facebook Commerce: The F In F-Commerce Stands for ‘Fail’

Apparently, Facebook doesn’t always have the Midas touch. Or perhaps brands have yet to discover the social networking recipe to transmute lead into gold. In the never-ending quest to utilize social networks to drive direct product sales to brands, Facebook’s E-commerce efforts so far have been more potential than actual.

Gamestop, J.C. Penny, Gap and Nordstrom are some of the brands that have opened e-commerce stores on Facebook in the last 12 months, only to shutter the initiative soon afterwards.

Facebook has strived to become a top shopping destination for its millions of daily users to further entrench itself as one of the premier online destinations for users as well as put a dent in Amazon’s and PayPal’s chokehold on online transactions. Unfortunately, F-commerce (Facebook’s e-commerce) has discovered that the world of successful business transactions is harder than originally anticipated.

Banana Republic and Old Navy, both opened and discontinued F-commerce storefronts in 2011 citing the fact that their customers preferred shopping on their own respective websites. Apparently, people prefer to share wishlists and discuss purchases rather than buy anything on the Facebook site.

Facebook has not commented on the matter.

This being Facebook’s first (and failed) effort at e-commerce will likely cause the social media giant and its partners to revisit their strategy and draw the conclusion that they simply cannot replicate brands’ respective online experiences on F-Commerce, rather craft something distinct and unique that leverages Facebook’s many strengths.

Despite the storefronts shutting down, brands continue to spend dollars on digital advertising with Facebook, so don’t cry for Mark Zuckerburg and his $100 billion valuation.  We wouldn’t count out Facebook as an e-commerce player just yet. If Zuckerberg’s successful in his goal to make Facebook the social graph that touches all of ours lives, people will be buying stuff as they play games and talk with their friends.

In the meantime, Pinterest continues to look like the next evolution in social commerce.  Read our deep dive in Pinterest here.

Sources: Financial Times, Reuters, Bloomberg, Warc.com, San Francisco Gate