Best Global Green Brands 2014


Content Meets Commerce: How Thrillist and Refinery29 Turn Brand Loyalty into Sales

Posted by Kristen Van Nest on July 5, 2013 01:16 PM

Founded in 2004, Thrillist started as a guide to New York City for recent male graduates. Today, Thrillist Media Group generates over $40 million in revenue , 45 percent of which comes from its e-commerce site, JackThreads, which it acquired in 2010 to complement its content offeringson its Thrillist and Crosby Press sites.  

Unlike most media companies, Thrillist has over half a million credit card numbers on hand. The seamless shopping experience, where men can discover and purchase product on the same site, means that the user is more engaged and more likely to have intent to buy. “They’ve got their wallet in hand. They’re looking for recommendations and what to do and what to buy,” Eric Ashman, Thrillist Media Group's strategic advisor told brandchannel. “Reading GQ, your feet are up on the coffee table, you’re leaning back. And when you’re [on Thrillist], you’re leaning forward and looking for ideas and looking for recommendations and things to share with your friends.” 

Refinery29, like Thrillist, is also at the forefront of seamlessly joining content and commerce. With 5 million visitors per month, Refinery29 focuses on building brand loyalty for the brands advertised on its site, but without a major complementary online store.

Whether it's driving sales or driving loyalty, both sites utilize and prioritize content over commerce.Continue reading...


Amazon Reportedly Looking to Sell Fine Art—Again

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 1, 2013 06:02 PM

Amazon is moving up the luxury goods ladder as it reportedly prepares to launch an online gallery of fine art with upwards of 1,000 pieces, the Wall Street Journal reports. Similar to Amazon Wine, which launched last fall, the art platform will take a commission ranging from five to 20 percent off the total sale price. 

Amazon, along with Yahoo and eBay, waded into the online art business during the Internet boom, but backed off of a partnership with Sotheby’s in 2000 after the initiative failed to gain traction.

Thus far, its second attempt isn't necessarily being welcomed with open arms either. The e-commerce giant has approached scores of small dealers including Eleven Rivington, On Stellar Rays, Vogt Gallery and Zach Feuer, and many have not yet jumped on board. "I didn’t really have to think much about it and said it wasn’t for me," Augusto Arbizo, founder of Eleven Rivington told the Art Newspaper. "I have said no to most e-commerce opportunities for the simple reason that I just do not have that much inventory. And we work with very few artists who do editions or prints."Continue reading...


Square Takes Mobile Commerce Online with New Market

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 26, 2013 06:50 PM

In a classic bait and switch, Square, the mobile payments company known for its quarter-sized credit-card reader, is taking its business online in a direct challenge to PayPal, which is moving more of its services offline into brick-and-mortar retailers. 

After dominating the mobile card reader market, including a hefty deal with Starbucks locations, Square is turning its attention to e-commerce with its new Square Market, which enables merchants to list their products on a website where Square will handle payment processing and deliver cheaper point-of-sale credit card payments (2.75 percent per transaction) by replacing equipment with a smartphone or tablet computer.

"There's a blurring of the lines between offline and online commerce," Square's chief executive, Jack Dorsey, told the Wall Street Journal. "This is the next obvious step for us,” he said, while PayPal's VP lobal product Hill Ferguson commented, "We feel good about our position. When you're successful at something, others try to follow you.”Continue reading...


Amazon Takeover Seems Imminent as Reports Say Grocery Service Set to Expand

Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 5, 2013 12:24 PM

Amazon, the $60 billion e-commerce giant that sells just about everything online, is ready to make a play for the biggest plum of them all: the online grocery business. 

The company, which has used its home base of Seattle to test its "AmazonFresh" grocery delivery service for years, could begin rolling out the service to other cities this year, first Los Angeles and then San Francisco, according to Reuters. If all goes according to plan, AmazonFresh could show up in as many as 20 other cities, even some outside the United States, next year.

In a remarkable progression, Amazon has grown from an online bookseller to the world's largest e-commerce retailer. Along the way, it has expanded into virtually every product category, if not on its own, by acquiring companies like Zappos, the online shoe seller. Amazon already sells a wide range of consumer goods, such as health, beauty and cleaning products, but delivering perishable items brings a whole new level of complexity to its expansion. That's why Amazon is said to be adding refrigeration equipment to distribution centers outside the Seattle area.Continue reading...


Amazon Figures Out How To Monetize Fan Fiction with Kindle Worlds

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 27, 2013 09:58 AM

Amazon is courting the lucrative world of fan fiction with its launch of Kindle Worlds, the first commercial publishing platform for authors and the first of its kind to create an ammicable relationship between the creators of the 'worlds' and pen-happy fans. 

Often hotly debated due to copyright laws, fan fiction has been near-impossible to monetize. However, Amazon has secured licenses with Warner Bros. Alloy Entertainment division for the best-selling book series Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liar and Vampire Diaries for starters. Over 50 commissioned works will debut with the platform in June, as well. 

The platform will pay royalties to the rights holders of the 'worlds' and the fan authors will receive royalties based on story length: 35 percent of net revenue for works of 10,000 words or more, and 20 percent of net revenue for works between 5,000 and 10,000 words.Continue reading...


Needle Helps Retailers Close Sales with Help From Brand Enthusiasts

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 20, 2013 06:22 PM

Salt Lake City-based startup Needle offers a twist on social commerce, utilizing brand loyalists as shopping guides for curious consumers.

Its workforce, a team of brand experts that operate like freelance customer service reps, earn an hourly rate up to $12 and have a hosted profile on the retailer's website. “They love the products, they want to be in the loop on what’s new,” founder Morgan Lynch told brandchannel. His current workforce numbers about 20,000. “They’re contractors, who can come and go, but we have an extensive on-boarding process—that’s why I think there’s a difference between crowdsourcing and a distributed workforce.”

The service was inspired by Lynch's own shopping experience, in which he struggled to find reliable recommendations online for a product, and instead ended up buying the item in-store. The frustrating experience led to Needle, which gives "consumers the ability to find the perfect item online at the right time."Continue reading...


YouTube Jumps into Retail with Shoppable Videos for Brand Channels

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...


Amazon Hopes to Build Better App Platform with Addition of Amazon Coins

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 13, 2013 05:17 PM

For what began as a bookseller,  Amazon has grown into a sizeable and powerful empire, but what’s an empire without its own money? The web retailer has now introduced its own virtual currency, Amazon Coins.

To introduce customers to the product, Amazon has dumped 500 coins (worth $5) into the accounts of every new and existing Kindle Fire user for them to use for apps or in-app purchases, TechCrunch reports

“With discounts of up to 10 percent when you buy Coins, this is a great way for customers to save money when they buy apps, games and in-app items,” said Mike George, vice president of apps and games at Amazon, in a statement. “We will continue to add more ways to earn and spend Coins on a wider range of content and activities—today is Day One for Coins.” The more ways to bring in revenue, the better, right?Continue reading...

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