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Twitter Hires Head of Commerce as it Looks Toward In-Tweet Retail Partnerships

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 28, 2013 11:51 AM

In its latest bid to spread its wings, Twitter has hired Nathan Hubbard, former CEO of Ticketmaster, as its first head of commerce as the microblogger readies to launch an in-tweet e-commerce effort.

Looking to tap into a market that is projected to hit $370 billion by 2017—one currently dominated by the likes of Amazon and eBay—the social site has plans to incorporate tools for retailers to sell goods and services inside tweets, Hubbard told Bloomberg. “We’re going to go to people who have stuff to sell and help them use Twitter to sell it more effectively."Continue reading...


Facebook Drops Physical Gifts, Hones in on Users' E-Commerce Habits

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 26, 2013 07:17 PM

Facebook's brief foray into physical gift-giving has come to an unceremonious end. Users will no longer (that's if they ever did) send teddy bears, flowers, mugs and other items to friends via the site, settling with a Facebook-branded gift card. 

"Since launching Gifts in December last year, roughly 80 percent of gifts have been gift cards,” according to a company spokesperson, CNET reports, with Facebook gift credits to Starbucks and iTunes the hottest items. “We're now adding more digital codes and making the Facebook Card redeemable at more merchants.”

The digital-only gift shop experience rolls out this week to all users and enables the social giant to continue to explore revenue streams without the costs associated with the fulfillment of physical goods. The Facebook gift shop will now offer more choices from more brands, all of whose gift balances live on the same, generic Facebook Card—a reusable gift card capable of holding mutiple balances from different retailers.Continue reading...


eBay Taps Online Personal Shopper Startup to Boost Fashion Sales

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 13, 2013 06:12 PM

Ever adapting, the retail world is the first to field consumer wants and needs. Now, with the latest fashion trends only a swipe away on mobile devices, retailers are scrambling to adopt the latest practices, particularly personalization.

eBay, which has recently expanded far beyond its roots in online auctions into e-commerce and on-the-go shopping with eBay Now is currently testing a six-month trial with London-based fashion startup Dressipi for its users in the UK. The service provides personalized clothing and accessory recommendations based on shape, size and brand preferences. 

Once users create their Fashion Fingerprint, Dressipi scours eBay for items that fit the users fashion profile, assembling a range of outfits fit for purchase from the site. eBay is also featuring a curated collection of clothes and accessories from Dressipi's team in its Fashion Gallery.Continue reading...


H&M Makes Fashionably Late Online Debut in US

Posted by Brittany Waterson on August 7, 2013 08:03 PM

At last, Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M has launched an e-commerce site for eager American shoppers. After much anticipation and several delays, the site launched on August 1, while there are already online shops set up in Sweden, the UK and other global markets.

With 269 stores in the US, the addition of online shopping will only bolster the popularity and success of the world's second largest fashion retailer, which has a presence in 48 countries. 

"We are thrilled to launch online shopping in the U.S.," Daniel Kulle, US President for H&M said in a press release. "This significant milestone fully rounds out H&M's multichannel offering. Along with close to 300 stores, our US customers will now have twenty-four hour access to the best of our fashion and home collections via their computers, smartphones, and tablets from anywhere in the US."Continue reading...


Amazon Taps into the Finer Things with Launch of Amazon Art

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 7, 2013 01:47 PM

While Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was busy buying the Washington Post for $250 million, staffers at the company were gearing up for the launch of a new, now confirmed business: Amazon Art. The online marketplace for fine art has more than 40,000 pieces made by 4,500 artists. 

The e-tailer made deals with more than 150 galleries and art dealers to offer up their products on Amazon, which will take a 5 to 20 percent commission once a sale is made, The Street reports. The collection includes everything from $200 photographs to a $45,000 Andy Warhol painting, and Norman Rockwell's "Willie Gillis: Package From Home," which is priced modestly at $4.85 million.Continue reading...


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...

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