2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards


With Smartphones in Hand, Consumers Stretch Cyber Monday Sales to New Recond

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 03:53 PM

Cyber Monday sales set a new one-day record for online shopping yesterday with an increase of 20 percent over 2012, while mobile sales increased 55 perent year-over-year and now account for more than 17 percent of total online sales for Cyber Monday.

Walmart, Amazon and eBay were the day's big winners, as Walmart.com quickly sold out of its entire stock of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, with CEO Joel Anderson proclaiming, "There's no way ... that it won't finish as our biggest Cyber Monday ever," according to USA Today. "I think 2013 will be remembered as the year online went mobile." 

Amazon offered half-off Mattel and Fisher-Price products, 46 percent off a Canon digital camera and 65 percent off men and women’s cashmere, while eBay promoted more than 80 percent off diamond stud earrings. 

Most consumers accessed the deals via tablets, while mobile phones were used most for browsing. Tablets accounted for 12 percent of purchases versus 5.5 percent from smartphones.Continue reading...


Supreme Court Ignores Amazon's Appeals in State Sales Tax Fight

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2013 12:42 PM

Amazon may think its on its way to world domination with the announcement of its under-development drone-delivery service and its ability to get the United States Postal Service to actually work on Sundays, but one entity—the Supreme Court—has managed to put the kibosh on one of the company's most important efforts. 

On Cyber Monday, while online shoppers across the globe took advantage of mega deals all over the internet, the Supreme Court was giving Amazon and Overstock.com some bad news about a fight that other online retailers, such as eBay, were watching closely. The Court said it won’t stop New York State from forcing online retailers to charge sales tax to those who buy products in their state. The Court rejected the appeals of the retailers.

Amazon and Overstock had been arguing that since there were no facilities owned by either company in the state of New York, there should be no sales tax paid by those who purchase items from the online retailers while in the borders of the Empire State. According to Bloomberg, “states lose an estimated $23 billion a year in uncollected sales taxes from web retailers.”Continue reading...

luxury watch

Zappos Hopes André Leon Talley's Rolodex Brings More Brands to Couture Site

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2013 08:08 PM

Most consumers shop Zappos.com for its good prices and customer service, but the online marketplace has plans to up its luxury game—and it's starting with some heavy-hitting recruiting.  

Former Vogue editor André Leon Talley has been named the artistic director of Zappos Couture, the company's luxury arm. The site already serves up high-end brands such as Armani, Balmain, and Burberry, but Talley will “oversee fashion shoots, videos and trend selection starting next year” in the hopes of bringing in more revenue from luxury-oriented shoppers.

Talley will be working with the company for one year, Women’s Wear Daily reports, and says that his aim is to “create something unique, in terms of a Web magazine within the Zappos Couture website, that conveys the immediacy and excitement of luxury retail products, season by season.” And as for leaving the print world, Talley seems hopeful for what digital content can bring to the brand. “The digital universe is a new, exciting opportunity for me to reach a broad audience in terms of the global luxury market."Continue reading...

retail watch

Thanksgiving Holiday Sales Are a Mixed Bag of 'Good' and 'Could Have Been Better'

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2013 04:52 PM

It’s tricky to find consensus on the success of this weekend’s spending, but one thing is a fact—Black Friday marked the first billion-dollar-plus day of this year’s holiday shopping season.

Accorind to comScore, consumers spent $1.2 billion online, with sales up 18.9 percent this year from last as retailers pushed their open hours from Friday to Thanksgiving day.

"Consumers appear to have responded to retailers' strong push to get them in the stores and online early this year," Shawn DuBravac, CEA chief economist and senior director of research, told USA Today. "The dust is still settling, but early indications point to a weekend of record-breaking online sales and a healthy appetite for key tech products."

ShopperTrak reports that sales were off 13.2 percent on Black Friday, but with more stores open earlier on Thanksgiving this year, and for longer hours, the combined sales of Thursday and Friday were actually up 2.3 percent over the same two days last year. Still, a more somber take from the National Retail Federation puts the weekend spend at about $1.7 billion less than in 2012. “There are some economic challenges that many Americans still face,” Matthew Shay, CEO, NRF, told the New York Times. “So in general terms, many are intending to be a little bit more conservative with their budgets.”Continue reading...


Amazon Debuts Drone Delivery Concept

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2013 02:11 PM

Amazon, the granddaddy of big-box e-tail has taken a giant leap forward in the same-day delivery race with the debut of its Prime Air delivery drones. 

Making its debut on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the “octocopter” drones could be operating in four or five years. “It will work, it will happen, and it’s going to be alot of fun,” he said. 

The drones, which have been a special project of the company's R&D lab, will need FAA approval before they can deliver any packages—primarily within a 10-mile radius of distribution centers for packages five pound or less in under 30 minutes.

“Safety will be our top priority, and our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies and designed to commercial aviation standards,” the company noted. Bezos also noted that the environmentally sensitive motors are "very green."Continue reading...

black friday

Black Friday 2013: Retailers, Consumers Fight Tooth and Nail for Holiday Sales

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2013 03:03 PM

With seven million fewer people than last year expected to shop this holiday weekend, Black Friday promised to offer even greater, more desperate discounts and the subsequent sad, human spectacle those discounts guarantee. A tragic situation for retailers; a feast for the unsympathetic, bloodthirsty spectators of Rome America.

Still, the mad rush so far seems to have been worth it. Early reports are indicating solid consumer turnouts for Thanksgiving day/night sales, while e-commerce is already up 7 percent this year compared to last, according to IBM's Benchmark data. Mobile has appeared to be a strong player this year, accounting for 37 percent of all online shopping traffic and nearly 22 percent of sales as of noon, eastern-time, today. 

With sales starting as early as the afternoon of Thanksgiving itself, shoppers and spectators alike still well lubricated with wine, those looking for the melees of Black Friday found it early this year. Walmart seemed to be the epicenter of the chaos but other stores got mentions as well. So here's a Twitter round-up of some of the more notable incidents, plus one development that proves it isn't only Black Friday that's moving to Thursday.Continue reading...


The Week in China: Starbucks Spreads Holiday Cheer, KFC Splits, China's 'Doorbusters' and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2013 12:18 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Starbucks and Christmas time come (again) to China… Ford outpacing GM… KFC breaks up… Nissan turns to heartthrobs… Ferrari owner age… Twitter's Asia strategy… Hugo Boss woes… so long, cognac… how China does "door busters"... and more.Continue reading...

retail watch

Much Like US, Canadian, UK Retailers Don't Need Thanksgiving to Push Black Friday Deals

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 03:52 PM

America has successfully exported its Black Friday retail frenzy the UK and Canada, despite the fact that neither celebrates Thanksgiving. Apple, Amazon, and Asda (owned by Walmart) are offering their US Black Friday deals to UK consumers at 20 percent off this weekend, while native retailers like Debenhams, John Lewis and Selfridges are getting in on the Black Friday action with what they call "Christmas comes early" sales.

"This shows how online is driving the retail agenda. Apple and Amazon offer deals in the US and they don't want their UK customers to feel cheated," Donald Shields, multichannel strategy director at SapientNitro, explained to Ad Age. "This has obviously come from online—there's no Thanksgiving and no Friday off to go out shopping—but it's picking up momentum in stores as well, and translating into a physical retail event."

With online spending in the UK expected to jump 20 percent to $8 billion between now and Christmas, according to Deloitte, retailers are happy to adopt another US concept: Cyber Monday. 

But Kevin Gill, managing creative director of Start JG, thinks the shopping events lose a little luster outside the US, where they just seem like another sale. "It seems a little bit cynical to plug into a US event when we don't have the event that precedes it—are they going to import Thanksgiving next?" he told Ad Age. "It's a more natural extension for U.S. retailers like Amazon and Apple, but Debenhams feels a bit of a stretch. If retailers embraced it and did something special it might work, but just offering 20 percent off is a bit shallow."Continue reading...

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