eCommerce News of the Week – March 14th 2016

Who’da thought that our News of the Week (NOTW) series would actually be going 3 weeks in a row?  In this edition, I talk about Amazon, Magento, and dates & events that you should be selling towards. If you have questions about the news and what it means for your business feel free to comment on this post!
Amazon is playing in the Home Shopping Network’s water…
An interesting turn of events is happening at Amazon. They are evolving, and that is scary for some retailers. In the wake of their announcement to carry more white-labeled products, including fashion brands, Amazon has announced that they will be directly competing with home shopping networks like QVC, Evine, and HSN.  Personally I think this may mark the beginning of the end for major shopping networks, as Amazon realizes that they can capture an emerging market. Tip: Someone needs to tell QVC and HSN that people don’t stay 55 year old stay-at-home moms forever—if these shopping networks want to compete long term, they’ll need to start targeting a younger demographic. In addition to giving Amazon a new channel to sell items, this program allows them to focus on their Lightning Deals and holiday sales, and to take advantage of an “infomercial-style” approach for products, like electronics, that often need some instruction to explain and sell.
Meet the Magento Masters, Makers, and Movers…
While this didn’t actually happen this week, I wanted to take some time to call out the pace-setters of our industry. Magento has recently launched the Magento Masters program to recognize top contributors to the Magento ecosystem. Masters fall into three categories:
  • Mentors are top contributors to the Magento Community who are highly active in educating others and developing Magento resources. Mentors have proven expertise in building successful Magento implementations.
  • Makers are frequent contributors valued by Magento (and other community) members. They actively engage with others in the Magento community, sharing ideas, insights, and constructive feedback.
  • Movers are Magento’s top advocates and ecosystem thought leaders who have demonstrated their expertise in driving innovation through Magento solutions. They are influencers in the industry, delivering best-of-class Magento implementations and advocating for Magento at industry events.

Let’s give these folks a pat on the back for all their hard work and contributions to the industry and community. We are blessed to be working with so many great people.
 
Prepare yourself to sell, sell, sell…
Some very important holidays are coming up, so now is a great time to add a new feature to my NOTW: tips and insights for retailers who are looking for ways to increase revenues or customer engagement. If you use an email marketing system like Mailchimp, Bronto, or Listrak, it’s time to start scheduling campaigns for these important upcoming dates! If you’re a Gauge client and you’re looking for more specific ideas, send us a message on Basecamp.

  1. April Fool’s Day – Friday, April 1st
  2. US Tax Day – Friday, April 15th
  3. Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 8th
  4. Memorial Day – Monday, May 30th
  5. Father’s Day – Sunday, June 19th
  6. Summer is Heating Up Sale

To learn more, check out the tips on Practical eCommerce.
 

Why eCommerce won’t kill brick and mortar after all…

There is an age-old discussion between eCommerce and brick and mortar: “What is the future of Commerce?” While there is no doubt that eCommerce is growing leaps and bounds, some big retailers like Amazon, Warby Parker, and Birchbox have made the move to include brick and mortar strategies to increase branding opportunities and to reach the new shopping age group of “Centennials”—consumers in the 13-18 age group. This tactic has been especially prevalent in verticals like fashion and wearables, which are increasingly hard to sell to online. In fact, a recent study from PowerReviews showed that, out of the 1,700+ US Centennials surveyed, 94% prefer to research and browse products online. But when it comes to making the final purchase decision, almost half (46%) prefer to buy in-store. For that reason alone, brick and click  retailers must bridge the gap between their online initiatives and potential physical locations to create consistent experiences across all channels and meet shoppers where they feel the most comfortable.
Source
 
Upcoming eCommerce and Retailer Conferences 

Shopify Unite – March 22nd & 23rd in San Francisco
 
Magento Imagine – April 11th-13th in Las Vegas
 
EntreLeadership Summit – May 22nd‑25th in Dallas
 
IRCE – June 7th-10th in Chicago
If you are attending any of these, reach out to us! We’ll be at each and we’d love to meet up.

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