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Posts from the ‘Retail / Ecommerce’ Category

Fast Company – Tencent: The Secretive, Chinese Tech Giant That Can Rival Facebook and Amazon

Fast Company

April 23, 2014

By Dorinda Elliott

A tech war has raged in China, and a winner seems ready to emerge. It’s Tencent–a controversial, $139 billion company with nearly a billion users, which functions like Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Uber all rolled into one. Now it’s gunning for global expansion.

3029119-poster-p-1-185-tencent-penguin-risingChina’s most powerful Internet company is headquartered in a bland, glassy tower in southern Shenzhen. Unlike Silicon Valley’s funky campuses, there is nothing to reveal that this might be a hub of creativity. An insurance company, perhaps? In the middle of its nondescript, corporate lobby, an information desk stands next to the only sign of personality: a pair of giant plush penguins, the Tencent mascot times two. Nearby, an iPad displays stats on the company’s messaging services. But when I pull out a notebook and start jotting down the numbers, the receptionist waves her hand. “Oh no, that’s not updated!” she says. “It’s just for show.”

I’m here for a “tour” of the company, but am only allowed entrance to a museum-like exhibit of Tencent products. The experience feels like a throwback to the tightly controlled Communist Party–sponsored trips reporters went on back in the 1980s, before the country really started opening up to the outside world. An attractive, young, fluent English speaker shuffles me from one screen to another. The three other public relations officers with me offer no analysis of the firm, saying they will get back to me on any questions I have. I ask about the management style of the somewhat mysterious CEO, Pony Ma, and there is an awkward pause. Then the guide brightly tells me: “It’s very equal here. We all call him Pony!”

And that’s the tour.

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Fast Company – How Brands Can Market More Effectively to Women — and Why They Should

Fast Company

Pay attention to the next commercial you hear — Odds are a man is doing the voiceover. Here’s why that’s a huge missed opportunity for anyone doing the selling.

By Carrie Faverty

Tampons. Diapers. Fruit juice.

Odds are if you’ve seen a commercial for one of these products, you’ve heard a woman’s voice on it. Still, most high-profile companies are almost always voiced by a man. Cars, electronics, financial institutions…all men. Why is this? You could argue that, historically, men were seen as authoritative figures and “the decision-makers,” so it made sense that they were the ones selling the products on TV–from one man to another. But the times they are a-changin’.

Or at least, they should be. Research from a recent Pew study shows that women are the primary or sole breadwinners in four out of 10 households–a statistic that’s gotten certain people shamefully riled up. Compared to where women were 30 to 40 years ago, it’s a staggering number, to be sure. The research begs the question: If women are the decision-makers in so many families today, why are we still not selling to them?

Think about it: When was the last time you heard a woman as the voiceover on a commercial for a car? Or a bank? Or a fast food company? Sure, there are exceptions. You might remember Stockard Channing as the voice of AIG for years, and Pizza Hut commercials used Queen Latifah’s voice for a time, but examples like these are few and far between.


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HubSpot – 7 Deadly Sins of Ecommerce Marketing Automation


By Sam Mallikarjunan

December 27, 2013


Marketing automation can be an extremely powerful tool, particularly for B2C ecommerce marketers that have to create a highly personalized experience for hundreds of thousands of customers a month. However, used improperly, marketing automation can have the opposite of the intended effect and create a user experience that’s simply evil.

1) Treating B2C as faceless entities and B2B as real people

It’s impractical for most ecommerce retailers to manually go through all of their customer records and engage personally with each of them like they do in the B2B world, and this is where marketing automation gets it’s great value. In the B2B sales world, a real human being can manually review a given contact record and make human decisions about how to create a personalized and contextually relevant buying experience. In the B2C ecommerce world, that’s impossible given the sheer volume of customers we deal with.

Because of this, many ecommerce marketers have decided that if they can’t treat manually each contact as an individual person that they’re going to treat all contacts the exact same. They blast their entire email list three times a week with a coupon and call that email marketing. They show everyone the exact same content on their website. They sometimes even ignore messages and comments coming in through social media because of the sheer volume of them instead of using marketing automation to solve these problems by collecting contacts into similar buyer personas that can receive a more targeted engagement.

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Marketing Profs – Seven Ways to Go Beyond Black Friday If You’re a Small Business

Screen shot 2013-07-29 at 7.20.22 AM

November 29, 2013

By Joe Manna


Black Friday is a big deal to small businesses. Consumers in 2012 spent on average $423 during Thanksgiving weekend, or $59.1 billion total (a 13% increase from the previous year), according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

This year, on Friday, November 29, retailers will open their doors early to attract Black Friday shoppers with attractive discounts and bundled services. Entire shopping communities are abuzz with ad-scan leaks, rumors, and analysis of Black Friday offers.

As a regular shopper on Black Friday myself, I can attest that for many consumers it’s thrilling to find the best deal and to partake in people-watching while eager shoppers camp outside the doors the night before.

But what about small businesses?

It’s not a fair fight for entrepreneurs to go toe to toe against large retailers that make Black Friday a success through steep discounting, aggressive marketing, and massive advertising budgets. Nevertheless, small businesses, too, can capitalize on Black Friday.

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Cyber Monday: Behind the Numbers [Infographic]

Best computer

November 22, 2013


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