Constant Contact Expands Beyond Email, Adds Website Builder for SMBs

Constant Contact, known for its email marketing platform, is expanding to offer an AI-driven website builder as well as tools for branding, productivity, and e-commerce. It’s the first major expansion for Constant Contact since its acquisition by Endurance International Group.

The company’s new website builder is specifically designed for SMB owners and operators without the time or expertise typically required to build an effective site from scratch. Constant Contact claims sites can be created in minutes.

Shift in Gift-Giving Culture Speaks to Changes in Digital Commerce

At the heart of the shift in gift-giving culture is the rise of online shopping. While previous generations would take to their local shops or markets to find the perfect gifts, today the process is infinitely simpler thanks to online retail giants like Amazon. At the click of a button, Internet users can purchase a present to be sent directly to their (or, even better, the recipient’s) door. Indeed, this is how the majority of people appear to be approaching gift giving today; approximately three quarters of consumers in the UK say they now buy more than half of their Christmas presents online. 

How CPGs Can Thrive on Amazon

Amazon already uses its most valuable weapon — its own internal data — to compete with its own suppliers. It analyzes customer behavior around noted CPG brands, key market sectors, and private-label offerings from brands that sell on its platform to make decisions about where to launch its own private labels.

What can CPGs do to make it a win-win? 

Brick-And-Mortars Are Taking A Data-Driven Approach To The E-Commerce Challenge

Brick-and-mortar stores have contended with competition from the likes of Amazon and the steady growth of e-commerce, where testing is easily done. Yet brick-and-mortars can also take a data-driven approach to the e-commerce challenge. In-store experimentation based on advanced data science allows them to test everything from the store CX to its operations with relative ease and in a scalable way. 

Real-world, science-based testing isn’t limited to product merchandising. It can be applied across a wide range of brick-and-mortar challenges, new product launches, store remodels, loyalty programs and more. A test-and-learn culture like the one described here can take a company’s research capability to the next level, helping to avoid failed ideas, fuel faster new product rollouts, maximize marketing ROI, and ultimately driving better business results.

How Americans Shop Today

All industries—apparel, grocery, electronics—are affected differently by the move to e-commerce, and consumers are turning to new options, including social marketplaces, disrupting what we typically think of as digital shopping. Here are some insights on major market changes, including the key to Amazon’s dominance, the industries flouting the turn to e-commerce, and a curious preference among millennials, from a recent survey of 1,000 consumers by Signs.com.

Identity Crisis: Optimizing a Brand While Pursuing Omnichannel

Andrew Witkin: When viewed as a way to raise brand awareness and impressions, a clicks-to-bricks move can still net an overall gain—if the traffic from the retail space driven to the website costs less than what it would to purchase those impressions through online advertising. The end goal of an omnichannel strategy is not only to engage customers with an experience that isn’t available online but also to use this unique experience and brand awareness to boost online sales.

Williams-Sonoma Sues Amazon, Underscoring War Over E-Commerce Monopolization

Foreshadowing a battle over Amazon’s overwhelming control of e-commerce, Williams-Sonoma filed a lawsuit against Amazon in the final days of 2018, charging that the retail juggernaut used its market power to copy the furniture maker’s products and squeeze it out of the market.

Doddle Launches in US, Pushing Click-and-Collect Forward for American Retail

Touting the fact that 70% of U.S. shoppers have leveraged click-and-collect options at their disposal in the last six months, Doddle, which has been active in the UK, will be helping major retail partners such as Amazon create smoother buying experiences for customers who want to take advantage of one-click online ordering while avoiding the process of delivery.

The Numbers on Mobile’s Role in Holiday Shopping This Season

The results of a survey released just last week by mobile ad firm AdColony go beyond the already stale proclamation that the mobile revolution has taken over retail, pointing instead to granular details about just how consumers are using mobile today. We provide the highlights.

5 Big Takeaways from Black Friday 2018

As Cyber Monday gets underway, another Black Friday looms behind us. Below are the highlights of brick-and-mortar retail’s big day as we prepare for the windfall expected from its digital counterpart.

Will AR Bring Together the Best of Online and Offline Shopping?

Mike Boland: We know about the advantages of e-commerce. There’s more supply, transparency, cost efficiency, inventory (a.k.a “endless aisle”), and the ability to dynamically search and filter product attributes. AR can engender a sort of hybrid UX that brings these features to store aisles. The losers in the next era of retail will be those who try to fight this experiential innovation.

5 Things to Know About Amazon’s Fast-Growing Ad Biz

Search “Amazon advertising,” and the first webpage you’ll find comes from the e-commerce giant itself. The pitch? In a phrase: “Reach millions of customers who find, discover, and buy at Amazon.” It doesn’t get much more compelling than that. Here are five things you need to know about the most legitimate challenge to Google and Facebook’s digital ad dominance. 

Report: E-Commerce Sites Must Fend Off Looming Challenge from Social Platforms

The opportunity is ripe for social platforms with the right transactional infrastructure and e-commerce sites with a proper slate of marketing functions to cross into the conventional territory of the other, a new report from video marketing firm Magisto indicates. If e-commerce sites do not go beyond transactions to offer their vendors marketing possibilities, they may lose the market on transactions altogether.

This Fast-Growing E-Commerce Management Platform Has the Attention of Pepsi and P&G

Content Analytics, which fancies itself “the only end-to-end eCommerce management platform,” is growing at a rapid clip, and big brands are taking note. The company announced on Tuesday its eighth consecutive quarter of YOY growth exceeding 100%.

Prime Day 2017 Marked Week of Lowest Foot Traffic for Retailers Last Summer

Those are the latest numbers on foot traffic and e-commerce from location data experts at Foursquare, which posted the information on Medium. As we suggested over here at Street Fight last week, Prime Day, which arrives this Monday and continues on through Tuesday, is a testament to Amazon’s power to disrupt all of retail when it so chooses.

Tech and Brand Partnerships Point to a New Future of Mobile Shopping

In the future, partnerships between brands, tech companies, and marketers will enable a massive shift in payments and change how shoppers access the goods they want. So said Mike Jaconi, CEO and co-founder Button, maintaining that U.S. commerce is not yet primed for purchase — but it’s getting there.

GoDaddy Launches Simple Way to Scale Up E-Commerce Sites

GoDaddy today is releasing a new Web hosting product that the company says makes it easier for anyone, regardless of their technical proficiency, to run high-traffic, e-commerce sites. It’s also a way for SMBs to gain access to more management and security options for their websites while sticking to a budget.