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Happy Friday, everyone! There’s been a lot of news and discussion this week around the massive Nor’easter, Deflategate and Super Bowl ads. While those make for great water-cooler talk, let’s catch up on the top ecommerce and retail news relevant to your business.

We’ve rounded up the top four stories from the week including what new marketing channel can reach a full 100% of your audience, how luxury brands like Coach and Neiman Marcus are handling digital disruption and how much money fans are expected to spend for Super Bowl XLIX.

Coach Promotes Two Executives to Lead Ecommerce Push

Coach has promoted one executive and added responsibilities to the job duties of another, all in an effort to increase the brand’s ecommerce presence and ultimately increase sales in North America, which are down 20% YoY.

“Andre [Cohen] and David [Duplantis] are both seasoned leaders and brand builders with experience across many aspects of Coach’s global business,” said Coach CEO Victor Luis. “They are ready to address the opportunities ahead with their creativity, tenacity, and exceptional leadership qualities.”

Coach grown its ecommerce success from $207.3 million in 2009 to $401.5 million in 2013.

Coach has steadily increased its online sales over the last five years. Internet Retailer estimates the company has grown its ecommerce success from $207.3 million in 2009 to $401.5 million in 2013.

Cohen and Duplantis are both Coach veterans, having been at the company for eight and 15 years respectively. Cohen, in fact, was previously CEO of Coach China and Coach Asia, and Luis calls him a “highly respected Coach leader.” As for Duplantis, he has led the majority of Coach’s previous ecommerce growth and has been recognized for his global digital experience.

Neiman Marcus Brings Digital Shopping to Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Luxury department stores aren’t about to let ecommerce take their reigns. Instead, companies like Neiman Marcus are actively bridging the gap between physical and digital shopping with initiatives like The Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab (known as iLab).

An interactive retail table designed in iLab is now being tested out in psychical retail stores in Austin, Chicago and Topanga. The concept tables are located in the shoe department,  are approximately 70” long, 34” tall, and 26” wide and comprise of a clean-cut Ultra HD 4K touch screen that features a single, continuous pane of glass that changes to fit in with Neiman Marcus’ color scheme.

Shoppers can the interactive retail table to browse shoes both in-store and online.

Shoppers can use the table to browse shoes both in-store and online. Consumers can even add products to a wish list and receive emails when those items come in-store.

The tables, though, don’t just provide benefit to shoppers. Salespeople, as well, can use the tables to browse trends and new products before they get to the store, allowing them to stay up-to-date on the newest company offerings, brands and merchandise.

“The iLab built a solution that marries form and function,” said Scott Emmon, Neiman Marcus Enterprise Architect and iLab Manager. “The result is easy to use, leverages state of the art technology, and provides clients and associates with unbridled access to product.”

The table provides clients and associates with unbridled access to product.

Other luxury brands have also experimented with digital features at brick-and-mortar locations, including Rebecca Minkoff and Burberry.

“Whether it’s a product in another store location or from our online inventory, our goal is to provide customers with omnichannel access to the best merchandise in the world,” said Neiman Marcus Group CMO Wanda Gierhart. With our touch tables, we deliver another layer of exceptional customer service.”

Reach 100% of Your Audience via WhatsApp

New Facebook algorithms are seriously limiting the reach of brand posts, now down to only 6% of their Facebook fan base. But, for Facebook-acquired WhatsApp, this is not the case.

WhatsApp announced a new feature in 2013 called Broadcasting, to little fanfare. Now, however, this feature is making its way to the top of marketers’ lists for one big reason: you can reach 100% of your fan base.

“Broadcasting allows users to send messages to a group of people at once, without revealing the recipients to one another,” reports Samantha Collier for Practical Ecommerce. “Messages are sent directly to the recipient’s phone and, importantly for marketers, are handled no differently than those sent by friends and family. WhatsApp also offers a more instant way for marketers to reach their audience, with messages likely to be opened and read within the first few minutes of being sent, rather than hours for Facebook.”

WhatsApp offers a more instant way for marketers to reach their audience.

The BBC has been testing out the Broadcasting feature since its release, using the feature to spread breaking news including that of the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

“The BBC used their existing channels to promote the mobile number for users to add to their contact list, and asked them to send the word “JOIN” to the same number to start receiving messages. Users could also unsubscribe by sending ‘STOP’ at any point — much like a standard SMS campaign,” wrote Collier.

To date, most marketers using the Broadcast feature have been employees of a news organization. Yet, as more and more consumers move to mobile for shopping and content marketing takes on new forms for small and large retail brands alike, this unique WhatsApp feature won’t be a solely news-oriented for long.

When it Comes to Merchandise Sales, The Patriots are Already Winning

An estimated 184 million Americans are expected to watch Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, of whom are expected to spend some $14 billion of Super Bowl-related gear including food, merchandise and, of course, beer.

Beyond the showdown happening on the field this Sunday, competition is already heating up between the Patriots and Seahawks in stores –– where the competitors’ merchandise is going head-to-head. According to Shopatron, Patriots fans have outspent Seahawks fans by 238%.

Patriots fans have outspent Seahawks fans by 238%.

The highest sale day for both teams was January 19, the day after the two Super Bowl XLIX competitors were determined. Patriots merchandise sold 537% more merchandise than the running average for the month of January on the 19th, while Seahawks merchandise sold 322% more merchandise than the running average for the month of January.

Year-over-year, the Patriots have seen a 63% increase in sales each month, while the Seahawks have had growing sales of 51% per month.

Fans are expected to spend an average of $77.88 per person on Super Bowl-related items this year.

As for the Super Bowl itself, fans are expected to spend an average of $77.88 per person on Super Bowl-related items this year, an increase from 2014’s $68.27.

“With renewed confidence in the economy and the outlook for 2015, consumers are looking forward to some good old-fashioned fun with their friends and family to celebrate the big game,” shared NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a recent press release from the National Retail Federation. “Retailers will take full advantage of the expected traffic from avid fans by making sure they have adequately invested in décor, party food and accessories and other Super Bowl-related inventory.”

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Leave a Comment
  • Mickey Cutshall

    Creative writing , I loved the details – Does someone know if I would be able to grab a fillable TAR-2003 version to use ?

  • sarat pattnaik

    A good deed is never lost

  • Excellent Post, this is really awesome. Even we are struggling with the new Facebook algorithm.

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