Good Morning M-Commerce Helpers…


“It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood!”  Mr. Rogers was right after all. In a recent look at the 300 largest M-Commerce companies – sequenced by M-Commerce revenue – Foot Locker ranks among the top.

Remember, Guidance developed M-Commerce sites earlier this year for multiple Foot Locker brands, including footlocker.com, ccs.com and eastbay.com.

Check out the competition:  Wal-Mart appeared at slot 4 with $127.7 million. Staples came in at a projected $45.3 million this year, followed by Best Buy ($37.9 million), Macy’s ($33.2 million), Buy.com ($32.5 million), Foot Locker ($32 million), Sears ($31.7 million) and Overstock ($31.6 million).

Not a bad set of neighbors, Foot Locker. Congratulations on your mobile success this year!

Source:  Evan Schuman, StoreFrontBackTalk

Putting Kids On Their Feet

Guidance is proud to, once again, support the United Negro College Fund as a sponsor of Foot Locker’s ON OUR FEET gala.

The UNCF is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization.  To date, Foot Locker has awarded nearly 400 scholarships to deserving students attending a UNCF school.  

They are  currently in the process of gathering hundreds of responses from qualified individuals for the ‘11/’12 school year. As a result of the overwhelming response to the scholarship program and your incredible generosity and support, they are excited to provide even more aspiring students with the incredible opportunity to further their education.

The annual event is held at Gotham Hall in New York City and draws hundreds of guests donning tuxedos, cocktail dresses and… sneakers.  It’s the one night of the year when you can mix Armani, Prada and K-Swiss.

We will also be supporting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica this year.  More on that next month…

What CEOs Are Saying…

Many of you know that I belong to Vistage, the largest CEO community in the world. Each quarter, Vistage asks its 14,000 members to complete a CEO Confidence Survey. The results are shared nationally on all the cable news networks, as it’s the broadest survey of its kind.

Here are some interesting facts and concerns shared by CEOs (from 3Q11):

Free Shipping… Not For Long…

A couple years ago, I predicted that “free shipping” would disappear.  Not for lack of demand, increased fuel costs, or the recession.  I predicted it would become so popular, everyone would demand it.  And retailers would go for it.

So if retailers offer it all the time (and nearly half of all transactions from last year involved free shipping), at what point is it considered a “standard service” versus a free promotion?  The cost must go somewhere? Am I paying less for the same product?  
I’m also curious to know if my kids will ever pay for shipping as an added fee on an online invoice. No corded phone, no turning the TV channel using a knob, no heavy text books. They probably won’t know what “free shipping” was by the time they enter the workforce.
Here are a few stats about shipping from FreeShipping.org:
  1. 61% of consumers will likely cancel their entire purchase if free shipping isn’t offered. (Comscore, May 2011)
  2. 49% of transactions in 2010 included free shipping. (Comscore, May 2011)
  3. 23% increase in traffic for retailers offering free shipping promotions. (Comscore, May 2011)
  4. Transactions including free shipping rose from 45.6% in 2009 to 55.1% in 2010. (Comscore, May 2011)
  5. 57.5% of merchants offered free shipping without conditions during the 2010 holiday season. (Comscore, May 2011)
Much of what I’ve read indicates consumer spending this holiday season will outpace last year, despite the dreadful August we just endured.  Most will look for free shipping, and many retailers will go for it.  But not for long, I suspect.  I think the entire concept disappears within 3 years…  The upside is that if it doesn’t, it will still not cost me anything.  I think?

Charity Tuesday: ONEHOPE Wine Supports Boys & Girls Clubs

WWW.ONEHOPEWINE.COM

My good friends at ONEHOPE Wine showcased the Santa Monica Boys and Girls Clubs in their Charity Tuesday campaign today.  Shoppers at ONEHOPE Wine were able to checkout and donate 10% of their purchase price to the Club.

Each Tuesday, ONEHOPE offers the “Shop & Give” drop-down on every product offered in the ONEHOPE Wine store.  10% from every product purchased at ONEHOPEWine.com is donated to a charity of your choice from the drop-down.

Every Charity Tuesday, ONEHOPE introduces and features a new non-profit in the Shop & Give drop-down, allowing them to give hope to a greater number of important causes beyond those they support all year.

 

WWW.SMBGC.ORG

In addition to being a Guidance client, ONEHOPE is one of a few special companies in which I invest my time, energy and money.  Jake, Mike, Tom and their army of entrepreneurs are a bunch of good people up to good things.

 

I’m proud of their support of the local kids in our community.  And I hope you’ll remember ONEHOPE Wine the next time you’re shopping or dining out.

Netizens spend 9% more time using mobile apps than the Internet.

Years ago when the first email Blackberries emerged to offer us real time, mobile email, I found myself waiting for the “you’ve got mail” beep and eagerly checking it.
More often than not, I was receiving useless spam.  But the Pavlovian response was clearly at work.  I was addicted to my CrackBerry…
Since then, the Internet has taken off.  I heard a report today that suggested that today’s World Wide Web creates more data every day than all of the data created in history through 2003.  The online experience is growing more ubiquitous.
And with the proliferation of inexpensive mobile devices (especially web enabled cell phones), my estimation is that half of the planet will be “connected” within 36 months. That’s a staggering figure.
Also staggering is the notion that people now spend more time using mobile apps than they spend browsing the Internet.  Mobile app analytics firm Flurry is releasing a new report today suggesting that users spend 9% more time using mobile apps than the Internet.
And when I think about how many times my iPhone jumps out of my pocket these days, I believe it.  Games and social media apps like Facebook and Twitter are engaging users several times a day – all day…
And with PC sales down, tablet and mobile sales on the rise, I suppose this shouldn’t be too surprising.
ICANN is likely to announce the unleashing of a bazillion new Internet domain name extensions today.  But it makes me wonder…  At what point does the Internet become completely encapsulated by apps which offer richer functionality and a mobility we seem to enjoy more than the desktop/browser experience?
Maybe the web as we know it will one day go the way of the newspaper? Who knows… Gotta run. My New York Times just arrived…

Feeling "Gilt-ii" About Buying That New Purse?

The new Gilt-ii (pronounced “guilty”) plug-in for Gilt.com members is a clever idea – one worth checking out.  Here is how it works and why it’s worth noting:

Using the plug-in, you add items to your cart for, let’s say, 10 minutes.  While they are in your cart, they are not directly available to other buyers.  So quantities typically run out, and some buyers are out of luck.

But during those 10 minutes while the item is in YOUR cart, you can auction it off to other buyers, right from your cart.  You can even make a premium if other buyer bid it up.

I understand the plug-in works on a few other sites, other than Gilt.com.

For the rest of us in the ecommerce space, the idea of auctioning items in a cart during a flash sale with high demand and limited quantities offers a neat alternative to, “Sorry, all items are sold out!”

Is Your Traffic Up 160%?

I love reading about my clients in the news.  It’s especially cool when I read about their growing sales or online traffic results.

A money manager buddy of mine at Wells Fargo Securities sent me this little gem last week…

“unique visitor growth accelerated in April, to up 155% yr/yr vs. up 41.4% last month. On a 2-year trend, traffic was up 160% vs. up 53% last month.”

This is an analyst’s report on the increased online traffic results for Foot Locker in the month of April.  Foot Locker is a long time Guidance client and a true success story in the online retail market today…

Old Mobile Vendor Gets the Boot in Favor of Guidance

Today’s article in Internet Retailer Magazine acknowledges the work that Footlocker.com and Guidance did earlier this year to re-launch Foot Locker’s portfolio sites on a new and much improved mobile platform.

As shown on the iPhone 4

IR’s own Kevin Woodward offers a great enumeration of the functional enhancements and new features found in several of Foot Locker’s online brands, including Foot Locker, Champs Sports and CCS.

Leveraging Foot Locker’s online partner of over 10 years, Guidance was tapped to re-launch the online stores between January and early March of this year.  “By using them for our mobile sites we were able to share features and functionalities between our online channels,” said a familiar spokeswoman at Foot Locker.  The mobile sites were previously developed and hosted by a third-party mobile shop.

All told, Guidance launched 8 new mobile Foot Locker brands earlier this year, including Eastbay, Foot Locker, Champs Sports, CCS, Foot Action, Final Score, Kids Foot Locker, and Lady Foot Locker.  (When linking to those sites from this post, keep in mind it will take you to m.footlocker.com, for example, which is optimized for mobile vs. desktop browsing.)

12 Years with Microsoft

For our twelfth consecutive year, Guidance has renewed its partnership with software giant Microsoft. And we are particularly thrilled about it this year for various reasons.

Unlike previous years, the renewal process required a few additional steps that made it more challenging for Guidance and other Microsoft partners to update their status. Microsoft Certified Professionals were required to renew their certifications, which in some cases involved taking brand new tests for subjects that weren’t even covered by books or any other kind of training material. But our team pulled through and successfully passed all four tests that are required to achieve the Web Developer 4 certification, which allowed guidance to earn the Web Development competency.

Since 1999, Guidance has been working with Microsoft applications such as Commerce Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, Dynamics and others to build many of our clients’ online and desktop solutions. We are proud of our long-standing relationship with Microsoft and look forward to many more years of successful partnership.