Facebook is a platform that many successful ecommerce retailers have used to build their brands. Particularly, recent direct-to-consumer startup companies like Brandless and Framebridge, Allbirds, Framebridge and BarkBox have built remarkable retail brands almost entirely on social media.
National Retail Federation’s BIG Show, JanuaryCNBCLauren Thomas, a member of Framebridge and BarkBox executives, held a panel discussion to discuss the topic of bridging physical and digital retail. BarkBox, a subscription service, delivers toys, food and treats to dogs. You can also purchase individual products. Framebridge offers custom framing services.
Susan Tynan, founder ofFramebridgeAccording to Facebook, “As an emerging brand, nothing can beat Facebook in terms finding customers and introducing ourselves.” Facebook’s advanced targeting and engagement techniques offer a tremendous value that allows startups and small businesses to reach the same audience as large corporations.
Mikkel Holm Jessensen, Vice President of CreativeBarkBoxDuring the discussion, BarkBox was said to have “grown up from Facebook ads.” However, he added, “It doesn’t work as well now… It becomes more difficult to get customers.” Facebook advertising was at its peak a few years back. Although Facebook advertising is still a great strategy, it’s much more difficult to create an effective advertisement. Both Susan and Mikkel agree that you must be present in multiple locations.
Susan raises the interesting point of “what happens to Facebook from a consumers perspective”. Facebook has been inundated with scandals over the past year regarding data privacy and mishandling. Many users of social media aren’t as comfortable with Facebook ads now than they were in the past.
Susan says that “our dollars have moved from Facebook to Instagram”, but it’s still interesting to observe how consumers interact with Facebook. Instagram is owned and operated by Facebook. However, there hasn’t been any consumer weariness about Facebook ads that has migrated to Instagram.
Mikkel answered my question after the panel. He said that even though Facebook has lost some trust in consumers, the market is becoming more crowded and other platforms are gaining momentum, Facebook is still the best platform to quickly gain traction as an ecommerce startup brand.
It’s important to do it right
Mikkel says, “I would still use Facebook even if I started today.” It’s still very popular and can do so much. It’s getting harder. It’s become more complex than it was even two years ago. Mikkel says that it is the old tactics that no longer work that are most important.
Mikkel says that big brands can appear like the guy who talks only about himself when they post on social media. Social media can be a great way for brands to get to know their audience. BarkBox’s Mikkel said that this means being funny and silly, and showing the true side of owning a dog. We understand that we are not right for everyone. People who like us are very fond of us. People will listen to you if we have fun and laugh together.
Lauren asked Lauren if social media advertising can lead to a saturation point for retailers, making it more difficult to attract new customers. If so, what then? Mikkel believes that social media advertising campaigns will be their largest expense in 2019, despite concerns about data privacy and crowded markets.
Amazon dominates much of the discussion around retail. This includes its Prime program, advancements in shipping logistics, Amazon Go payment technology, and, most recently, the HQ2 contest, which was followed by the circus that ensued. Amazon Web Services is a sleeping Amazon giant who has arguably played a greater role in ecommerce and startup innovation.
Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon, provides cloud computing services on a subscription basis to individuals, businesses, and governments. Subscribers can access a virtual cluster with computers that is available 24/7 via the Internet. Amazon.com launched a small Infrastructure as a Service segment in 2006. AWS was ten years old.$10 billionIn annual sales, this milestone was reached at a faster rate than Amazon.com.
Amazon is today the largest cloud infrastructure company. This surpasses even traditional tech companies such as Microsoft and Google, which are close competitors to AWS. What does AWS actually offer businesses? Better question is, what does AWS not offer? AWS offers services for computing, database management and analytics, as well as networking, IoT security, machine learning, machine learning, virtual reality, customer engagement and IoT. These services can be used to increase productivity, reduce IT costs, and help companies grow.
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Ally or competitor?
Many IT departments, software companies and service-oriented business were quick to join the AWS bandwagon. However, some retailers are still hesitant. They are not wrong, and it is understandable. Many of us can recall the days when Amazon was a simple online book shop. Amazon exploded into publishing and virtually shuttered traditional bookstores in a matter of seconds.
Amazon was an open marketplace that allowed third-party sellers to sell their products and helped many people build successful ecommerce websites. This was true up to 2009, when Amazon began selling private label brands. These quickly scaled and outperformed many Marketplace sales.
Microsoft capitalizes on Amazon’s fear of cloud computing when marketing its products. Shelley Bransten (corporate VP of Global Retail and Consumer Goods for Microsoft), stated in an email statement.CIO Dive. “Who would want to sub-sidize their competition?” Retailers need a technology partner who isn’t selling them one side of the business and then competing with them in the other.
Walmart is one example of a company that has been vocal about its opinionsAWS should not be used. CNBC reported that WalMart stated that vendors had the option of choosing any cloud provider that best suits their needs. It’s not surprising that we have cases where our most sensitive data doesn’t reside on another platform. Instead, WalMart, Jet.com, and Microsoft choose Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing solution.
It is understandable to be skeptical about Amazon’s long-term motives for providing cloud computing services. To avoid regulatory pressure, Amazon has been asked to separate its cloud computing and retail divisions.Antitrust scrutiny. Nikki Baird explains inForbesAWS and Amazon.com are so interrelated that it is unlikely they can be separated. She claims that AWS is causing retailers to miss the bigger picture. Small retailers, regardless of whether you are concerned about Amazon using your data or do not want to pay any towards the “enemy”, can learn more from Amazon than Amazon will.
Netflix is not a competitor in retail, but it is a direct competitor for Amazon Prime Video streaming services. Netflix is now using AWS services. Netflix is well-known for its personalized recommendations, which are based on your previous viewing history. It turns out that Netflix’s personalized movie recommendations are actually powered by Amazon’s personalization technology.
Machine learning features are two of the most exciting AWS solutions.
Amazon.com uses this sophisticated inventory management tool to enable Prime Now and Amazon Prime Now to make 2-day delivery possible. It predicts what inventory will be needed and when it will be available. AWS now offers an API for retailers to use to forecast inventory. This is useful for anyone dealing with multiple warehouses, or simply wanting to buy more accurately for their storefront.
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AWS Personalize allows Netflix to suggest movies and shows. This technology can be used by retailers to suggest additional products based on a customer’s browsing history and past purchases. It works both on the website and in retargeting emails. Amazon.com uses the technology to personalize their shopping experience.