"If consumerism is our religion, then malls were our temples. Our temple now is the internet." Episode 53 is all about how Amazon owned Black Friday and while our heads were spinning they decided to take over Augmented Reality as well.
Did You Recover from the Holiday Shopping Blitz?
Brian favorite deal: buy a Google Home for $29 and link it up with your Google Express accounts to get a $25 credit for walmart.com.
Phillip's favorite: Timbuk2 had a 70% off sale on cyber monday. Brian is unimpressed.
Voice is Big in the News this Week:
Amazon's top selling item for Black Friday was the Amazon Echo Dot.
Conversational commerce is here.
Even our giveaway was a voice device, because the price was so ludicrous.
Voysis' exclusive report shows that 50% of retailers are investing in voice.
They reference Mary Meeker's 2016 report that 75% of all content consumption will happen via mobile by 2017.
The pull quote:
"voice is not the future it's the present."
Retailer Challenge: go to your top search terms, or your long tail of search from 2 years ago, and compare those results to today. You'll see more verbose and natural language formatted searches because people are speaking into your websites. Check it out, the data will prove it out.
If you have thought to yourself "why should I, as a brand, care," then read that article.
Market Equilibrium Watch:
Data and colo center competition is causing a surplus of space in their centers.
Because of that, price points are dropping.
So we're seeing price competitive options for people to build out impressive private clouds for very little money, bringing some degree of equilibrium back to the market.
The Most Impressive Thing Brian Has Ever Seen:
Amazon Sumerian, "the fastest and easiest way to create AR, VR, and 3D experiences."
Lets you create all of the above quickly and easily without any specialized expertise.
Did they just win? We think Amazon just won.
They're aiming to educate the marketplace on how to create these environments.
Brian let's Philip know that he's going to build out a FutureCommerce HQ in VR. Merry Christmas, Philip.
Retailers: it's still going to be difficult to create experiences in AR and VR in retail if you don't have accurate models of the products you're selling.
You might be able to create spaces for the products to live, but the hardest part is getting your models in there.
The amount of data you have to maintain is next level difficult.
Check with your brands to see if they have models of their products.
You can create a digital narrator to narrate a scene you create.
This is a clear use case for their acquisition of body labs.
There's a lot a lot of personalized interaction options ahead with this technology.
Reminder: it's still in preview, and it's a novel concept, and of course we've seen a lot of things sunset that seemed novel and unique at the time.
Google Poly Program:
Google just announced the Google Poly Program.
A way to address the difficulty of modeling your products for 3D.
Working backwards from the endpoint you can see Google in this space for decades.
3D generation has been part of google's masterplan for a while and follows very similarly their Voice plan.
They build on prior success working towards an end goal.
They have a vision that helps guide their product roadmap.
Black Friday? Black November.
Brian's been a nerd about Black Friday for years.
Thanksgiving day sales were up by 18% online.
They kicked off their sales the morning of Thanksgiving this year.
Philip wonders if it's a response to companies responding to REI and others distancing themselves from Black Friday.
Brian thinks it's just about cold hard cash. The businesses looking to capitalize on Black Friday madness will find any angle they can to make more sales.
If the numbers say start sales earlier, then start them earlier. And now with online sales, it doesn't even matter if you open your store.
Holy Cow! Digital commerce 360 said that early numbers point to more than 46% of revenue coming from mobile sales.
Web sales were 18% higher than last year. 61% of visits to retail site were mobile, and 46% of the sales came from mobile
Have we solved the gap that we keep hearing about in ecommerce that people don't want to purchase on mobile?
Brian's theory: A two year old flagship phone can still do a lot of shopping. Those phones are now in the hands of a broader market of people. So a larger percentage of people are equipped to purchase items easily on mobile.
2 Black Friday Takeaways:
The idea that mobile doesn't convert is getting debunked. It doesn't just have to be the small device they don't want to convert on, it seems many people are motivated to purchase.
If you look across the brands we manage professionally, the numbers are up for all of November. It's not just black Friday. Black Friday is dispersing throughout the year and creating a lower margin for business.
Brick and Mortar
Brick and mortar sales were only down by 1.5%. Last year they were flat.
There's a certain person that loves that (Brian! Cough, cough.)
There's an excitement and buzz to be a part of a very specific American ritual.
If our god is consumerism, then the malls were certainly our temple. Our temple is now the internet.
We're slowly moving away from aggregate portals for search and starting to become brand loyalists when searching for goods and services.
See Episode 40 and our conversation with Richard Kestenbaum for a in-depth look at this from a passive commerce perspective.
All of this is subject to change and nothing is fixed, but this upward trajectory is going to continue in the short term but is ripe for disruption in the future.