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The Real Story Behind McDonald’s Mysterious 'Gold Card' — The Ticket to Unlimited Free Fast Food That Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Have in Their Wallets

When Rob Lowe appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live with a golden McDonald’s card last year, one big question remained: How could the Average Joe get his own card that granted him access to unlimited McDonald's? Not easily, a little sleuthing revealed. Not a piece of hotcake.

  • November 29, 2016

Publishers Are Betting Big on Gift Guides For the Holidays

The holiday shopping season officially kicked off on Friday, and with ad revenue harder to come by, publishers are trying to get readers to spend more money with them this year. For some, that means not just creating gift guides, but working with advertisers on placing product inside gift guides, distributing their gift guides on directly monetizable platforms Instagram and Pinterest, and even launching flash deal sites and storefronts that will last throughout the holidays. Double down on what works.

  • 1 min read
  • November 28, 2016

How Luxury Retailers Are Navigating Black Friday

Luxury retailers are wise to turn up their noses to Black Friday’s dark temptations. While speculations that “Black Friday is dead” are overblown, the shopping holiday has lost some of its appeal, mostly on the ground level. According to retail analyst company ShopperTrak, customers spent $10.4 billion on in-store purchases on Black Friday in 2015, a $1 billion drop from 2014. The reason for that drop isn’t rocket science: customers can find identical discounts online and in store, so why brave a mobbed mall? Doing away with the customer brawls.

  • 1 min read
  • November 22, 2016

An Eye-Popping Visualization of How We Shop Online For Black Friday

With $3.132 billion of online Black Friday purchases projected for next week, it's worth knowing exactly where all these orders are coming from, especially for internet advertisers. Taking that into consideration, a team at AppInstitute crunched the numbers and built a mesmerizing real-time visualization forecast to show how people will likely be spending their Black Friday dollars online in 2016. It's a simple, fun concept that makes a ton of information instantly accessible.  The mad rush starts at 12am.

  • 1 min read
  • November 17, 2016

The Evolving Holiday Wish List: How High-End Brands Have Crept to the Top

Studies have shown that, in the past, teenagers learned their purchasing skills when shopping with their parents. But this model has changed with the times. According to the Wall Street Journal, we have formally crossed the threshold — and consumers are shopping more online than at brick-and-mortar stores. So, as the retail space continues to fragment with the continued growth of online shopping, social commerce and in-app purchasing, how are millennials shaping their shopping behaviors?    Luxury starts young.

  • 1 min read
  • November 16, 2016

What's In a Window? In Digital Age, Stores' Traditions Gain Relevance

Cue the street-vendor chestnuts and red-kettle Santas: New York is firing up its Christmas retail engines with the annual unveiling of holiday windows.  And it’s more than a quaint tradition, even if sidewalk throngs feel like a throwback to a pre-Amazon existence. Not only do the windows stoke fourth-quarter tourism, they also provide an opportunity for retailers to differentiate themselves from one another, and strike whatever mood they think will lure pedestrians from the street.  Windows of opportunity.

  • 1 min read
  • November 15, 2016

New Offering From Google in Testing: Carousels of Google Shopping Ads Spotted on YouTube

Google began integrating Shopping Campaign ads into YouTube in May 2015 — first for brands and retailers to show their own ads alongside their videos with TrueView for Shopping, and then opening up to all advertisers as part of the Search Partners network with Shopping Ads on YouTube nearly a year ago. Now, it appears Google is testing a traditional carousel format for Shopping Ads on YouTube. Tis the season to be expanding.

  • 1 min read
  • November 11, 2016

Meet LeEco, the Giant Chinese Mega-Corporation That Wants to Sell You Absolutely Everything

If you’ve heard of LeEco, it’s either because you’ve lived in China, or you vaguely recall that it bought up US television manufacturer Vizio a few months ago. That’s about to change, because LeEco is making a play for entire US market. What are they selling? Everything. It would be helpful here to explain what LeEco (LAY-EEco) is, but easy comparisons fall short.  My LeEverything.

  • 1 min read
  • October 20, 2016

Meet the Woman Who Could Turn Jet.com Into the Digital Era's Ultimate Challenger Brand

For the past year and a half, Liza Landsman has taken on a massive challenge: overseeing marketing, branding and analytics as chief customer officer of ecommerce startup Jet.com as it attempts to compete with the retail Goliath that is Amazon. Landsman is building the Jet brand around the promise of making shopping fun through a gamified process that aims to shake up the way people shop for everything online: from household products to books, music, appliances, electronics and groceries. We love a challenge.

  • 1 min read
  • October 19, 2016

Is It Even Possible to Sell “Luxury” On Amazon?

While much of Amazon’s sales volume is in diapers, blenders, and other unglamorous products, the e-commerce behemoth is also a fashion giant. Next year it’s expected to become the biggest apparel seller in the US. And yet high-end luxury labels aren’t biting. Jean-Jacques Guiony, CFO of LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton and other luxury labels, told analysts this week that there is “no way” it would do business with Amazon. What is so unappealing about Amazon’s business model? Exclusivity vs inclusivity.

  • 1 min read
  • October 14, 2016

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