Industry Insights

Amazon, eCommerce, Hootsuite, Jive and More.

Laura Myers

By Laura Myers

February 11, 2017

This week, our articles were a tad more eCommerce focused, but we managed to fit in some other news and we even mixed in a feel-good story, a bit out of the norm for us but as you’ll read, it was a very valuable story to have covered. 

How High-Revenue Ecommerce Stores Compete with Amazon

Amazon is the undisputed Goliath of the eCommerce space, and with good reason, their value proposition of free returns, fast free shipping and low prices on an endless digital aisle of products has ensured their success. Their ability to tap into the wants and needs of their customers is also hugely evident in their pioneering way of upselling and cross-selling, as well as the creation of Amazon Prime, further cementing the lovemark consumers have with the Amazon brand. 

The huge shadow Amazon casts on the space can intimidate other online retailers but really it shouldn’t, there is enough of that pie for everyone. In her article, Venus lists the tactics businesses can employ to compete with Amazon without losing revenue and echoes the underlying question on many of their minds, why would a customer visit another brand’s eCommerce site if they can just buy that same product through Amazon?

If a brand can come up with a legitimate answer to this question by giving tangible reasons, then it means they probably do well with their online store. In fact, according to a study mentioned in the article, the majority of over 300 high-revenue ecommerce website owners surveyed are generating only around 6 percent of their sales from Amazon. It feels like this number is much smaller than the general perception about selling products through Amazon. 

But don’t get me wrong! Amazon is arguably the greatest ecommerce platform, but there is not a one-size-fits-all approach here. It is not the greatest platform when you want to highlight premium aspects of your products, for instance. There are other tactics to increase your online sales in many cases.

There is definitely an opportunity for other online businesses to take a look at Amazon, fill in any pitfalls while they leverage what works like recommendation engines as mentioned in the article. In the digital world I think people forget that online stores can be as diverse as brick-and-mortar stores. Can you imagine if every bookstore looked and operated exactly the same, or the same could be said for grocery stores? Amazon Go will catch on without a doubt should it prove to be a sustainable business model in that industry but I'd hate to see them all be carbon copies of the original idea. Every subsequent store same as the next probably wouldn’t see as high of an ROI as they would if they made themselves unique. The same thought process should be applied to the digital world and Venus’ article illustrates how and why businesses can position themselves to compete with the behemoth that is Amazon.

Read the full article here.

5 Must-Have Features for eCommerce Platforms

With the tremendous amount of ecommerce platforms with a wide range of features – the options are endless and advantageous when properly understood. But the problem with this situation is that we can also get distracted and lose sight of what features are really essential for our business.

That’s why first and foremost, companies should outline their business goals and needs alongside their expectations from an ecommerce platform. and reference guidelines like this that show the key items of importance to be cognizant of. Things like security, easy payment options and recommendation engines may seem like a given to those in the tech industry, but may not be at the forefront of consideration for an organization in a differing realm. To that point, not giving those needs the attention they deserve could have a huge impact on an organization’s ROI. 

From there, before diving into all those tech-savvy features, it is necessary to take a step back and assess how the most prominent capabilities are delivered by the platforms they consider and how those will integrate with an organizations work flow. 

​Read the full article here

eCommerce Entrepreneur Promotes Positive Body Image

Sam Sisakhti, founder and CEO of launched “The Believe in Yourself Project” to provide thousands of dresses to underprivileged girls and young women across the country. 

According to Venus’ conversation with him, moving forward he is looking to create a mentor program to provide support services, like mentoring and events with female speakers with an aim to promote a positive body image and self-esteem among young woman from an early age.

What he does is not only inspiring but also brave because frankly, advertising in the industry that he’s working for has been built on the message consistently telling women that they’re expected to appear a certain way. Instead of taking advantage of what’s been established, Sam Sisakhti is utilizing his position to fix what’s wrong with that space. 

I truly loved this article this week. It was a bit different for us but it showcases, as Venus mentions, here is an entrepreneur who is using his position to make positive differences as he is shaping the tech industry, and I am glad she likened it to Ev William’s move with Medium because the two assimilate in my mind as well. 

The other thing this article brings to mind, is what Sam has developed as an entrepreneur. As eCommerce continues to take hold, there will more and more opportunities to create these marketplaces in different industries, giving businesses or creatives that can’t necessitate their own eCommerce site, access to one to share their offerings on a grand scale.

​Read the full article here

Hootsuite Acquires Facebook Ad Manager AdEspresso

Hootsuite has been fitting its platform for the enterprise. Developing a native integration with a bunch of Microsoft enterprise products, creating a partnership with IBM, and adding integration with a set of cloud content platforms.

But recently, the company seems to be  focusing on social advertising operations. With the acquisition Venus covered on Thursday, the social media management platform will enable its users to not only monitor what’s being said about them but also actually engage with their audiences through the topics that they’re talking about online from only one dashboard. 

This was such an interesting bit of news, not only for the strides Hootsuite is making but the conversation it also brought up, if organic social media is dying and which is the most effective way for marketers to engage with their customers and increase their revenue. 

The day we launched this piece, I also read an article by Ryan Holmes the CEO of Hootsuite on how our current idea of social media is dying and how to shift into the new stages. Social media is discussed at length by so many, with everyone being an “expert” but with this acquisition and his thoughts in the article, I feel like we’re getting let in on a prophecy from Hootsuite, whom might be the best authority on social media in the world today, so many should pay attention. 

The biggest take away from that and Venus’ article, is the future will be the combination of paid and organic social media. This point may show my contradicting, cynically optimistic side but, even though the free method of reaching an audience is proving less and less effective, with pay to play and investment in platforms like Hootsuite becoming the road to social media success, perhaps it will weed out those who aren’t as invested and the higher quality, purposeful and intelligent social media marketing will prevail. 

Matt Diederichs, Corporate and Business Development Strategist at Hootsuite, noticed our article and was kind enough to share is with his over 7k followers: 



​Read the full article here

Jive Reaches Milestone Posting First Quarterly Profit

To cap off the week, we touched on a milestone for Jive Software, the provider of communication and collaboration solutions for enterprises. They announced the recording of their first profit as a public company for the fourth quarter of 2016. While their profit of $0.07 Earnings per Share for the quarter only slightly exceeded Wall Street expectations, beating the analyst consensus estimate by $0.04, it is still regarded as a triumph nonetheless.

Venus writes: “Jive’s significant growth has also been recognized by important industry analyst reports in the fourth quarter as well. Forrester, for instance, named Jive as a Leader in The Forrester Wave, Enterprise Collaboration Q4 2016 report. Jive received the highest possible score for innovation in market approach thanks to its enhancements to Jive’s Collaboration Hub in 2016. The report cited that Jive has evolved from a destination to a hub for access to corporate knowledge.”

In her article, Venus also details the strides Jive has made to have achieved this milestone, where their efforts are being placed and the lengthy list of new customers they have acquired to contribute to their success. 

​Read the full article here

Laura Myers

Laura Myers

A digital business, marketing and social media enthusiast, Laura thrives on asking unique, insightful questions to ignite conversation. At an event or remotely, she enjoys any opportunity to connect with like-minded people in the industry.

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