Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 12/18/12: Home Depot Acquires Blacklocus, Amazon Gamechanger


“Home Depot Starts Innovation Lab in Austin by Acquiring Blacklocus” by Kira Newman at Tech Cocktail.  “Today, BlackLocus announced that it was acquired by The Home Depot and will become the Home Depot’s Innovation Lab in Austin, Texas.BlackLocus makes business software for retailers that turns lots of data into understandable, actionable information. As part of Home Depot, it will help the big-box retailer decide on pricing, which selection of items to carry, and the best item descriptions…Home Depot acquired another startup, Redbeacon, in January. Redbeacon is a website where conusmers can get quotes from service providers like plumbers and carpenters. Since then, Redbeacon has set up kiosks in Home Depot stores to recruit users. According to the Wall Street Journal, that was Home Depot’s first acquisition since 2006.”  https://tech.co/home-depot-innovation-lab-austin-blacklocus-2012-12


“Amazon, Advertising’s Sleeping Giant, to Awaken in 2013” by Tim Peterson at AdWeek.  “Amazon made a splash during October’s Advertising Week while previewing its advertising business, but that was merely a ripple compared to the waves the e-commerce behemoth has coming for 2013 and beyond.  Over the past year, Amazon has built a proprietary real-time bidding platform that plugs into exchanges and supply-side platforms, including Google’s AdX and PubMatic. This platform lets the company retarget its users across the Web based on their browsing and purchase habits on Amazon’s owned-and-operated properties. That could be a game changer. Given Amazon’s recommendation engine and general deal-closing prowess, the company’s data should have advertisers drooling.”  https://www.adweek.com/news/technology/amazon-advertisings-sleeping-giant-awaken-2013-145964?page=1


“Walmart Takes Largest Share of Mobile Traffic and Transactions” at RIS.  “The mobile shopping experience at Apple, Best Buy and Kohl’s got high marks for customer satisfaction, but Walmart, ranked fifth in customer satisfaction, attracts the largest percentage of both mobile browsers and purchasers. In a recent consumer survey measuring the mobile performance of the leading brick-and-mortar retailers, Target came in fourth and CVS ranked sixth in customer satisfaction. Slow load times, poor navigation and checkout problems were the main reasons for low customer satisfaction levels…The survey is another indicator of the growing prevalence of showrooming: 41% of respondents made a purchase on their mobile device after shopping in-store, with 31% citing a better price as the main reason.”  https://risnews.edgl.com/retail-trends/Walmart-Takes-Largest-Share-of-Mobile-Traffic-and-Transactions83774


“Nordstrom family scion keeps up with Amazon online” in Reuters.  “The future of retail came to Jamie Nordstrom not in a dream, but though his email inbox from Amazon.com Inc, the online retailer that Nordstrom now targets as his biggest rival.  The 40 year-old, great-grandson of Nordstrom Inc founder John W. Nordstrom and president of Nordstrom Direct ordered a fishing tackle box from Amazon last year. And then he received emails from Amazon about other tackle boxes for five straight days.  On the sixth day, Amazon sent an email to buy an additive that is often used to preserve gasoline in boats stored over the winter — an example of Amazon’s strength crunching customer data to provide more relevant recommendations.  “I was like, ‘Crap, I need some of that.’ They got me and all I had to do was literally hit a button. That’s incredibly valuable,” Nordstrom said during an appearance at the Milken Institute Global Conference earlier this year.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/17/us-nordstrom-ecommerce-executive-idUSBRE8BG0VJ20121217


“H-E-B expecting 15,000 for dinner” by Jacob Beltran in My San Antonio.  “About 15,000 guests are expected Saturday at the 20th annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing at the Convention Center.  Besides a holiday meal, attendees will be treated to free long-distance calls, health screenings and live entertainment.  H-E-B public affairs manager Danny Flores said the feast, set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., aims to bring people together during the holidays.  https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/H-E-B-expecting-15-000-for-dinner-4124420.php#ixzz2FMf1NQlR


“Microsoft’s Retail Strategy Absolutely Stinks” by Rocco Pendola at The Street.  “On its own, Microsoft — as a brick-and-mortar retail proposition — stinks.  Walk into one of its stores. The only thing that looks like it makes any actual sense (or money) is Xbox. Microsoft really doesn’t feature its other success story, Office, much at all. So you’re stuck with a bunch of these Surface tablets and random laptops.  Microsoft’s mounting of a copycat of Apple’s retail blueprint is embarrassing enough; it’s even worse that it does so with a wholly unprepared product line.”  https://www.thestreet.com/story/11793902/2/microsofts-retail-strategy-absolutely-stinks.html


“Staples president Michael A. Miles Jr. plans to resign in February” by Chris Reidy at Boston.com.  “Staples Inc., the office-supply giant headquartered in Framingham, said Monday that Michael A. Miles Jr., president and chief operating officer, will resign from the company, effective Feb. 2.  Miles has accepted a position with Berkshire Partners, the Boston-based investment firm, Staples said in a press release.”  https://www.boston.com/businessupdates/2012/12/17/staples-president-michael-miles-plans-resign-february/4rfktRWcdxGlNkSYyPxtuL/story.html


“Nielsen and Twitter Establish Social TV Rating”.  “Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, and Twitter today announced an exclusive multi-year agreement to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” for the US market. Under this agreement, Nielsen and Twitter will deliver a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter, slated for commercial availability at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.”  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20121217006059&div=-1245645151


“Amazon smartphone reportedly in production, set to go on sale in mid-2013” by Jake Smith in 9 to 5 Mac.  “Rumors have been in the air for several months that claim Amazon will compete in the handset space with its own offering, much like it did with its Kindle Fire line of tablets. According to a new report from the Taiwan Economic News, the Internet retail giant has selected the infamous Foxconn to manufacture the handset. Additionally, Amazon is said to have ordered 5 million units and will launch the device at $100 to $200 sometime in the second quarter or third quarter of 2013.”  https://9to5mac.com/2012/12/17/amazon-smartphone-reportedly-in-production-set-to-go-on-sale-in-mid-2013/


“Office Depot Adds PayPal to Online Payment Options”.  “To use the service at checkout, www.officedepot.com customers provide their existing PayPal account information, and they can securely link their bank account, debit or credit cards to their PayPal account. Their stored shipping and billing information quickly processes the payment and items are shipped directly from Office Depot. A record of the purchases will be available on customers’ PayPal accounts and the payment details will be available for future purchases, allowing customers to speed through checkout. PayPal also provides protection against eligible unauthorized payments.”  https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20121217005083&div=-1245645151