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‘It’s almost like a treasure hunt’: Inside the world of paid Amazon reviews

Amazon’s got a thriving market for fake reviews. This black market lives mostly in chat and social platforms; Facebook is where it really thrives.

Latest Stories

  • SEP 06, 2019

    Explainer: How retail brands are building fractional attribution models

    Attribution has been a sore spot for brands, especially those that are diversifying their marketing mixes, for years. There are many different methods to figuring out attribution. One that's increasingly popular is "fractional attribution." And for so-called DTC brands, who are now diversifying their ad spend beyond Facebook and Google, they're more likely to allocate their marketing dollars based on a fractional attribution model instead of last-click or click-based attribution model.

  • SEP 03, 2019

    Maveron co-founder Dan Levitan’s VC playbook for identifying brands that can scale

    When Dan Levitan, along with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, launched consumer-focused venture capital fund Maveron in 1998, the pair decided on eBay as their first investment. Maveron's thesis was that technology was going to play a bigger role consumers' lives and how they buy products. At the time, that meant getting in early on marketplace startups, where customers could for the first time buy from a wide selection of products online. Today, it means that brands are able to go from "obscurity to ubiquity" in an unprecedented amount of time, thanks in large parts to investments in digital media like Facebook and Google. 

  • AUG 30, 2019

    Six months in, Target’s third-party marketplace has added few new sellers

    In February, Target announced that it was launching a third-party marketplace called Target+ to grow its online assortment in areas like home, toys, electronics and sporting goods. At the time, Target's chief marketing and digital officer Rick Gomez said in a blog post that the marketplace was "in its earliest stages," and that Target would keep the program invite-only to focus on building curated assortment. Still, six months later, the amount of products available through Target+ remains limited.

  • AUG 29, 2019

    Explainer: From CAC to AOV, what DTC’s hottest buzzwords really mean

    As direct-to-consumer brands have come to dominate the new retail landscape, they've also brought with them a new set of vocabulary. Many of these terms -- CAC, LTV, AOV -- are important for any retail company, regardless of whether or not they sell directly through their website or not. But they've become increasingly important to DTC companies, particularly the ones who have taken on venture capital funding.

  • AUG 13, 2019

    How DTC brands are navigating multi-touch attribution, explained

    As direct-to-consumer brands grow up and spend more money on traditional marketing channels, figuring out how effective each of these marketing channels are becomes a much more challenging process. When brands start spending on channels like direct mail or television, they can no longer just count on the number of clicks to determine what's working.  And that's where multi-touch attribution comes in.

  • AUG 05, 2019

    Mattress brand Eight Sleep used a new product launch to reduce its dependence on Facebook

    When five-year-old startup Eight Sleep released a new product in February, a $1,995 smart mattress that offers dynamic temperature adjustment, the company used the launch to kick off a "pretty intense testing phase" of new marketing channels, according to senior vice president of growth Ori Klein.

  • AUG 02, 2019

    EBay’s lawsuit against Amazon for seller-poaching, explained

    The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in California, is just the most recent action eBay has taken against Amazon. In it, eBay singles out three Amazon representatives who, the suit claims, used eBay’s internal seller messaging system to poach sellers. Beyond those three representatives, the effort involved a network of Amazon reps in multiple countries that conspired to approach eBay’s sellers on the platform and convince them to join Amazon.

  • JUL 25, 2019

    Cheatsheet: Amazon attributes second-quarter sales growth to one-day Prime shipping

    Amazon’s second-quarter sales for 2019 saw net sales increase 20%, to $63.4 billion, compared to $52.9 billion over the same period last year. Jeff Bezos, in remarks to investors, attributed the sales growth to a positive customer response to Amazon’s push to one-day Prime shipping.

  • JUL 24, 2019

    Alibaba is going up against Amazon and making its e-commerce pitch to US businesses

    Alibaba wants US small-to-medium sized business to use its platform to sell wholesale. It's a clear move to both enter the North American market and compete with Amazon. The question remains: will US companies be interested?

  • JUL 19, 2019

    Inside Amazon’s internal initiative to woo DTC brands

    Brands that have participated in Amazon's one-year emerging brands program, which encompasses the initiative to launch DTC startup brands on Amazon, said they get access to a level of customer service and account management that others sellers don’t, and the participation opens doors to more opportunities working with Amazon.

  • JUL 17, 2019

    ‘An arms race’: Retailers are running into limitations as they turn stores into fulfillment centers

    Big-box retailers like Target and Walmart increasingly want their stores to double as fulfillment centers. They see their existing store footprints as one of the biggest advantages they have over Amazon, which has had to build more than 100 fulfillment centers in order to enable next-day delivery on millions of products for Amazon Prime members. But, there are limitations on just how much the store can do.

  • MAR 29, 2019

    Retailers want to buy tech companies

    As in-house innovation labs falter and the competitive landscape picks up, retailers are buying up technology companies to gain an advantage.

  • SEP 13, 2019
    Sponsored

    Hyper-personalization: How advertisers can get personal without getting creepy

    Clumsy hyper-targeting hits consumers with the creep-factor. Hyper-personalization is different, incorporating factors like timing and frequency to create an ad experience that's actually welcome. Download the guide to learn more.

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