The hottest digital real estate is still up for grabs.
The competition is fierce to control the mall in consumers’ pockets and the victor — should one player gain a commanding share of the mobile market — will be in prime position to shape the next phase of commerce.
Tech giants and brands alike are scrambling to develop apps and optimize their Web sites to accommodate an on-the-go consumer who expects a seamless experience. The rush to control the channel has been front and center this week. First, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s @WalmartLabs bought shopping app Stylr in its drive to improve its mobile commerce. Then, on Wednesday, Amazon entered the ultracompetitive fray by launching its own smartphone, the Fire. For Amazon, the goal is less about the device than it is to grab a greater share of mobile commerce.
And no wonder — mobile is on course to dominate digital traffic. Cisco’s state of the Internet report this month said mobile devices would make up 57 percent of all Internet traffic by 2018, up from 33 percent last year.
“No one has really won mobile yet,” John Mulligan, Target Corp.’s interim chief executive officer, said during an appearance on Bloomberg TV last month.
Mulligan said that is where Target believes it can gain an edge over the likes of Amazon — although Amazon clearly won’t cede any ground easily. Jeff Bezos, founder and ceo of the e-commerce giant, introduced the Fire, which ships on July 25 and is available in 32GB and 64GB versions retailing for $199 and $299, respectively. The phone features a 4.7-inch screen, unlimited storage of photos in Amazon Cloud Drive and a Firefly tool that uses the phone’s camera to identify things in the physical world, such as QR codes, books and games.
The company already has a strong position in mobile, at one time controlling up to a third of mobile commerce, according to reports. But as smartphone adoption soared and more retailers enhanced their mobile experience, Amazon’s share has declined, according to Matthew Nemer, an analyst at Wells Fargo. He estimated Amazon and eBay each command about 20 percent of mobile sales, and that eBay is now “pretty close” behind Amazon.
EBay’s Marketplaces and PayPal each exceeded $20 billion in mobile volume; Amazon, which didn’t respond to a request for comment, doesn’t break down sales by channel.
Based on a study earlier this year in cooperation with Forrester Research, Shop.org on Wednesday singled out the mobile “movers and shakers,” pointing to Amazon, Facebook, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Rue La La, ModCloth, eBay and Groupon. The diversity shows that there are many ways for businesses to use mobile to attract customers.
The most-buzzed-about mobile player is Uber — established as a mobile-first transportation company in 2009 that is valued at $18 billion — even as it hits some road bumps in expanding into Europe.
Then there’s Domino’s, which is seen as implementing forward-thinking strategies in mobile that have helped make the 54-year-old pizza chain more relevant.
“I think what’s so interesting about the #MeToo movement and this whole new wave of feminism in general, is that women are finally seeing, ’Oh I can start my own company, oh I can lear to code, oh I can leave my nine-to-five job and do the thing I want to do,” said @brooklyndecker ahead of her @sxsw talk for @createcultivate. The former model took the stage to share wisdom about networking and female-driven entrepreneurship. #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.