How to Successful Shift to Digital-First Retail eCommerce

In the past year, retail has evolved, unlike any other industry. As eCommerce continues to grow, the shift to a digital-first world has fully arrived. This transformation requires deep expertise to get it right — and it starts with your tech stack.

How to Successful Shift to Digital-First Retail eCommerce
How to Successful Shift to Digital-First Retail eCommerce

Retail is unlike any other industry, it is complex and ripe for innovation. Over the past few years, enormous changes have permanently transformed retail into an ultra-competitive and digitally fluid landscape. This shift has created a new sense of urgency around digital transformation and ultimately the retail martech stack.
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Media and Marketing News Headlines Update on January 14, 2021

Facebook tweaked its algorithm. News articles that do not contain new original reporting or analysis will now receive less distribution in the News Feed. In other words, if you have more “original reporting”, you’ll get better results. They’re defining original reporting as containing “exclusive source materials, significant analysis, new interviews, or the creation of original visuals.” Not sure if it’s humans or the machines figuring this out, but watch out for more publishers using the “exclusive!” keyword across their articles. Might also incentivize fake reporting. And where do commentators fit in?

WhatsApp is trying to explain the changes to its privacy policy, which stirred up a lot of concerns. Facebook wants you to know that the update doesn’t change the privacy of your messages with friends and family, but relates to messaging businesses. Anyway, Telegram is the winner of all this mess. It now has 500 million monthly active users.

Google started removing local news content in Australia. It’s calling it a test (1% bucket) to measure the impact on news businesses. Google and Facebook are in the middle of a battle over the Australian government’s plans to force these companies to pay news pubs for the content they surface.

TikTok rolled out new changes to protect underage users. Accounts of users aged 13-15 will be set to “private” by default. The “everyone” option for commenting will be removed. You’ll be able to either turn off commenting altogether or open it only to Friends.

Amazon Prime Video India and Bharti Airtel are launching a mobile-only plan in India. Airtel’s customers will get this free for 30 days and are then charged $1.21 a month after.

SPACs may just be the new hot trend for media companies this year. These special purpose acquisition companies are basically cashed-up public companies with a desire to buy something tangible. The benefit is that these SPACs are able to move quicker in getting companies to the public market without the hassles and costs of roadshows. That’s why BuzzFeed and Bustle are now considering this route.

Substack newsletters are finally launching themes to help your newsletter stand out in a crowded inbox.

Brian Kelly, the guy behind The Points Guy, created a media empire with tips on maximizing credit card rewards and airline miles. Good lessons here about utility and serving users.

New Naratif has a new editor in chief. Jacob Goldberg was a freelance reporter with bylines in the Guardian and Al Jazeera, and he ran Coconuts in Yangon.

Google News Initiative is allocating $3 million to news organizations to combat misinformation around COVID-19 vaccines. These would be projects that demonstrate “clear ways to measure success” and aim to reach groups “disproportionately affected by misinformation” will be prioritized.

CUNY in New York is accepting applications for a fully remote, 100-day program for journalism entrepreneurs. “Participants, whether independent or employed at media companies, will learn to identify and build audiences. They will also craft business models by analysing market needs and revenue opportunities.” Deadline January 24.

Thomson Reuters Foundation is organizing a workshop on reporting on climate change and energy transition. It’ll give you the skills to report on these issues. You’ll also be able to apply for a 2-month mentorship program to pursue a story. The best part: You could get a US$340 grant to work on that story.

Just a couple of weeks to the deadline of the Sigma Awards. The organizers want to celebrate the best data journalism from around the world. They’ve received 46 projects from more than 30 countries. Get your entry in by Feb 1.

BBC staff have to wear electronic buzzers to remind them to socially distance themselves. “Anyone coming into those offices will be asked to wear the devices, which will alert wearers when they’re less than two metres apart from someone else.”

A marketplace for pre-owned tech subscriptions. Unloved lists annual subscriptions for internet services that people no longer use and are selling at a discount.

Content localisation

When it comes to content, there’s really no such thing as “one size fits all”. A message in one country won’t necessarily work the same way in another country. It’s not a matter of language differences, but cultural differences too. With many businesses operating in multiple markets, localising content is an effective way to repurpose your existing assets.

Why you need to get localisation right

The last thing a brand wants to be accused of is cultural appropriation. Localisation means making your message relevant and engaging to the local market, not misrepresenting the product to appeal to your local audience. It’s a lesson Dallas-based company, The Mahjong Line, learnt the hard way with its attempted refresh of the centuries-old Chinese game of mahjong for an American market.

Successful localisation

There are tools emerging to help businesses better operate in foreign countries. Google has developed one that helps computer systems understand 16 different languages, to help solve complex translations and the speaker’s sentiment. When developing its European campaign, Shutterstock was able to utilise seasonality data from Google Analytics to create bespoke display ads without losing the brand’s personality.

Digital misinformation

Last week’s US Capitol riots weren’t a spontaneous uprising (even if many participants looked shocked they made it past the barricades). Pro-Trump groups on social and messaging platforms like Facebook, Telegram, Instagram and Parler “publicly floated some of the exact tactics used to storm the Capitol“. Despite pushback from the likes of Twitter and Facebook, these platforms are largely unregulated and misinformation abounds.

Does advertising fund misinformation?

It’s not just social media, misinformation and conspiracy theories exist on video-sharing platforms like YouTube and stand alone websites. When these sites attract traffic, they also attract advertising. While Facebook and Twitter can remove accounts and Parler can be removed from app stores, are advertisers aware of all the places their ads appear? Could they be unknowingly funding misinformation and hate speech via display ads?

The platforms work both ways

Fortunately, when it comes to taking action against far-right groups pushing violence, social platforms do work both ways. While riots can be organised, rioters can also be identified. The FBI is using social media to identify rioters and has received upwards of 40,000 tips. While the focus is on tech platforms should businesses using programmatic advertising better understand the ecosystem serving its ads?

Australian lamb ads have become an unofficial part of Australia Day celebrations. This year’s video took a dig at the country’s ongoing border restrictions.

Square shows how mobile and digitalisation have helped the traditional coffee shop adapt to better serve customers in a changing marketplace.

DBS has helped Ento Industries develop an army of hungry larvae to tackle Singapore’s growing food waste problem. Read more about the Grantees.

GitHub shows how global software collaboration happens through its platform and the different walks of life who can be helped.

Aged care provider Montefiore used 116 hand-painted images to create 15-seconds of warm and unique animation.

Book Summary: Good Business – Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

People who have heard of psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi usually associate him with the concept of “flow” – a mental state in which a person is completely absorbed in a feeling of energized focus.

Book Summary: Good Business - Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Book Summary: Good Business – Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

You may imagine yourself reaching such a state playing your favorite sport or pursuing a passionate hobby. But at work?

Yes, indeed. In this book summary, Csikszentmihalyi explains how flow states can be achieved in the work world – to the benefit of both employees and organizations. For one, he outlines how employees can remove common obstacles that block them from being fully engaged in their work tasks. For another, he explains how organizations can set the right conditions for enabling their employees to develop flow states with greater ease.

If you are leading a business, start by articulating a vision that encourages shared goals, personal growth, and worthwhile work. An exemplary model of such a business is the clothing company Patagonia – a firm that found its way to profitability by putting people and the planet first.
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Hybrid Working – Creating the “Next Normal” in Work Practices, Spaces, and Culture

Almost overnight, COVID-19 forced millions of employees worldwide to work from home. In many cases, the adoption of remote working on a massive scale has demonstrated how employees can operate with the same (if not greater) efficiency and productivity while achieving a better work-life balance.

Hybrid Working - Creating the "Next Normal" in Work Practices, Spaces, and Culture
Hybrid Working – Creating the “Next Normal” in Work Practices, Spaces, and Culture

Yet this dramatic change suddenly overruled many business policies on when and where employees work. It also brought challenges around maintaining company culture and supporting home workers.

One thing is clear, however. The enforced changes brought about by the pandemic have opened the eyes of employees and business leaders to new ways of working. There is an opportunity to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, redesign the business, and reinvent the way people work.

Drawing on insights from experts on the future of work, workplace design, and cultural change, this report explores how work will evolve as we emerge in the “next normal.”

It sets out why 2020 will be the catalyst to radically accelerate hybrid working, where employees enjoy flexibility and choice, and businesses thrive through motivated, collaborative, and productive teams.
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Guide for OTT Advertising in Southeast Asia

OTT can help you reach more than 100 million viewers

Now is the time to grow your brand with OTT. As consumers’ media consumption behaviors diverge, advertisers will face inflation in trying to reach yesterday’s audiences.

Guide for OTT Advertising in Southeast Asia
Guide for OTT Advertising in Southeast Asia

Additionally, Southeast Asia’s OTT audiences are accelerating their adoption of ad-supported services. Advertisers just need to get started.

In this article, we detailed the evolution of the OTT landscape. This article will highlight how brands can take advantage of the OTT opportunity with new types of ad inventory, new use cases across the marketing funnel, and best practices for how to plan, buy and measure winning OTT campaigns.
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Future-Proof Business with the Subscription Business Model

If you’ve been following business news of late, you’d be right to believe that subscription companies are either taking a hard hit or growing exponentially. Headlines range from layoff announcements by the likes of ClassPass, StitchFix, Uber, and several news publications, to rising stocks of companies like Netflix (15.8 million subscribers added by April) and video conferencing service Zoom (Q1 revenue grew 169% year-over-year).

Future-Proof Business with the Subscription Business Model
Future-Proof Business with the Subscription Business Model. Photo by Brandable Box

The fact is that most subscription companies fall somewhere in between and are seeing steady growth even in the aftermath of COVID-19. The subscription business model is proving to be very resilient in extremely uncertain market environments that demand a great deal of flexibility from vendors and value predictable and steady revenue streams.

As a result, more and more non-subscription companies are now considering adopting recurring revenue-based business models to ensure that their business remains relevant and is ready for the post-pandemic future. And it might be the perfect time to make the switch.

This article will help you understand what makes subscription businesses so resilient, how crises often provide opportunities and the four strategic growth levers that businesses should consider to succeed with subscription business models.
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