Archive for May, 2013

The Digital Campus 2013

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment

 An Infographic of Major Players in the MOOC World

 Apr 30th at 1:38 pm 

Online learning has slowly, but surely garnered the support of countless universities across the nation with Americans realizing the advantageous aspects of MOOCs (massive open online courses). The possibilities seem endless with colleges now capable of reaching hundreds of thousands of students worldwide, but there are still skeptics who remain cautious. Some schools find the futuristic learning method threatening, unable to comprehend how the Internet and education can work together as one, nor how the physical structure of a higher education institution will be able to survive such progressive thinking. But regardless of the naysayers, support for MOOCs remains strong, evident by the millions of students who have signed up for MOOCs to date and the vast amount of money invested in such innovative educational fortresses. Don’t believe me? Check out an infographic of the major players in the MOOC world below:

The infographic, which was originally published on Chronicle and was created by Xarissa Holdaway and NIgel Hawtin, outlines the investors, donors, professors, alums, board members, among others who have helped foster the growth of MOOCs and make them what they are today. Udacity, Coursera, Khan Academy, and edX are all featured in the center of the chart with a series of intertwining lines showcasing how each MOOC came to be. Of course there are the expected schools like Harvard, MIT, and Stanford as well as the big names like Google and Pearson paving the way for online thinking, but then there are the more unexpected supporters from the nonprofit realm.

Overall, the infographic itself does not unveil any big surprises, it’s only a more succinct, easy way to view the more prominent MOOCs and their backers. What does this say about the future? MOOCs are becoming more and more prevalent, accepted alternative routes to an education that forward-thinkers are just on the verge of understanding. We don’t know what the future will hold, but I can say that MOOCs, they aren’t going anywhere.


edX Launch








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Retailing 2013: Fashion And Tech Trends To WatchEric

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Retailing 2013: Fashion And Tech Trends To Watch

Eric SavitzEric Savitz, Forbes Staff
Guest post written by Will Young

Will Young is a director at Zappos Labs, which is part of‘sZappos unit.

Will Young

At Zappos Labs we’re always looking ahead to create new experiences to wow our customers. As fashion and tech continue to merge in 2013, we’re excited about a few trends that we think will make life for brands and consumers more fun and interesting.

  • Clothes online? Why not!

Many technophiles are shocked to hear that only about 13 percent of clothing sales happen online. 2013 may be the year where we finally see buying apparel online become second nature. It’s easier than ever for a small or new brand to sell clothes online using a platform like Shopify or Magento. Existing online retailers are also stepping up their game with better photography, product videos, lookbooks and magazine quality content to help you decide what to wear. Mobile will continue to infiltrate how we shop for clothes as well. This can range from price comparison tools to mobile apps designed to help you shop otherpeople’s closets. This year I won’t be surprised to hear someone say her first online clothing purchase was a second hand item! We also have our fingers crossed that tools to help you figure out your perfect fit online finally break out of the “it’s a cute gimmick” space and really help people find the right size.

  • Big Data turns out to be a big deal, even in fashion

2012 was a year where everything was about Big Data. We believe we’ll see big strides around actionable big data in 2013 in the fashion world. Many companies already use their vast amounts of data for recommendation systems: e.g. people who bought this, also bought this. However, that is just scratching the surface. There are an incredible number of additional signals available to help match you up with the perfect outfit. What types of dresses are trending on Pinterest? What is the most popular hat in my city? You returned a pair of stone-washed 32×32 514 Levi’s jeans, what does that say about you? Did your friends on Facebook and Twitter recommend a great hiking shoe recently? How did the latest celebrity couple sighting impact the sale of fanny packs? So much data! We’re excited to see what the industry does with it all.

  •  A future where we make our own clothes?

Paper dolls democratized fashion for children. Will 3D printers do that for adults in 2013? Unfortunately, it’s probably a bit too early to expect that we’ll be printing our own clothes on 3D printers at home this year. Nonetheless, we’re excited and nerding out about the possibilities there. We’re keeping our eyes peeled for what bold designers will embrace this movement and how “makers” will impact the fashion-tech industry. 3D printed bikini anyone?

  •  Let’s get physical 

While we’re focused on e-commerce, there is a lot of innovation happening in brick-and-mortar shopping that will continue to evolve into more immersive experiences. Stores are doing a better job of integrating their online and physical channels. It’s definitely convenient to be able to buy online and return it in the store. But how would you feel being greeted by name walking into a store you have never been in before? What if they also already knew your fashion taste from your online purchase history? And knew from your tweets that you were in town for a wedding and might need something for it? And knew from your earlier foursquare check-in at the Ritz that it’s probably a fancy wedding? Creepy? Or fantastic? And who says a physical store is just for selling things? If Office Depot can open up a retail shop that is also acoworking space, what about a department store opening up space for you to create and customize your own clothing in stores? We think we’ll also see more online-only retailers experiment with more physical spaces such as pop-up shops (or trucks). As online retailers keep trying to get people to buy online, we need to remind ourselves why people love shopping at stores!

  • And finally: the trend that will reign supreme no matter the fashion tech innovations that emerge in 2013: Increased attention to service. By everyone.

It’s encouraging to see small and big companies continue to innovate in their level of service. We’re already seeing faster deliveries (eBay Now and Amazonsame day) and more personal support (i.e. welcome e-mails with the CEO’s personal e-mail address like Chris at Do you remember the first time a company provided customer support over Twitter or Facebook and that “wow” feeling you had? We’re looking forward to seeing a few more of those service innovations this year and excited to see who leads the way.


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Joe’s Jeans Takes a Bold Move into B&M

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment


Joe’s Jeans to Roll Out 70 Stores

By Andrew Asch | Thursday, May 30, 2013

For Joe’s Jeans Inc.’s Marc Crossman, the recent 2013 Recon Las Vegas convention was about making deals for an anticipated rollout of 70 full-price boutiques for the Los Angeles–headquartered premium-denim label.

Crossman, Joe’s chief executive officer, met with representatives of America’s biggest mall operators, including Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties,at the real estate convention, produced by the International Council of Shopping Centers, to talk over arapid expansionof mall-based, full-priced Joe’s Jeans boutiques. Until recently, the premium-denim label mostly opened its shops on exclusive, urban retail streets.

Joe’s Jeans’ retail push is coming during a time of mixed forecasts for retail real estate. Major retailers such as Urban Outfitters Inc. are expanding, and others, such as Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., are scaling back their fleets. Retailers, however, are still wary of expanding during a time when much of the economy is still in recovery.

“It’s not for play,” Crossman said of a bricks-and-mortar rollout. “It is to generate a profit. You’re not going to generate profits just out of e-commerce. There is a big, existing bricks-and-mortar business.”

Joe’s Jeans currently runs 12 full-price boutiques and 19 outlet shops. From 2008 to the present, Joe’s averaged opening six stores annually. Crossman said Joe’s is speeding up the rollout by opening 12 stores annually. By the time the domestic rollout is scheduled to finish in 2017, Joe’s will run a fleet of 100 U.S. stores. Crossman and other Joe’s executives feel the upcoming retail gamble will pay off because the market in premium denim is increasing.

At a recent presentation at the B. Riley & Co. Investor Conference, held May 20–22 in Santa Monica, Calif., Hamish Sandhu, Joe’s chief financial officer, said the customer base for Joe’s is growing.

The core Joe’s consumer is a woman in her 30s who earns a six-figure salary and typically buys a new pair of jeans every month. This stylish, well-to-do woman is not just a denizen of wealthy neighborhoods of America’s leading metropolises. Such women live all over the country, Sandhu said.

It’s a demographic gain also witnessed by Angelika Corrente, creative manager ofDenimhead/WGSN, a Los Angeles–headquartered market-research office devoted to the denim market. “It’s not just coastal anymore,” Corrente said of demand for premium denim. “It went global.”

Market-research company The NPD Group also confirmed that demand for premium denim increased this year. Sales increased 11 percent for the category of jeans priced above $75 during the period from April 2012 to March 2013 compared with the same time last year.

While Joe’s will focus on domestic boutique retail, growth for its other channels will remain crucial. The company recently added True Fit, a sizing program, to its e-commerce store ( True Fit will assist Joe’s e-commerce customers to find the jeans that will best fit them. Joe’s also will develop a mobile commerce store and an iPhone app to help build e-commerce sales.

The company will open outlet stores and full-price boutiques overseas opportunistically. However, the company will focus on overseas retail expansion after 2017.

During the B. Riley presentation, Sandhu said upcoming Joe’s bricks-and-mortar stores will feature a smaller footprint of 1,500 square feet or less, compared with Joe’s full-price stores of the past, which were bigger than 2,000 square feet. “Expect a smaller footprint and reduced capital investment without a loss of productivity,” Sandhu said.

The new stores will be inspired by the look of the Joe’s Jeans flagship, located at 8432 Melrose Place in West Hollywood, Calif. The store features crystal chandeliers, one-of-a-kind furniture and neutral colors.

Joe’s also hopes to solidify its gains for its line of Else jeans. The bridge line is sold exclusively at Macy’s Inc. and was intended for a juniors customer looking for an introduction to premium denim. Wholesale price points for Else range from $19 to $30.

Joe’s Jeans announced results for the first quarter of its 2013 financial year, which ended Feb. 28. Net sales increased 13 percent to $29.4 million, compared with $26 million in the same time last year. It had a net loss of $6.4 million for the recent first quarter, compared with a profit of $794,008 during the same period last year.

Its same-store sales for its retail stores declined 1 percent in the first quarter. In a statement, Crossman blamed the decrease on a tough comparison with the label’s successful “55 Colors” campaign, which ran in its stores during the same time last year.



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Why retailers must excel in the 4 Cs

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment
  • Why retailers must excel in the 4 Cs instead of just the 4 Ps

    May 29, 2013
Why retailers must excel in the 4 Cs instead of just the 4 Ps

This article was written by retail educator Dr. Chris Petersen, .

Anyone who has taken a marketing class or attended a business seminar can probably recite the 4 Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Prior to the Internet, consumers literally had to go shops to purchase anything. The best merchants in this product-centric world thrived if they mastered the 4 Ps. Today, the 4Ps are far less relevant in a consumer-centric world, where you can shop any place, anytime from anywhere. Traditional retailers clinging to the 4 Ps are in trouble. To thrive in today’s marketplace requires at least investing in the 4 Cs.

Origins of retail and the 4 Ps of Marketing

The term “retail” is derived from the French word “retaillier,” meaning to divide up and sell in small quantities across multiple locations. Consumers have always been required to go somewhere to get things, including essentials like food. Before organized retail stores, consumers went to markets. The merchants who thrived were the best at merchandising and promoting their products, resorting to price to close sales that day if needed.

Prior to e-commerce and the rise of e-tailers like Amazon, we as consumers did not, or were not allowed to buy wholesale direct from manufacturers. Big-box retailers thrived in a product-centric world by building bigger stores (one stop shopping PLACE) in the best PLACES to shop. They advertised and PROMOTED that they had the latest gadgets and the largest assortments of PRODUCTS. They also PROMOTED that they had low PRICES and you could get the best deal from them today through their PROMOTION bundles and offers.

Life was good in a product-centric world. The principles of the 4 Ps were well understood. The big-box retail stores came into being and thrived on executing the 4 Ps.

Why the 4 Ps of Marketing are no longer working for bricks and mortar

There are two major disruptive forces shaping the face of retail today. The first is the technology of being able to connect anytime anywhere. Technology has enabled the second and more significant force: consumers changing both their shopping behavior and what they value. In a consumer-centric world the 4 Ps of marketing are less relevant and far less effective:

Product: Consumers can purchase products anywhere, including direct from the manufacturer. Product information is an open book … you can read reviews online at Amazon, and the most trusted source of product information is family and friends.

Pricing: Before EDLP (Everyday Low Price) retailers used to manipulate pricing to drive traffic and sales. The majority of consumers are researching online, and willing to purchase online. Lowest price is no longer a competitive tool, even for Walmart. Competitive pricing is a prerequisite to be considered, but not sufficient to close a sale.

Promotions: US retailers, like JC Penney’s, established their brand through weekly promotions. In-store promotions have lost their impact … and they may not even be considered at all if the shopper doesn’t interact with the retailer online. If promotions have a significant impact at all, they are most effectively deployed in an omni-channel strategy.

Place: This is where bricks and mortar stores can be most vulnerable. They are locked into leases and invested in place. Consumers are increasingly “place agnostic.” They want choice of where and how they purchase. And, the “long-tail” of online assortments offers far more variety than what can be assorted in store.

Rise of the 4 Cs of consumer-centric marketing

The 4 Ps of marketing and retailing were relevant when product was king. Today, the consumer is queen and makes the rules of how, when, and where she shops. Are bricks and mortar retailers doomed? Yes, if they fall back only on their heritage of the 4 Ps. The successful retailers in this consumer-centric world are quickly finding that this has become an environment where omni-channel is the new normal. Big-box retailers will be especially challenged. They can’t dominate on their locations or size of their store assortment. In fact, large store assortments can be a disadvantage in terms of carrying costs. In this consumer-centric world, virtual shelf will be as important as physical shelf.



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Half of US Mobile Users to Play Games in 2013

May 30, 2013 Leave a comment
Half of US Mobile Users to Play Games in 2013
  • MAY 30, 2013
  • User growth to push US mobile gaming revenues to $1.78 billion in 2013

More than half of all US mobile phone users—about 125.9 million people or 39.8% of the total US population—will play games on their phones this year, as the ongoing explosion in usage pushes mobile gaming revenues to $1.78 billion in the US, according to new figures from eMarketer.

Mobile gaming has been a high-growth market in recent years, with revenues increasing at triple-digit rates in 2012 and 2011. But even as the market grows more mature, double-digit growth rates are anticipated in coming years, with revenues expected to reach $3.77 billion by 2017.

This year, the largest share of revenues will come from downloads of games themselves, with in-game purchases accounting for just slightly less. Ad revenues will be relatively low, at $297 million this year. Of all three types of mobile game revenues, ad revenues grew the fastest last year and will do the same again in 2013.

This will help boost the share of total mobile gaming revenues that come from ads, though in-game purchases will grow even more quickly between 2014 and 2017. By the end of eMarketer’s forecast period, in-game purchases will make up nearly half of all mobile gaming revenues in the US, with another 17.4% coming from ads. Revenues from game purchases will be about twice that coming from mobile gaming ads.

While eMarketer’s revenue figures include dollars from games played on both mobile phones and tablets, eMarketer believes mobile phones likely account for a more significant share of mobile gaming revenues. Mobile gaming on phones has grown enormously in recent years, and double-digit growth rates will continue into 2015, when half of all US residents are expected to play games via their mobile phone at least once per month.

Despite its already large size, the US mobile phone gaming audience is growing much more rapidly than audiences in the more mature categories of social, online casual and online console gaming. Most consumers have adopted mobile games effortlessly, given that the majority of them are available for free or at very little cost. They also offer convenient access through their inherent portability.

The rise in smartphone ownership has boosted and will continue to drive mobile gaming’s rapid growth. In 2013, 82.3% of all mobile phone gamers will be smartphone gamers, compared with 17.7% who will access games via feature phone. By 2017, smartphone gamers will account for 90% of all mobile phone gamers in the US.

In 2011 and 2012, the number of US smartphone gamers skyrocketed, fueled by the high gains in the number of smartphone owners combined with the spread of new viral games. Growth has slowed following these massive increases but will remain high through 2017 as the number of smartphone users continues to rise and developers continue to tailor their offerings to smartphone gamers.

eMarketer forms its estimates of mobile gaming revenues based on the analysis of reported revenues from company releases; estimates from other research firms; mobile content usage trends; and eMarketer interviews with executives at brands, publishers and other industry leaders. Estimates of the mobile phone gaming audience are based on the analysis of survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, historical trends, company-specific data, and demographic and socioeconomic factors.


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Small Retailer thinks BIG! Walt’s TV Takes On Showrooming

May 29, 2013 Leave a comment

By Alan Wolf On May 29 2013 – 12:30pm

Tempe, Ariz. – Walt’s TV, an independent specialty dealer based here, will tackle showrooming head on when it opens its second store here next month.

The new 10,000-square-foot superstore will provide both an Internet-connected kiosk where customers can check online prices, and a price-match guarantee.

The concept, said CEO Robert Hendley, will allow customers to leave the store with the TV they want at a price they like without the wait.

Hendley cited a recent study by Anderson Robbins Research for Linkable Networks which showed that 67 percent of brick-and-mortar shoppers check their smartphones in-store to find better pricing, and that the majority – 62 percent – ultimately buy online at a lower price.

“We are one of the few small companies facing showrooming head on by providing the service in our store,” Hendley noted. “Combining all of our services under one roof will allow us to operate more efficiently, and that, along with the new kiosk, will translate into greater savings for our customers.”

Besides checking competitors’ prices, Hendley will also invite customers to bring their own music and movies to demo the showroom’s A/V product displays, and will provide in-store pick-up for online purchases.

Walt’s also maintains online “storefronts” on eBay and the third-party marketplaces of, Best Buy, and Sears, and provides installation and repair services.

The 56-year-old business, which is a member of the Nationwide Marketing Group, will soft-open the new superstore in June and will hold a grand opening in August.

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How e-Marketers of Apparel Can Better Target Video Ads to Customers With RTB

May 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Real Time Bidding of Internet Media (RTB) 

The online video advertising market is on a steep upward climb, both in terms of viewer impressions and dollars spent on video ad inventory. The bright star of this market is real-time bidding (RTB), which stands out as a major segment of the market in terms of how ads are bought, accounting for 24.7% of video spending by 2014.

In January 2013, SpotXchange commissioned Forrester Consulting to size the online video RTB market between 2012 and 2014. Using Forrester Research Online Video Forecast, 2012 To 2017, Forrester Research, Inc., and interviews with online video buyers, sellers, and technology providers, Forrester found that RTB continues to grow rapidly as a percentage of the overall video market and as the definition of RTB continues to evolve from a bidding platform to a programmatic tool for buying based on multiple attributes.

Over the past year, RTB has been the fastest growing segment of the online video business, growing more than 100% from 2011 to 2012, and forecast to grow more than 70% in 2013.

Key Findings

Forrester’s study yielded these key findings:

  • Growth in online video continues unabated, and RTB growth exceeds the overall rate of increase in spending.
  • Buying online video inventory via RTB appeals to ad buyers who like paying for the value of the placement based on attributes like audience or context, rather than the more traditional fixed-price model of inventory buying.
  • RTB spending in 2012 edged out Forrester’s forecast by $15 million, reaching $402 million. As the volume of online video ad inventory grows, RTB’s popularity will continue to increase at a faster rate than the overall digital video business, particularly as the supply of video inventory begins to outstrip demand.
  • Premium publishers still withhold inventory with claims of sold-out status. Even as the quantity of premium content increases, premium publishers of video content remain hesitant to use automated platforms to sell their inventory in a public environment, due to the high e-CPMs they are able to sustain for the moment. Those that have tested automated platforms are doing so primarily in private marketplaces, where they are able to test the impact on pricing, fill rate, and targeting on a limited and controlled basis.
  • RTB will continue a shift to real-time buying in 2013. Concerns about protecting eCPM rates have kept premium publishers from adopting an auction-based open marketplace for their inventory. But the growth in inventory practically mandates an automated solution. RTB platforms will morph from bidding engines into realtime buying engines that base their decisioning on data such as audience targeting. We expect use of RTB tools to do automated placement of direct buys as the automated process gains popularity. Programmatic buying mechanisms will continue to grow but diversify. As the online video vocabulary has crystallized and more parties understand programmatic buying, its adoption will be significant as a replacement to manual insertions orders. 

Learn More at:

Accordant Media                            

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