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Digital Cadre Communique

From haggling to game theory – The Atlantic explores the complexity of retail pricing today and the equilibrium between consumers and retailers to find the ‘right price’ for an item. The rise of sophisticated algorithms has provided retailers with access to vast amounts of data and the tools to experiment in their pricing strategies. There are opportunities for both online and offline retailers along the continuum of providing simplified, transparent pricing and dynamically optimised consumer offers.

How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

Will you pay more for those shoes before 7 p.m.? Would the price tag be different if you lived in the suburbs? Standard prices and simple discounts are giving way to far more exotic strategies, designed to extract every last dollar from the consumer.

How much ...? The rise of dynamic and personalised pricing

You wait 24 hours to book that flight, only to find it's gone up by £100. You wait until Black Friday to buy that leather jacket and, sure enough, it's been marked down. Today's consumers are getting comfortable with the idea that prices online can fluctuate, not just at sale time, but several times over the course of a single day.


Using Car As A Service is becoming reality for more consumers as mainstream automotive brands such as Porsche, Volvo and Cadillac all launch their own subscription services offering a range of vehicles with all-inclusive costs. A trend to watch, particularly in combination with ride share services such as Uber and Lyft and changing consumer preferences around consumption vs ownership. Will you ever need to purchase a car outright again?

Subscription-Based Car Buying Picks Up Steam

Join us in New York this Wednesday and Thursday for Ad Age Next, a new event where top marketers and innovators such as Procter & Gamble, Amazon, Wayfair, Google, Walmart, The Washington Post, Burger King, Twitter, Bloomberg and Headliner Labs will explore AI, chatbots, voice marketing, rapid-fire creative iteration, next-level ad blocking, VR and even the way we see the future.


Good insights from Ben Thompson from Stratechery on Stitch Fix’s recent IPO, their ability to build a differentiated business from the outset and their focus on profitability/ positive unit economics.

Stitch Fix and the Senate

There was an interesting line of commentary around the news that Stitch Fix, the personalized clothing e-commerce company, was going to IPO: these numbers are incredible!


A noble cause, but a seemingly piecemeal solution. Surely, as others have pointed out, images could be hashed locally, thus avoiding the need to send images to Facebook and images could be reviewed by exception.

Facebook asks users for nude photos in project to combat revenge porn

Facebook is asking users to send the company their nude photos in an effort to tackle revenge porn, in an attempt to give some control back to victims of this type of abuse.

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Digital Cadre Communique

As McKinsey highlight, personalisation and targeted communications can add significant value for both retailers and consumers. Here, they share 5 vignettes that detail scenarios where value can be added in customer communications.  Tip – add real value or utility for your customers and don’t cross the creepy line!

What shoppers really want from personalized marketing

What customers want and what businesses think they want are often two different things. Here's what customers are looking for. Anyone who has gotten an unsolicited and irrelevant offer related to something they've done online knows that creepy feeling that someone is watching me.


Scott Galloway’s name is popping up everywhere as he completes a podcast tour to promote his new book – The Four: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Divided and Conquered the World. This interview with Barry Ritholtz is a great recap of the take aways from the book and his insights into the digital economy.

Scott Galloway Discusses Four World-Conquering Companies - Masters in Business

Scott Galloway Discusses Four World-Conquering Companies


Leading luxury brands are evoking emotion and using Instagram for visual storying telling and discovery. Instagram luxury global consumers (as defined by the platform) consume more content, like more content, post more photos and have more followers than the typical Instagram user.

Instagram and BOF have completed some good branded case studies detailing tactics such as shooting campaign content tailored specifically to Instagram’s user experience and using custom audiences to retarget and connect with followers. Check it out below or read the full Experience Luxury On Instagram report for more.

One to watch with interest as Instagram Shopping continues the global rollout for brands.

What Makes A Great Instagram Campaign?

By BoF Team October 31, 2017 05:25 Sponsored by: LONDON, United Kingdom - Instagram has established itself as a critical marketing channel for fashion and luxury brands. The mobile platform now has over 800 million monthly active accounts and has become what Luca Solca, head of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas, has called the "social media boxing ring" and "by far the most relevant social platform for luxury brands."


The fourth industrial revolution is upon us. The always compelling Tim Harford highlights the challenges of forecasting the future impact of technology and ongoing innovation with some nice excerpts from his outstanding series 50 Things That Made The Modern Economy.

What We Get Wrong About Technology

Blade Runner (1982) is a magnificent film, but there's something odd about it. The heroine, Rachael, seems to be a beautiful young woman. In reality, she's a piece of technology - an organic robot designed by the Tyrell Corporation. She has a lifelike mind, imbued with memories extracted from a human being.


Whilst still a blip in the total online retail visitation figures, the online subscription category grew by 3,000% from 2013-16. Whilst this data is a little dated, I’d expect that the trend would have increased substantially due to the growth of Blue Apron, Hello Fresh et al. One for more traditional retailers to take note of and determine how product subscriptions can be relevant for their business.

Hitwise Analysis Shows Visits to Subscription Box Sites up 3,000% - Hitwise | Competitive Intelligence & Consumer Insights

A new consumer insights retail report found that visits to top subscription box sites have exploded by nearly 3,000 percent in the United States over the past three years. According to our Hitwise® data, there were more than 21.4 million visits made to a custom category of leading subscription box sites in January 2016, compared ...


Did humanity really need a $999 Internet connected tea diffuser? 

Internet-Connected Tea Infuser Teforia Shuts Down

It turns out being the "Juicero for tea" isn't a sustainable business model. Teforia, the $999 internet-connected tea infuser, has ceased operations, citing "a very difficult time for hardware companies in the smart kitchen space" in a statement on its website.

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Digital Cadre Communique

Welcome to a new format of insights from Digital Cadre - the Cadre Communique!

Our goal is to provide a weekly highlights list to capture retailers and digital practitioners that are executing well and leading the way with innovative thinking. Subscribe below to receive the Cadre Communique packed with the trends and insights that matter most in your inbox.


Retailers are turning up their versions of retail theatre to lure customers away from their phones and get some IRL experiences...

'Shoppertainment': How department stores are becoming 'theatres of dreams'

"We are the controllers of the funfair, of the rabbit hole ... of the dreams," cries an eccentrically costumed showman as a three-dimensional kaleidoscope whirls into life. The ride is one of the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland-themed theatrical "experiences" designed to inject some pizzazz into the opening of Westgate Oxford, the £440m shopping centre that has replaced the city's rundown 1970s scheme.


A great case study of how ING bank have approached the agile transformation of their group headquarters in the Netherlands (comprising 3,500 staff). Includes a nice summary video and 9 key takeaways, including my favourite of focussing as much on getting the culture right as the structure, and spending a lot of time and energy focused on role modelling the right behaviours (customer-centricity, empowerment, ownership) to support change.

Agile Transformation at ING - A Case Study - Building The Agile Business - Medium

When I speak to leadership teams or consult on agile transformation with corporates I'm always keen to stress that there is never one all-purpose solution to what a successful digital transformation looks like.


Are big brands dying? Have small/ niche brands been given an advantage with the advent of eCommerce and digital media? This is an insightful report from the University of South Australia with detailed analysis, scientific research (!) and examples on the value of brands (with an emphasis on consumer goods)

TL;DR version - the notion that large brands are dying is simply not true. Nor has the world fundamentally changed in a way that favours small brands over big.

Are Big Brands Dying? | Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science

By Professor Byron Sharp, Professor Magda Nenycz-Thiel, James Martin, Zac Anesbury & Professor Bruce McColl Download PDF Fact or fiction? Big brands pay the salaries and provide investment returns for many millions of people via pension funds. So if anyone declares that big brands are dying they receive a great deal of attention.


Scott Galloway from NYU regularly talks about Amazon's ability to perform Jedi mind tricks to destroy another company just by thinking about it and creating a press release. This analysis highlights how department stores and big box retailers know what will entice online customers into physical stores (services, events, click and collect), however few promote those services online effectively. Physical stores are a vital asset.

Retailers are missing opportunities to win against Amazon

Physical stores offer experiences and services that online-only retailers can't, such as personal shopping and events. So it's odd that a lot of brick-and-mortar retailers fail to do the one thing Amazon can't: advertise the benefit of shopping in a physical store to their online customers and incentivize customers to visit.


Ivyrevel - the online only brand selling to 80 countries and growing at 50-100% per month (all mobile driven) is a great example of a brand leveraging social media and mobile to stay in tune and connected with it's influential audience. They grasp the intersection of technology and apparel, as evidenced by Coded Couture, an app leveraging shopper data to produce a one-of-a-kind dress reflecting personal lifestyle and tastes.

Ivyrevel, The World's First 'Digital Fashion House' | Salesforce Commerce Cloud Blog

There aren't many fashion retailers whose moves make news in Women's Wear Daily as well as TechCrunch. Yet that's the story of retail trailblazer Ivyrevel, which bills itself as a "digital fashion house" tailored for a digital native generation.


“undifferentiated, mediocre retail won’t survive.” Discuss...

Nike turns its back on 'undifferentiated, mediocre' retailers - RetailWire

Discussion Nike plans to put its eggs in fewer baskets going forward. The athletic wear brand announced yesterday a plan to focus its organizational resources going forward on 40 key retail partners and its own consumer direct efforts while pulling back from "undifferentiated" channels of distribution.

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