Week in Review: Star Wars! Nothing But Star Wars!

The Force is strong with Tim Parry's son, William, who will hopefully change his allegiance and become a Jedi...
The Force is strong in Tim Parry’s 5-year-old son, William, who will hopefully change his allegiance and become a Jedi…

Gimme those Star Wars… don’t let them end!

A little Star Wars’d out lately? With “Star Wars: Episode VII” (AKA “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) having its much hyped and anticipated opening today, everybody is trying to get in on the action.

After all, as Yogurt revealed in the classic Star Wars parody, “Spaceballs,” merchandising is where the real money is from when the movie is made. So we have Star Wars the t-shirt, Star Wars the action figure, Star Wars the Advent Calendar… (Cue Bill Murray’s lounge-singing Nick Winters) Star Wars! Nothing but Star Wars!

And this also means Multichannel Merchant’s inbox has been flooded this week with all sorts of Star Wars stats and pitches.

Twenga Solutions has published a study regarding related merchandise and its impact on online buying behavior. Among the highlights: Ecommerce traffic for Star Wars products continued to grow after they were officially released on Sept. 4 (“Force Friday,” a shopping day created by Disney), leading up to today’s movie launch. There was a 97% ecommerce traffic increase between October and September, with a further 36% increase when traffic between November and October is compared.

Adobe Digital reports that the Star Wars marketing machine is also driving strong social media buzz: Force Friday kicked off the marketing campaign, generating over 215,000 social mentions in a day. Social buzz spiked on October 19, when the official “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer was unveiled during ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast. Additional spikes occurred in November with the release of the movie poster, the international trailer and the “official” TV spot.

AdGooRoo dove a little deeper little deeper into the subject and examined U.S. Google Desktop Text Ad clicks on 108 Star Wars toy keywords from Nov. 15 through Dec. 13 to determine the most popular items. According to its data, the Force is strong with Star Wars Battlefront.

But SimilarWeb says the Force is strongest with Lego. Data from SimilarWeb shows that most online searches for Star Wars games wound up on Lego’s site – double the amount of searches that resulted in traffic to Disney’s merchandise sites.

-Intro by Multichannel Merchant Managing Editor Tim Parry.

Here’s a look at this weeks’ news, commentary and events that shaped the direct-to-customer world… and more.

Marketing

share-this-icon-75X75Do you know what is in store for 2016 as it relates to B2B marketing? See what is ahead for the new year… See why Buy Buttons will enable social commerce during the holidays.. Dress Barn launches a campaign in an effort to revamp its business…Brands are now able to live-video stream on Facebook. Any brand that has an official page, will now have the opportunity to talk to customer live… Pinterest now alerts shoppers when items on its site go on sale… Ecommerce retailers are improving their email opt-out practices, according to this report from the Online Trust Alliance

Ecommerce

Add-To-Cart-Icon-75X75Rakuten plans to open a flagship store on JD Worldwide with a goal to bring the best Japanese products to Chinese consumers … eBay introduced “Boxing Weekend,” where shoppers are encouraged to go to select Westfield shopping centers where customers can sell items they got over the holidays for money … The most common shipping cutoff day for retailers this holiday season is Dec. 21, one day later than in 2014, according to StellaService, while Kurt Salmon found average order-to-delivery time was 6.9 days, based on orders placed Cyber Monday — 20% slower than last year… International Checkout announced its partnership with fashion maven Marissa WebbSoccerPro.com has been included in an innovative shopping experience exclusively through the new Xbox One MallHandshake has integrated its B2B ecommerce solution with Xero

Operations

shipping-delivery-75X75Best Buy is offering free two-day shipping up to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, in an effort to woo last-minute shoppers; it has been offering free shipping since late October … Pitney Bowes has opened an office in India … Fresno and Visalia, CA are competing against each other for a Nordstrom ecommerce distribution center that would employ 1,000 … This year, more than 900 retailers have signed up to participate in Free Shipping Day, which is in fact today … With the tsunami of ecommerce orders this season, some apartment complexes are capping the size of items they’ll take in, or banning deliveries outright … France’s competition regulator has fined 20 package delivery companies, including the French operations of FedEx and DHL, a total of $1 billion for colluding on price increases over a period of six years … Dollar General is planning a 934,000-square-foot distribution center in Wilton, NY that will service 1,000 stores in the Northeast, while XPO Logistics is looking at a new 400,000-square-foot DC near Fort Wayne, IN.

… And more

newsBarnes & Noble appointed William E. Wood as Chief Information Officer,  he joins the company from EZCORP Inc….Bigcommerce appointed Russell Klein as SVP of Corporate and Business Development, he will see key corporate and business initiatives for Bigcommerce Shiphawk  announced the appointment of Koreen Pagano as Vice President of Product and George Chapman as Vice President of Engineering … Just in time for Christmas, The North Face, in partnership with IBM Watson and ecommerce company Fluid, has launched an artificial intelligence shopping tool to help you find the exact right gift … Starting Dec. 17 and running through Christmas Eve, Kohl’s is again keeping its doors open for 170 straight hours in a shopping marathon… Mike Fitzharris has been appointed the CEO and representative director of QVC Japan… 

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