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Commerce chronicles: Mar 25, 2024

Mar 25, 2024 - Alyssa Wolfe
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Mar 25 Commerce Chronicles | Google, Kohl's, Liquid Death & more
8:45

Google launches offsite media solution, the Associated Press gets into the ecommerce game and Liquid Death closes $67 million in strategic finance. Plus, Kohl’s partners with Babies ‘R’ Us, ecommerce pricing tests and more.

In this week’s news, find out about Associated Press’s ecommerce site plans, Google’s new offsite media solution and the results from Harvard Business Review’s features results of Intelligems ecommerce pricing tests. In addition, learn how Liquid Death closed at $67 million in strategic funding and about Kohl’s new partnership with Babies ‘R’ Us. Plus, Cart.com released Constellation AI. Visit our blog every Monday for a roundup of the latest commerce news.

Google launches a new offsite retail media solution

With third-party cookies a soon-to-be thing of the past, retail media is experiencing rapid growth. It offers advantages for both retailers and brands, allowing targeted advertising, enhanced visibility, data insights, improved ROI and collaboration opportunities. A retail media network is a platform operated by retailers that lets brands advertise their products directly to consumers while they are shopping online. These networks leverage the retailer's website or app as a channel for displaying targeted ads and enable brands to reach their target audience at various stages of the shopping journey.

Google's Search Ads 360 (SA360) has launched a closed beta for offsite retail media campaigns, to help brand advertisers reach consumers off the retailer website while capturing product sales on the retailer website.1 This solution enables advertisers to leverage retailer audiences with Google AI, improving performance and scaling across channels.

The self-service model in SA360 will let brands manage campaigns independently, enhancing transparency and control over media investments, while retailers can protect shopper information by selectively sharing first-party data in a privacy-centric manner. Improved reporting and streamlined campaign management in SA360 will also empower brands to measure campaign success accurately and optimize performance, driving higher investments in high-performing channels. As more retailers join the platform, brands will benefit from common metrics and campaign workflows, enhancing efficiency and productivity. Looking ahead, SA360 plans to support additional campaign types for offsite retail media and introduce more features to drive greater performance, reinforcing its commitment to supporting the growth of the retail media ecosystem.

Babies ‘R’ Us set to open in Kohl’s stores

Kohl’s has announced a partnership with WHP Global to introduce Babies“R”Us® shops in its stores and on Kohls.com.2 The company aims to target younger customers and broaden its baby gear assortment. The collaboration will launch in August, with plans to expand to about 200 stores by fall 2024, offering baby products like gear, furniture and activities. “Evolving our assortment and bringing more relevant product to the millions of customers we serve is a core focus as we continue to deliver on Kohl’s broader growth strategy,” said Tom Kingsbury, Kohl’s chief executive officer. “We see significant opportunity in the baby gear category, and partnering with Babies“R”Us is another example of how we are finding new ways to optimize our assortment and further establish Kohl’s as the go-to brand for families.”

The dedicated Babies“R”Us spaces within Kohl's stores, ranging from 750 to 2,500 square feet, will offer a comprehensive selection of baby essentials, alongside popular brands like Graco, Chicco and Fisher-Price. Additionally, Kohl’s will host the Babies“R”Us at Kohl’s registry online, offering a wide range of gifting options and rewarding Kohl’s Rewards members with benefits on Babies“R”Us purchases both in-store and online.

AP Buyline: The Associated Press to launch ecommerce site

The Associated Press (AP) is launching AP Buyline,3 an ecommerce platform in collaboration with Taboola, to diversify revenue streams and adapt to the changing media landscape.4 Scheduled to launch in March, AP Buyline focuses on personal finance initially, expanding to include home, beauty and fashion products in April. Content will feature detailed reviews produced by Taboola's dedicated team, aligning with AP's editorial standards. Led by Drew Stoneman, VP for Consumer Revenue at AP, the initiative underscores the organization's commitment to the venture. Taboola's expansion into ecommerce, highlighted by the Connexity acquisition, signals a strategic shift from native advertising. The partnership aims to enhance consumer engagement and revenue through a sustainable model, catering to the growing trend of online shopping.

Harvard Business Review features results from Intelligems ecommerce pricing tests

Havard Business Review recently posted an article featuring results from Intelligems ecommerce pricing tests.5 Most brands understand that setting the right prices is crucial for retailers, as it directly impacts demand, market share and long-term brand reputation. A/B testing, or price experimentation, offers a systematic approach to refining pricing decisions, outperforming intuition-based choices. Intelligems, a solution for online retailers to conduct price experiments, analyzed over 1,000 price tests across 300 ecommerce retailers. They discovered pricing trends and information that impacted businesses. What they found was pricing at most small to medium-sized ecommerce businesses is not so good, often because prices are typically set and updated in an ad hoc fashion without one clear owner. The research also revealed that while retailers tend to overprice listed prices, they often underprice shipping fees, highlighting the importance of comprehensive pricing optimization strategies. They also conducted two price experiments. The takeaway was that through price testing, retailers can unlock untapped revenue potential and enhance their competitiveness in the fast-paced ecommerce industry.

Liquid Death closes $67 million in strategic financing

Liquid Death, a rapidly growing non-alcoholic beverage platform, has secured $67 million in funding from strategic partners and investors, including top national distributors, entertainment figures and sports personalities.6 With a valuation of $1.4 billion, the funding marks a significant increase over previous rounds and underscores the brand's leading position in water, flavored sparkling water, and iced tea categories. The investment will fuel Liquid Death's expansion efforts, including scaling its distribution network and launching new product lines such as flavored sparkling water and iced tea flavors. The company's strong retail performance, with $263 million in scanned sales in 2023 and triple-digit growth for three consecutive years, reflects its rapid ascent in the beverage market. Liquid Death's innovative approach, blending health and sustainability with humor and entertainment, has garnered significant attention, with a social media following of 7.9 million across TikTok and Instagram, positioning it as a formidable player in the global beverage industry.

Cart.com releases Constellation AI

Cart.com has unveiled Constellation AI, a suite of AI features integrated across its software and logistics solutions.7 Leveraging machine learning and predictive modeling, Constellation AI automates product merchandising, inventory management and demand forecasting, empowering merchants to reduce costs, improve margins and drive growth. The AI tools identify new sales channels, optimize product titles and descriptions, automate repricing strategies and forecast demand at SKU and sales channel levels. Additionally, they optimize inventory ordering and placement across various fulfillment networks based on sales performance and anticipated demand. Cart.com new offering aims to eliminate guesswork in marketing and inventory management, underscoring the company's commitment to delivering value to its customer base. With over 6,000 customers and 75 million orders annually, Cart.com aims to simplify commerce for middle-market and enterprise companies through its unified commerce and logistics solutions.

 

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