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Digital Digs: Hot topics in retail

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The most wonderful time of the year is here. Between holiday planning, IPOs adding to the number of billionaires in the world, game-changing announcements from Amazon, and pop-up stores giving digital retailers a physical presence, it’s been a busy month for digital retail.

To help you catch up from some of the hottest news from the last few weeks, I’ve included a few of my favorite articles in our second edition of the Digital Digs.

Twitter: IPO success and all things TV

Differentiation in an increasingly crowded digital marketing landscape helped drive Twitter to a successful IPO this month. As we see retailers and brands continue to utilize the platform for consumer engagement and advertising it will be interesting to see how Twitter positions and proves itself in the advertising world. Tapping into the TV ad market may be the key to their future.

For those as fascinated with the IPO world as I am, keep your eye out for a few more digitals that could be going public soon: Chegg, Zulily, Alibaba, and Square.

Amazon Shipping Domination: Thresholds and Sunday deliveries

Amazon had a couple big announcements over the last few weeks. In the free shipping world, they increased the spending threshold for their Super Saver shipping option from $25 to $35. While Amazon gave no reason for the first increase in more than a decade, the shift could drive Amazon Prime membership, decrease shipping costs and increase the size of their average order value.

Additionally, Amazon came out with news of a partnership with the U.S. Postal Service for Sunday product deliveries, beginning in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas and expanding in 2014 to Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix. The free service will now allow Amazon Prime customers to buy on Friday and receive orders on Sunday. The financially-stressed USPS may be thankful for the undisclosed added revenue, but this is yet another way Amazon is disrupting the supply chain and logistics world.

Marketplace or bust

Some of the most robust and distinctive marketplaces in the U.S. include Amazon, eBay, Etsy and OpenSky. But marketplaces continue to develop all over the traditional retail landscape. Since October, we’ve seen announcements from Staples, Best Buy, and Tom’s joining the realms of Barnes and Noble and other large retailers in this area. There is a lot of opportunity for both large and small retailers, but quite a few factors to consider in order to make this a win-win for retailers and consumers alike.

With my favorite sports commentator, Chris Berman’s Two Minute Drill in mind, I have a few more stories from around the world that caught my attention. Alibaba’s Singles Day sales in China, Instagram introducing ads, Cyber Monday sales predictions, and digital retailers like Indochino and Zady opening their own pop-up shops were also on my hot list. I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2013 has in store for us.