Gilt Groupe

Always adapting, Gilt prepares for big mobile push

A steady spring rain served as little deterrence for the hardy attendants of the New York American Marketing Association’s Monday night event featuring Gilt Groupe cofounder Alexis Maybank.

Currently serving as chief strategy officer, Maybank discussed Gilt’s four year maturation into the big-data-weilding, five-million-member established player that it is today. 

Gilt has thrived, Maybank emphasized, by prioritizing flexibility. When the company hosted it’s first invitation-only sale for Zac Posen in 2007, only ten days had passed since the initial customer contact, and the returns section of the website had yet to be built. During the rapid growth that followed, more people were hired in some quarters than had been working at the company.

The first big change of direction occured when the company realized that their partnering brands weren’t just looking at them for inventory liquidation, but instead saw Gilt as a marketing channel. The latest pivot, occuring now, is towards mobile.

Retailers and journalists: a match made in heaven?

Copy has always been important to online retailers. For obvious reasons, a well-written product description, for instance, is likely to produce more sales than the standard manufacturer’s version.

But there’s a new trend: online retailers going beyond product descriptions and building content-rich properties run in large part by folks from the publishing world.

Nordstrom goes on a $270m flash sale shopping spree

Nordstrom is used to being the retailer where shopping sprees happen. But sometimes it’s more fun to go on one of your own.

Yesterday, the high-end retailer announced that it is acquiring flash
sale site HauteLook for $180m in stock, with an additional $90m in stock
subject to a three-year earn-out.

The deal marks one of the largest
acquisitions yet in one of the internet’s hottest markets: flash sale
websites which offer consumers deep discounts on products ranging from
handbags and dresses to houseware and furniture.

TCDisrupt: The future of commerce lies in gaming

At TechCrunch Disrupt on Wednesday, The Future of the Market Is Social panel was stocked with executives from new media commerce companies that have seen impressive growth in the past few years. Rather than trading on low prices, companies like Gilt Groupe, Etsy and OMGPOP work to develop other sales advantages. And they all emphasized the role of community in their sales efforts. But going forward, they agreed that retailers will be relying on another trick to sell goods: game theory.

Gilt Groupe and Groupon avoid SEO, but maybe they shouldn’t

Private sales and group buying are two of the hottest trends in ecommerce today, and two of the hottest companies in these markets are Gilt Groupe and Groupon.

Yesterday, my colleague Meghan Keane wrote about how companies like Gilt Groupe and Groupon were largely avoiding SEO. Somewhat interestingly, however, they’re not avoiding paid search.

Five markets to watch in 2010

2010 is here. Plenty have made specific predictions about what you can expect this year. Predictions are fun, but sometimes knowing which markets to look at is a better approach.

With that in mind, here are five of the markets you might want to track in 2010.

When disclosure isn’t enough

Disclosure is a touchy subject when it comes to blogging and digital journalism. Most of the time, the debate is centered on when disclosure is necessary. But what happens when disclosure isn’t enough?

As I was going through my feed reader yesterday, I came across a post on Silicon Alley Insider (SAI) that serves as the perfect example of why a debate about journalistic ethics and standards online can’t be limited to the topic of disclosure.