This week — Mary Meeker’s report, Amazon Basics and Alibaba’s tech

With respect to retail there were two important things Mary Meeker’s report highlighted. The first was the blurring lines between ads, content, products and transactions. Very often (too often some might say) content has become ads, and transactions are embedded in the ads. Of course, this also means a huge push to improve attribution in embedded channels. Companies seem to be doubling down on that with Google announcing a new beta for Google Attribution and Facebook making a big push for Facebook Live.

Meeker: Lines blur between ads, content, products, transactions
First Published on Google and Facebook together commanded an 85% share, and rising, of internet advertising growth in…

The second highlight, which most people would have seen coming, is the success of Amazon Basics brand. Amazon Basics now accounts for 33% of the online sales for batteries and 15% for baby wipes.

Some of Amazon's own brands are becoming super popular online
Batteries and baby wipes, oh

On the other side of the globe

At Alibaba, Artificial Intelligence is Changing How People Shop Online - Alizila
Mention artificial intelligence (AI) and most of us think of driverless cars, virtual-assistant chatbots and computers…

Jeff Bezos has talked about how much of what is done with machine learning happens below the surface. Now an in-depth piece from Alibaba dives deeper and explains how each of their verticals is impacted and powered by AI technologies.

A grand of a different kind

Over 1000 store closures were announced this week. Pitch this alongside Amazon’s stock breaking the $1000 barrier and we have the sort of symbolic event that sends newscasters into an excited frenzy.

It's a retail Armageddon as over 1,000 stores close in one single week
It's been a tough week for the retail industry, with more than 1,000 stores closing their doors for good. Luxury…

Dire predictions for retail stoked by another bad week full of store closures and a looming…
Retail had another rough week. Luxury handbag maker Michael Kors announced more than 100 store closures, apparel…

This week on The Ecommerce Intelligencer:

The hidden costs of delivering customer worthy software
“It just works” — if only things were that simple when building