This is what caught our eyes this past week. Interesting Ecommerce finds in increasing sales and improving experiences.

Can Ecommerce Keep Magazines Afloat? Via Mashable: During a panel discussion at Mashable‘s Media Summit Friday, Conde Nast’s VP of corporate partnerships Josh Stinchcomb admitted that there is a “lot of interest” among publishers to get into commerce, but explained that it’s far more difficult and costly for content producers to get into ecommerce than it is for ecommerce companies to start producing content.

5 Biggest Shipping Secrets of Zappos via Entrepreneur: Online shoe-and-apparel retailer Zappos gained popularity with Internet customers in part because of its generous shipping policies. How does the company do it while keeping costs manageable? Here’s a look at the inner workings of the shipping program at the Henderson, Nev.-based Zappos, which was bought by Amazon.com in 2009. It includes some features that you could consider adopting.

Founded By 4 Ex-Googlers, QuBit raises $7.5M Led By Balderton To Improve E-Commerce Personalization With Big Data via TechCrunch: QuBit, a big-data startup whose analytics platform helps e-commerce sites with customer personalization, is today announcing that it has raised a Series A round of funding. The London-based company, which was founded by four ex-Googlers in 2010, may be best known for OpenTag, a cloud-based product that lets sites manage tags from multiple analytics, marketing and ad services from one place. The funding will be used to continue to develop that, as well as a new larger SaaS analytics platform, launched just this week, and to make a stronger push into the U.S. market and the rest of Europe.

10 Tips for Improving Ecommerce Checkouts via Econsultancy: 68% of shopping carts are abandoned, according to figures from Baynard, so how can retailers bring this number down? The most important factors in ensuring your user optimum usability and conversions. Biggest factors in improvements that should be focused on and done, so your consumers are comfortable shopping.

How To Spruce Up Your Ecommerce Product Description via Forbes: With the holidays upon us, it’s a good time for online stores to make sure their product descriptions are in shape. Here are a few tips and examples to help you spruce up your ecommerce copy. Remembering to think like your consumer will help you beat the Holidays with a bang.

via Slate

Early in October, I got a call from Bayard Winthrop, an entrepreneur who claimed to have created the world’s best hooded sweatshirt. Because I found this claim amusing—who sets out to make the world’s best hoodie?—I agreed to chat with him about the sweatshirt and his company, a San Francisco-based apparel startup called American Giant.

I thought it would be a polite interview that would go nowhere, but I quickly found American Giant’s story irresistible. For one thing, Winthrop had figured out a way to do what most people in the apparel industry consider impossible: He’s making clothes entirely in the United States, and he’s doing so at costs that aren’t prohibitive. American Apparel does something similar, of course, but not especially profitably, and its clothes are very low quality. Winthrop, on the other hand, has found a way to make apparel that harks back to the industry’s heyday, when clothes used to be made to last. “I grew up with a sweatshirt that my father had given me from the U.S. Navy back in the ’50s, and it’s still in my closet,” he told me. “It was this fantastic, classic American-made garment—it looks better today than it did 35, 40 years ago, because like an old pair of denim, it has taken on a very personal quality over the years.”

But few companies make sweatshirts—or any clothes, really—like that today. In the 1970s, when the fashion industry morphed into a mass-market business dominated by mall stores, its marketing and distribution costs began to skyrocket. To keep retail prices down, companies began to shrink the price of producing clothes. Today, when you buy a hooded sweatshirt, most of your money is going to the retailer, the brand, and the various buyers that shuttle the garment between the two. The item itself costs very little to make—a $50 hoodie at the Gap likely costs about $6 or $7 to produce at an Asian manufacturing facility.

American Giant has found a loophole in the process. The loophole allows Winthrop to spend a lot more time and money producing his clothes than his competitors do. Among other things, he was able to hire a former industrial designer from Apple to rethink every aspect of the sweatshirt, from the way the fabric is woven to the color of the drawstrings around your neck. The particular loophole that Winthrop has found also explains why he wanted to chat with a technology reporter: It’s called the Internet.

American Giant doesn’t maintain a storefront, and it doesn’t deal with middlemen. By selling garments directly from its factory via the Web, American Giant can avoid the distribution costs baked into most other clothes. American Giant’s basic sweatshirt sells for $59, while its full-zip hooded sweatshirt—i.e., the classic hoodie—goes for $79 (including shipping and free returns). That’s more than you’d pay for a basic hoodie at the Gap or American Apparel, but it’s comparable to hoodies from Levi’s, J. Crew, or Banana Republic.

But there is really no comparison between American Giant’s hoodie and the competition. It looks better and feels substantially more durable—Winthrop says it will last a lifetime. When you wear this hoodie, you’ll wonder why all other clothes aren’t made this well. And when you hear about how American Giant produced it, it’s hard not to conclude that one day, they all may be.

Why is this hoodie so amazing? First, it’s made of heavyweight cotton. Most other sweatshirts on the market today are made of some kind of blend, usually cotton and polyester. The cheaper the sweatshirt, the more polyester. (American Apparel’s hoodie, which sells for $46, is 50 percent polyester.) Not only is a polyester blend cheaper than cotton, it’s also easier to work with, allowing for faster, lower-cost production. Blended fabrics shrink more predictably than cotton, letting manufacturers get more consistent clothes without much more effort. Blends can also be made to take on a variety of textures—the soft, fluffy inside lining on a cotton/poly blend hoodie, for instance, is just as easy to achieve as the smooth outer layer. To create the same soft interior in cotton, American Giant has to send its material through machines that pick loops of thread out of the fabric. That isn’t a cheap process.

But the result is worth the effort, because heavyweight cotton is the ideal material for a sweatshirt. When you run your hand against American Giant’s hoodie, you find a finely textured, rugged, warm exterior. People in the apparel industry refer to this as a “dry hand feel,” while polyester has a slightly slick, “wet” feel. To me, the best adjective is expensive—the cotton feels spendy between your fingers, while a blend feels like it could break down after a few years. That’s likely true, too. After repeated runs through a washer and dryer, polyester blends become brittle and tattered, the fabric pilling unattractively. High-quality cotton will endure the elements and repeated washings and emerge looking only better.

Get the full scoop here.

Results are in from the most hectic shopping days of the year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are notorious days of deals and holiday shopping. Here’s the news and headlines that grabbed our attention last week.

Black Friday: PayPal Sees Mobile Payments Jump 193%; eBay up 153% via TechCrunch: Black Friday numbers are strong across the board, according to initial reports coming in today from retailers and payments companies. As IBM reported earlier today, total online sales saw a surge of 20.7 percent in spending from last year. Ebay saw a 133 percent increase in mobile volume transacted; and PayPal saw a 173 percent increase. While more shoppers are hitting their phones and tablets for sales on Thanksgiving, it’s also apparent that consumers are perhaps forgoing the malls and stores for mobile shopping on Black Friday.

8 Tips for Safe Shopping on Cyber Monday via Mashable: With so much money exchanging virtual hands, and the growing threat of cyber crime, it’s important to take precautions. Shoppers should be extra aware of online threats, ecommerce being the most convenient and new way to beat the lines and chaos at the stores. Mobile shopping has increased by 300% in the last year, making protection against viruses and malware key for safe shopping from your device. New threats with new ways of shopping, everyone should be extra aware on their devices.

Web performance strong on Cyber Monday via Apica System: Retailers might have started offering online holiday discounts earlier than in years past, but that didn’t seem to have much effect on retail activity or sales this Cyber Monday. According to IBM, Internet sales rose 30.3% yesterday, making it the biggest online shopping day ever.

Steiner Sports sells exclusive admission to Steiner Sports 25th Anniversary Charity Event via GiltCity: Steiner Sports and Gilt City sell opportunities for basketball fans to rub shoulders and take pictures with sport legends. ESPN will broadcast the 3-day event starting on December 3rd.

We hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (and took advantage of Black Friday). Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention last week:

Amazon Launches Brand Pages via Inc Magazine: The online retailer announced Amazon Pages, which lets retailers create web stores and market through the Amazon network. With Pages, retailers can make customized e-stores that remain autonomous from Amazon’s main site. Businesses registered with Pages will also have access to Amazon Post, a social media dashboard connected to Pages and Facebook, and Amazon Analytics, a web metrics tool that monitors Amazon Post sales and social media trends.

Chanel who? E-commerce has barely made a dent in the luxury goods market via VentureBeat: Interesting editorial on luxury e-commerce market from a venture capitalist in San Francisco.

Say hello to our newest clients!: Please join us in welcoming Danskin + 2XIST to the Acadaca family!

The news and headlines that grabbed our attention last week:

Pinterest Launches New Business Terms For Companies, Website Verification, Widgets And Access To New Features via TechCrunch: Pinterest could turn into an absolute monster for e-commerce, and we’ve been waiting to see what it would do to push that forward. We might be one step closer with the company’s announcement of new tools for the business community.

New Tools for Disaster Aid via The New York Times: How has Hurricane Sandy brought together the tech community to develop new tools for disaster aid in NYC?

Mobile Payments Will Top $1 Trillion Worldwide by 2017 via Mashable: Consumers and businesses worldwide will make more than $1 trillion in purchases from mobile devices by 2017, as the technology enabling mobile payments becomes increasingly common, according to a new report from IDC, a market research firm.

Flint Exits Beta To Take On Square With Its Camera-Based Mobile Payment App via TechCrunch:   Flint, a small business-focused mobile payment app that does away with dongles and NFC and instead uses the camera on a phone to “scan” a card’s numbers, has come out of beta.

The news and headlines that grabbed our attention last week:

How Mobile Commerce Is Shaking Up the Retail Landscape via Mashable: Just as mobile is changing the media and advertising landscape, it’s wreaking havoc on retail as well. Showrooming — the phenomenon in which consumers visit a store and then use their phones to buy items they see on Amazon — is becoming a major headache. Yet there are other ways that m-commerce is reshaping the retail landscape. The mobilization of shopping also will mean big trouble for smaller retailers, but it presents some new opportunities as well.

17 Things You Didn’t Know About Ecommerce via Mashable: Online shoppers can buy cars, clothes and millions of other things with the click of a button and figurative swipe of a credit card. The multi-billion-dollar ecommerce industry is a part of our everyday lives, but many don’t realize the numbers and history behind it, so the folks at Mashable collected 16 things you probably don’t know about ecommerce.

Why Mobile Commerce Is Set To Explode via Business Insider: Great insight into the size of the mobile commerce opportunity in dollar terms, and examine how some of the top mobile commerce trends – including mobile payments, tablet commerce, and SoLoMo (social-local-mobile) marketing – are contributing to a big increase in mobile commerce.

FedEx bets on social commerce, launches Ship to Friends app on Facebook via The Next Web: FedEx has decided to launch Ship to Friends, an app which lets US-based users prepare and pay for a shipment without ever leaving Facebook.

Fleur du Mal Launches New Site: The team at Acadaca worked with Fleur du Mal to launch their brand new site and we must say, it is dressed to kill!

Our thoughts and prayers with everyone that was affected by Hurricane Sandy last week. This is the digital news and tech headlines that grabbed our attention last week:

In-Text Commerce Startup Cemmerce Raises Another $500K via TechCrunch: Cemmerce, an Israeli startup helping publishers monetize through affiliate linking, has raised $500,000 in new funding. Cemmerce pitches itself as a new way for publishers to monetize their content.

Now Amazon Can Easily Win The $100 Billion Local Commerce Market And The $150 Billion Smartphone Market via Forbes: Forbes thinks that Amazon should buy LivingSocial and Groupon and turn it into Amazon Deals.

Pinterest competitor Fancy hauls in $26.4M via GigaOM: Fancy, a social discovery and shopping site that competes with Pinterest, has raised $26.4 million according to a new filing with American Express vice chairman Ed Gillespie joining the board of Thing Daemon, the company behind Fancy.

Sandy Prompts Louder Calls For Free Wi-Fi via Fast Company: If the Electronic Frontier Foundation and New America Foundation have their way, Hurricane Sandy will mean the end of password-protected Wi-Fi networks. On Tuesday, a new advocacy effort called the Open Wireless Movement was launched to promote free, open-access wireless Internet. Besides the EFF and New America Foundation, other partners in the initiative include NYCwireless, the Internet Archive, and the Open Spectrum Alliance.