2012 was a great year for e-commerce, for both consumers and marketers alike. And from the looks of it, 2013 is shaping up to be even better.
In 2012, consumers who were once wary of virtual buying, continued to increase their spending online, where they’ve discovered that better optimized and personalized sites are starting to offer them a richer, more relevant online experience. Marketers, once dependent on gut instinct and guessing games, now use easy-to-use, sophisticated tools to create sites driven by real-time user behaviors and data.
But as much as e-commerce has evolved, 2013 promises to be full of even more great leaps forward for consumers — and for the online businesses that serve them. More channels and devices are digitally disrupting the market, and consumers are more fickle than ever.
Thanks to smarter marketing and better technology, 2013 just might be the year we see a real shift in how close consumers and companies can really become. Read more
Google Inc., the search engine giant located in California have acquired BufferBox, an ecommerce service that deliver ecommerce goods to physical kiosks.
Google didn’t elaborated much in an email statement that explained about the acquisition – “We want to remove as much friction as possible from the shopping experience, while helping consumers save time and money, and we think the BufferBox team has a lot of great ideas around how to do that,”
The terms of the deal were also kept under wraps. BufferBox, based in Waterloo, Ontario provides ecommerce shoppers to pick up the goods at any time in the Toronto area – as per the website.
Google is mobilizing its ecommerce efforts since last year, when they had said that they would revamp their product search feature into a premium model for US that would make the retailers pay for space on Google Shopping Service. Last month, Google came up with new enhancements including enhanced images of some toys and shopping lists compilation in new ways. Read more
Online retailers in China are fostering the industry’s development through ramping up their focus on Singles Day, an event increasingly fulfilling the same role as Cyber Monday in the US.
Singles Day started as an alternative to Valentine’s Day in the 1990s, with unattached students buying gifts for their friends without partners. November 11 was the chosen date as it numerically reads 11.11.
This occasion has since grown into a broad equivalent of “Cyber Monday” in the US, the day after the weekend of Thanksgiving when ecommerce companies regularly run deals and discounts.
Alibaba, which owns Taobao and Tmall, two leading online retail hubs, secured RMB19.1bn ($3bn) in revenues during this 24-hour period, over three times the RMB5.2bn generated last year. Read more
It seems that Bazaarvoice is no longer content with simply being a suped-up marketing analytics company. The competition in social media marketing is intensifying (think Salesforce’s acquisition of Buddy Media and Oracle’s purchase of Vitrue), with the bigs beginning to move into the space. So, today, the public company is officially beefing up its social commerce platform with advertising.
The Austin-based SaaS provider, which powers customer review and social commerce features for brands like Best Buy, Costco, Dell and Panasonic, announced this evening that it has acquired fast-growing eCommerce advertising network, Longboard Media.
The deal includes a combination of cash and stock, with Bazaarvoice paying $26.9 million in cash and dishing out 500K shares of stock to Longboard’s investors. The company’s share price on November 2nd brings the total value (cash plus stock) to just under $33 million. However, the terms of the deal also included some long-term incentives, meaning that, if Longboard is able to hit certain performance benchmarks by December 2013, investors could receive and additional $11 million in cash. That would bring the total value of the deal to right around $44 million. Read more
E-tailers throughout India are offering deals on makeovers, wardrobes and home deliveries this festival season. As part of an effort to drive up sales, many sites are giving away bonus products along with regular items.
Members-only site Fashion and You is launching a 15-day campaign in which its three biggest spending customers will receive home-improvement products valued at up to Rs 50,000. According to Director of Sales Aasheesh Mediratta, 40 percent of the site’s profits are driven by 20 percent of its customers, but the latest sale is intended to drive that 20 percent up to 40.
Another deal currently going on at Fashion and You is a month-long promotion known as the “Festival of Indulgence,” where the number one shopper can win a golden necklace valued at Rs 3 lakh. The festival commenced in mid-October and will run through the 16thof November. Read more
According to a report, online shopping will account for a nearly a third of all UK retail commerce by 2022.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Retail report examined how the UK retail sector will change over the next 10 years.
E-commerce, m-commerce and s-commerce (sales made through social media sites) sales combined, are expected to make up a third or more of UK sales, compared to only around 10% now.
“The opportunities for retail over the next decade and beyond are enormous,” said Jon Copestake, chief retail analyst at Economist Intelligence Unit. “But where the future markets will reside and the way in which we will buy goods will change dramatically. Retailers will need to evolve to adapt to this new landscape.”
Mobile commerce is predicted to become a main way of shopping by 2022, with the report suggesting that more consumers will make impulsive purchases on mobile platforms.
Successful sites like Pinterest, which is a large traffic driver, will continue to push virtual shopping forward. Read more
The National Retail Foundation (NRF) forecasted an increase of 4.1 percent in holiday sales, to $586.1 billion. It’s a small increase from 2011 and works out to the average holiday shopper spending $749.51 this season.
“Weve seen this pattern of cautious optimism all year and despite the challenges that still exist in our economy, it looks as if consumers are eager to celebrate with friends and family, said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
With this in mind, the NRF breaks down the potential spending like this. They see $421.82 being spent on children and other family members. Friends might see $75.13 of that spending. Beloved pets and community members, $28.13, while co-workers rate $23.48 in gift spending.
It’s better to be Fido rather than Dwight, apparently. It’s also good to be the giver, as NRF found nearly six in ten shoppers plan to drop $139.92 on themselves this holiday season.
We have mentioned in earlier stories about the rise in smartphones gaining prominence in shopping habits. Ecommerce professionals take note: NRF says more than half of smartphone owners, and nearly two-thirds of tablet toting consumers, will use their gadgets to research and make holiday purchases.
If you can offer those shoppers gift cards of some type, you will be right where many want to be as gift recipients. NRF said six in ten of those surveyed would like a gift card as a present. They prefer these even more than the expected wishes for electronics, clothing, or jewelry.
This post originally appeared on ‘Ecommerce Bytes‘
More than half of the UK’s top online retailers are in danger of contravening certain legal requirements relating to their customers, a report has revealed.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), a government body, asked BDRC Continental, the research firm, to “sweep” 156 major ecommerce sites, including pure-plays and those run by bricks and mortar players.
As a result, the OFT wrote to 62 leading vendors, having found they may not by “fully complying” with consumer protection law, and could face legal action if necessary amendments are not made.
One key issue concerned adding fees to the initial price shown. While 60% of sites indicated upfront that extra charges would have to be met prior to purchase, 24% of these platforms then also required that “unexpected” costs be paid. Read more
Let’s face it, shopping online is here to stay and some of the latest data from China confirms that eCommerce isn’t just for the young people. The web mania seems to be a growing hit among the older generation (50 years old and above), at least if the recent numbers that were posted during the one-week holiday are any indication.
Data from Taobao, owners of China’s massive consumer-to-consumer online mall, showed that there were 1.3 million (50 plus year old) online shoppers recorded during the recent Chinese holiday period. The majority of those savvy shoppers came from Shanghai and Beijing, with 174,000 and 114,000 shoppers respectively. Read more
These photos that appeared on a French website may be a mock-up of the rumored iPad mini. Would shoppers have the same experience with a smaller version as with the full-size iPad?
The Apple iPad, which gave rise to a new shopping habit that’s been dubbed couch commerce, has been a delightful addition to the online retailer’s tool set. As for the iPad mini, which is reportedly going to be released within the next few weeks? Not necessarily so much.
To find out how the iPad mini would impact retail—where seeing things bigger tends to be better—we asked Joaquin Ruiz, founder of Catalog Spree app creator Padopolis. Ruiz was in New York this week as the company welcomed two new players, Macy’s (NYSE: M) and Anthropologie, to a growing catalog kingdom that includes 200 retailers and 300 live catalogs.
Although there is now an Internet version of Catalog Spree, it’s the iPad that Ruiz says has game-changed online retail, and that provides the majority of the traffic to the app. According to his company data, the average online Web session is eight minutes long. The average iPad session on the weekend is 44 minutes, providing five times as much time for consumers to not just browse, but actually buy something (also statistically much more likely on a tablet versus a phone).
The iPad mini would reportedly have a 7.8-inch screen versus a just shy of 10-inch screen for the iPad.
For Catalog Spree, the experience on a smaller version should be OK “if it’s perfectly scaled,” in terms of the screen ratio, but it could be problematic for some shopping apps that are very busy, Ruiz said. Read more