Online sales have hit a new high in Q4, as per IBM’s final Digital Analytics benchmark report for the year. Department stores were the greatest beneficiaries of this surge as they post 62% increase in online sales in the fourth quarter of 2013. Home good retailers recorded 46.4% increase, 14.7% for health and beauty and 10.2% for apparel.
IBM tracked over 800+ ecommerce websites in US to create this report. They have provide sales breakup of the above mentioned categories only.
Though the report didn’t provide month by month breakup of the sales, it did provide the year-on-year change of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is an increase of 19.7 %, 19.0% and 20.6% respectively.
Mobile was accounted for the 35% of the overall traffic to the retail websites (+40% from last year) and 16% of online sales (+46% from last year). In that, smartphones drove more traffic than tablets (21.3% vs 12.8%) but tablets converted those traffic into sales more (5% vs 11.5%). The average order value of tablets were $118.09 vs $104.72 with that of smartphones.
iOS OS based devices converted more than Android OS based devices as far as OS breakup of sales is concerned. iOS shoppers were accounted for 22.1% of the overall web traffic and 12.7% overall online sales and their average value per order was $115.42 whereas Android shoppers accounted for 10.6% of total web traffic and a mere 2.6% of overall online sales and an average order value of just $83.56.
When it comes to social network referrals, Facebook and Pinterest were the frontrunners. Even though Pinterest referred shoppers purchased more than their Facebook counterparts (109.93 VS $60.48), Facebook converted more than 3.5 times as frequently as Pinterest, according to the report.
- Validation: This stage includes validation techniques used before the order is placed. At this point, we validate the consumer has entered a valid credit card, valid expiration date, valid zip code and email address. The technique used to validate a credit card number is called mod 10 (for modulus 10). Mod 10 is a simple algorithm available as an out-of-the-box feature in most e-commerce applications.
- Fraud subsystem: This is where all the techniques mentioned in the previous section are used. The outcome of this stage is either a valid order which is sent to the Order Management system or a potential fraudulent order (suspected fraud order) that is sent for manual review
- Manual Review: In this stage, suspected fraudulent orders are routed to staff members specially trained to deal with fraud. The fraud specialist will determine whether the order is in fact fraudulent or it is a good order that needs to be processed. This is obviously an expensive task and as we optimize the fraud subsystem stage, we can minimize the number of orders for manual review.
Replacement or acquiring a new order management system is a daunting task – how do you resolve and arrive at a decision. System project teams within a retail company are the best option to arrive and there is no limitation on the time frames which can vary depending on the complexity of the requirement. However when it comes to evaluating potential solutions, there are some standard steps which a marketer and retailer can follow:
System objectives and priorities
Managing increased capacity, improving customer service online and offline, business methods like continuity shipping, processing costs to be lowered, inventory efficiency are some of the reasons for acquiring a new order management system. It’s always important to prioritize the goals well before choice of the alternatives so that the processing is made easier.
Operations and budgets
As retailers and marketers need to spell out how the order management system should serve business requirements in a formal and comprehensive functional method.
RFP to provide analysis
Besides the results of the functional needs, the RFP should also provide: requests to vendors to indicate if they can meet your requirement, length of time it would take and also support from out of the box functions. Listing of all your hardware, networks, and explanation of how your retail business works, if there are any third party processors are all equally important to be included in the RFP list. Read more