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E-Commerce is no longer a standalone channel for most retailers. What happens online is co-mingled with what happens in the store and through other shopping channels. Many forward-thinking retailers are revamping their business structure so that the e-Commerce executives can work closely with other-channel executives. Yet, the online environment continues to present unique challenges to merchants, around efficiency of page click-throughs, addition of interactive elements and improvement of the checkout process.

Can Subscription Retail Solve Its Customer Retention Problem?

When it comes to subscription retail, the cross-currents are intense. Big retailers have either pulled out, as JCPenney did in February when it ended its Bombfell subscription apparel business, or they’ve gone all in. Look at American Eagle. While other apparel retailers have launched fairly standard box models, AE took the industry by surprise in February with a new model: Rent anything you want for $49.95 a month. And if you don’t like it, send it back. And if you want it laundered, send that too. Even with these contradictions, there’s no argument that subscription retail remains one of the industry’s most compelling growth areas. Its opportunities are only now being tapped, and its problems — mostly concerning customer retention — are just now being reckoned with. This article will track the growth of the subscription retail business and its current problems, including:

With U.S. Growth Uncertain, Global Commerce Offers New Opportunities

Early revenue predictions point to an uncertain year for the retail industry. Although the National Retail Federation forecasts that the U.S. retail market will grow between 3.8% and 4.4% year over year, this growth rate would represent a deceleration from the 4.6% growth achieved in 2018. But even as doubts seep in about the state of U.S. economic growth, retailers have plenty of chances to thrive in a global market that is still very much ripe with opportunity. When seeking to expand a business globally, retailers should take note of these trends: Even with trade tensions and expected tariffs, e-Commerce growth is set to continue worldwide, so investments in this channel are vital; 48% of global e-Commerce occurred in China in 2018, and the country’s shoppers are primed to buy from U.S. retailers; India has the largest growth potential of any global market, but government regulations continue to make it tough for foreign entities to break through; and The top 10 global retailers operate in more countries and have built a larger percentage of international sales than their major counterparts.

GlassesUSA Boosts AOV 15% On Orders Of More Than $120 With Installment Payments

With a consumer base that includes increasingly debt-conscious Millennials, GlassesUSA believes that customers should not have to worry about breaking the bank when buying high quality eyewear online. This conviction led the company to adopt an installment payments option that allows shoppers to pay off their purchases in monthly increments with no interest, late fees or anxiety. Since offering the Splitit payment option to customers, GlassesUSA has increased AOV by more than 15% for shoppers spending $120 or more on its products. Among these high-order-value baskets, GlassesUSA has seen a 10% decrease in checkout abandonment.

FabFitFun Takes Alternate Path To Subscription Success Via Live Streaming Videos, Communities

As a lifestyle brand that offers its members seasonal boxes of curated beauty, health and fashion products, FabFitFun may primarily be known to many shoppers as a subscription business. But the company’s media roots — which include an online magazine, daily lifestyle content, the FabFitFunTV streaming video service and the recently launched FabFitFun Live broadcast on Facebook — have played a major role in pushing the brand out to a larger audience. Co-Founder and Co-CEO Michael Broukhim sees the company’s dual role — as both a provider of seasonal products and a media brand — as the ultimate value driver that can grow the company, which already has jumped from only 2,000 subscribers in March 2013 to 1 million subscribers in November 2018.

Shoptalk 2019: How Lowe’s, Tapestry, Pinterest CEOs Adapt To Retail Transformation

While Nordstrom and Macy’s led off Shoptalk 2019 sharing their views on where they need to improve their businesses going ahead, the CEOs of Lowe’s, Pinterest and Tapestry took the keynote stage to share the strategies their companies have adapted to cater to evolving customer needs. Lowe’s is no stranger to working with the consumer, but the home improvement retailer has experienced plenty of changes in recent years that require a new approach to how store associates do their job on a daily basis, according to CEO Marvin Ellison. While Lowe's generates approximately $4 billion in e-Commerce revenue, 70% of those transactions are picked up in, or fulfilled from, the store. In fact, 30% of shoppers that use buy online/pick up in-store will buy additional items upon their visit, showing that integrating both channels drives further company growth.

Should Online Retailers Blacklist Shoppers Who Return Too Much?

Today’s retail landscape is tough — and getting tougher. Businesses are under increasing pressure, from reduced margins to online competition, and now they’re facing another problem. I’m talking about “serial returners” — people who deliberately buy more items than they plan to keep and know they’ll return some of them later. This buying behavior is having a huge impact on UK retailers, one-third of themreport that they have seen an uplift in serial returners over the last year — with retailers of high end products seeing returns rates as high as 50% during holiday shopping periods. This rise is putting additional logistical pressure on retailers, and it is also contributing to a hefty annual £60bn returns bill for them.

2 Retailers Tap Customer Knowledge To Quickly Drive Strong Results

The extremely fast pace of modern retailing means merchants need to quickly and efficiently market their offerings in order for them to reach their full sales potential. Both TeePublic, an e-Commerce marketplace that lets artists sell their designs on a variety of products, and Topo Designs, an outdoor apparel and accessory brand, faced challenges that required rapid iteration to meet their sales goals. Both companies harnessed AdRoll, an e-Commerce growth platform, to help tackle their challenges. TeePublic used the solution to quickly improve its personalization capabilities, while Topo Designs was able to focus on promotions while AdRoll handled the creative side. Segmented Messages Help TeePublic’s Eclectic Selections Thrive TeePublic’s audience is extremely diverse: the site offers more than 1 million designs from a wide range of artists, and its shoppers have an equally wide range of tastes. This makes messaging based on intent extremely important, as not even the top sellers are guaranteed to resonate with every potential customer. “Because our business model is based on very long tail, hyper-niche design audiences, the creative can’t be scaled with static creative images sent to everyone,” said Adam Lasky, Director of Marketing at TeePublic in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We rely…

11 Honoré Partners With Shopify To Host ‘Runway Commerce’ Experience At NYFW

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) kicks off in the Big Apple this week, and companies such as Shopify are getting in on the action with unique partnerships to celebrate the event. For the first time, Shopify will debut a “runway commerce” experience and interactive pop-up alongside 11 Honoré, a luxury, size-inclusive…
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What’s Behind Walmart’s Exit From Google Express?

Walmart products are no longer available for purchase on Google Express, the search giant’s online marketplace. Google Express first confirmed the news on Twitter on Jan. 22, when a consumer asked why he could no longer find Walmart products on the app. Walmart withdrew the products, according to Bloomberg. Regardless…
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Fraud Costs Online Retailers 8% Of Revenue, But Data Analysis Helps Them Fight Back

E-Commerce sites are vulnerable to a newly popular kind of fraud that hasn’t troubled brick-and-mortar retailers: fraudulent and hijacked accounts used to attack retail sites by cybercriminals. Approximately 36% of new accounts created in 2017 were fake, which makes them potential vectors for fraudulent activity, such as purchases made with stolen credit cards, according to data from NuData Security.

NRF2019: Innovation Lab Showcases Frictionless Self-Checkout, Facial Recognition And Last Mile Transparency

Photo credit: NRF For the third year the NRF Big Show put a spotlight on its top innovators, giving attendees tools and ideas for solving consumer needs in 2019 and beyond. The eclectic, hand-picked group of 50+ startups — broken out into customer convenience and customer experience sections — showcased new ways for retailers to manage some of their most pressing concerns, including: Removing friction from checkout; Providing targeted content to shoppers using facial recognition; Offering personalized assistance, whether in-store or online; and Adding transparency to last mile delivery.

Exclusive Q&A: How Hershey Is Helping Retailers Grow Snack Sales Online

One of the challenges retailers face when trying to sell snacks online is motivating impulse purchases in a digital channel. While shoppers walking through a grocery store can be tempted by dozens of opportunities to grab a candy, cookie or chips, the equation changes when those same customers are browsing through a web site.

Walmart Pilots Autonomous Grocery Delivery In Arizona

Walmart has made significant investments in its online grocery delivery capabilities over the past year, even quietly experimenting with driverless delivery. The retail giant will pilot a program to use Udelv autonomous-driving vans to deliver fresh groceries in Surprise, Ariz. Tom Ward, Senior VP of Digital Operations at Walmart U.S. revealed in a blog post that the trial is set to begin February. Udelv will use a cargo van custom-made to deliver Walmart customers fresh groceries that are hand-picked by personal shoppers. The vans are outfitted with a cargo system designed to carry up to 32 customer orders per delivery cycle. Walmart already had announced other pilot programs with self-driving car companies, including Ford and Alphabet’s Waymo.

NeWants Offers Gamified Flash Sales Platform

NeWants, a decentralized e-Commerce startup, offers tech, home and lifestyle products at up to a 95% discount through a socially driven gamified flash sales page. By leveraging the social media accounts of its buyers, affiliates and influencers as a shared resource, NeWants offers retailers an alternative to traditional, expensive marketing efforts. NeWants already has partnered with online fashion retailer Bluefly to offer interactive limited-availability products. The company’s affiliate program includes an interactive flash sales page, and it gives retailers the ability to virally share unique links and encourage others to enjoy the once-a-day gamified experience. This flash sales page requires shoppers to share the page in order to receive three chances for a higher discounted savings rate.
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