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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.

Exclusive Coddle CEO Q&A: How Tapping Into Lifestyle Trends Built A ‘Smart Furniture’ Brand

Many brands are exploring direct-to-consumer (DTC) retail models as a way to get closer to what consumers really want and need. Furniture company Coddle saw its opportunity to solve ordinary shoppers’ real-world challenges, including small-space living and multitasking throughout their workday. With a vertically integrated supply chain, Coddle launched in 2018 with the introduction of its flagship “smart couch,” and has already achieved the feat of operating at a more than 60% gross margin. In an interview with Retail TouchPoints, Sean Pathiratne, Founder and CEO of Coddle, shared insights into: How the Coddle brand was developed to capitalize on two major consumer focuses: space and body; The infrastructure of the DTC brand, and how it leverages the supply chain of existing B2B furniture company Lifestyle Solutions to cut down supply chain costs; The company’s profitability formula, which includes keeping operating costs down to 10% of total revenue; and The iteration process behind building the flagship Coddle convertible couch, which transforms into 16 positions and includes two built-in USB ports.

Parachute UGC Boosts Click-Through Rate 35%, Lowers Cost-Per-Click 60%

Parachute, a digitally born bedding, bath and home retailer, is an old hand at posting user-generated content (UGC) — the company even promotes its own “Instagram Shop” within its e-Commerce site, powered by the #MyParachuteHome hashtag. But this spring, the retailer discovered that its user content is marketing gold: UGC actually performed better than Parachute’s own editorial content in driving its retargeting campaigns. Through an A/B test, the Parachute team learned that UGC generated both a 35%higher click-through rate (CTR) and a 60%lower cost-per-click (CPC) compared to the editorial content. To deploy UGC across social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, Parachute partnered with Curalate, a platform that aggregates images and videos and turns them into shoppable advertisements for the products.

These Consumer Trends Are Shining A Spotlight On Premium Loyalty

In this Age of the Customer, consumers seemingly have limitless options at their fingertips. Limitless options have created heightened expectations, which make it more difficult than ever for retailers to earn and retain customer loyalty. In fact, the 2019 Premium Loyalty Data Study says that nearly 70% of consumers agree that their loyalty is more difficult for a retailer to maintain than ever before.

Vitacost.com Boosts Click-To-Open Rates 53% Via Personalized ‘Mystery Sales’

Vitacost.com, a Kroger-owned online retailer offering healthy consumer products such as vitamins, nutritional supplements, beauty supplies and organic grocery products, sought to improve consumer engagement within email by strengthening its exclusive, interactive “Mystery Sale” offerings. In building out personalized email campaigns with Selligent, Vitacost.com achieved its goal of generating immediate ROI, while ensuring a consistent and relevant customer experience, delivering: A 53% increase in click-to-open rates; 33% lower unsubscribe rates compared to prior Mystery Sale campaigns; and A 31% increase in revenue per email (RPE).

How To Prevent Online Returns From Wreaking Havoc On E-Commerce

Among the many ways Amazon has changed the rules of the game for retail is the way it’s shifted consumer expectations about returns. For the nation’s 100 million Prime members (and remember, the U.S. has only 128 million households) returns are free unless otherwise noted. Retailers that want to compete with the Everything Store feel pressured to offer something similarly enticing — but doing it wrong can wreck a company’s bottom line.

CALCUSO Partners With 10,000 Schools To Fulfill Back-To-School Purchases In A Single Click

  • Published in E-Commerce
Convenience is a retail winner, particularly when it comes to back-to-school shopping — an event that traditionally involves bouncing between several different stores or sites to grab every particular item a child needs for the year. But Germany-based CALCUSO is taking convenience to the next level throughout the season, helping parents beat the stress by letting parents purchase their entire list with a single QR code scan. The retailer has partnered with more than 10,000 schools across Europe to develop individualized, pre-made lists of materials that are mailed to parents, according to joint commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints by Kilian Kallee, CEO and Co-Founder of CALCUSO and Johannes Panzer, Head of Industry Solutions for E-Commerce at Descartes Systems Group. The list also includes a code that directs them to an e-Commerce cart already filled with all the supplies they need.

Bean Bag Chair Seller Pilots AR Across E-Commerce, Mobile Sites

Fatboy, a company that manufactures and sells premium, high-quality indoor and outdoor lifestyle products, including the Fatboy Original bean bag chair, has an average basket size between $250 and $300, with shoppers buying an average of 1.5 products per purchase. Since shoppers often have long gaps between site visits and purchases, the company turned to augmented reality to showcase some of its best products on its desktop and mobile web sites. Fatboy became one of the first retailers to adopt CGTrader ARsenal, an AR platform designed to leverage 3D modeling to enable online shoppers to experience lifestyle products immediately in their home environments.

Last Mile Logistics In The Age Of E-Commerce

As businesses evolve and grow their online presence, the shopping habits of their customers have also changed. Consumers today are presented with more options to make a purchase, such as one-click ordering and same-day delivery that make the process of shopping online easier than ever. However, the demand that comes with faster shipping and the ease of e-Commerce is proving to be challenging for the supply chain. Current systems that are in place are being put to the test — most of which were in place prior to the e-Commerce boom. The solution to fulfilling customer needs in the age of e-Commerce is modernizing the last mile strategy.

Spalding’s DTC Push Is A Slam Dunk: E-Commerce Sales Skyrocket 270%

Spalding, the sporting goods company traditionally known for selling basketballs and other sports equipment through third-party retailers, is now seeking to score big in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) game. In fact, Spalding’s 2019 goal is for e-Commerce to generate 25% of its total sales. The company is certainly moving in the right direction. After reassessing its digital strategy during the 2017 holiday season to ensure the brand understood the differences between its B2C and B2B audiences, Spalding has seen: A whopping 270% increase in e-Commerce revenue year-over-year; A 66% increase in average order value (AOV); and A much faster shopping experience, with 100% site uptime through product listing pages, site search, navigation and more.

Klarna Secures $460 Million Funding Round For U.S. Expansion

Klarna, the Sweden-based bank and payment giant, has raised $460 million in an equity funding round and is now valued at $5.5 billion. The payment company, which provides a “buy now, pay later” installment service for shoppers, said it would use the new funds to continue expanding into the U.S. market, which is already growing at a rate of six million users per year. The Klarna shopping app, which allows its users to shop with Klarna at any store or brand online, has driven 3X more daily downloads than direct competitors, with 50% of the app users purchasing each week, the company said in a statement.

Exclusive Q&A With Shopify Plus VP: Why DTC Isn’t Slowing Down Any Time Soon

Shopify has been one of the biggest growth stories within e-Commerce in recent years, with the company’s stock skyrocketing 130% year-to-date and a reported 48% revenue surge of $362 million in Q2. While the company is known primarily for helping small businesses set up online stores and sell products directly to consumers, Shopify recently introduced its own fulfillment network. The company also extends its services beyond SMB clients — Shopify Plus has 5,300+ enterprise-level merchant customers (defined as driving $1 million to $500 million and above in revenue per year). In an exclusive Q&A, Shopify Plus VP and General Manager Loren Padelford shared his thoughts on: The continued growth of brands going direct-to-consumer (DTC) and Shopify’s role in facilitating that growth; How brands such as Fashion Nova, Staples Canada and Gymshark have thrived through their own DTC strategies; and Best practices for retailers seeking to expand into new markets.

Only 25% Of Subscription Businesses Grow More Than 30% Per Year

While 67% of retailers report higher revenue after launching subscription services, according to an Ordergroove and NAPCO Report, subscription businesses in general still face strong headwinds when it comes to long-term growth. A key reason: it’s never been easier for customers to cancel, downgrade or switch service providers in a few clicks. In fact, only one in four subscription companies across B2C, B2B and hybrid businesses see a year-over-year revenue growth rate of more than 30%, according to a survey from Brightback. Of the B2C companies, only 13% see revenue growth of 30% to 50% within their subscription services, lower than the 23% of B2B companies achieving that growth rate.

Google Unveils Personalized Shopping Portal, Sets Sights On Amazon’s Product Search Share

Google has introduced numerous retailing iterations over the years, including Google Express, Google Shopping Actions and even buy buttons, but the search giant is hoping its latest version of Google Shopping finally provides the frictionless experience required to keep consumers on the site. The newly redesigned Google Shopping homepage, launched…
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Alibaba Opens B2B Marketplace To U.S. SMBs

Alibaba has opened its platform to more than 30 million small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S., enabling these companies to sell their products to B2B buyers on Alibaba.com both locally and globally. Previously, U.S.-based businesses were only able to buy items on Alibaba.com. Roughly one-third of buyers on the Alibaba.com…
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Amazon Used Heavy Discounts To Power Expanded Prime Day

Amazon reaped multiple benefits from Prime Day 2019, including a majority of market share during a $4 billion industrywide spending spree and big sales of its own branded technology, including the Alexa-enabled products that will give it a leg up in voice commerce. But the retailer also paid, in the form of heavy discounts on key items. Deals across the Amazon product ecosystem were particularly deep: discounts averaged 45% in 2019, compared to 37% in 2018, according to data from Numerator. Echo, Fire TV and Kindle products were all sold at the deepest discounts seen to date, and Alexa-enabled products averaged a discount of 32%. These promotions are likely to help Amazon get a foothold in voice commerce, and shoppers seemed pleased with the discounts: 65.8% of shoppers said they were extremely satisfied or very satisfied with the deals offered this year. As the calendar’s newest billion-dollar shopping day has become a staple of the summer, the rest of the retail industry increasingly sets their strategies around it. Prime Day as a whole was ranked the second-best retail holiday in terms of deal quality, behind Black Friday but ahead of Cyber Monday, according to Numerator. This perception is important to…
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