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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.

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.

8% Of Holiday Packages Were Delayed, But Communication Mitigates The Pain

The holiday rush doesn’t just clog queues at brick-and-mortar stores — it also causes backups for package carriers. An estimated 8% of packages handled by UPS and FedEx had delayed deliveries during the 2018 holiday season, according to a study by lateshipment.com. That may seem like an acceptably low percentage during a busy shopping period —until you consider that UPS handled a total of 800 million deliveries this year, with another 425 million delivered by FedEx. That translates to approximately 98 million late gift deliveries.

From Catalogs To E-Commerce: Using Personalization To Deliver Customer Loyalty

In Venice in 1498, publisher Aldus Manutius created a catalog of the books he was printing. 15th century Europe was going through a publishing revolution. The invention of the Gutenberg press and movable type in the mid-1400s opened a world of mass printing. By the end of the century, there were 417 presses just in Venice — one of the major printing centers — and the output of the western European printing industry had reached twenty million volumes.

Making Your Products Fly Off The Digital Shelf

Twenty years ago, supply chain data was the key that connected suppliers and retailers. To sell an item in a physical store you had to meet with a buyer, get a big order and get it into a complex supply chain system so it could get shipped. The process could take months if not years. Fast forward to today and you can upload a photo, write a description and have an item for sale online in 15 minutes or less, all from the convenience of your web browser. That means more competition than ever before. Here’s how a few of the most successful brands we work with are staying ahead:

From E-Commerce Platforms To Microservices Omni-Commerce

Traditionally, retailers have used e-Commerce platforms such as ATG, WCS, Hybris etc. to build and manage their online storefront. These monolith applications were based on three-tiered architecture. Over time, the modules were customized, integrated with many other enterprise systems and a lot of investments were made in running the operations. In recent years, however, many retailers have started to shift away from these platforms towards microservices-based commerce, which offers the flexibility to implement the customized features and scalability needed to meet omnichannel demand.

Six Takeaways For Globalizing Your E-Commerce Business

According to a recent report from McKinsey, China accounted for less than 1% of the global e-Commerce market in 2008. Now, 10 years later, its share is 42%. Comparatively, today the U.S. share of the e-Commerce market is 24%, down a whopping 11 percentage points from 2005. This is a telling sign — and perhaps a wake-up call — for businesses selling products and services only in the United States. But brands that ignore the growing global e-Commerce potential outside of the U.S. are doing major disservices to their bottom lines. Prospering businesses understand that to get more eyes and hands on product and services, demand should not be stifled by borders.

Exclusive Q&A: How Farmstead Leverages AI To Deliver Fresh Local Groceries In One Hour Or Less

Online grocery is a market that’s flooded with both traditional grocers and young startups, but all share a common challenge: figuring out how to control delivery costs, delivery times and (perhaps most important to the consumer) freshness of food. Founded in 2016, San Francisco-based Farmstead sought to solve these problems by accurately predicting supply and demand of locally-sourced goods. Leveraging proprietary machine learning, inventory and logistics platforms, Farmstead guarantees delivery within 60 minutes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Shoppers pay a $4.99 fee for one-hour delivery, and $3.99 for three-hour delivery.

Killer Bugs And Their Effect On Your Conversion Rates

One of the biggest issues in e-Commerce today (and every day) is conversion. Data scientists and marketers actively influence and track every stage of the sales process, down to the movement of items successfully into shopping carts. Then something goes awry and the sale isn’t completed, leaving teams to question where their carefully planned experience went wrong. Often it’s a pesky little bug in the software that went unnoticed in initial testing or subsequent updates. Left unchecked, that tiny bug wreaks havoc. E-Commerce managers call these bugs “conversion killers,” because these issues can block potential customers from making a purchase when they want to or frustrate them enough that they stop attempting to buy it. Sale killed — and opportunity lost.

E-Commerce Sales Help Department Stores Start Holiday 2018 Strong

Coming off a solid Q3 that saw overall top-line revenue growth, department stores are finally reaping the rewards of their e-Commerce investments. These retailers appear to have grabbed a sizeable slice of the $20.8 billion consumers shelled out online over the Thanksgiving Weekend. Sales totals for Cyber Monday alone show that the “big four” department stores significantly improved their online offerings at the start of the season, according to analysis of 3 million anonymized and aggregated email receipts from Edison Trends: Kohl’s boosted revenue 42% on Cyber Monday; Macy’s improved revenue 30%; Nordstrom revenue climbed 33%;and Even struggling JCPenney saw a slight sales boost (3%).

Tenth Street Hats Tries On AR, Boosts Conversion Rates 33%

Photo credit: WWD Tenth Street Hats is letting shoppers try on headgear in a whole new way: augmented reality. The tool, accessed via a button on the product detail page that reads “Try it on in AR,” is available for both mobile and desktop consumers, although shoppers need to have a web camera to use it on desktop. Shoppers can use the 360-degree feature to “try on” nearly 30 of the 200+ hats sold on Tenth Street Hats. With the Axis augmented commerce platform from Vertebrae, a technology innovator in interactive 3D and AR solutions, the retailer: Increased conversion rates 33%; and Boosted engagement 74%.

Exclusive Q&A: How NomNomNow Carved A New Niche With Healthy Pet Food

The pet food market is dominated by a few well-known brands manufactured by international conglomerates: Purina, Pedigree, Iams, etc. But there are numerous pet owners seeking healthier alternatives for the four-footed members or their families, who might be receptive to a new approach to both food and pets’ overall wellness. Better pet food is a growing part of the $26 billion U.S. pet food market: 76% of dog owners and 71% of cat owners believe high-quality foods are effective for preventive health care, according to Packaged Facts. Like many other retailers seeking a niche in a well-established industry, the founders of NomNomNow are tapping into the needs of a new generation, offering “pet parents” fresh, specially formulated food made with top-notch ingredients that meet their specific dietary needs. In an exclusive Q&A with Retail TouchPoints, Alex Jarrell, Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer of NomNomNow, reveals how the company sets itself apart from traditional pet retailers. One of the retailer’s biggest challenges has been overcoming customers’ preconceptions of what pet food should be, including a skeptic in Jarrell’s own family. Retail TouchPoints (RTP): What has been your biggest marketing challenge? Has it been difficult to explain the need for higher-quality pet…

Site Outages Plague Walmart, J.Crew, Lowe’s, Best Buy, Office Depot During Black Friday Weekend

  • Published in News Briefs
Despite retailers having all year to prepare for the deluge of online shoppers on Thanksgiving weekend, some of the industry’s biggest players experienced web site outages throughout the weekend. Shoppers at Walmart, J.Crew, GameStop, lululemon, Ulta Beauty, Lowe’s, Best Buy and Office Depot all reported outages during the period between…
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How To Optimize Mobile, Site Speed And Site Search Ahead Of Holiday 2018

For most retailers, the holiday season begins promptly in November, although some retailers start the previous month for Halloween and others as early as September for back-to-school. While retailers can forecast the start of the holiday season, one area that proves to be unpredictable are the strategies and tactics used to boost holiday sales.   The holiday season can represent as much as 30% of annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. For online retail brands, understanding changing consumer behavior, technology and timing is critical to having a make or break year.
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