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Top eCommerce Stories 5/14 -5/18/2012

Posted by on 05/21/2012 - 13:40
Here are the top stories from last week. Again, mobile was a trending topic. Moreover, there were more good numbers about eCommerce in the first quarter. Read on for more information. Mobile A report release by Adobe showed that tablet traffic accounted for 4.3% of total web traffic for Q1 2012. To give some perspective, for Q1 2011 that number was just 0.6%. Projections estimate that tablet traffic will hit 10.4% by 2014. Tablets weren’t the only mobile device to make the news; retailers are using geofencing to make smartphones work with them rather than against. Retailers are targeting customers who are nearby stores using hyper-local promotions to get customers in the store and steering them to deals. Stores are testing out different strategies but almost all have the same idea: keeping the customer connected to the brand. Keeping customers connected in one theory to why iPhones are dominating flash sale (private event retailing) site traffic. Doug Mack, CEO of OneKingsLane offered his theory to why mobile is dominating:
  • After the iPad came out, mobile sales shot up like crazy across the board. They now account for more than 20 percent of OneKingsLane's revenue. There's more screen real estate on the iPad, so it removed a mental block on shopping on a mobile device.
  • iPad owners are probably more likely to own an iPhone. So it's natural to expect that the sales would translate to the iPhone from the iPad. The iPad version of the website is now the second-most visited version of OneKingsLane, behind the desktop website.
eCommerce is Here to Stay The IR500 published some enlightening statistics on chain retailers and eCommerce. I’m going to highlight those results here:
  • In 2011, the web remained the fastest-growing channel for 89.9%—62—of the chain retailers ranked in the Top 500 that break out store sales and other financials.
  • The web accounted for more than 20% of total sales for a dozen Top 500 chain retailers and more than 30% for five store merchants: Staples Inc. (No. 2) 42.4%; OfficeMax Inc. (No. 12); 40.7%; dELiA*s Inc. (No. 198) 38.2%; Williams-Sonoma Inc. (No. 24) 37.9%; and Office Depot Inc. (No. 6) 35.7%.
  • As a group chain retailers ranked in the 2012 Top 500 Guide grew their combined sales 14.7% to $64.63 billion from $56.36 billion. But Top 500 chain retailers continue to lose business to web-only merchants, which collectively posted sales of $73.39 billion in 2011, up about 32% from $55.68 billion in 2010. In 2012, chain retailers only accounted for about 35.8% of all 2012 Top 500 sales, down from 37.5% in 2011. In comparison, led by Amazon.com (No. 1), web-only merchants grew their share of all Top 500 sales in 2011 to 40.6% from 37% in the prior year.
Clearly, chain retailers need to grow their online channel and incorporate an omnichannel strategy to connect to their customer across all devices. The US Commerce Department also officially released some US eCommerce sales numbers. In Q1, sales totaled $50.27 billion, a 15.4% increase from Q1 2011.   That wraps up the eCommerce stories from May 14-18, 2012.

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