The peak holiday season this year is beginning to look a lot like … last year, only more so in terms of customer expectations on faster delivery, flexible options and a mobile-friendly experience, retailers and experts told Multichannel Merchant this week.
“I think we’re going to see trends in more and better discounts, customers are very price sensitive in every market now,” said Ian MacDonald, director of ecommerce for Silver Star Brands. “There are competitive shipping offers, people are expecting free shipping, and I think when we get close to the holidays they’ll expect free expedited shipping.”
According to the MCM Holiday Benchmark Survey, 61.3% of merchants who responded said ecommerce sales increased during holiday 2014, 14.5% said they decreased and 24.2% said they stayed the same. Expect more of them to see growth this year, as ecommerce overall both here and abroad continues to ramp up rapidly.
Here’s a look at this weeks’ news, commentary and events that shaped the direct-to-customer world… and more.
Facebook is the social media platform of choice when it comes to ad investments on social media…..Customer loyalty is not one size fits all, an infographic by CrowdTwist shows how generations differ in customer loyalty… Mobile and email are driving purchases for customers with 54% of purchases coming from email in the second quarter, according to a Yesmail study….Amazon made its Dash Button available to all Prime Members, when the buttons first debuted it was by invite only…..Belk saw success in organic traffic with its Back-to-School Fashion Sweepstakes.
In a busy week, Macy’s has launched a personal stylist shopping service with the ability to make in-store appointments online. It has also struck an alliance with nineteenthamendment.com giving customers the opportunity to discover and support independent designers. Lastly, it has also begun a pilot of Macy’s Backstage off-price stores in the New York metro area…..Gilt has launched Gilt by Appointment, a new appointment-based in-person shopping experience for Gilt members only….Neiman Marcus has launched “Snap, Find, Shop” option in an effort to expand visual product search on mobile purchases. Eyeglass retailer Glasses.com shares how it makes the customer its first priority. … Consumers are moving away from traditional shopping methods to the small screen, and this infographic shows why retailers need to leverage the leverage the smartphone….ThinkGeek partnered with GameStop to launch first physical store...Sole Society, women’s shoes and accessories retailer, opened its first retail store in Santa Monica, CA.
Shipping and delivery
Holiday shopping 2015 is going to look a lot like last year, only more so in terms of customer expectations for faster delivery, flexibility and options, retailers and experts say. … Wayfair Inc. is expanding into a nearly 900,000-square-foot distribution center near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which will complement an existing facility in Hebron, KY; you can also read about other distribution and fulfillment center news. … Here is some other recent news on openings of distribution and fulfillment centers. …. Pickup app Curbside has launched at 10 Target stores in the NY metro area, and is testing a new outdoor kiosk at a Glendale, CA mall that uses color-coded lights to direct shoppers to their orders. … Amazon is now offering Sunday delivery in Minneapolis-St. Paul MN and other areas of the upper Midwest after opening a new sortation center in Shakopee, MN.
Alibaba and JD.com target rural China for ecommerce growth….West Elm launches its first branded shop-within-a-shop in the UK’s John Lewis department store and online at johnlewis.com… Alibaba launches Tmall Vineyard Direct program on Tmall.com with Robert Mondavi Wines on its Tmall.com marketplace. … Mobile app security specialist, Weiglant conducted a study that found 98% of mobile apps used by the top 50 ecommerce companies in India are vulnerable to security attacks…. Ecommerce fulfillment solution provider ShipStation has integrated with Amazon Mexico to allow orders in the newly opened marketplace to get processed faster.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Grainger has completed its acquisition of Cromwell Group. Grainger intends to combine its expertise in the supply chain and ecommerce with Cromwell’s product strength and customer service…. Calvin Klein Inc. reacquired its Calvin Klein Platinum Label accessories license from CK21. … Supply chain management solutions firm HighJump has acquired Wesupply, a UK-based provider of supplier enablement and B2B integration solutions in retail, building, CPG, energy and manufacturing.
J.Crew Group Inc., sees a 5% increase to $593.6 million in total sales for the second quarter…Dick’s Sporting Goods sees ecommerce payoff in the second quarter….Bebe Stores Inc., reports fourth quarter net sales of $104.3 million, an increase of 0.7% from $103.6 million in 2014….Aeropostale reported a second quarter net sales decrease of 17% to $326.9 million from $396.2 million in 2014, this includes its ecommerce channel….Claire’s Stores, Inc., reported a decrease in net sales for the second quarter of $30.2 million.
… And more
The Children’s Place appoints Marla Malcolm Beck, founder and and CEO of Macy’s Inc.upscale beauty retailer Bluemercury to its board of directors… Former ChannelAdvisor executive John Baule was appointed as ShopKeep’s new Chief Financial Officer. … SEKO Logistics has made senior leadership moves, naming Rick Lee chief operating officer for the U.S. and promoting Randy Sinker to the newly created position of chief client solutions officer.