The future looks bright for the eCommerce market. Global online sales are projected to reach nearly $4.5 trillion a year by 2021. Millions of interconnected shoppers, especially those in fast-growing overseas markets, are hungry for consumer goods. New customers connect with retailers every day through developing channels, opening new opportunities to collect data and market to buyers on a personalized level.
According to the CMO Council, mobile e-commerce will contribute 24.4% to the total revenue of the e-commerce sector by the end of 2017. Mobile-first design is imperative in the website development to position retailers to capture this market share.
It's been a year of data theft. In the wake of Equifax, Deloitte, SEC and other major security breaches, the personally identifiable information of millions of people has been put in jeopardy. Against this backdrop, the imminent holiday shopping season – from Black Friday to Boxing Day – may look positively menacing to consumers and businesses alike.
Amazon Marketplace sellers are in an uproar over the retail giant’s return policy. Some are going as far as to claim that new rules, which take effect October 2, will “crush” small businesses and force them out of the market.
With all the confusion and anger about these policy changes, I wanted to take this opportunity to look at them more closely. What are these new rules all about, and are they really the doomsday prophecy so many retailers are predicting?
E-commerce giant Amazon created an uproar this week when CNBC reported that the online retailer was making changes to its returns policy that would dramatically affect marketplace sellers.
According to the report, sellers doing their own fulfillment would now be subject to the same return policies as those shipping products via the company’s Fulfillment by Amazon service.
Accepting online payments as a direct response business is appealing for many reasons, but if you are a new business owner with no prior payment processing knowledge, finding the right payment processor for you can seem like a daunting experience.
Let us take you through the basics of everything you need to know about payment processing from the payments ecosystem, understanding rates & fees, and finding the right payment processor for your business.
Examining eCommerce & Mobile Payments in Europe’s Largest Markets
Collectively, the European eCommerce market is substantially bigger than that of the US and Canada, with nearly 100 million more shoppers. However, despite their proximity to one another, there is a great range of diversity among those consumers—diversity that would be missed by a collective examination.
By comparing several of Europe’s largest eCommerce markets and their relationship to developing payment technologies, merchants and industry figures can piece together a much clearer picture.
Welcome to the Friday Forecast
The so-called anchor store, which has been a mainstay of shopping malls across America since the centers first made their appearance in the mid-1950s, is in serious jeopardy. Although brick and mortar retails sales still eclipse ecommerce by a wide margin, the lion’s share of growth in retail sales is occurring online:
- According to eMarketer, domestic sales for 2016 are forecasted at nearly $5 trillion. However, retail ecommerce accounted for just 8.7% of total retail spending.
- However, while year-to-year retail growth was pegged at 3.3%, year-to-year ecommerce growth was 14% according to a forecast from Kiplinger.
While ecommerce continues its inexorable march to a bigger bite of the overall retail pie, department stores have been taking it on the chin. While Macy’s is currently the fifth largest ecommerce retailer with $4.8 billion in online sales, the department store chain recently announced the closure of 68 stores by mid-year with plans to close 30 more over the next few years. Those closures represent a loss of approximately 10,000 jobs.
Vital to achieving success in e-commerce is selling products and identifying product-market fit. Whether that means specializing in a single product or owning a market niche, the challenge is the same: finding a product that satisfies a desire or need of an audience large enough to sustain a business. Coming up with product ideas is not easy, and that is only the first step. It's easy to get stuck and feel like every good idea has already been taken by the big retailers that dominate the search engines.
Some entrepreneurs have found success tackling this problem by going with their gut instinct, but the most confidence can be found in data, much of which is widely available if you know where to look. In pursuing a data driven approach, it makes sense to take an iterative approach towards building a product for a specific customer set.
For many e-commerce retailers, shipping deadlines and overall product presentation, are top of mind when thinking about packaging. Most retailers aren’t worried much about the potential dangers of shipping – but, as it turns out, maybe they should be.
There are some eye-opening stats out there about loyalty program engagement: Consumers on average are enrolled in 29 loyalty programs, yet are only active in 12. Six out of 10 customers believe that companies only offer rewards programs to get them to buy more. And 74 percent of U.S. retailers reveal that customer engagement is their number one concern.
At the recent D2C Convention, I presented a session entitled, Trend Spotting: Benchmarking the Present and Predicting the Future of Marketing. My intention was a simple one: to synthesize the latest statistics, forecasts, and best practices in marketing from over 100 different sources to save my audience time and to provide insight that will help you today and in the future. In the second of this six-part series, I'll take a look at online. Given the presentation was limited to an hour, I have had to limit my focus, but hopefully the learnings gleaned will prove helpful to the reader.
The holiday season is right around the corner, and everyone will be in a festive, gift-giving mood. People are ready to spend money, and your product is going to be a high-demand hit. Media, call center, and other vendor services are paid in full, and orders are streaming in.
The holiday season is your company’s own Super Bowl—a chance to win big. Nothing would be worse than to lose the ability to process payments in the middle of it.
At this point, it’s somewhat of a cliché to comment that “the holidays just keep getting earlier each year.”
This year, the holiday shopping season crept right up into the end of the back-to-school season, with Walmart releasing its “25 Hottest Toys for the Holidays 2016” list on September 1. Now we have to ask—what are the benefits to retailers to continue pushing holiday shopping earlier, and is there a downside?
Protecting one’s brand today requires more foresight and vigilance than ever. The Internet and cutting-edge technologies enable individual infringers to attain wide distribution of counterfeits with decreased chances of detection. Whether creating multiple accounts to sell counterfeit goods on popular e-commerce platforms or dealing in trade secrets and stolen intellectual property through the anonymity of the “dark web,” infringers have multiple ways to maximize profits while minimizing manufacturing costs and the risk of getting caught. Here are some trends worth noting in intellectual property and brand protection for 2016.
E-commerce activity in the United States reached a tipping point last year, according to the Commerce Department and Internet Retailer, with online sales taking a double-digit share (10.6 percent) of 2015’s more than $3 trillion in total retail sales for the first time, up from 9.8 percent in 2014. Total North American e-commerce sales reached $341.7 billion in 2015, and one company—Amazon—claimed a whopping 28 percent of that figure.
Collecting and remitting sales tax is just one of the many responsibilities online merchants must deal with. Here is a basic outline of what merchants need to know and tips on abiding by local laws.
U.S. Sales Tax Laws
Determining which sales are subject to U.S. sales tax laws is pretty straightforward, thanks to a concept referred to as ‘nexus.’
ERA announced that Amir Tukulj, CEO of Thane Direct, as recipient of the 2016 Marketer of the Year award. This award recognizes an executive or company that has clearly shown outstanding success over the past year. Thane and Tukulj will be honored during the 2016 ERA Moxie Awards Gala to be held Thursday, September 15 in conjunction with the 2016 ERA D2C Convention at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.
As CEO of global direct response leader Thane Direct, Tukulj presides over the company’s worldwide operations.
Contrary to popular belief, millennials, a demographic that spends an estimated $600 billion each year, are willing to be loyal to brands and in fact, even more interested in loyalty programs than previous generations.
The idea of telling a complete, comprehensive brand story across multiple advertising mediums and mechanisms isn’t new, but it is an area that more marketers are examining in their attempts to engage today’s distracted consumers. Equipped with myriad tools for researching, finding, and buying goods online and offline, today’s consumers demand an omnichannel experience that’s as seamless as it is effective.
If you’re in the direct response industry, September’s D2C conference is the one place the entire industry comes together, and it is likely your most important conference of the year. People come to Las Vegas to meet and do business. Whether you’ve attended D2C for years or this is your first time at the show, it is critical to make the most of those days in Las Vegas. These quick tips will help you get the most bang for your buck:
One of the original home shopping giants, QVC, turns 30 this month. Marked by innovative products, casual elegance, and a soft sell, the retailer has gone from being an insomniac’s cable companion to the No. 15 e-commerce player in the world. Selling nearly $10 billion worth of clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, electronics, housewares, and other goods every year throughout the world, it isn’t about to slow down.
Temperatures aren’t the only thing rising this summer. Each year, more than 200 million passengers board flights all across the country, making summer the hottest time of the year to travel. In order to cut down the cost of a family vacation during June, July, or August, many travelers are turning toward loyalty programs. Whether it’s saving up for discounted airfare or a free tank of gas, loyalty points and miles give travelers the opportunity to maximize their summer vacation plans. For retailers, there’s never been a better time to accommodate such travelers by enabling ways for them to earn toward that big trip while shopping with you.
Two of the most frustrating online shopping experiences for a consumer are when an online search brings up the wrong products or brings up what appears to be the right product, but the search results lack the attributes and descriptions needed to close the sale. Unfortunately, failure to make products easily searchable or to convert the sale is often due to poor product content. This is a problem that is all too common for a wide range of retailers from online only to large omnichannel chains. For those commerce players that get it right, there is a clear path to differentiation and improved conversions.