eCommerce Trends: How Europe Compares to the US

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Feb 27, 2017 9:00:00 AM e-Commerce

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.

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Friday Forecast: Anchors Away - What is the Future of Department Stores?

by Colleen Ferrier and Rick Petry on Feb 3, 2017 12:00:00 PM e-Commerce, Retail

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.

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4 Ways e-Commerce Businesses Can Achieve Product-Market Fit

by Thatcher Spring on Dec 9, 2016 1:00:00 PM e-Commerce

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.

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The Risks of Improper Shipping Practices and How to Avoid Them

by Ryan Anderson on Nov 30, 2016 3:00:00 PM e-Commerce

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.


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3 Tips to Keep Loyalty Program Members Engaged

by Danielle Brown on Oct 24, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, e-Commerce, Consumer Behavior, Retail

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.

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Trend Spotting: Online (Part 2)

by Peter Koeppel on Oct 20, 2016 12:00:00 AM D2C Convention, Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Consumer Behavior

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.

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Get Ready for the Holiday Surge

by Curtis Kleinman on Oct 12, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, e-Commerce

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.

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Christmas in October: Pros & Cons of Early Holiday Sales

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Oct 3, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail, Support Services

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?

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Protecting a Brand in Cyberspace

by Jeffrey D. Knowles, Marcella Ballard, and Justin E. Pierce on Sep 23, 2016 12:00:00 AM Advocacy, Digital Marketing, e-Commerce

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.

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Navigating Amazon’s River of Data

by Ranjit Mulgaonkar and Nathan Grimm on Sep 20, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce

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.

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European and U.S. Sales Tax Laws for Online Merchants

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Sep 7, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, International

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.’

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3 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Learning Lounge at the D2C Convention

by Vi Paynich on Sep 2, 2016 12:00:00 AM D2C Convention, Digital Marketing, DRTV, e-Commerce

If you’re still finalizing your schedule for the D2C Convention, be sure to reserve some time for education. This year, the Learning Lounge will feature three one-hour sessions, highlighting such topics as payment processing, the LIVE marketing channel, and counterfeiting. These sessions will take place on Wednesday and Thursday in the D2C Learning Lounge located in the Latour Ballroom.
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ERA Names Thane Direct CEO Amir Tukulj as 2016 Marketer of the Year

by Steve Syatt on Sep 1, 2016 12:00:00 AM D2C Convention, Moxie Awards, Digital Marketing, DRTV, e-Commerce

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.

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3 Ways to Earn Loyalty with Millennials

by Kate Hogenson on Aug 31, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Consumer Behavior

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.

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Using Tech to Tell Stories

by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro on Aug 25, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, DRTV, e-Commerce

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.

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5 Ways to Get the Most out of D2C (or any other conference)

by Chuck Wilkins on Aug 22, 2016 12:00:00 AM D2C Convention, DRTV, e-Commerce

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:

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30 Years of Quality, Value, and Convenience

by Ian P. Murphy on Aug 17, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, e-Commerce

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.

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How Retailer Loyalty Programs Can Take Advantage of Summer Travel

by Danielle Brown on Aug 16, 2016 12:00:00 AM e-Commerce, Retail

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.

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4 Ways to Fix Poor Product Content that Is Costing You Money in Commerce

by Rick Chavie on Aug 12, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail

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.

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Risky Business: The Dangers of Offshore Merchant Accounts

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Aug 8, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, e-Commerce, Support Services

Friendly fraud has caused chargeback rates to soar, making acquirers more cautious about accepting risk liability. As a result, offshore payment processing is an enticing option for high-risk merchants who seem to be running out of domestic options.

While securing an offshore account might temporarily solve some of the merchant’s short-term problems, working with an international bank will likely introduce more complex issues down the road.

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What’s Millennial Brand Loyalty Worth to You?

by Matthew Katz on Aug 2, 2016 1:23:34 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Consumer Behavior, Support Services

Millennials make up an increasingly significant piece of the global spending pie. A study from the Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research estimated that Millennials born between 1980 and 2000 possessed a spending power of $2.45 trillion worldwide in 2015. As the younger portion of the generation begins to control more money and become more financially independent, that number is expected to rise, and businesses want to be there when it does.

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What Amazon Knows About Membership

by Robbie Kellman Baxter on Jul 25, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail

Amazon Prime Day is the best day of the year for many bargain shoppers—thousands of deep discounts for one day only.

And if you are an Amazon Prime member with (at least) one of these Amazon Dash Buttons, congratulations. You are on the vanguard of the Physical Membership Economy.
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How One Small Change Can Increase Reviews 4X

by Matt Parsons on Jul 22, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce

Thanks to technology like one-click payments and data-driven product recommendations, it’s now easier than ever to buy multiple products in one fell swoop. In fact, approximately 60 percent of the transactions that come across our platform have more than one product in the order.

But while shoppers are purchasing more than one item at a time, retailers traditionally haven’t successfully collected reviews on all of those products.
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New Consumer Study: How Much Will Parents Spend on Back-to-School Items?

by RetailMeNot, Inc. on Jul 21, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Consumer Behavior, Retail

RetailMeNot, Inc., a leading digital savings destination connecting consumers with retailers, restaurants and brands, both online and in-store, has released a new study titled, “Back-to-School Cheat Sheet: Consumer Trends and Insights for Retailers,” that explores the shopping habits of parents as they prepare for their students’ return to the classroom.
 
Following are a few interesting statistics.

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How to Keep Affiliates Happy and Producing

by Greg Shepard on Jul 12, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce

If your affiliates aren’t happy and getting what they need from you, they’re not going to put their best effort in, which sadly, will result in a less than stellar affiliate program. In a way, it’s like hoping your employees will support your “best place to work” bid when your benefits consist of a referral to social services.

In other words, you can’t blow off your affiliates and expect them to return the favor with an awesome effort. It’s just not going to happen. So how can you get the best out of them?

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The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.