Many retailers have published their Christmas results recently and on first glance it shows that many retailers did extremely well over the period online, compared to Christmas 2009.
It's only when you look at these figures relative to overall trading figures for each business that the true picture comes to light and all is, perhaps, not as it seems.
Aurora fashion is best known for its high street brands, including Karen Millen, Oasis and Warehouse, with several hundred stores across the UK.
Aurora's group IT director John Bovill was recently named as one of retail's top 70 movers and shakers by Retail Insider, and the group also received Retail Week's IT team of the year award in June.
I spoke to him about the challenges faced by retailers moving into the multichannel space and the impact of mobile and online technology as a supply and demand chain facilitator, as well as the way Aurora has been working with BT Expedite to develop an innovative integrated store system.
Iʼm reminded of a definition of e-commerce I read years ago when I first considered getting into the business. It goes like this:
"The concept of e-commerce is all about using the internet to do business better and faster. It is about giving customers controlled access to your computer systems and letting people serve themselves. It is about committing your company to a serious online effort and integrating your Web site with the heart of your business. If you do that, you will see results!"*
I remember thinking that the ʻserious online effortʼ sounded important, and quite simple.
Nordstrom has added a new tool to its well-regarded customer service efforts: a seamless connection between the company's online and offline inventory. According to The New York Times:
"The change works this way: Say that a shopper was looking at a blue
Marc Jacobs handbag at Nordstrom.com. She could see where it was
available at nearby stores, and reserve it for pickup the same day."
It may seem like a no-brainer to allow customers to purchase any item sold by a single retailer. But the unusual thing about this story is that many traditional retailers aren't already doing it.
Recovery. Confidence. Spending. These are terms that will that will be welcomed by retailers
across the world as the global economy inches away from recession. They
now be looking to capitalise on the more optimistic outlook and report
We are clearly not out of the woods yet, so all such
such as search, need to be justified with accurate measurement. However,
date there has been a fundamental flaw in the way that it is measured
prove to be a major stumbling block.
It is hard for any marketer to
ignore the hype that surrounds social media. Facebook, Twitter, performance
display and ad exchanges are bringing opportunities for retailers to generate
demand within these massive new channels.
Facebook is probably the most
accessible and it’s understandable that retailers are getting excited about its
possibilities. We’re looking at a site with more than 400m active users,
all of whom can be individually targeted and engaged through Facebook Ads.
Having been at eTail Europe this week, and it has got me thinking about the different challenges etailers face, many of which should have been solved by now. One of the things I've noticed is how seasonality is a key consideration for all retailers. Online marketers are no exception.
We all know that sales tend to be stronger in the run up to Christmas and slower throughout the summer months and the overall impact of seasonality will depend on what type of products you are selling, but it will undoubtedly affect all retailers in some way or another.
In the article below I will highlight some practical ways that retailers can use paid search marketing techniques, including advice on the use of Google Ad Parameters and the Long Tail, to ensure that the seasonality of the market works in your favour.
Group buying sites are growing like weeds in the digital commerce space. Every day it seems there's a new one offering discounts to expensive restaurants or a new approach to the flash sale. That's because the category is bringing in revenue hand over fist.
Just yesterday, I wrote about how these sites are using gaming tactics to separate shoppers from their money. And today comScore released some numbers that help explain the growing popularity of these sites. In addition to the great revenue they bring in, they're actually getting people to spend considerably more money online.
Publishers have been hard at work getting products ready the iPad (and charging for them) for the past few months, but the deluge of iPad friendly publications and games has been met with silence from one sector — retail.
This week, Gap has launched a new app that shows how retailers can take advantage of the new platform — and how well free applications can thrive in the new space as well.
The majority of consumers surveyed at bricks-and-mortar locations of Macy’s, The Gap, Best Buy and the Apple Store said they use the retailers' web sites to help make their in-store purchase:
• 88% said they had shopped that retailer's web site
• 75% said visiting the brand's web site helps them to shop in-store
• 85% compared prices online
• 44% visited a competitor's web site
• 26% will visit the retailer's web site to continue shopping after leaving the store