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
On Monday, after a year of industry rumours and hushed gossip, luxury
retailer Selfridges launched their full commerce offering, having
previously only sold sundries such as hampers online.
As someone who
spends an inordinate amount of time looking at pretty bags, I couldn't
but help get stuck in with a site review.
Online retailers have made a lot of progress in the past year, increasing conversions, sales and customer satisfaction rates in the 2009 holiday season. But that doesn't mean that consumers are happy with the online shoping experience. According to a survey from performance monitoring company Gomez, 1/3 of consumers had a poor online shopping experience during the 2009 holiday shopping season.
More problematic for retailers is the fact that consumers couldn't care less about the increased pressures that retailers are under during these times. Of those surveyed, 88% of consumers who have a bad experience on a website during peak hours may never come back.
Retail has been hard business in this recession, but over the 2009 holiday season, there were many winners, and those companies that learned how to listen and serve their customers online reached well deserved sales figures.
Traditional retailers have worked hard to compete with online brands on price and consumer satisfaction. And while they may not have reached their goals just yet, they are getting closer. According to a new survey from RIS and IHL Group, many retailers are focusing on improving their cross-channel capabilities in 2010. And if there's a lesson from 2009, it's that those retailers that don't keep up in digital will fall behind in sales goals overall.
The retail market is still recovering from the recession, but online there are more than glimmers of hope. Mostly because successful retailers are investing in the space, focusing on making consumers happier and bringing in higher earnings. According to comScore, retail ecommerce hit $29.1 billion this holiday season. That's up 4% since last year. Also important is the fact that consumers are happier with their experiences shopping online — and are likely to spend even more money in the space next year.
Much of the business of advertising comes down to creative. But when consumers make purchasing decisions, the quality of brand advertising is not what makes people reach for their wallets.
At least that's what the results of a new survey from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association point to. The study, conducted by Big Research, found that while consumers appreciate good creative, they predictably make decisions based on the savings they think they're getting.
Black Friday used to be a day of excessive shopping and deals for retailers taking advantage of consumers with Thanksgiving vacation time. But as the online and offline worlds merge, the distinction between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is quickly disappearing.
Retailers are stepping up their online offers for the weekend, but those who wait until Cyber Monday to lure customers are going to miss out on large returns.
The economy has been making some hints at ressurgance in the past few months, but it's nowhere near a complete rebound, and according to ComScore today, most of the bright spots in third quarter are only relative to the dismal results that occured last year. During its quarterly report "State of the US Online Retail Economy," ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni characterized a generally dismal third quarter for retailers.
However, it's not all bad. Amid struggling revenues and rising unemployment, some retailers are increasing conversion rates and site visitations. What's their secret? Low prices and reliable online experiences. And there is promise in the fact that young, upper income earners are opening up their wallets again.