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Study: Online growth to remain modest this holiday season

BY DSN STAFF
E-commerce may lose some appeal among shoppers this holiday season.
 
While some industry analysts are predicting more than 15% increases in e-commerce growth during the 2016 shopping season, NetElixir’s “2016 Holiday Outlook” report predicts that e-commerce growth may only hit 11%. This conservative gain is being blamed on earlier-than-usual promotions and purchasing of holiday gifts; retailers’ use of online marketplaces rather than exclusively selling directly on their sites, and the uncertain political environment.
 
“Our projections for this holiday season indicate that retailers shouldn’t expect this year to bring in the same types of gains that the past few years have brought,” said Udayan Bose, founder and CEO of NetElixir. 
 
The report indicated that is a surge in mobile commerce will also impact ecommerce. Specifically, mobile shopping is expected to drive more than 35% of last-click conversions this holiday season. As always, Amazon also remains a competitive threat, especially as the pure play retailer could claim between 28% and 30% of holiday sales this year — a jump from 26% in 2015, the report said.
 
“Between the ecommerce slowdown, an uptick in mobile purchases, and Amazon taking a larger share of the season, retailers should be aligning their digital marketing efforts to match consumers’ attention and interests,” Bose said. “Catching a consumer on the right device at the right moment and time is of the utmost importance, and will help retailers to have a more fruitful holiday season.”

 

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Study: Halloween spending breaks glass ceiling

BY DSN STAFF
It’s no trick: Halloween spending is at an all-time high.
 
As Americans continue to splurge on their favorite candy and costumes in preparation for the upcoming Halloween season, the National Retail Federation’s annual survey reported that spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion — the highest level in the study’s history.
 
With more than 171 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities this year, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $82.93 on their Halloween preparations. This is an increase from $74.34 last year, the report said. 
 
Overall, consumers plan to spend $3.1 billion on costumes, and 67% of shoppers will drive this revenue. They will search for costume inspiration online (35%) and in-store (29%), but social media is the fastest-growing influencer when choosing the perfect costume. The top destination is Pin-terest, which has seen 133% growth since 2012, the study said.
 
Meanwhile, shoppers will spend $2.5 billion on candy, $2.4 billion on decorations, and $390 million on greeting cards, the report said.
 
When they are ready to make their Halloween purchases, 47% of shop-pers will visit discount stores, and 36% will visit a specialty Hallow-een/costume store, up from 33% last year. In addition, NRF reported that 26% of customers will visit grocery stores/supermarkets, 23% will visit department stores, and 22% will shop online.
 
“Consumers are eager to celebrate Halloween, especially given that eight in 10 Americans will shop by mid-October. That is the highest we have seen in the survey history,” said Prosper Insights principal analyst Pam Goodfellow. “Americans will enjoy taking advantage of early-bird pro-motions, both online and in-store, as they kick off the fall season.”
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Walmart expands payment partnership

BY DSN STAFF
As the battle between Walmart Canada and Visa over interchange rates rages on, Walmart Stores is making more strategic moves with Chase. 
 
Walmart will now process credit and debit payments on ChaseNet, the bank's closed-loop network, across its 5,000-plus Walmart and Sam’s Club locations in the United States, and on the Sam’s Club e-commerce site. Chase already processes payments for Walmart’s e-commerce channel.
 
Through the partnership, Walmart will have guaranteed, fixed-rate pricing for Chase Visa credit and debit payments processed during the term of the contract. The retailer declined to share the contract’s timeframe.
 
“Engaging Chase with a direct processing relationship has been a priority for Walmart for some time,” said Mike Cook, Walmart’s SVP and assistant treasurer. “Walmart is always looking for innovative ways to improve the payment experience, and save time and money for our customers, while also creating competition in the payments industry.”
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