Mobile sales (m-commerce) continue to grow reaching $4.7 billing in Q2 2013. comScore released Q2 data and Internet Retailer reported recently. For comparison, e-commerce sales from desktops and laptop devices were up 15.3% year over year.
One obvious factor for increased mobile sales is the number of mobile users in increasing. But another, very important factor is technology. The ability and ease of making mobile purchasing is increasing. Sites are optimized and apps facilitate the mobile buying experience which encourages sales.
So what are m-commerce customers buying? According to the comScore study mostly apparel and accessories.
“How people shop for items is very category-dependent,” Andrew Lipsman, vice president, industry analysis, at comScore says. “Apparel and home furnishings are highly visual, not commodity products. So the limited screen size of the smartphone is not conducive to that category, but the tablet is—it’s almost like a new form of window shopping, it’s so visual.”
Q2 is typcially the antithesis of Q4. As usual expectations for increased sales, both desktop and mobile sales, is anticipated in Q4. Mobile sales are currently 9% of online commerce while 2012 Q4 m-commerce was 11%. Can we expect to see that number even higher? It’s possible. Companies and consumers are more likely to try new approaches to commerce during the holiday season. For many that may mean turning to mobile for purchases.
By now, everyone that shops online has purchased from, or at least perused, a Flash Sales site or Deal-of-the-Day site. It’s the new norm and the business model has expanded far beyond what could be considered the originator of the online concept, Groupon.com. The process has generally been as follows: opening the market in a major metropolitan area like Chicago or New York, slowly adding more cities, and then reaching it’s pique to include options worldwide. Furthermore, Flash Sales sites have continually offered price discounts and some very unique buys to discerning shoppers.
However, financial reporting has taken a turn for some of the most prominent Flash Sales sites. Groupon, Hautelook, BeyondtheRack, and Zulily (just to name a few,) are starting to report losses and what may prove to be an unsustainable business model long-term. Internet Retailer reports that although Groupon was profitable this Quarter, it was only after a diversion of funds away from constantly recruiting customers. In the last 5 quarters, growth has been occurring at a very slow rate for a company that 2 years ago reported double digit growth each time. For more details about Groupon’s financials, read the full commentary from Internet Retailer HERE.
In addition to the sales structure, many of the most prominent Flash Sales Sites are having customer service issues as well. According to a blog post last month from Business Insider, customers are fed up with repeated requests for log-ins, poor or non-existent answers to queries, and email Marketing that is dishonest in order to draw them to shop on the site.
In the next couple of years, will we see an end to many of the daily deals sites that make checking our morning emails interesting?Let us know what you think by leaving your comments about the finances and future of flash sales below.
Quick Chat is an innovative version of Live Chat from Marketing Technology Developer Lexity. The tool was launched just last week and is based on the Lexity Live platform. Lexity Live operates directly in a web browser and allows Merchants to see a list of customers, what is being shopped for, and items in the cart of a current shopping session.
Additionally, Merchants have the option to engage customers on the spot by utilizing what amounts to basically a reverse Live Chat feature. Instead of waiting for the possibility of a customer contacting you directly, Retailers have the opportunity to retain and even “save” a sale that may otherwise be lost due to non-engagement.
This allows Merchants to be incredibly proactive and provide customers with a wonderfully personal experience. Read the full Internet Retailer story HERE!
As Internet Retailer reports, the conference had record-breaking numbers in attendance: an over 18% increase from last years’ conference in San Diego. Additionally, some companies opted for larger booths which directly affected the expanse of the show floor growing from 218,000 to 250,000 square feet.
Read the full article here and pencil in IRCE 2013 also planned for McCormick Place West in Chicago today!
If you didn’t make it out to Chicago and visit Bongo’s booth #716, you can catch us in Denver in September 2012 at Shop.org!
Recent headlines and world news reports could easily lead one to believe that the European economy is in such trouble that businesses and more specifically eCommerce would not flourish. This could not be further from the truth.
“Internet Retailer’s just-published Top 400 Europe, which ranks, profiles and quantifies Europe’s 400 largest e-commerce operations, shows that e-retailing in Europe is booming—a shining beacon of light that could be guiding Europe’s economy to safe harbor.”
These EU opportunities make using a service like Bongo International invaluable as we now have Operations facilities on all major coasts in the US, as well as a thriving hub in Belgium. Customers browsing your site can get a US and EU address for one price through Bongo and have essentially unlimited eCommerce shopping opportunities.
Online shopping continues to show a growth trend throughout some top European countries. Even where traditionally the European market has been lower, Forrester estimates that by 2016, online shopping will increase 11%-19% for countries like the U.K. and Spain respectively. The reasons are varied, but the highest rated cited explanations for an increase in online shopping are: saving time, product selection, and keeping up with current trends.
According to Don Davis of Internet Retailer, “By 2016, online sales will account for more than 14% of total retail sales in the United Kingdom and more than 10% in Germany, the two leading European markets in online sales, Forrester analyst Martin Gill projects in his report, “European Online Retail Forecast: 2011 to 2016.”
This completely drives home why US companies need to have a user-friendly website, as well as attempt to incorporate international shipping. The demand is only going to continue to skyrocket, and US merchants should answer with a strong supply.
For more information on this topic, check out the full IR article here:
Months ago, Facebook timeline made news and waves as users were gently pushed to download the update and change the entire layout of their personal Facebook pages. Now it seems that Facebook will be pushing the very same concept for businesses.
It actually makes seemingly more sense for a business because it allows for an annual breakdown of activity between the business and consumers. Users can see exactly when and how their friends have interacted with a certain brand. This could prove very useful in marketing techniques and strategies moving forward.
Will this new layout and customer interaction be a step forward for companies and organizations?