E-commerce giant Amazon may set its eyes on Target

Holiday e-commerce sales reach unprecedented levels

The 2017 holiday shopping season has continued to break records. Consumers began their shopping earlier than ever aided by the growing retailer trend of the pre-Black Friday sale. Despite it’s reputation as a retail-orientated shopping holiday, Black Friday brought in historic e-commerce sales.

Estimates from Adobe say consumers spent a little over $5 billion on Black Friday. On Thanksgiving Day, consumers spent $2.87 billion alone, which was up 18.3 percent from a year ago, according to the same estimates.

Cyber Monday also brought in historic numbers and showed double-digit growth from a year-over-year perspective.Consumers spent $6.59 billion, according to Bloomberg News, which showed a 17 percent increase on e-commerce spending.

M-commerce, which has quietly been growing throughout the years, played a large role in the holiday shopping narrative this season. On Black Friday, purchases made on mobile devices accounted for 37 percent of all sales which generated just under $2 billion in revenue, according to TechCrunch. Cyber Monday saw similar numbers. Revenue generated by mobile devices increased 31 percent year-over-year for $2 billion in sales, according to Digital Commerce 360.

As a whole, holiday shoppers have spent a record $89.88 billion online from Nov. 1 to Dec. 17, which is a 13 percent year-over-year growth, according to data from Adobe. Adobe originally predicted to online sales would reach $107.4 billion through Dec. 31, which is expected to be reached at the current rate of online sales.

Online Holiday Sales

 

Outside of e-commerce, holiday spending in total has reached decade-high levels. American shopping intentions this holiday, on average, will top $900, according to a survey conducted by CNBC. The average is higher at a large margin than last year’s $702 and is the first time in the survey’s 12 years that the average broke $900.

Dirxion online catalogs offer businesses the ability to tap into shopping trends and habits during both the holiday season and throughout the year. Dirxion online catalogs also serve as a complementary product to any e-commerce operation. Both versatile and optimized with HTML5, Dirxion online catalogs ensure cross-platform and multi-browser performance standards are met.

Dirxion Contact Us

E-commerce investment pays off for Walmart

Following a summer of acquisitions and growth from Amazon, a larger narrative began to form for legacy retailers. They were viewed as stagnate and doomed to fall to the growing e-commerce market. However, shifts in business strategy coupled with a newfound omni-channel blend has lead to encouraging results for big-box retailers. Walmart has been one of the major companies leading the charge into this new, e-commerce-fueled era.

Walmart, who recently re-adjusted their e-commerce strategy, showed their ability to aggressively compete with Amazon. Recent earnings and growth have left many market analysts feeling as if they underestimated the legacy retailer’s ability to build a presence on the e-commerce market.

As part of their new strategy, Walmart went on an acquisition spree similar to Amazon’s. To start, Walmart purchased Jet.com, an American e-commerce company, for $3 billion in August of last year. According to a press release on Walmart’s official website, the acquisition was intended to build upon Walmart’s existing e-commerce foundation and expand upon their efforts to integrate their online and in-store shopping experience. Walmart bought other “e-commerce-friendly” companies such as ModCloth, Shoebuy and Bonobos.

“Walmart.com will grow faster, the seamless shopping experience we’re pursuing will happen quicker, and we’ll enable the Jet brand to be even more successful in a shorter period of time. Our customers will win. It’s another jolt of entrepreneurial spirit being injected into Walmart.” – Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

The aggressive acquisitions have paid off for the legacy retailer, as Walmart recently reported online sales were up 50 percent for Q3. Following such growth, Walmart has looked to continue to expand their e-commerce efforts. The company has been experimenting with new ways to integrate Walmart.com with their physical stores.

Walmart now offers lower in-store prices for food and household items, according to the Wall Street Journal. For instance, a 32-ounce bottle of Heinz ketchup which is $3.38 online costs $2.83 in-store. Additionally, Walmart now offers free two-day shipping on orders over $35 and self-service “Pickup Towers” for customers picking up online orders in-store.

Heinz Ketchup

 

Walmart and other large legacy retailers are now pursuing omni-channel routes to combine their offline and online sales efforts. However, these methods and strategies aren’t exclusive to large conglomerates. Dirxion online catalogs give both retail and B2B companies a tool to create an omni channel approach for their businesses and aids any e-commerce operation. Both versatile and optimized with HTML5, Dirxion online catalogs ensure cross-platform and multi-browser performance standards are met.
Dirxion Contact Us

Consumers, aided by e-commerce, began their holiday shopping earlier than ever

For some Americans, the holiday shopping season begins on Black Friday. But for many others, e-commerce and pre-Black Friday online deals have continued to push holiday shopping earlier and earlier in November. Earlier in November, Adobe predicted holiday shoppers would spend $107 billion during the holiday season (officially Nov. 1-Dec. 31). At this point in time, U.S. shoppers are on pace to spend $109 billion.

Holiday Shopping

 

E-commerce holiday shopping on Black Friday could even generate more sales than Cyber Monday, the traditional day most businesses and consumers allocated for online deals. Last year, Black Friday generated $3.34 billion in online sales which was just below the $3.45 billion generated by Cyber Monday sales. However, from a growth standpoint, Black Friday online sales have increased at a much faster rate than Cyber Monday. According to more data collected by Adobe, Black Friday online sales have grown by 21 percent whereas Cyber Monday online sales have grown by 12 percent year over year.

“Holiday online shopping continues to trend earlier and earlier each year, with this year eclipsing last year by about a week” – Bob Buffone, Founder & Chief Technology Officer at Yottaa

Consumers and Mobile

Mobile devices continue to play a role in the e-commerce market well into the holiday season. Projections from Salesforce indicate smartphone traffic will generate 60 percent of online traffic to retail sites during the holiday season.Additionally, conversion rates for mobile devices are expected to rise during the holiday season. Mobile devices will account for $1 of every $4 made from e-commerce sales, according to comScore. The majority of purchases made on mobile devices are expected to be smaller, less-expensive items whereas larger purchases will be made on desktop or larger electronic devices, as predicted by Kevin Bobowski, senior vice president of BrightEdge.

Dirxion online catalogs offer businesses the ability to tap into shopping trends and habits during both the holiday season and throughout the year. Dirxion online catalogs also serve as a complementary product to any e-commerce operation. Both versatile and optimized with HTML5, Dirxion online catalogs ensure cross-platform and multi-browser performance standards are met.

Dirxion Contact Us

Consumers use e-commerce websites to supplement their offline shopping needs

Growth in the e-commerce market has given customers a variety of avenues to acquire their favorite products. For businesses, however, it’s hard to analyze exactly where their sales come from and whether or not an online and brick-and-mortar presence can be mutually beneficial to future growth.

Consumers are moving toward a blend of offline shopping supplemented by a period of online research. While online sales have been on the rise, only 15 percent of Americans make purchases online on a weekly basis, according to a study from the PEW Research Center. About 45 percent of Americans have used a cellphone within a physical store in order to look at reviews or other product information. Consumers have long relied on the ability to get recommendations and reviews, hence the rise of websites like Yelp! and FourSquare.

 

On the other hand, some consumers are more skeptical than others when it comes to the validity of online reviews. According to the same PEW Research Study,48 percent of U.S. consumers believe it’s often hard to tell if online reviews are truthful and unbiased.Consumers more often than not will use websites to compare prices and products and then visit stores to get a reassurance of product quality before committing to a purchase. Even if shoppers don’t directly purchase from a website, businesses benefit from empowering their customers with the tools to do their own research and be confident in their purchase.

Such buying habits don’t necessarily adhere strictly along generational lines. A study conducted by RetailDive found 26 percent of U.S. adults frequently research products online prior to shopping for them in brick-and-mortar stores. The report then emphasizes the importance of a “compelling digital experience.” Certain things can improve the customer’s researching or shopping experience to create a seamless omni-channel shopping experience.

Dirxion online catalogs give businesses a strong tool to allow their customers to do their own research. The search feature allows users to find the exact product they’re looking for without having to search through tabs and pages of results. Dirxion’s integration capabilities can bring a business’s existing e-commerce website into the catalog. Customers are able to interact with linked images that open to Quick Views or iFrames of the e-commerce site. Customers can then read pictures, look through photos and even add to their cart without having to leave the online catalog.

Dirxion Contact Us

E-commerce creates new jobs for workers and opportunities for businesses, studies find

The effects of e-commerce on the economy, specifically within the retail market, have remained little more than speculation for the past few years. Most theories on the future of e-commerce sit somewhere between a trend which will eventually pass and a period of the “retail apocalypse” which signifies an end for legacy retailers.

However, new studies have suggested that reality sits somewhere in the middle. While synergy between e-commerce infrastructures and existing business models lies within view, especially for B2B businesses, the future of the retail worker remains somewhat uncertain. Certain indicators and trends point towards new opportunities for both businesses and workers alike.

Often the spearhead of the e-commerce and automation movement, recent trends within Amazon indicate a growing number of e-commerce-related jobs specifically within distribution networks. Amazon currently deploys 100,000 robots and 125,000 employees in their factories with promises of opening 50,000 more jobs when their second headquarters finishes construction, according to the New York Times. Since increasing their automation with robots Amazon added 80,000 jobs with hopes the hiring frenzy will continue into the foreseeable future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“No people were laid off when the robots were installed, and Amazon found new roles for the displaced workers.”
– Dave Clark, Operations Executive at Amazon

Trends tend to exercise themselves on a larger scale at Amazon mostly due to their size and expansive resources, e-commerce-related job growth isn’t exclusive to larger corporations. E-commerce retail jobs have grown by 334 percent and gained a net 178,000 jobs since 2002. E-commerce sales remain less than 10 percent of total retail, 8.9 percent as of Q2 2017, yet all trends point towards sustainable growth in the near future with opportunities for both businesses and workers.

 

 

 

 

 

Whether utilizing an established infrastructure or just starting to implement e-commerce, Dirxion offers tools and services for businesses of all types. The Dirxion online catalog gives businesses an opportunity to differentiate their shopping experience and engage in the omni-channel experience. Dirxion online catalogs are versatile and optimized with HTML5 to ensure cross-platform and multi-browser performance standards are met. Dirxion online catalogs can be integrated into existing e-commerce platforms and live directly on a company’s website to ensure a seamless, optimized shopping experience for customers.Dirxion Contact Us

E-commerce evolves to fit business models and consumer needs

Near the beginning of its rise to prominence, e-commerce was seen as an “all or nothing” endeavor. Businesses were either entirely committed to a physical, retail presence or built their business around e-commerce. But as the platform has evolved, many businesses have achieved synergy by molding e-commerce to fit their existing business models in order to match the needs of their customers.

While both ends of the spectrum exist, the proportion of customers who make purchases exclusively in-store or online is relatively small and consumers have found a middle ground with their purchasing habits. According to an annual survey conducted by comScore, shoppers on average now make 51 percent of their purchases online. The percentage had slowly risen, sitting at 48 percent a year ago and 47 percent two years ago.

The evolution of e-commerce businesses began as direct delivery, but the market has split into three distinct forms: national shipping (i.e. Amazon), home delivery and pick-up in store. The adaption was spurred on as more retailers moved their inventory online. Consumer activity acted as an incentive for more retailers and businesses to create an online presence. According to the Harvard Business Review, online sales of everyday items, consumer packaged goods, more than doubled between 2006 and 2010. CPG online sales continued to grow by roughly 40 percent annually, reaching an estimated $10 billion in value according to 1010data Market Insights.

 

Businesses of all sizes have benefited from take an omni channel approach by converging their offline and online practices. Digital Commerce 360 recently published a profile on Tractor Supply Co., who saw a nine percent increase in their revenue from last year after implementing their “Buy Online Pick Up in Store” program. The program now accounts for roughly 55 percent of all their online orders, and increased the amount of unique visitors to their website and usage of their “Store Locator” function. “We are starting to see signs that the physical and digital sides of our business are working well together and support one another.” says Gregory Sandfort, CEO of Tractor Supply Co.

Dirxion online catalogs offer businesses the ability to tap into the rising consumer preference for the omnichannel shopping experience and serves as a complementary product to any e-commerce operation. Dirxion online catalogs are versatile and optimized with HTML5 to ensure cross-platform and multi-browser performance standards are met.Dirxion Contact Us

Consumers increasingly worried about cyber security, especially with e-commerce

As the world becomes increasingly digitized and more personal information gets stored online, Americans have become more informed about cyber security risks. As concluded through various studies conducted by the PEW Research Center, Americans as a whole have become more skeptical of institutions holding their information and how secure it is. However, as security measures have increased over time, Americans have also had a harder time maneuvering through the complexities of modern cyber security.

In order to conduct the study, the PEW Research Center constructed an online survey and took results from a sample size of 1,055 adult Internet users living in the U.S. The survey includes 13 questions dealing with various aspects of cyber security, asking participants to either pick a correct question out of a field or identify pictures. If a participant feels they don’t know the correct answer they’re able to select “Not sure” in lieu of choosing an answer. The questions get progressively more complex and deal with more modern cyber security concepts. A substantial majority of Americans were able to correctly answer the first two questions, with 75 able to identify the most secure password (from a list of four options) and 73 percent knowing public Wi-Fi (even if password protected) is not always safe for sensitive activities.

Cyber Security

 

While the percentage of participants who answered incorrectly fluctuated by answer, the “Not sure” option became increasingly popular. For instance, 73 percent of participants were unsure if a VPN minimizes the risk of using insecure Wi-Fi networks and 49 percent were unaware that a browser’s “private browsing” mode does not prevent ISPs from monitoring online activity. Despite difficulties identifying complex cyber security concepts, American consumers have become more skeptical and cynical of cyber security, with 49 percent of Americans feeling their personal information is less secure than it was five years ago. A recent history of security breaches has lead to this mentality, with 64 percent of Americans having personally experienced a major data breach. Six of the largest data breaches in history have occurred within the past decade.

Consumers provide some of their personal information when purchasing from e-commerce businesses including their home address and credit/debit card information, which has led to increasing levels of skepticism among American consumers. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration estimates nearly a fourth of U.S. consumers will completely avoid purchasing from an e-commerce business if they feel their personal information might be at risk.

Dirxion online catalogs offer businesses a versatile tool for their e-commerce branches. Online catalog users are protected by SSL/HTTPS for the CNAME or dedicated URL that a publication is hosted on. Doing so helps alleviate the risk of consumers questioning the credibility or safety of the site, providing a more comfortable shopping experience.

Dirxion Contact Us

Gap between urban and rural Internet access widens, challenging e-commerce

It was recently reported that in rural areas, 35 percent of Americans do not have access to the Internet (about 25 million Americans), according to CBS News. This is far greater than the 3 percent of citizens living in urban areas who don’t have Internet access. This gap remains in spite of federal courts declaring that Internet service is a utility similar to electricity and water.

The federal court’s ruling touched on the issue of net neutrality, the protection of consumers against Internet service providers throttling data delivery speeds. But the logistics of delivering high speed Internet to rural areas has proved difficult to many ISPs, leaving millions of Americans either without Internet access or with Internet well below FCC standards.

In rural areas, the population is traditionally more dispersed, which leads to homes and businesses that are located far away from ISP hubs. Fiber-optic cable used by ISPs can cost upwards of $40,000, according to CBS News, hindering the performance of businesses in the area and limiting consumer options. In response, the FCC has committed roughly $2 billion in subsidies to telecommunications companies to encourage expansion into rural areas. Local and state governments have also attempted to tackle the issue, often times introducing tax breaks and incentives to telecommunications companies to encourage competition in rural areas.


 

“It’s a challenge of economics, if you will — trying to get further out into the rural network with the density being more and more spread out, population being more and more spread out. It’s a challenge no matter what provider you are,” — Jarrod Berkshire, President of Operations at Windstream, 2017

The United States currently has the third largest number of Internet users (roughly 286 million), and ranks only behind India (462 billion) and China (731 million), according to Statista. However, as a percentage of the population, 88 percent of the U.S. population have access to the Internet whereas 35 percent of the Indian population and 52 percent of the Chinese population have access. The increasing percentage of Americans with access to Internet is connected to the growing rate of aging citizens adopting tech.

Dirxion online catalogs give businesses an opportunity to extend the reach of their business. By eliminating shipping and printing costs, Dirxion online catalogs help businesses to expand their content marketing into new markets previously unreachable. As consumers adapt technology at a faster rate, e-commerce continues to become an increasingly integral aspect to the economy in its entirety.

Dirxion Contact Us

E-commerce takes hold in economies with underdeveloped retail markets

Consumers have reaped the benefits of the rise of e-commerce by capitalizing on its emphasis on speed, convenience and accessibility of information. Despite that growth, retail and physical store locations remain dominant due to their legacy status and long-term prominence in the economy. However, in regions where retail locations have yet to take hold, the effects and benefits of e-commerce reach a greater magnitude. The accessibility and reach of modern e-commerce systems make these regions accessible to businesses of all sizes, not just the largest players in the market.

India has become one of the most sought-after markets to capitalize on, with some of the largest international e-commerce businesses competing for market share. As one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world, India has seen an influx of e-commerce activity as Internet access and smartphone ownership grow in recent years. According to Statista, as early as 2015, only 26 percent of the Indian population had access to the Internet; however, that’s 10 times larger than it was nearly a decade ago. That trend is expected to continue, as Forrester predicts India’s compound annual growth rate will be over 30 percent until 2021.


Retail eCommerce Sales

 

E-commerce businesses have also begun to take stake in adjusting the retail experience to integrate online and offline logistics and data along a single chain. Chinese B2B e-commerce business Alibaba, who accounts for a tenth of all Chinese retail sales and 75 percent of online sales, has begun investing in unused retail space in Shanghai and has taken stake in other retail companies to provide big data capabilities to legacy retailers.

In many isolated incidences, smaller economies can outgrow larger economies in e-commerce. Chinese cities are categorized into tiers one to four, based on GDP, government structure and population data. E-commerce penetration for Tier 1 and 2 cities amounts to 89 percent as compared to Tier 3 and 4 cities, which is 62 percent. E-commerce businesses have been expanding their logistical and infrastructure capabilities in order to expand to these more rural markets.

“The online shopper base in Tier 3 and 4 cities is 257 million, a population number that is larger than that of almost all countries in the world (except India, China as a whole, and the United States). That is serious market potential.” — Sara Hsu, Forbes, 2016

Dirxion online catalogs give B2B businesses an opportunity to tap into the developing global e-commerce market. Businesses that fail to include and accommodate for an international market essentially choose to leave sales on the table. Dirxion online catalogs can support a variety of languages. For example, Dirxion customer Kennametal has a language toggle feature on their online catalogs to support languages such as French and Japanese. By eliminating shipping and printing costs, Dirxion online catalogs helps businesses to expand their content marketing into new markets previously unreachable, even in international markets.

 Dirxion Contact Us