Online Retail Today
The Stats Are In: Cross-Channel Holiday Deals Offer Biggest Returns for Retailers

The Stats Are In: Cross-Channel Holiday Deals Offer Biggest Returns for Retailers

Let’s face it. Black Friday in-store sales are not for everyone. While thousands of shoppers truly enjoy the energy and excitement of single-day, in-store holiday promotions each year, it’s not surprising that many others prefer the more laid back coffee-computer-couch approach to holiday shopping.

This year, we surveyed our retailer clients to find out how much of a sales bump omnichannel retailers saw when they offered cross-channel promotions (online and in-store) throughout Thanksgiving weekend and beyond. As it turned out, the numbers were impressive.

Cyber Week Performance

  • Retail spending over Thanksgiving weekend fell 11%
  • …but omnichannel retailers on the Kibo platform enjoyed 40% gross merchandise value (GMV) growth spanning eight days.
  • Kibo retail customers also saw spikes over the holiday weekend that led to year-over-year growth of more than 93%.
  • Kibo retail customers saw impressive growth rates throughout the “Cyber 5” weekend, including:
  • 38% GMV growth on Black Friday
  • 77% GMV growth on Cyber Monday
  • 62% year-over-year GMV growth on Small Business Saturday
  • 93% increase in order volume over 2013 on Sunday

Demand for In-Store Pickup

This year’s Cyber Week also saw growing demand for in-store pickup, with heavy traffic Monday through Wednesday, until retailers abandoned store fulfillment in favor of managing Black Friday store operations and door-busters.

  • The rate of in-store pickup orders during the week leading up to Thanksgiving was 3.5x higher than aggregate in-store pickup rates for the Cyber 5.
  • In-store pickup transactions peaked on Monday, November 24, representing 15% of total orders.

Mobile Confidence

The rise in smartphone usage once again fueled the biggest online shopping holiday period. This year, consumers demonstrated their confidence in mobile shopping might be growing, by making larger overall mobile transactions.

  • The average order value originating from mobile transactions grew significantly compared to desktop transactions, growing 2x as much throughout the weekend as desktop purchases grew.
  • Black Friday’s average order value of mobile orders increased 51%, while desktop average order value grew 35%
  • Desktop eCommerce remains the preferred channel for high-ticket purchases, with mobile average order values hanging 9% below desktop orders on Black Friday.
  • Mobile traffic on Black Friday represented 47% of total traffic, while mobile sales accounted for only 30% of overall Black Friday sales.

[Infographic] How Mobile is Transforming the Retail Landscape

How Mobile is Transforming the Retail Landscape

We’ve all heard the hype about anytime, anywhere shopping. Mobile commerce is transforming the retail landscape – changing the way consumers connect with the products they love. How do we know? If seeing shoppers roaming store aisles armed with their mobile devices isn’t enough to convince you, these five stats will:

  1. 56% of consumers have used their mobile devices to research products from home (Forrester)
  2. 34% use their mobile phones to research products in store (Forrester)
  3. Cross-channel shopping journeys involving mobile devices rose on average by 20% from last year (Cisco)
  4. More than a third of visits to online stores come from mobile phones and tablets (Custora)
  5. US mobile eCommerce is expected to hit $50 billion in sales this year (Custora)

In anticipation of Shop.org, I was excited to see this fact-filled infographic from NRF detailing the changing mobile commerce landscape. Fifty-three percent of retailers listed mobile as one of their top initiatives this year. Find out why below.

Mobile Movers and Shakers in Retail

Source: Mobile Movers and Shakers in Retail

Why Smart Shoppers Love Your Website, But Hate Your Dealer Locator, Product Recommenders

Why Smart Shoppers Love Your Website, But Hate Your Dealer Locator

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog post, you’re a savvy consumer. You know which brands you like and can Google among the best of them.

In fact, I’m willing to wager my morning bagel that you’re among the 78% of adults who research products online before making a purchase (Pew Research Center). And I’ll bet my afternoon chips that you’re among the 52% of US consumers who prefer to purchase products directly from a manufacturer’s website (Price Waterhouse Cooper).

Today, millions of consumers like you (though not nearly as special) are hitting up the websites of their favorite brands, with credit cards raring to go. That makes it more critical than ever to deliver a stellar experience that captures online sales and lifetime customer value.

These five tips can help turn your browsers into buyers:

  1. Sell direct-to-consumer: This is a no brainer. Do not lose out on customers who visit your website, eager to make a purchase. We know you love your retail dealers, but your first responsibility is to make it easy for customers to find and purchase your products over the channels they prefer. With Kibo’s cloud-based distributed order management platform, you can route as few or many orders as you like to your retail dealers for fulfillment. This will allow you to offer the retail shopping experiences your customers want, including ship-from-store, local in-store pickup and returns, without ever losing a sale. Remember, when you sell direct over your brand’s website, everybody wins.
  2. Ditch the dreaded Dealer Locator: Few things are more frustrating than finding a dealer locator widget on a website. When your customers come to your site ready to buy, the last thing they want to do is enter a zip code and parse through a list of dealers, forcing them to chase down inventory, often to no avail. What’s more, many locator widgets actually drive customers off your site into the proverbial arms of retail dealers, who just happen to carry all of your competitors’ products as well. With Kibo’s easy-to-integrate APIs, customers can place orders on your site, which can be routed to the closest retailer for fulfillment. Given that 83% of shoppers rate knowing when a package will arrive as the most important service a merchant can provide (Forrester), why risk losing a sale? Tracking down inventory should be your job. Create a frictionless shopping experience for your customers by instantly connecting them with available inventory and best-in-class fulfillment capabilities.
  3. Invest in professional product photos: Your mobile uploads may generate raves on Facebook and Instagram, but in order to do justice to your products, you’ll need to invest in a professional photographer. If shoppers are searching for products on your brand’s website, they’re already hooked. Help push them over the edge by providing a variety of well-lit, well-sized, high-resolution product images that feature your products on white backgrounds as well as in inspirational settings to seed their imagination. Fail to offer this, and those looky-loos may go searching on other websites for visuals. And those other websites are likely to feature your competitors’ nicely photographed products as well.
  4. Tell your company story: In a universe of anonymized data, sharing your personal story is the best way to break through the noise. Give your customers a reason to connect with your brand by sharing your company history and values, and by introducing your customers to the people behind the products. Be sure to host a company blog featuring actionable tips on how to use your products. And consider running contests on your social channels to solicit customer stories, photos and videos. Leverage your blog and social channels to drive conversation and engagement with your customers. This will help you create a memorable brand that keeps customers coming back for years to come.
  5. Provide extensive product information: Your customers are searching on your website for product information. Why? They assume you are the most credible source. Don’t disappoint. To prevent shoppers from abandoning your website for another eCommerce site loaded with rich content, you need to offer comprehensive data about your products, including detailed specs that leave no question unanswered. By the same token, consider enabling product reviews and ratings (like Amazon) to keep customers on your site where they belong. Even if the reviews are not all glowingly positive, you will demonstrate your transparency and thereby gain trust. You will also get valuable feedback for future product development.

To find out how Kibo can help your brand create a better website ux, check out our Resource Center – or, better yet, call us at 1-877-350-3866 to request your free demo today.

Why Smart Shoppers Love Your Website, But Hate Your Dealer Locator, Product Recommenders

Overcoming Fear of Abandonment in the Fast Lane

We’ve all done it before – loaded up our online shopping carts with products we love, only to abandon minutes later. The question is why?

Some of it has to do with the online shopping experience itself. Simply put, it’s more fun to shop than it is to pay. Still, driving conversion is big business in the fast lane of retail commerce. According to Cooper Smith of businessinsider.com: “Approximately $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online shopping carts this year.”

In a recent article, Smith revealed findings from a June 2014 study by UPS and comScore. One of the key takeaways? Lower shipping costs and faster delivery times lead to higher conversion rates. (Yep, no surprise there.)

Other causes for abandonment?

  • High on the list was a poor mobile shopping experience. Consumers expect to enjoy a frictionless journey via any connected device. Fail to deliver, and you’ll lose that sale.
  • Information security and privacy were also rated as top concerns for wary online shoppers. Companies that enact stringent policies, like Kibo – which is PCI compliant – give shoppers the peace of mind they need to purchase online.
  • Lastly, respondents increasingly expect a convenient, no-questions-asked return policy. Enabling in-store returns of online purchases – which Kibo’s distributed order management supports –makes this easy.

In sum, offering competitive pricing, policies and promotions, such as free shipping, have never been more critical than in today’s click-happy retail landscape where your top competitor is only a bookmark away.

The chart below highlights some of the key findings from the UPS/comScore study.