Having spent last week at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago, I came away with three key takeaways: One, if you're an online retailer not selling internationally, particularly in Australia, what are you waiting for? You're missing out on a potential growth opportunity for your brand. Two, brick-and mortar retailers must develop a strategy to deal with "showrooming," — i.e., consumers using stores as showrooms to check out products, then buying those products online at a lower price (with free shipping, of course). Three, online marketplaces are proliferating — it's not just Amazon.com and eBay anymore — and becoming another viable channel for retailers to engage consumers and sell their products.
Room & Board's Director of Customer Web Experience Kimberly Ruthenbeck talks with Retail Online Integration at last week's Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition about how the furniture retailer has leveraged product reviews to grow sales.
While 86 percent of consumers are satisfied with the overall experience of shopping online, retailers can improve customer satisfaction even more by making it easier for consumers to return or exchange items, according to a report presented at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago last week. The report, Online Shopping Customer Experience Study, evaluated consumer shopping habits from pre-purchase to post-delivery. It was commissioned by UPS and based on a comScore survey of 3,100 U.S. online shoppers in February.
To help brands protect against the chaos that ensues as a result of a data security breach — not to mention the potential lost revenue — Tim Toews, a web security consultant and former chief information officer at Office Depot, offered a 10-step plan to help retailers maintain control of their business space (i.e., their network) and keep hackers out. Toews presented his plan during a session he led this week at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
As it watched its biggest competitor file for bankruptcy and cease operating, Barnes & Noble knew that a change to its business model was necessary for its survival. Specifically, that change meant shifting its focus to becoming a digital book seller. In his keynote address at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago yesterday, William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, detailed how the bookstore chain has used the web to redefine and grow its business.
We live in a Google-dominated world; more accurately, we use a Google-dominated internet. The search engine (and purveyor of social media, cloud services and other daily necessities) accounts for over 80 percent of the online query market, making it safe to assume that it set the standard for internet search functions. When choosing to shop online, modern consumers expect no less from the search boxes of the virtual stores they're browsing than they do from King Google.
We picked 23 of Internet Retailer's top 25 companies (from the IR 500) and looked at 50 brands that these companies own to find the best overall inbox delivery and open rates over the last 90 days. Piperlime.com, with 99 percent inbox delivery, and Banana Republic and iTunes at 98 percent, were at the absolute top of the inbox delivery range. Kmart, HP, Gap, Netflix, Old Navy, Best Buy and Bath & Body Works all follow closely behind with delivery in the 97th percentile.
A number of merchants including Burberry, H&M and Macy's have launched brand pages on Google+. As of Nov. 8, Burberry had 12,349 followers, H&M had 10,383 and Macy's had 10,767. According to the official Google blog, "So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people. But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about — from local businesses to global brands."
Despite the fact that technology has been zooming along, retailers have been slower to adopt than most other industries. Smartphones have become the norm, and a new value-conscious and customer service-driven consumer has emerged from the recession.
overstockArt.com announced the official launch of its mobile website. The launch represents another milestone for the company as it continues to make strides in technological innovation. Consumers can now conveniently access the popular online art gallery's collection of more than 60,000 reproduction oil paintings and decorative ceramic tiles on their BlackBerrys, iPhones, Droids, and other small-screen mobile devices.