Category Archives: E-commerce

Ecommerce Hit Milestone

Digital commerce, fueled by growth in mobile purchasing, hit a huge milestone last year.  In 2012, B2C ecommerce spending totaled on $1 trillion globally.  New research has come available that shows it’s not even close to slowing down.

shutterstock_111037535● From 2011 to 2012, global ecommerce grew 21% to reach $1.2 trillion

● By 2016, ecommerce is projected to hit $1.5 trillion worldwide

● In North America, digital spending grew 14% to nearly $365 billion.  Next year it is expected to expand to over $400 billion

● The number of digital buyers in the US is expected to grow from 150 million last year to 175 million in 2016

● China is expected to see the greatest growth.  Ecommerce is projected 65% from 2012 to 2013 and the number of digital customers will rise by nearly 25%

What Does This Mean To You?

What does your ecommerce strategy look like?
Digital purchasing, mcommerce in particular, is rapidly changing and growing. Having a strategy is important, but making sure it’s scalable is equally important.  Things like mobile point of sale will have a dramatic affect on how your business operates.  The international adoption of digital purchasing may open new markets for your business as well.  While we can’t predict the changes that may occur, being nimble and being able to quickly pivot is something that could give your company a competitive advantage in the future. For more information on how to capitalize on ecommerce growth, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Supervisor

Source: Emarketer


Creating A Better Ecommerce Experience

Earlier this week, we posted research on how digital drove holiday sales. As we move forward into 2013, many businesses are planning to make their ecommerce platforms more robust. This information can keep you digitally competitive this year.

shutterstock_111037535• Over one-third of retailers worldwide plan to add How-To information or tutorials to their sites in 2013

• Over 30% are adding online videos

• 28% will be adding blog posts to their ecommerce solutions this year

• More than a quarter of global businesses will incorporate articles and
press releases

• 20% are including a twitter feed to their buying platforms

What Does This Mean To You?

When you keep visitors engaged, they spend more time on your site. Anytime you can keep visitors on your site longer, you greatly increase the chance they will buy something from you.
Isn’t the reason you have an ecommerce solution is to make more revenue?
Video’s, tutorials, blogs posts, articles and social media are great tools to help your business more effectively engage customers and create a better user experience. Since it’s your site, you can control the content. Leverage the content to put your store and the products you sell in the best possible light. For more information on how to direct more potential buyers to your site, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: eMarketer; SU Systems

How Big Was Cyber Monday?

Last month, we had a post that looked at the reasons why consumers were shopping on Cyber Monday.  All indications point to lots of businesses having ecommerce success during the first official weekend of holiday shopping.

shutterstock_119962987• Total online sales on Cyber Monday reached nearly $1.5 billion – making it the biggest day for ecommerce in US history

• Cyber Monday shopping increased nearly 30% from last year

• Thanksgiving Day online shopping had the second highest year over year gain at 20%

• Ecommerce sales for Black Friday were up 17%, the Saturday after was up 15% and the Sunday prior to Cyber Monday saw a 19% jump

• The top day for mobile shopping was Black Friday.  Over half of iPhone users and over 40% of Android user shopped on their mobile device on Black Friday

• In total, 28% of Mac users and 23% of Windows users shopped online during Cyber Monday

What Does This Mean To You?
Holiday shopping is no longer just about hitting the stores; it’s also about filling the electronic shopping cart.  With so many consumers using their desktop, laptop and mobile devices to make holiday purchases, what are you doing to ensure you get your share of the shopping?
Do you offer an ecommerce option?
Is there a mobile companion for your online storefront?
How are you promoting your ecommerce capabilities?
Ecommerce and Mcommerce are all about convenience for the consumer.  It gives them the ability to shop when they want to.  As hectic as the holidays are, online and mobile shopping gives shoppers the gift of time and eases the stress of dealing with holiday crowds.
If you have an online shopping option, you need to promote it and the value you offer.  While you may not be able to compete with major online retailers in the price arena, things like easy returns and exchanges are important when buying someone a gift.  For more information on how you can be competitive with Ecommerce and Mcommerce solutions, please contact, your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Marketing Vox; comScore; Exelate

Consumers Clicking For Cyber Monday Deals

Cyber Monday originated before high speed digital access was something that was available in most homes.  It was a way to secure online shopping from people who had just gotten back to work after the long Thanksgiving weekend.  Even though high speed connections are the norm, consumers still see Cyber Monday as a great time to shop online retailers and get deals.

• 45% of consumers plan to shop on Cyber Monday

• Over 40% shop on Cyber Monday because stores usually offer free shipping

• Four in 10 purchase online on Cyber Monday because they feel they will get the best online deals that day

• 37% say it lets them avoid shopping with Thanksgiving crowds

• One in five shop then in order not to waste their Thanksgiving weekend shopping

What Does This Mean To You?

Ecommerce is going to play a huge part of holiday spending this year.  Over $95 billion of holiday spending will come through online channels.  Consumers value the convenience that online shopping provides.
When was the last time you looked at your ecommerce solution?
Have you checked out the competitions online checkout functions?
Consumers are comparison shopping – not just for the best deals, but also who is the easiest to do business with.  If your solution is clunky or not intuitive, count on a high rate of shopping cart abandonment.  Shopping cart abandonment is something else you should have tactics in place for.  For more information on how to maximize online shopping dollars this holiday season, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Accenture

Online Sales To Drive Retail Holiday Growth

This week, many stores will be going into full holiday mode.  But recently, we’ve posted information showing that upwards of 40% of consumers have already started making holiday purchases.  It’s important to connect with these shoppers as early as possible because consumer sentiment is not as strong as in prior years.  One of the latest pieces of research to come out is how strong online shopping looks to be this holiday season.

• Holiday retail sales are projected to increase by 4% according to the National Retail Federation.  That’s a total of over $585 billion

• Actual holiday sales grew last year by 5.6%

• Online holiday sales are expected to reach $96 billion – 16% of total holiday sales will come from ecommerce

• Year over year, online shopping is projected to increase by 15% over last year

What Does This Mean To You?

More and more consumers will be shopping online.  Even more will be researching products and comparing prices. Online shopping offers consumers a convenient way to get through the holidays.  It puts them in control of the buying experience and they don’t have to deal with crowded stores. To get the most out of your e-holiday efforts, make sure your checkout process is quick and easy. Also compare your shipping costs against your competitors – because that’s what consumers are doing. Even if you don’t offer online shopping, you can benefit from digital solutions.  Product descriptions are seen as a big benefit and a tool for shoppers.  You can offer online coupons to bring shoppers into your location. For more information on how you can leverage digital to increase your holiday results, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: National Retail Federation;

Building Loyalty With Affluent Buyers

Upper end shoppers are a highly sought after commodity.  They have the resources to not only make large purchases, they are often more easily financed and value quality service. Mobile is a great way to engage affluent shoppers and create awareness of everything you have to offer.  New information is available that tells us not only how prevalent mobile devices are with high end shoppers but what they are looking for in mobile apps.

• Over half of adults with incomes of $75,000 – $100,000 own smart phones and over 20% own a tablet.  Smart phone ownership is nearly 10% higher than the general population and tablet ownership is 19% higher

• Six in 10 adults with incomes of $100,000+ are smart phone owners and 27% have tablets. These extremely affluent shoppers are 25% more likely to own a smart phone and over 40% more likely to be tablet owners

• 46% of adults with household incomes of $150,000 or higher are looking for loyalty program features from the mobile apps they download.  45% want early access to sales.

• Nearly 40% want exclusive product updates or offers for those who downloaded the app

• 36% are interested in product sneak peaks, high quality video and VIP privileges

• Over 30% want to be able to make mobile purchases and easy access to customer service

• Other things that affluent shoppers are looking for are customization based on personal preferences, peer recommendations and exclusive information

 What Does This Mean To You?

The keys to connecting with the high dollar consumer start with making them feel privileged.  They want to be able see, buy and know about products and sales before anyone else.  They also want services regular customers can’t get.  These are the same things that consumers who are more likely to be in the average income range would also appreciate.  They are also things that an overall loyalty program can achieve.  Loyalty programs also give you the ability to communicate directly with customers – and because they signed up for the program, it’s valued content to them.  You can also segment your offers with loyalty programs.  This plays into the customization that consumers are looking for. Offers that are more targeted towards the needs of consumers deliver better results.  For more information on how you can develop customer loyalty and then influence additional sales, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: emarketer; Luxury Institute and Plastic Mobile; comScore

The Countdown Has Started

The last thing I ever want to do is scare people, but this  at the very least may shock you.

Christmas is now 90 days away

It may seem like it’s still summer but Black Friday is less than 2 months from now.  The kids just went back to school and in many parts of the country, it’s still relatively warm.
But take a look at the calendar – we are 90 days from the big day.
The first of many holiday spending reports has been released and they show
that ecommerce will still be a major factor in the ways consumers spend during the holidays.

• Retail ecommerce spending during the holiday season is expected to reach nearly $54.5 billion dollars

• Year over year, holiday ecommerce is projected to increase nearly 17%

• In 2012, holiday season spending is expected to make up nearly 25% of the total ecommerce spending

• While holiday season ecommerce is expected to jump almost 17%, total ecommerce for the entire year is expected to increase by 15%

What Does This Mean To You?

Whether we like it or not, it’s never to early to plan how your organization is going to handle the holidays.  From staffing to marketing, the holidays can be challenging but there are many digital opportunities that can ease holiday frustrations.
Last year, mobile had a huge effect on consumer activity and there is no doubt that this year it’s impact will be even bigger. Social media has also changed the way consumers find what to buy and where to find it – that will probably not change as well.  This year, geo-location activities and SMS/text could increase in importance with shoppers.  Many businesses are looking at how “showrooming” will affect them and how loyalty programs may be a solution.
We will be regularly posting on the latest research to come out regarding holiday shopping trends and consumer activity.
You should take this opportunity to prepare your staff for the holidays.
Have you planned for employee vacations and any staffing issues?
Have you updated your staff contact list to include cell phone, email, Facebook and Twitter contact information?
Are you planning to have any staff training sessions on your mobile and web capabilities?
Have you thought about developing a company holiday blog or Facebook page to keep your employees up to date your back-end holiday plans?

Lots of companies, especially small and medium sized ones, put all their effort into the marketing aspect of the holidays, but don’t plan for their organizational needs.  The best way to make sure you have a successful holiday season is to plan ahead for all aspects of your business.  For more information on how to make this holiday season your most profitable, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager

Source: eMarketer