Today, we’re taking a look at US e-commerce in 2015 and what’s on the horizon for the New Year. TechCrunch said current US ecommerce makes up only 7.2% of retail sales and they interviewed CEO of Touch of Modern, Jerry Hum for his thoughts on the future. US ecommerce has grown an estimated 15% in 2015 according to the National Retail Foundation while MasterCard pegged the growth at more than 20%. Bank of America analyst Justin Post reported Amazon’s U.S. e-commerce market share was 33% and it captured 66% of incremental U.S. e-commerce spend in 2015. Puget Sound Business Journal recalculated Amazon’s quirky sales figures to try and paint an accurate picture of the online juggernaut’s holiday sales. Makes very interesting reading.
While international e-commerce sales for US retailers are less than 1%, Chinese consumers spent 38% more this year on Black Friday and 78% more on Cyber Monday according to Pitney Bowes. MasterCard reported that furniture and women’s apparel sales had double-digit increases, a large part of holiday season’s 20% sales growth over 2014. While e-commerce was bright, RetailNext said sales at brick-and-mortar stores slid as much as 6.7% over the weekend before Christmas with traffic itself was down more than 10%. Forget unicorns, look for “dragons“, companies like Mondelez which hopes to grow its e-commerce revenue from $100 million to more than $1 billion by 2020. Finally, e-commerce isn’t everything at only 7% of retail revenue but retailers will need to find ways to incorporate and integrate the best features of e-commerce into brick-and-mortar stores.
This Week on Bullish: The Rise of American Ecommerce
All that aside, this week we dug into the American ecommerce market, a fine topic as we currently find ourselves deep in the holiday shopping cycle. You’ve probably already spent more money on presents than you wanted, and quite a lot of that online. What’s notable is that, while ecommerce continues to grow quickly, it comprises a relatively modest percentage of aggregate shopping in the United States — just over 7 percent.
That figure surprised me. It’s a more than doubling since 2006, but that is only so impressive given the rise of companies like Amazon, and the entrance of well-funded rivals like Jet.com. To help us better understand the future of American ecommerce, we had the CEO of Touch of Modern, Jerry Hum come in. Via techcrunch.com
8 Big E-Commerce Trends to Look for in 2016
E-commerce had a big year in 2015, with an industry growth rate of 15%, according to comScore, and some new holiday sales records. Cyber Monday was the biggest day for online sales in the history of U.S., Thanksgiving hit a new record for online sales, and Black Friday, typically the big day for in-store shopping, saw more online shoppers than brick-and-mortar shoppers, according to the National Retail Foundation.
And yet there’s still room for growth, with e-commerce only making up 7.4% of total retail sales in the U.S. during the third quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Via thestreet.com
Report: Holiday Shoppers Saved So Much On Gas, They Spent 8% More This Year Consumerist
If you felt like you reached into your wallet a few more times this holiday season than last year, or that you were forking over bigger chunks of change, you’re not alone: a new report says retail sales were up 7.9% over 2014’s numbers.
Online sales were, unsurprisingly, a big contributor to this year’s uptick, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which looked at U.S. retail sales trends across cards, cash and checks, and retail sales (not including auto and gas) during the Black Friday to Christmas Eve shopping season. Ecommerce sales jumped about 20% up from last year, indicating that everyone likes staying home and shopping in their soft pants. Furniture sales were also hot this year, MasterCard’s report says. Via consumerist.com
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)
Post’s survey indicated “increasing Prime penetration” and “share of wallet” year-over-year and further indicates that Amazon is the “undisputed gateway” to e-commerce search in the US. The analyst estimated that Prime members spend roughly $1,370 annually versus $480 for non-Prime members. Post expects Prime membership will reach 70 million users in 2016, which creates “eCommerce customer lock-in” for Amazon.
Furthermore, the analyst’s survey suggested that Amazon’s U.S. e-commerce market share was 33 percent and the company captured 66 percent of incremental U.S. e-commerce spend in 2015. In fact, the company still has room to grow its share which could result in its sales increasing at a double-digit rate for the foreseeable future. Via benzinga.com
Here are Amazon’s cute holiday sales figures translated into real numbers
Amazon is notoriously tight-lipped about the details of its business. It took years before the company revealed the size of its cloud business and we still don’t know how many Prime members there are (though the company added 3 million in the week before Christmas).
Each year, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) issues a release after the holidays that shows off its sales using cute, little phrases such as: “Amazon.com customers purchased enough Jenga sets this holiday season to reach the top of the Empire State Building more than 70 times.”
When you add it all up, it looks like Amazon sold more than $19 million worth of jeans over the holidays. Apparently, that’s enough to lay them end-to-end from Los Angeles to San Francisco. That’s a great image, but doesn’t really tell you much. So we did some math. Here are a few translations. Via bizjournals.com
November Holiday Ecommerce Sales Go International
The final tally for the November holidays is in. Adobe Digital reported that Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday online spending at American ecommerce sites reached $11 billion, a 15 percent increase from 2014. Consumers outside of the United States contributed a small but growing percentage of sales, especially on Black Friday.
While international sales comprise less than 1 percent of total holiday sales by U.S. companies, cross border interest is growing. On Black Friday, Chinese consumers bought 38 percent more from American ecommerce merchants than they did in 2014, according to Pitney Bowes. On Cyber Monday, Chinese purchases increased 78 percent in value over 2014. Over the five-day holiday period, Chinese consumers spent an estimated $55 million at U.S. ecommerce sites. Canadians purchased only 3 percent more at U.S. sites than they did in 2014. Despite the sluggish growth, Canada is still the largest online international market for American goods. Via practicalecommerce.com
Holiday e-commerce sales surge 20%
Online retail sales increased 20% between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, while total retail sales excluding automobiles and gasoline rose 7.9%, according to data released today by MasterCard Advisors.
MasterCard’s data shows that furniture and women’s apparel sales posted double-digit increases, accounting for a large chunk of the growth. MasterCard did not break out specific sales figures. Warmer fall weather delayed clothing and accessories sales to beyond Black Friday, and consumers tapped the money they’ve gained from cheap gas prices to buy during the holidays, spending 72 cents of every dollar they saved from lower fuel costs, MasterCard found. Some retail categories declined compared with last year, including men’s apparel, electronics and luxury items.
The 20% year-over-year jump in holiday e-commerce sales is higher than the 15% increase in e-commerce sales predicted by comScore Inc., which measures consumers’ web activity. But consumers report doing more research online, so the transition from research to sale makes sense, according to MasterCard’s Omnishopper Guide. Via internetretailer.com
Malls Struggle Amid eCommerce
Research firm RetailNext reported that sales at brick-and-mortar stores slid as much as 6.7 percent over the weekend before Christmas, while traffic itself was down more than 10 percent. That is worse than the respective declines of roughly 6 percent and 8 percent from Nov. 1 to Dec. 14. In reference to strained resources, WSJ reported that some retailers, such as Eddie Bauer, saw delays in holiday package delivery. That was tied to what had been identified as delivery problems through FedEx. UPS, for its part, said deliveries were running at 98 percent on time. Yet, both delivery services were in the midst of capping some volume limits on certain retailers.
Even as the deliveries are constrained, the discounting continues, as stores led into Christmas with consecutive days of continuous operation. The weather hasn’t helped matters, with unseasonably warm weather putting a lid on traditional winter wear. The influx of tourists, traditionally a reliable source of retail spending at malls, has been hampered by the continued strong dollar. As has been reported, Gap’s Old Navy imprint was flogging 75 percent discounts storewide through Dec. 28.
Conversely, eCommerce sales were up roughly 12 percent for the period lasting from Nov. 26 through Dec. 20 from a year ago, and some researchers said the eCommerce segment was as much as 14 percent of total retail spending during the months of November and December, noted ChannelAdviser Corp. Via pymnts.com
CES Preview: Mondelez International’s Bonin Bough
Mondelez International Chief Media and E-commerce Officer B. Bonin Bough has been attending CES for about 10 years. He calls it “probably one of the most important events of the year” and “a massively valuable event,” given the convergence of brands, marketers, media and tech. Also key, he says, the discussion around how the next wave of consumer products will impact how brands connect with consumers. Mondelez, the maker of products such as Oreo cookies, aims to have as much as $1 billion in annual revenue come from e-commerce by 2020, up from less than $100 million.
Mr. Bough aims to find new ideas, including dragons. “Everybody is looking for unicorns in the marketplace, which are fast-growing billion-dollar tech businesses. I believe that we can start building dragons, which are faster growing billion-dollar businesses built on the back of traditional organizations that have scale, resources and funding, but most importantly have the brands that people know and love. That will be driven by the digitization of those organizations.” Via adage.com
E-Commerce Isnt Everything
Despite all the attention about Cyber Monday and online transactions, e-commerce sales will still only amount to roughly 7 percent of all retail sales this year. Online and mobile shopping can be incredibly convenient — a repeat order on Amazon takes seconds; Instacart can turn a trip to the grocery store into a one-minute session on your phone. Online shopping also allows you to browse hundreds of products, compare items of interest and get recommendations about similar items.
But what if you’re buying something you need to see, feel or experience in person? Clothes, furniture or art, for example. You could order these items online and return them if they don’t work out, but it’s an awkward process that defeats a lot of the convenience of online shopping. Via techcrunch.com
What’s ahead in 2016 for e-commerce, cashback and retail?
2015 was a big year for US e-commerce but the spoils in 2016 will go to those who incorporate and integrate the best features of e-commerce into bricks and mortar stores. We’ll be tracking trends and keeping you up to date on the latest news in 2016. Subscribe here for a free, quick weekday (Monday-Friday) update of news you can use.