Cashback News – Mar 23: What are the biggest challenges faced by e-commerce companies?

shopping cart abandonmentWe’re taking a slightly different look at e-commerce today from the point of view of challenges faced by online retailers and e-commerce companies. The problems range from technology, cost control, profitability and growth to shopping cart abandonment, logistics, changes in consumer shopping preferences and much more. Lots of lessons here for everyone involved in e-commerce.

Internet Retailer highlights the problem of shopping cart abandonment by consumers online and says they are mostly about the logistics of entering information at checkout. Target’s spending on technology and supply chain grew by 30% in 2015 to $2.6 billion mirroring the challenges of most retailers in e-commerce. Indian e-commerce companies are quickly developing payment technology or partnerships while Amazon looks for a suitable technology partner in India as well. Nordstrom now gets 21% of its revenue from digital sales and also generates strong revenue from distribution agreements for its brands including Bonobos, Shoes of Prey and Baublebar.

Is Dollar General Amazon-proof? So far it’s had surprising success with no e-commerce on its horizon.  Average online purchases by consumers in India will grow by 78% in 2016 from 66% in 2015 according to research from Assocham-PWC. Danish jewelry retailer Pandora brings its global campaign, running in 100 countries, to Australia and New Zealand with some unique influencer tieups. Etailers in India can’t be happy with the prospects of Alibaba launching a new e-commerce operation. With investments in Paytm and Snapdeal, it will be interesting to see what shape this new Alibaba entity takes.

E-Commerce Shoppers Abandon Carts at Payment Stage retailers are losing potential customers at one critical juncture. U.S. online shoppers are abandoning their carts during the payment phase, according to Internet Retailer. And this trend is occurring on both desktop and mobile platforms.

So shoppers are reaching the end of the process but won’t finish checking out. And the reasons are rather eye-opening… Four of the top five reasons users are bailing out of the checkout process stem from the logistics of entering information through desktop or mobile. Only one reason, the shipping costs, actually had to do with price. Via

Target is investing billions in ecommerce plans to spend as much as $2.5 billion a year on technology and supply-chain initiatives by 2017. Last year, the company spent $1.9 billion on the category.

Target will likely spend the money, in part, to hire 20 engineers and product managers to join a mysterious technology-focused start-up called “Goldfish,” reports the Star Tribune. While details about the “new franchise” are still murky, it’s clear the Goldfish is attempting to crack the ecommerce code, seeking new ways to utilize technology and digital channels. Via

Why e-tailers are rushing to tap the payments goldmine Indian e-commerce majors ramp up their presence in the payments space, Digbijay Mishra and Samidha Sharma find out why online retailers are taking a leaf out of the China playbook and throwing their weight behind this new line of business India’s largest e-commerce player Flipkart recently launched a digital wallet, Flipkart Money, while its arch-rival Amazon applied for a wallet license with the country’s central bank.

Amazon is also in the midst of scouting for potential acquisitions in the super buzzy payments space after snapping up Noida-based Emvantage Payments just a month ago. Away from their core commerce business of selling products online, domestic e-tailers are keenly looking to identify and capture areas like payments in an effort to shore up revenues. The first bold move was made by Snapdeal, last year, when it bought Freecharge with the intent of creating a separate payments business.

The frenetic activity around payments among Indian internet companies is starting to look similar to what happened in the Chinese market with the likes of Alibaba’s Alipay, Tencent’s Tenpay and Baidu’s wallet leveraging their large user base to expand into payments and financial services. While India’s e-commerce companies are, for now, looking at wallets only to help their shoppers get quick refunds and push cashless payments, it’s clear they are betting on customer adoption for other uses in the long run. Via

Why Online Retailers Are Flocking to Nordstrom the past few years, Nordstrom JWN -1.60% has struck distribution deals for such hot, online-only brands like Bonobos, Shoes of Prey, and Baublebar, making the upscale brick-and-mortar department store a retail partner of choice for many hot up-and-coming e-commerce players.

Nordstrom now gets 21% of its revenue from digital sales, thanks to years of investing heavily in its e-commerce backbone, with everything from up-to-date distribution centers to shopping apps.

But its leading position among traditional retailers in e-commerce also has a lot to do with the company’s investments over the years in players like Trunk Club and how it has positioned itself as the department store most likely to house many hot brands’ first foray into physical retail. For all its recent wobbliness, Nordstrom is widely admired on Wall Street for how it has set itself up to benefit from the boom in digital companies branching out into physical retail. Via

Why this Growing Retailer Is Amazon-Proof (NASDAQ:AMZN) convinces more consumers to join its Prime loyalty program with free two-day shipping and builds out services like Prime Now, which offers delivery in as fast as one hour, it’s become harder for brick-and-mortar retailers to compete. According to analyst estimates, Amazon captured 51% of applicable growth in retail over the holiday season as traditional powerhouses like Wal-Mart Stores and Macy’s reported declining profits. Wal-Mart and Macy’s were also among a slew of retailers, including Kohl’s and Sears, to announce store closings shortly after the holiday season.

In this environment, very few retailers have thrived — but one surprising winner has managed to buck the trend. Dollar General (NYSE:DG) has quietly outperformed almost every other retailer since the recession, benefiting from the combination of a friendly macroeconomic environment and a smart strategy. Via

Online shopping to rise by 78% this year: Assocham-PwC online purchases are expected to increase by 78 per cent this year on the back of attractive deals and aggressive marketing of merchandise, says a report. “Unfazed by slowdown, average online purchases are expected to increase by 78 per cent in 2016 from 66 per cent in 2015 due to attractive deals and aggressive marketing of ever-expanding range of merchandise from clothes to jewellery, from electronics to books,” said the Assocham-PwC report.

About 55 million consumers purchased something online in 2015 and the number is expected to grow to 80 million this year with better infrastructure in terms of logistics, broadband and Internet-ready devices, it said. Factors contributing to the growth of e-commerce include aggressive merchandising and discounting from flash sales and daily deals, more online loyalty programmes and increasing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers among consumers, it said. Via

Pandora Launches E-Commerce-Focused Campaigns has launched two new multichannel digital campaigns designed to increase e-commerce traffic. The global campaign entitled ‘Unique As We Are’ specifically targets women “as unique individuals, and as powerful collectives.” The Australian and New Zealand campaign, entitled Style Edit, sees Pandora partnering with bloggers and influencers to showcase the new collection and provide style tips and inspiration.

According to Pandora, the Unique As We Are campaign “portrays the individual uniqueness and collective diversity of women in the 100 countries across six continents where Pandora is present.”

“Unique As We Are is a bigger celebration of women today. With this campaign we’re going one step further than we ever have before to connect with women around the world and cherish what makes them unique, independently and together,” explain Stephen Fairchild, senior vice president and chief creative officer at Pandora. Via

Watch out Flipkart, Amazon: Alibaba plans to enter Indian e-commerce market this year Tech2 e-commerce major Alibaba Group is planning to enter India this year and is looking at opportunities to build the business organically or through other means. “We are planning to enter the e-commerce business in India in 2016. We have been exploring very carefully the e-commerce opportunity in this country, which we think is very exciting on the backdrop of Digital India,” Alibaba Group president J. Michael Evans said in New Delhi.

The company said it is evaluating all opportunities to build the business organically or look at any other thing that might come along. Evans, who along with Alibaba Group’s global managing director K. Guru Gowrappan met telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday said the company plans to come in India and work to serve both customers, consumers and small businesses because that is the history and the DNA of Alibaba.

“We have investments in both payments and e-commerce already and we will over the course of next year will figure about exactly what our strategy is,” Evans said. Alibaba has made investments in Paytm and Snapdeal. Speaking about the meeting, Prasad said: “We hope Alibaba will come and have a good footprint in India, including the expanding business of ecommerce (for which) they are exploring the possibility. I have said very clearly that Alibaba is quite free to come and expand its footprint in India.” Via