US stats brought good news for US e-commerce business and retailers with multichannel sales. US e-commerce sales set a record, up 14.2% in June and 12.7% in the second quarter of 2016 according to US Commerce Department stats. When you think about it strategically, if you can’t beat ’em online, buy ’em as Unilever’s $1 billion purchase of Dollar Shave Club shows. One big box retailer – PGA Tour Superstores – is still growing across the US with its latest 45,000 ft.² store in Houston.
Drizly CEO Nick Rellas predicts online alcohol sales could grow to between $7 billion and $15 billion. On July 12, Amazon Prime Day, 74% of e-commerce sales happened on Amazon up from Amazon’s average day with 38% of online sales according to a report from Slice Intelligence.
The bots are coming to retailers and Staples is testing the artificial intelligence with its Easy Button. VF Corp, parent company of The North Face, Timberland and Vans saw a 30% increase in e-commerce sales. Walmart tested, fine-tuned and launched a new shopping app in Canada. After launching in the US a year ago, travel search engine Skyscanner has already seen 100% year-over-year growth.
Forbes reports on eBay’s decline in its e-commerce business from challenges with Walmart as well as Amazon. Demandware research shows the US lags behind UK, Canada and France in time spent on online retail websites. Jet.com finished its first full year in business with milestones, including reaching $1 billion in revenue in its first 10 months.
Signs point to record e-commerce gains in Q2
It’s looking like the second quarter of this year was a really great one for online retail, with possibly the highest growth rate for e-commerce in years.
The U.S. Commerce Department doesn’t release its official estimate of Q2 e-commerce sales figures until August, but a separate report out Friday from the same agency suggests that the web was an unusually bright spot for the U.S. retail market in June. This follows similar upswings in May and April.
What the Commerce Department calls “nonstop sales” reached $46.91 billion in June, a 14.2% increase compared with June 2015, and the highest increase all year. For the quarter, nonstore sales reached $138.96 billion, a 12.7% increase compared with the second quarter of last year. Via internetretailer.com
Unilever buys on-demand toiletry service Dollar Shave Club for reportedly $1 billion
Unilever is making an investment in the on-demand space, announcing today that it has purchased Dollar Shave Club, reportedly for $1 billion. While specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, it’s been said that Dollar Shave Club CEO Michael Dubin will remain in his position.
First reported by Fortune, the deal with Unilever is expected to bring a “unique male grooming perspective” to a company that perhaps longs for a bit of innovation. Dollar Shave Club now counts 3.2 million members. In 2015, it reported a turnover of $152 million, and the company expects to close at $200 million this year.
Launched in March 2012, Dollar Shave Club emerged on the scene with a simple proposition and a viral video on YouTube. The company specializes in providing high-quality razors for just a few dollars a month. Eventually, Dollar Shave Club branched out into other areas, including body wash, skin protection, lip balm, shave butter, and durable wipes. As Dubin once told me, “We want to service the face, ass, and everything in between.” Via venturebeat.com
This big-box retailer is still expanding
PGA Tour Superstore is growing its retail presence even as many other big-box stores downsize.
The chain will open a 45,500-sq.ft. store at Woodlands Shopping Center, Houston, in a former Sports Authority location, this fall. It’s the first Houston location for the company, whose controlling owner is Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot.
The new store will be staffed with PGA of America teaching professionals and feature up to 14 state-of-the-art swing simulators and hitting bays, and an expansive putting green along with an in-house club making and repair facility. Along with equipment and accessories, PGA Tour Superstore offers an extensive selection of men’s, women’s and juniors’ golf apparel and footwear. Via retailingtoday.com
Alcohol e-commerce ‘could hit $15bn’ in US
Speaking to The Spirits Business, Nick Rellas, co-founder and CEO of leading on-demand alcohol delivery platform Drizly, said he believes alcohol sold online will be worth US$7-US$15 billion annually in the US “over the next few years”.
“As the world increasingly moves digital, people will continue to want to buy alcohol online just like they do everything else and as consumer demand increases, whoever can address and meet the needs of wants of consumers will win,” said Rellas.
“There are no legal reasons why this can’t happen and Drizly has shown that it is possible, so you’ll begin to see a creation of a US$7-US$15 billion a year industry in online sales over the next few years.”
Drizly is an app-controlled on-demand drinks delivery service that has been rapidly gaining pace across the US in the past year. Founded in 2012, the service connects users to their nearest alcohol retailer, allowing them to receive orders at their doorstep in 20-40 minutes. Via thespiritsbusiness.com
On Prime Day, 74% of all US e-commerce happened on Amazon
Almost three out of every four e-commerce dollars spent by US consumers on July 12 were spent with Amazon. You may recognize that date as Amazon’s second Prime Day, and this new data from Slice Intelligence supports Amazon’s own claims that Prime Day 2016 was its “biggest day ever.”
Using its panel of more than four million online shoppers and tracking about 400 online retailers (including all of the major players), Slice estimated Tuesday that Amazon owned 74 percent of all US consumer e-commerce on Prime Day — that’s almost double its normal 38-percent market share.
Slice says the average Prime Day shopper spent $112 this year, up nine percent from the first Prime Day. The average order was $54, which is down two percent YoY, Slice says.
Slice’s data shows that “heavy Amazon shoppers” (its term for shoppers who average more than four orders per month with Amazon) made up 50 percent of Prime Day 2016 shoppers and 56 percent of sales. Last year, those figures were 41 percent and 44 percent, respectively. Via marketingland.com
Staples brings bots to its Easy Button
The office supplies retailer is testing incorporation of technology into the button to enable shoppers to press the button to order or reorder a product by voice, or to ask common order-related questions, such as when an order will be delivered or the status of a return.
“The new easy system we are testing has AI [artificial intelligence] at its core,” Bartley says. “In the last year we’ve been testing using the button to let customers connect with customer service reps at Staples. And now we are we are testing a mixture of both bot and real person. We think using natural language to make requests and get what you want will soon be mainstream.” Via internetretailer.com
VF Corp. e-commerce sales grow nearly 30% in Q2
The web was a bright spot for VF Corp. in the second quarter, as the parent company of such major outdoor gear and footwear brands The North Face, Timberland and Vans reported a nearly 30% year-over-year increase in e-commerce sales.
VF Corp., No. 92 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, did not break out a dollar amount but said its direct-to-consumer business, which includes e-commerce and its full-line stores, represented 27% of total sales during the quarter, or roughly $653.4 million, compared with 26% last year.
At the end of 2015, VF Corp. reported that its e-commerce business comprised 16% of its direct-to-consumer business. Assuming second quarter web sales were at the same percentage of direct sales or higher, that would suggest the company generated at least $104.5 million in online sales during the period, compared with $80.5 million in the second quarter of last year. This would also suggest that VF Corp. gets roughly 4% of its total sales came from e-commerce. Via internetretailer.com
Walmart Canada launches shopping app as mobile becomes biggest traffic-driver
Ask Rick Neuman, executive vice-president of technology and ecommerce at Walmart Canada what his favourite feature of the retailer’s new mobile app is, and he’ll tell you it’s the “favourites list.”
At one point in the process, beta testers felt the feature was too overcomplicated. But after simplifying it, the experience really shines, he says. “The other day I made a favourites list, handed it to my wife and she was able to get a $120 basket together in four minutes for a great camping weekend with my girls,” he says.
Released on Wednesday for iOS and Android, Walmart’s Online Shopping app was built through a collaboration with Razorfish Canada. It was developed based on a Canada-wide survey probing what people wanted from a Walmartapp. It was also beta-tested by hand-picked customers and the retailer’s employee base as the final version was ironed out. Via itbusiness.ca
Skyscanner: How one of Britain’s newest unicorns plans to crack America
By way of a quick recap, Skyscanner was founded out of Scotland in 2003 and has emerged as one of Europe’s biggest flight search engines, by traffic. In fact, it’s one of the world’s largest — claiming 50 million monthly users. Though Europe represents somewhere in the region of 60 percent of its user-base, Skyscanner claims 700 employees across Europe, Asia, and North America, and it has a growing global footprint.
The company is now doubling down on key regions where it has yet to see the level of traction it has in Europe, and one of those is North America.
Skyscanner is seeing a 100 percent year-on-year growth in visitors in the U.S., according to Williams, though no specific numbers were divulged. Williams recently asked the company’s chief financial officer (CFO), Shane Corstorphine, to move out to the firm’s base in Miami (an outpost opened in 2013) to perform a general management (GM) role, something that Williams expects will lead to “quite a lot of change” coming up. Via venturebeat.com
Is eBay Losing Its US E-Commerce Footing to Walmart?
eBay has had some trouble competing with Amazon in the U.S. e-commerce market in the last couple of years, both in terms of web traffic and sales. This was reflected in the company’s first quarter results, with its global net marketplaces revenue falling 2.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) to $1.5 billion compared to Amazon’s 25% y-o-y growth to $26.6 billion in the same period. eBay has especially been struggling in the domestic market which contributes about 39% of its net marketplaces revenue.
Web traffic data from comScore suggests that Amazon may not be the only stumbling block in eBay’s path to growth in the near term. Walmart has aggressively expanded and promoted its e-commerce business in the last year to improve its top line growth and online footprint.
Per comScore’s web traffic data for the U.S., there were 98.7 million unique visitors on eBay’s websites in January 2016, which was about 38% of the total Internet audience that month. This declined drastically from January 2015, when 48% of the total U.S. Internet audience visited eBay’s websites at least once in the month. eBay’s loss (of 23 million visitors) has partially been Walmart’s gain, with the retailer attracting 91.6 million (35%) unique online users in the U.S. in January 2016 compared to 83.2 million (33%) in January 2015. Amazon also marginally improved its unique visitor count in the same period, from 180 million to 183 million. Via forbes.com
US Trails UK in Retail eCommerce Web Time
Shoppers spent slightly more time visiting a retail site via their desktop or laptop device in Q1 of this year compared to a year prior, according to Demandware research, representing activity on its network from more than 400 million shoppers interacting with retail ecommerce sites. However, they spent less time on a retailer’s ecommerce site when they accessed it from their mobile phone.
Overall, the average retail ecommerce site visit duration worldwide increased from 8.8 minutes in Q1 2015 to 9.4 minutes in Q1 2016 when shoppers were accessing it via their desktop or laptop devices, says the report. And, in the select countries analyzed, site visit durations increased across the board. For example, in Q1 2015, the average retail ecommerce site visit duration in Canada was 8.2 minutes. In Q1 2016, it was 10 minutes.
Similarly, in France, shoppers who accessed a retail ecommerce site from their desktop or laptop spent an average of 7.9 minutes there in Q1 2015. That increased to 8.7 minutes a year later. Via mediapost.com
Jet.com celebrates its first anniversary
Online marketplace Jet.com took off a year ago Thursday, backed by $225 million in funding and a hurricane-force tailwind of hype as the next big thing in e-commerce—a potential adversary for Amazon.com Inc.
A lot has changed in a year. The $49.95 annual subscription fee Jet planned to impose when it launched is gone, jettisoned less than three months into its existence in favor of opening its marketplace to all shoppers. The number of products available on the marketplace has increased by about 20% to 12 million from 10 million.
Jet’s funding has increased, too, more than doubling to a total of $565 million across four rounds to date, according to CrunchBase. The company crossed the $1 billion milestone in gross merchandise value in May, 10 months after its launch. Jet.com celebrates its first anniversary
US e-commerce picture stays solid to year end
All the signs point to positive earnings through the end of 2016 in e-commerce sector. We’ll keep you up-to-date with our regular Mon-Wed-Fri news you can use and if you’d prefer to get your free news highlights in your inbox, just sign up at the top of the page.