Welcome to our new E-Commerce Insider newsletter, a morning email with the top news and analysis on the e-commerce industry, produced by BI Intelligence.
WHAT CONSUMERS BUY ONLINE: E-commerce is capturing a larger share of retail sales, but its share varies by industry. For example, more than half of Americans purchased electronics, books, or clothing online last year, according to a new report from Experian Marketing Services. The types of products people buy online also vary by device. Understanding what type of products people buy on different devices can help inform retailers about where they should be focusing their efforts in mobile commerce.
- Approximately half of PC and tablet owners have purchased clothing and accessories on their devices, compared to just 28% of mobile phone users.
- Forty-nine percent of PC owners have purchased electronics on their PC, compared to 41% of tablet owners, and just 21% of mobile phone users.
- Consumers are more likely to purchase books on their tablet than on their PC. The same is also true of music and video games.
Experian found that across all categories, consumers are less likely to purchase via a phone than a PC or tablet. This supports findings published recently by Nielsen which showed 40% of tablet owners use their device to purchase a physical item, compared to 32% of smartphone owners. However, retailers should not overlook the importance of phones to mobile shoppers for other tasks besides making purchases. Approximately three-fourths of smartphone owners use their device to locate a store, according to Nielsen. (Experian Marketing Services)
TARGET EXPERIMENTS WITH SECOND-SCREEN COMMERCE: Target has partnered with cable network TBS to allow consumers to purchase products that appear in the hit TV show “Cougar Town.” The campaign is Target’s first major attempt at cashing in on second-screen habits — which is when consumers use their smartphone or tablet while they watch TV. The idea is to showcase products on TV shows which viewers are then encouraged to shop for online. You can check out the dedicated website Target set up for the campaign, here. (Mobile Commerce Daily)
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “In 2014, we are expecting to see online sales across Europe to grow at a rate that is 11.9 times faster than in-store sales. In the UK, online retail is expected to increase by 15.8% this year while the offline segment will grow by only 2.4%.” — Giulio Montemagno, senior vice president of international at RetailMeNot
WELCOME, E-COMMERCE INSIDERS: This is our new newsletter covering all things e-commerce. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with news and tips.
ALIBABA INVESTS IN TANGO: The mobile messaging app Tango, which allows users to send video messages to each other, along with texts, pictures, games, and music clips, has just raised $280 million. A whopping $215 million of that investment comes from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which is itself planning to IPO soon. (Business Insider)
AMAZON LANDS BOOK DISTRIBUTION DEAL: Amazon is getting back in touch with its roots as a book retailer. The e-commerce giant landed a contract with the Brazil Ministry of Education to “convert and wirelessly distribute more than 200 textbook [titles] to hundreds of thousands of public high school teachers via [Amazon’s content distribution technology] Whispercast.” Amazon said 40 million electronic copies of the textbooks have already been distributed in Brazil through its service. Selling and distributing books are no longer Amazon’s primary source of revenue, but this deal is a reminder that there are still plenty of untapped opportunities in emerging e-commerce markets. (BetaNews)
AEROPOSTALE’S ONLINE SALES WERE FLAT IN 2013: Clothing retailer Aeropostale reported online sales of roughly $218 million in 2013 — virtually unchanged from the year prior. However, offline sales declined, meaning the Web accounts for a slightly larger share (now 10%) of the retailer’s total sales. (Internet Retailer)
QUIDSI REBRANDS NICHE E-COMMERCE SITE: Quidsi, which is owned by Amazon, is a consortium of niche e-commerce sites. The company is now relaunching its eco-friendly products site Vine.com under the name Vine Market. In addition to selling eco-friendly products and groceries, Vine Market will now cater to the approximately 15 million Americans with food allergies or restricted diets. Vine Market is among a group of e-commerce sites owned by Quidsi, including Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com, and Casa.com. By way of its ownership of Quidsi, Amazon is able to glean insights into how consumers shop in each of these highly specialized verticals. (TechCrunch)
EBAY INVESTOR WANTS TO TAKE PAYPAL PUBLIC: Activist investor and eBay board member Carl Icahn wants eBay to sell off 20% of PayPal to the public. Icahn argues that by splitting up eBay and PayPal the two companies can focus on separate plans for growth. However, Icahn has also said that he wants two more board seats at eBay and that the current board is a disaster. Thus, some are theorizing that Icahn’s critiques about the company have more to do with his control over corporate governance rather than future growth. (Carl Icahn)
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