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.
U.S. E-COMMERCE SPENDING UP IN FEBRUARY: E-commerce revenue was up 10% in February over the same month last year, and transaction volume increased 12%. The data was released by e-commerce analytics firm Custora, which looked at e-commerce transactions from more than 100 U.S.-based retailers and 70 million consumers. For comparison, overall U.S. retail sales were up only 1.5% over last year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Retailers that have an effective online sales strategy will benefit by riding the e-commerce trend.
MOBILE COMMERCE GROWS TOO: Custora also released data showing mobile had increased its share of the e-commerce market from 14% in February 2012 to 19.5% in February 2013. More e-commerce transactions occur via tablets than phones, but only by a slight margin. As smartphone screens have increased in size, we suspect consumers are using their phones more like tablets these days — browsing online stores from the comfort of their home. (Custora)
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN UNDERUTILIZED: Only nine of the top 100 online retailers use responsive Web design, according to a new report from The Search Agency’s Mobile Experience Scorecard. Responsive design is a best practice in multi-screen web development because it automatically scales and formats a webpage based on the type of device a site is being viewed on. (The Search Agency)
TMALL APPEALS AMONG INTERNATIONAL RETAILERS: Some of the world’s largest retailers are signing up to sell their merchandise on Tmall, an Alibaba-owned property and one of the largest online marketplaces in China. In the last year alone, the National Football League, Apple, and baby-goods retailer Little Giraffe have set up their own stores on Tmall, with the hope of selling to Chinese consumers. European retail giant Asos said it will open a Tmall store next month, which will be a first for the retailer as it does not sell through any other online marketplace. Big brands like Tmall because they operate their own store on the site, giving them control over branding and merchandising. Tmall has a commanding 45% share of the online business-to-consumer retail market in China. (Wall Street Journal)
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Tmall “is so important in Chinese e-commerce that it’s almost essential.” — Shaun McCabe, international director for Asos, explaining why Tmall is the only online marketplace in the world that Asos sells through.
ALIBABA COULD BE MAKING MORE MONEY OFF TMALL: Ahead of its planned initial public offering in the U.S., China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba has been valued as high as $150 billion. However, Alibaba could be worth significantly more, according to a new report from research firm YipitData. The firm argues that Alibaba’s Tmall could potentially double its revenue by increasing the cut it takes off sales. Tmall lets large brands, such as Apple and Nike, sell their products through an online store they can operate on Tmall. The platform currently supports more than 90,000 stores, and Tmall makes money off of them by taking a commission ranging from 0.5% to 5% on sales. As Tmall captures a larger market share in fast-growing product categories it could hike up its commission fee, generating more money for Alibaba. (TechCrunch)
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WAL-MART FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST VISA: In a massive new civil suit filed this week in federal court, retail giant Wal-Mart claims that Visa sets its interchange fees — the fees charged for processing payment cards — unreasonably high and in violation of federal antitrust laws. The suit follows a 2012 settlement between Visa and smaller retailers, which Wal-Mart declined to join, opting instead to pursue its own suit. (Wall Street Journal)
TACO BELL’S SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS: Restaurant fast food chain Taco Bell was running ads on Instagram and Snapchat yesterday to promote the launch of its new breakfast menu, an interesting experiment to drive foot traffic through image-based social media. (AdWeek)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT — ‘THE FUTURE OF RETAIL’: Be sure to check out the new slideshow from BI Intelligence highlighting the retail categories where e-commerce is having the most impact, and where there is still opportunity for disruption. The shift away from physical retail toward digital retail is happening faster than many observers expected. The slideshow, full of charts featuring historical data and forward projections can be viewed, here. Only subscribers can download download the individual charts and datasets in Excel, along with the PowerPoint and PDF versions. (BI Intelligence)
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