The 5 Most Surprising Stats of the 2013 Holiday Season
By Netta Kelvis, head of marketing, Custora
[Editor’s Note: Custora has released its Holiday 2013 E-Commerce Recap, which is based on the company’s real-time dashboard aggregating data from over 100 U.S. retailers. Here’s a blog post by Custora’s head on marketing summarizing the recap’s highlights.]
1. E-commerce was the shining star in a ho-hum holiday retail season. While overall (online and offline) U.S. retail growth during the holiday season is estimated to be 4.1% over 2012 according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales grew 12% year over year.
2. The Mid-West continues to click, claiming the biggest regional growth. The season’s growth wasn’t uniform across the country. Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska led the charge with 18% average revenue growth over 2012. Mature markets grew at a slower pace, with California sales growing only 6% versus 2012, and New York revenue actually shrinking 2% over last year.
3. Mobile commerce is exploding. Share of mobile purchases grew by 50% this holiday season: Almost one-in-three purchases were made on a mobile device (phone or tablet) during the holiday season, up from one- in-five in 2012.
4. Email and search are key to e-commerce success. Google is still the gatekeeper to online shopping, with over 40% of e-commerce orders originating on organic search (26%) and paid search/SEM (15%). Email Marketing accounted for 16% of e-commerce orders.
5. Social commerce isn’t happening (yet?). Social networks (including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram) generated less than 2% of e-commerce sales during the holidays shopping season, same as in 2012.
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Interesting details from the report. E-commerce is the next big thing.Retailers that embrace the online/mobile space and adopt an omnichannel approach to retail will do well in the near future and will be in a better shape to combat showrooming, however retailers that think ahead, innovate and adapt in an changing industry will stay in business longer. I work for McGladrey and there’s a whitepaper on the website that readers of this article will be interested in, it offers great advice for retailers on how they can increase retail sales and stay ahead of the curve @ http://bit.ly/18Skei5
Kroger, Harris Teeter deal gets green light from FTC
The Federal Trade Commission has granted Kroger and Harris Teeter Supermarkets early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 with respect to the pending merger transaction between the two companies.
The early termination of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the pending merger, which remains subject to other customary closing conditions. Both companies expect the transaction to be completed before the end of January.
On July 9, 2013, Kroger and Harris Teeter announced a definitive merger agreement, which was approved by the boards of directors of both companies. On Oct. 3, 2013, Harris Teeter shareholders approved of the merger agreement. At the closing of the merger, Harris Teeter shareholders will receive $49.38 in cash for each share of Harris Teeter common stock they own.
The announcement came in conjunction with the Kroger board’s move to declare a quarterly dividend of 16.5 cents per share to be paid on March 1 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Feb. 15.
In September, the company’s board of directors raised the quarterly dividend by approximately 10%, to 16.5 cents per share. Kroger has delivered double-digit compound growth in its dividend since it was reinstated in 2006.
The company continues to expect an increasing dividend over time.
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Amazon obtains ‘anticipatory shipping’ patent
Amazon has reportedly obtained a patent for “anticipatory shipping,” or a logistics technique using customer behavior and history to prepare items for shipping before they are actually ordered. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon received the patent in December 2013.
Anticipatory shipping would consider factors such as product searches, wish lists, returns, and browsing patterns to predict what goods customers will ultimately order. The goods would then be held closer to where a customer lives to reduce shipping time once it is ordered. Amazon has not publicly stated when it will deploy anticipatory shipping, whether it has ever used the technique, or how much time would be shaved off the typical delivery.
Amazon told the Wall Street Journal anticipatory shipping might work especially well for items like newly released books and that it may recommend items that have already been partially shipped to customers. The patent filing said items that customers don’t wind up ordering may be sold at discount to other customers in the area or given free as promotional gifts.
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