Adobe survey: Online holiday shopping looks strong
San Jose, Calif. — Despite the shortest shopping season since 2002, online sales look strong for the upcoming holidays. A new survey from Adobe predicts record growth for online sales on Thanksgiving with $1.1 billion and Black Friday with $1.6 billion, increases of 21% and 17%, respectively.
An Adobe survey done in conjunction with this year’s Digital Index Online Shopping Forecast shows that consumers are motivated to shop online primarily by the search for good deals, followed closely by the allure of free shipping. The survey is based on input from 400 consumers who plan to spend at least some of their budget online this year. Survey results and additional predictions from the report include:
Mobile: Mobile optimized retailers will transact more than 20% of their sales via smartphones and tablets, a 47% increase year over year. The average retailer can expect only 14% of mobile-driven online revenue, a 40% increase year over year. Mobile devices will be leveraged even while consumers are in a retailer’s physical store, with nearly four in ten consumers reporting that they have shopped online while in a store.
Social Media: While Adobe is predicting that only two percent of purchases will come directly from social media sites including Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter, social continues to play a more significant role earlier in the purchasing journey. Thirty-six percent of consumers stated that they will turn to social media when making their purchase decision.
Spending: The majority of consumers expect to spend the same amount in 2013 as they did last year, but online shopping continues to take a bigger share. Consumers report being most likely to shop online for apparel and accessories, followed closely by books, music, videos, and toys and hobby items.
Showrooming: In store price checking, commonly referred to as showrooming, will become the norm. Thirty five percent of 18-34-year-olds already leverage mobile devices to compare prices while in stores, well above the 22% average.
Toys ‘R’ Us revamps YouTube channel
Wayne, N.J. – Toys “R” Us is debuting the Toys"R"Us Toy Channel, the company’s revamped and updated YouTube channel. The channel launches with eight playlists, segregating content by topic to showcase in-demand playthings and new products, interviews with toy industry experts, current commercials from the beloved brand and top toy manufacturers, and more.
The refreshed channel and content strategy was designed in partnership with The Escape Pod, an award-winning creative agency based in Chicago. The company will support the Toys"R"Us Toy Channel with marketing efforts throughout the holiday season and beyond, inclusive of desktop and mobile video-based advertising, messaging on its official Facebook and Twitter pages and through the company’s SMS program. In addition, Nov. 14, Toys "R" Us will take over the YouTube homepage to drive further awareness of the Toys"R"Us Toy Channel.
"As a company in the toy business 365 days a year, Toys "R" Us is uniquely qualified to give viewers the inside scoop on new and hot items, plus engaging and entertaining content that can’t be found anywhere else by leveraging our strong partnerships with manufacturers and entertainment companies throughout the industry," said Peter Reiner, senior VP, marketing, Toys "R" Us, U.S. "For kids and toy buffs alike, the Toys"R"Us Toy Channel is a convergence of the best the industry has to offer, with content presented in a way that is authentic to our brand."
Wet Seal net sales drop in Q3
Foothill Ranch, Calif. – The Wet Seal reported net sales of $127.7 million during the third quarter of fiscal 2013, down 5.8% from the same quarter in the prior year. In a partial release of third quarter figures, the company also reported a 0.8% increase in same-store sales.
E-commerce sales, which are not a component of same-store sales, declined approximately 19% for the quarter. Through more disciplined management of promotional pricing, the company generated an improved e-commerce merchandise margin rate compared to the same quarter of last year. However, Wet Seal said the focus on transitioning to a new Demandware e-commerce platform during the quarter impacted sales results. The re-platform was completed in late October and is now enabling customers to execute transactions more efficiently from their mobile devices.
“We were able to deliver positive comp store sales and significantly improved merchandise margins versus a year ago despite the extremely tough retail environment,” stated John D. Goodman, CEO. “As we prepare for the upcoming holiday season, we are maintaining an appropriate mix of regular and promotional pricing and remaining sharply focused on inventory management. At quarter-end, inventory dollars per square foot were down approximately 3% compared to the prior year at Wet Seal and approximately 20% versus the prior year at Arden B. We are also continuing to exercise strict control over costs, resulting in a decrease in SG&A expenses versus the prior year period.”