OPERATIONS

Experian: Walmart.com tops back-to-school shopping

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Walmart had the top online retail site for back-to-school shoppers last week, according to sales data and analysis from Experian Marketing Services (EMS). Rounding out the top five: J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Office Max and Sears.

Experian noted that brick and mortar stores are getting the majority of search traffic to date. The company also said that offers in subject lines were present on 37% of back- to-school email, and generated 57% of total email revenue in 2012.

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C-SUITE

IBM: Online consumer spending jumps 15% in Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

Armonk, N.Y. — Online consumer spending rose a healthy 15% in the second quarter of this year compared to the second quarter of last year. The IBM Online Retail Sales Index shows that mobile sales reached 19.4% of total online sales, up 28% from last year. Online shopping growth substantially outpaced the 4.6% year-over-year increase of in-store sales during the second quarter.

Other highlights from the Index include a 55% year-over-year increase in online health and beauty sales and 56% rise in online home goods sales, as well as a 21% increase in online apparel sales driven by retailers reducing prices to clear space for back-to-school inventory. Average order value online reached $413.23, a 26$ increase from the second quarter of 2012, with the iPad generating more traffic than any other mobile device.

In addition, Index statistics demonstrate that the number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site reached nearly 27%, up more than 35% year-over-year. The iPad generated more traffic than any other mobile device at close to 11% of retail traffic, a 60% increase from last year. The iPhone closely followed, generating 10.5% of traffic, with Android devices generating 7.1%.

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OPERATIONS

Amazon to hire 7,000 workers in DCs, customer service

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Amazon said it will hire more than 5,000 full-time workers in its U.S. fulfillment centers and 2,000 customer service staff, including part-time and seasonal employees, to meet growing customer demand.

The company said it will immediately begin hiring at 17 fulfillment centers for tasks that include picking items from warehouse shelves, packing them for delivery and operating new technology installed to streamline operations.

“We’re hiring more than 5,000 people to join our team and help us continue to innovate and serve our customers,” said Dave Clark, VP of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon.

The announcement comes ahead of President Obama’s visit Tuesday to Amazon’s Chattanooga, Tenn., fulfillment center.

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