FINANCE

Five-day online spending total surpasses $5 billion

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Reston, Va. — Survey results released Monday by comScore revealed that the most recent work-week saw four individual days eclipse $1 billion in spending, led by Green Monday with $1.275 billion.

comScore, which has monitored holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 44 days of the November–December 2012 holiday season, reported that to date $33.8 billion has been spent online, marking a 13% increase versus the corresponding days last year.

"This past workweek saw four days surpass the billion dollar spending threshold during the heaviest five-day online shopping period on record," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "With this most recent week in the books, the peak spending period may now be in our rear-view-mirror – but the online holiday shopping season is not over yet. We should have one more headline day on Free Shipping Day this Monday the 17th as the procrastinators among us scramble to order gifts in time for Christmas next week … We still expect that the full season will realize a growth rate well north of 13%.”

For the 2012 holiday season-to-date, eleven individual days have surpassed $1 billion in online retail sales, already surpassing last year’s record of 10 shopping days. Cyber Monday (Nov. 26, 2012) currently ranks as the heaviest online spending day of the season – and in history – at $1.465 billion. Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 ranks second with $1.362 billion, followed by Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 (Green Monday) with $1.275 billion, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 with $1.263 billion and Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 (Cyber Monday 2011) with $1.251 billion.

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OPERATIONS

Staples president and COO resigns

BY Staff Writer

Framingham, Mass. — Staples Inc. announced Monday that its president and COO Michael Miles has left the company, effective Feb. 2.

Miles has accepted a position with Boston-based investment firm Berkshire Partners.

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News

Study: Top retailers leave 73% of customer tweets unanswered

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — E-commerce and digital marketing company Acquity Group announced Monday social media findings that revealed the vast majority of retailers don’t respond to customer tweets.

The 2012 Brand eCommerce Audit evaluated Interbrand’s 2012 Best Retail Brands on customer engagement across major digital channels, including big browser, social and mobile.

While every brand on the list except one has a Facebook page, and 45 out of 50 are on Twitter, only 12 brands had a cohesive presence across all five of the major social networks analyzed (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube).

The audit revealed Twitter had the largest gap between usage and interaction. With a 90% adoption rate among the brands, less than 27% actively participate in Twitter conversations with consumers. In fact, companies were least likely to respond to or engage with customers via Twitter than any other social media channel evaluated.

"Although most brands are signed up for the major social networks, many struggle to understand how they fit into their overarching business strategy,” said Jay Dettling, executive VP, Acquity Group. “As a result, our audit revealed several critical areas of improvement when it comes to actually connecting with consumers across social channels."

Brands were most active on YouTube, according to the research, with 80% of the brands leveraging the channel at an 85% engagement rate. Even though the majority of companies (56%) have yet to utilize Instagram, the brands with a presence on this platform also had a high level of interaction (79%). Pinterest was identified as the most popular up and coming social network, with 60% adoption and 70% interaction.

The 10 brands scoring best overall in social interaction include, in order of ranking: Target, Home Depot, RadioShack, Bath and Body Works, Nordstrom, Gap, eBay, Coach, American Eagle Outfitters and Banana Republic.

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