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IBM: Mother’s Day mobile sales up 23%

BY Marianne Wilson

ARMONK, N.Y. — Consumers shopping online for Mother’s Day gifts was up 15%, spurred by mobile commerce growth of 23% over 2012, according to IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark, a cloud-based analysis of the online retail market.

A key finding of the IBM Benchmark was that retailers are making it easier for mobile shoppers to browse and buy with a tap of their finger by customizing mobile apps and web sites for on-the-go consumers. As marketers improved the digital buying experience, the average amount of time spent shopping was down by more than 10%, indicating that retailers have a better understanding of who individual shoppers are and what products they want to buy. This Mother’s Day, mobile shoppers took less time to buy. Consumers browsed and shopped in half the time through mobile devices as compared to desktop users.

In addition, mobile shoppers averaged an estimated three-and-a-half minutes per shopping session whereas desktop computer users took twice as long to shop with an average of six minutes to complete their transactions. 



In other findings from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report:

  • In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, online shopping grew by 15%, with average orders reaching $209, representing a four percent increase compared to the same period last year.
  • Department store sales were up by more than 20% in the week leading up to Mother’s Day compared to the same time last year. Retailers simplified the digital buying experience for customers, with iPad conversions increased dramatically by more than 315%, with the iPhone increasing 184%.
  • In the three weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, online jewelry sales nearly tripled compared to last year, representing a 180.6% increase. Mobile traffic was up almost 59% and mobile sales were up almost 38% compared to 2012.

This news is based on findings from the IBM Digital Benchmark, described by IBM as the industry’s only cloud-based Web analytics platform that tracks more than a million e-commerce transactions a day, analyzing terabytes of raw data from 500 retailers nationwide. The IBM Digital Benchmark uses anonymous data from the IBM Data Analytics Benchmark to provide the most accurate and immediate snap shot online shopping trends.

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Supply chain improvements for BJ’s Wholesale

BY CSA STAFF

LOS GATOS, Calif. — BJ’s Wholesale Club has tapped FoodLink, a fresh food commerce and traceability platform, to assist in the sourcing and purchasing of fresh produce across BJ’s 15-state chain.

“Produce is an increasingly important category for our club members, and we are always looking for ways to provide high quality products at a value,” said Jeff Desroches, SVP, director of logistics, BJ’s Wholesale Club. “FoodLink will help us improve supply chain visibility into market data and enable us to work closely with our suppliers to better meet the needs of our members.”

Headquartered in Westborough, Mass., BJ’s is a leading operator of warehouse clubs in the eastern U.S., and carries more than 7,000 items.

By placing all produce orders over FoodLink, BJ’s joins a network that already includes all fresh food purchases by major retailers and wholesalers such as Ahold USA, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Associated Wholesale Grocers and Roundy’s Supermarkets.

“Like all of the retailers on FoodLink, BJ’s is a company that truly understands the importance of the fresh category,” said Eric Peters, CEO, FoodLink. “We look forward to helping them accelerate the advantages of using better data, more efficient buying processes and new levels of supply chain visibility to succeed in an extremely competitive environment.”

The Foodlink network consists of more than 2,000 retail grocers and their fresh food suppliers, including growers, shippers, carriers and third-party brokers and wholesalers.

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Kroger puts food waste to work

BY CSA STAFF

Kroger plans on putting food waste to good use with a clean energy production system that converts food that cannot be sold or donated into clean energy, which will help power its Ralphs/Food 4 Less distribution center in Compton, Calif.

The anaerobic conversion system will process more than 55,000 tons of organic food waste into renewable energy annually, providing power for the more than 650,000-sq.-ft. distribution center. By diverting that food waste — the equivalent of 150 tons per day — the system will also reduce area truck trips by more than 500,000 miles each year. The Kroger Recovery System will convert the carbon in organic material into a renewable source of methane.

"We are committed to finding solutions for food waste and clean energy, and we believe this is a meaningful step forward," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s president and COO. "Investing in this project is a good business decision for Kroger and, most important, an extraordinary opportunity to benefit the environment. We want to thank Governor Brown and his team at CalRecycle and CalEPA, the City of Compton, the SCAQMD and our partners at Feed for making this renewable energy project a reality."

The Kroger Recovery System is designed and operated by Feed Resource Recovery Inc., a clean technology company founded in Boston, Mass., in 2007. Feed has designed and implemented a Zero Waste solution, called R2S, for the food industry. Its approach leverages customers’ existing transportation and distribution systems to generate clean, sustainable power for onsite operations, reduce emissions and save millions of dollars on waste removal costs.

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