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IBM: Online retailers rely on mobile traffic, iOS devices

BY Dan Berthiaume

Armonk, N.Y. – Online sales on Monday, Nov. 26 were up nearly 12% from the equivalent Monday a year earlier. Data from the IBM Digital Analytics Holiday Benchmark shows that mobile traffic accounted for nearly 32% of all online traffic, up 42% compared to the same period last year.

Mobile sales remained strong, exceeding 13% of all online sales, up 54% year-over-year. While smartphone traffic accounted for 20% of all online traffic compared to tablets at 11%, when it came to making actual purchases, tablet users drove close to 9% of online sales, which almost doubled smartphones users, who drove 4.6%.

As a percentage of total online sales, iOS was more than four times higher than Android, driving 11.06% vs. 2.5% for Android. On average, iOS users spent $108.68 per order compared to $93.36 for Android users, a difference of 16%. iOS also led as a component of overall traffic with 21.93% compared to 9.75% for Android.

Shoppers referred from Facebook averaged $79.12 per order, which was 16.5% lower than Pinterest referrals, which drove $92.18 per order. However, Facebook referrals converted sales at a 2.6% higher rate than Pinterest referrals, which IBM says perhaps indicates stronger confidence in network recommendations.

Supporting these overall trends, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported real-time trends across four retail categories this holiday season:

1. Department Stores: Monday total online sales grew by close to 72% from 2012, with mobile sales growing by 54% year-over-year.

2. Health and Beauty: Monday total online sales grew by nearly 38% from 2012, with mobile sales growing by nearly 89% year-over-year.

3. Home Goods: Monday total online sales grew by close to 19% from 2012, with mobile sales growing by 34% year-over-year.

4. Apparel: Monday total online sales grew by close to 15% from2012, with mobile sales growing by close to 49% year-over-year.

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FINANCE

Chico’s net income drops on higher sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Myers, Fla. – Chico’s FAS reported declining net income during the third quarter of fiscal 2013 even as net sales grew. Net income totaled $35.8 million, down 15% from $42 million in the same period a year earlier.

For the third quarter, net sales were $655.6 million, an increase of 3% compared to $636.7 million in the prior year’s third quarter, primarily reflecting 115 net new stores. Same-store sales decreased 1.4%, which Chico’s said primarily reflects the cycling of strong same-store sales last year and the impact of lower traffic.

Pre-tax, non-cash goodwill and trade name impairment charges of $72.5 million resulting from recent sales declines in the Boston Proper catalog business impacted net income results.

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FINANCE

DSW reports strong Q3 results

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – DSW Inc. experienced a successful third quarter of fiscal 2013, with net income and total sales both rising from the same period in the previous year. Net income equaled $55 million, up roughly 10% from $50.1 million, while total sales of $633 million were about 7% higher than $593 million.

In one negative result, same-store sales fell 0.7%. However, the retailer opened 16 new stores and launched new omni-channel initiatives.

Mike MacDonald, president and CEO of DSW, credited promotional efforts for helping to drive the company’s overall profitable quarter.

"A solid increase in total sales combined with disciplined execution and inventory management allowed us to increase our adjusted earnings per share by 14%,” said MacDonald. “We achieved our highest level of profitability in the third quarter while navigating through a promotional environment. We were encouraged by the improvement in traffic and sales at the end of the quarter, as the fall selling season got off to a delayed start."

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