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IBM sees strong online holiday for retailers

BY Marianne Wilson

Armonk, N.Y. — Online retailers can expect a strong holiday shopping season. According to the latest IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark data, which analyzes online transactions from more than 800 retailers in the U.S., retail sales were up 16% in October and 11% in the first week of November (Nov. 1-Nov. 7) compared to the same period last year.

Department stores have reason for optimism as online sales are up 110% year-over-year for the first week in November. In addition, mobile shopping continues to surge. The mobile percentage of online sales increased more than 43% year-over-year for the first week of November to 14% of all online sales.

According to the report, shoppers are poised to be on the hunt for bargains, discounts, and retailer coupons, using their favorite apps to cash in on savings. This trend holds true the first week in November, where average order value was down 4%, yet online sales rose 11% over the same week in 2012.

In other findings:

  • Consumers continue to look to their smartphones for retail browsing (19.56% of total online traffic), tablet shoppers (12.10%) are the ones cashing in. Average order value for tablet sales was 14.6% higher than that of smartphones in the first week of November but they converted three times more than smartphone users. Tablet shoppers spent on average $117.97 per order, as compared to $102.99 per order for smartphone shoppers.
  • As consumers continue to explore the shopping potential of social media sites, Facebook and Pinterest rise to the top. Pinterest users had an average order value of $136.17 the first week in November, while Facebook users spent an average of $54.88. But the real story lies in how well these sites convert browsers into buyers – and Facebook wins the conversion competition – converting four times higher than Pinterest shoppers.

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Peapod and Giant Food Stores open new fulfillment center

BY Staff Writer

New York — Online food retailer Peapod and Giant Food Stores have opened a new fulfillment center in Coopersburg, Pa.

"Peapod by Giant has seen exciting growth in the Philadelphia area and we are delighted to partner with our sister grocer, Peapod, to expand service to additional ZIP codes in the Giant trade area," said Rick Herring, president. "As always, we will strive to provide a wide selection of well-priced, top quality, fresh products with the ease of online shopping and home delivery."

Residents and businesses in more than 25 ZIP codes, including Doylestown, Quakertown and Coopersburg, will be able to shop for fresh fruits and vegetable, seafood, meat and dairy as well as bestselling national brands and Giant private-label products online at peapod.com. They’ll also earn Giant Gas Extra Rewards and A+ School Rewards for their online purchases.

Shoppers can use Peapod’s mobile app to shop from their laptop, tablet or smartphone. They can also create personal lists, read nutrition information online and sort products rapidly by price or by nutrition criteria. Giant BonusCard users can jumpstart their first shop online from a list of items they have bought at their local Giant simply by entering their card number online. Groceries can be delivered as soon as the next day after the order is placed.

"We have delivered more than 26 million orders since we started in 1989," Andrew Parkinson, president of Peapod, said, "and we look forward to delivering many more in the years to come."

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New PCI Data Security Standards take effect Jan.1, 2014

BY Staff Writer

New York — Version 3.0 of the PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) has been published and will become effective on January 1, 2014.

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), a global forum for the development of payment card security standards, published version 3.0 to its website, but version 2.0 will remain active until Dec. 31 to ensure adequate time for organization to make the transition.

The standards are updated every three years based on feedback form the Council’s global members per the PCI DSS and PA-DSS development lifecycle as well as in response to market needs. Version 3.0 will help organizations make payment security part of their business-as-usual activities by introducing more flexibility, and an increased focus on education, awareness and security as a shared responsibility.

Overall, the updates include specific recommendations for making PCI DSS part of everyday business processes and best practices for maintaining ongoing PCI DSS compliance; guidance from the Navigating PCI DSS Guide built into the standard; and enhanced testing procedures to clarify the level of validation expected for each requirement.

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