IBM: Valentine’s Day online shopping up 8%
White Plains, N.Y. — Overall online shopping rose 8% during the week before Valentine’s Day compared to the same period in 2013. Growth was particularly strong in the categories of gifts (up 20%), apparel (up 17%) and health and beauty (up 15%), and department stores (34%) compared to the previous year.
Key drivers of this year’s Valentine’s Day shopping rush (Feb. 7 – Feb. 13) include mobile traffic accounting for 36.8% of all online traffic, up 39.6% compared to the same period in 2013. Mobile sales also remained strong at 17.2% of all online sales, up 42.9% from 2013. Smartphones drove 23.3% of all online traffic compared to tablets at 13.3%, making it the browsing device of choice.
When it comes to making the sale, tablets drove 11.4% of all online sales, twice that of smartphones, which accounted for 5.6%. Tablet users also averaged $135.26 per order, compared to smartphone users, who averaged $114.00 per order.
As a percentage of total online sales, iOS was more than four times higher than Android, driving 13.6% compared to 3.4% for Android. On average, iOS users spent $132.28 per order, compared to Android users who spent $110.54 per order. iOS also led as a component of overall online traffic with 24.6%, nearly twice that of Android users at 11.9%.
And looking at social influence, shoppers referred from Facebook averaged $125.24 per order, compared to Pinterest referrals, which drove $147.74 per order. However, Facebook referrals converted sales at 3.5 times the rate of Pinterest referrals, perhaps indicating stronger confidence in network recommendations.
Rakuten to buy messaging app Viber Media
New York — Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. will buy messaging app provider Viber Media Inc. for $900 million. Rakuten, which is also a major investor in Pinterest and owner of U.S. online retailer Play.com, seeks to use Viber as a platform for both mobile shopping and content consumption, according to the Associated Press.
Rakuten offers services from financing to shopping to online video on its e-commerce platform, the largest in Japan.
Viber, run from Cyprus by Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco, will add 300 million users to Rakuten’s existing 200 million users, according to reports.
Viber is one of the top five most downloaded smartphone phone call and messaging apps, and counts the United States, Russia and Australia among its biggest markets.
Zuri Furniture deploys Yottaa Engagement Cloud
Dallas — Zuri Furniture has deployed Yottaa Engagement Cloud to optimize user engagement and business performance. To scale online operations in the U.S. and Canada, Zuri sought a solution that could offer immediate results in improved conversions and revenue.
With Yottaa deployed, the Zuri site converts more visitors into customers and improves value per-customer through prioritized content rendering, improved performance, and minimized disruptions. Two months after deploying Yottaa Engagement Cloud, the Zuri Furniture website has already shown measureable improvement in key engagement metrics. Yottaa’s proprietary technology enables images to render faster and in a prioritized order based on user context. As a result, Zuri Furniture has seen a significant positive impact on conversion rates and order size.