MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

NRF: Half of holiday shoppers plan to finish shopping online

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — According to NRF’s latest holiday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, nearly half (49.9%) of holiday shoppers indicate they plan to do the remainder of their holiday shopping online, the highest percent in the survey’s 11-year history. As of Dec. 9, before the most recent weekend, 32 million holiday shoppers had not even started shopping.

“It comes as no surprise that Americans are eager to shop online in the coming weeks as busy schedules and a shift in the calendar have made the convenience offered by retailers’ mobile apps and websites even more attractive this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Recognizing the importance of providing stellar customer experiences for their shoppers, retailers will use every opportunity to promote their products through all their channels at very competitive prices, including exclusive shipping offers and in-store events.”

Driven by low prices and value, 45.4% will wrap up their shopping at their favorite department store and 37.4% will head to discount stores. Others will shop at electronics stores (24.1%), clothing and accessory stores (23.6%), grocery stores (15%) and outlet stores (13.7%).

When it comes to what types of gifts people have already bought, apparel and toys rank high on the list. Half (49.6%) say they have already bought apparel this year, and nearly four in 10 (38.7%) have bought toys. Additionally, holiday shoppers have filled their baskets with electronics (26.6%), home décor or home-related items (18.4%), jewelry (17.5%) and personal care or beauty items (19.6%). Slightly more than one-third (34.4%) have bought gift cards, the most requested gift item of the season.

Many who aren’t finished shopping plan to wrap up by Wednesday (29.2%), 14.2% on Friday, and another 12.3% on Saturday while 10.1% will wait until Christmas Eve.

According to the survey, 9.2% of those celebrating Christmas will shop online that day, up from 4.9% when NRF first asked in 2009. Additionally, 28% will browse the web, 53.4% will cook a holiday meal and 10.5% will go to the movies.

Tablet and smartphone owners will put their devices to work in the coming days. Specifically, 46.6% of tablet owners will research products and compare prices to aid in their purchase decisions, and 36.3% of smartphone owners will do the same. Almost two-in-five (19.4%) smartphone owners will actually purchase items via the device, and one-third of tablet owners (33.1%) will make gift purchases using the device in the coming days.

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Holiday free-for-all is underway

BY CSA STAFF

It promises to be a mad dash to the finish for the nation’s retailers this week with half of holiday shoppers planning to wrap up their holiday shopping online and nearly one third of shoppers yet to begin spending, according to the latest survey results from the National Retail Federation.

The trade group said findings from its most recent survey of more than 6,000 consumers conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics showed online spending intentions at their highest in the 11 years the survey has been conducted. However, with delivery options shrinking by the day, it is clear there also will be a surge of traffic to physical stores as well since 32 million holiday shoppers had yet to buy anything when survey was conducted between December 2 and December 9.

“It comes as no surprise that Americans are eager to shop online in the coming weeks as busy schedules and a shift in the calendar have made the convenience offered by retailers’ mobile apps and websites even more attractive this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Recognizing the importance of providing stellar customer experiences for their shoppers, retailers will use every opportunity to promote their products through all their channels at very competitive prices, including exclusive shipping offers and in-store events.”

Driven by low prices and value, 45.4% will wrap up their shopping at their favorite department store and 37.4% will head to discount stores. Others will shop at electronics stores (24.1%), clothing and accessory stores (23.6%), grocery stores (15%) and outlet stores (13.7%), according to the survey.

When it comes to what types of gifts people have already bought, apparel and toys rank high on the list. Half (49.6%) say they have already bought apparel this year, and nearly four in 10 (38.7%) have bought toys. Additionally, holiday shoppers have filled their baskets with electronics (26.6%), home décor or home-related items (18.4%), jewelry (17.5%) and personal care or beauty items (19.6%). Slightly more than one-third (34.4%) have bought gift cards, the most requested gift item of the season.

“Last-minute shoppers don’t have quite the breathing room they did last year when there were four full weekends, but we shouldn’t underestimate procrastinators,” Prosper’s consumers insights director Pam Goodfellow said. “Last-minute shoppers are savvy bargain hunters who know just how to get everything they need to finish their gift lists.”

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Delivering on instant gratification, global style

BY CSA STAFF

The race to improve customer convenience by leveraging smart e-commerce logistics in the supply chain is heating up in the U.S. and internationally. So far, the U.S. is ahead of the pack in e-commerce sales, raking in $351.8 billion during 2012, a full 33.7% of all e-commerce purchases worldwide, according to the new Jones Lang LaSalle Global E-Commerce Report.

Responding to anticipated sales growth of around 11% every year through 2017, U.S. retailers are speeding up their dock-to-doorstep turnaround time by adapting both new and time-tested supply chain strategies — strategies that include adding super-regional distribution centers and entirely new facility types, like e-commerce urban pickup locations or urban logistics centers that act as smaller warehouse hubs closer to urban centers. Some of these strategies were developed overseas where e-commerce first picked up pace.

Supply chain logistics lessons from abroad
1. Lesson from Japan: Measure real estate cost versus value.
In Japan, the world’s second largest e-commerce market, most warehouse demand is focused around Tokyo, despite its sky-high real estate costs. From here, retailers can accommodate same- and next-day delivery for the capital, which accounts for more than a quarter of the country’s population and therefore has the highest online sales figures. Additionally, Japan’s active multichannel grocery market demonstrates value in a ‘click-and-mortar’ approach that leverages store and distribution networks while driving consumer convenience.

2. Lesson from France: Be dynamic.
France’s e-commerce sector has doubled in size in the last three years, making it Europe’s third largest market behind the U.K. and Germany. French e-retailers have had to be savvy with their logistics models. As mega-sites are scarce and expensive in Paris, large retailers are consolidating logistics into large facilities that are located outside the city, yet are still accessible by main roads. Medium and smaller retailers, on the other hand, are faring better in the city centers. This model extends to grocery retailers, which offer home delivery in the major cities as well as the option to collect online orders at hundreds of drive-up collection points nationwide.

3. Lesson from Australia: Think beyond existing infrastructure.
In Australia, early views were that the sheer size of the country coupled with a low population would make e-commerce a no-go. Not so, according to recent numbers, which show that e-commerce makes up 5% of the country’s total retail sales. One success factor has been the efficiency of the national postal service’s infrastructure. But as the industry matures and automation increases, retailers are moving beyond the limitations of these existing hubs and using passcode protected parcel lockers and specialized real estate that can offer easier deliveries and returns.

4. Lesson from the United Kingdom: If you offer ‘click and collect,’ they will come…
As the fastest growing segment of the nation’s online sales, the option to order online and then pick up is proving a popular alternative to home delivery. This same demand for convenience has inspired retailers to take more control over their supply chain, setting up smaller distribution facilities around major urban areas to enable same-day delivery services.

5. Lesson from Germany: Invest in dedicated e-fulfillment facilities.
Pure-play, aka Internet-only, retailers are driving demand for large e-fulfillment centers in Germany — Europe’s second-largest e-commerce market. The ability to stock and pick 24/7, coupled with new investments in parcel delivery centers, helps retailers achieve faster, more efficient delivery times.

Act globally by thinking locally

Retailers looking to expand their e-commerce platform will find growing opportunity across the board, but challenges will differ from country to country. It is especially important to distinguish between developed and developing countries’ needs, since they will vary significantly. By 2017, the highest rates of e-commerce growth are expected to occur in developing markets like Indonesia, China, India and Mexico, countries with variable existing infrastructure. Retailers looking to move into these emerging markets will be prudent to investigate existing local delivery options, as well as government policies and regulatory hurdles to effectively compete with local retailers.

In the meantime, U.S. retailers are still configuring their omnichannel strategies and working out where to locate their distribution centers and warehouses, and in some respects, playing catch-up with the large sophisticated e-commerce players. While initially opting for the ‘big box’ e-fulfilment centers, they are now experimenting with smaller urban facilities, close to the large population centers and to compete in the aggressive race to meet delivery promises. We may see some European models such as parcel collection centers and more in-store pickup and drop off points coming this way in the new too distant future.

For more information on local trends and successes, read the full report.


Craig Meyer is president of industrial brokerage at Jones Lang LaSalle. He is responsible for the leadership, growth and management of the practice group across all the firm’s business lines. During his tenure the U.S. Industrial Practice has grown by more than400%. The group consist of more than 235 professionals in 50 cities with annual volume exceeding 2,500 transactions and 185M SF. Meyer is a member of the firm’s Brokerage Executive Committee and is chairman of the firm’s global industrial board.

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