FINANCE

Provide Commerce purchase hits FTD profit

BY Dan Berthiaume

Downers Grove, Ill. – Net income dropped 14.5% at FTD Inc. to $4.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 from $5.5 million in the same period the prior year. Costs related to FTD’s planned purchase of Provide Commerce were primarily responsible for the decline in net income.

Consolidated revenues increased 2.3% to $168.1 million for second quarter 2014, compared to $164.3 million in the same period of the prior year. The increase in consolidated revenues in second quarter 2014 was due to increased revenues in the international and florist segments and favorable foreign currency exchange rates, partially offset by lower revenues in the consumer segment.

In addition, FTD received the 2014 Women’s Choice Award seal from WomenCertified Inc. The award recognizes brands that are most recommended by women.

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FINANCE

Metro has medium Q3 growth

BY Dan Berthiaume

Montreal – Canadian grocery retailer Metro Inc. reported medium results for its third quarter fiscal 2014. Net earnings for third quarter 2014 were $144.5 million, an increase of 0.1% from net earnings of $144.4 million for the same quarter of 2013.

Sales in third quarter 2014 totaled $3.62 billion, up 1.4% compared to $3.57 billion for the same quarter the prior year. Same-store sales were up 1%. Metro’s aggregate food basket experienced inflation higher than previous quarters but lower than the consumer price index of food purchased from stores. The company attributed merchandising strategies and investments, as well as a reorganization of its Ontario store network, as enabling sales growth in a competitive market.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Study: Nine-in-10 retailers use online marketplaces

BY Dan Berthiaume

Research Triangle Park, N.C. – Nine-in-10 retailers report selling on online marketplaces, and 64% use digital marketing. Results of a survey of more than 200 U.S. and U.K. online retailers from e-commerce provider Channel Advisor also indicated the following:

Marketplaces: More than three-fourths of surveyed retailers (84%) are currently selling on Amazon, and more than half of retailers (63%) reported selling on eBay. Retailers said that the most challenging aspect of selling on marketplaces is maintaining competitive pricing.

Cross-border trade: Nearly a third (30%) of retailers surveyed reported that 21-30% of their online sales come from international marketplaces. Retailers reported that global marketplaces are the number one point of sale for these international transactions. The majority of surveyed retailers (62%) think that Amazon provides the best opportunity to sell internationally.

Digital marketing: Retailers reported that product listing ads are a top digital marketing strategy in terms of performance. Budget, confusion about options and the digital marketing landscape, and uncertain return on investment are the three most common factors preventing retailers from increasing their digital marketing spend.

Mobile advertising: Almost half of surveyed retailers (40%) reported that 21%-30% of their current Web traffic comes from mobile devices. Most retailers (86%) think that Web traffic from mobile devices will increase over the next two years. To prepare, 75% of surveyed retailers expect to increase their mobile advertising budget in the next two years.

Social media: Retailers’ top three business goals for social media are to increase brand awareness, reach a new generation of customers and drive conversions. Surveyed retailers said Facebook is the social platform that creates the most conversions for retailers.

“It’s critical that retailers evaluate what the rest of the industry is doing so they can stay on top of innovations,” said ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo. “Finding success in a crowded e-commerce landscape is all about being visible on multiple channels. Our survey results show that retailers are taking a multichannel approach to increase their exposure in every stage of the consumer’s path to purchase.”

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