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Wal-Mart Canada adding more Grab and Go lockers

BY Marianne Wilson

Mississauga, Canada – Walmart Canada is adding 33 Grab and Go lockers in the greater Toronto area. The lockers allow customers to buy online then pick up their items in stores.

The retailer installed its first set of lockers at 10 locations in the Toronto area in August. The announcement follows a series of initiatives Walmart Canada has launched in the past year to accelerate its e-commerce program.

These include doubling its online product assortment on walmart.ca in 2013 and again doubling the assortment this year, launching an online grocery assortment providing a broad range of dry grocery items, and launching free shipping throughout most of Canada.

The Grab & Go option is offered on Walmart’s web site just prior to check out. Should the order qualify (it must be less than 65lbs and no one dimension can exceed 2 meters) for the option, the customer selects the Grab & Go site they wish to use prior to checking out. Customers will receive an email the next day confirming the order has shipped along with a PIN code to access their order from the Grab & Go unit. Once at the Grab & Go site, the customer then enters their 6 digit PIN code and the compartment containing their package will open.

"The lockers are an intersection point between our physical and digital stores, providing a terrific option for customers buying presents during the holiday season that want to keep them away from prying eyes and little fingers," said Michael Memme, director of transportation at Walmart.ca. “It's also a very smart way for customers to send packages to friends and family with no delivery fee, especially when the customer is nowhere near the GTA.”

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Insights: Cyber “Five” Data Thus Far Indicates Strong Start for Holiday

BY CSA STAFF

By Scot Wingo, CEO, ChannelAdvisor

Happy Cyber Monday! Each year we at ChannelAdvisor track the five days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday and call that the “Cyber Five.” This year, our Cyber Five Same Store Sales (SSS) data to date shows that Holiday ’14 is off to a very strong start.

Over the weekend, as retailers battled to get shoppers to buy earlier, we saw Cyber promotions in full swing. For background, most retailers and channels such as a eBay and Amazon typically take their Black Friday promotions off for Cyber Saturday and Cyber Sunday, so we usually expect to see a breather in sales from Black Friday through the holiday weekend. This year, we instead saw a lot of retailers and channels, including Amazon, BestBuy and Walmart, kicking off their “Cyber Savings” or “Cyber Week” promotions starting on Saturday.

In terms of gross merchandise value (GMV), we saw an overall increase on Thanksgiving Day (20.1%), Black Friday (22.0%) and Cyber Saturday (27.0%). eBay had a strong Black Friday with a 26.9 percent year over year increase, and Amazon grew 24.2 percent. We saw significant increases from Amazon throughout the weekend, with a whopping 45.9 percent increase year over year on Cyber Saturday.

When it comes to mobile shopping, our data indicates that Thanksgiving mobile traffic grew 49%, but dropped to 46% on Black Friday. Additionally, our data from Cyber Saturday suggests that consumers were less driven by promotions this year, and more in “hunting” mode, seeking out specific products and promotions.

Overall, we continue to see more than a 20% increase in year over year growth for holiday 2014, and we look forward to seeing the results from today, historically the largest (and most exciting) annual day for online shopping.

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Experts: Online sales to top $500B by 2020

BY CSA STAFF

Online sales are expected to reach $300 billion in 2014, $335 billion in 2015 and $512 billion by 2020.

According to business forecasting experts at FTI Consulting Inc., online sales will continue to grow at a double-digit rate for the next several years.

FTI Consulting reports that the online channel's share of total retail sales (excluding autos and gasoline) is now approaching 11%, compared with 7.4% in 2010. The online channel also accounts for approximately 15% of general merchandise, apparel and accessories, furniture and other sales category spending during the holiday season.

FTI Consulting reports that nearly three-quarters of the growth in sales will accrue to the online channel, as it is led by the growth in mobile devices.

In addition, the spillover of spending from holiday gift card redemption continues to make January the strongest month for online shopping relative to total monthly retail sales.

The 2014 Holiday Retail Forecast predicts a 3.5% increase in nominal holiday sales this season.

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