ECOMMERCE

Amazon has crucial lead in key holiday category

BY Marianne Wilson

When it comes to toys and games, Amazon’s breadth of assortment far outdistances its competitors.

Amazon has over six million items in its toys and games category, according to a report by Boomerang Commerce that compares the top retailers’ pricing, promotion and assortment of this holiday season’s popular toys and games. Walmart maintains the U.S. retail world’s second-broadest assortment, with fewer than a million. Target offers just over 16,000 items.

In one analysis of a basket of popular toy items, Walmart had a 75% product overlap with Amazon. Target had a 30% overlap with Amazon, and Toys“R”Us had a 29% product overlap.

In Boomerang’s 2015 and 2016 reports, Target lagged in competitive pricing. This year, the retailer has risen to become the most competitive in terms of pricing for this sample of toys. For the basket of popular items on Amazon, Target was only 5% more expensive than Amazon, whereas Jet was 8% more expensive, and Toys“R”Us and Walmart were 13 percent more expensive.

The report also found that supply chain chain issues vex Jet, Walmart and Toys “R” Us. Although Walmart and Jet had the greatest overlap with the sample of Amazon’s products, Walmart was out of stock on 16% of the most popular items, and Jet was out of stock on 20% at the time of our analysis. This was also the case at Toys“R”Us where 22% of the most popular matched items were out of stock.

“Based on data from Boomerang Commerce’s analysis, Amazon’s strategy is to closely monitor every major retailers’ holiday pricing, which makes consumers the real winners in the holiday shopping season,” said Boomerang Commerce CEO Guru Hariharan. “The toys category is a strong indicator for which retailers are up for the challenge and which fall short. This season’s winners will need to accelerate efforts to compete with Amazon on pricing, product assortment, product availability and customer service.”

 

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Report: Rebecca Minkoff’s new mobile website channels Instagram

BY CSA STAFF

When Rebecca Minkoff planned to makeover its mobile-ready website, it took a cue from its young shopping base’s preferred social network.

With more than 50% of its site traffic coming through mobile, Rebecca Minkoff’s created a mobile-first website that makes its Instagram feed shoppable through a direct link, according to Glossy.

A scrolling row of Instagram images anchors the retailer’s homepage, and also encourages customers to “Tag us in your photos for your chance to be featured.” Since styles in each look are available for immediate purchase, shoppers that click on an image are directed to a product page where they can buy the item, the report said.

It’s not surprising that Instagram is a core solution in Rebecca Minkoff’s engagement strategy — the retailer has 800,000 followers on its Instagram feed, according to the report.

To read more, click here.

 

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Drugstore chain launches same-day prescription deliveries in New York City

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

CVS Pharmacy is stepping up its home delivery game.

The drugstore chain will be getting prescriptions and a curated selection of over-the-counter products into customers hands even faster through a same-day delivery service. The program is set to kick off in New York’s borough of Manhattan on Dec. 4, a move that will deliver prescriptions to customers within hours. All merchandise will be delivered in secure tamper-proof packaging, according to CVS.

The drugstore chain will also offer same-day delivery in select cities, including Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and San Francisco, in early 2018.

CVS is also launching a next-day delivery service. The program, which will fulfill orders from CVS Pharmacy locations, will launch nationwide in early 2018, the company reported.

The announcements come on the heels of the company’s third quarter earnings, as well as increasing speculation that CVS Health is in talks to acquire insurance giant Aetna. On Friday, Reuters reported that the two companies are working towards finalizing a deal for more than $70 billion that could be announced as early as December.

Hurricanes take a bite out of CVS Health’s Q3 earnings; narrows forecast

Both services augment CVS’ existing delivery programs. Through its partnership with Instacart, customers can order merchandise, including healthy food choices, beauty products and over-the-counter medications, and have them delivered. CVS plans to expand the service, and reach 50% of U.S. households by year end, according to the company.

The drugstore chain also features CVS Curbside, a service that allows customers to shop online or via the CVS app, and pick up merchandise at the store in an hour. When shoppers pull up to a dedicated parking spot, a CVS employee will bring the order directly to their car. The program is active in locations nationwide, according to CVS.

 

 

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