TECHNOLOGY

eMarketer: E-commerce to grab 10% of U.S. retail sales in 2018

BY Marianne Wilson

E-commerce will reach a milestone this year.

U.S. e-commerce sales will increase nearly 16% in 2018, to reach $526.09 billion, representing 10% of total retail sales, according to a report by eMarketer. Total U.S. retail sales will grow 3.7% to reach nearly $5.3 trillion.

Mobile commerce will continue to surge, reaching $208.29 billion in 2018, up more than 32% over last year. M-commerce will make up 39.6% of e-commerce sales — and 4.0% of total retail sales — this year. It will represent nearly half (49.2%) of total e-commerce sales by 2020.

The bulk (71.5%) of m-commerce this year will come from smartphones, which will continue to capture a growing share in the U.S, while tablets’ portion will continue to decline, according to the report.

In other findings from eMarketer:

• E-commerce will grow to represent 12.4% of U.S. retail sales in 2020.

• This year, there will be 190.3 million digital buyers in the U.S. (69.9% of the population), up 3.2% over last year.

• The largest share of digital buyers (20.5%) are between 25 and 34, followed by 35-44 year olds and 45-54 year olds.

• In 2018 there will be 155.5 million mobile buyers, up 5.6% over last year. And 64.7% of those mobile buyers will use a smartphone to make the purchase.

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Study: Engaging content driving grocery sales on Amazon

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Grocery brands that feature more robust brand pages are Amazon’s top performers.

Among nearly half a million product pages in Amazon’s Grocery & Gourmet Foods category, those with longer product descriptions, images, videos and bullet points outperformed the competition, according to “The Winning Elements of an Amazon Grocery Page,” a report from Salsify.

According to data, titles with benefit-laden language, image and/or written copy with prominent dietary information, and below-the-fold content that highlights positive brand attributes in detail, are prevalent on the brand pages that stand out on Amazon. This data can help guide grocery brands selling on Amazon when evaluating their product content.

In the Under $10 — impulse purchase category, for example, the top performing brands focused on use cases and dietary information. Following this formula, top performers used an average of 477 characters, the poor performer average was 294.1 characters. Top performing brands had an average of 4 bullets of information, while poor performing brands had an average of 2.9. When it came to images, top performers used 5.4 images, while poor performing brands used 2.1.

In the $10-$19.99 — volume packaging category, high performing brands offered variety, and didn’t skimp on marketing. Top performers had an average of 557.6 characters, compared to 293 among poor performers. Bullets topped out at an average of 4.4 among top brands compared to 3 on poor performers. Top performers images were 6 compared to 2.3 of poor performers.

When evaluating the $20-$29.99— high-end volume packaging category, top brands focus heavily on their value proposition. For example, top performers had an average of 710.8 characters in their description vs. 312.7. Bullets were 4.6 compared to 3.3, and top performers’ 6.1 images eclipsed poor performers’ 1.9 images.

When comparing the $30-$39.99 — bulk products and long-term stock-ups, top-selling companies build trust and loyalty with value and expert language. Top performers had an average of 665 characters in their descriptions compared to 346.8 among poor performers. Top brands featured 4.7 bullets vs. 3.1, and had 5.7 images compared to 1.8.

Among the $40-$49.99— high-end bulk products and long-term stock-ups, high-end terminology is driving sales. Top performers featured an average of 679 characters in their descriptions, compared to 354.8 of poor performers. Meanwhile, they had 4.6 vs 3.7 bullets, and 5.4 images compared to 2.5.

“Top performers at every price point consistently had longer average descriptions, more multimedia assets, and more bullets, as opposed to poor performers,” the study said. “Successful brands are speaking to their prospective customers with engaging content, in a way that takes into account Amazon’s algorithm, unique user experience, and shopper journey.”

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Lingerie brand offers a new kind of personal stylist

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Cosabella is stepping up its personalization efforts — and they are paying off.

Through its partnership with Snap+Style Business, the lingerie brand launched a SaaS-based customer-facing personalization and discovery platform. Called “StyleWidget,” customers can submit a personalized styling request directly on Cosabella’s desktop or mobile site. In return, they receive real-time, personal recommendations from store associates.

“Snap+Style Business is allowing us to convert our in-store associates into in-home stylists, communicating directly with our consumers through our e-commerce site,” said Guido Campello, CEO of Cosabella.

Here’s how it works: As customers submit a styling request online or via mobile, Cosabella’s in-house stylists respond via email with a curated selection of merchandise designed exclusively for the customer. The personalized assortment encourages the customer to continue engaging with the brand, as well as make a purchase.

“In the past six months, when a customer submitted a request using Snap+Style Business on our site, 30% of the time it converted to a sale, with a larger average order value [AOV] than those who didn’t,” said Campello. “It is truly a game changer for us.

The solution is also capable of driving units per transaction (UPT) and lifetime customer value, according to Snap+Style Business.

“The retail landscape in fashion continues to evolve into a digital-first shopping experience, even at the luxury level,” said Campello. “Customer service is more important than ever, with stylists now entering your home to dress and educate you.”

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