This week in eCommerce, Amazon is cracking down on fake product reviews. In an eCommerce first, the internet retailer is suing multiple companies for selling fake reviews that boost products on their marketplace. The Hudson’s Bay Corporation is making changes following its successful acquisition of American retailer Sak’s Fifth Avenue in 2013, and even increasing its forthcoming profit predictions from 9 billion to $9.3 billion, above analysts’ estimates of $8 billion. Home goods and furniture retailer Crate and Barrel’s comprehensive strategy is “mobile first” and seeing success with their key demographics, reporting a 10% increase in web sales last year and mCommerce sales growing 65% in the same year. Google Wallet announced this week new merchants and merchant platforms, including our friends at Shopify, are now integrated with the mobile payment solution. To learn more about this week’s eCommerce newsmakers, read-on below!
Retailers have been gaming the system for sometime now on Amazon, offering up cash in exchange for favourable product reviews. Enough is enough for the eCommerce giant, who finally filed a lawsuit this week against a man named Jay Gentile who runs several web businesses that peddle product reviews. Amazon have not commented on situation officially, but confirms that all mentioned parties have been charged with copyright infringement deceptive acts and violation of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Consumer Protection Act, and them some! This is a huge milestone in eCommerce, as this is the first time a company filed a case against fake product reviews. Fakers beware, you have angered the beast and you will get caught!
Since acquiring department store Saks Fifth Avenue in 2013 the Hudson’s Bay Company has been making changes to ensure that its investments pay off. For the coming fiscal year HBC increased its profit predictions from $9 billion to $9.3 billion, well above the $8.17 billion estimate provided by analysts. The corporation’s fourth quarter saw net profit jumped to $111 million; nearly four times that of the previous year! What’s been driving growth for the retailer? According to company executives: men’s apparel, women’s shoes, coats, and home goods. HBC saw sales rise about 9% to $2.639 billion in their fiscal fourth quarter, with digital sales up 35%! Off 5th has been the fastest growing component of HBC’s business, since their acquisition of Saks Off 5th, with same-store sales at Off 5th growing 12.1%. In addition to the dividends of these acquisitions, The Hudson’s Bay plans to invest $50 million in strategic growth in the near future.
At No. 77 on the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide,Crate & Barrel must be doing something right. The housewares and home furniture retailer reported a web sale increase of 10% in 2014! C&B’s CEO notes “synergy” as the key to the company’s success, and as much as buzzwords leave a sour taste in our mouth, we like to agree. Crate & Barrel, online since 1999, have been investing significantly in mobile commerce (mCommerce) and designing product pages based on customer feedback. Selling online is no longer a game of providing the newest functionalities first, it’s about engaging with customers the way they want to be engaged. An astounding 44% of Crate & Barrel’s monthly visits come from users on mobile devices, with mCommerce sales for the company growing 65% to $165 million in 2014. With a mobile first strategy, the retailer moved mobile and app development in-house and completely re-engineered the gift registry app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices – appealing to its key buying demographic; 25+ year olds with a household income of $60,000+.
Shopify Merchants can now Accept Google Wallet Payments
This week Google Wallet announced new key integrations with merchants and merchant platforms for its mobile payments solution, Google Wallet. Those who are now able to process Google Wallet transactions include, those with the Dunkin’ Donuts Android App, Seamless for delivery and take out app, and merchants with Shopify Stores. Google Wallet was slow to up its game, before this week there were only 30 mobile sites and apps integrated with the solution. We’ve reached a tipping point with mobile payments, where consumers are open to using the solutions and merchants want to offer them, but the ecosystem needs more cohesive. Google realizes now that it needs to improve, before Apple Pay takes the lead, and the Company can certainly grow with its pre-existing extensive businesses like search, video, advertising, and email. Giving Google’s users (a huge percentage of the internet) the option to buy would drive a significant amount of revenue for Google. It’s best not to miss out on! Our friends over at Shopify previously offered PayPal payments, have now added the option for merchants to accept Google Wallet Payments. No word yet if and when Apple Pay functionality will be added to Shopify stores.