This week in eCommerce, Valentine’s Day web sales were up over last year at an increase of 18%, with February 12 being the busiest shopping day for gift-getters. This sales peak is only eclipsed by that of Christmas and Easter, and speaks to the growing popularity of Valentine’s as an annual consumer event. Curbside, a mobile shopping app, is offering a new service that’s being slowly rolled-out to select Best Buy locations in the Bay Area. The application lets shoppers make their purchases from a mobile device and pick-up their orders from a Best Buy location – instant gratification! eCommerce during 2014 hit a milestone in America by surpassing the $300 billion mark for the first time with web sales up 15.4% for the year. Amazon’s Prime Now service expanded this week to the entire island of Manhattan and burrough of Brooklyn, offering one-hour delivery of everyday-essential products to subscribers in those areas. For all the details from this week’s newsmakers read-on below!
Valentine’s 2015 fell on a Saturday this year, and for anyone out and about town on this day in celebration of l-o-v-e you would have probably seen men (and women!) purchasing bouquets of roses on the day-of. For those of us who are more prepared, and more in-tune with the ease of online shopping, eCommerce was the go-to sales channel for gift-getting. Reports from Valentine’s Day are in and online shopping saw an increase of 18% over last year, with February 12 being the busiest day for spending. In an analysis of more than 9000 eCommerce sites by Big Data Labs, the numbers show on February 12 alone traffic was up 30% over the same day last year, with 18% of all Valentine’s day shopping taking place. The peak that was seen by these retailers before the Holiday have only been eclipsed by that of Christmas and Easter. The commodification of love slowly made Valentine’s Day one of the big shopping events of the year, with almost £1 billion being spent in the UK alone.
Curbside a mobile shopping app, is offering a new service to Best Buy locations in the Bay Area. Curbside will let customers at select locations make purchases from their phones then pick-up their items from a vehicle. Companies like Amazon have been focused on providing better local delivery options, including its recently rolled out one hour delivery service. Curbside, which launched last Fall, brings about a hybrid model to eCommerce with a combination of delivery and pick-up options, starting with 10 Target stores in the Bay Area. This provides Curbside with a good testing opportunity, as the roll-out indicates that the service is resonating with customers. 55% of customers using the service have made repeat purchase, particularly appealing to young parents who enjoy the convenience. Customers enjoy the instant gratification that a service like Curbside provides that home delivery evoke.
2014 was a great year for eCommerce in America! Sales for e-retailers were up a reported 15.4% in 2014 with $$304.91 billion generated. This marks a significant point for eCommerce in the country, as it’s the first time eCommerce reached past $300 billion and the fifth year in a row that web sales have have had a growth close to or above 15%. Sales online account for 6.5% of total sales, which is up from 5.8% in 2013 – these numbers are adjusted to exclude foodservice. Internet Retailer further calculated the total numbers to also exclude auto sales, which don’t normally occur online, eCommerce accounted for 8.3% of total sales – up 7.4% from 2013. The 2015 prediction for retails sales this year with the exclusion of auto and foodservice, will increase 4.1%. Web sales are estimated to grow between 7%-10%!
Amazon’s Prime Now is the buzz of the eCommerce world after having been initially announced near the end of 2014. The service lets Prime customers in a determined area get their orders delivered in one-hour, and is applicable to tens of thousands of daily essentials. The launch in December was confined to one zip code in New York City, but this week Amazon announced the service area expanded to include Manhattan and Brooklyn. Subscribers are able to get two-hour deliveries from 6:00am – 12:00am for free and for a fee of $7.99 have the option of a one-hour delivery for essentials like diapers. Competition for one-hour deliveries is getting fierce with the rise of similar services like Kozmo, Instacart, and Google’s Shopping Express. More cities will be added to Amazon’s Prime Now service area in the future.