This Week in eCommerce: January 26 – 30

This week in eCommerce, fashion retailer Kate Spade announced it will close its Kate Spade Saturday and Jack Spade bricks and mortar locations in a shift to focus more on its flagship Kate Spade New York brand. Apple Pay announced a new partnership with USA Technologies to bring consumers the ability to use the mobile payment solutions at 200,000 self-serve payment terminals (parking meters, vending machines, etc.). Revenue for eCommerce giant Alibaba increased 40% in Q4 of 2014 over the same period last year. Unfortunately, this represents a decline in growth as the company saw 54% in growth in Q3 of 2014. Alibaba’s shareholders have had their nerves all shook-up with this slowed growth and recent increased risk. Our friends at Magento announced this week that IBM Cloud would be joining the Magento Hosting Partner Program as a Platinum Partner. Facebook reported that in the fourth quarter of 2014 mobile ad revenue doubled to $2.48 billion, with 38% of the company’s user base accessing Facebook through its mobile app or mobile version of the website. For all the details from this week’s eCommerce newsmakers read-on below!

RIP Kate Spade Saturday and Jack Spade

Kate Spade to Wind Down Kate Spade Saturday, Jack Spade Stores

Source: Wall Street Journal

Kate Spade announced this week that it will return its main focus on its flagship Kate Spade New York Brand. The fashion label, which operates Kate Spade Saturday and Jack Spade stores, saw its shares up 11% in recent trading but reported a weak forecast for 2015. The brand will close 6 Kate Spade Saturday company-owned stores and three joined with locations, and 12 company-owned Jack Spade stores in the first half of 2015 at a cost of $39 million. Kate Spade will shift to selling the brands through eCommerce and its retail partners. The brand expects to post sales of $1.13 billion to $1.14 billion for 2014, above the expectations of analysts. The fashion and handbag segment over the years saw growing competition, as such, Kate Spade’s margins have been under pressure in recent quarters.

Serve Yourself with Apple Pay

New Apple Pay Deal Gives It Greater Presence In A Key Market: Self-Serve

Source: TechCrunch

Soon you’ll be able to use Apple Pay at vending machines, parking meters, coffee machines, laundromats, goods kiosks, amusement part ticket machines, car wastes, transit ticket and taxi terminals, and more. In a partnership announced this week with www.usatech.com/” title=”USA Technologies” target=”_blank”>USA Technologies Apple Pay can now be used at 200,000 self-serve payment terminals. The activation of the partnership is immediate as the company already supports NFC-based mobile payments. These type of “convenient-buy” situations are the perfect area for Apple Pay to capitalize on, as the service at its most basic level seeks to eliminate the need for consumers to carry payment cards. Thanks to strong retail demand for the payment solution Apple is being courted by many point-of-sale providers, which is great for long-term success, but the most important aspect Apple needs to focus on are situations where there is no merchant present and consumers require convenience.

Uh-oh Alibaba

Alibaba’s Growth Spell Wears Off

Source: Wall Street Journal

Revenue for the Chinese eCommerce behemoth in Q4 of 2014 rose $4.22 billion, a 40% increase from the same period last year. To some that may sound great, but for a leading corporation like Alibaba, it isn’t enough. Especially considering that the previous quarter saw 54% in growth. The company’s shareholders are starting to feel unnerved; in a recent exchange between Alibaba and the Chinese government, the online retailer was reminded that they are a the mercy of the government. Despite some shake-ups its not all bad news for Alibaba, more and more of their customers are shopping through mobile phones, raising the company’s monetization rate to 2.7%. Prior to some of the more nerve-wracking experiences for shareholders, the company’s shares were up 50% from their IPO – a $259 billion market value! However this means that the first sign of slowed growth or increased risk will send investors running for the hills.

Magento Provides Even Better eCommerce Solutions

Continued momentum for Magento and cloud hosting

Source: Magento

In an email that went out this week, Magento announced that by the end of this month that IBM Cloud would be joining the Magento Hosting Partner Program as a Platinum Partner. Magento is committed to provided best-in-class eCommerce cloud hosted solutions, which includes partnerships with: Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, Joyent and Peer 1. The software provided by these key partners, now including IBM Cloud, enables retailers to achieve and accelerate growth. Magento retailers with cloud hosting have the added benefit of: faster time to market for new deployments, greater flexibility to scale capacity during peak periods, easier international expansion with a global datacenter footprint, and lower capital expenses. Magento updated their collateral with information about IBM cloud. To learn more about the cloud, you can read Magento’s Cloud whitepaper, Understanding Magento Cloud Hosting, which is downloadable here.

Mobile Ad Revenue Bringing in the Moola for Facebook

Facebook’s mobile ad revenue nearly doubles in Q4

Source: Internet Retailer

Mobile ad revenue for the massive social network nearly doubled in the fourth quarter of 2014 to $2.48 billion. About 38% of Facebook’s user base accesses the site through its mobile apps or mobile version of the website. Facebook over the years gained traction in mobile, after being known to have lagged behind in its mobile development, is known calling itself a “mobile first” platform. Mobile ad revenue in Q4 accounted for 69% of its total ad revenue during the quarter, with more marketers purchasing mobile ads because of the increase in user using their mobile devices to access the site – about 1.393 billion people – which speaks volumes to consumer’s recent willingness to use mobile devices to browse and shop on eCommerce sites. Despite the massive acquisition Oculus VR, mobile messaging app WhatsApp, and Instagram, the company’s main stream of revenue comes from its namesake social network. To learn more about what Facebook is doing to improve its ads and lure marketers, as well as stats on how the company fared in 2014 click here.