This Week in eCommerce:
November 24 – 28

This week in eCommerce, some not-so-happy news for Canadian clothing retailer Smart Set, a banner brand owned by Reitmans. Frank & Oak on the other hand have exciting news out of Toronto with the opening of their flagship store on Queen West, complete with cafe and barbershop. New reports are saying consumers may not be getting the deals they thought this Black Friday, with evidence pointing to the fact that retailers increase product pricing before taking off discounts. Buzzfeed recently shared an inside look into the Amazon Warehouses right before the Holiday shopping season, it’s overwhelming to say the least! Google Shopping Ads are seeing growing interest from retail giants like Amazon, the statistics don’t lie. Finally, eCommerce companies are getting in on the Black Friday fun, offering deals to email subscribers for their services. Read on below for more details from this week’s newsmakers:

Bad News for Smart Set

Women’s clothing store Smart Set to shut down, owner Reitmans says

Source: Global News

After attempts to revitalize the Smart Set brand, it was announced this week that the Canadian retailer will be shutting down. Reitmans, one of Canada’s largest retailers and owner of the banner Smart Set, says they will be closing 31 stores across the country while converting the rest to the flagship brand. Canadian retailers are quickly succumbing to larger retailer enterprises, after holding onto the Canadian retail market for some time. Target is just one of the many large retailers that have finally infiltrated the Canadian market, having opened 133 stores in the country in the past 20 months alone, creating fierce competition for established Canadian brands. For the year ending February 1, Smart Set accounted for 10 per cent of the base company’s annual sales, about $96 million.

Frank and Oak go offline in Toronto

Store Guide: Frank and Oak, the online menswear retailer’s first Toronto flagship

Source: TorontoLife

Popular online menswear retailer Frank and Oak are opening a flagship store in Toronto! The “6” will play host to this Montreal based eCommerce company in the popular Queen Street West shopping district at the corner of Queen and Palmerston. The retail space was designed to replicate the experience that customers are use to having online. Typically customers visiting the retailer’s website would live chat with customer service representatives, in store shoppers have access to make a appointments with in-person advisors who assist with styling. Need a little caffeine boost to make shopping less painful? There’s an in store cafe, which sells Portland-based Stumptown Coffee! Need some grooming done? No problem, you can get a quick haircut at the in-store barbershop! Frank & Oak is located at 735 Queen St. W.

Are you Getting a Deal on Black Friday?

Black Friday Sales Are Just ‘White Lies’ For Some Retailers: Report

Source: Huffington Post

A new study has revealed recently that retailers are pulling your leg on Black Friday, by jacking up prices prior to the shopping day, then offering a discount on those inflated prices. Buyers be warned, polling firm Mustel Group found that about 94% of respond found Black Friday prices to be average, guessing that they were only 23% lower than other times of the year. 76% of shoppers polled believed that retailers were making less money on Black Friday with their sales! When in reality retailer work backwards with suppliers to set pricing in advance to practically guarantee a profit on sales during this time of the year. Data shows for a fact that some retailers, including Target and Wal-Mart raised their prices. Tool and toys are reported to have their pricing increased the most, often by up to 23% during this shopping period.

Inside an Amazon Warehouse at the Start of Holidays

This Is What An Amazon Warehouse Looks Like A Month Before Christmas

Source: Buzzfeed

Everyone knows the Holiday season is the biggest shopping season of the year. Consumers are getting ready to make purchases for their loved-ones (or themselves), while eCommerce giants like Amazon are also making they’re fully prepared. Buzzfeed takes a look inside Amazon’s warehouse prior to the Holiday rush, and the results are spectacular, you have to see this!

eCommerce Companies show Growing Interest in Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping Ads Explode, Igniting Interest From Retailers (Including Amazon)

Source: AdExchanger

What use to be known as “Product Listing Ads”, now Google Shopping Ads, are bringing in a reported $8 billion for Google. Data saw a 70% year-over-year grow in client Google-Shopping Ad investments. Evercore Partners estimates that Google Shopping Ads account for 14% of Google ad spend this year. Results don’t lie, this platform is gaining traction. The “Superbowl of retail marketing” is now upon us, and with it comes heavy Ad implementation and usage. Google Shopping Ad cost-per-clicks spiked 70% in Q4 last year alone! At $7.2 million, Best Buy dropped the most on Google Shopping Ads, with Wal-Mart coming in second having spent $2 million on Google Shopping Ads and $2.8 million on standard text ads. Fifth on the list with $3 million spent on text ads was eCommerce giant Amazon, whose growing influence on Google shopping Ads speaks to the investments made by companies on the platform, particularly mobile.

Black Friday is for…eCommerce! (huh?)

Volusion

Internet Retailer

It should seem obvious that eCommerce would of course take advantage of the shopping season, but it is only recently that companies like Volusion and Internet Retailerhave started to take part in Shopping events like Black Friday. This then gives consumers the chance to not only buy the products they want (hello, new big-screen TV!), but they can also buy the services they want at a discounted price! This is a smart move for the eCommerce industry players to make. Volusion is a fully hosted eCommerce platform is offering Black Friday savings to their email subscribers and Internet Retailer have also sent out an email to subscribers notifying them of deals on their eCommerce intelligence data.