This Week in eCommerce: May 20 – 24

Every week we like to gather some of the top articles in eCommerce to share with our followers. This week we saw a lot of buzz about how major retailers are optimizing mCommerce, changes in the perception of Showrooming, and new ways companies are enhancing consumer shopping experience. To view the Top articles, check out the post below.

The Future of Retailing is The History of Retailing

Article: Wal-Mart to Send Automated Shopping Lists to Its Mobile App
Source: Network World

Wal-Mart plans to use data about its customer’s shopping and purchasing habits to automatically create shopping lists on its mobile app.  Wal-Mart plans to harness the influential power that mobile has on purchases in order to improve the customer in-store shopping experience.  Wal-Mart’s mobile app currently drives approximately one-third of traffic to Walmart.com. The app includes shopping-list functions that help locate products in the store as well as offer relevant digital coupons redeemable through the phone.  Wal-Mart plans on automatically generating a shopping list every time the customer opens the mobile app.

The Journey to Online Purchase

Article: Google’s Purchase Path Tool Helps Merchants View All Marketing Channels
Source: Practical eCommerce

The path customers take before making a purchase has become more complex due to social media and multi-platform browsing.  Google’s new tool Customer Journey to Online Purchase, will help merchants understand just how customers determine which marketing channels (e.g. social media, paid search ads, and email) influence the customer at different points along the path to purchase.

Twitter Ramps Up Security

Article: Twitter Adds Verification Feature
Source: The Wall Street Journal

In an attempt to mitigate continued high-profile security breaches that occurred over the past year, Twitter announced that they are implementing two-factor authentication services across the Web.  After attempting to log in, users are asked to provide a mobile number.  Twitter sends a security code via text message and the user will then input the code to complete login.  There are drawbacks to this option.  Brands and agencies with shared Twitter accounts, whose social-media presence is managed by multiple people, can potentially experience some difficulty with the new security feature.

Google Transitions Google Checkout to Google Wallet

Article: Google Admits Defeat in Its 7yr Battle With Amazon and PayPal
Source: ReadWriteWeb

Earlier this week, Google announced that it is shutting down its web-based payment system Google Checkout, in an effort to remove itself from the business of processing payments for physical goods and services while Amazon and eBay’s PayPal continue to dominate. Google Wallet is a multi platform checkout system that allows merchants to cater to the demands of multi-platform purchases. Could this decision to shut down Google Checkout, result in a missed opportunity? This announcement leaves the impression that Google is taking a large step back from the world of eCommerce. Web Merchants can continue to accept payments via Google Checkout until November 20, 2013.

Is Showrooming Really a Threat to Retail?

Article: Showrooming Overhyped, Mobile Key to Shopping Purchases
Source: Online Media Daily

Some might consider the showrooming threat overblown.  The definition of showrooming continues to change.  Last year, people went into stores and then searched online to purchase items at another retailer for less while still in store.  Now consumers are using their mobile devices to confirm that they are getting the best price from the store they are in.  The fear of showrooming stems from the fact that retailers invest in traditional advertising media to get people to come into the store, only to lose them again. Ultimately the research process still begins at home on search engines and comparison sites.

How YouTube Can Enhance the Consumer Shopping Experience

Article: YouTube Finally Makes Some Videos “Shoppable”
Source: Mashable

Google is releasing a “channel gadget” that will allow shoppers to purchase their favorite products featured in YouTube videos. Currently, demonstration and product review videos provide opportunities for companies to speak to their audience. The new channel gadget will enable consumer engagement. Viewers will be able to seamlessly transition from browsing products to locating retailers, further enhancing the consumer online shopping experience.