This week in eCommerce, we’ve been hearing a lot of digital news from the offline world! To start, Hudson’s Bay Company announced this week that they will be deploying the iBeacon technology in some of its physical retail locations. BaubleBar is experimenting with brick and mortar sales through Nordstrom and their own boutique in Manhattan. Blue Nile also experiments in Nordstrom through showrooming. Google releases a new feature that will allow merchants to enable ratings on their Product Listing Ads. India’s eCommerce market continues to boom and Amazon invests $2 billion to grow it further. Check out our Weekly Wrap Up summaries below and get the full story!
Get Ready for Notifications from Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor
Earlier this week, Hudson’s Bay Company announced that they will be implementing an iBeacon shopping experience in some of its 130 Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor locations across both Canada and the US. HBC will be one of the largest companies to deploy the Bluetooth LE beacons that send shoppers location-aware, targeted notifications. We’re excited to see how this plays out.
While some retailers move online, others are moving offline
While brick and mortar store companies are moving online, online-only retailers are beginning to move offline! Within the last year, online retailers Warby Parker, Birchbox, Etsy, and Baublebar have decided to expand into the physical world of shopping. There’s no doubt that eCommerce is growing, but it’s important to keep in mind that physical stores still make up about 90% of retail sales happen in store.
Another online retailer is starting to move offline; Blue Nile. The company that pioneered the sale of jewelry online at steep discounts is turning to brick and mortars to enhance their business. Unlike some other brands such as BaubleBar and Etsy, who are actually beginning to sell offline, Blue Nile is only showcasing their products. If customers actually want to purchase jewellery, they would have to do so at the Blue Nile online store. Although this may not seem like a dramatic move, their showcasing at the Nordstrom department stores, is proving to show the power of omni-channel commerce.
Google’s Product Listing Ads Will Now Show Ratings
To all those online shoppers that love product reviews and depend on them when shopping, you might be happy to hear this. Shoppers will soon be able to see ratings on Google’s Product Listing Ads, which are based on ratings from merchants, review sites, aggregators, and more. Although this feature will only be available for American merchants, it will become available to other markets in the coming months, so stay tuned!
Amazon only opened their Indian website last June, but they are already on track to be Amazon’s fastest country ever to a billion dollars in gross sales. Now, Amazon announced that they will invest a further $2 billion in India, raising the stakes in a nascent but fast-growing eCommerce sector. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, said “With this additional investment of $2 billion, our team can continue to think big, innovate, and raise the bar for customers in India,”. Who knows where the eCommerce market in India will be in a few years!