It’s the biggest shopping season of the year! How will consumers behave in Q4? Well, according to a survey by the Interactive Media in Retail Group 47% of online shoppers in the United Kingdom are planning to wait until the last week of Christmas to do their online gift-buying. Fab.com CEO Jason Goldberg revealed recently that the design marketplace had to make cuts and pivot the business towards his new venture Hem.com, as the company was burning through $14 million per month! Goldberg was quoted with saying, “I didn’t start it to sell it [fab.com], I started it to build a great e-commerce business.” Europe’s Sign2Pay launches, with hopes to give mobile commerce the visibility and help it needs to become more standard and viable. Currently 40% of overall traffic hits mobile devices, but no one is converting because of poor processes and no solutions. Staples announced a potential security reach of consumer data, this comes not long after fellow retailers Home Deport, Target, and Supervalu, also experienced credit card data leaks this year. Japan’s giant eCommerce site Rakuten is now operational in the United Kingdom. This move was made in attempt to generate new streams for revenue as Japan is still dealing with an economic stall. San Francisco start-up MTailor is bringing consumers the perfect shirt, via a simple body scan. This application’s concept is one of a force of new online stores that are challenging traditional retail models. For all the details about this week’s top eCommerce news, continue reading below!
Just how last minute are shoppers going to be this holiday season? According to a study by U.K. e-retail association Interactive Media in Retail Group, 47% of online shoppers in the U.K. are planning to wait until the last week prior to Christmas to complete their online shopping. This number is a 34% increase from statistics from last year’s holiday season, with logistics companies preparing for the anticipated surge. UPS announced plans this past summer to invest $175 million in their delivery preparations! This is key, as consumers have been polled to believe that they are able to rely on logistics companies to get them their packages by Christmas, despite putting orders in five days or less before the major holiday. Fortunately for delivery companies, the blame for late shipments is usually placed upon the retailer, says IMRG.
It was revealed recently by Fab.com CEO Jason Goldberg that the design marketplace did not raise as much money as previously projected, having only hit $150 million of the excepted $300 million. Despite a $1 billion valuation, the European eCommerce marketplace was burning through $14 million a month prior to a decision to make cuts and pivot the business. In comes Hem.com, Fab’s new vertical home furnishing business. Built following the acquisitions of European companies MassivKonzept and One Nordic, Hem – which translates to “Home” in Swedish – had shown great margins. Although Goldberg has had the opportunity to sell Fab, and with it currently for sale in its home market, Goldberg insists that he didn’t create Fab.com to sell it off. In fact Goldberg has stated that Hem.com would be keeping Fab’s capital and $1 Billion valuation.
With conversion rates 60% lower on mobile than desktop, Europe’s Sign2Pay is here to try to improve mCommerce and streamline the bank’s cumbersome processes. Although mobile receives 40% of overall online traffic, it still produces abysmal conversion rates because payment solutions are not optimized for mobile devices. In offering a unified solution for mobile debit payments, Sign2Pay is helping to propel mCommerce forward. Instead of needing the hardware required to authenticate a transaction, Sign2Pay uses a realtime signature inputted via touchscreen or tablet taking into account how the signature is written (i.e. speed and strokes) rather than just visual replication. This leads to a more robust authentication process, and for added fun you need not use your signature as even a unique doodle can be used to secure the process. After a one-time sign up and three step “signature” verification, consumers are able to easily make a payment from their bank to a retailer. Sign2Pay is focused purely on debit cards rather than credits cards, a decision that is culturally inclined to the European market where debit transactions are more commonplace.In addition to the €590 000 raised by investors Sign2Pay also received innovation grants to fund two pieces of IP that are need to run its operations.
Following recent breaches of consumer data from fellow retailers, Home Deport, Target, and Supervalu, Staples reported it is now investigating a potential security breach of credit card data. So far Staples has kept quiet on the issue, not wanting to unnecessarily alarm consumers, and have yet to specify whether this effects Canadian shoppers. Staples commented reiterating that in the event a consumer observes any fraudulent activity on their credit card that they are not at all responsible for those charges if they get reported in a timely manner. This security breach couldn’t have come at worst time to for the company, as this past year Staples announced it would be closing as many as 225 stores in the United States and Canada. Data breaches are now the new norm for retailers and banks, and are unfortunately time consuming to investigate and costly to resolve.
Japan’s closest eCommerce site to heavyweight Amazon, Rakuten, is now in the U.K. Rakuten.co.uk launched this week to consumers in the United Kingdom, allowing independent retailers to sell online. After starting in Japan in 1997, Rakuten, has expanded in attempt to look for new streams of revenue as the economy continues to stall in Japan. Yearly revenue growth has decreased from 22% to 8.3%, with Rakuten’s profits falling 39% last quarter. Rakuten notably purchased Israeli instant messaging provider Viber for $90 million to competitive with Tencent’s WeChat messenger app. This past summer Rakuten also announced a joint venture with Malaysian low-cost airline, AirAsian to set up a similar service in Japan. Hopefully their U.k. operations prove to be profitable for the eCommerce site.
MTailor a California based start-up is bringing tailored shirts to online shoppers. This application uses your phone camera to scan your body, then through its advanced sizing algorithms creates a beautifully tailored shirt designed to fit perfectly! This innovative idea not only provides a great end-product, it also takes aim at one of the only remaining advantages that brick-and-motar stores have, which is the ability to offer a fitting room for customers. MTailor is one of many new retail startups who start with an online store as the central part of its experience, an experience that founder Miles Penn says he wants to be better than in-store shopping. Pricing for an MTailor shirt is roughly the same that one would pay for a regular tailored shirt, about $69 and $89, however with the bonus option for customers to keep or return a shirt if they’re unsatisfied with the end result.