You’d think online retailing would be all figured out by now, but it’s just getting more complex — and more promising — than ever. With the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon and the online-first player’s competition with brick-and-mortar behemoth Walmart, the nexus of online/offline has become a hot topic of discussion and innovation among marketers.
Bluetooth, beacons and other technologies are helping brick-and-mortar retail locations leverage the benefits of big data and precise targeting, while e-commerce players encourage showrooming but also toy with pop-up stores and other real-world brand representations. It’s all coming together.
But this also means the customer journey is more difficult to predict and is increasingly unique, challenging marketers seeking to provide the right information or offer at just the right time and touch point.
The good news is that all the innovation is driving increasing adoption of e-commerce, with the US Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau reporting that its estimate of first quarter 2017 e-commerce revenues increased 14.7 percent from the first quarter of 2016, while total retail sales increased 5.1 percent in the same period. The percentage of total retail revenues brought in by e-commerce sales continues to rise, as well, accounting for 8.5 percent of total sales — the highest-ever percentage — in the first quarter.
So, it’s well worth playing in the e-commerce space, but where to turn for guidance? Why, Marketing Land, of course. Today, we’re kicking off our annual Holiday Retailer coverage for the fourth straight year, compiling news, stats, new ideas and expert advice to help you get the most out of this make-or-break season.
Today, we’re starting off with a look at the growing on-demand economy led by Amazon, with columnist Adam Dorfman sharing tips for how retailers can successfully compete. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll keep you up on what your competition is up to, what consumers are looking for, what techniques and technologies innovators are employing, and more.
So tune in regularly to our Holiday Retailer coverage and we’ll keep you brimming with ideas — and advice on how to employ them — as you prepare for the deluge coming this winter.