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E-Commerce News: 05-11 February 2016

E-commerce folks! We are back with e-commerce news of this passing week. We have news about Valentine’s Day, loyalty programs, and much more!

As it is Valentine’s Day this Sunday, everyone is looking for gifts for their loved ones, either chocolate, flowers, jewelry or dinner out at a restaurant. The tradition was to buy things from the physical stores. But now as it turns out just like other holiday shopping Valentine’s Day gift purchases also turning its face to online shops. Not only the rates of online purchases are increasing, but the rate of purchases through mobile devices is also increasing every year.

The average spending on gifts in 2016 in the US is expected to be around $146.84 according to the National Retail Federation. And 17.3% of the purchases are expected to be from smartphones while 20.3% of the purchases are expected from tablets. And the trend is moving towards mobile is increasing for young people and females.

Also predicted purchases by-products are $4.4 billion on jewelry, $2 billion on apparel, $1.1 billion on greeting cards, $1.9 billion on flowers, $681 million on pet treats in the US. And the total sales is expected to be about $19.7 billion. The numbers of sales and mobile device usages have increased compared to 2015.

This was the trend in the US.

In Japan, about 45.6% of the purchases will be from department stores, and 10.1% of the sales will be through e-commerce companies. Surveys show that department stores are waiting for a big boost thanks to chocolate being a very popular gift in Japan. Also, Amazon Japan is launching free sommelier phone service which will provide a guide for consumers so that they can pick up the best wine they can have on different occasions.

Speaking of Amazon, it has recently expanded its quick delivery in the US, Japan, the UK, Belgium, and India. This includes Prime Now being available in Raleigh, N.C., Liverpool, UK, and Japan which has Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Yokohama. And in India, Amazon is offering Prime Now which claims to deliver items within two hours.

The rumors of Amazon opening hundreds of bookstores influenced many other e-commerce companies to think about opening physical stores. Some businesses may consider fully operating shops and some may consider guide shops where customers can try out the products before ordering them online.

Loyalty Cards

As companies are working hard on getting customers loyalty programs are getting more popular. The number of customers registered in these programs is increasing while the number of participants is decreasing. A research in June 2015 showed that in the US most of the members of loyalty programs were more likely to shop at those stores who offer loyalty rewards. In another survey conducted in September 2015, it turned out that 73% of the US participants thought price and value was the biggest factor for brand loyalty. Thus, loyalty programs may lead customers to be loyal to lowest prices instead of the brand itself.

Juniper Research’s new study reveals that with the increase in retail apps, mobile-only loyalty cards are expected to see 3 billion in 2020. It also advised companies to have mobile integrated loyalty programs if they don’t want to be at a disadvantage since mobile commerce is increasing rapidly.

Another news we found important was Twitter’s new advertising offering called First View. This will make the ad of a particular company (who paid for this premium service) stay on the users’ first screen for 24 hour period. And with First View and its usual ad offering Twitter’s ad revenues are expected to continue growing. The increase from 2015 to 2016 is expected to be 45.0% from $2.03 billion to $2.95 billion. With mobile ads, the rate seems to stay the same but it will increase from $1.81 billion to $2.62 billion.

These were some of the events happening all around the ecommerce world this week. If you want to see more check out our blog again next week!

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