Customer engagement is the name of the game in e-commerce. At a minimum customers expect that their orders will be fulfilled correctly and on-time. We spend a lot of time making sure that that happens at Capacity LLC, and that’s really what it takes to stay in the game. There are a few things that retailers can do to engage their customers and to make sure that they keep coming back again and again. Continue reading E-Commerce and Customer Engagement
A stomach virus that has sickened 285 people in 11 states has been linked to food shipments of contaminated produce. The exact cause of the outbreak has yet to be determined by the Center for Disease Control, but the cyclospora infections, have thus far been clustered in the Midwest.
Entrepreneurs in Kuwait have turned Instagram into an on-line storefront. That must have come as big news to Facebook, Instagram’s owner, and the social photo site’s team. But in Dubai, everyone is doing it. Even grandmothers who have their own Instagram storefronts.
The use of Instagram is so widespread that Kuwait even had a Kuwait Instagram Expo. The photos are great, obviously, as are the social applications. However, there’s no way to process financial transactions. Entrepreneurs post a WhatsApp or Kik number for low cost texting and and email address.
Kuwaitis it seems have developed an appetite for selling things other than oil. Many of the goods are things that you might see in other markets on eBay or Etsy. What’s strictly Kuwaiti is sheep. Yes, you heard it. Kuwaitis are doing a brisk business in the sale of sheep on line. Talk about order fulfillment. Just why is there such a brisk trade in sheep. It seems that sheep sacrifices are an integral part of Kuwaiti life.
The largest site seems to be @sheep_sell which looks like it’s selling a wide range of sheep and has over 2,500 followers.
Asia is the next frontier for e-commerce. The continent’s growth in online retail has soared by nearly 140 percent in the last three years. By 2020 analysts predict that Asia will account for 23 percent of the online sales market, according to the J. Safra Sarasin Group. That would be a tremendous jump from the 3.8 percent of worldwide online sales attributed to Asia just last year. Global e-commerce sales are expected to hit $1 trillion this year.
Much of the growth is expected to come from China, which by the end of the decade, is expected to edge past the United States as the world’s largest online retail market. For the last several years e-commerce in China has grown by more than 60 percent annually. Retailers world wide are positioning themselves to enter the lucrative Chinese market. The NFL announced last week that it would be opening up an online store for the Chinese market. The store, which will be opened with ExportNow, will sell apparel, equipment and accessories branded with the logos of the NFL and its 32 teams over an e-commerce platform on China’s Tmall.com and is expected to open in September.
What’s truly extraordinary is that the growth of Chinese e-commerce is taking place with Internet penetration of just 42 percent. Driving the Chinese is increasing Internet penetration combined with the rapid growth of the Chinese middle class.
The effects of the Great Recession may finally be coming to an end. That’s if consumer sentiment aligns with the 2013 Retail Outlook Survey by KPMG. Eighty-five percent of the 101 senior retail execs responding to the survey expect capital expenditures to increase or remain the same over the next year.
The results of the survey indicate that execs expect increase spending on geographic expansion (61%), information technology (40 %) and advertising and marketing/branding (24%). Technology will drive a great deal of the increased growth expected post Recession. Seventy-one percent of the executives are using social media to explore new ways of doing business and to reach their customers. That’s up from 58 percent a year ago.
Mobile is also becoming a huge factor. Fifty-two percent of the respondents are making use of mobile and online shopping techniques. Fifty one percent are using mobile and online promotions and coupons. They also expect analytics to play a major role going forward. Seventy-two percent believe that data and analytics offer insights that help them to make strategic decisions.
The results represent good news for retailers. The positive response comes despite a pervasive sense that consumer sentiment remains volatile and unemployment remains high.