eBay Enterprise has launched a Ship-from-Store SaaS solution that turns physical retail locations into virtual distribution centers.
Amazon filed a patent for "anticipatory package shipping," a system that predicts what a customer will buy and sends items to the closest warehouse near that shopper's shipping address. The goal of the system is to send items to shipping hubs in areas where it believes they will sell well, which leads to shorter delivery times.
While desktop computer purchases accounted for the majority of e-commerce purchases this holiday season, the growth of m-commerce during the season was undeniable. In fact, annual m-commerce sales are expected to reach $707 billion by 2018, representing 30 percent of all e-commerce, according to a new report. The projected growth of the market is not surprising to those of us following m-commerce's developments in the past year alone.
While many of the nouveau creations presented at the world's largest consumer electronics show seem unrealistic, some of them help shape how consumers use technology for years to come. In fact, some of this year's introductions will help facilitate m-commerce and e-commerce sales in the near future.
After United Parcel Service’s delivery fiasco over Christmas, reporters are speculating that Amazon may fire the delivery service in the future. A portion of online shoppers across the U.S. said their packages were not delivered by Christmas, even though they ordered their gifts by the dates that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Walmart.com (NYSE: WMT), and other retailers said they needed to order by to have them shipped in time. Some retailers promised Christmas delivery for shoppers who ordered as late as 11 p.m. on December 23.
In the latest show of support for Bitcoin, Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) said in late December that it would start accepting bitcoins for payment in June. And some small brick-and-mortar retailers across the U.S. are already accepting the digital currency. Overstock.com, the largest retailer to throw its weight behind Bitcoin, is reviewing several third-party firms that facilitate Bitcoin transactions, The New York Times reported. In a commodity system fraught with fraud and ever-changing value, we are surprised to see major retailers jumping on board with bitcoins. Bitcoins can be purchased and exchanged for standard currency, such as dollars, Euros and yen, at bitcoin exchanges. In mid-November, the value of Bitcoins jumped to $900.98 for a single bitcoin and then the value fell just as quickly as it rose.
As of December 9, 32 million Americans had not even started their Christmas shopping. That is an overwhelming number of people who are desperately looking for last-minute deals online, trying to avoid the crowded stores. In fact, a recent National Retail Federation (NRF) survey, conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics, found that 49.9 percent of shoppers plan to do the rest of their shopping online, the highest percentage in the survey’s 11-year history. Already, holiday e-commerce spending has set records, topping $19.2 billion as of December 17, a 20.6 percent increase over the same period last year, according to comScore.
It is gratifying when criminals seeking to rip off retailers and consumers are caught and brought to justice. That is exactly what happened last week (December 11), when the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York charged 23 individuals with participating in a large-scale counterfeit credit card scheme. Officials say the criminals obtained more than 1,000 stolen credit and debit card numbers and created counterfeit credit and debit cards with the stolen account information. The group then utilized teams of “shoppers” to make more than $2 million of unauthorized purchases at retail stores located throughout the U.S.
Add Home Depot (NYSE: HD) to the growing list of major U.S retail chains offering same day delivery. Starting next year, the national home improvement retailer plans to spend at least $300 million on supply chain improvements to increase online sales and offer same day delivery service. Home Depot plans to open three new fulfillment centers in California, Atlanta and Ohio over the next two years, The Wall Street Journal reported. It will also transform its warehouse technology systems and add same-day delivery service for professional contractors as well as customers who are in the middle of projects and need supplies within hours.
Most major retailers reported increased sales this holiday from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, thanks in part to m-commerce. Notably, mobile spending reached $314 million on Black Friday, out of the total $1.512 billion spent online that day, comScore found. Plus, mobile sales accounted for $350 million of Cyber Monday’s $2.085 billion in online sales. M-commerce sales accounted for nearly 21 percent of total Black Friday online sales and 17 percent of Cyber Monday sales. And Wal-Mart Stores’ (NYSE:WMT) executives gave thanks for the spike in mobile traffic that greatly benefited their Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. The traffic from mobile devices to Walmart.com between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday was more than 50 percent of total traffic, up a significant 40 percent from last year, according to Walmart.