Welcome to our new E-Commerce Insider newsletter, a morning email with the top news and analysis on the e-commerce industry, produced by BI Intelligence.
WAL-MART’S VIDEO GAME STRATEGY: Starting March 26, Wal-Mart’s U.S. customers will be able to trade in their used video games for store credit, which can be applied for anything from electronics to groceries. Importantly, this credit can be used both in Wal-Mart stores, and online, as Ina Steiner reports in eCommerce Bytes. Wal-Mart will refurbish the video games and sell them as certified pre-owned games later this year, offline and online. (eCommerce Bytes)
GRABBING GAMERS: Wal-Mart’s move will help it draw customers from the large but relatively stagnant console gaming community, and perhaps allow Wal-Mart to sell gamers other high-price electronics products like smartphones. The move definitely threatens established video game retailers, both online and offline (read: GameStop).
MOBILE GIFT CODES: Internet Retailer has a nice profile of National Gift Card Corp., the business-to-business supplier of gift cards that wants to become the Amazon of gift cards. The company is seeing especially fast growth in sales of electronic gift codes that are e-mailed to mobile phones. (Internet Retailer)
ALIBABA TO PICK STOCK EXCHANGE: Now that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced its intention to pursue a U.S. initial public offering (IPO), the company needs to select a stock exchange to manage its listing. The IPO could raise as much as $US15 billion, and it’s obviously a coveted listing. The Wall Street Journal reports that the New York Stock Exchange is the early front-runner. (Wall Street Journal)
QUOTE OF THE DAY — “In the era of mobile commerce, all companies start at the same place, and we need three to five years to see who is the final winner,” Alibaba Founder and Chairman Jack Ma, on the increasingly heated competition between his company and the Tencent Group in mobile and mobile commerce. (Internet Retailer)
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TABLET TIPS: Yesterday we reported on explosive triple-digit growth in online retail transacted on tablets, and said that retailers needed to have great tablet sites and apps, or they would miss out on this boom. Usablenet, which powers websites for brands and retailers, has some recent survey research on what tablet shoppers want from tablet sites. According to Usablenet’s survey of 600 U.S. and U.K. consumers:
- Fifty-three per cent cited ease of purchase
- Fifty-one per cent said content should be consistent with what is found on the desktop site
- Fifty per cent cited ease of browsing
In fact, 77% of consumers said if they have a bad tablet experience, they might not buy from the offending site. (Retail Touch Points Blog)
DOMINO’S MOBILE CAMPAIGN: Domino’s Pizza is offering a limited-time 50% discount to customers who order via its mobile website or apps. The promotion coincides with college basketball’s March Madness tournament. Domino’s sold 1.7 million pizzas during the last three games of the tournament last year. The promotion provides some insight into how important mobile is to Domino’s digital strategy. The pizza chain’s mobile website and apps accounted for 40% of its revenues in 2013. (Mobile Commerce Daily)
ETSY ADVICE: Alexandra Ferguson, who sells pillows on Etsy, has published a blog post aimed mainly at small businesses who sell their craft products online. But her tips are applicable to any online brand or seller seeking to differentiate itself with a more curated and intimate approach. Ferguson says sellers should: 1) Be nimble, by taking design and product risks 2) Tell their stories at every opportunity 3) Offer personalised customer service to fight the anonymity that often marks online commerce. “So many products out in the market feel anonymous — they appear to be made by a machine in a far away place,” she writes. Her advice is actually great for large online sellers, too. (Etsy)
INTERNATIONAL E-COMMERCE ROUNDUP —
Serbia: The e-commerce market in Serbia grew 39% last year to $US98 billion, according to the National Bank of Serbia. Interestingly, Serbians conducted most of their online shopping on foreign websites. Out of 1.7 million e-commerce transactions carried out by Serbians, 1.45 million took place on foreign websites. (Europe E-Commerce News)
Chile: E-commerce sales in Chile grew 23% in 2013 to $US1.6 billion, according to preliminary findings from the Santiago Chamber of Commerce. (BN Americas)
France: Fashion retailer H&M announced the launch of its website in France, marking the company’s 10th market for its e-commerce channel. H&M also reported a 12% increase in sales during the first quarter of 2014. Management attributed the growth to the expansion of its bricks-and-mortar, and online stores. (Fashionista)
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