Retail


Internet users ages 50 and older have been fairly slow to embrace the internet, digital commerce and the sharing economy—but that’s changing as familiarity increases and the benefits become clear.

Many kids may still be wrapping up the current school year, but retailers are already gearing up for the back-to-school shopping season. This year, back-to-school retail sales will reach $828.81 billion, eMarketer estimates, and a higher share than ever is occurring online.

Migrating analog processes and data to digital technologies has become increasingly valuable for retailers and manufacturers that want to more closely monitor their supply chain. According to research, well over half of these firms expect to step up dollars for supply chain digitization.

Nearly a third of US grocery buyers said they would shop for more groceries digitally if the prices were better than they were in-store. But the same April 2016 research also found that almost a quarter of respondents said they would never shop online for groceries digitally.

Retail marketers in the US will invest $15.09 billion in paid digital media advertising in 2016, a 14.9% rise over 2015. The retail industry will remain by far the largest digital ad spender among US industry sectors tracked by eMarketer through at least 2020.

Javier Calvar, chief operating officer of Albatross Global Solutions, discusses the challenges facing luxury brands as they attempt to extend their appeal in digital channels.

As mobile usage becomes ubiquitous, the path to purchase is becoming less defined. Shoppers are always connected, well-informed and often quick to convert both digitally and in-store. The traditional shopping phases still exist, but once smartphones are introduced, behavior shifts.

High-end brands may have been slow to contemplate online sales, but many are now taking the plunge. Maria del Carmen Fernández González, CEO at Infinitum Ecommerce in Spain, spoke to eMarketer about the obstacles luxury brands face in a world transformed by digital channels, and how they can boost their appeal to target audiences.

Mobile advertising drives more store visits than desktop advertising, according to Jeff Campbell, co-founder and managing director of digital marketing agency Resolution Media. eMarketer spoke with Campbell about the various ways mobile can influence consumers as the move through the path to purchase and why retailers should rethink the way they measure mobile advertising.

Whether it’s monitoring the supply chain, tracking and managing inventory, delivering personalized promotions, or enabling ecommerce from new environments, the retail internet of things (IoT) is ushering in an era in which “smart” things can seamlessly collect, share and analyze real-time data.

Consumers are steadily downloading more retail apps to their device compared to a year prior, research found. Indeed, nearly a quarter of respondents said they have between six and 10 retail apps on their smartphone as of April 2016, up 3 percentage points from October 2015.

Walgreens customers use their mobile devices to research products, but they don’t convert until they get to the store, according to Kartik Subramanian, Walgreens’ director of product management and mobile commerce. Subramanian spoke with eMarketer and explains that the pharmacy chain is now exploring ways to effectively engage with smartphone users while they’re in store and measure the impact of mobile on in-store purchases.

Beacons are most often thought of as a means to target ads to consumers on a hyperlocal level, but data gathered by beacons can also help to serve them better ads wherever they go. eMarketer discussed this advancement with Andrew Dubatowka, director of product strategy and marketing at mobile advertising and marketing platform Opera Mediaworks, and Thomas Walle, CEO and co-founder of proximity network Unacast, whose companies entered a partnership to allow beacon and proximity data to be used for retargeting.

Snapchat is still considered a newcomer by many brands, and few have added it to their social marketing arsenal. Department store retailer Nordstrom, however, has been using Snapchat to reach specific segments of its diverse customer base since March 2015, and directed its most recent campaign at college students. Bryan Galipeau, the retailer’s director of social media and display, spoke to eMarketer about what makes Snapchat powerful.

Department stores offer several digital services to consumers, ranging from personalized promotional offers to receiving recommendations from a personal shopper. While some find these services to be cool, others find them creepy.

Consumers expect to use their mobile device as part of their shopping experience, and according to February 2016 research, nearly two-thirds of US retailers understand that’s where they need to be.

Mother’s Day spending in the US is expected to reach $21.39 billion this year, a slight increase compared to a year prior, according to research.

Promotions in weekly circulars can drive purchases at grocery stores, according to February 2016 research. In fact, more than a third of grocery buyers shop at a store frequently because of these offers.

More than eight in 10 Gen Z and millennial internet users in the US feel it’s important for a brand to operate a brick-and-mortar location. And other, older generations are not too far behind, according to findings.

Digital grocery shopping in the US appears here to stay—21% of US households purchased groceries digitally in 2015, compared to just 11% in 2013.