Weekly eCommerce Reading List: Week of January 30

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Alicia Doiron

This week in the eCommerce world, Wal-Mart announced that customers of theirs won't need a membership to receive free two day shipping. What they will need is to spend at least $35 dollars to qualify. eCommerce platform Kibo Commerce, released a study that revealed 8 out of 10 consumers expect a website to display stock amounts of in-store inventory. What we know so far about why Shoes.com abruptly shut down. The Bouqs, an online flower delivery startup raised a series C round of $24 million to help their company bloom.

Wal-Mart Launches Free, Two-Day Shipping On All Order Over $35

Source: TechCrunch

Earlier this week Wal-Mart began offering free, two-day shipping on over two million products including household products, apparel, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, electronics, toys, and groceries. The catch? You no longer need Wal-Marts “ShippingPass” membership to qualify. ShippingPass was Wal-Mart’s answer to Amazon Prime. It costed $49 per year and enabled online shoppers to receive their goods within three days–although they cut that down further to two days last spring. But last Monday, Wal-Mart did away with ShippingPass and reimbursed customers that were members, since they’re now offering free two day shipping to everyone that makes a purchase over $35. Marc Lore, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S. e-Commerce, stated “Since joining Walmart, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what’s next for Walmart.com. For me, the road ahead is pretty simple: We’ll keep our fanatical commitment to saving customers money – it’s who we are. And we’re going to be equally obsessed with saving our customers time...”

Give the People What They Want! What Do They Want? Online Reporting of Store Inventory

Source: Internet Retailer

A recent consumer study by eCommerce platform provider, Kibo Software Inc, recently revealed that 80% of consumers are less likely to visit a physical store when the website does not provide up-to-date product availability. This number is up 56% from last year! The study also revealed that 81% of consumers say that in the past six months they had researched inventory on a retailer’s website before visiting a store, and 39% of consumers expect to see store inventory online. And of course fast and cheap shipping remains top priority for online retailers. 66% of consumers say that providing multiple fulfillment options increases their chances of completing a purchase. Nearly half of consumers also state they are less likely to buy from an online store that doesn’t offer in-store pickup. This is likely due to the fact that many of the top “multi-channel” retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot all provide their customers with a convenient shopping experience across all channels. They allow their online shoppers to see what products are in stock at their local store, enable the store pickup of online orders and fulfill online orders from store inventory. Consumers are now use to this kind of service and have come to expect it from all online retailers.

These Shoes(.com) Weren’t Made For Walkin’

Source: Retail Touch Points

In case you hadn’t already heard, it came as quite a shock when Canadian eCommerce retailer Shoes.com suddenly shut down three of its online brands––SHOES.com, Onlineshoes.com and ShoeME.ca––in addition to their Toronto based brick-and-mortar location on Jan. 27.The company provided no warning and haven’t disclosed many details. What we do know, according to Retail Touch Points, is that there is a limited amount of employees that are staying on for the next couple of weeks as the company winds down operations. The rest of the employees were notified of the decision January 27 and have been compensated through the end end of the month. The retailer is also working with its secured lenders at Hardy Capital to determine how to liquidate assets while Shoes.com intends to assign some or all of the group companies into bankruptcy protection. While from the outside the company looked like it was headed for great things, with the expansion into brick and mortar, eCommerce sales told a different story. According to data from web traffic measurement firm SimilarWeb, since 2015 traffic during the holiday season, November-December experience a year over year drop of 27.1%, from 3.76 million visits in 2015 to 2.74 million visits in 2016. It also didn’t help that two parties filed lawsuits against the company in British Columbia Supreme Court in 2016, claiming more than $100,000 in unpaid provincial sales tax and six months of overdue invoices for an independent contractor.

Startup Flower Delivery Startup The Bouqs Raises $24 million to Help Their Company Bloom

Source: TechCrunch

While there is no shortage of online flower shops, The bouqs does things a bit differently. The Los Angeles based start-up delivers Instagram worthy bouquets straight from the farm; cutting out the middle man, reducing costs, and bringing the consumer fresh cut flowers that last longer. A simple but effective method that has helped the startup grow to profitable status, at least in Q4 of last year. But becoming cash flow positive isn’t yet the goal as the sweet smelling startup has big growth plans they want to act on fast. In addition to taking on the $18 billion digital flower delivery market in the U.S, The Bouqs want to go global, which is why they needed to raise another round of funding. This would put them in the position to go head to head with major players such as 1-800-flowers who brought in net revenues of $1.2 billion last year.


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