Internet Retailer

Catalogers Book the Highest Conversion Rate in the Top 500
April 30, 2013

Catalog and call center retailers in the "2013 Internet Retailer Top 500" guide outperform retail chains, manufacturers and Web-only retailers in one important e-commerce metric: conversion rate. As a group, they have the highest average conversion rate of 5.1 percent in 2012, an improvement from 4.7 percent in 2011. Indeed, catalog and call center retailers have consistently had the highest average conversion rate among the merchant types in the 10 years since the publication of the first Internet Retailer guide to e-commerce, called the Top 300 in 2003. One big reason is that these retailers typically

Amazon Targets Greying (or Already Grey) Consumers With Its Newest Web Store
April 17, 2013

Amazon.com today launched an online store designed for consumers aged 50 and older. The e-commerce operation, called 50+ Active and Healthy Living Store, sells such items as vitamins, blood pressure monitors, incontinence supplies and books. Consumers can sign up for the e-retailer’s Subscribe and Save program to receive automated shipments of certain products. “We’re excited to offer customers in the 50+ age range a place to easily discover hundreds of thousands of items that promote active and healthy living,” says Chance Wales, Amazon’s director of beauty and health and personal care

Cart Abandonment Emails Gain More Attention
January 11, 2013

More e-retailers are sending emails to consumers who’ve added products to their online shopping carts but then left without buying. Nineteen percent of retailers listed in Internet Retailer’s "Top 500 Guide" and "Second 500 Guide," which collectively rank the top 1,000 e-retailers in North America by sales, send at least one cart abandonment email. That’s up from 14.6 percent that did so in 2011, according to email marketing vendor Listrak. Listrak’s annual analysis of the cart abandonment email practices of the Top 1,000 retailers show that smaller retailers, in particular, stepped up their use of email to encourage consumers to

7 Conversion Optimization Mistakes to Leave Behind in 2013
January 2, 2013

The Web has come a long way since the early days of 3D tables and dancing hamsters. Optimizing websites for conversion is catching on, but there are still some major blunders that companies and organizations seem doomed to repeat. Here are seven blunders that should not be taken into 2013. Blunder No. 1: If you have to tell me how to get around your site, you’re doing it wrong. Visitors don’t have the time or the inclination to learn how to navigate your site. You can tell this site was designed by engineers

A Return Trip Through 80 Retailers’ Email Sign-Up Experiences
January 2, 2013

Are inbox welcome experiences getting any better? That's what I wanted to find out by revisiting the retailers whose welcome programs I evaluated here approximately one year ago. Readers can scan that article for the methodology I used in evaluating the programs. At a high level, this is an assessment of the retail vertical welcome experience. 

U.S. E-commerce Sales Grow 17.3% in Q3
November 20, 2012

U.S. e-commerce sales reached $56.99 billion in the third quarter, up 17.3 percent from $48.59 billion for the same period a year ago, according to figures released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Third quarter 2011 e-commerce sales increased 3.7 percent from $54.94 billion in the second quarter, according to the department’s seasonally adjusted estimates. The 17.3 percent growth posted for the third quarter follows three quarters when e-retail sales growth hovered just above 15 percent. The last time e-commerce sales growth was greater than 17 percent was in the first quarter of 2011

How Online Privacy Trends Could Hurt E-commerce Sites
October 24, 2012

Privacy advocates generally favor making it easier for online consumers to block or delete tracking cookies. But if consumers do turn off cookies, they may find retailer websites less suited to their individual needs, says Eoin Comerford, CEO of Moosejaw Mountaineering, a multichannel retailer of outdoor sporting goods. “There’s a consumer expectation for a certain degree of personalization in the e-commerce site experience, and if more consumers say they don’t want to get tracked at all, it will hurt online retailing.”

Online Heavyweights Form a National Trade Group
September 24, 2012

The Internet Association, a trade group backed by online businesses including Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google Inc., officially launched Sept. 19 with a promise to advocate in Washington, D.C., for a “free and innovative” Internet. “A free and innovative Internet is vital to our nation’s economic growth,” says Michael Beckerman, the group’s president and CEO. 

The State of E-commerce Checkout Design 2012
September 6, 2012

A year ago, we published an article on 11 fundamental guidelines for e-commerce checkout design here at Smashing Magazine. The guidelines presented were based on the 63 findings of a larger "E-Commerce Checkout Usability" study we conducted in 2011 focusing strictly on the checkout user experience, from “cart” to “completed order.” This year, we’ve taken a look at the state of e-commerce checkouts by documenting and benchmarking the checkout processes of the top 100 grossing e-commerce websites based on the findings from the original study. This led to a massive checkout database with 508 checkout steps reviewed, 975 screenshots and

Lawsuits Underscore the Risks of Text Marketing
September 4, 2012

New mobile technology has more consumers filing class action lawsuits regarding texts. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act—a law passed in 1991 to curb abusive telemarketing practices—originally did not cover mobile marketing via text message. That’s because it didn’t exist. However, consumers have recently filed hundreds of class action lawsuits under the law citing unwanted texts and violation of privacy—and many consumers are getting large payouts in settlements, says David Almeida, a partner in the Chicago office of Sedgwick LLP, an international trial and litigation law firm. The TCPA was judicially expanded in 2009 to include texts