Ecommerce

56 articles

Making the Case for Technology Investments

Short-term calculations often imperil long-term growth.
Jess Szmajda | Optoro

Retail executives are no strangers to the annual “technology freeze,” a temporary hold placed on new investments, security tools or IT projects in preparation for the peak shopping – and returning – season. And while some industry experts say it’s a smart way to avoid rocking the boat during the industry’s busiest time, others argue that it […]

Reimagining Business: How to Cater to the Customer of the Future

Customers want to be empowered. To do that, companies must move from producers to enablers.
John Marshall | Lippincott

Dan Clay | Lippincott

Meet Dawn. She’s never been to the doctor’s office, but she visits her doctor every week. She’s constantly shopping, but she’s never waited in line. Her apartment recognizes her face. She doesn’t go into the office, she logs onto a platform. She doesn’t have a resume, she has ratings. She doesn’t have a boss, she […]

4 Factors Driving the ‘Age of the Consumer’

The origins of e-commerce lie in the distant past. Its future, however, is ripe for disruption.
Derek Banta | UPS

Malcom McLean, a trucker from North Carolina, isn’t a household name – but you have certainly benefited from his innovation. Today’s global economy would not be possible without the intermodal shipping container, or the box, pioneered by McLean. This box helped standardize ocean shipping, shrunk the world of commerce and enabled global trade by reducing […]

Retail Revival: Can Stores Make a Comeback?

Physical retailers have distinct advantages that can spur business growth – as long as they evolve with their customers.

Though several major retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection this year and others have closed thousands of stores, all seemingly at the hands of online commerce, reports of the death of retail are greatly exaggerated. In fact, research shows that the industry is booming and that stores still matter. Recent data from the U.S. Census […]

How Cognitive Computing Is Reshaping Retail

The old retail playbook is no longer an option. Luckily, digital consumers are leaving clues for us to follow.
Andrew Busby | Retail Reflections

Cognitive computing is forever changing how we shop. How? Consider your social media activity. What did you post on Facebook this week? Twitter? Snapchat? You are sharing your one-of-a-kind digital footprint with the world through images, videos and chats that detail likes, dislikes, emotions and opinions. Retailers know they can “distinguish themselves by providing value […]

Learning to Walk

Here are five lessons forward-looking companies can learn from my infant daughter.
Sean O'Brien | UPS

As my 1-year-old daughter begins her journey toward mobility, she teaches me something new every day – and not just on the need to block the stairs and pad the fireplace. In the new global e-economy, companies and professionals are scrambling to respond to the infancy of this new order of commerce. From company boardrooms […]

4 Things Distributors Can Learn From Retailers

Industrial distributors would be wise to take a page out of retail history.
Kelly Brock | UPS

Several years ago, retailers stood at a crossroads: With e-commerce and shifting demographics disrupting the once-storied retail business model, they could either adapt or risk becoming obsolete. Now distributors find themselves in the same position: They face the most profound business model shift in decades. Generations of businesses have relied on industrial distributors to ensure […]

Digging Deeper With Omnichannel Analytics

What if retailers could do even more with all the data they collect?

Where do you do your shopping? If you’re like me, you’re all over the place. I’ll see a shoe I like in a magazine or on a fashion blog (Jessica Simpson’s are my personal fav) and start researching reviews, prices and availability online. Then, because comfort is key, I’ll find a store where I can […]

Meet My Friends: Personalization and Customer Experience

Want to build customer loyalty? Start here.
Andrew Busby | Retail Reflections

Much is written about personalization and customer experience – the two are natural bedfellows – and if we believe much of what we read, we would be forgiven for thinking that both are highly sophisticated and mature. Both are the product of much development and investment, consequently delivering that most elusive of factors: customer stickability or […]

Global E-Commerce Fraud – Are Your Customers Real?

Here are four tips to reduce risk in the e-commerce space.

E-commerce brings many opportunities to quickly reach more customers nationwide and across the globe. It also brings risks of domestic and international fraud. In the U.S., online fraud increased 39 percent between January and June last year, according to the October 2016 Global Fraud Attack Index. Global e-commerce certainly carries risk, as well as opportunity. […]

Welcome to the Age of the Super-Powered Shopper

Let's take a trip down e-commerce memory lane. Here are seven ways e-commerce has changed over time.
Yura Choung | UPS Longitudes

In 1979, Michael Aldrich connected a telephone line to a television, which connected to a computer to create a concept called “teleshopping.” In other words, people could shop from home. Almost 40 years later, we live in a world where Cyber Monday is an online shopping holiday, and augmented reality lets us look in a […]

Shopping Redefined

Complex technologies and strategies produce a surprisingly simple approach.

The retail and logistics industries have developed a number of terms to define how consumers purchase products. Single channel, multichannel and omnichannel are just a few of these buzzwords. While these terms have their place, they can contribute to a disconnect between merchants and their customers. To consumers, it’s just shopping. The convergence of the […]

Reaching Online Shoppers in Australia

Creating the right partnerships will unlock the Australian e-commerce network.

Retailers looking for their next cross-border, e-commerce opportunity should look down: Down Under to be exact. As early adopters of international online shopping, 77 percent of Australian consumers use a smartphone, 65 percent shop online and 40 percent purchase clothing and footwear from an international merchant, according to the Ecommerce Foundation Australia is a growing force […]

Sustainability: A Brand’s Secret Weapon

Learn how a sustainable approach can unleash other pro-growth strategies.

Business leaders possess a singularly powerful tool to build the world we all want to live in: their corporate brands. We witnessed this recently through a handful of remarkable Super Bowl 50 commercials. Brands such as Airbnb, Budweiser and Coca-Cola aired politically charged commercials celebrating multiculturalism. It’s well-researched that brands capture consumers’ hearts and minds […]

Winning With Shoppers in China

Earning trust in the Chinese e-commerce market could help businesses climb the ladder to success.

With a population of roughly 1.3 billion people, China offers unprecedented growth opportunities for retailers looking to conduct business internationally. China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported last month that online retail sales in China grew 26 percent in 2016 to $752 billion. That’s more than 40 percent of all online sales around the world. The […]

Move Over Millennials: Generation Z is Retail’s Next Big Buying Group

Generation Z will be the key to the next e-commerce boom.
Matthew Shay | National Retail Federation

Millennials are currently retailers’ largest demographic, with a massive consumer base dwarfing the size of their once-dominant Generation X predecessors. And they love to shop online — during the 2016 holiday season, more than one-third of online shoppers were Millennials. But just as Millennials overtook Gen X, there’s another big buying group retailers and consumer […]

How to Win With Online Shoppers in Canada

90 percent of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border – but retailers must better understand them.

How much time do you spend online in a given month? The average American spends 35.2 hours per month online, according to comScore market research. Canadians spend 36.7 hours per month, the most time online of several major economies that comScore studied in late 2014. The country is also one of the most “connected” in […]

How to Click with High-Tech Online Shoppers

Here’s what we can learn from how people shopped in 2016.
Dave Roegge | UPS

It’s clear that holiday shoppers were driven by two main factors this gift-buying season: technology and convenience. According to Consumer Technology Association (CTA), 68 percent of shoppers – about 170 million people – purchased technology this year. And most of those people bought what they wanted, when and how they wanted it. In our 2016 UPS […]

How 2017 Will Challenge and Reward Retailers

Here are five steps to get ahead for the New Year.

Cooler temperatures, seasonal hiring and final preparations for the holiday shopping season are upon us.  Before we know it, the headlines and water cooler conversations will evolve from this year’s holiday sales to what the New Year will bring. The major storylines shouldn’t be too hard to predict. Online shopping projections, especially mobile, continue to […]

Why This Holiday Season Points to Small Retailer Success

Mobile and local shopping trends level the retail playing field.
Udayan Bose | NetElixir

Retail giants dominate the holiday sales season. In fact, a mere 10 companies are predicted to account for more than 66 percent of all retail revenue in the final quarter of 2016. But two of this season’s biggest shopping trends — mobile growth and local searches — are creating more opportunities for small retailers to […]

Busting 5 Holiday Shopping Myths That Come Up Every Year

Don't believe everything you read this holiday season.
Andrew Lipsman | comScore

We are now several weeks into the holiday shopping season, one in which many fascinating storylines have emerged. During the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, online buying from desktop computers totaled $8.41 billion, up 17 percent versus last year. Consumers have shifted their online shopping habits, and retailers have changed their marketing strategies […]

Navigating the New World of Industrial Buying

Caught in a digital tsunami? Here are five ways industrial manufacturers and distributors can ride the wave.

The landscape of industrial manufacturing retail is changing. New market forces are at play, nudging buyers to move away from traditional, channel-centered sales and venture into a world where multiple complementary sales channels operate in tandem – the omni-channel arena. So what’s going on? The rise of online sales has fostered an ever more exacting […]

Back to the Future in e-Commerce

Looking five years back – and forward.
Bala Ganesh | UPS

In the iconic Back to the Future film trilogy, high-schooler Marty McFly and eccentric scientist Emmett “Doc” Brown travel back and forth in time 30 years or more using a tricked-out silver DeLorean fueled by a plutonium-powered “flux capacitor” that generates the 1.21 gigawatts needed for time travel.  When it comes to e-commerce and retailing, […]

Retail’s Virtual Reality Check

Connecting with customers in the physical and virtual worlds requires tools your mom-and-pop shop never imagined.
Paul Butcher | Intel

At its root, connected retail is about one thing: Creating amazing and friction-less customer experiences.  That’s where Intel technology-based unified commerce solutions come into the picture, connecting with customers every time, everywhere and in every way they choose to engage. Getting there is not without its challenges. It means providing a seamless flow among multiple […]

The Social Media Game is Changing for Retailers and Everyone Else

Social media is changing the way companies advertise in a bid to win the internet retail game.
Bala Ganesh | UPS

The raging battle for Internet supremacy — to keep eyeballs and content in one place — is changing the way social media and advertising are implemented in every industry.  And retail is no exception. Historically, the aspiration for content publishers has been to achieve a “walled garden” with a controlled environment offering a wide variety […]

Experience vs. Vision: Finding Retail’s Sweet Spot

A retailer’s three-step process to better managing fulfillment

The term “legacy company” may call to mind an institution with a proud tradition, grounded and established, with experience burnished over time. Or, it could conjure the image of a stodgy, slow-moving enterprise, too steeped in its old practices to meet new and rapidly changing consumer demands.  That’s not a company primed to compete with […]

Ensuring Global E-commerce Success During the Holidays

What can companies do to win the global e-commerce race?

U.S. retailers gearing up for the holidays could be overlooking a key source of sales: international shoppers. To win in the global e-commerce race, companies can’t rely on the same approach they use domestically.  Featured products, marketing content and promotions targeting U.S. consumers may not resonate in all markets. For example, as U.S. retailers promote […]

Your Business Without Boundaries

Cross-border e-commerce is a trillion dollar opportunity. Are you making the most of it?

Plunging into global e-commerce can feel overwhelming. If you’ve ever wondered how you could easily manage the intricacies of duties and taxes, currency conversion, customs processes and the constantly changing regulations – in addition to your current responsibilities – take notice. On the surface, cross-border e-commerce can appear intimidating to even the savviest of retailers. But embracing […]

Retail Steamrollers: Power Shoppers and Millennials

Don't get flattened by the competition.
Bala Ganesh | UPS

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you are not part of the steamroller, you are part of the road,” says author Stewart Brand, editor of The Whole Earth Catalog and founder of the Global Business Network. Retailers who do not stay ahead of the technology curve are likely to get flattened.  Consumers are adopting new technologies more quickly than ever […]

The Smartphone Is Changing Retailing for Good

Nearly half of mobile users are using smartphones or tablets to make online purchases. Is your retail company ready for the small screen?
Bala Ganesh | UPS

Pocket-sized communication devices seem to be taking over our lives — and exercising our thumbs — more than many retailers realize. “The smartphone revolution is under-hyped…more people have access to phones than access to running water,” says Marc Andreessen, entrepreneur, investor and cofounder of Netscape. In terms of time spent, mobile (i.e. smartphone and tablet) […]