Less than 12 hours after Macy's shared bleak holiday results, J.C. Penney Co. said enhanced digital capabilities and strong demand for its private-label offerings helped it to produce strong holiday season same-store sales growth, which allowed the company to reaffirm its full-year profit forecast.
While more peak-season shopping will likely be done online this year than ever before in North America, one of the most important factors in a shopper's decision to use the web will be cost rather than speed of delivery, according to a consumer survey conducted by Canadian parcel and freight service Purolator International, along with the Stony Brook University Center for Survey Research.
Twenty years after the launch of the commercial internet, most merchants still fail to optimize the online checkout experience for the customers who visit their virtual storefronts. The result is that they stand to lose as much as 36 percent of sales due to the frictions that remain from discovery through checkout. Merchants could lose additional sales during payment processing.
A new online service called PriceLocal aims to level the playing field and let local retailers price-match items and provide same day availability. PriceLocal was developed by a former Borders executive, Matt Chosid, as a way for smaller merchants to compete.
The majority of U.S. shoppers plan to do the bulk of their holiday shopping this year online. But retailers know that not all shoppers are created equal, and new research highlights some of the differences.