The holiday shopping season has ended, and Amazon once again dominated the ecommerce space. Online sellers continue to proliferate, while legacy retailers like Sears and Macy’s announce store closings. Walmart continues its battle for ecommerce market share by acquiring online apparel and footwear retailer, ShoeBuy.com.
Amazon FBA Sellers Deliver More Than 2 Billion Products in 2016
According to Amazon, more than 2 billion items sold by marketplace sellers were shipped through FBA in 2016, doubling 2015. Products shipped through FBA grew by 50% year over year during the holiday season.
More merchants are joining Amazon’s FBA program. Active sellers using the service grew more than 70% year over year. In fact, half of all merchandise sold on Amazon.com comes from third-party sellers, small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Similarly, Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime program, which lets third-party sellers flag their product listings as eligible for Prime but ship the products themselves, saw millions of orders processed in 2016. More than 6 million Prime-eligible items have been added since SFP’s launch in May 2015.
Amazon Marketplace will only become more crowded as more consumers opt for the convenience of online shopping. Online merchants will need to develop smarter strategies to stay competitive, boost sales and win customers.
Via Retail Dive
Walmart’s Jet.com Acquires Zappos Competitor ShoeBuy for $70 Million
This week, Walmart announced that it acquired the online retailer ShoeBuy, to compete with Amazon’s Zappos and help bolster Jet’s presence in the apparel and footwear arena. While ShoeBuy isn’t nearly as large as Zappos in terms of revenue, the acquisition will improve Jet.com’s product assortment and industry relationships.
Founded in 1999, ShoeBuy is one of the first companies to sell shoes online. Its inventory of more than 1 million products spreads across 800 brands, which not only include shoes, but also clothing, accessories and bags.
Apparel is the largest online sales category in the U.S., with Amazon being the largest online seller of clothing in the country. Jet’s inventory pales in comparison to Amazon’s, so small acquisitions like these will strengthen Jet’s position.
ShoeBuy will continue to operate as a standalone and complementary site, but join Jet’s ecommerce organization. Suppliers for ShoeBuy who are interested in expanding their reach will now have the option to sell on Jet.com.
Sears, Macy’s and The Limited Close Down Retail Stores
Fewer people are visiting malls and department stores. Despite record-breaking online sales for several online and omnichannel retailers, Macy’s struggled with sagging sales during the crucial shopping season. The iconic retailer recently confirmed closing 68 stores, as part of the 100 closures announced last year. Sears Holdings announced major closures, as well, shuttering 108 K-mart stores and 42 Sears locations.
Brick-and-mortar stores are truly feeling the retail slump. But if the U.S. economy is doing just fine, why are we experiencing so many store closures? Last Sunday, the women’s apparel chain, The Limited, began closing all 250 of its stores nationwide, slashing 4,000 jobs. Like other apparel retailers, The Limited had been striving to stay relevant in the midst of shifting consumer behavior and interests.
Smart retailers understand the importance of adapting to customer expectations. Today’s busy consumer values convenience, price and personalization, so much of retail is becoming omnichannel. Retailers that are succeeding seem to be the ones who are best at merging the online and offline shopping experiences.
Via Seeking Alpha
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