For years, there was little innovation in eCommerce (both in technology and business model). Online price comparisons was the biggest (and pretty much only) value-add for consumers for many years.
This has changed in the last 3-4 years – think Social Commerce, Group Shopping, Private Sales, Open Source Technologies, Effectiveness of Marketplaces and Mashups to name a few. All this has led to great shopping experiences.
Then there are other factors – market growth and potential (only about 6% of retail is online, but influences about 80% in most segments), more and more consumers are comfortable shopping online, capital efficiency of setting up a business, easy (and relatively) immediate validation of business models, and still a huge potential for improvements on all ends – customer experience, supply chain, shipping & handling.
It is not hard for anyone to notice this potential. For VCs, well, it is their bread & butter!
- JASMEET SAWHNEY
As shoppers become skilled at online shopping, eCommerce sites have to find new ways to keep them interested in their offerings. Any initiative to solve that puzzle starts with content, and effective experiences can only be created with integrated analytics. Understanding user’s context and deriving intelligence from actions is an integral part of the mix. Here are some benefits of content enrichment when combined with analytics:
It is not a good idea. Extra click/login can turn away shoppers unless they are so hooked on and are convinced that there is a substantial incentive to login. This happens rarely (mostly with bigger players).
While it’s common knowledge that Amazon.com performs well, are there any new startups that have introduced novel or just plain attractive features?
One of the factors determining conversion rates is the kind of products sold on the site. The average across product segments is around 2-3%, but can be as high as 30% for some segments. Some example product segments that get high conversion rates – Flowers, Office products, Tickets and Custom/Niche Apparel. Also, catalog retailers and home shopping networks tend to have higher online conversion rates.
Sites like Proflowers.com, LandsEnd.com, Blair.com and Tickets.com consistently rank high on conversion rates. Amazon and eBay in general rank among top 5 in almost all segments.
I assume browse-driven means direct traffic and question is around sites that actually make sales (and not other eCommerce sites such as Shopping Comparion engines, Coupon sites, and such)
It is Amazon and eBay. eBay was the front runner for a long time until Amazon (unique visitors) took over. After these pure play retailers, there are many brick & mortar chains such as Walmart, Target, Sears and Best Buy.
Flash sales sites (Gilt, Rue La La, et. al) and group buying sites such as Groupon are catching up.