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What: Nielsen has released the results of its global connected commerce report, which reveals that
Why it matters: Consumers are spending increasingly more time on an expanded range of diverse digital activities. It is undisputed that internet accessibility, mobile technology and digital innovations are redefining consumers’ every interaction and will continue to enable and disrupt many aspects of consumers’ lifestyles well into the future.

This is the digital era, and as such, we are now living a connected life. That’s the idea that Nielsen has proved with a global survey sent to 30,000 online consumers in 64 countries. The Nielsen Connected Commerce report provides insights into the global connected consumer, shopping traits, category evolution, and barriers, in order to identify future growth prospects.

According to Nielsen, 4 billion people (53% of the global population) are connected to the internet, and nearly all of them (92.6%) connect using their mobile devices. 85% of users (3.4 billion) connect to the internet and spend, on average, six and a half hours online. Consumers get online more often, and they stay connected for longer. It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that the range of activities that can be done online has increased. “Internet accessibility, mobile technology, and digital innovations are redefining consumers’ every interaction and will continue to enable and disrupt many aspects of consumers’ lifestyles well into the future,” declares the report.

Development in retailing has quickly become greater in scope than either the physical or virtual store, and now manufacturers and retailers need to create strategic advantages across channels, touchpoints, and experiences along the purchase journey. Connectivity is laying the foundation for e-commerce growth; it is vital for companies to learn consumers’ online behavior and habits, adoption drivers, tipping points and challenges.

Better connectivity will boost e-commerce

Connectivity’s importance comes from the advantages it has brought upon our lives; it has permitted to do all sorts of things without leaving our homes, from talking to our friends on the other side of the world to receiving just about anything we need at our doorstep, right when we need it. As the report explains, at no point in time could this be more apt than now, considering the merging of multiple factors impacting the complexity of consumers’ lives—and shaping new found shopping experiences. In general, brands need to take three things into account: people now lead busy urban lives and need quicker, easier ways to perform their shopping activities; retail is expanding into new avenues and channels; and we must take into account a whole new generation of native digital shoppers who are used to using these devices and services naturally every day.

The report shows that global online sales in 2017 totaled US $2.3 trillion2 or 10.2% of total retail sales and is expected to reach 17.5% by 2021. In 2019, online retail trailblazer, Amazon, will turn 25 years old. With continued technological innovation e-commerce growth is set to outpace traditional formats for years to come. As the report states, “The combination of existing connected consumers spending more, more often, and newly connected consumers purchasing for the first time will proper e-commerce growth”.

Category performance shows a certain trend of diversification

Travel, entertainment (books, music, events) and durable goods (fashion, IT/mobile, electronics) are traditionally the leading categories for consumers to enter the online retail sphere around the world. After two decades of e-commerce, these categories have higher online purchasing penetration and frequency of purchasing than most consumer goods categories.

The consumer is at the center of the connected commerce opportunity. An e-commerce approach that delivers on the various and varied local consumer preferences and circumstances will have a competitive advantage, but those who solve consumers’ convenience aspirations will win.

However, consumers are looking for a wider range of e-commerce options. With a myriad of services, suppliers, products, and prices to choose from at simpler, more trustful websites, consumers now want to complete transactions online more often. This means a significant opportunity for FMCG categories, which need to be replenished periodically and take up a sizeable portion of consumers’ time to shop in physical stores.

According to the survey results, 17% of consumers are purchasing FMCG products online on a regular basis, while 11% have previously purchased online, but not recently. In addition, 30% of consumers are not currently buying groceries online but are willing to consider doing so in the near future. In developing markets this intent is just as important, with 29% of African and Middle Eastern consumers and 42% of Latin American consumers open to online purchasing.

Seek engagement before purchase

Consumers usually go online looking for information, to compare products and prices before actually buying something. Digital media assets are becoming a vital part of building awareness and consideration, satisfying shoppers’ search needs and delivering tangible links to generate purchase outcomes. As we could expect, it’s all about providing a differentiating experience: as e-commerce continues to evolve there are numerous areas to improve consumers’ overall online experience that will encourage trial and steer conversion to online. With convenience as one of the primary motivators for connected commerce, shoppers are looking for a frictionless experience which saves time, reduces obstacles and provides an enjoyable experience.

Enticers to buy online

Retailers can further solve consumers’ apprehensions via interactive services and guarantees. Same day replacement, free delivery for high-value orders, responsiveness and money back for incorrect orders feature highly to encourage online purchases of consumable products.

In the words of Sue Temple, VP, Global Consumer Insights Product Leadership, Nielsen, “The consumer is at the center of the connected commerce opportunity. An e-commerce approach that delivers on the various and varied local consumer preferences and circumstances will have a competitive advantage, but those who solve consumers’ convenience aspirations will win.”

What: E-commerce grew 50% in Mexico during this year’s weekend of specials and discounts, known as “the Buen Fin”. However, marketers still need to find out how to promote the use of e-payment methods as Mexicans still prefer cash and credit cards.
Why it matters: Mexico is still lagging in the area of e-commerce and payment technologies, but events such as the Buen Fin are a good opportunity to catch up with the latest trends.

On the eighth edition of the Buen Fin, thousands of Mexicans rushed to the physical and digital stores of the more than 70,000 participant brands to profit from the most expected special offers of the year. Malls, supermarkets, and department stores were visibly packed, with videos of people fighting each other over electronics and apparel all over social media, as it happens every year. But what about users who preferred the comfort of their own homes to do their shopping?

Concanaco Servytur’s information shows that this year, e-commerce grew a staggering 50% thanks to young people who prefer to keep away from the bustle and hustle of long lines and large crowds. It’s an impressive number, no doubt; but as big as it sounds, the real news is that there’s still enormous room for growth; evidence of an untapped potential that Mexico might not yet be ready to tackle. The fact is only 20% of Buen Fin customers shopped online, while in the US online spending on Black Friday increased 33% from 2017; record levels according to estimations by Global Data. On the first 9 hours of the shopping day, Amazon had already sold 1 million toys and 700,000 fashion items. In the US, foot traffic at actual brick-and-mortar stores dropped between 5% and 9%, while Mexicans cluttered the myriad of new malls built this year.

But perhaps the most blatant proof of Mexico’s lag in innovative shopping habits was evidenced by users’ blind loyalty to traditional payment methods. As surprising as it sounds, contravening experts who have long predicted the imminent fall of paper currency, in Mexico cold hard cash accounted for 51% of total Buen Fin payments, credit cards 30%, debit 18%, and only an incredible 1% used other methods, much to the disappointment of e-payment companies and enthusiasts who were optimistic in predicting a boom in PayPal usage. Adding “insult to injury”, so to speak, only 23% of consumers spent more than 250 dollars, approximately, the bare minimum for consumers in the US. The challenge remains the same: how can e-marketers implement new payment and e-commerce technologies in a society so used to hand-picking both their produce and electronic goods?

On the bright side, not every aspect eluded the world of digital technologies. The Federal Consumer Prosecution Office (PROFECO) used digital media to review and settle hundreds of complaints regarding false advertising or failure to comply with the stated pricing of a given item. For example, in Cancun 26 consumers were immediately able to purchase a screen at $8.6 pesos each (about forty cents of a dollar) thanks to a timely online complaint. So not everything was lost for technology, the country might be taking baby steps, but at least it’s moving forward.

Information by Marketing E-Commerce MX

What: We looked at the top 15 online retail sites visited by Hispanic shoppers in the US in September of this year and how they scored in numbers of visitors.
Why it matters: Target suffered a near 2% drop in September in its share of online shoppers among the 15 top visited sites by Hispanics in the US. The retailer fell from fourth place in August to sixth place in September according to rankings by comScore. The retailer’s stock, however, has risen 30% this year, according to Barron’s.

Number of Hispanic visitors to the Top 15 e-commerce sites in the US, September 2018
Total Audience, Home and Work, PC/Laptop139,250
SiteTotal Unique Visitors
Amazon Sites28456
Wal-Mart17151
eBay16014
Apple.com Worldwide Sites10535
Samsung Group8839
Target Corporation8276
WISH.COM7497
ETSY.COM7307
The Home Depot, Inc.6382
Ticketmaster6133
Best Buy Sites5357
Kohl’s Corporation4672
Macy’s Inc.4544
LOWES.COM4139
Wayfair3948

(Source: comScore; Site visits in the thousands.)

Target dropped two places in the top 15 most-visited retail sites by Hispanics in the US in September. Target’s share of the total visits dropped from 7.5% in August to 5.9% in September. Apple bumped up a ranking to fourth place with 7.5% of visits to all sites. Wayfair slipped below Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Lowe’s into last place for September.

  • Ticketmaster dropped two places in the ranking of the top 15 most visited sites in September but didn’t suffer much of a loss in its share of visits (4.4%) compared with August (4.5%).
  • Samsung Group increased its share of visits slightly, rising above Target.
  • As with non-Hispanic visitors to the top 15 online retail sites, Apple increased its share of all visits among Hispanic shoppers to 6.3% from 6.2% in August.
  • Both Kohl’s and Macy’s moved up a ranking in September.
  • Online home and furniture retailer Wayfair took a hit in its ranking, dropping from 12th place in August to last place in September. The company’s stock dropped 25% in September, according to Motley Fool.
  • Target dropped behind Apple and Samsung in September’s rankings, losing nearly 2% of its share of all online visits.

What: We spoke to Jenifer Bice, Senior Director, International Communications and Pedro Mucciolo, Director, International Corporate Affairs at Walmart, in order to find out more about Walmart’s initiatives to compete in the E-commerce space at a global level, but more specifically in Latin America.
Why it matters: As E-commerce keeps gaining ground, stores with a long tradition of brick-and-mortar retail must come up with ways of staying relevant. For Walmart, the key is making consumers’ lives easier and as convenient as possible.

How can an international giant retailer that “has it all” at a global level hit closer to home amongst its local consumers?

The greatest innovations often come from the simplest of questions. Our fast-paced lifestyles have left us with a fundamental issue: we often don’t have as much time in our hands as we wish we had, and with the time we have, we still have to manage our lives and keep our fridges stocked, our homes fresh and our bodies clean. How many times haven’t we wished the shopping could do itself? Or had to make time to undertake the time-consuming journey of commuting, roaming, choosing, paying and repeat again next week? We spoke to Jenifer Bice, Senior Director, International Communications and Pedro Mucciolo, Director, International Corporate Affairs at Walmart, in order to find out more about Walmart’s initiatives to compete in the E-commerce space at a global level, but more specifically in Latin America.

Bring Technology Literally Closer to Home

Jenifer Bice

When we asked Jenifer Bice what she thinks about the future and how Walmart will prepare for it, she comments on the importance of an omnichannel strategy: “What excites me about what’s to come is how we’re adjusting our approach to not only focus on our traditional retail stores but to make sure we’re creating an omnichannel ecosystem to serve the customers.” With about 3,200 retail locations across Latin America, Jenifer believes that with that kind of physical footprint, “We are uniquely positioned to be able to service customers in a way that no one else can, so you can go online and order your groceries and drive up to a Walmart store, Bodega, or Sam’s Club and pick them up without having to get out of your car.”

As she explains, the key concept today is “convenience“. As time seems to move faster every day, consumers are looking for companies that make it all easier. “In the US and also in Latin America, customers are wanting convenience, access, trust in the companies they’re engaging with, and to know that they’re not only getting great prices but also quality products,” asserted Jenifer. “We know our customers, we’re innovating on their behalf, and producing solutions that we know will make their lives easier and more convenient so that they can spend less time walking around the store and more time being able to focus on their families or just having the convenience to shop when they want and how they want. “

Pedro Mucciolo

But the last mile (delivering from the store to your door) model isn’t new for the Walmart group, it’s been going on for a long time according to Pedro Mucciolo, who mentioned that “Superama, the supermarket banner for Walmart Mexico,  had a service called ‘the one hour express delivery service’, that’s been going up for almost 20 years and it started via phone and fax. With technology and innovation, Superama has been able to offer the service via mobile apps, of course, and your laptop.”

Then, the idea has been there a long time, but modern times call for innovative measures. Now it’s up to Walmart to support a great idea with the appropriate technology. A key aspect of the equation is expedited delivery, which is way the company has decided to partner up with players in the delivery industry. For example, “We do have a partnership in Argentina with a company called Mercadoni and they deliver in less than two hours within the city of Buenos Aires,” shared Jenifer.

And all the efforts have paid off. The results in Latin America speak for themselves: “In Chile, online sales have doubled in the past year, so that tells us something about customers wanting convenience and being able to shop wherever they are”, said Jenifer. And customers keep coming back for more, as data shows a customer who tries the service is very likely to use it again.

But perhaps the strongest element in people’s idea of convenience today is being able to download an app that can solve an issue in a matter of minutes, Jenifer told us that “In Mexico, we developed from the ground up and have launched an application called Cashi, and it was created to serve our customers in mexico who are unbanked, so they have an option to be able to go in our stores, use cash, and apply that cash to their app. It gives them a digital wallet so that they can then purchase products in our stores, they can pay utility bills, or they can order Netflix all though their app so that they don’t have to rely on a bank or carrying cash.”

Buy Local, Think Global: a Global Company Catering to Local Needs

“Because Walmart has operations around the world, we’ve been able to get different ideas from different places and roll them out either in a chain-wide app like Cashi or transfer that to other markets,” said Jenifer. “From an international strategy perspective, we’re really trying to make sure that our businesses in the local markets are solving the local needs of their customers. So you have all the beauty of a local business with all of the benefits of being part of a worldwide company.”

We’re really trying to make sure that our businesses in the local markets are solving the local needs of their customers.

The basic ingredient to keep in mind: represent your audiences. Consumers want to see themselves and their culture represented in what they buy and whom they’re buying from, so brands need to take that into account when reaching for audiences in different markets. “From a marketing perspective, the insights for each country are quite different,” asserted Jenifer. “For example, on Big Billion Day, which is the biggest shopping week of the year in India, the marketing is focused on making sure that they have key Indian celebrities who are helping tell their story and encouraging people to shop.”

When asked about how they do this to target US Hispanics, for example, Pedro Mucciolo explained that Walmart does their best to represent their Hispanic audiences in the store: “For the holiday season, we know that food is a very important part of Latin culture and US Hispanic culture, so the multicultural marketing team teamed up with our team to offer US Hispanic customers a series of shows that would have just Hispanic staff cooking recipes around the season and catering to the Hispanic customer, likely to purchase those products in order to make those delicious dishes from Mexico or Colombia or Venezuela. It was very successful, so every year we have a new campaign around holidays.”

Give Back to the Community

In the end, it doesn’t matter how many initiatives you have in terms of growing your business if helping the community isn’t one of them. “I’ve been in Walmart for 10 years but what continues to amaze me every day is how we focus on being this society and supporting the communities where we live and work,” shared Jenifer. “Whether that’s through the women’s economic empowerment initiative, giving grants to local farmers in India so they can make a life for themselves in their communities, focus on more sustainable practices in Latin America, recycle our bags or any other number of things. The more you dig and the more you learn, the more you’re proud to work here and to be a part of the company, so coming back to work with international, I feel I’m just starting to peel the onion again on the more important social things that we’re doing that seem to fly under the radar sometimes.”

“There are a large number of suppliers, for example in Central America, that start off really really small, and thanks to a variety of programs powered by Walmart, they become larger suppliers, so families get better lives, and we create more jobs and more opportunities for the communities as a whole,” added Pedro.

 

What: Natalie Bursztyn, member of the Portada Brand Star Committee, will open a full day of thought-provoking conferences with a talk on DTC brands and e-commerce. To listen to her insights, get your tickets to Portada New York, Sept. 25.
Why it matters: Direct-to-consumer e-commerce is experiencing a meteoric rise. What does the rise of direct-to-consumer brands mean for marketing? Joe Favorito, part of the Portada editorial team, joins Natalie Bursztyn for a thrilling discussion on the matter.

Once upon a time, there were immense barriers to building a brand, and only the big players could dream of launching a company and gaining profit. Times have changed, and now supply chains are rentable, flexible and affordable. Because now the path to consumers is direct, those big companies that had been growing steadily decades ago are not growing anymore, and now anyone can launch a company and be almost sure that it can succeed as long as it answers a need.

According to information from the IAB, 94% of startup founders surveyed by VC firm First Round agreed that now is a good time to be starting a company, precisely because two-thirds of consumers expect direct contact from the brands. The so-called direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands mark an enormous shift in the way products are sold, and for this reason, established companies and industries are living through a disruption that needs to be addressed in order for brands to understand how to communicate with consumers in this new age.

Many of these brands, like Dollar Shave Club, acquired by Unilever in 2016, started online. Then, what is the role of DTC brands and e-commerce in the future? How are brick-and-mortar players supposed to face this change? Some, like Unilever, have decided to purchase the competitor, but big companies worldwide will need to rethink the ways to establish meaningful connections with consumers if they wish to continue growing.

Natalie Bursztyn will be the brilliant speaker covering this topic at Portada New York on September 25. Busztyn oversees global execution of Totto’s marketing strategy across all channels focusing on different market segments. Prior to receiving her MBA from NYU, Natalie directed the strategy, conceptualization and execution of Totto’s first Flagship Store in Bogota, Colombia, as well as worked in the development and implementation of the global brand guidelines. Totto has presence in 52 countries, 600 retail locations and sales of over 14 millions unit in 2014. With the help of Joe Favorito, a member of Portada’s Editorial Team and Chair of the Sports Marketing Board, Bursztyn will delve deep into the topic of DTC brands and e-commerce, and what this means for marketing in the immediate future. Don’t miss her insights, click on the banner below and join us at #PortadaNY now!

What: Chilean bricks-and-mortar retailer Falabella purchases Latin America online retailer Linio for US $137 million.
Why it matters: Online sales in Latin America will double to US $118 billion by 2021 and Falabella is preparing to be a major player, using its physical stores to key advantage.

Chilean bricks-and-mortar retailer Falabella is determined to be a major e-commerce player, and will likely use its physical stores to key advantage as it ramps up to compete with Amazon and MercadoLibre for online sales in Latin America. That’s how industry and regional experts explain Falabella’s recently announced purchase of online retailer Linio for US $137 million.

The word analysts keep repeating is “omnichannel.”

Omnichannel refers to the ability of bricks-and-mortar retailers to offer in-store pickup of goods ordered online.

It could become a key competitive edge for Falabella.

“This is congruent with a trend we are seeing of retailers getting smarter about e-commerce,” Lindsay Lehr, a senior director at the consultancy Americas Market Intelligence tells Portada.

One of the big stumbling blocks to e-commerce in Latin America is the inability of people to receive packages in their homes, which is why omnichannel purchasing is increasingly important, Lehr said.

The word analysts keep repeating is ‘omnichannel’.

Leveraging Stores to Boost Online Sales

Headquartered in Santiago, Falabella operates department stores, supermarkets, home improvement centers, malls and financial services in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay.

With the Linio purchase, Falabella’s online footprint expands to cover Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama.

The acquisition boosts Falabella to the #2 e-commerce spot in its home markets and begins the process of positioning it to take on MercadoLibre and the expansion of Amazon (Amazon Mexico’s Guillermo Rivera recently joined Portada’s Council System) in the region, Lehr says.

“They are getting prepared for what’s ahead.”

Betting on E-commerce

“The company is betting on e-commerce,” analyst and retailing expert Jorge Lizan tells Portada.

Even though online sales now only make up 14-15 percent of its business, Falabella is spending 80 percent of its development budget on the online channel.

Falabella will mine Linio’s database and leverage its e-tailing expertise to position Falabella to take on MercadoLibre and Amazon, Lizan says.

“Linio is very small. They didn’t acquire Linio for the size of the company or to be a big part of Falabella’s business. What Falabella is looking for in this acquisition is to get the infrastructure and expertise,” Lizan says.

Falabella will mine Linio’s database and leverage its e-tailing expertise to position Falabella to take on MercadoLibre and Amazon.

Getting ready to face Amazon

The Linio purchase is about protecting future market share from online competitors MercadoLibre, Amazon, Wal-Mart, and even Alibaba.

MercadoLibre is the undisputed leader in e-commerce in Latin America.

Amazon has taken second place in Mexico and reportedly has plans to expand its operations in Brazil. Its web services division has expressed a long-term interest in investing in Chile.

Wal-Mart is heavily invested in online sales in Mexico and Central America, according to Lizan.

Growing Digital to Offer More Products

With the permission of its shareholders, Falabella plans to raise US $800 million in capital to ramp up its efforts to go digital in Latin America.

“This increase in capital will allow us to accelerate our digitalization and grow regional services for our clients, offering our products across a diversity of channels,” President of SACI Falabella Carlo Solari said in an announcement of the Linio purchase.

“With this acquisition, the company advances its goal of being a leader in electronic commerce in the region,” said Falabella’s general manager Gaston Bottazzini.

Expanding product lines online

The Linio purchase gives Falabella something more than just an online presence. Online translates into the capability to offer customers a broader selection of products beyond the brands Falabella sells in its physical stores.

“They can have limitless numbers of brands which is something they can’t do in their bricks and mortar stores,” Lizan tells Portada.

Moreover, Falabella wants their stores to become fulfillment centers for online sales.

“The name of the game is omnichannel and will increasingly be in the future. Falabella’s brick and mortar presence will definitely give it an edge vs. MercadoLibre,” Lizan comments.

The name of the game is omnichannel and will increasingly be in the future.

Seeing a big online future

E-commerce in Latin America is expected to grow by 19% in the next five years – well above the global average of 11%.

Online sales in Latin America will double to $118 billion by 2021. And according to Lizan, retailing in Latin America is still under developed and under penetrated.

Falabella has the largest retail customer database in the industry; dominates its markets in key offerings such as grocery, home improvement and home and décor; and recently announced a partnership with IKEA in Chile, Colombia and Peru.

From 36,000 feet, the Linio purchase is “very small,” Lizan said. But the advantages on the ground are strategic.

“It’s a benefit for Falabella to have an e-tailer in their portfolio because they will learn from them and the learning curve will be shorter.”

“It is a very strong statement by Falabella.”

What: A summary of the most relevant consumer insight research in the US, US Hispanic, and Latin American markets.
Why it matters: If you’re trying to keep up with the latest happenings, this is your one-stop shop.

  • A study from data analytics firm Consumer Intelligence has found that over 40% consumers say they would be put off applying to a bank that has technical issues. The research showed that technical problems such as security issues have led to consumers being more vigilant, with more than 45% saying that they have changed their behavior.

 

  • After surveying more than 4,000 European respondents about influencer marketing, a report by Bazaarvoice shows that consumers are tired of the repetitive nature of the content and decreasing quality of posts. According to the study, 63% of online audiences feel that influencer content has become “too materialistic” and “misrepresenting real life,” and 49% of consumers believe there’s a need for effective regulation to define stricter rules as well as best practices for content.

 

  • According to new data from Splitit87% of online shoppers will abandon their carts during the checkout process if it is too long or too complicated. In addition to abandoning their carts, 55% of consumers would never return to that retailer’s site. Cart abandonment rates hover at about 70% overall, and older shoppers are the least patience. 90% of those aged 55 and older would not complete a long or complicated checkout process, and only 7% would exit a lengthy checkout but return to the site later, compared to 12% of millennials.

 

  • Periscope has announced the findings of its research on consumer actions, attitudes, and behavior during Amazon Prime Day 2018.  The research, conducted in the US, UK, France, and Germany, found that consumers are spending more, on more items, and online shopping behavior continues to grow in sophistication. The survey of 3,000 consumers found over 80% awareness with the exception of France at just 63%. All countries reported that a mix of online and offline was their dominant way to shop but an average 16% stated they mostly shop online.

 

  • While chatbots and voice assistants are gradually being adopted by consumers, 65% of shoppers in the U.S. and Europe say they are either not very important or not at all important, based on a new survey conducted by Bazaarvoice. In the same vein, 61% of retailers say it is of no or minimal interest to shoppers. The study comprised an online survey of 2,000 adults the U.S., U.K., France and Germany, and 400 brand and retail clients.

 

  • PERQ has released new analysis of consumer call-to-action (CTA) data with key learnings for websites of brick and mortar businesses who sell (or lease) high-consideration, big-ticket items. The research, which looks closely at click-to-conversion behavior as well as the overall online experience, found 77% of car shoppers on dealership websites are actually at the beginning or middle of the process and are interested in tools that help them make a decision rather than immediately completing a purchase.

 

What: We looked at the top 15 online retail sites by visitors in the US in June of this year and how they scored in number of visitors.
Why it matters: Visitors to Macy’s website fell slightly in June, putting it in the last place according to comScore’s latest ranking of the top 15 e-commerce websites in the US for June of this year. Kohl’s surged ahead two spots, nipping on the heels of Best Buy. Target continues to have the largest online following of customers among traditional and off-price department stores, as well as ranking ahead of the home improvement big-box chains The Home Depot and Lowes.

Number of visitors to the Top 15 e-commerce sites in the US, June 2018
Total Audience, Home and Work, PC/Laptop949,169
SiteTotal Unique Visitors (000)
Amazon sites202054
Wal-Mart114807
eBay104604
Apple.com Worldwide sites65560
Target Corporation59509
The Home Depot47879
ETSY.com44058
Samsung Group40666
WISH.com40500
Ticketmaster36296
LOWES.com35757
Best Buy sites33513
Kohl’s Corporation32658
Wayfair32074
Macy’s Inc.31636

(Source: comScore)

  • Amazon, Wal-Mart, eBay, Apple.com and Target held on to their positions as the top five online retail sites in number of visitors in June.
  • com saw a slight decrease in visits from 67,102 in May to 65,560 in June.
  • Macy’s slipped to last place in the June ranking, with just 3.4 percent of all visits compared to 3.7 percent in May.
  • Lowe’s managed to move up from last position in May to 11th place in June, but it, too, saw a decrease in visitors from 38,635 in May compared to 35,757 in June.
  • Online visits decreased slightly in June compared to May for all of the sites ranked, except for eBay which saw a very slight increase.
  • The Home Depot made a big move up in rankings compared to May, surging ahead to sixth place, ahead of Etsy.com, Samsung Group, and WISH.com
  • Home Depot’s online sales continue to outpace Lowes.
  • Amazon continues to overwhelm the entire field of competitors ranked, with more than 21 percent of all online visitors measured in June and May by comScore.

What: We looked at the sites where Latin Americans, and particularly Mexicans, went looking for possible online purchases in April 2018.
Why it matters: Even though Amazon is making great efforts to expand in Latin America, the retail giant is still way far behind Mercadolibre, always the leader of online shopping in the region.

As we saw in previous editions of this ranking, Amazon had already approached MercadoLibre and was comfortably sitting in the second spot. Last month, Latin American internet users preferred B2W Digital for online purchases, but now Amazon comes back to the second spot.

Top 10 E-Commerce Sites in Latin America, April 2018

Total Audience, Home and Work, PC/Laptop.Total Unique Visitors (000)
Total Internet: Total Audience183,917
Retail117,009
1Mercado Libre57,255
2Amazon Sites21,126
3B2W Digital17,281
4Alibaba.com Corporation12,886
5eBay9,898
6CNova8,283
7Apple.com Worldwide Sites7,762
8Wal-Mart7,554
9Google Shopping7,095
10Buscape Company5,796

[Source: comScore]

  • 63.6% of Latin Americans with an internet connection visited e-tail sites in April.
  • MercadoLibre is still the clear winner. With 48.9% of visits, it remains stable on the first spot.
  • Amazon is right behind with 18% of visitors.
  • B2W Digital received 14.7% of visits.
  • 11% of Latin American internet users looking for online shopping visited Alibaba.com Corporation.
  • eBay was visited by 8.4% of users, almost exactly the same as the previous month.
  • 7% of online shoppers visited CNova.
  • Apple.com received 6.6% of visits, while Wal-mart was seen by 6.4% of users.
  • 6% of online shoppers went to Google Shopping, exactly the same as the previous month.
  • Appearing in the list for the first time, Buscape received 4.9of visits.

Top 10 E-Commerce Sites in Mexico, April 2018

Total Audience, Home and Work, PC/Laptop, Mobile.Total Unique Visitors (000)
Total Internet: Total Audience64,619
Retail43,032
1Mercado Libre18,492
2Amazon Sites10,268
3Wal-Mart8,052
4eBay7,552
5Linio Sites7,504
6WISH.COM4,047
7COPPEL.COM4,008
8Ticketmaster3,593
9Alibaba.com3,568
10Samsung Group3,344

[Source: comScore]

  • Out of the total number of Mexicans with an internet connection, 66.5% visited e-commerce sites in April.
  • 42.9% of those users visited MercadoLibre, 2.97% more than the previous month.
  • 23.8% of internet users looking for e-commerce possibilities went to Amazon. 
  • eBay and Walmart switched places. Walmart is on the third spot with 18.7% of visits and eBay was seen by 17.5% of users.
  • Linio Sites received 17.4% of visits.
  • 9.4% of users visited Wish.com, while 9.3% went to Coppel.com.
  • Ticketmaster received 8.3% of visits.
  • Alibaba was seen by 8.2% of users.
  • 7.7% of users visited Samsung Group, 1.7% more than the previous month.

What: Energy BBDO has published the results of a study conducted to find out the true impact of the new government administration in Hispanics’ shopping and spending habits.
Why it matters: The truth couldn’t be farther from the rumors that started after the new administration: Hispanics are shopping and spending more than ever, and will likely continue to do so.

As soon as the new administration took office, a wave of anti-immigration policies spurred predictions that Hispanics would start spending less. Companies across the country wondered how this would impact them as headlines all over reported that Hispanic communities would stay home more and spend less often. Therefore, Energy BBDO decided to conduct a study to go beyond those headlines in order to find out exactly how the administration change impacted Hispanics’ minds and shopping habits during the last year.

Energy BBDO conducted more than 1000 surveys of documented and undocumented Hispanics, as well as of non-Hispanics for comparison. The quantitative research was supplemented by in-depth focus groups in Chicago and Los Angeles, and the work was supported by data from Kantar, Univision, and Pew Research.

The main takeaways from the study, explained below, proved the exact opposite of what the headlines foretold: not only did Hispanics not slow their shopping or spending, 49% of survey respondents reported shopping more often than the previous year.

 

Even Undocumented Hispanics Are Spending More

According to the study, even though headlines predicted Hispanics would spend less after the change of administration, 49% of documented respondents reported shopping more often than the previous year, while 56% of their undocumented counterparts, who could feel more threatened by the new administration, responded the same way. And since shopping is necessarily linked to spending, the increase goes hand in hand. 60% of Hispanics claim they are spending more than the previous year, just as 68% of undocumented Hispanics, vs 45% of non-Hispanics. The reason for this could be, quite simply, that “life goes on and family needs remain, no matter the political climate.”

Hispanics Aren’t Shopping Less; They’re Shopping Different

According to survey respondents, there has been a shift in the retail channels Hispanics go to. For example, outlets such as mainstream grocery and convenience stores have seen slowdowns, while preferences have shifted towards a more value-centric experience. Therefore, Hispanics have been spending more at mass merchandisers, club retailers, and dollar stores, as well as Hispanic-owned stores or community bodegas. As the study suggests, “This change in behavior seems to be the sole data point that suggests a shift generated by the current socio-political atmosphere, as Hispanics may be consciously staying within their communities for everyday purchases.”

The Real Shift Has Taken Place in Hispanics’ Attitude

U.S. Hispanics are known, among other things, for their optimism. A group that has expressed a positive mindset in spite of hard circumstances is suddenly doubting its place in the new America. Energy BBDO’s research has revealed that 50% of Hispanics have more doubts about their place versus a year ago, and 70% report an increase in prejudice displays since the last election. To quote the study, “Hispanics do not feel free to be themselves, at least not out in the open. They feel pressure to limit expressing their cultural heritage and identity. This, in turn, is causing them to find comfort in what’s familiar and welcoming within their communities.”

Conclusions

Now is the time to consider a more direct and custom approach that reaches out directly to the Hispanic community with empathy and recognition. […] Also, look for ways to show an authentic and long-term commitment, not an opportunistic one-off.

Based on the projected growth of the Hispanic population, and seeing that they’re younger than other demographics, it is likely that they will continue to increase their spending and shopping. However, they tend to prefer value-centric shopping trips as well as community-owned stores. Moreover, even though Hispanics will not stop spending, there is a lot brands can do to make up for the feelings of loneliness and not-belonging caused by the increased prejudice climate. Energy BBDO recommends that brands 1) stay true to their values, 2) celebrate inclusiveness, and 3) show empathy. “Now is the time to consider a more direct and custom approach that reaches out directly to the Hispanic community with empathy and recognition. […] Also, look for ways to show an authentic and long-term commitment, not an opportunistic one-off. Trying to fit something into Hispanic Heritage Month probably won’t have the desired effect.”

[All images by Energy BBDO]

What: We looked at the sites where Latin Americans, and particularly Mexicans, went looking for possible online purchases in March 2018.
Why it matters: Even though Amazon is making great efforts to expand in Latin America, the retail giant is still way far behind Mercadolibre, always the leader of online shopping in the region.

As we saw in previous editions of this ranking, Amazon had already approached MercadoLibre and was comfortably sitting in the second spot. However, Latin American internet users preferred B2W Digital for online purchases in March, and so now Amazon has moved to the third spot. However, the difference in user amounts is not that high; Amazon could get closer to MercadoLibre in the following months.

Top 10 E-Commerce Sites in Latin America, March 2018

Total Audience, Home and Work, PC/Laptop.Total Unique Visitors (000)
Total Internet: Total Audience184,772
Retail118,311
1MercadoLibre57,302
2B2W Digital21,822
3Amazon Sites21,719
4Alibaba.com Corporation14,942
5eBay9,893
6CNova8,992
7Apple.com Worldwide Sites8,224
8Walmart7,736
9Google Shopping7,141
10Gearbest.com6,460
    [Source: comScore]
  • 64% of Latin Americans with an internet connection visited e-commerce sites in March, 2% more than February.
  • MercadoLibre is still the clear winner. With 48% of visits, it remains stable at the first spot.
  • B2W Digital received 18.4% of visits; very similarly, 18.3% of users went to Amazon.
  • 12.6% of Latin American internet users looking for online shopping visited Alibaba.com Corporation.
  • eBay was visited by 8.3% of users.
  • 7.6% of online shoppers visited CNova.
  • Apple.com received 6.9% of visits, while Walmart was seen by 6.5% of users.
  • 6% of online shoppers went to Google Shopping.
  • Appearing in the list for the first time, Gearbest.com received 5.4% of visits.

Top 10 E-Commerce Sites in Mexico, March 2018

Total Audience, Home and Work, PC/Laptop, All smartphones, All Tablets.Total Unique Visitors (000)
Total Internet: Total Audience68,613
Retail43,809
1MercadoLibre17,921
2Amazon Sites9,541
3eBay8,517
4Walmart8,147
5Linio Sites7,759
6Wish.com3,999
7COPPEL.COM3,896
8Ticketmaster3,613
9Alibaba.com Corporation3,530
10Samsung Group2,647

[Source: comScore]

  • Out of the total number of Mexicans with an internet connection, 63% visited e-commerce sites in March.
  • 40% of those users visited MercadoLibre.
  • 21.7% of internet users looking for e-commerce possibilities went to Amazon. 
  • eBay received 19.4% of visits, while Walmart was seen by 18.5% of users.
  • Linio Sites received 17.7% of visits.
  • 9.1% of users visited Wish.com, while 8.8% went to Coppel.com.
  • Ticketmaster received 8.2% of visits.
  • Alibaba was seen by 8% of users.
  • 6% of users visited Samsung Group. 

What: GlobalWebIndex has presented its latest analysis of e-commerce behavior and engagement levels.
Why it matters: This survey will help marketers understand the evolving dynamics of how people of all ages choose and purchase products online.

GlobalWebIndex has conducted a survey among internet users aged 16 to 64, using data from a wide range of international sources, including the CIA Factbook and the World Bank. The survey found that more than 7 in 10 adult internet users purchase products online each month, with slightly more traffic in retail sites such as Amazon. The age group from 24 to 44  is most likely to buy online; however, the figures are still considerably high and similar for all demographics. Consumers can be roughly divided into young and mature based on their purchase drivers and priorities: younger shoppers value entertainment and content giveaways, while older groups favor service and convenience.

Interestingly, online shopping has officially become a mobile-first activity, with younger consumer groups buying online on their mobile devices. Older consumers will keep PCs and laptops relevant, but the increase in mobile activity will allow for innovation in commerce solutions; to quote the study, “social commerce and ‘new retail’ will be primary benefactors here'”. Nevertheless, the more ‘new retail’ expands, the more privacy will become a major concern. In order to provide a more customer-centric approach, brands will have access to unprecedented amounts of consumer data and will need to make sure the consumer’s privacy is cared for. As shown in the graphic below, an important percentage of users has started to use ‘new retail’ technology such as voice-search tools, while location-based services and augmented reality tools are beginning to gain relevance.

The Rise of Fintech

Financial technology is gaining more and more traction thanks to the enormous popularity of mobile devices. Growing markets with relatively undeveloped infrastructures stand to benefit the most from mobile payments, however, some key mature markets like Sweden and the UK are also delving into the technology, even though their consumers have strong attachments towards their current card systems, holding back the adoption of digitalized payment options.

Online banking has already paved the way for mobile payment. Over 7 in 10 internet users are now conducting transactions with their smartphones only, which has prompted banking brands to renew their systems to keep up with the competition and the demand.

What Motivates Online Shoppers?

But having a smartphone at all times doesn’t make it an open door for advertisers to push their agendas. The study found that platforms need to approach the consumer in a non-intrusive manner. Even the role of social media is steering in the same direction: users are becoming less interested in personal sharing, and now use their social platforms mostly for buying online and catching up on the news since it’s more convenient to centralize their online activities in one place.

Even though search engines and consumer reviews are crucial to online product research, the study shows that younger, smartphone-centric users tend to use social networks and online video sites to inform their purchase. In a key finding, it was seen that many more reviews are posted than consumed. While younger groups tend to share their opinion of products online, it is the older groups who use them.

In the end, customers of all ages are driven by the same thing: getting the high-quality experience they expect when interacting with their favorite brands. It’s not enough with driving purchases; after a transaction has been completed, “delivering on the wants and needs of a consumer is essential in winning them over as an advocate.” No matter the platform, marketers must focus their efforts on delivering on the wants and needs of their consumers, and the rest will just fall into place.

What: We looked at the most-frequently visited retail websites in Latin America, and particularly in Mexico, in February.
Why it matters: Even though Amazon is expanding in Latin America, it’s still second to Mercado Libre, the biggest online retailer in Latin America.

As retail online grows, e-commerce sites have to engage in fierce competition. Amazon is steadily increasing its relevance in Latin America, but it still has a long way to go if it wishes to reach Mercado Libre. As Amazon goes on with its plans to expand in Brazil, we’ll see how tendencies change in the next months.

Top 10 E-Commerce Sites in Latin America, February 2018

Total Audience, Home and Work, PC/LaptopTotal Unique Visitors (000)
Total Internet: Total Audience190,287
Retail118,515
1MercadoLibre56,200
2Amazon19,728
3B2W Digital18,713
4Alibaba.com Corporation13,020
5eBay9,939
6CNova8,381
7Apple.com7,745
8Wal-mart7,331
9Google Shopping6,877
10Buscape Company6,006

[Source: comScore]

  • From the total amount of Latin Americans with internet access in February, 2018, 62% visited e-commerce sites.
  • 47.4% of those Latin Americans made their online purchases at Mercado Libre.
  • In comparison, Amazon has a long way to go with 16.6%.
  • 15.7% of users visited B2W Digital, not too far behind Amazon.
  • Alibaba was visited by 10.9% of users.
  • 8.3% of internet users looking for e-commerce sites visited eBay.
  • CNova received 7% of visits.
  • Apple.com and Wal-mart received similar amounts of visitors, 6.5% and 6.1% respectively.
  • 5.8% of users visited Google Shopping.
  • Buscape Company was visited by 5% of users.

Top 10 E-Commerce Sites in Mexico, February 2018

Total Audience, Home and Work, PC/Laptop, All Smartphones, All tabletsTotal Unique Visitors (000)
Total Internet: Total Audience68,613
Retail42,599
1MercadoLibre16,494
2Amazon9,011
3Linio Sites8,690
4eBay6,797
5Wal-mart6,698
6WISH4,093
7Ticketmaster3,955
8Alibaba.com3,246
9COPPEL.COM3,075
10Samsung Group2,765

[Source: comScore]

  • 62% of Mexicans with Internet access went shopping online in February.
  • Out of those users, 38% made their purchases on Mercado Libre.
  • 21% of users preferred to buy on Amazon.
  • Linio Sites received 20% of visits.
  • eBay, with 15.9%, and Wal-mart with 15.7%, are at almost the same level of popularity among Mexicans.
  • Wish.com opens the second half of the list with 9.6%.
  • 9.2% of e-commerce consumers visited Ticketmaster.
  • Alibaba.com received 7.6% of visitors.
  • 7.2% of users visited the website of Mexican store COPPEL.
  • Samsung Group closes the list with 6.4%.

What: We looked at the retail websites with the most Latin American visitors, and specifically Mexican, in December 2017.
Why it matters: By paying attention to the number of Internet users who look for retail information online, we can get a good idea of the reach of e-commerce among Latin Americans, and particularly Mexicans, as well as the kind of transactions they prefer to complete based on the type of website they look for.

It is no secret that we’re living in the era of digital transactions, and there is virtually no other sector where this is truer than retail. Buying online is easy, it’s convenient, and everyone has at least tried it. E-commerce is expected to grow by 8-12% in the next couple of years; it’s vital for marketers to keep an eye on who’s doing a good job… and who isn’t.

Top 10 E-Commerce Websites in Latin America, December 2017

Total Audience, Home & Work, PC/Laptop OnlyTotal Unique Visitors/Viewers (000)
Total Internet: Total Audience193,562
Retail124,168
1MercadoLibre59,789
2Amazon22,201
3B2W Digital19,389
4Alibaba16,543
5Wal-Mart12,337
6CNova11,020
7eBay10,263
8Apple Worldwide Sites9,583
9Google Shopping8,808
10Buscape Company8,135
    [Source: comScore]
  • Out of the total amount of internet users in Latin America, 64% visited e-commerce websites.
  • Almost half (48%) of Latin Americans looking for retail options online visited MercadoLibre. 
  • 17.8% of users preferred to shop on Amazon websites.
  • 15.6% of Latin American users were interested in finding out more about financial figures related to e-commerce on B2W Digital.
  • Alibaba received 13.3% of Latin American visits.
  • 9.9% of users visited the Wal-Mart website for shopping online.
  • 8.8% of Latin American internet viewers visited CNova sites.
  • Close behind is eBay, with 8.2% of users.
  • 7.7% of Latin American e-shoppers visited Apple sites, while 7% preferred Google Shopping.
  • Finally, Brazilian website Buscapé received 6.5% of visits.

Top 10 E-Commerce Websites in Mexico, December 2017

Total Audience, Home & Work, PC/Laptop and Mobile DevicesTotal Unique Visitors/Viewers (000)
Total Internet: Total Audience64,655
Retail43,698
1MercadoLibre19,986
2Amazon11,627­
­3Wal-Mart10,221
4Linio Sites7,974
5eBay7,663
6Liverpool.com.mx5,774
7Coppel.com4,686
8Wish.com4,511
9Samsung group4,322
10Alibaba3,989
    [Source: comScore]
  • 67.5% of Mexicans with an Internet connection visited websites dedicated to shopping online.
  • As in the rest of Latin America, MercadoLibre leads the list with 45% of visits; again, almost half of users.
  • Amazon is still in second place, although not so far behind as in the rest of Latin America, with 26.6% of users.
  • Wal-Mart is more relevant to Mexicans than to other Latin Americans: 23% of users in this country visited the company’s online store.
  • 18.2% of Mexican e-shoppers visited Linio sites.
  • 17.5% of users looking for online stores decided to visit eBay.
  • Coppel and Wish received similar amounts of visits, with 10.7% and 10.3% of users respectively.
  • 9.8% of online shoppers decided to visit Samsung‘s website, while 9.1%  went to Alibaba looking for shopping options.

What: With its purchase of Whole Foods for US $13.7 billion, Amazon strengthens its position in the race for the retail industry, and opens the door to direct contact with the Hispanic community.
Why It Matters: The U.S. supermarket sector is a business that moves about US $800 billion in sales annually, according to Bloomberg data.

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion is the largest acquisition to date by the Jeff Bezos-led company, and the most important merger in the retail industry. With this deal, Amazon now has 450 stores in major cities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. What are the implications for marketing and multicultural/Hispanic marketing in particular?

Lee Vann
Lee Vann, Chief Strategy Officer of Captura Group.

“Consumers are increasingly demanding products and services in near real time or “on-demand,” and a physical presence in major cities gives Amazon an infrastructure to support consumers in near real time. This is especially salient when it comes to the grocery category,” Lee Vann, Chief Strategy Officer of Captura Group, told Portada.

The two companies will operate separately and the supermarket chain will retain its brand. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos points out that Whole Foods is “loved” by its customers for the quality of its products, and will maintain its corporate offices in Austin, Texas, for now.

“The acquisition, giving Amazon the in-store presence previously lacked at scale, represents a level of competition that brick and mortar retailers had previously been able to avoid. While this entrance has an immediate effect on grocery, it puts other industries on notice,” said Sean Cheyney, Vice-President, North American Business Development at Triad Retail Media.

The acquisition gives Amazon the in-store presence it previously lacked. This represents a level of competition that other retailers had previously been able to avoid.

Both Amazon and Whole Foods stand to gain from this transaction, according to the industry expert. The e-commerce giant is in the habit of being an industry disruptor. “Now is the time that grocers and retailers across industries need to be competitive in their markets with their digital advertising and in alignment with their suppliers.”

The announcement undoubtedly rocked the supermarket industry, as the acquisition of Whole Foods changes the rules of food distribution. This was reflected in the stock market, with some companies in the food industry seeing their shares fall immediately. Kroger’s shares fell 15%, while Target lost 11% at the start of the trading session, and Costco 7%.

Now is the time that grocers and retailers across industries need to be competitive in their markets with their digital advertising and in alignment with their suppliers.

Competition Intensifies

AmazonThe deal puts the U.S. market in an interesting situation, just a few months away from the arrival of German supermarkets Lidl, and its rival Aldi, owner of Trader Joe’s supermarkets. With their entry, the German companies will strengthen their presence in a market with high growth potential.

On the other hand, while all this was happening, Walmart also announced on Friday its purchase of online fashion store Bonobos for $310 million. With this move, the retail giant seeks to compete directly with Amazon in the fashion sector.

Walmart also announced on Friday its purchase of online fashion store Bonobos for $310 million.

Walmart has demonstrated an aggressive strategy to gain ground in the e-commerce sector, becoming a very strong competitor. Last year, the company acquired jet.com for $3 billion.

The acquisition appears to have been a smart move, as Walmart sales grew 63% during the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year.

An approach to US Hispanics

Sean Cheyney
Sean Cheyney, Vice-President, North American Business Development at Triad Retail Media.

“This purchase is something that the industry had been waiting for many years to give it seriousness, organize its data, and better align the industry’s digital efforts. With these metrics, retailers are able to give consumers a better experience,” added Cheyney.

Analysts agree that Amazon will put the retail industry under a lot of pressure, as it first did with bookstores and electronics stores.

On the other hand, “remember that Amazon rolled out a Spanish language version of Amazon.com. As they seek to win with the on-demand consumer, they know they must win with US Hispanics, and now they have a front end to service those who speak Spanish and a physical presence in major cities to deliver,” said Vann.

Remember that Amazon rolled out a Spanish-language version of Amazon.com. As they seek to win with the on-demand consumer, they know they must win with US Hispanics, and now they have a front end to service those who speak Spanish and a physical presence in major cities to deliver.

In addition, it has the necessary cash to invest and be aggressive, with the support of its current suppliers and those it keeps adding. Likewise, it will have the strength to continue offering its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service.

It will also put its Amazon Go model to the test. The company opened its first automated food store in downtown Seattle, where payment is made through an Amazon account and a cell phone.

Whole Foods MarketThe idea has been described as “brilliant” by analysts, who see it as a “natural evolution.”

“Retailers across all industries should be watching closely to see how Amazon uses this acquisition and its effect on Amazon’s market share within the grocery sector. Given Amazon’s history, it will take the model developed for grocery, and then replicate it across other retail verticals. While watching closely, retailers can take steps to mitigate Amazon, blocking and tackling along the way. This includes getting serious about customer experience and advertising models that allow the retailer to earn its fair share of advertising dollars that its suppliers are currently spending to sell products on Amazon,” added Cheyney.

While watching closely, retailers can take steps to mitigate Amazon, blocking and tackling along the way. This includes getting serious about customer experience and advertising models.

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What: Portada spoke to JP Carter, CMO at SOCCER.COM, about the soccer-ecommerce site’s new image and why now was the right moment to renew its look, before the 2018 World Cup marketing strategies start.
Why it matters: Las week SOCCER.COM launched its newly revamped website, a platform that highlight’s the company’s core values to inform, inspire and innovate in the sports industry. The new offering intends to capitalize on soccer’s increasing popularity in the  U.S.

J.P. Carter
JP Carter, CMO at SOCCER.COM            (Photo: LinkedIn)

Portada: Why was now a good moment to redesign your site?
JP Carter, CMO at SOCCER.COM: “Our customers deserved a better digital experience. We are committing to always continue to improve that experience and this was a perfect time and opportunity to prioritize that before the 2018 World Cup.”

Portada: What is the market environment that made you renew your image?
JP Carter: “The primary driver for us is  the fact that this is a mobile world. We wanted to enhance our entire presentation, but the driving force was that we wanted to give that same high-level experience, regardless of device. Our mobile engagement figures since we flipped the switch are showing us that this is a move that is very well received by the core customers of our brand.”

The primary driver for us was the fact that this is a mobile world.

Portada: What challenges do you face?
JP Carter: “With every new site, there are technical hardships, but nothing that we were not prepared for, challenges such as coordination with all of our vendors and digital marketing partners was a task our team was thrilled to take on.  However, every transition presents challenges.  Something as simple as a new site layout can be a challenge for customers to get acclimated towards, but the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we are thrilled to have shared this with ours.”

Portada: Do you promote via social? How?
JP Carter: Social media is one of our strongest marketing channels. We are rapidly approaching 4 million followers on Instagram and our other channels have great interactions as well. This is a channel that we focus not only on the e-commerce side of the business, but also where we spend a great amount of effort to reinforce who we are as a brand, and how much soccer really means to us.

We are approaching 4 million followers on Instagram and our other channels have great interactions as well.

Portada: Do you sell third party advertising on the site?
JP Carter: “This is something that we are very protective of.  We do sell advertising space in many of our primary marketing channels; including our catalog, emails, social media, as well as on our site.  As an industry leader in the soccer specialty industry, we are very picky with who we sell that digital real estate too.  It has to be based on the game of soccer and speak to our customers who live the game.”

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Portada: What trends do you see in sports e-commerce?
JP Carter: ‘Sports are life, and soccer, in particular, is not just a game to our consumers.  As we speak with our customers, we understand how much this game consumes every bit of their day.  From their home life to school, to obviously on the field, this game is everything to people around the world. With that being said, we need to treat it that way from a business perspective. We put the same passion into the e-commerce portion of this business as our fans do into the game so that we can provide a world-class experience with our new website.”

We put the same passion into the e-commerce portion of this business as our fans do into the game.

Portada: How are you getting ready for the 2018 World Cup opportunity?
JP Carter: “World Cup 2018 marketing starts for SOCCER.COM in June of 2017.  This event requires an “all hands on deck” mentality for us and we are thrilled about it. From an editorial content perspective, we will be a leader in learning everything you need to know about the history of the tournament, the locations, the teams, the players, and of course, the equipment that will be used.  We will carry every team’s jersey, the footwear that all the stars will be wearing and the balls that will be used in the tournament as well.  We are very excited about next summer and what it will mean for the beautiful game.”

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What: Despite the fact that Hispanics have adopted e-commerce at a faster pace than the general market, marketers are struggling to effectively target the demographic on e-commerce platforms and lack effective measurement tools for conversion and attribution.
Why It Matters: Hispanics as a whole represent $1.5 trillion in annual spending power, but few companies have proactively targeted them in the e-commerce realm. As shoppers increasingly head online to make purchases, some in the industry are predicting a “Hispanic targeting renaissance.”

Today there are 55 million Hispanics with $1.5 trillion in annual spending power in the United States. They skew younger than your average demographic (80 percent are Millennials or younger), are digitally savvy and love shopping online after comparing prices and doing their research.

E-commerce in general is picking up steam across the country as people abandon physical stores in favor of the convenience of shopping online. According to a according to a report from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, in 2018, online sales of CPG products will hit $35 billion, up from $8 billion in 2013. And a Univision study found that Hispanics are a driving force in the adoption of online grocery shopping: 50 percent of Hispanic shoppers (and 60 percent of Millennial Hispanics) have bought a grocery item online in the past year, versus 40 percent of the general US market.

Now, marketers must untangle the behavior and preferences of an increasingly diverse demographic, and master the art of attribution and conversion across a purchasing journey that can involve multiple devices on and offline.

Get Ready for a Hispanic E-Commerce Renaissance

Lee Vann, the founder and director of Hispanic marketing agency Capture Group, emphasized that marketers should not be surprised that Hispanics are active on e-commerce sites, “as they tend to be more active across most Internet activities.” The surprising thing is that until now, “few companies have proactively targeted Hispanics via e-commerce, despite a clear opportunity,” Vann said.

Vann suggested that we may be on the brink of a Hispanic e-commerce renaissance, as retailers like Amazon increase their offerings for Hispanics. As the big players throw their hats in the ring, Vann suggested that we should “look to others to follow.”

Few companies have proactively targeted Hispanics via e-commerce, despite a clear opportunity.

Katie Thomas, a Regional Manager at Bush Brothers, asserted that “large retailers are doing a better job of segmenting stores based on demographics (Latino, African American, etc.),” but that “it is one thing to identify these stores but another to actually market different products in these stores to meet consumer’s needs.” According to Thomas, “the retailers that are doing this will win in the marketplace.”

E-Commerce a ‘Double-Edged Sword’ for Attribution and Conversion Models 

Some would assume that the increasing popularity of e-commerce among Hispanics means that marketers should have a wealth of data points from which to collect insight on their preferences and behavior. But Vann warned that “e-commerce can be a double edged sword when it comes to attribution and conversion models.”

Cookies, for example, are one of the most popular tools for tracking consumers’ purchasing journey. However, data has revealed that they are not always effective. According to Nielson OCR Norms, 58 percent of cookie-based measurement is overstated, targeting in cookie-based measurement is only 65 percent effective, and 12 percent of conversions are missed with cookie-based measurement.

Brands shouldn’t be timid to drive consumers to e-commerce sites with cultural relevant and/or in-language advertising.

What’s more, in a world where shoppers often start their journey online and end it offline or on a different device, it’s hard to know whether the people looking at products online are actually buying. Last-click attribution models ignore the fact that many shoppers follow a windy path involving different devices and visits to physical stores before making an online purchase. “Marketers must look across the Omnichannel path to purchase and ensure they capture the impact of the digital channel on sales that may have started online but ended offline,” Vann said.

Marketing strategist and consultant Daniel Villaroel emphasized that in this case, brands must take on the responsibility of experimenting until they get it right: “Optimization is always the responsibility of the brands to maximize sales.  It behooves them to see what works and what doesn’t work.”

He continued: “Brands shouldn’t be timid to drive consumers to e-commerce sites with cultural relevant and/or in-language advertising.” He added that instead of worrying about which language Hispanics are more comfortable speaking, brands should “test, see what works and optimize.”

Brands Struggling to Implement Measurement Tools Effectively 

It isn’t that brands are lacking measurement tools — it’s that they themselves are not confident that they are using them correctly.

Bush Brothers’ Thomas admitted that brands are still grappling with some of the most basic aspects of understanding Hispanic consumer behavior. “Bush uses measurement tools on our key brands but we have not done a good job of utilizing these when it comes to the Hispanic Shopper,” Thomas said.

While location-based data is an effective tool for getting Hispanics inside a physical store, brands need more when it comes to e-commerce since they must put extra effort into understanding what specific products Hispanics want. Thomas elaborated: “Large retailers are doing a better job of segmenting stores based on demographics (Latino, African American, etc.), but it is one thing to identify these stores and another to actually market different products to meet consumer’s needs,” said Thomas.

This turns into a complicated task when one considers that Hispanic shopping patterns vary greatly based on factors like age and assimilation level. According to a recent report from ThinkNow Research, nearly a quarter of Bicultural Hispanics say they would go to another store to purchase their favored brand, while only 18 percent of less acculturated Hispanics said the same. That seven-point difference cannot be ignored when marketers are developing Hispanic e-commerce targeting campaigns.

For some marketers, it may start with accepting what they don’t know. Think Hispanics are more loyal across the board? Think again. The same report by ThinkNow Research found that less acculturated Hispanics — those that have not fully assimilated into American culture —  are no more brand loyal than other segments. Bicultural Hispanics — those who are generally first  or second-generation Americans who identify with both the U.S. culture and their Hispanic heritage — are considered more loyal across several CPG categories.

Targeting: ‘Not Doing Anything is the Primary Issue’

tech.infocustechnologiesOne thing is certain: this is a hugely powerful demographic, and retailers and brands must find a way to capitalize on the fact that Hispanics are making e-commerce a regular feature in their shopping routines.

According to Villarroel, “not doing anything is the primary issue,” and that despite the fact that we are in the age of digital, brands are not delivering “micro-targeted content that’s meaningful,” and “sometimes content is still served up as a one size fits all.” This means that retailers must aid brands in forming an accurate picture of the people visiting their e-commerce sites.

The savviest marketers will make Hispanic e-commerce part of their long term plans and ensure that their products are presented in a culturally relevant way.

Vann added that to connect with this attractive demographic, brands will have to come ready with “Spanish language product information and meta data, culturally relevant imaging and messaging, and proactive marketing to drive sales.”

Brands looking to drive Hispanic e-commerce sales must start with forming a more complete picture of Hispanics, not just as consumers, but as people whose different experiences and cultures give shape to their decisions. “The savviest marketers will make Hispanic e-commerce part of their long term plans and ensure that their products are presented in a culturally relevant way,” Villarroel said.

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Below is our weekly analysis  of comScore ranking. This week the  10 most-visited e-commerce sites in the US-Hispanic market.

Amazon Sites, Ebay, Walmart and Apple Worlwide sites hold the top four spots in the ranking of the most-visited e-commerce sites in the US-Hispanic market and account for a total of 70.66% of the market share of the top 10 sites. Amazon, in first place, accounts for 31.66% of the market of the top 10 (an impressive figure that represents almost the sum of the second, third, and fourth-placed sites’ market shares).

The presence of new players like Target Corporation, Best Buy Sites, Home Depot, Hewlett Packard and Macy’s is a highlight, as they did not appear in the July 2015 rankings.

Additionally, while people can buy a wide variety of products on Amazon, the presence of Macy’s on the rankings is interesting because the chain specializes primarily in clothing, jewelry ,watches, bags and furniture. What is not surprising is that its number of visitors increases significantly during the month of December due to the holidays.

Ranking: US-Hispanic Market

Source: comScore MMX, Category Retail, US Hispanic, September 2015, PC/Laptop only, Home & Work, 6+Total Unique Visitors (000)
1Amazon Sites11.831
2eBay6.492
3Wal-Mart4.146
4Apple.com Worldwide Sites3.941
5Target Corporation2.676
6Best Buy Sites1.907
7The Home Depot, Inc.1.886
8Google Shopping1.584
9Hewlett Packard1.482
10Macy’s Inc.1.424

 

We made an analysis of the Top 20 Most visited sites in the U.S Hispanic and LatAm Markets, according to ComScore. In both rankings, there are several  e-commerce platforms, which is interesting, because it shows how relevant these sites are for users in both regions. But there are differences in the relative weight of these sites in the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets.

Comercio Electrónico While it is no news that e-commerce has developed rapidly in the U.S., the fact that in the U.S. Hispanic ranking there are 4 e-commerce related companies (Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart and Craigslist, although the latter is more classified-oriented) reflects a stronger presence of e-commerce sites in the U.S. Hispanic market when compared to Latin America (where there are only two E-commerce sites among the top twenty sites ranked by unique users, see below).

In Latin America, it is interesting to note how Mercado Libre and OLX are part of the Top 20 Most Visited sites by Unique Visitors.

Total Unique Visitors (000)
Source: comScore Media Metrix, U.S.. HISPANIC All, Home and Work, Top 20 propertiesMay-14May-15% Change
   Google Sites26,03726,0490
   Facebook19,03319,0740
   Microsoft Sites22,91718,189-21
   Yahoo Sites22,61518,020-20
   Amazon Sites10,29011,59113
   AOL, Inc.11,44710,967-4
   Mode Media9,6319,134-5
   eBay7,0057,6049
   Wikimedia Foundation Sites6,3017,59220
   Apple Inc.8,2377,063-14
   Comcast NBCUniversal5,9206,2455
   Turner Digital7,7526,181-20
   CBS Interactive6,1305,887-4
   Ask Network7,3665,531-25
   craigslist, inc.4,7025,37114
   About5,7434,706-18
   Wal-Mart3,1354,52744
   TWITTER.COM4,4984,288-5
   Linkedin4,4924,156-7
   Adobe Sites2,9724,06937

Comment: Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo are the top 4 within the ranking accounting for almost 44% in May 15. Google, which is first in the ranking, accounts for almost 14% of Unique Users in May 15.

Total Unique Visitors (000)
Source: comScore Media Metrix, LATIN AMERICA, Home and Work, Top 20 propertiesMay-14May-15% Change
   Google Sites167,532166,035-1
   Facebook146,042138,437-5
   Microsoft Sites133,513123,741-7
   Yahoo Sites118,81799,994-16
   Wikimedia Foundation Sites66,80161,372-8
   Terra – Telefonica61,75051,211-17
   MercadoLibre48,11250,8296
   UOL51,30347,823-7
   R7 Portal48,83844,581-9
   Globo46,17841,427-10
   Linkedin40,91338,243-7
   Ask Network53,16132,480-39
   Grupo NZN29,07930,0043
   IG Portal31,39726,270-16
   Batanga Sites15,56025,82366
   OLX Inc.20,38625,15023
   Softonic.com Sites30,07823,732-21
   TARINGA.NET30,08223,291-23
   BitTorrent Network20,16522,62712
   WORDPRESS.COM32,60522,011-32

Comment:In this second ranking, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo are the top 4 again with almost 38% of Unique User in May 15.Google ranks first with 15, 5% of unique Users.

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