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What to expect for this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Last year during holidays, US online sales surpassed $122 billion. This represented a 12 percent increase over the previous year. But beyond the overall growth, what's more interesting is that sales at physical stores dropped by 10 percent, the result of ongoing consumer comfort with and adoption of e-commerce buying behavior. Given the performance of holidays so far this year, it seems clear that this trend will continue in 2017. As a result, retailers are stocking fewer items in stores to reduce inventory costs and are hiring fewer seasonal workers as they anticipate lower foot traffic to stores.

 

"Offering rich, interactive images has emerged as a critical component to any website or web app visitor engagement strategy -- and with good reason," wrote Parag Pathak, our Senior Product Marketing Manager, in his recent published article - Let's get visual: best practices for digital image management - in EContent Magazine.

Get Ready For The Holidays With Cloudlets

It's summer, which means it's time for hitting the beach, enjoying outdoor barbeques with friends and family, going for hiking, biking, kayaking and savoring cold craft beers. But for savvy retailers like you, summer is the ideal time to start getting your apps, websites and infrastructures ready for the holidays.

With the Black Friday, Cyber Monday holiday weekend upon us, retailers in the U.S. and abroad are preparing for another peak period for customer acquisition and commerce revenues.  In 2016, the U.S. eCommerce market is the second largest globally and is expected to reach a total of $482 billion by 2018.  China is still the global leader with its B2C eCommerce market accounting for 38% of worldwide turnover; this Singles' Day, November 11th, 2016, Alibaba's success highlighted the region's potential turning over $17.8 billion in sales in one day (and $1 billion in just the first five minutes), surpassing last year's record of $14.3 billion record by 24%.

Mobile is a key part of the shopping journey, both online and offline. 55 percent of Chinese consumers rate the smart phone as the most important device in making a purchase decision compared to only one-third of consumers in the US and UK. Mobile devices are also becoming the go to device for Internet access across Asia Pacific. According to an eMarketer survey, 90 percent of respondents said they accessed the Internet on their mobile devices each day, although this varies quite a bit from region to region.

Rapidly changing technology is disrupting the way retailers and consumers interact with each other and creating avenues of interaction that were not even possible a few years ago.  However, this pace of change and the pure volume of available solutions can be overwhelming and make it difficult for retailers to prioritize solutions that can really help them move the needle.

Is A Picture Really Worth A Thousand Words?

"Judging by the current explosive growth of images on the Internet, a picture may be worth much more than a thousand words," wrote Jason Miller, our Chief Strategist of Commerce, in his recent article - Is A Picture Really Worth A Thousand Words - published in Innovative Retail Technologies.

How to Better Understand the Bot Ecosystem

Jason Miller, our chief strategist of Commerce, was recently published in Retail TouchPoints magazine.  In his article, How to Better Understand the Bot Ecosystem, Jason talks about the different ways to distinguish between good bots and bad bots and how the distinctions change across applications and environments.

Why the In-Store Experience Still Matters

While the tactile nature of in-store shopping is nice, what is often missing from the in-store experience is the personalization available online.  Jason Miller, our chief strategist of Commerce, has recently published an article - Why the In-Store Experience Still Matters - on Apparel Magazine to discuss how retailers are finding new ways to personalize the in-store shopping experience.

eTail West Preview - 2016

I love eTail West - and not just because I get to stay in warmer climates (sorry, New England folks!), but because eTail West is a meeting of the savviest minds in the retail space. Not only am I excited about the upcoming show, but also about some of our own recent retail announcements that align with the type of innovation showcased throughout the conference. 

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