Not too long ago, while on a job interview, I was asked “How familiar are you with eComm?”. You gotta love the super vague interview questions, right? As I collected my thoughts, and I asked for more specificity, I wondered what the interviewer was really asking me…
- Did I know what options were out there? Did I understand the landscape?
- Am I connected into the right vendors to be able to execute? Can I get new capabilities running day one?
- Did I understand how the process worked from ordering to fulfillment?
Or, on a much simpler level…
- Did I know you can buy goods and services from the comfort of my own couch?
- Have I ever heard of Amazon? Or what about Instacart? Uber Eats?
- Or did they want me to spell it? Is it eComm, EComm or ecom?
We all have varying levels of understanding of eCommerce, either as a consumer or seller. But where is the line? Is it eComm when I pay my bills through my banking app on my phone? How about streaming music? When my kid begs me for another installment of V-Bucks (if you don’t know what this is, lucky you), that’s got to be eComm right? I bet if you ask 100 people how to define eComm you get 100 different answers, and they would likely all be correct to various degrees.
Allan Peretz put out a great read last week, that we couldn’t stop talking about at RetailWit HQ, about eCommerce in 2021. Focused on how we should define it, segment it, and perhaps most importantly how to spell it properly – make sure you don’t put a hyphen in there or Allan may yell at you. Read his full article here.
Ok, so now that we all agree on what eComm is let’s take a look at the tremendous trajectory it is on. Apologies on the use of the hyphen in the article title, Allan clearly has his work cut out for him.
With $813 billion spent during the calendar year 2020, which was a 42% increase from 2019, the prediction is that an incremental $188 billion will be spent in 2021. Interestingly enough, that represents the spending eComm saw over the holiday period of November and December in 2020. Even with the optimistic view that the pandemic is going to slow down this year, eComm is still very much on the upswing.
Digging into the impact on grocery, we saw some data last week from a Brick Meets Click survey. Online grocery spending in February of 2021 was down to $8 billion from a high of $9.3 billion in January just a month prior. Much of this decrease is attributed to fewer shoppers and fewer trips, interested to see if this is a blip or the beginning of a trend?
Are the fewer trips a result of unsatisfactory experiences with eComm grocery? Or is this a sign that shoppers are comfortable going back to the stores?
If this is the beginning of a trend, and I am a retailer, then I am going “all in” on giving shoppers reasons to pick my store.
And that is exactly what we started to see last week, as “owned brands” made some real noise:
- Target is offering another premium feeling brand, catered to families with kids looking for at home crafts. Here is another occasion that Target is working hard to capture, and another trip driver that brings shoppers into their stores. It’s a great fit into Target’s core brand offering.
- DICK’S Sporting Goods launches its own men’s athleisure line, rivaling Lululemon and others (including Target’s recent success).
- Peloton Interactive and Adidas are working together to create a new line of athletic apparel and lifestyle gear. Adidas continues making big moves, this one makes a lot more sense than trying to go 100% D2C – and just wait until Peloton starts opening their own retail spaces with Adidas gear available.
- And speaking of the push to make brands feel more premium, Walmart taps designer, Project Runway judge Brandon Maxwell to elevate its fashion labels.
These are just items you can find from multiple sellers online and choose the cheapest one with free shipping. These are trip drivers. And with in store trips potentially back up for grabs, we are betting this is only the beginning.
Now, on to the rest of last week’s big stories…
Rosalind Brewer officially takes the helm at Walgreens, becoming the only Black woman Fortune 500 CEO.
Kroger Customers Rewarded in Kroger Stock Make an Additional Grocery Run, Spend Almost $75 More Monthly. Not a new idea but one that has finally been proven out. This could be an entirely new way to ‘reward’ shoppers – although if given a choice would shoppers choose stock or a more immediate reward?
Giant opens flagship 65,000 square foot store in downtown Philly, featuring tons of fresh food options, meals to take with you, beer garden, etc. With many major cities claiming they are a food desert, it’s formats like this that should be the trend going forward. Kudos to Giant on the move!
Quotient and Ahold partner on a new promo amplifier as the arms race continues for CPGs digital dollars