Flash sale sites are reaching the end of their growth trajectory, and might start consolidating soon.
Many analysts have blamed the problem on an inability to get designer labels.
About 44% of social network commentary related to flash sale sites is negative, according to the study by Dotcom Distribution.
Consumers’ biggest complaints are related to shipping, log-in, marketing, and customer service.
According to the survey, BeyondTheRack, HauteLook, and ZuLily had the worst consumer feedback for shipping issues.
Fab’s site forces users to log in, which infuriated many customers.
Customers also expressed frustrations with “misleading” email marketing, according to the study.
One woman wrote that she was frustrated with TheFoundary.com because it sent out an email advertising free shipping when in reality the promotion only applied to purchases greater than $75.
These problems hurt the sites two-fold, according to the study: Customer service complaints on Facebook and other social media sites drive away both existing customers and potential new ones.
Flash sale sites can solve their social problem by responding to customer complaints regularly, and advertising promotions accurately, according to Dot! com Dist ribution.
The sites represent a $2 billion business, according to Reuters.
But to keep customers and attract new ones, flash sale sites are going to have to focus on the customer experience.
Facebook On Desktop In Serious Decline (BTIG Research)
Facebook page views from laptops and desktops in the U.S. are down 28% in April compared to April 2012. That’s a steeper year-over-year declne than in March when the decline in page views was 26% compared to March 2012, according to BTIG. As desktop usage declines more rapidly, the pressure will be on Facebook to drive mobile monetization. Read >
Facebook Rolling Out Video Ads To News Feeds (Ad Week)
The world’s largest social network is now going after TV revenues with its plan to roll out video ads, the Financial Timesis reporting. It’s believed Facebook will allow advertisers to select four demographics to target with 15-second video ads (that means advertisers will have to decide whether they want to produce entirely new 15-second spots for Facebook, or shorten existing 30-second spots). The videos will likely be autop lay and mute by default, and expand to cover the width of the News Feed and part of the right rail. Testing will begin in July, according to the FT. Read >
Search — the very cornerstone of the Web — has begun to show signs of decline on desktops and laptops.
Meanwhile, search is surging on smartphones and tablets. Mobile searches are quickly becoming the main way in which consumers find everything they need — whether it’s information, services, or physical and digital goods.
That means there’s a great opportunity, but also that search has more work to do. There are kinks to figure out in areas ranging from app discovery to tracking the effectiveness of local search ads.
The practice of “showrooming,” or viewing an item in a retail store and then buying it online, has brought the e-commerce threat directly to bricks-and-mortar retailers.
Mobile raises the showrooming threat to a new level since price comparisons are available to shoppers immediately, as they make decisions and browse e-commerce websites in stores.
We also look at what the big retailers are doing to combat showrooming, and identify the five broad strategies that will help brick-and-mortar retailers win business from showroomers.
Take a look at this chart from our report:
Estimates of how much retail volume is influenced by smartphones vary wildly, but here are some numbers that gauge mobile showrooming’s influence:
- IDC predicted that smartphone use would influence between $700 million and $1.7 billion in U.S. holiday season retail sales in 2012. Fifty-nine million U.S. shoppers will use their smartphones to showroom in 2013.
- Deloitte Digital believes smartphones influenced $159 billion in U.S. store sales over the course of 2012 or 5 percent of the total, and will influence $689 billion of store sales in 2016.
- A recent study revealed that JC Penney — which just announced a disastrous 32 percent decline in same-store sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 — is at risk from showrooming because showroomers visited its locations 14 percent more frequently than the average U.S. shopper did in January 2013.