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ComScore: Happy holiday season (so far) for online retail spending

BY Allison Cerra

RESTON, Va. — Online retail spending has seen a big jump this holiday season to date, according to a new report from ComScore.

According to the research firm, retail e-commerce spending for the first 32 days of the November-December 2011 holiday season saw a 15% spike to $18.7 billion, compared with the corresponding days last year. The overall spending was driven by billion-dollar spending days, including Cyber Monday, Nov. 28 ($1.25 billion), followed by Nov. 29 ($1.12 billion) and Nov. 30 ($1.03 billion).

"Cyber Monday kicked the week off with a bang as consumers opened their wallets to the tune of $1.25 billion, but it was only the beginning of a very strong week of online holiday spending," ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said. "Tuesday and Wednesday followed with billion dollar spending days, helping Cyber Week reach a record weekly total of nearly $6 billion in spending. As the deals from this week expire, it will be important to see the degree to which consumers return to the same retailers to continue their holiday shopping, thereby helping improve retailers’ profit margins, or if we experience a pullback in consumer spending — which has occurred in previous years — before promotional offers and spending intensity pick back up in earnest around mid-December."

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Hy-Vee brings Aisle411 shopping app to customers

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS — Hy-Vee has deployed a mobile retail navigation service designed to help customers search for in-store items.

The retailer said that its shoppers now can access the Aisle411 in-store mobile shopping app within Aisle411’s iPhone and Android apps, as well as via Hy-Vee’s iPhone app.

How it works: The platform, which features retail navigation technology, a context aware product recommendation engine and an advertising server, takes in-store inventory data and floor maps, and makes them searchable and interactive via a mobile app.

"As consumers embrace mobile technology to expedite their daily tasks, major retailers are embracing Aisle411’s in-store shopping platform and embedding it in their apps providing further proof that Aisle411 is becoming the standard for in-store navigation," Aisle411 CEO Nathan Pettyjohn said. "Hy-Vee Food Stores has taken the initiative to deliver its shoppers a premium tool to ensure shopping experiences are enjoyable by deploying the Aisle411 platform."

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Crabby collectables

BY Barbara White-Sax

ST. LOUIS — Cepia, makers of wildly popular ZhuZhu Pets, has a new line of collectables in its lineup for the 2011 holiday season. Xia-Xia (pronounced “shah-shah”) Pets is a new line of four collectable hermit crabs that walk and dance when their claws are pressed.


Each character comes with one little crab inside its shell, and the crabs can switch and swap from a collection of 12 candy-colored shells. Three habitat play sets also are available. Play sets and accessories range in price from $5.99 to $19.99.

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