While the economy may be flat in the US and Europe and struggling in China, retail spending and e-commerce are trending positive and growing in India and other developing markets. Here’s a snapshot of festival sales in India, Singles Day in China and the build up to US holiday sales. We start with a look at Revolve, a successful LA company with $400 million in sales of dresses, hats and trendy style apparel. $10 billion in the first 14 hours – that’s Alibaba’s Double 11 or Singles Day in China. Final sales total? $14,341,847,366, according to Alibaba. While it must still close stores, Macy’s is the No. 4 Internet retailer in the US with online sales of $4.7 billion in the past 12 months, or 17% of sales, one of the highest rates among bricks-and-mortar retailers according to eMarketer.
Japanese investment in Indonesia e-commerce companies like Tokopedia is explained by three Japanese VC leaders. More than 50% of Diwali festival e-commerce sales came from rural India according to Flipkart and Festival sales by Amazon rose 250% year-over-year. Also in India, Limeroad is booming with ecommerce sales to women. In Brazil, B2W Digital Inc grew its Q1 2015 online sales to $708.8 million up 23.6% in Brazil. Online and offline, retail seems to be performing well.
Revolve Clothing, a $400 million ecommerce powerhouse
Revolve is a Los Angeles clothing company on track to sell $400 million worth of dresses, hats, and other trendy young women’s apparel this year. That’s a multiple of what ecommerce peer Nasty Gal pulls in, and more than British luxury site Farfetch, which investors recently valued at $1 billion. It’s more than twice as much as Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, valued at $1.7 billion, is predicted to earn this year. And Revolve is profitable, having grown more than 50% each year since 2012.
If you’ve never heard of Revolve, you probably don’t travel in the right circles. You aren’t a trendy twentysomething who can pull off a skintight white suit with no shirt underneath. There’s no copy of Gypset Style, the handbook for self-styled bon vivants and “high-low cultural nomads,” on your coffee table—one piece of the perfectly decorated apartment in which you barely spend time. (“Gypset” is a portmanteau of “gypsy” and “jet set.”) Via fortune.com
China Singles Day Shopping Sales
Double 11 spending this year hit a record-breaking $10 billion just 14 hours into the one-day shopping bonanza, according to the BBC. It only took 8 minutes for spending to cross the $1 billion mark, Alibaba, the e-commerce giant behind the promotion, reported….
Commonly known as “Double 11,” this gargantuan online shopping event falls on November 11 each year. Revenue in 2013 reached $8 billion — more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. combined, according to Boston Consulting Group figures quoted by CNN Money. Unlike Black Friday, which has been a post-Thanksgiving tradition for U.S. shoppers for decades, China’s massive shopping holiday has been around for only six years. And its origins might surprise you. Via refinery29.com
China’s e-commerce company Alibaba sells record $14.3 billion on Singles Day
Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba did a record $14.3 billion in sales on Singles Day Wednesday, breaking last year’s record and blowing past its estimates of $11 billion in sales. The precise sales figure as the clock struck midnight was $14,341,847,366, according to Alibaba.
“Last year, at $9.3 billion, it was the biggest online sales day in history. I think we can absolutely say that this has topped that,” said Katherine Wilson, director of marketing insights for Clavis Insight, a Boston-based e-commerce analytics company.
Alibaba shares (BABA) were down 2% in trading Wednesday, at $79.80. Mobile sales made up the bulk of orders — 69%, Alibaba Group Holding Limited said. Via USA Today
Macy’s CEO is Closing Stores But Says He Still Needs Them
Macy’s has hit its roughest patch since the Great Depression, prompting the retailer to add to its program of store closings as sales continue to fall.
While the department store chain, which on Wednesday reported its third straight quarter of declining comparable sales, plans to streamline its fleet and weed out dozens of poor locations, there is a limit to how much the retailer will ultimately cut, its CEO Terry Lundgren says. Even in the age of e-commerce, indeed because of how customers are shopping in the digital sales era, he argues, stores are as valuable as ever. Via fortune.com
Why Japanese venture capital is fuelling Indonesia’s tech boom
“Look at what happened in China with Alibaba just a few days ago. US$14 billion in transactions in one day,” Teru continued, alluding to the record-breaking sales volume during singles day. “And what comes after China? It’s India or Indonesia. We said to ourselves, we can’t miss this. Japanese companies aren’t growing, so re-allocating cash-flow comes naturally.”
Teru also reminded the audience that Japanese investors have been active in Indonesia for decades, not just with the tech boom. “Investments in energy, garments, and manufacturing – historically and economically this has been going on for years.” That investments have shifted into the digital industry and tech startups are a natural progression, he suggested. Via techinasia.com
Small was big this festive season for Flipkart, Amazon, other e-tailers
Rural India has come to the fore this festive season, at least for e-commerce companies. Over 50% of the sales that happened online, from August till now, have come from tier-II and III cities, in a significant shift from the past two seasons. As per major e-commerce companies, there has been a 15% rise in sales from smaller towns and cities this year.
Flipkart told FE that almost 60% of its sales starting from independence day till Diwali came from smaller towns. Amazon said it saw an overall rise of 250% in festive season sales compared to last year, with smaller towns contributing 65% of that jump. The festive season registered sales of over $3 billion, according to estimates by leading e-commerce firms.
Ankit Nagori, chief business officer of Flipkart, said the Big Billion Day sale saw 50-60% of traffic from tier II and III cities. “With India opening up to online shopping, more and more customers across geographies are shopping with us. In fact, with increased adoption of smartphones and internet penetration, close to 50% of our traffic comes from smaller cities. Via financialexpress.com
How ladies are fuelling the e-commerce boom in India
“When Limeroad was founded in 2013, everyone laughed at us… the entire ecommerce industry was male-dominated,” recounts Mukherjee. Rather than targeting over 80% of India’s internet population, Limeroad was attempting to devise a social discovery platform for the minority, and that had observers amused and appalled.
Just two years on, the story couldn’t be more different. From a time when women consumers were a distinct afterthought for most ecommerce ventures, today they are scrambling to meet their every whim. In the past 24 to 36 months, there has been an explosive growth in women coming online and in mobile penetration. Consequently, a raft of new ventures are focused on this opportunity and several older ones tweaking their business model to chase after it. Today there are 28 million active internet users in India in the 18-44 age group in SEC A and B cities alone. Add another 28-30 million from SEC B and C towns, and there’s a fastgrowing market for the likes of Limeroad to target. Via economictimes.indiatimes.com
Brazil’s largest e-retailer grows web sales 23.6% in Q1
The top-ranked merchant in Internet Retailer’s 2014 Latin America 500 and Brazil’s largest web merchant B2W Digital Inc., grew online sales 23.6% in the first quarter of 2015. The company operates four e-commerce sites in Brazil: Submarino.com.br, Americanas.com.br, Shoptime.com.br and SouBarato.com.br.
The general merchandise retailer’s sales growth came, in part, from an increase in traffic from mobile devices, the company says. Mobile traffic accounted for 32% of all traffic compared with 14% in the first quarter of 2014, and orders placed through mobile devices grew 16% in the first quarter of 2015. The retailer attributes the increases in mobile traffic and transactions to enhanced technology it added from the 2014 acquisitions of Uniconsult and Ideais, two technology companies. Via internetretailer.com
Omni-channel sales is the retail path to profitability
Those are some very impressive e-commerce and retail sales results in many different markets. For brick-and-mortar retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Walmart, the keys to success seem to be maintaining omni-channel sales to consumers who research involving online still like to touch and feel products in store. That’s a big advantage over online-only stores if they can figure out how to build in their logistics advantages.