Our Roundup today takes a look at cashback, e-commerce, fashion and retail developments around the world. In India, cashback savings offered by e-commerce companies could total more than $457 million in 2015, proving useful in developing repeat sales. Google cancels Great Online Shopping Festival in India citing increased competition from other etailers. An alarming Chinese government report says that on the country’s e-commerce sites more than 40% of products are fakes. Ecommerce competition in China is getting fierce as Alibaba pressures merchants to use its services exclusively over competitors like JD.com.
Tech in Asia profiles 24 trendy, up-and-coming Zalora ecommerce fashion competitors in SE Asia. Malaysian beauty etailer Hermo gets $2 million in new VC funds for SE Asia expansion. Amazon plans to offer 30,000 lightning deals in push to grow holiday revenue 25% and opens its first retail store outlet in Seattle. UK online retailers are cautioned they could lose Black Friday sales from slow-loading, large-image home pages.
In Indian e-retail, cashback ensures repeat purchases
Discounts offered by e-commerce firms in the form of a cashback offer could add up to Rs 2,500-3,000 crore ($381.5 million – $457.8 million) in the current year, accounting for about a fourth of the total discounts of Rs 10,000-12,000 crore ($1.53 billion – $1.83 billion), according to industry players. In 2014-15, cashbacks amounted to just around Rs 500 crore ($76.3 million). While etailers are perhaps the most generous, others like Citibank are also joining in — the bank offers cash back of Rs 1,500 ($22.88) on every domestic air ticket purchased on MakeMyTrip.
On Tuesday, the Alibaba-backed Paytm, the newest kid on the e-retailing block, announced 100% cashback on selected products. Saurabh Vashishtha, vice-president, business, at Paytm, told FE the move was aimed at ensuring more repeat purchases. “Our customers use the platform four times a months while the industry average is three times a year,” Vashishtha said, adding that any cash that a customer gets back accumulates in the Paytm wallet and can be used to pay utility bills or to buy an item. Money, however, cannot be withdrawn from the wallet though it can be transferred to another customer’s wallet. Via financialexpress.com
Hard hit by e-retailers, Google ends Great Online Shopping Fest
Last year, Flipkart had opted out of the GOSF event to focus on its own mobile app festive sale. Rohan Bhargava, co-founder, CashKaro, said, “Though we knew Google was debating about whether to go ahead with GOSF this year, we were a little surprised with the news. The festival had gained popularity as it bought key players under one roof and offered discounts and deals across partner retailers to attract new users.
Also Flipkart, one of the largest marketplaces opting out from GOSF in 2014, was an indication in itself that the pace of e-commerce has already gained momentum and doesn’t need a specific festival sale in a year to get the best deals.” Referring to the existing and running festive period sale by e-commerce companies since October, Bawankule said, “I think all the players are now strong enough to do this on their own. Our job of creating the eco-system is done.” Via The Financial Express
More than 40% of China’s ecommerce products are fakes
China’s ecommerce industry has spent the past decade growing at breakneck speed, and there’s really no end in sight. Chinese ecommerce spending is expected to break US$1 trillion for the first time in 2017. But it isn’t all rosy, according to a new report released by the law enforcement and inspection team of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. Fake products are still a serious problem.
According to the Beijing Business Times, the report was compiled from the group’s inspections of 14 different ecommerce product categories in 2014. It found that only 58.7 percent of the inspected goods were genuine, meaning the other 41.3 percent were fake. Fake here is a broad term, and it could include dangerous fake products like cosmetics with unlisted ingredients as well as brand-name clothing knock-offs and the like. Via techinasia.com
Alibaba and JD battle after Alibaba forces vendors to pick a side for Singles Day
China’s biggest online shopping holiday is coming right up. And as China’s two biggest etailers – JD and Alibaba – gear up for another day of sales, the competition is getting scrappy.
This year, JD says that Alibaba is forcing apparel merchants to choose between participating in Singles Day sales on Tmall or on JD – they’re not allowed to do both. In a report filed with China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) requesting a formal investigation, JD says Alibaba has told numerous merchants that participating in Singles Day events on both platforms will result in punishments on Tmall, like reduced traffic or lowered rankings. Via techinasia.com
24 trendy Zalora competitors in Southeast Asia
But despite the firm having a clear foothold in ASEAN, and Rocket Internet calling Zalora the region’s clear winner, data suggests there’s still a large piece of the fashion ecommerce pie to be had. As regional markets mature, we can expect to see more online fashion retailers cropping up than ever before. The key question investors are likely going to be asking these firms is: “How will you do it differently than Zalora?”
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of fashion players that could be Zalora competitors a few years down the line. It’s important to note that these startups aren’t likely able to out-muscle Rocket Internet in terms of spending power, but with a little bit of strategy, investor support, and segment differentiation, they could find a way to outmaneuver the fashion ecommerce giant. After all, fashion is an ephemeral business. One day you’re hot, the next you’re not. Here are 24 fashion ecommerce sites that compete with Zalora in one way or another. Via techinasia.com
Beauty marketplace Hermo raises $2M for expansion
Cosmetics and skincare marketplace Hermo has raised US$2 million in series A funding from venture capital firm Gobi Partners, the Malaysia-based startup announced today. Some of the money will go toward expanding into new markets beyond its home nation and neighboring Singapore. Hermo received the funding in full.
Founded in February 2012, Hermo sells premium and affordable beauty products for women. It features international brands, mainly Asian, and partners directly with brand owners and distributors. Hermo has over 3,000 items for sale and more than 150,000 monthly active users. From October 2014 to September 2015, its revenue reached RM 10 million (US$2.37 million), a threefold year-on-year growth. Via techinasia.com
Amazon doubles holiday ‘lightning deals’ to 30,000
With its sights set on growing revenue by up to 25 percent in the fourth quarter, Amazon is doubling down on the number of limited-time “lightning deals” it will push out to shoppers during the key holiday shopping season. The online retail giant said Monday that it will offer 30,000 of these so-called lightning deals, twice as many as last year. The move is one piece of Amazon’s early Black Friday sales event, which starts Monday and runs through Dec. 22.
Amazon said the deals will be for products that are on shoppers’ wish lists and include electronics, toys and jewelry. The company received some backlash from shoppers after its first Prime Day in July, when prices were cut on seemingly random items such as hair dryers. Via cnbc.com
Amazon makes ultimate omnichannel move
Now in its 20th year of existence, Amazon’s opening of a physical store could represent a landmark moment in the history of retail should the company decide an expanded physical presence is something customers want it to provide. Amazon has dabbled with physical stores in the past, introducing temporary pick up points on select college campuses and there were rumors of a store in New York’s Times Square ahead of the 2014 holiday season. However, the new Seattle location is its first physical store where the company offers its interpretation of what the seamless integration of digital and physical can look like.
Amazon posted select photos of the store on its Web site and while the physical space looks similar to a Barnes & Noble or the now defunct Borders, there are some mildly distinguishing merchandising features. For example, books are presented face-out, and under each one is a review card with the Amazon.com customer rating and a review. Pricing is also the same as offered on Amazon.com. The store will also serve as a venue for Amazon to sell it various devices. “At Amazon Books, you can also test drive Amazon’s devices. Products across our Kindle, Echo, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet series are available for you to explore, and Amazon device experts will be on hand to answer questions and to show the products in action,” according to Cast. Via retailingtoday.com
Oversized home pages on retail websites could spell Black Friday disaster, says NCC Group
The UK’s top retailers could be storing up trouble for Black Friday and risking their customers going elsewhere by delivering oversized home pages, according to new insight from global information assurance specialist NCC Group. Analysis of the UK’s top 50 retail sites revealed that the average home page size has increased in every quarter in 2015, from 1.77MB in Q1 to 2.02MB in Q3. This is likely to be one reason why total load time also slowed, going up from an average of 11.43 seconds in Q1 to 13.93 seconds in Q3 (measured at 2Mbps). This is far in excess of the recommended standard of 3 seconds and therefore may deter customers from using the site.
This analysis also found that a number of sites were increasingly bloated by very large images, often in the form of banner ads. According to Ben Daniel, head of the professional services team at NCC Group’s Web Performance division, this should ring alarm bells for retailers as they head into the busy pre-Christmas period. Via retailtimes.co.uk
So what do you think? Will Amazon’s storefront be a success? Can other retailers compete online and off-line? Retail gets more interesting every day! Speaking of interesting, don’t forget to subscribe to the daily Cashback Industry News to get cashback, ecommerce, mobile and retail news highlights like these Monday-Friday.