Online commerce is booming and our global e-commerce news roundup includes items from the Middle East, Europe, the US and SE Asia. Amazon finalized its acquisition of Souq.com making it the dominant e-commerce player in the Middle East. Souq.com features more than 8.4 million products and attracts more than 45 million visitors per month. According to the European E-commerce Report 2017, EU e-commerce grew by 15% in 2016 and totalled 30% of global e-commerce.
Cable shopping channel QVC now earns nearly 50% of its income from e-commerce and live streaming is part of its success. 3DLook launched SAIA, an AI-powered smartphone body scanner that helps consumers find clothes online by using simple smartphone scans. Entrepreneur.com recently profiled four innovative, e-commerce retailers including Crisp Clothing, Trunk Club, Bonobos and Wanderlust+Co.
Albertsons is making big changes to its e-commerce presence and design along with new hires and plans to extend online ordering to all 35 states where it has coverage. In a sign of things to come, Nike will start selling a limited line of its sports clothing on Amazon.
Jing Ling Daily looks at 10 key differences between Chinese and Western e-commerce consumers and finds some surprises. A new TeamLease report expects e-commerce employment to rise nearly 15%, a sure sign of e-commerce growth in India. Retail Minded explores at ways UK’s high street retailers can compete with Amazon technology. PPRO Group identified the fastest growing e-commerce economies including: China (64%), Malaysia (47%), Indonesia (45%), Saudi Arabia (43%) and Russia (42%).
Amazon completes its acquisition of Middle Eastern e-commerce firm Souq
Amazon has completed its acquisition of e-commerce firm Souq.com, which was first announced at the end of March and sees the U.S. retail giant enter the Middle Eastern market.
Amazon paid $580 million in cash for Souq, according to filings. Bloomberg previously reported that Amazon was in discussions over an investment at a valuation in excess of $1 billion but, amid rivalry from Emaar’s ambitious Noon.com project and others, an acquisition agreement was reached.
The two companies said today that they have completed an initial integration that allows customers to log into Souq.com using their Amazon account credentials. Souq.com itself claims over 45 million visitors per month and a range of 8.4 million products across 31 categories. Via techcrunch.com
What’s Next For European eCommerce?
According to the latest findings of the European Ecommerce Report 2017, it is a good time to be selling online in Europe — especially since online retail growth has been “exponential” over the last several years.
During 2016 alone, e-commerce activity increased by 15 percent to €530 ($602 billion U.S., 30 percent of global e-commerce). The 2017 forecast indicated a projected 14 percent growth to €602 billion ($684 billion, 34 percent of global retail sales). All in, European eCommerce accounted for 2.7 percent of 2016 global retail sales.
While the growth is impressive, the report also indicated several areas where further growth is possible and even necessary. One example focuses on European retail firms in which websites are on the rise — up from 67 percent of firms in 2010 to 77 percent in 2016 — though only 18 percent of firms can complete transactions through them. Via pymnts.com
QVC Has Quietly Become Successful With Streaming Audiences, and Nearly Half Its Revenue Is From E-commerce
Quality Value Convenience, better known as QVC, has kept up with an evolving audience by adapting to technology right along with its customers. The independently owned cable network launched in 1986 for a specific kind of audience.
E-commerce accounted for $4 billion of QVC’s $8.7 billion in annual revenue in 2016, and it represents 48 percent of its consolidated global revenue and 54 percent of its total U.S. revenue in the first quarter of 2017.
“People in the top 20 percent of our engaged customers are tuning in to our network six to nine times per day for five to 10 minutes per session,” said Peter Goodnough, vp of consumer insights and analytics at QVC. “When you add that to how frequently people visit our digital properties, they’re spending two hours with us on any given day.” Via adweek.com
3DLook launches a smartphone body scanner to help apparel retailers
Buying clothes and apparel over the internet is still a tricky business, but it is hugely lucrative. And increasingly, smartphones are driving retail growth. In 2016 — as noted in VB Insight’s latest research — mobile devices influenced $500 billion in sales, and $140 billion of that was driven directly by mcommerce.
The problem with online apparel lies in the difficulty of sizing items and the returns process that comes along with that. Consumers regularly purchase three of everything to send two back, and that cuts directly into profits.
Today, 3DLook has announced SAIA, an AI-powered smartphone body scanner that can be easily added to existing apps and mobile websites. SAIA can be integrated with an existing recommendation engine, ecommerce platform, or CRM system. Once implemented, the system provides analytics back to the retailer. Via venturebeat.com
4 Innovative and Trendy Ecommerce Apparel Stores Offering Something New
The apparel category is particularly exciting: The recently launched Amazon Prime Wardrobe, for instance, allows consumers to have clothing delivered to their door, after which they can try it out for seven days before deciding whether to keep it. They can send items back whenever they decide; they don’t even need to be home to have return packages picked up.
Taking inspiration from Amazon and other businesses, many apparel and accessory ecommerce companies are similarly trying their hand at “something new and different.” These innovative companies are taking ecommerce to the next level. Via entrepreneur.com
Albertsons leverages key hires in e-commerce overhaul
Albertsons is currently overhauling the design and functionality of its e-commerce platform, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company is also moving its e-commerce systems to cloud platforms like Microsoft’s Azure.
To help with the changes, Albertsons has hired technology leads with experience outside the grocery industry — including with struggling retail chains. These individuals, according to Narayan Iyengar, the company’s senior vice president of digital marketing and e-commerce, bring “experience in industries that have undergone dramatic transformation due to digital — people who have been through battles and learned from it.”
About half of Albertsons’ customers in its 35-state footprint can order groceries online. The company plans to expand ordering to the other half soon, though it provided no time-table. Via fooddive.com
Nike tops Wall Street expectations; confirms deal with Amazon
Nike reported fourth-quarter earnings and sales Thursday that topped Wall Street’s expectations, also confirming a major deal with a rival retailer that Nike has avoided working with in the past: Amazon. This news sent shares of the world’s largest footwear maker’s stock more than 7 percent higher after hours.
On a call with analysts and investors, Nike’s management team confirmed a new pilot with Amazon, where the retailer will directly sell a limited product assortment on Amazon’s U.S. e-commerce platform. The offerings will include athletic footwear, apparel and accessories.
Nike agreed to sell to Amazon in exchange for stricter policing of counterfeits and restrictions on unsanctioned sales of its products, a person familiar with the deal had told The Wall Street Journal. h/t cnbc.com
Competing With Amazon On High Street
The retail juggernaut Amazon’s decision to move more of its operations to bricks and mortar could be one of the biggest challenges to face the high street since the introduction of the internet.
Although all major retailers have internet presence, few are as successful in their market area as Amazon and none have the pervasiveness of the tech giant. Although Amazon will have challenges developing and implementing the locations and logistics that have been well established by the incumbents, the size of the organization, its commitment to continuous re –investment of profits and its ability to trial and embrace new technology will make this company an awesome competitor.
Amazon will enhance and improve the technology it has developed and will probably offer the services to retailers using their cloud server technology. This will be problematic for the retailers that adopt it. In that most major retailers will be reluctant to utilize a technology that could in theory provide confidential data of their operations and their customers to their biggest potential rival. Via retailminded.com
Lessons from China’s Dominant E-Commerce Game
China is now taking a lead in the development of the global e-commerce industry. Official government statistics show that the country scored a total of $750 billion worth of online deals in 2016, which was a figure larger than the amount made by the United States and the United Kingdom, combined, which was $598 billion, during the same period.
For a long time, the United States has taken a leading position in the global e-commerce market, giving birth to some of the prominent market leaders such as Amazon and Walmart. Around 2010, China’s e-Commerce growth started to explode, in parallel with the massive sales of the world’s largest online retailer, Alibaba. In 2013, China outpaced the leadership of the US in the market, according to the Ministry of Commerce, and has since continued to expand its dominant role.
In a report they co-released titled, “The New Retail: Lessons from China for the West,” the global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Alibaba Group attempt to look deeper into how China came so far in so little time. Jing Daily summarizes 10 key differences of the e-commerce landscape between the West and China based on the findings in the report reflecting history, consumer behaviors, the digital marketplace, and technology: Via jingdaily.com
Hiring: E-commerce bouncing back after a spell of layoffs
E-commerce & technology startups is one of the leading sectors in the employment outlook index. The outlook for the sector is up by 2 points from 91 in October 2016-March 2017 period to 93 in April 2017-September 2017 period when the overall employment outlook has dipped sharply by 6 percentage points.
The Net Employment Outlook is the difference between the number of respondents who are inclined to hire and the number of respondents who are disinclined to hire. The outlook is expressed as a percentage of the total number of respondents.
According to the TeamLease report, jobs in e-commerce & technology startups are likely to grow 14.94%. Via economictimes.indiatimes.com
Surprising E-Commerce Growth Presents Opportunity for British Retailers
Russia (42%), Indonesia (45%), Vietnam (37%), Argentina (38%) and Israel (25%) are surprisingly included in the fastest growing e-commerce markets in terms of percentage growth compared to last year, according to the latest worldwide research by PPRO Group in co-operation with payments specialist Edgar, Dunn & Company. British e-commerce merchants are constantly looking for ways to improve market reach to attract and retain loyal overseas customers. While it is well-known that e-commerce continues to gain popularity among consumers in affluent regions, these emerging e-commerce markets have seen consumer spend increase by over a third in some cases, representing missed opportunities for retailers.
China, the fastest growing e-commerce market (64%), has been notoriously difficult for e-commerce giants to penetrate, with the likes of Amazon unable to capitalise on the huge appetite for online shopping. As such, less well-known but rapidly growing markets present an ideal opportunity for businesses to begin the process of selling to these countries online. Merchants, however, often overlook the importance of payment process and fail to cater to consumer payment preferences, neglecting market-specific payment methods to attract international customers.
Simon Black, CEO of PPRO Group, said “The most important step for retailers to attract new international customers and maximise conversion rates is for merchants themselves to understand the culture of payments of each individual market. A merchant may have a strong online presence and offer high-quality products, but unless consumers can pay the way they want to, there is a big chance they will abandon the transaction and choose to shop with a competitor. Merchants that lose out on a single transaction due to inappropriate payment methods for the individual will not only lose a single sale but potentially a lifetime of spending from a loyal customer.” Via fintech.finance