Cashback News – Mar 14: Global e-commerce market news & insight

Cashback News – Mar 14: Global e-commerce market news & insight

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One of the most enjoyable things about editing the Cashback Industry News is what you learn by looking outside of your home market at those around the globe. Today, we’ve got a roundup of e-commerce news and developments from markets you may not follow regularly. There’s lots to learn from these stories and business strategies from Argentina to Singapore.

Indian bricks-and-mortar retailer Future Group launches an ad campaign targeting big e-commerce rivals Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon with headlines like Flip the Cart, Snap the Deal and Amaz-Off. China’s ecommerce leader JD.Com Inc., reported a 78% increase in sales in 2015. CNN profiles Singapore-headquartered online fashion retailer, Zalora, and its ambitious growth plans for the booming ASEAN market. Investments in regional logistics in SE Asia could be the next Gold Rush totaling more than US$28.16 million in 2015 according to Tech in Asia. Morgan Stanley marked down the value of its investment in leader Flipkart by 27% to $58.9 million sparking concerns about e-commerce valuations across India and afar.

Polly & Other Stories and are just two of Pakistan’s early e-commerce success stories to date in a country with more than 200 million residents under age 30. A Paypal study estimates that South Africa’s e-commerce market now totals more than R37-billion ($2.4 billion) thanks in part to a steadily improving logistics and handling infrastructure. raised more than $67 million in new capital recently and the online retail market in the Middle East is estimated at more than $7 billion and growing, Argentina’s e-commerce growth will exceed 28% CAGR through 2019 to reach $12.4 billion.

Future Group to bring out ads using word play targeting Flipkart, Snapdeal Group CEO Kishore Biyani, who’s never made a secret of his disdain for ecommerce rivals, plans to step up the offensive with a series of ads that use word play to target the three main marketplaces — Flip the Cart, Snap the Deal and Amaz-Off.

This is probably the first time a bricks-and-mortar retailer will engage in comparative advertising against online rivals, which have been grabbing share by discounting products.

After nearly three years of deep discounting, most of deep discounting online sellers are now pulling back from this strategy in a desperate effort to shore up their finances, making them vulnerable on this front. Ecommerce discounts are now mostly limited to select brands such as online exclusives, old merchandise and own labels. Via

Leading Chinese e-retailer grows web sales 78% in 2015 products accounted for 1% of total sales of $71.4 billion on JD.Com Inc., the top online retailer in China based on sales to consumers, reported a 78% increase in sales in 2015.

The gross merchandise value of goods sold on, which includes sales of merchandise it owns and sales by other merchants selling on, increased to 462.7 billion yuan ($71.4 billion) from 260.2 billion yuan in 2014.

For the fourth quarter, Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 China 500, reported Tuesday that GMV increased 69% to 145.3 billion yuan ($22.17 billion) from $85.8 billion yuan (13.8 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2014. Via

Singapore firms lead e-commerce in ASEAN profiles online fashion retailer, Zalora, and how it has built and carried out its strategy to succeed in the ASEAN market.

Go inside the leading online fashion retailer in the region, Zalora, from the warehouse to the design team. Find out how the company tailored its strategy to succeed in the ASEAN market. Via

As ecommerce booms, funding into logistics in Southeast Asia hits record high

Delivery-logistics growing in ASEANPeople are becoming more demanding. Now that they can buy almost anything with a few clicks or taps, they also expect it to appear on their doorstep instantly.

The ecommerce-focused logistics industry could be as lucrative as online shopping itself. That’s the challenge ecommerce firms in Southeast Asia are facing. With a population of over 600 million, the region is poised to become one of the largest ecommerce markets in the world, next to China and India. Yet it suffers from inadequate infrastructure and a woefully inefficient logistics network. Shipping your gadget from an online merchant to your home could still take days and cost a small fortune.

With this in mind, a variety of startups have sprung up to tackle bottlenecks in logistics, believing that if they crack it, the industry can be as lucrative as ecommerce itself – maybe even more. And they’re not alone. Investors also see Southeast Asia’s logistics market as the next gold rush. That’s made evident by the fact that 2015 saw more investments in regional logistics than ever before. The amount totaled US$28.16 million, according to the Tech in Asia database, up 110 percent from 2014. Look at how the scene grew over the past three years. Via techinasia

Flipkart’s woes sound alarm over start-up valuations, a fledgling mobile ad network back in 2011, was out in the market to raise $25 million when Japanese investor Softbank decided to sink $200 million for a 35 per cent stake in the company. The firm jumped at the opportunity, took the money, and expanded rapidly. Three years later, in 2014, Softbank wrote down a majority of its investment.

It was a classic case of a business that was trying to build its fundamentals being given cash to do so. InMobi quickly burnt the cash in the next two to three years and while it’s now valued at $2.5 billion, talk is that the promoters are looking for an exit through acquisition, which the company has denied.

This scenario echoes in India’s e-commerce industry which took a massive hit when Morgan Stanley marked down the value of its investment in leader Flipkart by 27 per cent to $58.9 million between June and December. Experts say the move will affect the overall value of the company. “The writing has been on the wall for some time. The write-down brings the travails of the metro-consumer-facing start-ups to the public eye,” says Sharad Sharma, co-founder and governing council member of iSPIRT, the think tank. Via

Pakistan’s untapped resources empowered by e-commerce boom

PollyIn the Hindu Kush mountains craftswomen painstakingly stitch flowing scarves, skilled artisans who were unable to sell their products beyond the remote region until mobile internet came to Pakistan and dropped the market into the palms of millions of previously marginalised people.

The women of northern Chitral are among the unlikely profiteers of an e-commerce boom since 3G and 4G Internet arrived in the deeply conservative Muslim country in 2014, suddenly able to market and sell traditional products without leaving their villages or in some cases even their homes.

“The online platform eliminates the middleman,” says Nasrin Samad, the entrepreneur behind the artisan brand Kai, which works with women across the region. Via

Logistics: the backbone of South Africa’s ecommerce boom Ventureburn African ecommerce is in a better place today than at any other time in its history. According to research released by PayPal earlier this week, online shopping in South Africa is expected to reach R37-billion this year and to jump to R46-billion in 2017. While much of that growth has been fueled by increased spend digital goods, such as apps, ebooks, digital music, films and videos, we’re also buying a larger number of physical goods — including fashion and consumer electronics.

While a number of factors have driven growth across all these sectors, the rise in sales of physical goods could not have happened without the space taking an increasingly sophisticated approach to logistics. Via

E-Commerce Stakes are High in the Mideast After the Largest Ever A-Round for desire to dominate the e-commerce market in the Middle East is strong. And investors are getting into the action.

Last month,, an e-commerce site geared towards mothers and baby products, raised a multi-million dollar Series B round from Wamda Capital, twofour54, and Endeavor Catalyst. And, just days ago,, an Amazon-like e-commerce platform operating in the Middle East, raised $67 million in a Series A round for an undisclosed valuation. The Saudi based Al Tayyar Travel Group led the round. Both face stiff competition.

E-commerce is a huge opportunity worldwide. eMarketer estimates that retail e-commerce sales will reach $3.578 trillion. Figures on the value of the online retail market in the Middle East vary from $7 billion to $15 billion and growing, particularly as Internet and mobile phone penetration increase. Internet and smartphone penetration in the Middle East is high. Via

Argentina Will Be an E-Commerce Leader by 2019 America is an emerging market for e-commerce, but one nation in particular should become the leader of the pack. BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, forecasts that online retail sales in Argentina will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28% through 2019 to reach $12.4 billion. This would make Argentina the fastest growing e-commerce market in Latin America for that period, just ahead of Mexico at 25%.

More than $6.8 billion worth of goods will be purchased online in 2016, according to BI Intelligence estimates. This would mark a 40% increase. Via

Watch for regular news and insights into cashback, e-commerce, retail, mobile, and venture capital investment around the globe right here on the Cashback Industry News daily Monday to Friday.

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