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Contents
 
Companies, Organizations  

Leading Online Retailers Offer Free Shipping In Time For Thanksgiving Shopping Season

More than 64 percent of the Top 1000 online retailers in the United States offer free shipping days before the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend, an increase of 3 percent from the previous year, according to a survey by Internet Retailer. Covering online retailers in the 2014 Top 500 and Second 500 Guides, the survey's results revealed 267 online retailers offered free shipping on all orders. Among those who required a minimum purchase, the threshold ranged from $9.99 at SamAsh.com to $3,000 at Fifthroom.com. Of the 377 online retailers with minimum purchase requirement, 189 required $70 or less, with the other 188 requiring $74.95 or more.

"64% of Top 1000 e-retailers offer free shipping", Internet Retailer, November 14, 2014

Online Retailer Snapdeal Plans To Open 5,000 E-commerce Kiosks Across India

Online retailer Snapdeal said it plans to open as many as 5,000 e-commerce kiosks in 65 cities and 70,000 rural locations in India by the end of 2015. To be launched in partnership with financial inclusion solutions company FINO PayTech, the kiosks will feature personal computers and tablets and will be manned by village-based entrepreneurs. Snapdeal will sell household items, such as home appliances, and consumer electronics, including solar lanterns and mobile phones.

"Snapdeal plans to launch 5,000 e-commerce kiosks across 65 cities and 70,000 rural areas", The Economic Times, November 14, 2014

Consumers  

Asian Consumers Find South Korean Online Retailers Attractive

A growing number of Asian consumers are buying Korean-made products from South Korean-based online retailers. According to data from the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, combined export sales of the country's top 9 online retailers reached about 370 billion won in 2013. Seeking to address this growing demand, local online retailers, such as Gmarket, Interpark, and OKDGG, introduced English and Chinese-language websites. These sites offer products exclusively for foreign customers. Market leader Gmarket, which has been operating its online store Global Shop since 2006, accounts for 35 percent of Korea's ecommerce sales.

"Asian shoppers flock to Korean online shops", The Korea Herald/Asia News Network, November 30, 2014

Earnings Release  

Weibo Reports Improved Revenue For Fiscal Third Quarter

Weibo reported revenue of $84 million in its fiscal third quarter 2014, better than Wall Street analysts' forecast of $80 million, as well as the company's guided revenue between $79 million and $82 million. Net loss during the quarter was $1.4 million, much smaller than the $5.1 million in the same quarter of the previous year, with analysts expecting a loss of $2.1 million. According to the company, e-commerce accounted for 42 percent of the company's third-quarter ad revenue.

"Weibo: E-Commerce To Drive Revenue Growth", Seeking Alpha, November 19, 2014

Online Retail Driving UK Retail Market's Growth, Royal Mail Says

Online retail, which currently accounts for 10 percent of total retail sales and is forecast to rise to 13 percent by 2017, is driving growth in the parcel delivery market in the UK, according to the Royal Mail. For its part, the delivery company reported revenue rose 2 percent to ₤4.5 billion in the six-month period ending September 28, 2014, compared with the same period in the previous year. Pre-tax profits fell from ₤233 million to ₤218 million before one-time costs, with after-cost profits dropping from ₤1.58 billion to ₤167 million. Royal Mail, however, warned that leading online retailer Amazon's plan to develop its own delivery service would likely limit its ability to grow further.

"Ecommerce driving parcel growth, says Royal Mail, as it warns Amazon’s move towards self-delivery set to brake that growth", Internet Retailing, November 19, 2014

Market News  

Online Retailers Post Record Cyber Monday Sales

E-commerce sales on Cyber Monday 2014, the Monday after Thanksgiving, jumped 17 percent to $2.04 billion, compared with sales in the previous year, according to market research firm comScore. Data revealed sales increased 24 percent for the five-day period, way ahead of analysts' sales forecasts. Wal-Mart Stores, for example, reported its biggest e-commerce day ever on Cyber Monday.

"Cyber Monday sales pass $2 billion in biggest e-commerce day ever", Fortune, December 02, 2014

Campaign Against Amazon Gathering Strength In UK, Amazon Anonymous Claims

Amazon Anonymous is predicting that online retailer Amazon.com will lose more than ₤2.5 million in sales during the coming holiday season. Campaigning for fair pay for Amazon workers, the group claimed at least 11,463 UK consumers had pledged to boycott the online retailer and instead spend the pledged amount by shopping at other retailers from December 1 to 25, 2014. Acknowledging that it would be hard for some consumers to abruptly stop buying from Amazon, the group partnered with Ethical Consumer magazine to help shoppers find alternative retailers, including independent booksellers.

"Amazon Christmas boycott campaign gathers weight", The Guardian, December 01, 2014

China's Alibaba group aims to bank on Arab e-commerce boom

People's Daily Online, November 27, 2014

Marketing & Advertising  

Amazon Says It Will Not Open A Retail Store In New York

Online retailer Amazon confirmed a story published in the New York Times newspaper that it had no plans of opening a brick-and-mortar store in New York City. In October 2014, Wall Street Journal published a report saying Amazon was planning to open a retail store in Manhattan. According to the Wall Street Journal story, the planned Amazon facility would function as a mini-warehouse for same-day delivery within New York.

"No, Amazon is not opening a physical store in New York for the holiday shopping season", Quartz, December 02, 2014

Walmart India Expands B2B Online Store To Andhra Pradesh's Rajahmundry Area

Walmart India expanded its business-to-business ecommerce service to include members of its store in the city of Rajahmundry in India's Andhra Pradesh state. According to Walmart, members of its Best Price Modern Wholesale store can shop online by accessing the bestprice.com website. The shopping portal offers all products, including fruits and vegetables on display at the local store.

"Walmart extends B2B e-commerce operation to Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh", Economic Times, December 01, 2014

Argos Adopts Digital Receipt Technology For UK Stores

UK retailer Argos plans to offer eReceipts digital receipt technology across its 750 stores. Earlier in 2014, the company replaced its in-store catalogues with iPad tablets. Part of the retailer's five-year Transformation Plan to become a leader in digital retail, the technology will also allow the company to improve its communication with customers.

"Argos launch eReceipts for over the counter purchases", Retail Gazette, November 25, 2014

Making ads clear: The challenge for advertisers and vloggers

Advertising Standards Authority, November 26, 2014

What Are the Most Shared Ads of 2014?

Click Z, November 20, 2014

Press Release  

Ahold Reveals Strong Online Sales In 2014, Plans For Growing Online Business By 2017

Ahold is expected to reveal that its online sales are forecast to reach €1.4 billion by end of 2014. Also, the company plans to announce its goal of achieving €2.5 billion in online sales by the end of 2017. Claiming that in the past 25 years it has created various strengths allowing it to serve customers however, whenever, and wherever they need to, Ahold said it can expand its online business. According to the company, it intends to remain a leader in the omni-channel retail market by investing in “technology, marketing, and online capabilities.”

"Ahold’s online strategy and ambition", Ahold, November 17, 2014

Products & Brands  

Amazon Announces Private-Label Diapers And Baby Wipes

Online retailer Amazon.com said it will start selling its Amazon Elements brand of diapers and baby wipes. To be available only to members of the company's Prime subscription service, the products will be affordable and designed to address the products' impact on the environment. Amazon spokeswoman Pia Arthur said the diapers are being manufactured by Canada-based Irving Personal Care, while the baby wipes are being produced by Nice-Pak Products. Amazon's previous private-label moves include bedsheets and outdoor furniture in 2004 and Amazon Basics brand of TV cables in 2009.

"The Newest Amazon Gizmos: Diapers and Baby Wipes", Bloomberg, December 04, 2014

Unilever Adds Sunsilk Haircare Brand To Products Sold Via Daraz.pk Online Store In Pakistan

Unilever added its Sunsilk haircare brand to its lineup of products available on online retailer Daraz.pk in Pakistan. In 2014, Unilever became the first FMCG company in the country to make its products available online. For its part, Daraz.pk is expanding its range of international brands of personal care and beauty products, as well as its collection of local brands.

"Sunsilk added to Unilever’s growing portfolio on Daraz.pk", Dispatch News Desk, November 25, 2014

Trends  

Mobile Devices Drive Online Sales For Thanksgiving 2014

Mobile devices accounted for 52.1 percent of 2014 Thanksgiving ecommerce traffic, an increase of 22 percent from 2013, according to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. Compared with the 6.5 percent in 2010, mobile devices' share of Thanksgiving online retail traffic grew eight-fold. Data also revealed mobile devices accounted for 32.3 percent of online retail sales. Further analysis of data revealed more interesting results, including how smartphones provided 36.35 percent of total online traffic, more than double the 15.42 percent contribution by tablets. In terms of sales, however, tablets accounted for 17.86 percent of online sales, while smartphones contributed 14.38 percent.

"A First: Mobile Tops Desktops for Browsing Over Thanksgiving", A Smarter Planet Blog, December 01, 2014

Thanksgiving And Black Friday Retail Sales Decline Slightly; Online Sales Soar

Retail sales on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday 2014 fell 0.5 percent to $12.29 billion from the $12.35 billion in the previous year, according to estimates by market research firm ShopperTrak. In contrast, online sales during Thanksgiving and Black Friday reached $1.33 billion and $2.4 billion, rising 25 percent and 24 percent from the previous year, respectively, according to data from Adobe Systems Inc. Online spending by consumers for November 1 to November 28 rose 14 percent to $32 billion, compared with 2013, Adobe said.

"Bricks-and-mortar sales edge lower at start of holiday season; online surges: data", Reuters, November 30, 2014

At Store After Store, a Pitch by Phone

The New York Times, December 02, 2014

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