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Period: January 1, 2015 to January 15, 2015
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Online Grocery Shopping/Delivery Company Raises Another $210 Million

A company whose app allows shoppers to order groceries from several stores at once using only one Web site has raised another $210 million from venture capitalists after raising $44 million last June. Instacart, which also provides same day delivery of purchased groceries, is reportedly now valued at $2 billion. The company did not say how it would use the funding from the current round, but indicated in June that the first round of funding would be used to expand into new regions, improve customer service and experiment with new delivery models.

"Grocery delivery firm Instacart raises $210 million", Internet Retailer, December 31, 2014

Companies, Organizations  

Target Tests Mobile Shopping App Curbside In California

Target is conducting a pilot testing of new mobile application Curbside at 11 stores in California. Free for consumers to download, Curbside lets shoppers choose which Target store they would like to buy from, select products, and pay for them using the app. Shoppers who use Curbside can pick up their purchases at the store without leaving their car. When a shopper comes to the store, Curbside alerts employees who collect the shopper's purchases and deliver them to the car.

"Target tries out a mobile app that lets shoppers pick up online orders at the curb", Internet Retailer, January 06, 2015

Snapchat Receives $500 Million In Investor Financing

Mobile messaging technology firm Snapchat raised almost $500 million from a financing round involving 23 investors. Details of the company's SEC filing revealed Benchmark partner Mitch Lasky and Sony CEO Michael Lyton as among the funding participants. Snapchat recently appointed former Credit Suisse Internet banking head Imran Khan as its first chief strategy officer. Khan's hiring is part of the company's efforts to improve its revenue performance.

"Snapchat Raises $500M, Capitalizes On Growth", Media Post, January 03, 2015

How Amazon wages price war with Walmart

Retailing Today, January 13, 2015

Innovation & New Ideas  

GM Adds E-commerce-friendly Features To Its OnStar Car IT Technology

General Motors will announce at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the addition of the AtYourService feature to its OnStar services for automobiles. Supported by several initial retail partners, including Dunkin' Donuts and Priceline.com, the new service will allow car drivers to make online purchases, hotel reservations, and avail of deals and coupons. GM said RetailMeNot and Entertainment Book will provide the coupons, while Audiobooks.com will offer audio book content.

"GM is bringing shopping into the car", Fortune, January 05, 2015

Better Delivery Can Help Retailers Grow Business In 2015, Report Says

Innovations in delivery services will help drive growth in the online retail market in 2015, according to global courier services firm Fastlane International. According to Fastlane spokesman David Jinks, improvements in delivery “could potentially boost online sales by $18 billion.” Fastlane's forecasts include the increase in adoption of Sunday deliveries, same-day deliveries, and the implementation of improved signature proof systems that will benefit both retailers and customers.

"Delivery innovations will fuel e-commerce growth in 2015 and beyond", Retail Gazette, January 02, 2015

The Rise of Social E-Beauty

Euromonitor International, December 16, 2014

Marketing & Advertising  

U.S. Retailers Expand Free Delivery Services During 2014 Holidays

Leading retailers in the United States expanded their free delivery services during the 2014 holiday season. Retailers' move to offer free delivery services benefited consumers, who increasingly view themselves entitled to free shipping; however, this trend saw retailers struggle to make a profit from their online operations. Online purchases with free delivery accounted for 68 percent of total sales by online retailers in the third quarterr of 2014, compared with 44 percent in the previous year, according to market research firm comScore. Amazon.com, for example, saved customers $2 billion in delivery fees during the holidays.

"Free delivery creates holiday boon for U.S. consumers at high cost", Reuters, January 02, 2015

Kroger Expands Testing Of Online Shopping Service In Greater Cincinnati

Retailer Kroger is expanding the trial run of a click-and-collect e-commerce service in Greater Cincinnati. Based on a similar concept used by Harris Teeter stores, which Kroger acquired in January 2014, the service lets customers buy groceries online then pick up their purchases at a designated window. Previously, only store employees were allowed to avail of the service; however, the expansion will see dozens of customers trying the service.

"Kroger expands local online shopping test", Cincinnati.com, December 29, 2014

Coca-Cola is 2014 Mobile Marketer of the Year

Mobile Marketer, January 05, 2015

Why CMOs are turning away from Big Data

Brand Republic, December 18, 2014

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