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Period: April 1, 2015 to May 1, 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

Amazon Fresh Takes Early Pricing Lead In Online Grocery Shopping/Delivery

A pricing study limited to New York City has found that Amazon.com is cheaper than its online grocery delivery competitors Instacart, Peapod and Fresh Direct. For the study, Nomura Securities ordered a cart of 30 items from each of the companies. Amazon’s bill for shopping and delivery was $122.03 ($5 tip included). The Instacart bill (ordered through grocery store Fairway) was $142.86. Fresh Direct came in at a whopping $158.74. The $10.9 billion online grocery market is growing rapidly – 9.6 percent annually through 2019.

"Amazon Offers Cheapest Grocery Delivery in NYC, Study Finds", Bloomberg Business, April 16, 2015

CPG Companies Begin Testing Amazon.com “Dash Button”

Big CPG companies are testing Amazon.com’s innovative “Dash Button,” a small plastic device installed in rooms around the home that allows consumers to re-order common household items, like food, beverages, detergents, etc. Each button is unique to a product and is installed in appropriate areas (e.g., kitchen, laundry). P&G, Clorox, Coca-Cola and Kraft are testing their versions of the Dash Button with Amazon Prime members who receive the buttons on an invitation-only basis during testing. A wide-scale rollout is expected; Amazon has already unveiled a Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) and has asked manufacturers to incorporate the technology into product designs.

"Amazon Creates Potential Edge for Major CPG Brands", Consumer Goods Technology, April 15, 2015

Membership Model Of Grocery Delivery Could Be A Game-Changer For Industry

A report from BI Intelligence says that the trick to succeeding as an online grocery delivery service is to make it membership-based. The membership strategy, based on Costco’s model, is being applied successfully by several companies, not the least of which is Amazon, and could prove a disruptive force in the $600 billion retail grocery industry. The main benefits of the membership model include (for the business): repeat customers and lower per-order delivery fees; and (for the consumer):  guaranteed fresh food from the local supermarket and less time spent in-store. The report looks at the grocery delivery services of Amazon, Instacart, Shipt and Thrive Market.

"Membership-based delivery services are beginning to disrupt the $600 billion-a-year grocery industry", Business Insider, April 01, 2015

Companies, Organizations  

Carrefour Starts Testing Its E-commerce Business In China

French retailer Carrefour began testing its e-commerce site in China. During the trial phase, shoppers can order products online and receive the delivery from a store nearby. Carrefour said it will launch the online store officially in June 2015. Leveraging its retail network of almost 30 stores in Shanghai, Carrefour is the latest foreign-owned retailer to launch its e-commerce business in the country.

"Carrefour Trials E-Commerce In China", Retail Analysis, April 23, 2015

Lush Launches Mobile App That Lets Shoppers Browse Products With Their Mobile Devices

Lush launched the appLush mobile app, which lets shoppers search for products based on scent or mood. Developed for the iOS platform, the app is designed to mimic the “sense-tweaking nature of the retail offering” by allowing shoppers to check different scent and feel categories. Also, the app displays beside each product a complete list of ingredients used, as well as photographs and videos.

"Lush makes first foray into mobile with scent and mood shopping app", The Drum, April 20, 2015

Unilever Ramps Up Its E-Commerce Strategy

Unilever has accepted the reality – and potential benefits – of e-commerce. It is putting greater emphasis this year on targeted, and cheaper, digital marketing strategies to reach consumers directly and gain insights about their buying preferences. To some extent the new strategy bypasses retailers, who have traditionally had the closer relationship with shoppers. The strategy – whose basic goal is forty percent growth in online sales in 2015 -- includes both desktop and mobile formats, and not just to sell products. The company wants to understand how customers move between virtual and physical channels.

"Unilever targets 40% e-commerce sales lift in 2015", The Drum, April 16, 2015

Order-And-Pay Tablets Transform Olive Garden Dining

The Olive Garden restaurant chain plans to expand the use of order-and-pay tablets after testing has found they speed the dining process and increase wait staff tips. The roll-out will begin next month with plans to eventually equip all of its 800 U.S. restaurants with the devices by the end of the year. A company spokeswoman said Olive Garden diners who use the tablets control the speed of their meals by ordering drinks, appetizers and desserts at their own pace, then easily pay the check. A marketing consultant said “consumers are ready for this change.”

"Olive Garden garnishes dining experiences via pay-at-the-table tablets", Mobile Commerce Daily, April 16, 2015

Shopify Files For IPO; Seeks To Raise $100 Million

Shopify filed to conduct its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Seeking to raise $100 million from the IPO, Shopify sells online retailing technology and tools, such as online storefronts, payment processing systems, and apps for checkout terminals. Based on the company's filing papers, Shopify has more than 162,000 merchant customers in 150 countries. Those customers processed $3.8 billion through the company's service, giving Shopify $105 million in revenue in 2014.

"E-commerce company Shopify files for initial public offering", Fortune, April 14, 2015

JUMIA Expands Online Retail Operations To Include Senegal

Africa's largest online retailer JUMIA continued its expansion in the region by launching its business in Senegal. Bringing the number of countries in which the online retailer is active to 12, Senegal is Africa's 22nd largest economy, with a nominal GDP of $16 billion, and posting economic growth rate of 5 percent in 2014. With a growing number of Internet and smartphone users, Senegal offers strong growth opportunities.

"Africa's leading e-commerce site JUMIA has now launched in Senegal", Africa Business Communities, April 13, 2015

Beauty Brands Adopt Guided Selling Tools To Connect With Customers Online

Beauty brands are adding guided selling tools to their e-commerce sites to encourage cosmetics shoppers to buy online. They need to do so because almost seven in 10 Internet users in the United States preferred to buy health and beauty products in-store, compared with 27 percent who chose to buy online, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Data from L2 Think Tank revealed 60 percent of respondents said they used guided selling tools' rating and reviews features. Diagnostic tools were used by more than one-third of respondents, while 17 percent used virtual makeovers, and 8 percent said they used standalone filters.

"Beauty Brands Freshen Up Sites with Guided Selling Tools", eMarketer, April 13, 2015

P&G concentrates on e-commerce in Korea

Cosmetics Design , April 29, 2015

Google Antitrust Case Spotlights Decline of Shopping Sites

The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2015

Shopping for Algorithms and APIs in the Cloud

E-commerce Times, April 10, 2015

American Express Lab Testing Facial Recognition Technology

The Wall Street Journal, April 09, 2015


Cook-At-Home Meal Kits For The Consumer Who Likes Cooking, Not Shopping

Though cook-at-home meal kits have advantages and disadvantages, they are “here to stay,” says CPG Matters editor John Karolefski. Related to the online grocery shopping/delivery trend, meal kits are also ordered online, where Web sites show enticing photos of the food. The meal kit service shops for the groceries, then delivers pre-measured ingredients, recipes, and cooking instructions. The mainly dinner meals average $10 to $12 per plate, though some specialty and organic meals can cost as much as $30. Advantages: large portions; fresh food, locally sourced, even organic; precise ingredients (no waste). Disadvantages: lots of prep work; badly proof-read recipes; usually no nutrition info.

"Can Cook-at-Home Meal Kits Prosper?", CPG Matters, April 15, 2015

Big Box Online Retailers Take A Back Seat To Amazon Prime

Market researchers say online shoppers who subscribe to Amazon Prime are much less likely to shop at other online retailers like Target.com or Walmart.com. One researcher found that less than one percent of Prime members will cross-shop during the same online session. Though Amazon does not reveal information about its $99/year Prime service, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimates membership at around 40 million, a four-fold increase in two years. One study finds that 63 percent of Prime members make a purchase on the site during a visit. By contrast, only two percent of Target.com and five percent of Walmart.com shoppers purchase something during their online session.

"Walmart And Target Being Crowded Out Online By Amazon Prime", Forbes.com , April 07, 2015

Reaching Millennials With Email Marketing

Chief Marketer, April 13, 2015

Innovation & New Ideas  

Advertising Is Following Technology, Becoming More Personal And Instantaneous

In an essay on the future of technology and advertising, Brian Wong, CEO of a mobile advertising start-up, envisions the end of mass marketing. Replacing it will be advertising that is more “human,” more personalalized, in the sense that every advanced technology device will incorporate advertising that targets a specific need. For example, a gasoline company will be able to tell when a car’s gas tank is low and find the nearest station. TV and radio commercials that reach millions of viewers don’t really engage them, Wong says. Thanks to advancements in mobile technology, future advertisers will be able to pinpoint the exact moments and needs that users have and supply solutions in real time.

"The Future of Advertising: Farewell, Mass Marketing", The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2015

Unilever CIO Moran Views Digital, Social, Mobile Technologies As Disruptors And Enablers

Digital, social media, and mobile technologies are disrupting Unilever's global businesses, according to company CIO Jane Moran. Appointed to her present position in June 2014, Jane said her company's IT department serves more than 100,000 users within Unilever. She said her company started a program aimed at supporting the “digital employee,” by upgrading the company's intranet and implementing collaboration tools and in-house business applications. Unilever's IT strategy is geared toward a mobile-first policy. According to Moran, mobile, social media, and collaboration tools will empower Unilever employees, helping them become “more agile and more productive.”

"CIO 100 - 2015 - #43: Unilever, Jane Moran, CIO", CIO , April 23, 2015

Amazon Creates Potential Edge for Major CPG Brands

Consumer Goods Technology, April 15, 2015

Market News  

Men Shop Online More Than Women Do, Survey Says

More men shop online than women do, according to a survey by Bronto Software. Results of the survey of 1,000 consumers revealed 30 percent of men shop online at least once a week, while only 18 percent of women admitted they do. Some factors, however, such as one's definition of online shopping, should be considered when looking at the study's conclusions.

"This Survey Says That Men Shop Online More Than Women", Bustle, April 10, 2015

Alibaba Launches E-commerce Stock Tracking Index

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and its Ant Financial Services Group launched the CSI Taojin Big Data 100 Index, an e-commerce stock tracking index. Part of the company's efforts to become a full-fledged Internet financial services operator. Also, the company plans to launch MYbank online bank in June 2015, following the launch of rival Tencent Holdings Ltd's Internet bank WeBank in January 2015.

"UPDATE 1-Alibaba steps up China online finance network push with new index, bank", Reuters, April 09, 2015

How mobile is transforming the grocery/CPG business

Mobile Commerce Daily, April 23, 2015

Marketing & Advertising  

Wal-Mart Looks For E-commerce Lessons From Asda's Online Business

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is evaluating the e-commerce operations and strategies of its UK unit Asda, with the goal of determining which components to adopt for its United States business. At present, Asda's online grocery delivery service covers 97 percent of the UK. At the same time, the UK retailer is expanding its click-and-collect platform currently offered at all of its 592 stores across the country. In February 2015, Asda acquired 15 gas stations as part of its plan to open 1,000 pickup locations by 2018.

"Wal-Mart Looks to U.K. Unit for Lessons on Online Groceries", Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2015

Lancome, Sephora Join FaceCake's Mobile Search App

Cosmetics brands Lancome, Sephora Collection, and Make Up For Ever are among those featured in FaceCake Marketing Technologies' cosmetic color search mobile application ShadeScout. Highlighting search-related apps as a tool for reaching more consumers, the ShadeScout application allows users to search for their favorite color beauty products using augmented reality, Virtual Try-On features, and built-in purchase solutions. Also, users can upload their photos to virtually try on different shades of their favorite cosmetics products.

"Lancome, Sephora get search treatment in FaceCake’s augmented reality app", Mobile Marketer, April 14, 2015

Social Ads Combined With Email, Automation, Predictive Analytics Strengthen Social Marketing

Marketers can create a strong social marketing strategy by combining Facebook ads with email addresses, automation, and predictive analytics. According to managers of e-commerce businesses, Facebook is one of the best tools for acquiring new clients. Facebook Audiences, a tool that allows marketers to upload a list of customers and potential customers, lets marketers improve the effectiveness of their ads on the social networking site. By integrating automation, unified profiles, and predictive analysis of database, marketers can let the “audience create itself based on customer behavior.”

"Facebook Ads and Email – A Chance for the Perfect Fit", Click Z, April 09, 2015

Sampling in Beauty: How Sampling Became Profitable

Euromonitor International, April 21, 2015

“Share A Coke” Experiences Drive Big Biz

Chief Marketer, April 16, 2015

The Future of Internet Retailing in Asia Pacific

Euromonitor International, April 16, 2015

Winning the online candy battle

Candy Industry, April 15, 2015

Developed by Yuri Ingultsov Software Lab.