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Period: November 15, 2015 to December 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

Online Retailers Let Shoppers Try Products First At Home For Free

Some online retailers have adopted the try-before-you-buy approach to selling their products. Designed to let customers test out products for free at home before deciding whether to want to pay for them, try-before-you-buy offers retailers many benefits. This fulfillment method helps attract new customers, creates an image of having better customer service, and does not come with a lot of business risks. Some of the online retailers using the method include Warby Parker, which sells eyeglasses; True&Co, which sells bras; and Rocksbox, a seller of jewelries.

"Four online retailers that offer try-before-you-buy fulfillment", Econsultancy, October 27, 2015

Companies, Organizations  

Jet.com Is Running Out Of Money, Wall Street Journal Reports

Online retailer Jet.com is running out of money, according to financial documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal newspaper. According to the newspaper, the company is trying to close its latest round of funding, which aims to raise as much as $550 million. Marketing costs account for majority of the company’s spending.

"Hyped-up Amazon-killer Jet, which has raised $225 million, is reportedly close to running out of cash", Business Insider, November 04, 2015

Pagar.me Payment System Offers Low Fees And Ease Of Use For Brazilian Online Customers

Brazil-based Pagar.me offers a low-cost and simple platform for customers to pay for goods online. Established by teenagers Henrique Dubrugras and Pedro Franceschi, the online payment platform combines the cheap rates offered by a third-party service with the ease of paying directly on the vendor’s website. Pagar.me does not require users to log in to another system. It takes a 1.5 percent charge from each online purchase and tax of a half a real. Also, clients pay a commission that varies from 3 percent to 5 percent to Pagar.me partners.

"Gaming pays off for two teenagers", BBC News, November 09, 2015

Walmart Plans To Expand Digital And Ecommerce Capabilities

Walmart said it plans to increase its capital expenditure on digital projects and ecommerce from $700 million in fiscal year 2015 to $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2017. Part of the retailer’s efforts to offer shoppers enhanced customer experience through “seamless shopping,” the initiatives will include online order and store pickup, a faster fulfillment network, and building new data capabilities to improve the customer experience. According to the company, while an average store-only customer spends about $1,400 a year and online customers, $200, customers who shop through multiple channels spend $2,500 each year. In the United States, online sales are forecast to expand at a CAGR of 9.5 percent from 2013 to 2018.

"Omni-Channel Retailing Could Drive Future Growth For Walmart", Trefis, November 11, 2015

Martha Stewart Transfers American Made Business From EBay To Amazon

Online handmade goods marketplace American Made moved from eBay to online retailer Amazon’s Handmade marketplace unit. Launched in 2013 by Martha Stewart, American Made was positioned as eBay’s take on pioneer online handmade products marketplace Etsy. American Made, which has transformed Amazon into a strong competitor to Etsy, saw the number of artisans listing their products on the site double to more than 10,000, with handmade products for sale jumping to 200,000 from the initial 80,000 items.

"A Martha Stewart Store Makes a Leap to Amazon", The New York Times, November 17, 2015

Amazon Launches Prime Now One-Hour Delivery Service

Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. launched Prime Now, a delivery service that promises to send products to customers in an hour or less. Aimed at shoppers who are prone to making last-minute holiday purchases, the delivery service will cover Seattle, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and other cities across the country. Offering the service is an “expensive bet,” requiring the company to keep inventory in cities where real estate and workers cost considerably more. Amazon, however, by combining the convenience of online shopping with the immediate satisfaction of going to a quick trip to the local store, poses a more serious threat to other retailers, including Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc.

"Amazon's Holiday Shopping Target: The Procrastinator", Bloomberg Business, November 17, 2015

Merchants Watch Online Sales Data for Shifts in Buying Habits

The Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2015

What Brands Should Know About Amazon

L2 The Daily, November 17, 2015


Amazon Is Favorite Online Retailer Of U.S. Consumers, Survey Shows

In the United States, 51 percent of consumers said they plan to do most of their holiday online shopping at Amazon, according to a survey by Reuters/Ipsos. Results of the survey of 3,426 adults conducted on November 12–18, 2015, revealed 16 percent chose Walmart, 3 percent said they would shop online at Target, and 2 percent at Macy’s. Also, results of the study highlighted the obstacles that traditional retailers face in expanding their online retail business.

"U.S. consumers favor Amazon for online holiday shopping", Reuters, November 19, 2015

Mobile Becomes Most Important Shopping Platform For Consumers

For 53 percent of consumers, their mobile devices are the most important platform for doing research on products they plan to purchase, compared with 25 percent two years ago, according to global research and marketing technology firm xAd. Consumers who rely on their computers, however, dropped from 73 percent in 2013 to 36 percent in 2015. Data from xAd also revealed that, while at home, 33 percent of consumers do their browsing a week or more before actually buying. Outside their home, however, 42 percent of respondents who are using mobile to browse said they plan to make a purchase within the hour.

"How consumers shop on mobiles", Marketing Week, November 20, 2015

Majority Of U.S. Digital Shoppers OK With Targeted Ads, Survey Reveals

In the United States, 62 percent of digital shoppers said digital advertisements are, in general, well targeted to their interests, according to a survey conducted by Morar Consulting for Adadyn. Results of the survey revealed 68 percent of respondents said that geo-targeted mobile ads were useful, and the figure goes up to 77 percent among respondents ages 18 to 24 years. Also, 61 percent of digital shoppers said ads for online stores they recently visited helped them in completing the purchase.

"Most Digital Shoppers See Well Targeted Ads", eMarketer, November 24, 2015

Marketers failing to engage email recipients

EcommerceWeek.co.uk, October 28, 2015

CHINA16: Consumer Trends 2016

Mintel, November 01, 2015

Bare and profligate

The Economist, November 07, 2015

Enthusiasm For Black Friday Wanes in U.K.

The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2015

Market News  

Jet.com Raises Funds To Help It Compete With Market Leader Amazon

Online retailer Jet.com, considered one of Amazon.com’s biggest challengers ever, is about to raise $500 million to $550 million in a funding round led by Fidelity Investments. Such an investment would put the online shopping startup’s valuation at about $1.5 billion. Founded by a former Amazon executive, Jet.com is seeking to undercut Amazon’s prices. It also aims to attract customers by offering aggressive ways to save on purchases, such as discounts for paying with a debit card or waiving right to return products they buy.

"Jet.com to Raise Funds Valuing the Amazon Rival at $1.5 Billion", Bloomberg Business, November 05, 2015

India's Online Grocers Facing Gloomy Future, Analysts Believe

All existing online grocers in India do not have a viable business model, according to Future Retail Ltd. chief executive officer Kishore Biyani. Referring to the hyperlocal grocery delivery companies, which source their goods from local supermarkets and neighborhood stores, Biyani said these online retailers have high operating costs and incur huge losses. More than a dozen online food and grocery retailers are operating in the country. Five of these — Big Basket, Grofers, PepperTap, Jugnoo and ZopNow — have raised around $110 million in funding; however, the others are finding it hard to raise money. Most are likely to disappear in the near future; however, some are expected to survive the expected market consolidation, analysts say.

"None of the existing online grocers will survive: Kishore Biyani", Live Mint, November 07, 2015

New Phase Of E-Tail Exploits Social Media’s Unique Selling Advantages

E-tail has evolved to a new stage, beyond simply having a choice of products online and fast, cheap and convenient delivery. The new stage is called social commerce because it so heavily depends on social media users who develop an emotional connection with products first seen on sites like Facebook and Pinterest. These sites are adding Buy! Buttons as fast as they can. Facebook’s button could increase its annual revenue by 5-10 percent. Retailers and technology companies believe Instagram, with all of its product photographs, is an ideal platform to boost sales. They are developing systems to make shopping there possible. It may soon be possible to make customer photographs posted on Instagram “shoppable” from their own Web sites.

"Retail enters third phase of digital evolution", The Financial Times, November 18, 2015

More Digital Wallet Users Not Using The Service, Study Reveals

In the United States, only 12 percent of Internet users who were also banking customers used a digital wallet in 2015, almost double the 7 percent recorded in 2014, according to market research firm Market Force Information. Data revealed half of that group said they made a payment using a digital wallet, a drop of 5 percent from 2014. Also, the number declined for respondents with digital wallets who used them to receive money.

"Fewer Digital Wallet Users Are Making Payments", eMarketer, November 20, 2015

How China’s Singles’ Day Reflects the Future of E-Commerce

Euromonitor International, November 12, 2015

Marketing & Advertising  

Number Of Product Reviews Determines Search Performance On Online Retail Sites

According to L2’s “Insight Report: Enterprise E-Tailer Strategy” report, the number of a product’s reviews affects that product’s search rankings on online retail sites. Results of the study revealed Procter & Gamble’s personal care products have significantly more product reviews than those of its rivals’ products. Brands can improve their review count by syndicating reviews from brand sites.

"More Reviews, More Visibility", L2 The Daily, November 17, 2015

Big-Name Personal Care Brands Dominate Search Rankings

Online shopping for personal care products is increasing, so the ranking of brands in search results is of paramount importance. P&G has had the greatest success in placing products at the head of the search line on the first page. P&G brands benefit from the company’s early online success and involvement in e-tail merchandising programs. A report on e-tailer strategy suggests that it’s tough for new brands to break into the top ranks because incumbents have an advantage. In diaper products, for example, P&G’s Pampers wins 40 percent first-page placement on Amazon and Walmart, while Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies leads on Target.

"Search as the New Shelf Space", L2, November 17, 2015

Amazon Becomes Online Retail Powerhouse; Leaves Most Competitors Behind

Online retailer Amazon.com’s investments in infrastructure and logistics have begun to pay off, according to market analysts. It is grabbing a growing share of the online retail markets in the United States and overseas, attracting more consumers to its Prime fast-shipping program, and is gradually realizing bigger profits from online sales. According to analysts, Amazon is so ahead of the game it is virtually impossible for other e-commerce companies to catch up with the online retail giant. Also, some analysts believe there are no credible competitors among other online retailers. This does not mean, however, that Amazon can relax at the moment. It faces serious challenges in the overseas market and that although it has seen rising sales in India, it continues to find it hard to break into China’s online retail market. Local online retail giant Alibaba’s sales and profits are exponentially larger than those of Amazon.

"How Amazon’s Long Game Yielded a Retail Juggernaut", The New York Times, November 18, 2015

Virtual reality shopping

J. Walter Thomson Intelligence, November 13, 2015

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