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E-Tail Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

<<3456789101112>> Total issues:91

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February 01, 2015, to February 15, 2015

Carrefour Makes Shopping Easier For Smartwatch, Smartphone Owners

French retailer Carrefour sees a high-tech marketing opportunity among Samsung smartwatch and smartphone customers. The company has partnered with Publicis Shopper and Think&Go to allow Samsung gear S watch and compatible Samsung smartphone owners to access Carrefour shopping lists and loyalty cards using the new C-où mobile app launched last April. Customers create a shopping list on their smartphone and it appears simultaneously on the smartwatch. The new shopping experience, being tested at Carrefour's smart Villeneuve-la-Garenne store, has so far been a hit among Carrefour customers.

Tesco Expands Testing Of PayQwiq Mobile Payment Service

Retailer Tesco expanded its testing of the PayQwiq mobile payment service, which allows customers to pay for their purchases and collect Clubcard points using their smartphones. First started in September 2014, the trial now covers a limited number of shoppers. Customers invited to join the trial can download the PayQwiq app to their smartphone and sign in using their Tesco Groceries information.

Seventh Generation Halts In-House Online Sales Operations

Seventh Generation Inc. stopped selling on its website, deciding to focus instead on supporting retailers that sell its products. Turning its ecommerce attention to selling its Bobble line of water filtration products via WaterBobble.com, the company is now redirecting customers to online and offline retailers. Seventh Generation’s director of consumer engagement, Reid Greenberg, however, did not rule out resuming online sales in the future.

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January 15, 2015, to February 01, 2015

Is Online-Based Grocery Delivery An Idea Whose Time Has – Finally – Come?

The enterprising fellow who tried to build a Web-based grocery delivery business 15 years ago – and went bankrupt after burning through $800 million – still believes the idea has merit. So does a new generation of entrepreneurs who see a great opportunity. Defunct Webvan’s George Shaheen says “somebody will figure out” the right way to do it, because no one really likes to shop for groceries. Among the companies trying to prove him right are Instacart, which has raised hundreds of millions in venture capital while racking up $100 million in sales in 2014. It has yet to turn a profit, however, and that may be a major hurdle. Profit margins are notoriously slim in the grocery business. But that is not deterring Instacart or its competitors, which include Amazon.com, Fresh Direct LLC, Good Eggs, Wal-Mart Stores and Safeway.

Online Sales Of FMCG Growing In India, Market Observers Say

Online sales of common consumer goods, including shampoo, deodorants, cosmetics, and household cleaners, are gradually increasing in India. Although driven mostly by smaller FMCG companies, large national vendors are also expanding their ecommerce business, promising to shift the balance in India's growing ecommerce market. Currently dominated by electronics, books, and apparel, the online market is seeing increased demand for FMCG, according to an Amazon India spokesperson. According to Snapdeal, the market is forecast to grow 50 times over the next three years.

Hindu Nationalist Group Calls For Ban On Foreign-Owned Online Retailers

Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the economic arm of the Hindu nationalist group RSS, called on India's government to ban foreign-owned e-commerce companies from doing business in the country. Claiming foreign online retailers are killing their local counterparts, SJM also cited India-based companies that are majority-owned by foreign companies, such as Flipkart. SJM leaders alleged that foreign investors are using loopholes to circumvent the country's ban on foreign direct investments in retail and e-commerce markets.

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January 01, 2015, to January 15, 2015

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.

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.

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.

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December 15, 2014, to January 01, 2015

New York-Based Online Grocery Company Has The Formula For Success

A 12-year-old Long Island City online grocery business, one of the five largest in the country, may epitomize the future of the $700 billion grocery industry. Nationwide, online business still accounts for less than four percent of grocery sales. But industry experts say it is the “the next frontier”, a fact well understood by Amazon and Walmart. From the beginning, online grocer FreshDirect operated under a unique vision, despite skepticism. It is not a delivery service for an established supermarket chain. Rather, the founders built the company independently, sourcing products directly from farms, and always emphasizing quality. So far, FreshDirect is available in five East Coast states, and would love to expand. But not, its owners say, at the expense of quality.

Consumer Demand For Mobile Payments Is Booming, Study Predicts

Mobile payments are forecast to grow significantly in the UK in 2015, driven by consumer demand for the ability to pay for products and services via mobile phones and other mobile devices, according to mobile payments technology firm Oxygen8. Data revealed more than 23 million consumers in the country would like to use mobile payment methods, which offers opportunities for companies seeking to expand the availability of their goods and services for their customers. Also, results of the study showed 25 percent of respondents said they have bought a product on eBay with their mobile device and 14 percent have paid their bills. More men tend to pay their bills using mobile payments, while women are more likely to use mobile devices when buying products online.

Online Retailers See Growing Share Of Overall Beauty And Personal Care Sales

In the United States, consumers are slowly turning to online retailers for their grooming and cosmetics purchases, according to The Harris Poll online survey. Conducted on June 16 to 18, 2014, the survey's results showed 14 percent of respondents said they purchased more products online compared with 2‒3 years ago. However, data revealed that brick-and-mortar stores remained the leading sellers of beauty and personal care products, with big-box retailers outpacing pharmacies and grocery stores/supermarkets. Among respondents, 64 percent said they buy sunscreen from big-box retailers, with 62 percent choosing the same channel for their shampoo and conditioner needs. Big-box retailers were also the favorite sellers for 62 percent of consumers buying hair styling products and 60 percent for hair color products.

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December 01, 2014, to December 15, 2014

FAA Stands In The Way Of Amazon’s Plan To Deliver Packages By Drone

It hasn’t yet been determined whether drones in flight can withstand snow, rain, heat or “gloom of night”, but they are nevertheless very much on Amazon’s mind as potential delivery vehicles. While it tests the use of bike messengers in New York City as package deliverers, the innovative online retailer is lobbying regulators to allow testing of drones as a way to shorten the time between product ordering and delivery. The Federal Aviation Administration, however, has blocked commercial drone use, at least until regulations are implemented in the next few years. The FAA has granted some exceptions, but it’s a slow process.

L'Occitane Opens Online Store On Alibaba's Tmall Portal

French skincare brand L'Occitane opened its online store on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s shopping portal Tmall on December 1, 2014. Seeing its products already being sold on the ecommerce platform without its permission, L'Occitane decided to do the selling online to Chinese consumers itself. Many leading beauty and personal care brands opened their Tmall stores in 2014, encouraged by Alibaba's promise to remove unauthorized sellers of their products from its online platform once these brands opened their own branded stores. For example, after Burberry and Estee Lauder opened their stores, Alibaba removed all third-party sellers of their products.

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.

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November 15, 2014, to December 01, 2014

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.”

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.

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.

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November 01, 2014, to November 15, 2014

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care Relaunches Online Store For U.S. Market

Natural beauty brand Dr. Hauschka Skin Care launched a redesigned ecommerce site for the United States market. Promising to offer consumers, retail partners, and other users an improved online experience, dr.hauschka.com will feature “easy access to essential information, tools and additional resources.” Also, the site features a consultation tool, which includes customized skincare recommendations, product details, and information on the brand's important ingredients.

Amazon Tries Delivery Service Using Taxis

Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. tested a package delivery service using licensed cabs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Amazon partnered with Flywheel Software Inc., using the company's taxi-hailing mobile application to call cabs, which are then loaded with packages for delivery within one hour. Taxis are part of Amazon's efforts to speed up delivery of products to consumers, which include testing its own delivery service, opening a storefront for returns, pickups, and same-day delivery, and aerial drones for dropping off packages.

Alibaba Reports Net Income Fall Despite Huge Revenue Gain In September 2014 Quarter

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba reported revenue grew 48.7 percent to $90.5 billion in the quarter ending September 2014 period, compared with the same quarter in the previous year. In comparison, eBay recorded $20 billion worth of transactions and Amazon posted $20.58 billion in sales during the quarter. Consumer-to-consumer sales unit Taobao accounted for $61.9 billion, while online market Tmall contributed $28.6 billion to Alibaba's overall sales. Its net income for the quarter, however, dropped 39 percent to $494, compared with the same quarter in 2013.

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October 15, 2014, to November 01, 2014

Online Fashion Retailer Zalora Opens First Offline Store In Singapore

Southeast Asian online fashion retailer Zalora opened its first physical store in Singapore. The first such store for an online retailer in the region, the Zalora store is aimed at increasing “awareness of the online store among local consumers,” according to the company's regional managing director Tito Costa. Backed by Germany-based venture fund Rocket Internet, Zalora operates localized websites for Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It sells clothing, shoes, and accessories from various international brands.

Staples Joins Growing List Of U.S. Retailers Attacked By Cybercriminals

Office supplies retailer Staples revealed its computer systems were compromised in a cyber-attack incident affecting customers' credit- and debit-card information. According to the company, it is cooperating with law enforcement authorities to assess the scope of the cyber-attack. Other recent incidents of hacking or cyber-attack include those reported by Sears Holdings Corporation's retail business Kmart, and other retailers, such as Target, Supervalu, and Home Depot. Based on Secret Service estimates, about 1,000 United States-based merchants had been affected by cyber-attacks and similar incidents.

Amazon Launches Amazon Fresh Same-Day Grocery Delivery Service In New York City

Online retailer Amazon is launching its Amazon Fresh same-day grocery delivery service in New York City. According to the company, the service will start in Park Slope, a neighborhood in the Brooklyn area. Already available in Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the service delivers items bought on Amazon's online store to customers homes and apartments within the same day or early the following morning.

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October 01, 2014, to October 15, 2014

Pepsi Joins Coke In Experimenting With Online-Only Soda Marketing

The latest version of the 120-year-old soft drink once known as Pepsi-Cola will be sold exclusively by online retailer Amazon.com. Pepsi True, sweetened with sugar and stevia, is a mid-calorie soda that will launch in mid-October to compete with mid-calorie Coca-Cola Life, also sweetened with sugar and stevia. Coke is marketing another of its soft drinks, Coca-Cola Surge, exclusively online. Analysts say introducing new beverages online is a “good move”, because online sales will “build scale” in the market before expanding to traditional retail outlets. Sales of diet sodas are sagging as consumers grow more concerned about soft drink consumption and obesity.

Study Names Top Five Brands In Digital Gifting

A benchmarking study by Retail Systems Research (RSR) on the digital gift card industry has found that the brands with the highest overall scores across verticals, and therefore the most comprehensive omni-channel digital gifting offerings, are Sephora, Starbucks, Home Depot, Best Buy and Dunkin’ Donuts. RSR focused on differentiating capabilities in making its selections, including both mobile and social experiences, "to reflect the evolving use of digital gift cards in omni-channel commerce". RSR took notice of retailers’ prioritization of gifting as a whole, the ability to digitally “thank” a gift giver, and integration with loyalty and marketing programs.

Ebay Launches First Global Brand Campaign In Time For Christmas

Online market eBay is launching Shop the World, the company's first global brand campaign. Created in partnership with Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the campaign aims to promote the site as the go-to online market for the holidays shopping season and overcome the negative effects of the cyberattack that affected 145 million customers in 2014. Scheduled to run across digital and social media, the campaign will highlight the wide range of products available at eBay's online store.

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September 15, 2014, to October 01, 2014

Kraft Foods “Follows The Consumer” Using Big Data And Social Media

Food marketer Kraft is using the latest information technology advances – especially Big Data and digital marketing – to better understand its customers and to better reach them. Big Data allows Kraft to use massive computing power to gather and analyze all the information being generated internally and externally. It then applies the insights gained to make sure its “center store” product line “follows the consumer”. Kraft is using the newfound insights to target Millennials, Hispanics, tech-savvy shoppers and others through social media, de-emphasizing more traditional ad media.

Online Snack Retailer In The Vanguard Of Grocery Shopping Trend

Direct-to-consumer online food retailing is emerging as a potential, if still small, threat to brick-and-mortar supermarkets. An example of the trend is NatureBox, which sells healthful snacks on its Web site. Following the Netflix model, NatureBox subscribers receive packages of multiple-serving snack bags each month. Products include Praline Pumpkin Seeds, Salted Caramel Pretzel Pops, and French Toast Granola, all made without artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup. The company shipped 50,000 boxes in 2012 – the year it was founded – a million last year, and is expected to ship three million in 2014. NatureBox was named one of the 20 fastest-growing Web merchants in the U.S.

Walmart India Plans To Expand Online Wholesale Business

Walmart India announced its plan to expand the coverage of its online wholesale service to cover members in the cities of Guntur and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh state in October 1, 2014. At present, Walmart’s online wholesale business is operating in Hyderabad and Lucknow. The company operates 20 Best Price wholesale stores in the country.
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