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Carrefour Plans To Test One-Hour Delivery Service For Parisians

June 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour plans to test one-hour delivery service in Paris, according to retail trade magazine Lineaires. Reportedly dubbed Carrefour Now, the test offering will run in three Carrefour Market stores. Store employees will ready consumers' orders, which will be delivered by bicycle riders courtesy of La Poste. Also, the retailer plans to start offering Apple Pay to its customers in France.
"Carrefour Testing One-Hour Delivery", Retail Analysis, June 22, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution and IGD Services Limited
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Amazon Plans To Launch Business In Indonesia, Local E-Commerce Executive Says

June 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon plans to enter Indonesia's e-commerce market, according to Indonesia E-commerce Association chairman Daniel Tumiwa. According to Tumiwa, local e-commerce companies “stand no chance to win against” the online retailer. Tumiwa also said Amazon plans to invest $600 million for its proposed Indonesia operations.
Anisa Menur, "Amazon to enter Indonesian market, gets US$600M ready for its first year", Yahoo! News, June 20, 2016, © Yahoo! News
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Wal-Mart Sells China E-Commerce Site To JD.com

June 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it has agreed to sell its Yihaodian website in China to JD.com Inc., the country’s second-largest online retailer. As part of the deal, which marks a strategic shift in the US-based retailer’s approach to e-commerce business in China, Wal-Mart will receive a 5-percent stake in JD.com. After opening its first store in China in 1996, Wal-Mart has found it hard to expand in the country where it operates about 430 locations. In 2012, Wal-Mart first invested in Yihaodian and gained full control of the website in 2015.
Rick Carew, Alyssa Abkowitz and Sarah Nassauer, "Wal-Mart to Sell Chinese E-Commerce Business to JD.com", Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Amazon Announces Lower Shipping Fees To Better Compete With Online Rivals

June 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. announced lower fees it charges merchants that sell small, flat products that can fit in envelopes. Effective July 1, 2016, sellers would pay $1.61 to ship three, flat, 1-ounce packages, which is 67 percent lower than the existing fee. Covering merchants using the online retailer’s Fulfillment By Amazon Small and Light program, the move is seen as part of the online retailer’s efforts to better compete with marketplaces owned by rivals Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., EBay Inc., and Wish.com that link China-based sellers with shoppers in the US.
Spencer Soper, "Amazon Cuts Shipping Fees in Threat to Alibaba’s U.S. Business", Bloomberg Technology, June 16, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Wal-Mart Enlists Five Elements Robotics To Help Develop Robotic Shopping Cart

June 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is collaborating with robotics company Five Elements Robotics to develop a shopping cart that would help shoppers look for items on their lists. Robotic shopping carts can help brick-and-mortar retailers to compete with Amazon.com Inc. and other retailers, according to Five Elements Robortics founder and CEO Wendy Roberts. Wal-Mart has been investing in technology to improve customers' shopping experience and compete with online retailers.
Spencer Soper and Shannon Pettypiece, "Wal-Mart Experimenting With Robotic Shopping Cart for Stores", Bloomberg , June 15, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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China Allows Wal-Mart To Acquire Online Retailer Yihaodian Without Restrictions

June 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
China's Ministry of Commerce has removed restrictions on Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s acquisition of online supermarket Yihaodian. In August 2012, Wal-Mart received conditional approval for its deal to increase its investment in the online retailer, becoming its controlling shareholder with a 51-percent stake. In July 2015, Wal-Mart acquired the remaining 49 percent of Yihaodian.
Donny Kwok, "China commerce ministry removes curbs on Wal-Mart's Yihaodian deal", Reuters, June 08, 2016, © Reuters
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Amazon Continues Beating Walmart Online, Mizuho Says

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon's online shoppers spend about $157 a month on average, up from $130 a month in November 2015, according to financial research firm Mizuho. In contrast, Walmart's online customers reduced their average monthly spending from $30 a month to $27, data revealed. Walmart saw lower numbers despite its efforts to grow its online business, including its commitment to invest $900 million for the next two years and partnerships with ride-sharing firms Uber and Lyft to expand online delivery service. According to Mizuho, Amazon's growth is driven in part by mobile platform, with 67 percent of respondents picking Amazon as their favorite mobile shopping site.
Eugene Kim, "Here's another sign that Amazon is absolutely crushing Walmart in online shopping", Business Insider, June 07, 2016, © Business Insider Inc.
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Sephora Adopts ShopStyle App To Let Consumers Buy Products They See On Snapchat

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora has started allowing its Snapchat followers to buy products it features in live stories. By taking a screenshot and downloading the ShopStyle application, consumers can buy beauty products they like. With Snapchat not allowing marketers to include clickable shopping links in photos they upload, beauty marketers are creating ways to make money using the image-sharing website. PopSugar’s ShopStyle app is designed to help marketers monetize their Snapchat stories.
Alex Samuely , "Sephora uncaps new mobile revenue stream via shoppable Snapchats", Luxury Daily , June 07, 2016, © Napean LLC
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Amazon.com Aims To Boost Spending Power In India By $3 Billion

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. announced plans to invest $3 billion more in India. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the investment plans during a meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington. In contrast with local online retailers that are finding it hard to raise cash, Amazon's announcement raises its total planned investment in India to $5 billion. India could be the next biggest e-commerce market; however, Amazon is facing serious competition from local online operators, including Flipkart Internet and Snapdeal.com. Also, the company is adapting its business operations to local conditions. For example, it is doing home delivery itself and operates more and smaller warehouses in the country.
Greg Bensinger, "Amazon Plans $3 Billion India Investment", The Wall Street Journal, June 07, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Unilever Works With Instacart To Promote Brands Online To U.S. Consumers

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is working with grocery-delivery service Instacart to help promote its brands to online consumers in the US. Launched in 2015, Unilever's strategic partnership with Instacart has included experimenting with different types of digital promotions linked to online purchases and deliveries. Promotions include free-shipping offers, sampling, and Instacart Deals that offer customers instant redemption of digital coupons. Instacart has run more than 30 free-delivery campaigns for Unilever brands since summer 2015.
Dale Buss, "Unilever Leverages Participation in Online Grocery Shopping", CPG Matters, June 06, 2016, © CPG Matters
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Facebook Urges Beauty Brands To Go Mobile

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Social networking site Facebook told beauty marketers that commerce is moving to the mobile platform. Launched at the company’s first beauty summit, held in Los Angeles’ Hotel Bel-Air, Facebook IQ’s report “Beauty Beyond: The Thumb is in Charge” showed three in 10 beauty and personal care purchases by consumers 18 years old and above happened on mobile from September to December 2015. Data from the report revealed millennials, mothers, and multicultural customers accounted for 81 percent of beauty purchases during the last holiday shopping season. Also, the report forecast that in 5–10 years, all consumers will be using mobile for their purchases.
Rachel Brown, "Facebook to Beauty Marketers: The Moment for Mobile Is Now", Women’s Wear Daily, June 06, 2016, © Fairchild Publishing, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC
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Retailers Look At Chatbots As Another Way Of Staying In Touch With Customers

June 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailers are testing chatbots, computer programs powered by artificial intelligence and designed to imitate human conversations, as a means to reach, retain, and sell to customers. Although chatbots have been around for years, the growing popularity of messaging apps, such as Kik, WhatsApp, and Snapchat, has made these AI-enabled chat tools popular. With American consumers' retail spending on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, forecast by eMarketer to grow from $123.13 billion in 2016 to $242.08 billion in 2020, retailers might see advantages in deploying chatbots. There are some drawbacks to using chatbots; for example, there is the risk of losing data and insights if customers stopped using their apps and websites. Also, these AI-enabled tools are still not fully capable of fully mimicking human conversations and usually fail when faced with queries and comments not covered by their scripts.
Queenie Wong, "Retailers experiment with chatbots to reach customers", Mercury News, June 03, 2016, © Digital First Media
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Birchbox Adds Retail Locations To Its Subscription-Box Business Model

June 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Birchbox Inc. plans to expand its share of the $16-billion prestige beauty industry in the US by opening retail locations. According to Birchbox co-founder and CEO, Katia Beauchamp, the company will not abandon its subscription-box business model. Instead, by opening its retail operations, the company aims to become profitable. Since its launch in 2010, the company has seen plenty of rivals with copycat versions of its samples-in-a-box offering.
Kim Bhasin et al, "Birchbox Finds Cute Boxes Filled With Makeup Aren't Enough", Bloomberg, June 03, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Pet Care Fastest-Growing Home Care Segment Online, L2 Says

June 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Among the home care categories, the pet care industry was the fastest-growing segment in 2015 in terms of e-commerce, according to L2's 2016 Home Care report. Although still a fragmented market with no clear leader yet, online sales of pet care products grew 55 percent to reach $760 million during the year. Despite online retailers' level of sophistication, pet care brands did not excel in digital, the market research firm said.
Homa Zaryouni, "Pet Care Has Highest E-Commerce Penetration in Home Care", L2 Daily, June 01, 2016, © L2 Inc.
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Wal-Mart Seeks Bigger Share Of China's Online Retail Market

May 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart is seeking to expand its e-commerce operations in China, as part of the company’s efforts to increase its share of the local online retail market. Yihaodian, which Wal-Mart acquired in July 2015, operates 250 e-commerce hubs in 200 cities across China. Online sales in the country reached $307 billion in 2013, hit $589.2 billion in 2015, and is forecast to grow beyond $1 trillion by 2019. In contrast, online spending in the US was $334 billion in 2015 and is forecast to reach $480 billion by 2019, according to Forrester. In China, 46 percent of shoppers are already buying groceries online for home delivery, compared with the global rate of 25 percent, according to Nielsen. Wal-Mart accounts for 1.6 percent of the local online market, which places it at number 6, behind Alibaba, which has 46.9 percent of the market and JD.com with 20.1 percent. According to analysts, Wal-Mart, which aims to be among the top 3 online retailers in the market, will find it hard to grab market share from the local online retail giants.
Anne D'Innocenzio and Paul Wiseman, "Wal-Mart Steps up Online Efforts in China as a Key to Future", ABC News, May 31, 2016, © ABC News Internet Ventures
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To Dominate Online Beauty Retail Market, Amazon Launches Live Show; Leverages Leadership In Online Product Search

May 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon launched the live show, “Style Code Live,” which gives viewers tips and advice on fashion and beauty care, as well as inspire them to buy online. Amazon's director of beauty and health & personal care Chance Wales, citing A.T. Kearney research “Beauty and the eCommerce Beast, said 53 percent of online beauty shoppers are described as “Creatures of Habit,” and are basically shopping to replenish their stock of beauty products. Amazon dominates online product search, 44 percent of online buyers said they start their product searches on Amazon. Consumers described by Kearney as “Online Enthusiasts,” comprise 31 percent of the respondents and also search for and purchase experiential products, including fragrances and color cosmetics. Amazon also aims to become the leader in the segment focused on consumers looking for new products.
Keith Anderson, "Amazon: Beauty is in the eye of the consumer", Premium Beauty News, May 29, 2016, © Premium Beauty Media
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Wal-Mart Still World's Largest Retailer, Forbes Says

May 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores is ranked number 15 and the world's largest retailer on Forbes' Global 2000 list of the world's biggest and most powerful public companies. Although its investments to expand its digital and online operations and planned closing of up to 269 stores, Wal-Mart's sales are growing. Numbers 2 and 3 retailers on the list are CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Lauren Gensler, "The World's Largest Retailers 2016: Wal-Mart Dominates But Amazon Is Catching Up", Forbes, May 27, 2016, © Forbes Media LLC
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Facebook Shuts Down Desktop Advertising Exchange; Focuses On Mobile Ad Platform

May 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Facebook plans to shut down FBX, the social networking company’s desktop advertising exchange. Driven by advertisers’ move to the mobile platform, Facebook’s planned move highlights the growth of mobile advertising and the decline of the desktop-based ad market. FBX accounts for $300 million to $500 million in ad spending each year, according to industry experts. In contrast, Facebook’s overall ad revenue reached $5.64 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015 alone.
Alexandra Bruell, "Facebook Shuttering FBX as Dollars Move From Desktop to Mobile", Advertising Age, May 25, 2016, © Crain Communications
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Sephora Launches Campaign Leveraging Mobile Messaging Platform Kik

May 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora launched a marketing campaign on mobile messaging platform Kik. By encouraging Kik users to join a contest, Sephora is building its audience on the platform and gaining access to shopper insights. With participants being asked to answer three questions, Sephora can design future services based on consumer preferences.
Brielle Jaekel, "Sephora cultivates insight and Kik followers in interactive quiz", Luxury Daily , May 25, 2016, © Napean LLC
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Carrefour Partners With LiveRamp To Create Targeted Online Campaigns In France

May 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour partnered with LiveRamp to bring its offline customer loyalty data to create targeted and brand-specific marketing campaigns in France. With 85 percent of total transactions in the local market coming through customers using their loyalty cards, reaching loyalty card members can greatly help any campaign. For example, using the loyalty data processed by LiveRamp for online targeting, Carrefour launched a campaign with targeted advertisements on Facebook for a popular rum brand for customers who had bought liquor at its stores.
Kate Kaye, "Carrefour France Deploys its Shopper Loyalty Data to Target Cuba Libre Ads Online", Advertising Age, May 25, 2016, © Crain Communications
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Online Retailers Need To Ensure Customers Have The Best Post-Purchase Experience

May 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailers need to focus on the post-purchase experience in order to retain customers. For example, beauty retailer Sephora's success is driven by its sustained efforts to connect a shopper's experience throughout the whole customer process across digital, mobile, and brick-and-mortar stores channels. Also, Sephora provides customers with branded delivery tracking page and updates on product recommendations, deals, and editorial content. There are four ways retailers can provide customers with the best post-purchase experience: continuing the conversation; providing shoppers with relevant, personalized information; turning a bad customer experience into an amazing experience; and creating an organizational environment that helps enhance a post-purchase experience.
Amit Sharma , "Online Retailers Should Care More About the Post-Purchase Experience", Harvard Business Review, May 24, 2016, © Harvard Business School Publishing
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Peapod Announces Three New Meal Kits

May 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Peapod.com partnered with food manufacturers ConAgra Foods, Inc., and Campbell Soup Company to offer three new meal kits. Available in select markets covered by the company, the meal kits feature pre-measured, pre-cut, and pre-washed ingredients. Aimed at families that need mealtime solutions delivered to their doors, the recipes are Buffalo Chicken Skillet by Ro-Tel and One Pan Chicken Curry by Campbell’s available in Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and New York; and Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Veggie Primavera by Hunts available in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee.
"Peapod.com Expands Meal Kit Offerings; Partners with Trusted Brands from ConAgra Foods and Campbell Soup Company", PR Newswire, May 24, 2016, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Popular Blog Becomes Cult-Status Beauty Brand

May 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Established in 2014, beauty brand Glossier has acquired cult-status celebrity among consumers. With initial funding support from women-led venture capital firm Forerunner Capital, the company raised $8.4 million in a Series A funding round led by investment firm Thrive Capital in November 2014. What started as a beauty-related blog by Emily Weiss, CEO and founder of Glossier, the company became so popular it has had 10,000 customers on waiting list for two its products. Brand identity and the importance it places on the digital community and the customer feedback loop distinguish the company from its much bigger rivals.
Raisa Bruner, "This beauty startup has become so popular that it has 10,000 people on a waitlist for lipstick", Business Insider, May 24, 2016, © Business Insider Inc.
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Amazon Eyes To Grab Share Of Baby Care And Laundry Detergent Markets From Procter & Gamble

May 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon plans to expand its private-label lineup by offering diapers and laundry detergent under its Mama Bear brand. Amazon's planned move will see it compete with Procter & Gamble, owner of some of the bestselling brands in those categories. While P&G trails rivals Kimberly-Clark and Unilever in organic sales performance, its laundry care lines, including Tide, and baby care products, driven by the Pampers brand, have been performing strongly in the US. Although Amazon could heavily promote its Mama Bear brand, it is likely to find it hard to compete with P&G in terms of product innovation and marketing.
Demitrios Kalogeropoulos, "Amazon.com Inc. Wants a Piece of Procter & Gamble Co.'s Best Market", The Motley Fool, May 19, 2016, © The Motley Fool
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Amazon Beauty GM Reveals Secret To Amazon.com's Growth As Online Beauty Retailer

May 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retail preserves the brand equity, it applies to beauty products, and the beauty customer is online and buying beauty products online, according to Amazon Beauty general manager Muge Erdirik Dogan. Dogan said customer behavior is significantly changing, with 75 percent of consumers starting their shopping process online. Amazon’s beauty business is growing strongly, due to independent beauty brands, rich content, and an automatic replenishment option. Also, helping grow niche brands, which have little to no distribution outside of the online retailer, has been part of Amazon Beauty’s expansion strategy, Dogan said.
Rachel Strugatz, "Muge Erdirik Dogan Charts Amazon’s Customer Journey", Women’s Wear Daily, May 17, 2016, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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Kose Singapore Launches Campaign To Promote New Herbal Gel Product

May 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kose Singapore launched Wake Up Beautiful, a digital campaign aimed at promoting its new Herbal Gel product. Created by Hakuhodo Asia, the campaign encourages consumers to upload their customized portraits to a microsite. Users may also go in-store to get their pre-registered samples and are instructed to access the main Kose page for more information about the product, including reviews and beauty tips and tricks.
Vivienne Tay, "LOOK Kose’s interactive digital photo campaign", Marketing Interactive, May 17, 2016, © Marketing-Interactive.com, a product of Lighthouse Independent Media
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Amazon Finds It Harder To Dominate Online Beauty Retail Market In France

May 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In France, only 16 percent of prestige beauty brands sell their products on Amazon, compared with 56 percent on beauty retailer Sephora, according to market research firm L2. Data from L2's Beauty France Index revealed beauty brands, such as Marionnaud and Nocibe, have created their own digital ecosystems that combine creative content with e-commerce and use their offline store locations to offer shipping and delivery methods. Also, French brands have been able to resist the gray market, more so than their German and UK counterparts were able to.
Homa Zaryouni, "Does Amazon Dominate Beauty in France?", L2 Daily, May 16, 2016, © L2 Inc.
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Retailers Need To Adopt Omni-Presence To Succeed In India

May 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailers in India need to do business on all retail channels and formats to succeed in the local market. Expanding worldwide, omni-presence as a retail concept is for retailers seeking to reach as many consumers as possible. In India, majority of local retailers were selling offline, online, and on mobile platforms in 2014–2015. During the past 5–7 years, local consumers have steadily moved from offline to online shopping. Successful retailers in the country already have a presence in more than one platform. Trendsutra Platform Services Pvt Ltd.’s Pepperfry.com launched its first offline store in Mumbai in December 2014, followed by another store in Bangalore in 2015.
Shabori Das, "Omni-Presence: A Key Strategy for Retailers to Succeed in India", Euromonitor International, May 15, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Amazon Plans To Sell More Private-Label Products

May 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. plans to sell more private-label brands, including those of perishable foods, such as nuts, spices, tea, and coffee. After working for several years to develop private-label lines, the online retailer will start selling them as early as end of May or start of June 2016. Sales of store brands in the US reached $118.4 billion in 2015, up by about $2.2 billion from the previous year, data from the Private Label Manufacturers Association revealed.
Greg Bensinger, "Amazon to Expand Private-Label Offerings—From Food to Diapers", The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Fast And Free Delivery Drives Future Of Retail Market

May 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailers need to acknowledge that customers, with the mentality described by consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow as “I Want What I Want When I Want It,” expect products they buy online to arrive at their door and at the same price as if they were bought in-store. Walmart launched ShippingPass, a two-day free shipping delivery with $49 annual membership fee, in order to compete with online retailer Amazon.com's Amazon Prime service. Consumer loyalty to Amazon, however, is driven by consumers' tendency to buy from a venue that offers the widest range of products that will arrive at their door at the lowest price in the shortest time.
Kathleen Kusek, "The Future of Retail is Fast, Free Delivery", Forbes, May 14, 2016, © Forbes Media LLC
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Singapore One Of World's Leaders In Mobile Wallet Adoption, Survey Says

May 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In Singapore, 58 percent of consumers say they prefer paying for their in-store purchases with mobile wallets, such as Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Android Pay, according to Visa's 2015 Consumer Payment Attitudes Survey. Reasons cited by respondents for their preference for mobile payment systems include faster transactions for 71 percent; ease of use, 55 percent; and no need to have cash on hand, 47 percent. Also, the growing popularity of mobile payment systems is being driven by the country's high smartphone penetration rates.
Shubhi Tandon, "Singaporeans prefer to use mobile wallets to pay: Study", Digital Market Asia, May 14, 2016, © Digital Market Asia
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Offline Stores Remain Most Popular Retail Channel In India In 2015; Online Retail Grows Fastest

May 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Offline stores accounted for more than 97 percent of total sales value in India in 2015, according to Euromonitor. Data from the market research firm revealed mobile e-commerce was the fastest-growing segment of the retail market. Also, the country saw the emergence of online grocery retailers in 2015. Technology has caused a paradigm shift in Indian consumers’ approach to shopping, with use of mobile devices becoming an integral part of the buying process.
Shabori Das, "Retailing in India: Store or Non-Store, No Longer the Question", Euromonitor International, May 14, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Ad Blocking A Growing Trend In UK, Report Says

May 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In the UK, 20.5 percent of internet users, or 10.9 million people, will use ad blockers in 2016, according to the report, “UK Ad Blocking: A Growing Problem, and Not Just for Publishers,” from eMarketer. In 2017, that figure is forecast to jump to 27.0 percent of internet users, or about 14.7 million people. Ad blocking is most common among desktop and laptop users, with their number expected to rise to 46 percent of total users, or 9.8 million people, accounting for 90.2 percent of ad blocking user base in the UK. While there are various reasons why people deploy ad blockers, the most common theme is digital ads irritate consumers.
"More Than One in Five People in the UK Will Use Ad Blockers This Year", eMarketer, May 13, 2016, © eMarketer Inc.
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Anticounterfeiting Group Kicks Out Alibaba For Perceived Failure To Act Against Fake Products

May 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding's membership in the AntiCounterfeiting Coalition has been revoked by the anti-counterfeiting organization. According to a letter sent by the group to its 250 members, the coalition’s board of directors said it decided to suspend a recently created membership category under which Alibaba was admitted in April 2016. Also, the group cited concern from global brands about the Chinese e-commerce company's commitment to fighting fake products.
Kathy Chu, "Alibaba Suspended From Anticounterfeiting Group", The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Retail Sales Recovered Slightly In April 2016, U.S. Government Report Says

May 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retail sales rose 1.3 percent in April 2016, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Data from the agency revealed online retailers, including Amazon and eBay, jumped 10.7 percent, compared from the same period in the previous year. NPD Group chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen said, “online is cannibalizing the store business.” Sales at department stores have recovered slightly; however, for the past 12 months, they were down 1.7 percent. According to NPD Group, impulse buys account for 45 percent of in-store purchases, but only 23 percent of online purchases.
Josh Boak et al, "How Online Shopping Is Cannibalising Mall Stores", Business of Fashion, May 13, 2016, © The Business of Fashion
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Walmart Unveils Two-Day Free Shipping To Battle Amazon Online

May 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is testing a two-day free shipping membership service as part of its efforts to compete with online retailer Amazon.com’s Prime service. According to the retailer, the service is an expansion of the program it tested in June 2015 when it launched a three-day delivery service. Called ShippingPass, Walmart’s service costs $49 a year and is supported by eight massive e-commerce warehouses across the US. Also, Walmart is using 80 of its 4,600 stores to send orders, get closer to customers, and reduce delivery time.
Phil Wahba, "Walmart Launches Two-Day Free Shipping to Take On Amazon", Fortune, May 12, 2016, © Time Inc.
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Stocks Of Major US Retailers Fall While Amazon.com Soars

May 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Shares of stocks of leading US retailers have fallen significantly after reports of weak sales in April 2016. Macy’s shares dropped 15 percent after the retailer posted poor results for its April quarter, dragging down with it many of the major retailers, including Target, Kohl, and Walmart. Retailers saw their shares fall much steeper than the 1.2 percent fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and in contrast to online retailer Amazon.com’s 1.5 percent jump. Data from market research firm eMarketer revealed Amazon’s e-commerce revenue grew 15.8 percent in the last 12 months to $82.7 billion.
Phil Wahba, "In Two Charts, How Amazon Is Killing Its Traditional Competitors", Fortune, May 11, 2016, © Time Inc.
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Carrefour Launches Online Store In Beijing

May 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
French retailer Carrefour launched its O2O online store in Beijing, China. Integrating store delivery and multiple payment methods, the online store will offer dual-language services, and will allow product returns and exchange at all of the retailer’s locations. Carrefour launched its O2O business in Shanghai in June 2015.
"Carrefour Unveils O2O E-commerce Services In Beijing", China Retail News, May 11, 2016, © Chinaretailnews.Com
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Retailing In Americas Had Both Good And Bad In 2015, Euromonitor International Says

May 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In 2015, retailers in the Americas opened 24,300 new stores, adding 8.5 million square meters to total retail space in the region, according to Euromonitor International. Data from the market research firm revealed the market generated $4.2 trillion in sales during the year; however, 2015 had good and bad developments, with most countries in Latin America recording moderate to healthy growth in their local currencies. Also, non-store retailing has been growing across the region, with online sales in North America accounting for 70 percent of non-store sales and 42 percent in Latin America. North American consumers spent $12 out of every $100 shopping on purchases made through non-store channels, while their Latin American counterparts spent $6 out of $100. Online sales’ lower share of non-store retail in Latin America was due to the popularity of direct selling and low access to the internet and low penetration of credit cards in some countries in the region.
"Retailing in the Americas: Key Stories", Euromonitor International, May 10, 2016, © Euromonitor International
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Jet.com Launches Grocery Delivery Service In Some US Locations

May 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Startup online retailer Jet.com expanded its product offerings to include groceries. Seeking to compete with online giant Amazon.com, the company is pilot testing grocery delivery service in parts of New York City and New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Delivery will be free for purchases worth more than $35, the company said. Jet.com's free delivery service is expected to help the company compete with more established rivals, such as Peapod, FreshDirect, and Instacart.
Jason Del Rey, "Amazon rival Jet.com just started selling fresh groceries like milk and eggs", Recode, May 10, 2016, © Vox Media, Inc.
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Physical Stores Grab 69.8 Percent Of Consumer Spending On Entertainment In April Quarter 2016

May 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In the UK entertainment industry, high street and grocery stores accounted for 69.8 percent of entertainment spend for the 12-week period ending April 10, 2016, compared with 67.5 percent in the previous year, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Music with its 1 percent decline was the best performing category in the physical entertainment industry, compared with games and video falling 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively. During the quarter, 77 percent of games were purchased in physical stores.
"Bricks and mortar outshine online retailers in the UK", Kantar Worldpanel, May 09, 2016, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Amazon Launches New Way For Paying For Prime Membership In UK

May 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon introduced a new way of paying for its Prime service in the UK, with shoppers now able to pay a monthly fee of £7.99. Currently in testing and with a full launch in the UK expected to come soon, the monthly option offers the same benefits as those of the £79 yearly service and can be cancelled at any time. Amazon Prime membership offers unlimited one-day delivery and access to Amazon movies and TV programs and other services.
Rebecca Rutt, "Amazon to offer flexible Prime membership for £7.99 a month - but that's £96 if you stay for a year", Mail Online, May 07, 2016, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Adblock, Flattr Create Software That Allows Users To Donate To Websites

May 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Adblock Plus has joined forces with micropayment website Flattr to launch a beta version of Flattr Plus, which allows users to distribute credit card or bank account payments among their preferred sites either once or periodically. The Flattr Plus algorithm divvies up the money to sites, and Adblock and Flattr get ten percent of the distributed cash. The announcement did not mollify opponents of ad blocking software. A representative of the Interactive Advertising bureau called the Adblock Plus/Flattr partnership "another attempt to paint ad blocking as anything other than a dangerous technology that erodes the foundations of the free Internet."
Richard Adhikari, "Adblock Plus to Websites: 'We've Got Your Back'", Ecommerce Times, May 06, 2016, © ECT News Network, Inc.
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Tesco Rethinks Large Stores To Better Serve Shoppers

May 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Tesco is renovating and updating its large-format stores to improve its ability to connect with shoppers. Steps are being taken to better serve customers who shop more frequently and buy fewer things compared with traditional weekly family shoppers. Also, Tesco took steps to make its produce section look better and improve how it connects with other parts of the store. Tesco is also working to create categories that will attract consumers and to maintain its lead in the online retail sector by letting shoppers use multichannel platforms for buying.
"How Tesco is reinventing the large format store", Retail Analysis, May 05, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution and IGD Services Limited
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EBay Agrees To Buy Machine-Learning Firm Expertmaker

May 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online auction and retail platform eBay said it has agreed to acquire Sweden-based machine-learning technology firm Expertmaker. Since 2010, Expertmaker has been a partner of eBay as part of the online seller’s structured data initiative. According to eBay, the acquisition is part of its efforts to improve its product catalog and make it easier for users to find products they want to buy from the website’s more than 900 million listings.
Natalie Gagliordi, "eBay buys Swedish machine learning startup Expertmaker", ZD Net, May 05, 2016, © CBS Interactive
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Singapore Kindness Movement Launches Content Platform With Help From SPRG And KRDS Singapore

May 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Non-profit organization Singapore Kindness Movement partnered with Strategic Public Relations Group to launch a content platform supporting its public education programs aimed at promoting graciousness one act of kindness at a time. Called The Pride, the website focuses on current, trending news and offers readers a deeper look at local and global issues that have implications for the community. KDRS Singapore also helped in the creation of the content platform. Also, SPRG and KRDS Singapore will help SKM expand the platform by providing “growth hacking” and management of content syndication on multiple platforms.
"Singapore Kindness Movement Launches Its New Content Platform With KRDS Singapore", KRDS India, May 05, 2016, © KRDS India
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GlaxoSmithKline Launches Sensodyne Whitening Toothpaste In India

May 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare launched the Sensodyne Whitening toothpaste in India. Before launching the product to the general market, however, GSK opted to sign an exclusive deal with Snapdeal to sell the product online. While other manufacturers, such as Colgate and HUL, have launched whitening toothpastes for the high-end market, GSK pushes its product as a one-stop solution for relieving tooth sensitivity and restoring whiteness.
Meenakshi Verma Ambwani, "GSK eyes a big bite of teeth whitening segment", The Hindu Business Line, May 03, 2016, © The Hindu Business Line
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Mobile Commerce Growth Pushes Legacy Retailers To Innovate And Be Nimble

April 30, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Growing consumer use of mobile commerce is forcing the largest retailers in the United States to change the way they do business. Legacy retailers Macy's, J.C. Penney, Kohl's, Wal-Mart, and Target are leading the market's push for mobile commerce, according to Bloomberg Intelligence senior retail analyst Poonan Goyal. For Wal-Mart, digital sales growth added 20–30 basis points to the retailer's same-store sales for more than 10 quarters. Macy's owns the market's best mobile app in terms of technicality, while J.C. Penney saw mobile traffic grow 25 percent and conversion jumped to 60 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Barbara Thau, "How Mobile Commerce Is Changing The Face Of The Nation's Biggest Retailers, From Wal-Mart To Macy's", Forbes, April 30, 2016, © Forbes Media LLC
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Sephora Opens Account On Wishbone Mobile Application

April 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora created its corporate account on the mobile application Wishbone. After marking its debut on the mobile platform, the company is connecting with consumers by sharing photographs of beauty products and styles. Wishbone users can vote for their preferred products and styles. To help promote its Wishbone presence, Sephora announced to its Snapchat followers its presence on the emerging mobile social media platform.
Brielle Jaekel, "Sephora solidifies presence as trusted beauty source with Wishbone adoption", Mobile Marketer, April 29, 2016, © Napean LLC
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Amazon Posts Strong Sales Growth In 1Q 2016

April 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. reported net sales grew 28 percent to $29.1 billion in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $22.7 billion in the same quarter of 2015. Net sales would have increased 29 percent, minus the $210 million unfavorable impact from foreign exchange rates fluctuations during the quarter. Operating income for the quarter reached $1.1 billion, compared with $255 million in 2015. Net income was $513 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $57 million in the previous year.
"Amazon.com Announces First Quarter Sales up 28% to $29.1 Billion", Amazon, April 28, 2016, © Amazon.com, Inc.
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