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Cyzone Cosmetics, ModiFace Launch Mobile App For Trying On Makeup

September 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Cyzone Cosmetics partnered with ModiFace to launch the Cy MakeApp mobile application for the iOS and Android mobile platforms. Featuring ModiFace's facial tracking and makeup rendering technology, the mobile app allows consumers to virtually try on cosmetics on live video.
"Cyzone Cosmetics, in Partnership With ModiFace, Launch Latin America's First Live-3D Augmented Reality Makeup App", Marketwired, September 06, 2016, © Nasdaq, Inc.
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Carrefour Launches E-Voucher Program In Taiwan

August 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour launched the Carrefour Ticket Xpress, the retailer's first digital voucher service, in Taiwan. Developed by France-based corporate services company, Edenred, the e-voucher is designed to support retail and mobile payment systems. According to the retailer, the e-voucher program is available at loyalty programs offered by various service provider, such as banks, payment apps, and online stores. Consumers participating in the program can use their reward points to have their e-voucher delivered to their mobile phones. By scanning the barcode at any of Carrefour's 87 stores across the country, consumers can use the e-voucher to pay for their purchases.
"Carrefour Taiwan launches e-voucher platform", Retail Analysis, August 31, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution and IGD Services Limited
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Online Sales Of Hair Care And Color Products Growing, Report Shows

August 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online sales of hair care and color products are growing, according to market research firm L2. Data from the report, “Hair Care & Color,” revealed e-commerce share of retail sales of haircare products grew 14 percent year on year. Lower-margin consumer brands are driving online sales, the company said.
Homa Zaryouni, "Why Hair Care Brands Should Work With E-Tailers", L2 Daily, August 25, 2016, © L2 Inc.
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Tesco Announces 3-Hour Store Pick-Up Service In UK

August 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Tesco plans to offer a service that will allow customers to pick up their purchased items from any of the company's 300 stores within three hours after placing their order online. Accounting for about 10 percent of the country's grocery spending, online orders are forecast to rise to ₤15 billion by 2020, according to market research firm Mintel. Tesco's latest offering helps it get farther ahead of rival J Sainsbury, which began testing a same-day delivery and collection service in July 2016.
Mark Vandevelde, "Tesco offers 3-hour online order collection", Financial Times, August 24, 2016, © The Financial Times Limited
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Walgreens Balance Rewards Loyalty Program Embraces Android Pay

August 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walgreens added the Android Pay mobile payment platform to its Walgreens Balance Rewards customer loyalty program. Aimed at accommodating program members who own non-iOS mobile devices, the integration will allow Android smartphone users to also enjoy “more seamless checkout experiences” previously available only to iPhone users. Benefits offered by Balance Rewards include faster checkout process and easier ways of earning and redeeming points. Android Pay is available for download from the Google Play online store.
Alex Samuely, "Walgreens Expands Mobile Payments Portfolio Via Android Pay-supported Balance Rewards", Mobile Commerce Daily, August 23, 2016, © Napean LLC
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India’s Food Safety Regulator Announces Initiatives To Promote Safe Food

August 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has unveiled a set of initiatives to promote safe food in a variety of venues. The ten initiatives, launched on the anniversary of the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, will target homes, schools, offices, trains and railway stations, restaurants and religious facilities. FSSAI, for example, will provide a comprehensive guide to households and create a dedicated website for safe and nutritious food at home. It will  prepare a list of high fat, sugary and salty junk foods to ensure food safety and nutrition in schools. And it will require businesses that provide mid-day meals to be licensed by the FSSAI.
"FSSAI Announces Initiatives to Promote Safe Food Culture", The Economic Times, August 23, 2016, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Retail Ecommerce Sales Expected To Grow Faster Than Overall Market In 2016 Through 2020, Report Shows

August 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Total retail sales worldwide are forecast to grow 6.0 percent to $22.049 trillion in 2016, according to eMarketer. Data from the report, “Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales: The eMarketer Forecast for 2016,” growth will continue albeit in slower rates to reach $27 trillion in sales by 2020. According to the market research firm, retail ecommerce sales will reach $1.915 trillion in 2016, or 8.7 percent of the world’s total retail spending. Unlike the overall retail market’s slower growth rate during the period covered by the study, retail ecommerce sales are forecast to jump 23.7 percent in 2016. In 2020, retail ecommerce sales will grow to $4.058 trillion, accounting for 14.6 percent of total retail spending, the company said.
"Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales Will Reach $1.915 Trillion This Year", eMarketer, August 22, 2016, © eMarketer Inc.
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Charlotte Tilbury Launches Fragrance With Virtual Reality Experience Featuring Kate Moss

August 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury launched a virtual-reality-enabled marketing campaign to promote the launch of her first fragrance, Scent of a Dream. Featuring supermodel Kate Moss, the VR campaign was created in partnership with content production studio Happy Finish and film director Antoine Wagner. Reportedly the first of its kind, the campaign was shot using the Nokia OZO VR camera.
"Charlotte Tilbury Launches World's First 360° Virtual Reality Experience Starring Kate Moss", Little Black Book, August 19, 2016, © LBB Ltd.
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Seafood Quick-Service Chain’s Mobile Campaign Explains Sustainability Efforts

August 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Fast-seafood chain Long John Silver’s has launched a social responsibility mobile ad campaign with a video on sustainability that highlights its primary menu items – 100 percent wild-caught Alaskan pollock and cod – and tells viewers about its continuous monitoring of Northern Pacific waters. Fishing quotas for the two fish species are regularly adjusted to ensure the species’ strength and survival. The two-minute video was filmed in Alaska and features narration alongside clips showing the state’s Pacific shores. Other videos in the campaign appearing on Vine, YouTube and Facebook, will discuss family and food quality.
Alex Samuely, "Long John Silver’s Highlights Corporate Sustainability With Snackable Mobile Videos", Mobile Marketer, August 19, 2016, © Napean LLC
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Walmart’s Stellar Online Sales Quarter Also Saw A Rise In Store Traffic

August 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
After several years, and billions of dollars in investment, Walmart is finally reporting an upbeat online sales picture. Second-quarter (ending July 31) online sales leapt 11.8 percent, after nine quarters of sluggishness. The encouraging sales report, observers say, was due to a mix of factors, including the roll-out of its Walmart Pay mobile app, expansion of free grocery pickup for online orders, and the launch of an Amazon Prime-like subscription service. But perhaps most encouraging was the fact that Walmart succeeded in boosting store traffic –  up 1.2 percent – while increasing online buying. The results prove the company’s strategic axiom: digital sales and store sales must be symbiotic.
Phil Wahba, "Here's How Walmart Is Reigniting Its E-Commerce Growth", Fortune, August 18, 2016, © Time Inc.
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Australian Online Produce Firm Expands With More Items, Free Delivery

August 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
An Australian online retailer that once specialized in fresh produce has launched what it calls The General Store, an expanded grocery store with free delivery service that requires no minimum purchase. Aussie Farmers Direct, which began 11 years ago as a source of fresh produce, now offers 170 Australian-sourced fruit and vegetables, dairy, bread, deli items, meat, chicken, seafood, pasta and fresh gourmet meals. The new delivery program puts the company in direct competition with big online grocery marketers like Coles and Woolworths, providing an alternative for shoppers and for food producers looking for a new sales channel.
Eloise Keating, "Aussie Farmers Direct Takes on Coles and Woolies with Online Grocer The General Store", Smart Company, August 16, 2016, © Private Media Pty Ltd. Publishers of SmartCompany
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Lidl Builds Expanded IT And Data Hub

August 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Discount retailer Lidl plans to upgrade its warehouse data and install new IT tools in order to improve market and consumer insight. By building a new data hub, which involves the rollout of an integrated business intelligence system combining a Teradata data warehouse structure DWH 4.0 with SAP and Business Warehouse module, Lidl aims to be able to perform Big Data analysis. Lidl’s move to the Hana platform will enable Lidl to assess huge volumes of data from the SAP ERP system. Also, the data hub will include BI tools and Big Data tools from MicroStrategy, SAS, Ab Initio, and Hadoop.
"LIDL Investing In Robust Data", Retail Analysis, August 16, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution and IGD Services Limited
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Carolina Herrera Launches Good Girl Perfume With Campaign Daring Girls To Be Bad

August 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carolina Herrera introduced its Good Girl brand of perfume by launching a campaign featuring fashion model Karlie Kloss. As part of the campaign, Kloss appears on a video portraying a Good Girl as somebody who does not feel guilty for “disturbances” caused by her appearance. Also, a website features additional information about the brand.
Sarah Jones, "Carolina Herrera Fragrance Effort Dares Good Girls To Try Bad Decisions", Luxury Daily, August 16, 2016, © Napean LLC
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Snack Maker Associates Brand With Kindness In New Mobile Marketing Ploy

August 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kind Snacks is trying a new mobile marketing strategy that links "kindness" with a snack bar reward. The strategy allows Kind to reach more mobile users while putting the brand in a positive light. Consumers show their appreciation for family and friends by sending an ecard via Facebook, Twitter or email. The family member then enters an email address – or Twitter username or Facebook name – to claim a free Kind granola snack bar. Recipients can claim their reward within seconds and then participate themselves in the “pass it on” campaign. The gimmick is just one of a number of ways CPG marketers are boosting mobile engagement while getting the word out on their products.
Alex Samuely, "Kind Snacks Unpacks Brand Awareness Via Mobile-Driven Product Giveaway", Mobile Marketer, August 15, 2016, © Napean LLC
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Supermarkets Turn To “Experiential Retailing” To Grow Market Share

August 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Though 25 percent of U.S. grocery shoppers say they are spending more at supermarkets, Mintel data show otherwise. Consumers are actually more likely to shop for groceries at other channels, like mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs and drug stores. Nearly two in five consumers shop secondarily at Walmart, the highest retailer “also shopped” for groceries. Total U.S. multi-outlet sales of groceries will rise 2.5 percent this year to $652 billion, but supermarket sales will grow only 1.9 percent to $317.8 billion. The result? To compete, grocers are turning to innovation and experiential retailing to hold onto or grow market share. For example, ShopRite in Morristown, N.J., offers an in-store restaurant, juice bar, oyster bar and a daycare center for shoppers with children. A store in Hanover Township (N.Y.) includes a fitness studio and a cosmetologist on weekends.
Diana Smith, "US Grocery Stores Struggle To Keep Up", Blog entry, Mintel, August 15, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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India's Online Retail Market Expected To Keep Growing, Report Says

August 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retail ecommerce sales in India will grow 75.8 percent to $23.39 billion in 2016, compared with 2015, according to eMarketer. Data from the market research firm’s report, “India Retail Ecommerce 2016: The Relentless Rise in Mobile Sales,” predicts strong growth during the next few years, with sales reaching $79.41 billion in 2020. Online sales, however, will account for only 2.5 percent of total retail sales in 2016, rising to 5.0 percent in 2020. Retail ecommerce growth is forecast to be driven by mobile, which will account for $15.27 billion in 2016 sales, an increase of 96.3 percent from 2015. Indian consumers’ growing adoption of smartphones is driving growth in mobile ecommerce.
"India's Retail Ecommerce Sector Is Small but Still Growing", eMarketer, August 15, 2016, © eMarketer Inc.
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Spending Trends Make Some Retail Sectors Skittish

August 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retail sales in the U.S. were sluggish in July, especially among clothing and electronic goods vendors, where shopping is shifting from brick-and-mortar stores to the Internet. It’s not because American consumers aren’t spending. After all, unemployment is down, income is up, and energy prices remain low. U.S. households have increased spending every quarter since the end of 2009. But there has been a shift in where Americans spend, toward entertainment, travel and healthcare -- and online. The experts don’t seem alarmed. One economist said the news signals “a pause in a good pace of spending”, while a global forecaster expects a 2.6 percent gain in gross domestic product this quarter over a year earlier. Still some sectors have reason to be nervous: consumer spending is falling at sporting goods stores, food and beverage stores, restaurants and bars.
Suzanne Kapner et al., "Where We Spend Is Upending Traditional Retail", The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Brexit Will Have Good And Bad Impact On UK's Beauty And Personal Care Market, Mintel Analyst Says

August 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers are expected to reduce their spending in time of uncertainty following the UK's vote to leave the European Union, according to Mintel senior personal care analyst Roshida Khanom. Although Brexit's impact on the beauty and personal care industry remains to be seen, Khanom expects the luxury segment to get a boost from tourists attracted by the sharply devalued pound. Also, the UK's cheaper currency will strengthen exports of local brands, which become more affordable for businesses and consumers outside the country. Brexit's impact is also expected to drive growth for online shopping, as UK consumers seek to avoid the rising costs of importation.
Lucy Whitehouse , "Exclusive interview - Mintel: exclusive expert view on Brexit and beauty", Cosmetics Design , August 11, 2016, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Women Internet Users In France Buy Cosmetics From Brand-Owned Online Stores

August 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In France, seven in 10 women who use the Internet and have bought cosmetics online have bought facial care products, such as creams and cleansers, according to CCM Benchmark. Results of the market research firm's April 2016 survey revealed more than 60 percent have also bought makeup and body care products from online stores. Also, 57 percent of respondents said they have purchased from brands' online stores, while 50 percent said they have bought from sites operated by retail chains, such as Sephora. Only 32 percent said they have bought from online retailers, such as Amazon.
"Most Women in France Buy Cosmetics Online", eMarketer , August 11, 2016, © eMarketer Inc
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Walmart Buys Jet.com; Girds For Future E-Commerce Wars

August 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has completed its $3.3-billion acquisition of online retailer Jet.com, as part of its efforts to improve its ability to compete in the e-commerce market. Although ranked as number 2 in L2's Digital IQ Index: Big Box report for its e-commerce capabilities, Walmart lags behind market leader Amazon. In 2015, Walmart reported $13.7 billion in online sales, while Amazon earned more than $92 billion.
Elisabeth Rosen, "Walmart’s New E-Commerce Weapon", L2 Daily, August 08, 2016, © L2 Inc.
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Walmart Seals Acquisition Deal With Online Retailer Jet.com

August 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has inked a deal to buy fast-growing ecommerce retailer Jet.com for $3 billion in cash, both up front and over time, as well as $300 million in shares over time. The company says the acquisition brings numerous benefits, most significantly expanded customer reach and new capabilities that will mean faster ecommerce growth. Other benefits: Jet has proven it can scale with speed, having reached $1 billion in run-rate gross merchandise value and 12 million SKUs in its first year; 400,000 new shoppers are added to its customer base each month (especially urban shoppers and Millennials); and its technology rewards customers in real time with savings on items bought and shipped together, reducing supply-chain and logistics costs.
"Walmart Agrees to Acquire Jet.com, One of the Fastest Growing e-Commerce Companies in the U.S.", News release, Walmart, August 08, 2016, © Walmart Stores
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Sephora, Macy's Add Instagram Stories To Social Marketing Tools

August 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
LVMH-owned beauty retailer Sephora and Macy's have joined other marketers that are using Instagram’s Stories feature as part of their social media marketing campaigns. Part of Instagram’s efforts to compete with rival social media platform Snapchat, the Stories feature allows users to record video and pictures. These videos and pictures appear as top updates of selected newsfeeds for only 24 hours.
Brielle Jaekel, "Sephora, Macy’s embrace Instagram Stories for easier accessibility than on Snapchat", Luxury Daily, August 05, 2016, © Napean LLC
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New Federal GMO Labeling Law Gives Food Companies A QR Code Option

August 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The new federal GMO labeling bill signed into law recently by Pres. Obama requires food manufacturers to list GMO ingredients either in plain writing, via an FDA-created icon, or through a digitally-readable QR (quick-response) code requiring a smartphone app. The app would link the shopper with more detailed information on GMO ingredients. Food manufacturers are happy about the QR code option. But non-GMO advocates argue that looking up GMO ingredient info on a smartphone is an unwieldy process that shoppers are likely to ignore. Consumer research seems to support the contention: a poll of 1,011 U.S. adults found that 59 percent weren’t likely to use their phones or an in-store scanner to find GMO data. Forty percent said they were likely to do so. Eighty-one percent approved of the push to disclose GMO ingredients on labels.
Heather Haddon, "Consumer Advocates Wary of Digitally Coded Food Labels", The Wall Street Journal, August 03, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Wal-Mart In Talks To Buy Jet.Com Inc., Reports Say

August 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reportedly negotiating to buy online discount retailer Jet.com Inc. Representing a significant expansion in Wal-Mart's e-commerce operations and efforts to compete with online rival Amazon.com Inc., a purchase deal would improve the retail giant's warehousing and delivery capabilities. Launched in 2014, Jet.com began as a most serious challenge to Amazon's hold on the market leadership position in the online retail segment. Jet.com has raised more than $500 million and could be valued at up to $3 billion.
Greg Bensinger et al, "Wal-Mart in Talks to Buy Web Retailer Jet.com", The Wall Street Journal, August 03, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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What Walmart Would Gain From Acquiring Ecommerce Innovator Jet.com

August 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Though Jet.com is barely a year old, it is already an ecommerce giant thanks to an innovative logistics platform that calculates in real-time the most efficient way to fulfill orders and pass savings onto shoppers while they shop. Walmart is in discussions with founder Marc Lore – he of Quidisi.com fame – to purchase Jet.com, and Euromonitor sees a number of advantages for Walmart in the deal. Certainly there would be immediate access to four million shoppers and $1 billion in online retail sales, expected to reach $20 billion within five years. But over the long term, Walmart could become much more competitive with online powerhouses eBay and Amazon.com, thanks to Jet’s innovative ecommerce practices. Another benefit: Jet.com has expanded into grocery delivery, which Walmart is eager to try.
Michelle Malison, "Why Walmart Wants to Buy Jet.com and What You Need to Know About the Potential Deal", Blog post, Euromonitor International, August 03, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Diminishing Shelf Space Drives CPG Companies To Try Online Innovation

July 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Manufacturers of food, drink, beauty, and personal care products are losing store shelf space thanks to the rise of own-brand discount supermarket chains like Aldi and Lidl, and smaller stores that sell independent brands. To meet the challenge, manufacturers – Reckitt Benckiser, Nestlé, Diageo, Unilever, etc. – are increasingly focusing on e-commerce, selling through e-tail websites. But they are also experimenting with delivery-on-demand and subscription-based models. It’s a rising trend: online shoppers globally spent $87 billion on CPG items last year, nine percent of the total online spend. Twenty-five percent of people in 60 countries in 2015 ordered grocery products online for home delivery. Fifty-five percent said they would do so in the future.
Martinne Geller, "Consumer Goods Firms Plot New Paths Amid E-Commerce Boom", Reuters, July 29, 2016, © Reuters
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Wal-Mart Works More Closely With China's WeChat Mobile Social Network

July 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is expanding its partnership with mobile social network WeChat in China as part of its efforts to attract more consumers into its stores. In July 2016, Wal-Mart started allowing shoppers to check out in more than 100 stores across the country using WeChat Pay mobile payment. Also, the retailer runs a loyalty program aimed at the followers of its WeChat account. Using its WeChat account, Wal-Mart launched a digital gift card feature, enabling local consumers to send virtual gift cards.
Frank Tong , "Wal-Mart offers new mobile cross-channel features for Chinese shoppers", Internet Retailer, July 28, 2016, © Vertical Web Media
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Why Digital Shopping Is On The Rise: Brick-And-Mortar Stores Are Not Much Help

July 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Almost all of the 44.4 million digital shoppers in the U.K. are likely to buy something online this year, according to survey data from consultancy Pragma. They increasingly tend to prefer using digital channels at every stage of the shopping process, except when making the final purchase decision and resolving post-purchase issues. At these points, they often prefer to head to the store. This means that stores are not doing a good job of keeping customers up-to-date on the latest products, providing detailed product information, or even allowing simple product browsing. The key finding proving that U.K. stores are failing their customers: only four percent say they’re shopping online less than they used to – compared to 32 percent shopping less in physical stores.
"UK Internet Users Reject In-Store Shopping", eMarketer, July 26, 2016, © eMarketer Inc.
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Procter & Gamble Launches Online Magazine For Women Of Certain Age

July 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Co. launched London-based Victoria.co.uk, an online magazine for women 50 years or older. Part of the company's efforts to promote its brands in Europe, the online magazine offers discounts and samples of P&G products for women who register to subscribe. In addition to allowing subscribers to post comments about articles, review products, and buy online, the magazine features content produced by five leading women journalists. These include former London Telegraph Magazine fashion features director Tamsin Blanchard, former London Mail on Sunday relationship columnist Zelda West-Meads, and health and nutrition writer Patsy Westcott.
Barrett J. Brunsman, "Here's why P&G just launched online magazine for women over 50", bizjournals.com, July 22, 2016, © American City Business Journals
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Sephora Supports Relaunch Of Sephora Collection Private-Label Brand With Mobile Campaign

July 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora is supporting the relaunch of its Sephora Collection private-label brand with a campaign on dating app Tinder and other mobile social media platforms. Sephora created 1,000 photographs of products and swatches and is running ads on the media-rich mobile sites and apps. Online store Sephora.com includes the “swipe it, shop it” feature, which is based on Tinder’s website design. Sephora said it will later be able to add photographs of consumers’ own looks.
Lauren Johnson, "Sephora Is Driving Mobile Sales With Tinder-Like Features and Digital Mad Libs Plus actual ads on the dating app ", Adweek, July 21, 2016, © Adweek
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Carrefour Rolls Out Apple Pay In Stores Across France

July 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
French retailer Carrefour said that starting on July 19, 2016, customers will be able use Apple Pay mobile payment system to pay for their purchases at Carrefour hypermarkets, supermarkets, and convenience stores across France. Also offered by Carrefour Banque to its 2.5 million customers in the country, Apple Pay highlights the retailer's efforts to provide shoppers with a fast and convenient means of paying for goods, and participate in the Carrefour loyalty program at the same time.
"Apple Pay is now available in Carrefour stores in France and to Carrefour Banque customers", Carrefour, July 19, 2016, © Carrefour
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Procter & Gamble Launches Tide Wash Club Subscription Service In Atlanta

July 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Co. launched in Atlanta the Tide Wash Club, an online subscription service for the company’s Tide Pods laundry product. Part of the consumer goods company’s efforts to also focus on how consumers buy products, Tide Wash Club offers free shipping at regular intervals. Also, the company is testing in Chicago Tide Spin, a service that allows consumers to use a smartphone to order laundry products for pickup or delivery.
Sharon Terlep, "P&G Starts Online Subscription Service for Tide Pods", Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Flipkart Readies For A Price War With Amazon

July 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
India-based online retailer Flipkart Ltd. is preparing for a market war with bigger rival Amazon. Established in 2007 by Binny and Sachin Bansal, Flipkart managed to grow into the country’s biggest e-commerce company. Proving naysayers wrong, the company also proved its founders’ assertion that India was ready for online retail. Flipkart reached $100 million in sales in 2011; however, its infrastructure, including warehouses and servers, could not keep up with its rapid growth. Then, sales stagnated, an attempt to focus on mobile failed, important executives left the company, and in early 2016, a Morgan Stanley fund downgraded Flipkart’s value from $15 billion to $11 billion. With the local e-commerce company losing ground to its foreign-based rival, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ promise to invest another $3 billion in his company’s Indian operations signals more challenging times for Flipkart.
Saritha Rai, "India's Flipkart Has an Amazon Problem", Bloomberg, July 19, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Online Health Food Retailer Profits From Program To Reduce Waste

July 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A British online health food, beverage and supplement retailer hopes to raise $130,000 through crowdfunding to expand its program of selling out-of-date products at steep discounts. Vitalife’s “Love Health Hate Waste” initiative, launched a year ago, has kept nearly a million dollars’ worth of foods, drinks and supplements from ending up in landfills. The company said it was throwing away products that had reached their best-used-before date but were still “perfectly fit for consumption and legal to sell.” The company sells the products at discounts as high as 90 percent off retail. Under the program, which is expected to turn an $800,000 profit this year, “we are making healthy food and drink accessible to everyone,” a spokesman said.
Edward Devlin, "Vitalife in Crowdfunding Bid for Love Health Hate Waste", The Grocer, July 15, 2016, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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EBay Upgrades Mobile Websites With Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages Technology

July 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online marketplace eBay Inc. updated some of its mobile webpages with Google Inc.’s Accelerated Mobile Pages technology. Developed to help businesses build mobile pages that load as fast as possible on smartphones, AMP is based on open-source standards. AMP-using mobile pages can load quickly because its HTML code includes restrictions, such as preventing customized Javascript coding. AMP also uses Google’s AMP Cache, a content delivery network that confirms each page works and does not depend on outside resources. With AMP, eBay helps consumers who access its mobile website from links, including Google search and Twitter.
April Berthene, "eBay dives into Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages", Internet Retailer, July 11, 2016, © Vertical Web Media
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Low Shipping Rates Drive Growth For China's Alibaba Group

July 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Very affordable overnight shipping rates in China have been a biggest factor driving growth for online retailer Alibaba Group Holding. Some of the growth should be credited to the company's Taobao online marketplace and the low prices of goods offered by its 10 million merchants. Alibaba has no direct hand in arranging shipping for Taobao merchants; each seller has to deal with one of the country's largest private courier companies. China's four largest shipping service providers are Shunfeng, or SF Express, and YTO Express, STO Express, and ZTO Express. On Taobao, a 3kg box of Tide washing detergent costs $3.13, or 20.90 yuan, including shipping. In contrast, the same product would cost at least $53 in the US, with at least $35 going to shipping.
Peter Fuhrman, "Cheap shipping hidden key in Alibaba's success", Nikkei , July 06, 2016, © Nikkei Inc.
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Food Delivery Robots Take To The Streets In European Cities

July 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A robot food delivery start-up announced it is testing its business strategy and technology with the help of several European food and parcel delivery companies, including Pronto, Hermes, and Just Eat, as well as grocery retailer Metro Group. Starship Technologies, created by two Skype co-founders, will launch dozens of delivery robots in London, Düsseldorf, Bern and another German city to start. It will then move to several other European and American cities. It already operates delivery robots in Tallinn, Estonia, its headquarters location.
"Starship Technologies launches testing program for self-driving delivery robots with major industry partners", News release, Starship Technologies, July 06, 2016, © Starship Technologies
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Sephora Updates Mobile App With Virtual Lash Try-On Feature And Augmented Reality Tutorials

July 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora said it has added new features to its Sephora Virtual Artist application. Available for download on the Sephora App, the features are a new false lash virtual try on, which is added to the lip function, and step-by-step cosmetics tutorials using augmented reality technology. According to the company, Sephora Virtual Artist uses a smartphone's camera to map the location and shape of a user's facial features. Sephora's partner, ModiFace, developed the facial visualization and skin analysis technology.
"Sephora Virtual Artist Expands With New Features For Virtual Lash Try On And Live Tutorials", MultiVu, July 06, 2016, © MultiVu
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Purchase Data Help CPG Marketers Find Their Quarry

July 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
An increasing number of consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers are relying on purchase-based advertising, as well as location tracking and other technologies, to more sharply target potential buyers. Purchase-based advertising is based on data derived from retail websites as well as from retail stores. As evidence of the pervasiveness of the technology, mobile ad firm 4Info reports that 99 percent of the campaigns it has managed for CPG clients use purchase information. 4Info gets the data – stripped of identifiable personal information – from Nielsen Catalina Solutions, which collects UPC-level information streams directly from participating grocery and drug stores every day. The data reflect purchase information from 90 million households. The information is sophisticated enough to allow advertisers to hone their message as well.
Kate Kaye, "Grocery Brands Flock to Ads Informed by Your Real-World Shopping", Advertising Age, July 05, 2016, © Crain Communications
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Poll Finds Online Food Shopping Has Become Fairly Routine For Certain Americans

June 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Though Americans still make frequent trips to grocery stores, they’re also increasingly likely to buy food online, according to a Harris Poll of nearly 2,000 U.S. adults 18 or over. Thirty-one percent – 45 percent of all online shoppers – said they buy food online for convenience, to save money, or to find items they can’t find anywhere else. Most likely to buy online are Millennials (36 percent vs. 31 percent generally), college grads (35 percent vs. 26 percent with high school or less), parents and city dwellers. Most popular items purchased are snacks (20 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (17 percent), while baking products and frozen foods are least popular (12 percent each). The best foods for online purchasing are non-perishable or have a long shelf life (49 percent), or are difficult to find in stores (48 percent).
Allyssa Birth, "Purchasing Food Online: The New Normal?", News release, The Harris Poll, June 29, 2016, © The Nielsen Company
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Glow Recipe Sells Korean Beauty Products Online; Aims To Educate American Consumers About Them

June 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Glow Recipe seeks to provide consumers in the US with Korean beauty products and accurate information about them. According to Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, co-founders of the online retail platform, see their company as curators of K-beauty products rather than a mere retailer. Also, the company employs a diverse panel of evaluators to ensure the suitability of Korean products they sell with the array of skin types in the American market. For example, the Splash Mask by Korean brand Blithe is one of the most popular products on the online store. Lee and Chang had to convince the manufacturer to change the product's name from Patting Water Pack to Splash Mask for American consumers.
Yim Seung-Hye, "Glow Recipe aims to educate U.S. in K-beauty", Korea JoongAng Daily, June 29, 2016, © JoongAng Ilbo
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Tesco Lotus Seeks To Double Online Business In Thailand Every Year

June 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Tesco's Thailand business unit Tesco Lotus said it plans to double its online retail business in the country every year for the next 3‒5 years. Tesco Lotus digital and online business director Wanna Swuddigul said the growth plans are in line with growing consumer demand for instant access to information, products, and services. According to the company, its digital platform involves e-commerce, which offers products to customers through Tesco Lotus Shop Online and the Tesco Lotus shop on Lazada online market. Tesco Lotus uses Digital Connection, the second component of its e-commerce operations, to keep in touch with customers through social media and other online channels.
Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn, "Tesco Lotus aims to double online shopping every year", THE NATION , June 28, 2016, © www.nationmultimedia.com
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Walmart Promises That All Suppliers Of U.S.-Made Goods Will Get A Shot On Its Website

June 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart execs recently met with 800 suppliers to hear pitches on potential Walmart.com products that are made exclusively in the U.S. The company said a third of the companies at the U.S. Manufacturing Summit were minority- or women-owned. A Walmart merchandising executive promised that all of the products – except those that can’t be shipped because they contain hazardous materials – would be automatically approved for sale on Walmart.com. The Summit is part of the company’s initiative, launched in 2013, to spend $250 billion on American-made goods for its stores, Sam’s Club, and website.
Marty Cook, "At Latest Summit, Walmart Seeks More American-Made Goods", Arkansas Business, June 28, 2016, © Arkansas Business Limited Partnership
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Troubled U.K. Online Grocer Ocado May Benefit From Brexit Fallout

June 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
O woe is online grocer Ocado. British supermarket chain Morrison is complaining that its deal with Ocado has been profitable for Ocado only, and signals it may back out. The company faces competition on its own turf from Amazon Fresh, which has made a supply deal with Morrison. And Waitrose, whose products Ocado sells, may pull out of its arrangement. These and other problems – it has failed to attract any European or U.S. partners – have depressed Ocado’s stock values by 25 percent since April. However, Ocado may benefit in several ways from the fallout of the recent Brexit referendum. The British pound is taking a beating versus the dollar, so an overseas supermarket will pay less to have Ocado manage its online grocery business. It also means that a potential buyer would pay less to buy Ocado outright.
Andrea Felsted, "Ocado's Found a Silver Lining in Brexit", Bloomberg Gadfly, June 28, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Walgreens Says More Than 135 Million Electronic Coupons Clipped By Consumers

June 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walgreens said more than 135 million Paperless Coupons have been clipped by customers. First launched in 2014, the retailer's electronic coupons program has been available to the company's more than 85 million active Balance Rewards loyalty program members through its website and mobile app. According to Walgreens, it has continued to improve and simplify its paperless coupons by offering manufacturer coupons in collaboration with Quotient.
"Walgreens Launches Next Evolution in Paperless Coupons, Enabling Seamless Redemption and Clipping on Digital Channels", Business Wire, June 28, 2016, © Business Wire
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India’s Flipkart Experiments Again With In-House Brand Marketing

June 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
India’s online retail marketplace Flipkart will be licensing its house brands in jewelry, mobile, and fashion accessories to approved sellers, according to reports. Suppliers must be capable of fulfilling the company’s quality manufacturing benchmarks and product specifications. This is the company’s second try at boosting its high-margin private-label business. Three years ago it launched in-house brands Digiflip in consumer electronics, Citron in home appliances and Flippd in apparels. The brands failed to gain a toehold in their markets; the company has stopped selling Digiflip tablets.
Aditi Shrivastava, "Flipkart looks to fill up cart with own brands", The Economic Times, June 28, 2016, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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RB Partners With HookLogic To Expand Mobile E-Commerce Operations

June 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Reckitt Benckiser partnered with e-commerce technology firm HookLogic to help expand the consumer goods company's mobile e-commerce capabilities. HookLogic lets brands place search, display, and product listing ads directly on e-commerce websites and in apps using a network of retailers that includes Sears, Costco, Walmart, and Target. In June 2016, HookLogic launched a tool for identifying sets of user actions. This attribution tool allows clients to measure results of their marketing across the network. Also, the company launched an e-commerce ad exchange designed to expand its programmatic ad serving capabilities. HookLogic also said it can help clients determine whether a keyword search brought an internet user who clicked on a product and whether the user ends up buying the item.
Allison Schiff , "CPG Giant Reckitt Benckiser Gets Serious About M-Commerce", AdExchanger, June 24, 2016, © AdExchanger.com
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ModiFace Launches Beauty Advisor Bot For Facebook Messenger

June 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Technology firm ModiFace launched a beauty advisor bot for Facebook Messenger. Offering a hint of what the future of beauty shopping looks like, the bot is programmed to help shoppers choose lipsticks by brand, color, or shade name from a lineup of 20,000 products. Designed to direct customers to where they can buy their favorite lipstick, the beauty advisor bot answers most questions related to lipstick options. ModiFace sees lipsticks as a test platform for the bot technology and sees more complex applications for the technology in the future.
Rachel Brown , "ModiFace Launches Facebook Bot for Beauty Customer Service", Women's Wear Daily, June 22, 2016, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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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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