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Lancome Partners With Edgecase To Upgrade Online Store

April 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oreal’s beauty brand Lancome updated its online store. According to the brand, its new website will better reflect consumers’ online shopping experience. By using the Edgecase Product Intelligence Platform, the company hopes to ensure that the website’s descriptions are in tune with the consumers’ language. Edgecase’s technology helped the brand focus on products’ key attributes, highlighting factors that differentiate them from rival brands and products, Lancome said.
"Lancome makes Web site update based on consumer insights", Mobile Marketer, April 07, 2016, © Napean LLC.
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Alibaba Claims Retail Market Crown For Itself; Analysts Disagree

April 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Alibaba Group declared itself the world’s largest retailer as of March 31, 2016, the end of its fiscal year, according to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In March 2015, Alibaba group executive vice chairman Joe Tsai said the company has recorded 3 trillion yuan, or about $476 billion, in gross merchandise volume. Some retail market analysts, however, disagreed with Alibaba’s pronouncement, saying the company’s business was too different from that of Walmart and hence there cannot be a meaningful comparison. Moody’s Investors Service debt and retail analyst Charles O’Shea said Walmart’s status as a physical retailer is a different business model than that of Alibaba.
Evan Clark , "‘Retail Economy’: Alibaba Claims Top Spot, Experts Take Exception", Women’s Wear Daily, April 06, 2016, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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Target Adds Coupon-Clipping Feature To Cartwheel Savings App

April 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Target said it has added a new feature to its Cartwheel shopping app to help shoppers save money at checkout. Previously focused on providing customers with discounts on items, the app has been expanded to support digital coupons from manufacturers, the company said. With the new feature, shoppers can clip digital coupons, which are the same as those on the local Sunday newspapers. Target said it is currently testing the new service, developed in partnership with third-party provider of digital coupons, Quotient.
Sarah Perez, "Target’s savings app Cartwheel now lets you clip real coupons", Tech Crunch, April 04, 2016, © AOL Inc.
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Walmart Plans To Expand Online Business Amid Falling Sales

April 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart reported revenue dropped 0.7 percent to $478.6 billion in fiscal year 2016, compared with the previous year, the first time sales declined since the retailer went public in 1970. Although the company has outperformed most of its brick-and-mortar rivals, its growth rate pales in comparison with those of leading online retailers, such as Amazon. Walmart spent over $11 billion to improve its online operations and remodel current stores, with company officials saying the retailer plans to take advantage of its vast network of stores in the long term.
Chase Purdy, "Walmart shows signs of growing pains as it vies to attract online shoppers", Quartz, April 01, 2016, © Quartz
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Online Operations Hurting Profits At Department Stores, Study Reveals

April 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Department stores’ efforts to expand their e-commerce operations are hurting their profit margins, according to Credit Suisse. Results of an analysis by the financial services company revealed around 14 percent of revenue at leading department stores that anchor shopping malls in the US came from e-commerce in 2015. Retailers Nordstrom and Macy’s derived 19 percent and 21 percent of their sales from e-commerce, respectively. Data from Kohl’s annual report, however, showed the retailer’s e-commerce operating margin was 9 percent, while its stores recorded 14 percent in 2015. E-commerce-related costs adversely affecting retailers’ bottom line include those related to free shipping, free returns, and the investments needed to build infrastructure, such as distribution facilities.
Phil Wahba, "Online Sales at Department Stores Soared in 2015, at a Huge Cost", Fortune, April 01, 2016, © Time Inc.
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Peapod Builds Up Muscle To Better Compete With Online Grocery Rivals

April 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Peapod Inc. is expanding its online grocery business using a combination of warehouse management software, scanners, robotics, and conveyor belts. Currently operating in 12 states and Washington, D.C., Peapod plans to expand into New York. Ahold, Peapod’s parent company, plans to merge with Delhaize Group, and the proposed union may help Peapod to expand to new markets in southern US. To enhance its ability to compete with Amazon.com Inc., Fresh Direct, and other online grocery companies in New York, Peapod constructed a 400,000sq. ft. fulfillment center.
Kim S. Nash, "Online Groceries Becomes Next E-Commerce Battleground", The Wall Street Journal, April 01, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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UK Smartphone Users Not Keen On Using Digital Wallet, Mintel Study Shows

April 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In the UK, 12 percent of smartphone users have enrolled in a digital wallet service and only 7 percent actually use the service, according to Mintel. Data from the marketing research firm revealed 55 percent are not signed up and would not be interested in using the service. Also, 75 percent of smartphone owners said they have concerns about fraudulent transactions if their device was lost or stolen. More significantly, 57 percent of smartphone owners said they do not trust digital wallet service providers to store their financial data securely.
"Digital Wallets Short On Change: Just 7% Of Smartphone Owners Use The Service", Mintel, April 01, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Sun Products Laundry Care Brands Available From Amazon Dash Buttons, Company Says

March 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Sun Products announced that its ‘all, Snuggle, and Wisk brands of laundry detergents are now available for purchase through Amazon’s Dash Buttons service. Designed to offer online shoppers with a simple and time-efficient way of buying online, Dash Buttons let Amazon Prime members purchase products and have them delivered to their homes with a single click. WiFi-connected, the Amazon Dash Button device can be placed anywhere the house.
"Shopping for Laundry Brand Favorites ‘all®, Snuggle® and Wisk® is Now Easier with Convenient, Single-Click Amazon Dash Buttons", Business Wire, March 31, 2016, © Business Wire
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Tesco Launches PayQuiq Mobile Payment System In Stores Across London Region

March 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Tesco plans to launch its PayQuiq mobile payment system for stores across the London region. To be available at about 500 Tesco stores within the M25 area, the PayQuiq app will let shoppers pay for purchases worth up to £400 using their mobile phones. Tesco has sent invitations to 600,000 members of its loyalty program Clubcard to download and test the mobile app. Tesco’s PayQuiq is designed to compete with Apple Pay and Android Pay mobile payment systems.
"Tesco takes on Apple with own mobile payment system", Retail Analysis, March 31, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution and IGD Services Limited
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Amazon Triples Dash Button Count To More Than 100

March 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon revealed there are now more than 100 Dash Buttons representing brands from personal and beauty care, household care, and food markets. First launched in 2015, the service allows members of Amazon’s Prime loyalty program to have prompt access to products considered as daily essentials. According to Amazon, Dash Buttons are available for Prime members for $4.99 each and with a $4.99 credit to their Amazon account for the first order, the service is virtually free.
"More Than 100 Amazon Dash Buttons Now Available, Giving Prime Members the Easiest Way to Order Thousands of Products", Amazon, March 31, 2016, © Amazon.com, Inc.
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India's E-Commerce Market Entices World's Leading Online Operators

March 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
India’s e-commerce segment is attracting the world’s leading online companies, including China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and US-based Amazon.com Inc., as well as local players Flipkart and Snapdeal. Currently valued at $25 billion, the local e-commerce market, which is considered as a virgin territory, is forecast to grow up to 40 percent each year. While India’s market is more open than China’s, there are factors that limit foreign operators’ ability to do business, including the limit on foreign ownership of retailers selling multiple brands and the variation in taxes on goods and services among the country’s regions.
Saritha Rai, "Amazon to Flipkart Clash in India's Nascent E-Commerce Market", Bloomberg Technology, March 28, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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China Revises Taxation Rules For Imported Goods Sold Online

March 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
China is amending its tax rules for imported products sold online by removing a special tax, also known as parcel tax, previously imposed on such goods. Replacing the parcel tax will be value-added and consumption duties that are at present levied on most products sold in the country. According to China’s Ministry of Finance, however, the new tax will come with a 30-percent discount. In January 2016, China expanded a pilot program, which allowed a port district in the city of Hangzhou to trade imported goods at lower rates. Online sales of imported goods in China have expanded at a CAGR of 63 percent in the five-year period ending 2015 to reach 638 billion yuan, or $98 billion, accounting for 17 percent of the country’s total online retail sales, data from Mintel Group Ltd. revealed.
Daniela Wei, "China Changes Online Import Tax Rules, a Move to Help Cosmetics", Bloomberg Business, March 25, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Clorox Studies Merits Of Using Proximity Marketing Technology

March 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Clorox is considering the use of proximity marketing tools, such as in-store beacons and connected products for the home, according to the company’s associate director of marketing communications Sarah Ortman. Speaking at the South by Southwest 2016, Ortman said brands should adopt proximity marketing by starting from the point of view of customers. She said brands should focus on audience interests instead on technological capabilities to avoid alienating customers.
"Clorox explores proximity marketing", Warc, March 24, 2016, © Warc
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Sephora Employs Worldline Electronic Payments System For Sephora Flash Smart Stores

March 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Sephora partnered with electronic payments and transactions company Worldline to launch its Sephora Flash smart beauty store. On October 21, 2015, Sephora opened its first Sephora Flash store in Paris, a retail concept that combines seamlessly brick-and-mortar stores and online shopping. Using an off-the-shelf near field communication, or NFC, card and a physical basket, customers can shop among 3,500 products on display at Sephora Flash stores. Also, customers using their handsets or tablets can browse Sephora’s online catalogue featuring 14,000 products.
"Sephora selects Worldline to launch “Sephora Flash”, a new connected store concept", Worldline , March 24, 2016, © Worldline
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Mobile Commerce Accounts For Bigger Part Of Ecommerce In China, Analysts Report

March 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Mobile sales accounted for almost 50 percent of ecommerce sales in China in 2015, according to eMarketer. Data from Analysys International Enfodesk revealed mcommerce accounted for almost two-thirds of retail and consumer-to-consumer ecommerce sales in China in the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 55.5 percent from the previous quarter. In 2016, eMarketer predicts retail mcommerce sales in the country will grow 51.4 percent, accounting for 55.5 percent of retail ecommerce sales in China for the year.
"Ecommerce Turns into Mcommerce in China", eMarketer, March 23, 2016, © eMarketer Inc.
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SecretSales.com Posts Strong Revenue Growth In 2015; Readies For Future Growth

March 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online discount seller SecretSales.com reported revenue grew 20 percent to £47 million in gross sales for 2015. Established in 2007 by brothers Nish and Sach Kukadia, the company partners with high street brands to sell out-of-season stock online without devaluing the brands. SecretSales convinces brands to sell their excess stock at discount rates ranging from 30 percent to 70 percent, and offering deals to it’s the website’s 4.5 million members. By establishing new partnerships with brands, such as Dyson and Bose, SecretSales was able to increase sales of gadgets by 177 percent in one year. Also, the company secured new investment in 2012 to expand membership.
Rebecca Burn-Callander, "The brothers behind SecretSales.com have a £3bn market in their sights", The Telegraph, March 22, 2016, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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FedEx Plans To Expand International E-Commerce Operations In Asia

March 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
FedEx Corp. said it will expand its international e-commerce business in order to compete for the growing volume of packages shipped to consumers from China and Japan. As part of this strategy, FedEx is rebranding Bongo International, a company that provides currency, customs, and shipping assistance to consumers buying goods from foreign retailers, as FedEx CrossBorder. According to CrossBorder vice president Chip Hull, the company plans to expand its services to sellers in China and Japan in June 2016. FedEx’s rivals, including United Parcel Service Inc. and Pitney Bowes Inc., are also expanding their global e-commerce operations.
Loretta Chao, "FedEx to Expand E-Commerce Reach in China, Japan", The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Marc Jacobs Fragrance Partners With Uber To Launch NYC Campaign

March 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Marc Jacobs Fragrance partnered with ride-sharing service Uber to launch the Daisy Daze campaign in New York City. As part of the campaign, riders will be able to request an Uber car covered with hundreds of daisies and equipped with a customized soundtrack, and a free full-size Daisy Marc Jacobs fragrance. Uber’s previous partnerships with fashion companies include its February 2016 deal with ecommerce site Lyst and with Rag & Bone’s fashion show in September 2015.
Maghan McDowell, "Uber Teams Up With Marc Jacobs", Women’s Wear Daily, March 18, 2016, © Fairchild Publishing, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC
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Online Grocery Business Does Not Have Long-Term Viability, Market Analysts Say

March 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online grocery as a business does not seem to have long-term viability, according to HSBC retail analyst David McCarthy. According to a note by McCarthy, big investments by grocery chains, such as Kroger, Whole Foods, and Walmart, in online grocery and home deliveries are a waste of their money. McCarthy said the fact that the online grocery market keeps growing at only half the growth rate of discount retailers, such as Aldi and Lidl, supports his assertion. Other market analysts are also questioning the viability of online grocery, as highlighted by a BMO Capital Markets report showing the vast majority of consumers do not like to shop for groceries online.
Kate Taylor, "Kroger and Whole Foods might be investing billions into a losing game", Business Insider, March 12, 2016, © Business Insider Inc.
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Sephora Encourages Innovation In Mobile Beauty Market By Supporting Tech Startups

March 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Sephora supports innovation in the beauty mobile market by backing several business startups focused on creating new roles for the smartphone in scheduling beauty appointments and attracting shoppers. As part of this initiative, Sephora launched the Sephora Accelerate, an incubation program for beauty startups. For the 2016 Sephora Accelerate Cohort, the company announced its lineup of women entrepreneurs who will participate in the business and innovation promotion program. Among the entrepreneurs are Candace Mitchell, Carolina Grove, and Danielle Cohen-Shohet.
Brielle Jaekel, "Sephora sparks mobile beauty growth by supporting startups", Luxury Daily , March 11, 2016, © Napean LLC
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Instacart Gains Firmer Foothold In Whole Foods’ World

March 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The 18-month, 17-city partnership between Whole Foods Market and the Instacart delivery service has been successful enough that the two companies are extending it. They will launch services in ”several” metropolitan areas this year, beginning with Orange County, Calif., and Baltimore, Md. The companies also expect to create new e-commerce and delivery solutions, while adding more stores that offer the Instacart delivery option. The extended relationship means Instacart is Whole Foods’ largest online ordering and delivery partner.
"Whole Foods Market and Instacart announce new markets, growth plans", Whole Foods Market, March 10, 2016, © Whole Foods Market
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Alibaba-Tencent Rivalry Now Reaches China's Energy Industry

March 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
China’s largest Internet companies, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., expanded their rivalry to include the country’s oil and gas industries. Alibaba agreed to provide China National Petroleum Corp., the local oil and gas production giant, with Internet-based services. Alibaba’s deal came after Tencent signed in August 2014 a collaboration deal with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., which operates more than 30,000 fuel stations across the country, in areas including mobile payments and media marketing.
Aibing Guo et al, "Alibaba and Tencent Extend Their Web Battle to the Gas Station", Bloomberg Business, March 10, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Amazon Gets Own Air-Freight Arm

March 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon is leasing 20 Boeing 767 freighter planes, according to Air Transport Services Group. Part of Amazon’s efforts to gain more control of the delivery process, expand delivery capacities during peak season, and lower its freight costs, the deal comes with lease durations of 5–7 years for the planes. Also, the deal includes Amazon buying a 19.9 percent stake in ATSG.
Leena Rao, "Amazon Is Leasing 20 Boeing Planes to Create an Air Cargo Network", Fortune, March 09, 2016, © Time Inc.
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Carrefour's Website Grabs Best Honors Among Supermarkets In Spain

March 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
French retailer Carrefour’s website www.carrefour.es was voted the best online store for the supermarkets and hypermarkets category in Spain. Based on input from consumers who voted for their favorite websites on www.webshopdelano.es, criteria for choosing the winners included value for money, promotions and special offers, product selection, and customer service. In 2015, Carrefour Spain’s website recorded 45.9 million page hits, with the online food store accounting for 9.7 million.
"The website carrefour.es voted "Web Shop of the Year" in Spain", Carrefour, March 08, 2016, © Carrefour
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Walmart's E-Commerce Investments Fail To Boost Online Retail Business

March 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retail giant Walmart’s e-commerce business is seeing slower growth. According to the company, its e-commerce business grew 8 percent in its latest quarter, down from 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, and 30 percent from two years ago. In contrast, rival Target expanded its e-commerce business 34 percent in its latest quarter. Also, Target has been able to post consistent growth in the last few years, with its e-commerce sales growing at least 20 percent on a quarterly basis for the past year. Walmart’s investments in its e-commerce business have so far failed to boost growth. For example, its Shipping Pass service, which offers unlimited three-day shipping for $50 a year, has failed to generate consumer interest. Walmart hopes to improve its e-commerce performance through its Walmart Pay mobile wallet service.
Kate Taylor, "Walmart is getting killed in the most important category", Business Insider, March 08, 2016, © Business Insider Inc.
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More Digital Buyers In India Buy From Digital Stores Daily, Study Reveals

March 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In India, 12 percent of digital buyers said they shop online or via digital channels on a daily basis in 2015, an increase of 33 percent compared with data from 2013, according to research from the Retailers Association of India and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Data also revealed 39 percent of respondents said they do digital shopping on a weekly basis, compared with 31 percent in 2013. Results of the survey revealed 16 percent of digital shoppers made in-store purchases daily, compared with 15 percent in 2013.
"How Often Do India's Digital Buyers Shop?", eMarketer, March 07, 2016, © eMarketer Inc.
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India's Fast-Growing E-Commerce Has Major Impact On Local, International Markets

March 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
India’s $16 billion e-commerce market is the fastest growing in the world. Although smaller than other markets, India has attracted large e-commerce companies, including U.S.-based Amazon and China’s Alibaba, which compete with domestic  firms. Also, India’s e-commerce market is likely to cause three significant changes in socio-economic conditions: it can speed up financial development; e-commerce companies can help overcome the country’s infrastructure limitations and its vast geography; and it can have a big impact on the country’s retail segment.
"India online: E-commerce in emerging markets", The Economist, March 05, 2016, © The Economist Newspaper Limited
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Technology Enables Customers To Create Personalized Beauty Buying Experience, Studies Reveal

March 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers prefer to use technology to create their own personalized experience when shopping for beauty products. Mintel said its latest study revealed 45 percent of beauty consumers saying they want to search for product information in-store using their mobile devices, according to Mintel. Beauty channels can help drugstore chains and mass market operators to attract millennial shoppers; however, they will have to compete with specialty retailers, such as Sephora and Ulta. Data from TABS showed Sephora and Ulta have the highest cosmetics penetration growth in 2015, with 41 percent for Ulta and 25 percent for Sephora.
Lonni Delane, "What’s Next: The personalized beauty shopping experience", Drug Store News, March 02, 2016, © Drug Store News
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After Missing 2015 E-Commerce Goal, Target Pledges To Spend $2 Billion Each Year On Improving Online Operations

March 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Target said that, starting in 2017, it plans to spend $2 billion a year on expanding its e-commerce operations. After reporting a 34 percent increase in online sales during the last holiday season, the company said it plans to invest $1.8 billion in 2016 on capital projects, mostly on e-commerce and supply chain improvements. For full-year 2015, Target’s e-commerce grew 31 percent, failing to reach CEO Brian Cornell’s promise to Wall Street to reach 40 percent. Its e-commerce investment announcement means the company intends to never miss the target again.
Phil Wahba , "Target Lays Out Multi-Billion Dollar E-Commerce Plan", Fortune.com, March 02, 2016, © Time Inc
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Amazon Signs Deal To Sell Products From UK Retailer Morrison

February 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. agreed to sell hundreds of products supplied by UK-based grocery chain Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc. Marking a first of its kind in the country, the deal is expected to add more pressure on an already highly competitive grocery market. UK’s retail market has been dealing with the effects of increased minimum wage and a price war caused by the expansion of discount retailers.
Paul Jarvis, "Amazon Steps Up U.K. Grocery Advance With Morrison Agreement", Bloomberg, February 29, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Sephora Opens Online Store In Malaysia

February 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora opened its online store sephora.my in Malaysia. Sephora made the announcement of the store opening following its acquisition of local independent beauty online retailer Luxola. According to Sephora Asia president Anne-Veronique Bruel, by acquiring Luxola, Sephora gained access to an opportunity to expand into the local online beauty market and speed up the company’s growth in the country and in Southeast Asia.
Bervin Cheong, "Sephora online store launches in Malaysia", star2.com, February 24, 2016, © Star Media Group Berhad
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Artisan Bread Community Thrives In “On-The-Go” World

February 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Food writer Ashlie Stevens reports a steady rise in the amount of information available about artisan bread making on the Internet. That includes Instagram posts (43,000), searchable Twitter hashtags (#justbaked, #breakingbread, and #loafingaround), and scads of YouTube videos and blogs. It’s a remarkable phenomenon that is “increasingly anomalous in a world of fast food and microwave meals.” Making artisan bread is a process that requires huge amounts of time, because it is manual labor and “non-tech assisted.” It also uses quality ingredients. It is a social phenomenon – an online artisan bread community – that in the digital age helps bread makers of all types enhance their skills and even grow businesses.
Ashlie Stevens, "The unexpected rise of artisan bread in the on-demand era", The Daily Dot, February 24, 2016, © The Daily Dot, LLC
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Whole Foods Invests In Instacart; Makes Startup Exclusive Delivery Provider

February 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods agreed to invest in delivery startup Instacart. Also, the companies signed a five-year delivery partnership deal, making Instacart the exclusive delivery service provider for Whole Foods’ perishables business. Instacart’s deal with Whole Foods provides the startup with improved stability and credibility; however, its other grocery partners could have issues with the deal.
Jason Del Rey, "Whole Foods to Invest in Instacart, Signs New Multi-Year Delivery Deal", Re/Code, February 23, 2016, © Vox Media, Inc.
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To Succeed In The Mobile Wallet Arena, Walmart Needs A Loyalty Component

February 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart’s venture into mcommerce – the mobile wallet Walmart Pay – is a good start, but it lacks a customer loyalty component that would keep it competitive with Apple Pay and retail competitors’ mobile payment platforms. The key to winning mobile shoppers is to emphasize the benefits of Walmart Pay. That means initially the simple convenience of paying with a phone, but also the offer of added value, such as a well-structured in-app loyalty program that would include the ability to redeem offers and earn loyalty points in one transaction.
Alex Samuely, "How Walmart Pay could help the mass merchant compete against Amazon", Mobile Commerce Daily, February 22, 2016, © Napean LLC.
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Wal-Mart Suffers Setback In Bid To Catch Up With Online Rival Amazon

February 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart’s global e-commerce sales grew 8 percent in the fourth quarter, which covered the months of November 2015 to January 2016. Despite the retailer’s efforts to ramp up online sales and narrow the gap with rival Amazon, growth was at its slowest during the quarter. To help boost online sales, Wal-Mart plans to expand its online offerings and increase the number of stores where online shoppers can pick up their orders.
Phil Wahba, "Walmart Loses Ground To Amazon in E-Commerce Battle", Fortune, February 18, 2016, © Time Inc.
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MNC Launches BrandOutlet Online Store In Indonesia

February 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Investment company MNC Group launched BrandOutlet, an online store for high-end beauty and fashion products in Indonesia. Highlighting the potential of Internet-based retail in the country, the online store comes with a product lineup that is 60 percent made up of local brands. Operating on a multi-channel basis across mobile and desktop, the store also comes with a dedicated blog.
Lucy Whitehouse, "Premium beauty and fashion e-commerce site launched in Indonesia", CosmeticDesign-Asia.com, February 18, 2016, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Digital-Enabled Beauty Shoppers Not Likely To Seek Help From Sales Associates, Study Reveals

February 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In the United States, 16 percent of consumers shopping for beauty products prefer to buy at stores where sales associates will not bother them until assistance is sought, according to Mintel. Data from the market research firm revealed 45 percent of beauty shoppers like to search for product information in-store using their own mobile device rather than seek help from a sales associate. Also, 39 percent of respondents said they are interested in using, or have used, a store-provided tablet to look for available beauty products. Data also showed 58 percent of consumers are interested in mobile apps that feature product offers to redeem in-store.
"45% of US beauty consumers prefer mobile devices over sales associates for in-store assistance", Mintel, February 10, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Amazon's Physical-Store Plans Create Seismic Shocks For Brick-And-Mortar Retail Market

February 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Reports of Amazon’s plan to open 300 to 400 brick-and-mortar stores caused significant speculation on the online retailer’s future business strategies and their implications for the retail market. Discussion among market observers focused on how Amazon could use technology and data analytics to innovate in the physical-stores sector. Wharton management professor Daniel Raff said Amazon’s brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle offers some insights into the online retailer’s future plans. [Image credit © Wikimedia Commons]
"How Amazon Could Reinvent the Brick-and-mortar Store Experience", Wharton University of Pennsylvania, February 09, 2016, © Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
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Millennials Will Drive Consumption Trends In 2016, Webinar Reveals

February 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Millennial consumers are expected to have significant influence on consumption trends in 2016, according to the “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2016” webinar. Consumers are likely to continue using social media to rant against greenwashing, or brands’ insincere displays of caring for the environment. Also, demand for recycled and pre-owned products is forecast to gain strength. For millennials, owning an automobile is no longer an “icon of freedom” but more of a “strain on their finances and the environment.”
Daphne Kasriel-Alexander , "Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2016: Webinar Q&As", Euromonitor International, February 08, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Wal-Mart Shutters Express Concept; Finds Urban Expansion Dream Elusive

February 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart’s move to close its Wal-Mart Express stores highlights the retailer’s preference to operate large-format stores. In 2011, Wal-Mart designed its Express stores as a means to launch its business in urban centers. Wal-Mart’s efforts to open locations in major cities, such as New York and Washington, D.C., have faced opposition.
Sharon Edelson , "Bigger Is Still Better at Wal-Mart", Women’s Wear Daily, February 04, 2016, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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Younger Consumers Prefer Mobile Shopping, Study Reveals

February 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Generation Z consumers are four times more likely to use their mobile phones to buy online, compared with Baby Boomers, according to the “GfK FutureBuy 2015” report. Results of the study revealed women are more likely to use mobile devices at 32 percent share of shopping, compared with men at 22 percent share. Data also revealed younger generations tend to use mobile devices when making online purchases, compared with consumers from the older age groups. Also, consumers’ previous experience and in-store environment are the most important factors influencing online buying behavior.
"GfK FutureBuy 2015 Select US Market Findings Highlights", GfK FutureBuy, February 04, 2016, © GfK
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Amazon Reports Strong Sales And Revenue Growths In 4Q And Full-Year 2015

January 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com, Inc., said operating cash flow jumped 74 percent to $11.9 billion for the year ending December 31, 2015, compared with the previous year. Free cash flow increased to $7.3 billion, compared with $1.9 billion for the year ending December 31, 2014. For the quarter ending December 31, 2015, net sales rose 22 percent to $35.7 billion, compared with $29.3 billion in the same quarter of 2014. Net sales grew 26 percent, excluding the $1.2 billion unfavorable impact of year-over-year charges in foreign exchange rates during the quarter. Net income was $482 million, or $1 per diluted share, compared with net income of $214 million, or $0.45 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2014.
"Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 22% to $35.7 Billion", Amazon, January 28, 2016, © Amazon.com, Inc.
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Brazil's Online Retail Market Forecast To Reach $40.8 Billion By 2019, Market Analysts Say

January 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online sales in Brazil are forecast to rise from $17.8 billion in 2014 to $40.8 billion by 2019, according to data presented by Costs Advogados partner Marcio Cots at a panel presentation hosted by the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce in New York City. According to AD. Dialeto founding partner Leonardo Cid Ferreira, Brazilian consumers use online resources and social media to gather information, buy, and keep up with fashion and beauty trends. Consumers use e-commerce for “easy replenishment,” lower prices, and convenience of delivery.
Deanna Utroske, "Brazil’s recession is an e-commerce opportunity for personal care brands", CosmeticsDesign.com | USA, January 26, 2016, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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China's E-Commerce Market Grows 37 Percent In 2015, Study Reveals

January 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
China’s e-commerce market grew 37 percent in terms of gross merchandise value in 2015 to 3.8 trillion yuan, or $578 billion, according to iResearch. Data from the market research firm’s “2015 China E-commerce & O2O Summary Report” revealed mobile and online-to-offline markets drove the market’s overall growth. O2O gross merchandising volume rose 38 percent year-on-year in 2015, with sales reaching 335 billion yuan, or $51 billion. According to iResearch, the country’s O2O sector is forecast to grow to almost double its size in the next three years to 626 billion yuan, or $95 billion.
Casey Hall, "Chinese E-commerce Growth Continues", Women’s Wear Daily, January 25, 2016, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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Wal-Mart, Amazon Plan To Invest Over Rs 2,000 Crore In India

January 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and online retailer Amazon plan to invest more than Rs 2,000 crore to build their respective networks and expand their shares of India’s retail market. Expected to reach over $1 trillion in size in 2020, India’s retail sector will see Amazon investing Rs 1,696 crore in its Amazon Seller Services business. This raises Amazon’s total investment in the business to about Rs 4,800 crore. Wal-Mart Stores will invest Rs 360 crore to expand its lineup of wholesale stores in the country.
Sagar Malviya, "Retail giants Amazon, Walmart to invest more than Rs 2,000 crore in India", Economic Times, January 23, 2016, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Store Closures Show Walmart's Tough Enough To Make Hard Decisions

January 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart’s decision to close 269 stores worldwide, 154 in the United States, highlights changes in both how the company operates and in the retail market. Walmart’s move is based on a “clear-eyed, uncompromising, even unsentimental decision-making,” highlighting the company’s newly found discipline under its CEO Doug McMillon. These store closings, however, could also be a sign that Walmart moved too late even though it has all the needed resources to adapt to changes in the market. Walmart has failed to innovate. For example, it has all the data on consumer buying habits, but failed to create an easy, automated shopping process using such information.
Charles Fishman, "This Is What It Looks Like When Walmart Tries To Get Its Mojo Back", Fast Company, January 21, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures LLC
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Aldi’s First Online Store In U.K. Sells Wine In Cases

January 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
German discount grocer Aldi has opened an online store in the U.K. selling, for now at least, only wine in cases. The company offers 90 wines on its website with home delivery available except in Northern Ireland for the time being. Customers who buy at least ₤50 ($71.00) worth earn free shipping. The company said it would add non-food products to the website, including cycling gear, power tools and Halloween outfits, somewhere beginning in the second quarter of this year.
"Aldi opens its first online store in the UK", Ecommerce News, January 20, 2016, © Zietuwel
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New MasterCard Groceries App Will Work With Samsung’s IoT Refrigerator

January 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
MyWebGrocer, a provider of e-commerce and digital marketing solutions to the grocery industry, says it is working with MasterCard to introduce grocers to a new shopping app, dubbed Groceries by MasterCard. Consumers can use the app to buy groceries via the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator, an implementation of “Internet of Things” (IoT) technologies. The Groceries app will help consumers build, share, manage and modify shopping lists, place orders and make payments through a seamless, collaborative interface. The refrigerator was introduced at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show and will be available for purchase in the U.S. in May of 2016.
"MyWebGrocer Partners with MasterCard to Connect Consumers and Grocers via Smart Fridge", News release, MyWebGrocer, January 20, 2016, © MyWebGrocer
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Mix Of Paper Versus Mobile Retail Coupons Shifts

January 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kantar Media’s report on the use of freestanding advertising inserts (FSI) by the top ten U.S. retailers – who account for 81 percent of such advertising – finds Walmart remains the heaviest user, even though it has trimmed pages by a third. In second place was Target, which cut its FSI pages by 25 percent, while Walgreens was third, with a 38.4 percent decrease. The declines in paper couponing may be due to increased use of mobile coupons. Nearly 45 percent of U.S. companies will use mobile coupons this year. Meanwhile, Dollar General and CVS increased their FSI pages.
"Down by a Third, Wal-Mart Still Distributes Most Freestanding Inserts", eMarketer, January 19, 2016, © eMarketer Inc
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WeChat Launches Service Allowing Consumers To Share Coupons In China

January 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Mobile and web messaging company WeChat launched its shared coupons service for retailers in China. Designed to let users of the messaging service share coupons for dining, shopping, or entertaining, the service also lets consumers receive coupons at offline stores. Shared coupons will be classified based on location to let users gain access to wide range choices. Participating retailers can distribute shared coupons with consumers offline and can monitor consumers’ usage of the coupons.
"WeChat Offering “Friends-Shared Coupons” for Retailers", China Internet Watch, January 17, 2016, © Incitez Pte. Ltd.
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