This Week in eCommerce: December 7 – 12

Some unfortunate news this week for another retailer with a strong Canadian presence. Dutch fashion retailer Mexx, who have 95 stores in our home and native land, declared bankruptcy citing detrimental discounting in the Canadian fashion market. Alibaba’s bulk-goods retailer AliExpress had a vulnerability exposed this week; allowing easy access to very private information about its millions of shoppers. However the eCommerce company stated credit card numbers were not included in the accessible information. Amazon is frustrated with the FAA, the US government agency that is preventing them from implementing their much-anticipated/slightly gimmicky drone home-delivery system. eBay launches a new iPad App to revolutionize the way its users browse the online marketplace, imitating the comfort of a buyers in-store shopping behaviour with an emphasis on a familiar browsing experience. South Korean eCommerce leader, Coupang secures $300 million from investors, signalling the strong eCommerce penetration in Asia and its emerging markets.

Another Retailer Declares Bankruptcy

Mexx goes bankrupt, affecting 95 Canadian stores

Source: CBC News

Dutch fashion retailer Mexx announced that they’re declaring bankruptcy this week, joining a rising number of retailers who have done the same this past year alone. With 315 stores worldwide, and a strong presence in Canada with 95 stores, Mexx’s stores will remain open to sell off their remaining merchandise for the time-being. Canadian department store The Bay carried the Mexx brand in-store, and the company owns a warehouse in Montreal. Mexx has been under the ownership of private equity firm The Gores Group since 2011.

eCommerce Giant’s Vulnerability Exposed

AliExpress WebSite Vulnerability Exposes Millions of Users’ Private Information

Source: Hacker News

Online Marketplace and global dominator, Alibaba’s AliExpress had a massive flaw revealed this week that effects millions of users. AliExpress offers it’s 300 million users worldwide the ability to order items in bulk. Without knowing account passwords this vulnerability allows personal information to easily be accessed, as initially pointed out by Amitay Dan, a security application researcher at Cybermoon.cc. An attacker could run a simple script to gather the personal information of millions of users. It is reported since that AliExpress patched this flaw.

U.S. Drags Their Feet with Drone Home-Delivery

Amazon threatens to take drone testing abroad as US delays approval

Source: The Guardian

We’ve all heard the news that Amazon will be providing home-delivery service via drone…however, the US seems to be delaying the process, in-turn frustrating the eCommerce marketplace. In a letter from Amazon’s VP of Global Public Policy, Paul Misener states that the US are at risk of “losing its position as the center of innovation”. The government’s Federal Aviation Administration, the agency responsible for the delayed action on the matter, even asserts that the US government is killing off innovation with its tight grip. Dubbed “Amazon Prime Air” by the internet giant, is a service that when first announced promised a delivery time of 30 minutes after ordering to Americans. Thanks to government regulations, the service has been put on hold in the States due to requirements that are, “unnecessarily onerous”.

eBay’s New App

eBay’s New iPad App Design Hints At Its E-Commerce Future

Source: Techcrunch

Since their founding in 1995 the global online Marketplace, eBay, is constantly evolving to keep up with the changing commerce landscape. The launch of their new iPad app, is the company’s most recent effort to revamp its operations. We know all too well that the mobile experience is rapidly becoming the go-to way for consumers to shop and navigate online. Rather than bidding on the site via desktop, a large percentage of visitors are using tablets and phones to make purchases. This change in consumer behaviour is influencing the way retailers like eBay are providing experiences for their users. According to RJ Pittman, Chief Product Officer, the new app “delivers a better shopping experience for buyers and better merchandising capabilities for sellers”. The bricks and mortar experience that shoppers are familiar with is difficult to replicate on an eCommerce site, however eBay believes the new way they’ve presented products with this app invokes the same comfort of a leisurely in-store browsing experience. Essentially giving shoppers a Pinterest board of products available on the site that they can directly buy from. Androids and other smartphone users will see similar functionalities rolled-out to them in 2015.

eCommerce leader Coupang raises $300m

BlackRock buys into South Korea’s Coupang

South Korea’s leading eCommerce site Coupang raises a hefty $300 million, in an invest led by investment management corporation BlackRock. 11% of retail sales in South Korea are done online, taking the lead as one as one of the hottest eCommerce markets globally. Coupang does $200 million in sales per month, and unlike giants like eBay and Amazon, most of it’s sales are done through mobile devices – in fact 70% of sales on Coupang are mobile! Other investors include Wellington Management and Greenoaks Capita. Bom Kim, Coupang’s chief executive, asserts that they are the most well-funded company in the country, with $500 million plus in the bank. Coupang is a trailblazer, with it’s mobile-centric platform, it could very-well be the best company for other eCommerce sites to model themselves after.