This Week in eCommerce: March 16 – 20

This week in eCommerce – Facebook’s most recent acquisition of TheFind signals the social network’s plans to get competitive with their search and eCommerce offerings. Grocery retailer Loblaws confirmed this week that Joe Mimran, founder of the clothing line, will be stepping down from his current role with the company. Joe Fresh is currently the second largest private label in Canada, with big plans for international expansion in 23 countries. Amazon is moving into a new 127,000-square-foot office space, neighbouring companies like Cisco Systems Inc., BCE Inc. and Apple Inc., in Toronto’s financial core. Facebook is adding a new friend-to-friend money transfer service within its Messenger application, making it that much more convenient for you to pay your friend back for last weekend’s bar tab. QVC is ready for the launch of the Apple Watch in April, with the necessary upgrades made to their iPhone app to facilitate what Apple calls a “glance experience” for their customers. For all the details from this week’s newsmakers, read-on below!

Facebook’s Foray into eCommerce

Facebook acquires its way into e-commerce by buying TheFind

Source: Fortune

Facebook’s recent acquisition of shopping search engine TheFind.com, signals that the social network is getting serious with its goals to dominate search and eCommerce. Facebook hopes that the acquisition will improve its search, to create improved and more relevant ads for its consumers. In 2013 Facebook introduced Graph Search to much hype, but unfortunately the change didn’t function as well as initially thought. Other ventures of Facebook’s into eCommerce have failed. Facebook Gift was shut down last year and Facebook pages fell apart by 2012 with retailers pulling stores. TheFind will provide Facebook with a ability to add shopping tools to its platform for consumers, attempting rival the services its nemesis Google provides by including products in search results. Hopefully for Facebook its unofficial mantra will hold true, “if you can’t build it, buy it”.

Joe Fresh Loses its Joe

Joe Fresh founder Joe Mimran stepping down, Mario Grauso taking over

Source: Financial Post

Canadian grocery retailer Loblaws confirmed this week that the founder of its Joe Fresh clothing line, Joe Mimran is stepping down from his role and leaving it to current President Mario Garuso. Mimran is stepping away from the business he created 9 years ago, but will periodically check in to ensure the business stays true to his original vision. Joe Fresh was a hit for Loblaws since its start in 2006, and boomed even further after adding children’s line in 2007. The brand initially brought Garuso on board to help with international expansion, and the current transition had been in the works since he joined the company. Garuso was made President of Joe Fresh last year after being brought onboard as COO – a position he left the Vera Wang Group for – and promises that the clothing line will maintain the same aesthetic appeal that has elevated it to the second largest private label in Canada behind Wal-Mart’s George. Over the next four years Joe Fresh is planning to open 140 Joe Fresh outlets in 23 countries.

Amazon in the “Six”

Amazon expands in Canada with move to new Toronto skyscraper

Source: The Globe and Mail

Amazon moves into the core of “Six”, opening an office space in a new skyscraper with enough room for 800 employees. Located at 120 Bremner Blvd. Amazon will occupy a five floor space at 127,000-square-foot, moving from Toronto’s West end. The eCommerce giant will be joining companies like Cisco Systems Inc., BCE Inc. and Apple Inc. in moving to the Southern area of Toronto’s Financial District. At the time of the move announcement, there are 100 job postings for developers, engineers, and salespeople at the company. Our technology neighbours to the south in the U.S. have had an increasingly difficult time hiring due to caps on foreign workers, whereas Canada doesn’t have limited on the amount of skilled foreign workers, which Amazon is taking full advantage of.

Friend-to-Friend Money Transfers

Facebook Introduces Free Friend-To-Friend Payments Through Messages

Source: TechCrunch

Want the ability to chat with your friends within Facebook Messenger and send them money without leaving the application? Well, you’re in luck. Facebook is bringing you the ability to do just that without needed to access PayPal or Venmo. Tap the $ within Facebook Messenger to transfer money from your Visa or MasterCard to friends on Android or iOS, for free! Rather than need to rely on other payment companies like Paypal, Facebook took matters into its own hands and developed the integration from the ground up. A spokesperson from PayPal talked about the recent development but didn’t directly comment on the fact that Facebook is essentially freezing their business out in a competitive manner. Facebook representatives assert that, ““We’re not building a payments business here”. In the digital realm, convenience is king and Facebook’s move is a smart one that will position the company to leverage its messenger service in the future with the option to integrate other functionalities like making eCommerce purchases, hail taxis, etc.

Shop QVC, from Your Wrist

QVC debuts TV shopping on the Apple Watch

Source: Internet Retailer

With the launch of Apple’s highly anticipated wearable device comes the influx of shopping apps created by companies for said device, including none-other then The Shopping Channel, aka “QVC”. The TV retailer is fully prepared for when the Apple Watch launches in April, having already added support to their popular (over 3 million downloads) iPhone application. Other retailers are worried that with the rise of the Apple Watch and similar wearables comes the trouble of managing another channel. QVC Senior Vice President Alex Miller is confident that his company is moving with the growing eCommerce trend of internet fragmentation, and sees the Apple Watch as an opportunity for the company to provide a flexible shopping experience for their customers in a world that is embracing mobile experiences. Apple calls the functionality that QVC enables as “glance experience”, facilitating an on-the-go shopping experience for consumers. Give the people what they want!!