This week in eCommerce news, once again we’re hearing how Alibaba is dominating the industry. Recent reports on Alibaba’s Q3 statistics prove how powerful the online Chinese marketplace is. eCommerce retailer Zulily received a $1 billion valuation just three years after being founded. With the help of the speed of technology and an imperative to beat other retailers to the punch to achieve success, co-founder Darrell Cavens shares their story of how this valuation was validation. Digital agency Razorfish reports on interesting eCommerce statistics from China and Brazil in comparison to the consumption habits of North Americans and Europeans. Larger enterprises have struggled to grow in eCommerce in the face of huge online retailers, like Amazon. Wal-Mart hopes to increase the growth of their eCommerce operations, with recent acquisitions and tech initiatives, the company is starting to recognize the need to break from convention to see success online. Online menswear retailer Frank and Oak, will be opening a flagship store in Toronto’s Queen West shopping district, with more stores across the country to follow. For all the details from this week’s eCommerce news-makers, read-on:
The Chinese eCommerce giant continues to dominate the industry, with their Q3 stats reporting 49% growth in sales. This report is the first following Alibaba’s record breaking IPO last month. In the quarter that ended in September Alibaba noted a 52% increase year over year in the number of consumers shopping its marketplaces. Sales within the online marketplace exceeded $90 billion in Q3, this staggering number is more than the total sales on Amazon and eBay combined worldwide. The eCommerce leader reported a net income of $494 million with a revenue increase of 53.7% to $2.74 billion. The main stream of Alibaba’s revenue comes from two marketplaces in China, Taobao and Tmall. Alibaba’s stockmarket value is more than $263 billion, massive in comparison to Amazon’s $140 billion and $65.4 billion for eBay. Analysts note that Alibaba will continue to grow at a quick pace for the foreseeable future.
Frank and Oak, popular menswear online retailer based out of Montreal will be opening bricks and mortar locations across Canada according to sources. With a flagship in Toronto, opening in the hip shopping district on Queen Street West in November, Frank and Oak will carry monthly lines in store with periodic special collections. In addition to clothing, the Toronto locations will have an in-house cafe (Sumptown Coffee Roasters) and a full service barbershop. Frank and Oak opened their first physical location in Montreal, with a store called Atelier, with similar features to the Toronto store. A $15 million boost from invested brought the expansion to fruition, bringing their unique shopping experience based on value for quality to a store near you. About 70% of business comes from the United States, so it could be possible Frank and Oak will be expanding into the U.S. market in the not so distant future.
Three years after being co-founded by Darrell Caven Zulily receives a $1 billion valuation. Now with 600 employees Caven says that he tries to not let mediocrity set in, and with this valuation Zulily’s leaders are excited to keep growing with the “go-big” mentality in mind. A valuation that large brings validation to the eCommerce retailer, instilling a confidence with that they’ve built and the direction they’re headed in. It’s like Black Friday everyday for Zulily with over $10 million people on their mailing list, the retailer recognizes the importance of utilizing technology to grow their business everyday and outpace traditional retailers. Zulily wants to stay obsessively focused on customer experience, paying close attention to the feedback they receive to ensure sustainability in their sphere.
Digital agency Razorfish surveyed Internet users on their relationships with brands and found some surprising trends. Most would expect data to predictable show that there’s a generational gap and a growing fondness for eCommerce, but instead Razorfish discovered distinct eCommerce usages and styles in Brazil and China. Both of these markets have a growing middle-class with a huge interest in using new technology and consuming at a rapid pace! There’s a certain novelty factor for these markets in using the internet and moblie devices, both Chinese and Brazilian consumers are quick to use coupons from their phones or make purchases from a mobile device, all at rates that we haven’t been seeing in North America or Europe. William Lidstone, CMO at Razorfish, told Fast Company that “80% of the Chinese customers and 74% of Brazilians we surveyed want to do all of their shopping online”. Chinese consumers were also found to be twice as likely to read news websites, stream movies or shows, and read online reviews. Additionally with Chinese consumers there is a smaller generation gap when it comes to tech adoption, when compared to consumers in the U.S. or the U.K. One of the biggest insights to note is that mobile usage is skyrocketing for both online and offline shopping experiences, including the rise and adoption of mobile payment solutions.
Larger enterprises have been feeling the pressure of bringing their successful stores online. eCommerce is a known struggle of some of the biggest retailers. Wal-Mart is reportedly embracing new technology to help build and grow their business and brand online. Wal-Mart is in works with Facebook and Twitter to build an application that will utilize publicly available social media data to help find the perfect gift choice for someone. Users will have to visit facebook.com/shopycat to download a small application onto their computer, and from there the app will review your friends’ data from within Facebook to generate a list of gift choices that would be perfect for that particular friend. The product catalog from which Shopycat will match users’ interests too will also include items from Wal-Mart sites including Barnes and Noble, RedEnvelope, ThinkGeek, and Hot Topic. In addition to this Wal-Mart purchased Kosmix and its tech analytic platform called the Social Genome, which organizes and predicts trends using huge data silos from status765 updates, tweets, blog, and more. This analytics team became Wal-Mart Labs, now part of Wal-Mart’s eCommerce operations. Will Wal-Mart’s tech initiatives and the strengthening of their eCommerce business finally allow them to compete against giants like Amazon who currently rule the space?