This Week in eCommerce:
October 27 – 31

Well-known merchants including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Rite Aid, CVS, and K-Mart are trying to shut out Apple Pay, the new mobile payment solution by Apple. In an announcement earlier this week, these retailers have plans to spark some competition by launching their own mobile payment solution to get in on the fun…and profits. The Holiday shopping season is here, Small/Medium Business Owners are reportedly prepared to handle the rush with the right strategies in order to convert effectively through eCommerce. Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (known for the influential essay “Why Software is Eating the World.”) have a presentation that will open your eyes to new trends in technology and mobile commerce that might blow your mind. Times are a-changing, and quickly! Our friends at eCommerce platform solutions provider Shopify have announced a new Responsive Checkout, see below for more information and for a live preview link. British eCommerce retailer Asos reportedly saw an increase in growth but a decrease in earnings after a fiscal 2014 that came with a few setbacks. Indonesian online marketplace Tokopedia received a huge investment this week from American Investment Firm Sequoia Capital and Japanese telco SoftBank. For all this week’s eCommerce news read-on below!

Merchants Rebel Against Apple Pay

Article: Retailers are disabling NFC readers to shut out Apple Pay

Source: The Verge

It seems like Apple Pay is all the tech, and retail world, is talking about right now. Retailers including Wal-Mart and Best Buy have confirmed that they will not be allowing the use of Apple Pay within their stores. The appeal of Apple’s new payment system is not only intriguing to technology-obsessed consumers, but merchants have noted the allure of Pay’s methodology and want to cash-in by developing their own mobile payment systems. The fight over payment solutions and the rise of mobile technology within retail is also creating a rift between merchants and banks. Banks and credit card companies enthusiastically support Apple Pay, as its usage is financially beneficial for them. Now these retailers have banded together to leverage mobile payment systems for themselves with CurrentC, cutting out the middleman and upsetting banks. It is now being reported that CurrentC is experiences security breaches, with testers email addresses stolen

Small & Medium Sized Business Owners Prepare for the Holidays

Article: SMBs Spruce Up Online Efforts for Holiday Present Purchases

Source: eMarketer

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us! Statistics are showing that business owners (both small and medium in size) are optimistic about their efforts to prepare for the Holiday season by improving their digital initiatives. A study from September of this year by Volusion found that 76.4% of US small-business owners believe they will top last year’s Holiday sales. SBOs are improving their businesses by streamlining their check out processes and offering shipping discounts while SMBs are retargeting with increased personalization to push customers to convert. Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge days for Holiday sales, SMBs have indicated they’ll be leaving the madness to the bigger retailers; confident that their approaches will convert.

Technology is Outgrowing the Tech Industry

Article: Mobile Is Eating the World

Source: Andreessen Horowitz

The future is now and in case you haven’t noticed, Mobile is taking over. VC firm Andreessen Horowitz’s Benedict Evans reports in the following presentation just how technology has changed over the years, where it’s headed, how this is completely changing industries and the way we function as society. See below for the compelling evidence Evans brings to us highlighting the past and future trends of technology and what this might mean for eCommerce.

Mobile Is Eating the World from a16z

Shopify gets Responsive with its Checkout

Article: Introducing Responsive Checkout

Source: Shopify

As a leading eCommerce platform provider, Shopify understands the importance of innovation. The Shopify team announced this week that they’ve rolled out a responsive checkout, a new checkout experience for online stores and eCommerce customers. The development of Responsive Checkout came about through mobile-first thinking, as consumers and eCommerce as an industry moves to more mobile-centric practices. You can view a live preview of Shopify’s Responsive Checkout here. Existing Shopify customers will have the option to preview and active the new checkout, while stores not on a trial and new development store will have it available to them.

eCommerce Company Asos Experiences Ups and Downs in 2014

Article: ASOS grows online sales by 27% in fiscal 2014

Source:Internet Retailer

British based eCommerce retailing giant Asos saw growth in 2014 with a 27% increase in online sales, however earnings declined. Unfortunately a fire this past summer in a warehouse shut down sales for two days, in addition launching new business in China, and the weakened British Pound, Asos did not have the easiest 2014 – reducing profits 14%. Asos knows though that one of the most important metrics businesses should be tracking is customer engagement. Interactions for Asos in 2014 hit 8.8 million, a 25% increase compared to the previous year. Fiscal 2014 for Asos ended August 31st, during this time the company reports they invested 15.1 million pounds ($24.4 million) in technology, which included Australian and U.S. Android and iOS mobile commerce apps with plans to launch localized apps for more countries in the next six months. New checkout and order processing eCommerce functions were also announced during 2014 for Asos, recognizing the need to be constantly evolving and streamlining their business for the better to see more growth in the years to come.

Indonesia Gets an eCommerce Boost

Article: Investment In Tokopedia May Be the Boost Indonesian Ecommerce Needs
Source: Wall Street Journal

Popular Indonesian online marketplace Tokopedia received an $100 million investment in eCommerce news this week. U.S. based investment firm Sequoia Capital and Japanese telco SoftBank committed funding to Tokopedia earlier this month, as Indonesia’s 250 million people are entering the middle class and have more disposable income available. Published reports are saying that Indonesians are going to spend up to $25 billion in 2016. Since starting in 2009 Tokopedia is the go-to online marketplace for merchants to sell their products. Tokopedia’s main investor SoftBank has a close relationship with eCommerce giant and world’s most valued marketplace, Alibaba. This relationship will prove to be invaluable to the success of Tokopedia, who plan to keep the core of their business fee-free, similar to the approach of Alibaba. Tokopedia’s rise to international fame in the online world could trigger more bricks and mortar retailers in that region to see eCommerce as a lucrative option. Tokopedia Co-Founder and CEO William Tanuwijaya believes he’ll be seeing investments worth more then $100 million in the next couple of years.