A New York investment firm, who have already provided the biggest round of funding to an Indian start-up ever, are spending how much more in India’s rapidly expanding Internet market?! Costco can now sell to Chinese consumers though eCommerce giant Alibaba’s marketplace, giving Costco the advantage in an emerging market and Alibaba power against fellow online retailer eBay. Wal-Mart shows they’re paying attention to the future of retail, by announcing an investment between $1.2 to $1.5 billion towards their digital initiatives in fiscal 2016, with web sales expect to increase 25% that year. Google is changing it up yet again. The ever-evolving internet giant has dropped the word “Shopping” from their shopping service. Now known as “Google Express”, the company is expanding their same day delivery service to consumers in Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C. CardBlanc has a new eCommerce app, with an intent to facilitate easier check outs for millennial spenders, and an interest in recreating the “digital equivalent of a trip to the mall with friends”. For all the details from this week in eCommerce, read on below.
In yet another industry shake-up, secretive New York investment firm Tiger Global Management has been pouring money into a variety of tech start-ups in India. Known for their highly successful investments into Silicon Valley tech giants like Facebook, Linkedin, and Zynga, Tiger Global has shown distinct interest recently in technology companies from emerging markets. Although they no-longer have offices in India (at one time located in Mumbai), Tiger Global has been actively fuelling wars between India’s hottest tech start-ups. Having invested $1 billion in established giant Flipkart earlier this year, Tiger Global is also investing in newer companies, like online travel portal MakeMyTrip and search engine Just Dial. Recently the Wall Street hot fund invested $60 million into Quikr an online classified website and $65 million into messaging app Hike. It will be interesting to see how these major investments play-out in the most lucrative emerging online market in the world.
U.S. retail giant Costco is the latest retailer to hop onboard Alibaba’s online marketplace. In opening a store on Alibaba’s Tmall.com, Costco’s action solidifies the power of Alibaba as an eCommerce powerhouse, offering swift competition to fellow online retailer eBay. This move provides Costco with its first chance to access Chinese consumers directly. With the number of online shoppers on China expected to rise to 600 million in the next few years, Alibaba dominates the Chinese market with 80 percent of online transactions within the country done through them.
Wal-Mart recognizes the growth of eCommerce, and with its recent announcement that the retailer will invest as much as $1.5 billion in the 2016 fiscal year on it’s digital initiatives, the retail world should take note. While simultaneously investing in eCommerce, Wal-Mart will be slowing the growth of its bricks-and-motar stores, with their added square-footage this year down 32 to 34 million, only creating between 26 to 30 million worldwide. Two new fulfillment centres in Georgia and Pennsylvania will act as Wal-Mart’s “next generation of fulfillment centres” with additional centres being built in Brazil and China in 2016. With eCommerce sales growing faster than Amazon.com in the year 2013, and their recent investment announcements Wal-Mart maintains itself as powerful contender in retail, especially eCommerce.
With a new name, and new locations, Google is taking their same day shopping service to the next level. Google is officially expanding its same day delivery service to consumers in Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. . The company is introducing multi-level pricing to help suit their consumer’s shopping needs. For example, consumers are able to sign up as a member for $95 annually, or $10 a month for unlimited same day/next day deliveries or can just choose to pay $4.99 per delivery. Consumers are able to purchase products from select participating retailers on the Google Express website. Google then retrieves these products from the retailer and a courier delivers the order to the customer. Product categories range from grocery, to health, beauty to baby, to apparel and home! Google is even starting to offer an alcohol delivery in the San Francisco Bay area. Although Google appears to be the only major player in this space, Whole Foods has just recently added a same day delivery service in 14 different cities through Instacart, a delivery service. Watch out Google, there’s more competition coming your way!
CardBlanc is hoping to turn product discovery into real world purchases by getting millennial spenders hooked on their new eCommerce app. CardBlanc is an iOS app, and merely a front-end to a PayPal account. However, as they grow, they are hoping to offer more funding sources such as debit and credit cards. What differentiates CardBlanc, is that it’s goal is to facilitate an easier checkout but combine it with a social experience, something similar to Pinterest or Wanelo. You’re not only able to see what your friends like, but also what they’re actually buying. CardBlanc has already been launched with over 100 retailers like, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, Top Shop, Nike and Victoria’s Secret. The best way to describe the CardBlanc shopping experience? It’s the “digital equivalent of a trip to the mall with friends” where consumers are able to share products they like, get feedback from their peers either by comments or likes, and then share their purchases.