This week in eCommerce, taxi service Lyft gets the lift it needs to compete against Uber in the form of $530 million raised via Series E funding, bringing the company’s valuation to over $2 billion. Amazon is launching a new venture with its “Amazon Exclusives” online store offering innovate products to consumers from smaller companies, including products that have been featured popular television show “Shark Tank”. Which big-box retailer does eCommerce better? Cowen & Co. analysts have pitted the two corporations against each other to find out, and the results may be surprising! Amazon is developing an App for the highly-anticipated Apple Watch. The application will be similar to the Amazon App for Apple Wear and will allow for 1-Click shopping from the retailer. For all the details from this week’s eCommerce newsmakers read-on below!
Lyft, a taxi service app, now has a valuation of $2 billion thanks to a series of funding led by Japanese eCommerce Rakuten. Lyft raised $530 million in Series E funding in order to stay competitive in the U.S. market against Uber. Lyft will be expanding into new cities and investing in their car-pooling service, Lyft Line. Although Uber has been focusing its efforts on expanding international operations in Europe and Asia, Lyft appears to be holding off from going international. Loads of money is being pumped into the taxi service sector, and although $530 million is a large amount of money, in comparison to the money being raised now it does not seem like that large of an amount. Lyft is looking to differentiate themselves, undergoing a recent rebranding come across as more playful, but successful method of transportation.
Amazon’s latest venture brings exclusive products to online shoppers. The new online store, “Amazon Exclusives“, will offer products that can only be found on the online retailer including some of those seen on the televisions show “Shark Tank”, and will be a great platform for smaller businesses to get they’re innovate products online. It is believed that Amazon is following in the footsteps of The Grommet, an eCommerce site that sells products by artisans, and who have just recently launched a a wholesale site.
Only recently have both Target and Wal-Mart gotten serious with their eCommerce game. Due to their tardiness, both companies lost market share to Amazon. Both retailers do about 3% of sales online, compared to 6% of overall retail transactions nationwide. Now recognizing the need to amp-up their eCommerce operations both are investing significant amount of money in their online strategies. Target alone hopes that its online sales will increase 40% this year. Wal-Mart is ahead of Target in terms of its grocery services, but Target is holding out on the Food and Beverage eCommerce game until it improves its food offerings. Cowen analysts report that, “Target’s more nimble size allows agility to drive sustainably higher online growth”. In other findings it’s reported that for retailers that successful digital execution can be a boon (and we agree!). Target may have a better handle on eCommerce, but Wal-Mart’s $12 billion in online sales isn’t too paltry! For all the details from Cowen & Co’s report on Target Vs. Wal-Mart, click here.
It’s no surprise that eCommerce giant Amazon would have an Apple Watch version of its mobile app in development. With the announcement of the highly-anticipated wearable technology this week, retailers are gearing up to make the most of this new shopping channel. The Amazon shopping app will operate in a similar way to its current Amazon App for Apple Wear. This means consumers will have the ability to use Amazon’s very dangerous 1-Click ordering. Amazon has not yet confirmed the App officially, but only hinted that it is indeed in the works.