- “JD.com, one of the biggest eCommerce retailers in China, has teamed up with Google to launch a store on Google Express, according to a report by Reuters.
- The site is called Joybuy and currently offers everything from shoes to electronics to hair extensions. A majority of the products are under $100 and from brands with less exposure.”
Additionally, Alibaba’s high-tech food/grocery retail store concept, known as Hema, is expanding quickly. Exhibit 1. These outlets serve as walk-in restaurants, food and grocery purchase points, and warehouses for online delivery (within 30 minutes in a three-kilometer radius) – all at the same time. There are now 64 Hema stores in operation, with two being added each week. Already, Hema stores in operation for over 18 months are reporting revenues of RMB50k per square meter, up to five times what traditional offline stores can generate. Sixty percent of Hema’s sales are through the online delivery channel, making the stores far more productive, for far more hours of the day, than pure offline stores.1
One of the best aspects of transitioning to a new calendar is the year-in-review pieces written by popular technology blogs and publications. This morning I discovered a post written by Ana Păstrăvanu of thepaypers.com.
Here are just a few of the key take-always. Check out the post for full details.
- In Pakistan ecommerce was expected to surpass USD 1 billion in 2018, propelled by the increase in broadband penetration and the rise in the number of online payment merchants.
- In India, ecommerce sales reached USD 32.70 billion (an increase of 31% compared to 2017), with growth being driven by Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall.
- In January, Amazon opened Amazon Go, an automated and checkout-free grocery store in Seattle.
- Walmart’s take on cashier-less checkout, Scan&Go, started being tested in stores in the US.
- A study released by Juniper Research found that global retailers’ spending on AI would reach USD 7.3 billion per annum by 2022.
- Flipkart acquired Liv.ai, an India-based AI-led speech recognition software startup, while Walmart partnered with Microsoft for a wider use of cloud and AI technology.
- In August, Visa has created a new category of payment aggregator, the marketplace, and updated the requirements that have to be met in order to qualify as a marketplace under Visa’s rules.
- 2018 marked the world’s biggest purchase of an ecommerce company, the acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart, in May, for USD 16 billion.
- Another important announcement regarded Adobe’s intention of acquiring Magento Commerce from private equity company Permira for USD 1.68 billion.
- Another important investment in 2018 is marked by Alibaba, which increased its control of Lazada, investing USD 2 billion into the business.
PHOTO: ELENA KOYCHEVA
“The technology itself is used primarily to enhance efficiency, though leading CX firms use AI “to bring a deeper level of customer understanding, driving customization and a personalized journey.” Nine-in-10 survey respondents said since incorporating AI, they had seen measurable improvement in the speed of complaint resolution. Eight-in-10 said AI had enhanced the number of calls they were able to process.
While it’s still early days yet with AI, success stories have started to emerge.
Rakuten, a Japanese ecommerce firm, has been able to move three quarters of inbound calls to chatbots, greatly increasing the volume of calls the company can handle.
Canadian mobile telecom carrier Telus was able to offload 40 percent of calls to chatbots, improving service levels and cutting customer wait times from an hour to 2.5 minutes, improving operational efficiency as well as CX. Customer service representative satisfaction also improved.
Alibaba, the Chinese version of Amazon, used AI-powered chatbots on the company’s Tabao site to handle more than 93 percent of customer queries in 2017, which company officials say would have required 83,000 human agents working around the clock. Alibaba now offers these chatbots as a standalone service.”
Within the first hour of the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, total gross merchandise volume had exceeded 67 billion yuan — nearly $10 billion.
“The global retail market is adjusting to China’s rising economic power, and Chinese customers’ desire for AI-enhanced mobile shopping experiences. Singles Day’s spread across the world suggests a new chapter of computer-enhanced shopping experiences is beginning.
Alibaba, the giant Chinese e-retailer that promoted the day as an opportunity – or excuse – for single people to treat themselves with new purchases, has seen its revenues on Nov. 11 grow from US$100 million in 2009 to 250 times that in 2017, $25 billion. And that was only two-thirds of total online sales that day.
Singles Day dwarfs the three other largest online retail mega-events. In 2017, Thanksgiving weekend online sales – including Black Friday and Cyber Monday– totaled $7.3 billion. The third, Amazon’s Prime Day, in 2017 took in $100 million an hour – but Alibaba raked in 10 times that amount on Singles Day that year.”
“Trademarked by Alibaba in 2009, Single’s Day – 11th November – has grown into the world’s largest online shopping event. With record sales year-on-year, particularly in Southeast Asia, the seasonality of the day reportedly resulted in a 191% spike in sales for Lazada, an eCommerce platform owned by Alibaba.
“Data-driven personalization drove additional product discovery,” said Mense. “Alibaba’s AI-powered customer service robot handled 95% of customer service inquiries.”
IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES
“Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), which owns Russia’s top search engine, recently launched an online marketplace called Beru, which it claims could become one of the country’s top three e-commerce platforms for local goods by the end of 2020.
AliExpress now controls 69% of Russia’s e-commerce market according to Ecommerce News Europe. Alibaba also launched a dedicated version of Tmall for Russian shoppers last year, and recently inked a $2 billion Kremlin-backed e-commerce venture with billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
To counter Google and lock in its users, Yandex aggressively expanded its ecosystem of services — which include cloud and email services, a virtual assistant called Alice, an AI-powered recommendations platform, streaming videos on its homepage, rides and food deliveries from Yandex.Taxi”
“Alibaba has introduced an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that it says can produce up to 20,000 lines of content a second, helping merchants on its retail sites generate product information without humans.
According to Alibaba, merchants and marketers on its e-commerce sites including Taobao, Tmall, Mei.com, and 1699.com have used the copywriting tool, on average, almost a million times a day.”
“The expo’s main attraction in terms of AI tech is the “Cloud Shelf”, which provides retailers with the capabilities to stock virtual products on their shelves that are available to order online, creating a truly omnichannel shopping experience.”