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Here’s what you should know today.

1. Singapore’s HungryGoWhere launches POS system

Singapore foodie portal HungryGoWhere today launched a point-of-sale (POS) system that will enable merchants to lean on its reservations and takeaway platforms, as well as its extensive customer base.

The SmartPOS offers restaurateurs a suite of tools to manage table reservations, incoming takeaway orders, and payments sent through the company’s online portals.

Merchants will likely consider the POS system’s biggest asset to be the access it grants to HungryGoWhere’s 1.3 million-plus unique monthly visitors. This opens up opportunities for proprietors to target their loyalty schemes more precisely and to upsell certain dishes to specific customers.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Jet freshens grocery offerings with Story pop-up shop

Story, a New York City concept store that positions itself as a “magazine-like” curator, has partnered with Wal-Mart’s Jet.com for a grocery effort called “Fresh Story.”

t’s a curious move for Jet, though, considering the e-commerce upstart’s appeal as a money-saving juggernaut, with a “secret sauce” algorithm that helps shoppers save via a variety of fulfillment choices.

The tie-up between Story and Jet, temporary though it is, comes as Amazon — the retailer that Jet was first positioned to disrupt — continues to work on its decade-long fresh grocery effort. Jet, meanwhile, has been selling fresh groceries online since last year in select cities.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Recommended Reading: Alibaba’s next online stop: the whole world

Alibaba has also become famous in Europe for its Singles Day shopping extravaganza on Nov 11, which created a buzz on online social media. The shopping fest has made Alibaba the world’s top ecommerce marketplace by transaction value.

Alibaba is expanding overseas aggressively using AliExpress, in the process taking on global rivals such as Amazon and eBay.

AliExpress is gaining traction among users in Europe by reshaping their shopping behavior and building a personal rapport, said Zuniga Perez Pell, an employee at AliExpress’ Spanish operations.

 “Weddings are perhaps the most important occasion for women. In the past, Spanish women never bought wedding dresses online. But now, taking a look at AliExpress before buying is becoming a ritual,” said Zuniga Perez Pell, an employee at AliExpress in Spain.

A wide array of goods, partnerships with several key Russian payment providers, and a strong social media presence have helped make AliExpress the top player, said Shen Difan, general manager in Russia.

Read the rest of the story here.

AXA, the global insurance company, Alibaba, and its Ant Financial Services unit are teaming up to distribute AXA’s insurance products and services via Alibaba’s online platforms, reports Pymnts.

The two companies will also work together to develop additional products and services that mutually support each other’s businesses.

In the first phase of the alliance, AXA will create insurance products for AliExpress, a retail marketplace, including extended warranties for repairs and online payment protection.

On Alibaba’s wholesale marketplaces, including Alibaba.com and 1688.com, AXA will offer small and medium-sized businesses that are trading on the two platforms insurance products via Ant Financial Services.

AXA will provide travel insurance for Chinese travelers going outside of the country – according to the insurance company, services and products will be tailored to meet the needs of the local consumer.

“This proposed collaboration with Alibaba could provide us with a unique global and direct distribution channel, and we are looking forward to serving Alibaba’s customers and to developing bespoke and innovative insurance products and services for them,” says Thomas Buberl, deputy CEO of AXA. It also aligns with AXA’s plans to accelerate development in China.

The benefits of the deal are obvious for AXA, getting access to a slew of potentially new customers. For Alibaba, it opens the opportunity to build trust with consumers and hopefully lure those who may be wary they will end up buying fake goods. Alibaba is pushing anti-counterfeit products initiatives in the light of the company’s backlash regarding fake goods on its site.

As cross-border ecommerce grows rapidly, it is critical that we evolve our services and offerings to the businesses and consumers that conduct trade on our platforms. – Michael Evans, President of Alibaba Group.

A version of this appeared in Pymnts on August 1. Read the full version here.

A new study from Payoneer shows which marketplaces Chinese e-retailers sell on—and what strategies they’re employing on those platforms to expand internationally. Online marketplaces are gateways for Chinese retailers and brands to reach international customers.

According to Payoneer Inc., 62% of e-retailers in China sell goods on marketplaces operated by Amazon.com Inc., the most popular among other international shopping portals, such as eBay Inc. and Etsy Inc.

Of the 62% of respondents selling on Amazon, 91% sell on Amazon.com in the United States. Among the Chinese merchants who don’t currently sell through Amazon, many plan to join. 26% say they want to sell on Amazon.com, the site for US consumers; 23% wish to join Amazon’s European sites and 12% want to sell through Amazon.co.uk, Amazon’s UK site.

Sellers who until a few years ago could barely reach buyers across their own country, can now utilize marketplaces to reach buyers across continents.

Why do Chinese sellers prefer Amazon?

Sellers also cite high traffic volume, local customer support and access to multiple markets for choosing Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide.

Selling on marketplaces comes with its challenges, too, the biggest being stiff competition. Nearly half (45%) of respondents cited increasing numbers of Chinese sellers as the biggest challenge to selling on online marketplaces. Other common challenges marketplace sellers in China face: high fees and low marginal revenue (27%), following strict rules (16%), tax and trading policies of different countries (11%) and unstable payment methods (2%).

A version of this appeared in Internet Retailer on August 1. Read the full story here