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Before you dive into the Halloween candy craze, check out the headlines you should know for today.

 

1. Amazon says India investments showing results, but drain on global margins

Amazon’s finance chief also indicated that the company would continue to add resources to India. Over the past two months, Amazon has outsold Flipkart in terms of monthly sales, but Flipkart continues to be ahead of Amazon.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Rumor mill: Lazada in talks to buy Southeast Asia grocery delivery startup Redmart?

Lazada, under Alibaba’s stewardship, is in advanced talks with Redmart, a Singapore-based grocery delivery service, to buy the company. Redmart is said to prefer an investment, but one source told us that an acquisition priced between $30-40 million could be agreed and announced as soon as this week.

Read the rest of the story here

 

3. The realistic future of AI for ecommerce

The days of negative revenue and buying market share in Southeast Asia are quickly coming to an end, and sustainable e-commerce is going to require a focus on user experience.

Read the rest of the story here

 

4. Amazon takes aim at Alibaba by bringing Prime to China

Amazon has launched a tailored version of its Prime service in China to tap consumer demand for overseas goods, putting the U.S. online retail firm in closer competition with local rivals Alibaba and JD.com.

Read the rest of the story here

 

Catch up on the latest ecommerce headlines here.

1. ‘World’s largest fintech hub’ to launch in Singapore in November

 Lattice80 will help fintech startups prototype, develop, and expand their business models overseas, support traditional companies in adopting innovation, and form tie-ups with the government for new fintech infrastructure. Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Revenue-funded Hangrr aims to disrupt high-end suit tailoring business

Singapore figures prominently in Hangrr’s plans, and this is the beginning of an expansion that will continue through the year. “Having doorstep services in the country will allow us to communicate our brand value to a broader set of people, customers can call our measurement experts and can get measured at their convenience. Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. New roadmap issued for Singapore retail

Retailers can look to expand their markets locally and internationally through e-channels, which encourages retailers to adopt an omni-channel strategy to better reach out and support targeted end-to-end consumer needs across both online and offline channels. Read the rest of the story here.

 

4. Amazon makes non-Prime customers work harder to find the lowest price

An investigation by the nonprofit news organization ProPublica, published Tuesday, found that Amazon’s price comparison pages favored goods that were either sold by Amazon or through Amazon’s program for sellers who pay the company to warehouse and ship their products. Read the rest of the story here.

 

5. New Facebook dynamic retail ad shows in-store product availability, aims to push more sales

To help offline stores push more sales, and gain more ad budget, Facebook is introducing a new ad format that highlights available products at nearby stores, and targeting users who are most likely to go inside those stores. Read the rest of the story here.

Amazon has launched its prime membership program in India, reports Tech in Asia.

This is considered a well calculated move following a series of steps to solve the delivery conundrum in what is a very disorganized market. There is a 60 day trial period for Amazon Prime, twice of the one month trial period offered in other countries. The introductory annual subscription fee is set at $7.40.

Membership benefits include fast and free delivery in 100 cities, and early access to deals. Amazon has also announced Prime Video, giving members access to movies and TV shows, will be coming soon to India.

Amazon Prime’s delivery holds the key to winning the ecommerce battle against local rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal.

Amazon Prime’s guaranteed one day delivery will become an every day experience instead of an occasional indulgence, and with no minimum purchases. Prime will provide unlimited convenience.

For sellers, Fulfillment by Amazon is now an even more powerful opportunity to rapidly grow their business.

Steps taken to preparing for Prime

It invested heavily in warehouses across India as Amazon recognizes the difficulties of a centralized system which it uses in other countries. The localization of warehouses has not only helped in reducing the cost and time for deliveries, it has also encouraged sellers to use the ‘Fulfillment by Amazon” option. There’s even a facility for picking up goods from the vendor.

Amazon Prime came in once the infrastructure could provide support.

When Amazon came to India three years ago, it had to restrict itself to a marketplace model, rather than an inventory-based ecommerce. The reason for this is because India has restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI) in B2C ecommerce. By acting as a marketplace, Amazon ostensibly just connects third party sellers with buyers, with fulfillment services as an additional offering.

The government’s FDI restrictions were meant to protect the millions of small shopkeepers in India. However, Amazon is partnering with the local shops to ease its delivery hassles. This is especially a game-changer in tier-2 and tier-3 towns and rural India.

Amazon Prime’s entry into India shares a similar timeline with local competitor Flipkart’s acquisition of Rocket Internet’s Jabong.

A version of this appeared in Tech In Asia on July 27. Read the full version here.