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 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.

Here’s what you should today.

1. Walmart makes an acquisition-buys outdoor retailer Moosejaw for $51m

Walmart announced that it has acquired a leading outdoor retailer Moosejaw for approximately $51 million in an all-cash deal. Headquartered in Michigan, the retailer has both a large online presence as well as 10 physical stores across Michigan and the midwest U.S.

Walmart’s interest in the retailer has a lot to do with the category it operates in and the industry relationships it brings to the table. The Moosejaw deal will give Walmart another entry point into apparel, a popular online retail category, as the retailer offers over 120,000 SKUs from more than 400 apparel brands, including Patagonia and The North Face.

85% of Moosejaw’s business is online.

This news comes right after Warren Buffett declares he has sold $900 million of his Walmart shares, signifying an entry into a different kind of retail era.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. StockX raises $6M to grow its marketplace for limited-edition products

StockX, a marketplace for sneakers, has announced that they’ve closed a $6M round from a group of high-profile investors like Mark Wahlberg.

How does it work? The startup calls itself a “stock market of things”, meaning that it uses a “bid/ask” market to connect buyers and sellers – just like an actual stock market does. For example, a buyer would place a bid for $650 for a pair of shoes, and a seller may be asking $680 for the same pair that they currently own. And when the bid/ask spread eventually meets, a transaction happens.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. China’s Tencent rumored to be eyeing Indonesia’s Go-Jek

Chinese Internet company Tencent Holdings is in talks about a possible investment in Go-Jek, Indonesia’s biggest mobile ride-hailing and delivery service.

Why would Tencent be interested?  Go Pay could offer Tencent a way to expand its payments network beyond China, similar to how Ant Financial has backed Indian payment company Paytm. High frequency services such as ride-hailing have proven to be a driver for use of mobile wallets. In China, Tencent grew its mobile payment system by teaming up with Didi.

Read the rest of the story here.

It’s been a struggle for Amazon competitors, reports Tech Crunch. Canada’s has declared bankruptcy and launches a fire sale and, with it’s pre-hype launch, is reportedly in talks with Wal-Mart regarding its acquisition.

A Wal-Mart exit isn’t the upstart victory against an industry giant, but it is more like the two survivors of a nuclear apocalypse meeting on the wasteland and pooling resources to get a few more days of survival.

Wal-Mart is lagging behind Amazon with line sales, and despite gains in the cross-over business like online purchase of groceries with retail pickup, that’s not enough to go against Amazon in terms of overall online footprint.

Amazon owning a massive 38% share of the consumer ecommerce market in the US – a lead that’s only growing.

However, there is some degree of hope among alternative models, provided that these models integrate Amazon’s dominance. For example, Shopify reported earnings and impressed investors with 93% revenue growth vs the year-ago quarter. A key factor in this success is the fact that Shopify’s first integrated marketplace channel, Amazon, is in advanced beta testing and headed for a full launch at the end of this year.

The retail trend unfolding within the next few years will be going on Amazon to buy mainstream and go boutique for everything else.

This will only be the case if small and medium sized players can continue to co-exist with, rather than be consumed by Amazon. As long as Shopfy’s earnings are a decent reflection of the health of the more modestly-sized end of the consumer ecommerce market.

A version of this appeared in Tech Crunch on August 3. Read the full version here.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is in talks to buy online discount retailer Inc, reports Wall Street Journal. 

A deal could give Wal-Mart’s ecommerce efforts a much-needed jolt as the world’s largest retailer seeks to grow beyond its brick-and-mortar storefronts with speedy home delivery from a network of massive suburban warehouses.

Although Wal-Mart has not announced how much it would pay for the startup, it is speculated that Jet could be valued at $3 billion. This would make it Wal-Mart’s biggest acquisition since buying South African retailer, Massmart Holdings for $2.3 billion in 2o1o.

This is a sign that Wal-Mart is willing to spend big to compete with Amazon and save itself from “traditional retailer death” plaguing legacy businesses.

However, industry analysts are questioning the slightly odd decision.

“I’m struggling with the math of why you would pay this much money for this business model at this particular time,” says Bryan Gidenberg, an analyst at Kantar Retail.

Jet is barely a year old and was set on going up against Amazon itself. A part of its early growth strategy relied on taking orders for products it didn’t sell and placing orders on behalf of its customers on other sites, often selling the items below what it paid while absorbing steep shipping costs. Jet has since abandoned the practice.

Wal-Mart has scrambled to keep pace with Amazon, which overtook Wal-Mart by market capitalization a year ago and now sports a market value that is 50% larger.

Wal-Mart’s ecommerce sales reached nearly $14 billion, or 3% of its $482 billion in annual revenue last year. Amazon’s revenue was $107 billion last year, including its Web-services business.

Wal-Mart Chief Executive Doug McMillon acknowledged his company’s ecommerce growth “is too slow” and that the company needed to expand the number of products sold on its site and give third parties more access to its website.
For Jet, a takeover by Wal-Mart would demonstrate the challenges of attempting to go it alone in the hypercompetitive ecommerce market. Jet has yet to prove that its unique pricing and supply chain model is sustainable.A version of this appeared in The Wall Street Journal on August 3. Read the full version here