Here’s what you should know.

1. Omise launches Alipay ewallet payments

Online payment platform Omise announced its support for Alipay, China’s largest payment processor. This is another step closer towards creating a borderless online payments market for Asia as well as bridging the gap between Chinese consumers and businesses in Thailand.

With 9.8 million Chinese citizens expected to visit Thailand in 2017 (Tourism Authority Thailand) and accounting for up to 30% of the THB 2.6 trillion spent by foreign tourists, the potential for online merchants in Thailand to capture some of this revenue is huge.

“With Alipay payment acceptance, Omise merchants in Thailand can now increase the opportunity to take more sales from visiting Chinese citizens maximising sales revenue from this growing market,” said Jun Hasegawa, founder of Omise.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Berrybenka launched its offline store in Jakarta

It’s the company’s second permanent store so far – there’s another one in a different mall, in addition to a handful of temporary pop-up stores.

Besides raising brand awareness, the offline shops have proven to help boost Berrybenka’s sales
These stores serve multiple purposes. You can buy Berrybenka clothes on display. But you can also have your online orders delivered there and pay for them in cash.
Read the rest of the story here.


3. Recommended Reading: Clothes may help Amazon kill department stores

Amazon has major plans to increase its apparel sales. The company is preparing for a massive hiring push in the space and has a number of new private-label brands. Perhaps most importantly, it also has a new Alexa-enabled tool designed to help customers look their best.

“Amazon will use private label selectively, which should both enhance the offering and induce traditional apparel vendors to sell to Amazon,” KeyBanc Capital analyst Ed Yruma wrote in a research note, continuing:

While apparel is one of Amazon’s fastest-growing categories, more work must be done for the business to scale. We expect the challenges the company has faced in courting the fashion community to remain, but we think Amazon will continue to evolve its strategy.

Amazon can beat most retailers on price, and if it can establish its private brands as hip — or at least as hip as what gets sold in department stores — it can eliminate the need for people to go to a department store.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you need to know this Friday morning.

1. Berrybenka will use its new funds to launch offline stores

This year, the website plans to open 20 offline pop-up stores, along with permanent offline stores in Indonesia, following its ‘eight figure’ funding round.

Why offline stores? BerryBenka wants to introduce new services, such as ordering online but picking up in-store. Customers can try on the clothes at the store, and only pay for those they like.

What else? The website also plans to launch a chatbot this year called Stella. It will be able to handle customer complaints and inquiries on the platform.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Alipay is acquiring MoneyGram in its boldest move into the US

What? Alipay is buying MoneyGram for $880 million, its boldest move yet in a series of partnerships and investments that signal an international ambition.

What executives are saying: “The acquisition of MoneyGram is a significant milestone in our mission to bring inclusive financial services to users around the world,” Ant Financial CEO Eric Jing.

What is MoneyGram?: A direct competitor with Western Union and a Walmart transfer partner. Having MoneyGram under its umbrella would give Ant and its affiliates a foothold to serve non-Chinese consumers.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Listen up marketers: MailChimp launches support for Facebook campaigns

MailChimp has been offering its users an easy way to manage and run their email marketing campaigns. Now, for the first time in its long history, the company is going beyond email marketing

What is it doing? It has launched a new tool that will allow users to create Facebook ad campaigns from the existing MailChimp dashboard.

Why? 16% of its more than 15 million users are ecommerce companies, a number that has increased 46% over the last year. Most customers are probably using MailChimp and Facebook ads, so this will be an effective synergy.

Facebook’s new dynamic ad for retail highlights available inventory at nearby stores, and can be targeted to consumers who are most likely to visit, reports Marketing Land.

Facebook has been trying to help boost retailers’ online sales for a few years, but with brick-and-mortar stores still being the present, and in-store sales accounting for 92.5% of total US retail sales in Q2 2016, Facebook has been putting a lot of emphasis towards how it can aid the in-store front, converting people from phones to the checkout counter.

“For us solving for this mobile-to-store challenge is one of the biggest and most important opportunities for us to be spending mind share on,” said Facebook director of monetization product marketing, Maz Sharafi.

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.

Abercrombie & Fitch, Target, Macy’s and Williams-Sonoma are among the first brands that tested the new ad format. Facebook is calling the ads “dynamic ads for retail”.

How do Facebook dynamic ads for retail work?

Retailers can use the real-world version of the product to showcase, within a slideshow-like product carousel, what’s available in their nearby stores, as well as the distance to the nearest store and store-specific prices, which can change from one location to another.

To ensure product availability is accurate, Facebook is requiring participating retailers to update their store-specific inventory catalogs at least once every 24 hours.

The new ad-targeting option is the latest addition to Facebook’s push away from brands aiming their ads at specific audience profiles and towards satisfying businesses. Instead of a retailer telling Facebook the types of people it thinks should see its ads, Facebook will do the decision making and the execution.

Facebook’s store visit targeting ads will become available in the next month, but not to all retail brands. Retailers with stores in dense urban areas and multi-level malls will not be able to use the function, as Facebook would have a hard time tracking whether people in those areas are visiting a specific store, or just walking around in the area.

A version of this appeared in Marketing Land on September 20. Read the rest of the version here