Best Global Green Brands 2014


Alibaba IPO: Open Sesame, Open Brand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 7, 2014 10:24 AM

E-commerce juggernaut Alibaba Group, the largest e-commerce company in China and arguably the largest in the world, filed Monday for a $1 billion IPO that is expected to be the largest tech IPO ever, and make Alibaba the second-biggest internet company in the world after Google.

Dubbed "the hottest thing" in tech right now by former Apple CEO John Sculley, Alibaba is expected to go public with a market cap of around $165 billion, while some analysts think it may top $200 billion.

Now the trick will be to build trust in its brand beyond China—no mean feat for the company whose IPO triggered 1,000 "explainers" today by Western media outlets.Continue reading...


Marks & Spencer Goes Multichannel in E-Commerce Reboot

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 18, 2014 05:58 PM

British retailer Marks & Spencer is stepping out on its own, leaving its Amazon-based e-commerce platform and launching a new e-commerce site to "transform from a traditional British retailer into an international, multichannel retailer."

M&S CEO Marc Bolland has made digital expansion a key goal for the company, and taking control of its online store back from Amazon is the catalyst for the revamped web presence. The British retailer has 14.5 million shoppers that buy from their stores but not online from its website, which is now more narrative-based and magazine-like to create stickiness and keep them coming back.

‘‘We’ve put customers at the heart of our rebuild so that our new site really reflects how they want to browse and shop with us,” Laura Wade-Gery, M&S executive director multichannel ecommerce, told Design Week in the UK. “Online acts as the shop window to all our stores, products and brand, so we’ve used bigger, bolder and better-style imagery, and we aim to inspire and help our customers with a clear style point of view and compelling editorial content that’s refreshed on a daily basis.”Continue reading...


US E-Commerce Sites Prepare for Impact as China's Alibaba Launches "11 Main"

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 11, 2014 05:41 PM

Alibaba is coming to America, launching a new e-commerce site through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Vendio and Auctiva.

Called 11 Main, the potential Amazon killer is a “shopping destination where hand-picked shop owners connect with customers in a stylish and professionally merchandised marketplace.” Featured items include personal tech devices, jewelry and fashion goods.

Alibaba is the largest e-commerce operator in China and transacts through wildly popular Chinese sites Taobao and TMall, but reaching beyond its national borders has been a challenge. Vendio and Auctiva were acquired by Alibaba in 2010 and are established e-tail experts having helped many companies sell their products on Amazon and eBay.

11 Main will ideally go head-to-head with Amazon and eBay's new e-commerce concept, "The Plaza."Continue reading...


Walmart Goes Head to Head with Amazon for E-Commerce Dominance

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 30, 2014 04:54 PM

The world's largest retailer has a few tricks up its sleeve that it hopes will catapult it ahead of arch-rival Amazon in the hotly contested e-commerce space.

In Denver, Co., Walmart To Go, the retailer's on-demand shopping service, allows shoppers to order just about any merchandise they want online, including groceries, and have it delivered to their homes, just like Amazon. But now, Walmart To Go not only includes home delivery of grocery items—it also has a pick-up option. That means Denver consumers can order their groceries online, park in a designated space near their closest store, and pick up their groceries without ever stepping into the store.

Walmart has tested home delivery of groceries in San Francisco and San Jose, Calif. since 2011, while Amazon has been testing "Amazon Fresh," a grocery home delivery service, in select cities with plans for more in 2014.

With in-store pick-up, Walmart is allowing consumers to exercise more options. "It's all about choice," Ravi Jariwala, Director of Public Relations at Walmart, told TechCrunch. "At this point, we're really trying to assess what our customers are gravitating toward, and the good news is that I don't think this is an either/or [situation]."Continue reading...


Taking a Cue from China, eBay Will Reportedly Open Online Brand Mall

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 20, 2014 10:46 AM

eBay is reportedly boosting its e-commerce reputation by going from resale hotspot to direct-to-consumer trusted e-tailer. According to a report from Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter, eBay is planning on opening "The Plaza," an online mall that will allow major brands to sell their goods directly to consumers. 

Schachter said brands can now sell through eBay "'without having to worry about weakening their brand' by placements alongside second-hand goods,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

eBay’s pivot to direct-to-consumer sales dramatically expands its retail hub in an offensive move against Amazon and Chinese e-commerce powerhouses, including Alibaba’s Tmall, which has 70,000 digital storefronts from brands including Apple, Nike and Gap, Alibaba-owned Taobao and Tencent.

While the e-commerce site has yet to confirm the reports, eBay spokesman Ryan Moore told CNET, "EBay partners with brands, designers and retailers—and sellers of all sizes—to help them grow their business. As such, we are always exploring new, innovative ways to help them market directly to eBay's global audience and connect them to the things they need and love.”Continue reading...


With Smartphones in Hand, Consumers Stretch Cyber Monday Sales to New Recond

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 03:53 PM

Cyber Monday sales set a new one-day record for online shopping yesterday with an increase of 20 percent over 2012, while mobile sales increased 55 perent year-over-year and now account for more than 17 percent of total online sales for Cyber Monday.

Walmart, Amazon and eBay were the day's big winners, as quickly sold out of its entire stock of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, with CEO Joel Anderson proclaiming, "There's no way ... that it won't finish as our biggest Cyber Monday ever," according to USA Today. "I think 2013 will be remembered as the year online went mobile." 

Amazon offered half-off Mattel and Fisher-Price products, 46 percent off a Canon digital camera and 65 percent off men and women’s cashmere, while eBay promoted more than 80 percent off diamond stud earrings. 

Most consumers accessed the deals via tablets, while mobile phones were used most for browsing. Tablets accounted for 12 percent of purchases versus 5.5 percent from smartphones.Continue reading...


Supreme Court Ignores Amazon's Appeals in State Sales Tax Fight

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2013 12:42 PM

Amazon may think its on its way to world domination with the announcement of its under-development drone-delivery service and its ability to get the United States Postal Service to actually work on Sundays, but one entity—the Supreme Court—has managed to put the kibosh on one of the company's most important efforts. 

On Cyber Monday, while online shoppers across the globe took advantage of mega deals all over the internet, the Supreme Court was giving Amazon and some bad news about a fight that other online retailers, such as eBay, were watching closely. The Court said it won’t stop New York State from forcing online retailers to charge sales tax to those who buy products in their state. The Court rejected the appeals of the retailers.

Amazon and Overstock had been arguing that since there were no facilities owned by either company in the state of New York, there should be no sales tax paid by those who purchase items from the online retailers while in the borders of the Empire State. According to Bloomberg, “states lose an estimated $23 billion a year in uncollected sales taxes from web retailers.”Continue reading...


Amazon Debuts Drone Delivery Concept

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2013 02:11 PM

Amazon, the granddaddy of big-box e-tail has taken a giant leap forward in the same-day delivery race with the debut of its Prime Air delivery drones. 

Making its debut on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the “octocopter” drones could be operating in four or five years. “It will work, it will happen, and it’s going to be alot of fun,” he said. 

The drones, which have been a special project of the company's R&D lab, will need FAA approval before they can deliver any packages—primarily within a 10-mile radius of distribution centers for packages five pound or less in under 30 minutes.

“Safety will be our top priority, and our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies and designed to commercial aviation standards,” the company noted. Bezos also noted that the environmentally sensitive motors are "very green."Continue reading...

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