A blog on eCommerce, Social Commerce, Comparative Shopping Engines & Business

By Hendrik Laubscher

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7 Thoughts on Direct to Customer ecommerce businesses

In March I was part of a community conversation about what makes a Direct to Customer (DTC) business. Web Smith of  2PM was kind enough to feature this in his newsletter Issue 197 (which is a must read and subscribe).

These businesses go by different names depending on your opinion about the industry. Andy Dunn calls them DNVBs (Digital Native Vertical Brands), M. Paul Munford refers to them as MLC’s (Modern Luxury Companies), I see them as Direct to Customer (DTC) as I believe that is the most important part of their brand power.

  1. How do DNVB’s succeed in an economy that places premiums on horizontal eCommerce (Walmart, Amazon, Target)? They enter new spaces and establish consumer loyalty. The consumer relationship can be just as important as the product itself.
  2. There is no middle of the eCommerce market in any vertical. Either you’re great or you’re gone. Amazon destroys “middle” by using their financial muscle to drive said business into the ground.
  3. So how are the DNVB’s doing as a whole? A lot of the supposed winners are cash hungry, burning platforms of doom. I am not going to name anyone, but ask yourself one question — why are certain brands constantly in publications such as Recode, TechCrunch, or Fortune? Fashion public relations is often a cost-center disguised as a profit-center.
  4. Consumer Packaged Goods startups (Harry’s, Walker and Co., Dollar Shave Club) have a lot of upside as publicly-traded incumbents are in need of millennials for continued growth. There is a premium on CPG-specific DNVB’s for this reason.
  5. For DNVB’s to survive they must be both vertical and specific. What do they possess? (1) A limited selection of products with marketing and operations optimized for long term margin growth and (2) an authentic story. Tracksmith, Tuft and Needle, and M.Gemi have stayed true to their roots, are cash efficient, and are run by driven entrepreneurs. They have solved customer retention woes by using tech, clever brand-differentiation, and the sourcing of excellent products.
  6. The sudden growth of the vitamin and supplement category has long term growth prospects. As health becomes a global driver of decisions these direct to customer businesses are able to access educated customers with a new breed of products that are cost effective and have repeat purchase implications.
  7. For DNVB’s to be sustainable — LTV (customer life time value), retention costs, and unit economics need to be the priority on day one. The brands that succeed have to operate like they’ve raised little to no money at all.

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Amazon and controversial warehouse worker non-compete contracts

The last 24 hours is the reason why Amazon has hired Jay Carney, a former Obama spokesperson to be responsible for global corporate affairs. Amazon has seen a fair share of controversy over the warehouse workers and working conditions. As usual the company has largely remained quiet and I believe this is one of the areas in which Carney will be more verbal.

The issue is in my mind – the technology chameleon that does ecommerce (Amazon) is still very reliant on human intervention when packing of purchases are done inside Amazon warehouses. Speed and efficiency which is sold to customers lead to very harsh working conditions for seasonal and temporary workers. Robots who don’t have unions can only work for so many hours until they need recharging. Also sometimes logic is needed for packing which cannot be seen inside a robot.

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Apple – the pretender to Amazon’s reign?

This is the first in a series of posts regarding Amazon’s competitors.

Game on between Cupertino and Seattle:
It is clear to me that Apple is the company at the moment that can topple Amazon. It won’t be overnight but rather the process will take some time and will need Amazon to drop the ball (which at the moment I am not seeing any time soon).

Apple in it’s current form can take Amazon head on.  When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the company, the main purpose was to create personal computers. The rest is history and is outside the bounds of this post. The point is Apple has software and hardware creation in it’s DNA.

Apple has a much larger global footprint in comparison to that of Amazon and in my mind it makes more revenue based on providing opportunity to users to spend money on its App Store and iTunes. One thing  that must not be forgotten is that Apple has 400 million credit cards saved by users on their iTunes platform. It may not be one click buying but the process is user friendly.

In terms of content, Apple can match and exceed the amount of content that Amazon has. The content I refer to is ebooks, music and apps which all lead to income for the Cupertino company. Steve Jobs was the only competitive CEO that realized that eBooks was a genius move by Bezos. However he took the potential negative of not being first to market and turned it to a positive by actively trying to assist publishers in fighting versus Amazon. In the end it lead to legal proceedings and a hefty fine for Apple (which they are contesting) but Apple will continue in the content game. Not one direct competitor took the Amazon bull by the horns as Apple did.

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The 10 ecommerce stories for the week of 30 August 2013

Flipkart shelves plans for IPO, eBay has 6 hour downtime, Why Tencent invested in Fab.com, market intelligence / stats for Latin America, China, Japan and South East Asia.

We have entered the last quarter of 2013 ( where did the year go?) and certain story lines have begun to develop. Chinese ecommerce is now in full on battle mode. Alibaba and Tencent have been at odds with one another but this week JD.com revoked the payment options from both Alibaba, Tencent and others. It is pretty clear that market leadership is not up for grabs but a turf war is on. Payments, merchant communication and infrastructure are all being fought between the different companies. (I suspect that the winners will be Alibaba and Tencent as JD.com’s money will run out sometime).

eBay had some issues this week – they were down for 6 hours; no formal announcement has been made as to the reasons for the downtime but we are in the revenue generation part of the year. Operational ecommerce staff are getting ready for festive and all of its challenges. eBay have their work cut out – they are facing the ecommerce Gorilla in the room (Amazon) in the US so these issues are to be at a minimum.

Flipkart has been busy. They raised money ($200 million) from investors and are now steadily adding revenue generation opportunities to their business. A payments business plus a partnership with self-publishing business are all in progress. India is a tricky market filled with government regulation which makes foreign investment an interesting exercise but the large population has everyone interested in the market.

Amazon is increasingly showing their international strategy. Why? Well, every developing nation they have entered have been via their Kindle Store. Mexico joined Brazil, Russia and India in having an ebook store. Mexico is going to be interesting to keep an eye on as it is one of the fastest growing emerging markets. The past week also provided an article that highlights the size of Amazon’s business in the US. It is massive and has the potential to become even bigger.

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Noon.com is going to struggle in MENA ecommerce

Noon.com is going to battle to grow market share in the Middle East ecommerce market. Amazon purchasing Souq.com might be one of their more prudent acquisitions and have huge long term upside for Amazon and Middle East customers. Noon.com is yet to launch and seemingly are going to struggle to catch up to Souq.com.

Troubles at Noon.com

In hindsight one can now understand why Emaar Malls bid $800 million to acquire Souq in the midst of the Amazon acquisition talks. As a mall operator that has a dominant business in the Middle East and online platform like Souq could have negative future impact for eMaar Malls. What Emaar Malls did not bargain on is that the shareholders of Souq.com would ultimately sell to Amazon for $580 million. One of the most underrated elements of Amazon’s impact on global ecommerce is their ability to negotiate fair pricing for the businesses they acquire.

Souq, led by its founder, Syrian entrepreneur Ronaldo Mouchawar, fills an important geographic gap for Amazon. The e-commerce company sells nearly 2 million products — books, electronics, toys, home products, and more — to customers in countries such as United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

The domain experience that the Souq team has is not to be undervalued and thus it is obvious to see why eMaar Malls would want to purchase the business at a significantly higher price.

Joining the Amazon family will enable us to drive further growth, benefit from their technological investment, offer an even wider product selection through worldwide sourcing, deliver an enhanced customer service experience, as well as continue Amazon’s great track record of empowering sellers locally and globally.

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The 10 ecommerce stories for the week of 16 August 2013

Jingdong to enter the US?, Alibaba invests into ShopRunner, Bad news for LivingSocial (was there any good news about LivingSocial?) and more

Ladies and Gentleman, may I be the first person to put it on record that the Superpowers (Tencent, Jingdong and Alibaba) of the East are beginning to move to other markets (Europe, US and others). Alibaba and Tencent are the businesses that in my mind will disrupt big Internet businesses. Alibaba have made a handful of investments into US ecommerce businesses which are all areas that they lacked in. Tencent, I think will disrupt mobile commerce in a very big way. However, the news that Jingdong (360buy.com) met with partners in the US made me shake my head in disbelief. It makes little or no sense – as the incumbents are invested into the market heavily and potentially could lead to a heavy spending spree by JD.com (not that that has been a problem).

Alibaba’s investment into ShopRunner is an interesting one as that seems to be a clear ploy to counter Amazon Prime. I am going to say this once – Alibaba is the only company that can battle Amazon head on. The rest will have to watch the market moves and ponder the future. Whether Alibaba wants to go directly against Amazon is another question?

LivingSocial with Groupon were the ecommerce darlings for the quick investors but both are looking at strategies to survive. Groupon is pivoting to being a local commerce businesses focused on payment, restaurant bookings etc. LivingSocial bought aggressively in 2011 and are looking in real bad shape. How long before the completely disappear is the real question. Ticket Monster, LivingSocials big acquisition is for sale..  Is it a case of model no longer being relevant? The Group buying business is in my mind, the digital version of impulse buying and that is not a sustainable behaviour to replicate online. Groupon is however making progress and in all might be the only survivor in the group buying space.

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A Review On Walmart’s Ecommerce Efforts Post Jet.com Acquisition

I have purposefully not commented on Walmart’s ecommerce efforts after the retail giant acquired Jet.com. There were many immediate reactions to the acquisition but the simple truth is that no-one had any idea how it would end up. Let me be clear – the acquisition is a long term bet by Walmart on Marc Lore and his team to grow their ecommerce efforts. This is also a reflective post in which I am trying to be as objective as possible.

The day Walmart & Jet.com shocked the entire ecommerce industry

On 8 August 2016 Walmart shocked the ecommerce industry by announcing their acquisition of Jet.com for $3.3 billion.  $300 million will be paid via Walmart stock. The acquisition ensured that early Jet.com investors made large returns on their bet but no-one expected Walmart to be the ultimate end game for Jet.com as the company rapidly gained size via heavy spending on advertising, low pricing and buzz.

The initial thinking was that Jet.com was acquired due to the business taking market share away from Sam’s club. Jet.com used bulk sales and technology to provide customers with low pricing. It is important to note that while Jet.com was a startup Marc Lore ensured that he never mentioned Jet.com as an Amazon competitor but rather it was described as online version of bulk retail operations seen at Sam’s Club and Costco. I also need to mention that once Jet.com launched publicly it initially was going to use a membership fee to subsidize the low pricing it would provide to consumers. In a space of 6 months Jet.com moved away from the membership fee as customers were not willing to pay another subscription to a retailer (I believe that this was aimed at Amazon Prime but Lore under estimated the impact that Prime has on customers.)

I strongly believe that until the day of the Walmart acquisition, Jet.com did not have a business model that was sustainable nor clearly defined their future.

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The eBay Turnaround that Never Had to Be, Zalora to IPO?, Amazon rejected in Czech Republic – eCommerce stories of the week

Modnique Launches into Four More Countries, Amazon hikes the price of Prime in Europe, The eBay Turnaround that Never Had to Be, Zalora to IPO?, Amazon rejected in Czech Republic, Snapdeal to be a the most interesting IPO in Indian ecommerce?, The phases of commerce and much more

It has been an interesting week in ecommerce to say the least. Lots of interesting news on acquisitions, businesses planning to IPO and strategic changes made by businesses. The changes are almost all related to Amazon which clearly is going to be increasing the price of their Prime shipping product. The sign that kind of gives that indication is the change in pricing seen in the UK and Germany. Amazon will lessen the change by offering additional services to customers in the various markets in which prime operates. In the US, I suspect that the addition of a TV Box will be seen as a reason to pay for the price increase. They have already added Lovefilm in Europe to lessen the price change in the mind of their customers. Amazon has also added Kindle coins to their businesses as a further sign of the importance of their appstore which is primarily aimed at Kindle Fire owner.  Gaming, video and book content is the target purchases for users of Kindle coins inside apps.

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Amazon vs Hachette, Alibaba updated IPO prospectus – eCommerce stories of the week

I have been ill and thus am still catching up on reading all the stories that have happened in the ecommerce industry over the last week. There are 2 major stories that has my attention at the moment – Amazon is currently in tough negotiations with Hachette and Warner Brothers.  Secondly, Alibaba has updated their IPO prospectus after the initial draft was deemed lacking of detail (critical detail I might add).

I wrote in 2012 that Amazon is potentially its biggest competitor and the happenings of the last 2 weeks have reinforced my belief that Amazon needs to be careful regarding supplier negotiation. Hachette’s books not being in search results or having buy buttons on their product pages only affect one company – Amazon. Remember that Amazon is the starting point for users looking to purchase products and if the products are not available, users will leave the Seattle based based and head off to Walmart, Google Shopping. What complicates this situation is that Amazon is the largest seller of books in the US (I would not be surprised if it was the same for DVD’s etc).  Clearly there is more this story but Amazon is having to play defence at a time in which ecommerce is changing due to a Chinese behemoth…

Alibaba on the other hand have filed an updated IPO filing with additional details such as key partners and more details about their 2 marketplaces (Tmall and Taobao). I find the timing of the unveiling of 11main also very interesting – it feels to me like it is almost a research and development business that will lead to a bigger acquisition. Alibaba is going to be controversial – the partnership structure as well as how the business is structured is going to pose questions for would be investors. As I said and keep saying – this will change ecommerce as an industry unlike any other IPO.

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Potential Alibaba targets for 2015

Alibaba’s IPO was one of the headline stories of 2014. The Chinese ecommerce business raised record amounts of cash that will allow them to pay shareholders back for showing faith in them. Alibaba is also in a position unlike any of their global competitors to aggressively acquire companies that will put them in good stead for the foreseeable future.

Alibaba has one major weakness and it is quite apparent in their M & A (mergers and acquisitions) strategy – they have done very little outside of China. It is understandable pre-IPO that they wanted to focus on China only and ensure that they are the undisputed market leaders in their home market. Post IPO they have to start looking at business outside China and ensuring that they are creating a sustainable business. I believe that in 5-10 years’ time that Tencent and JD.com would have made significant inroads on Alibaba.

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Amazon launches Kindle unlimited, eBay has a negative quarter – eCommerce stories of the week

Last week was dominated by 2 stories – eBay posting disappointing results and Amazon unveiling a “all you can read” Kindle package. The eBay news is not surprising – Google hit the company with a search penalty based on low quality content and also eBay is still battling with the after effects of being hacked. Those two elements by themselves will harm any Internet business – together they will harm a large business for a few quarters. The bad results could not come at a worse time for eBay. They have potential competition entering a part of the business (11 Main)  and am also facing less than desired results on their eBay Now business.

Amazon seems to be moving at a faster rate than normal with regards to the ecommerce business. The Kindle unlimited service seems to me to be an unAmazon product. The selection at launch is poor (not one of the big 5 publishers has books that you can read) and seemingly this product went to public release inside 7 days. I am still trying to understand why Amazon would want to do this? Is it a reaction to Oyster? Is it to force the big 5 publishers to provide them with ebooks? or is this primarily to drive more revenue to the Amazon published ebooks?

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15 thoughts about ecommerce from 2015

It is the time of year when summaries are written about what happened during the year past. 2015 was a fascinating year full of intrigue. I cant remember any year in which fluctuations occurred in a specific market. To summarise ecommerce in a few thoughts is very difficult as the industry is large but through observations, conversations I have come to the following 15 points:

tldr; Amazon was dominant, Alibaba wrote a lot of checques and ecommerce made a dent in global percentage of retail.

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Why Alibaba Is a Big Deal, Zalora launches marketplace business in 3 countries, Amazon to buy Sears? – eCommerce stories of the week

High expectations for eBay to prove tech prowessAmazon Launches New Twist on Product Reviews, Pickie Acquired By Digital Coupon Giant RetailMeNot, Snapdeal Buys Product Discovery Portal Doozton, Why Alibaba Is a Big Deal, Zalora launches fashion marketplace in 3 countries, Czech e-commerce giant says Google ‘concessions’ would worsen conditions on local market, Alibaba to Offer Mobile Phone Service in China From June and much more

If you look closely at the stories above then you will notice that ecommerce has become a global business. The global business that in my opinion is getting closer to a major moment (The Alibaba IPO).  We are currently seeing IPO’s at an astonishing rate especially in ecommerce. I have been trying to not think about it, but does everything change when Alibaba becomes a public company? Think about the following – Alibaba was invested and bought at least 5 companies since January 2014. Earlier this week they also announced that from June they will become a mobile network in China (Amazon is an MVNO in the US) but as far as I know no other ecommerce business has gone down the MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). The similarities between Amazon and Alibaba are increasing.

Robin Lewis, whom I respect as a visionary in terms of retail, wrote an opinion piece on his own blog in which Amazon acquires Sears. Initially I thought this was a giant news story but after a few google searches I realised that Lewis was speculating on this acquisition. Why would Amazon spend billions on Sears? The only reason I can see is that Amazon will refactor the Sears retail shops into logistics centers. Bezos has had ample opportunity to invest into retailers such as Borders and more recently Barnes & Noble but I doubt if Amazon will spend the massive amounts of capital to purchase mountains of debt from a retailer which is under stress. Secondly, this is completely against the type of companies which Amazon buys (generally they are entrepreneurial, are small and have books or market leading capabilities in which Amazon has been unable to become market leader..).

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Why Facebook should buy eBay

I have been thinking about an article I read on PYMNTS regarding Facebook  and its Bay Area almnus eBay. There are a few things at play here which needs to be unpacked – who can acquire eBay, eBay’s decline and does Facebook make sense for eBay’s shareholders.

Pierre Omidyar started AuctionWeb that would become eBay and be a shareholder darling in the early 2000’s. eBay was an catalyst that put online auctions in front of millions of customers who looked for long tail items. Items such as Omidyar’s well documented broken PEZ holders (which turned out to be a myth), stamps, baseball cards and more was the items that drove eBay’s growth. The eBay alumni are found all over the ecommerce ecosystem in various senior roles and some have become investors into ecommerce.

Investors have been unhappy with eBay since John Donahoe took over from Meg Whitman but eBay as a commerce giant died the day they split from PayPal. Donahoe joined the PayPal board and Devin Wenig has been trying to grow a business that has lost its identity and key staff.

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Amazon to invest $2 Billion in India, Nordstrom buys Trunkclub – eCommerce news of the week

Amazon waited all of 24 hours for Flipkart to officially announce their $ 1 Billion fund raising amount to announce that they will be investing $2 billion into India. This is a big deal for a few reasons – it is clear that India is an important part of Amazon’s future thus they did not wait to announce this massive investment into Amazon.in. It clearly is an arms race between Flipkart and Amazon for market leadership in Indian ecommerce but I cant help but wonder this leaves Snapdeal. Does Snapdeal look for more investment? I am honest when I say Indian ecommerce has me thinking – is it the size of the opportunity that is leading to this investment race? Is it investor angst that India might become another China? Those not familiar with Chinese ecommerce – the market is dominated by one company (Alibaba) and international investors got shun by local investors. I don’t necessarily think that Indian ecommerce is at all similar to Chinese ecommerce but there are definitely similarities.

The other big news is the TrunkClub acquisition done by Nordstrom. I believe Nordstrom to be one of a handful of retailers that understands ecommerce; thus they continue to acquire ecommerce businesses that will provide them long term sustainability. Every acquisition that Nordstrom has done is to provide them with scale in a part of retailer that they were lacking. Their investment into Bonobos was to ensure that they have a front row seat at the men’s fashion industry. Hautelook was to ensure that they could provide their digital clients with a selection of deals. Trunkclub is in my opinion a combination of a lifestyle and business acquisition. Lifestyle is to be able to provide male clients with a stylist to help them solve a clothing situation. The business part is to add this on top of their own business to their clients. I am a Nordstrom fan (visit their stores when I am in the US) and believe that they will continue to acquire ecommerce companies that fit their needs).

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What are the challenges for Alibaba post IPO?

Alibaba has been on my mind for the last 18 months. I have not been writing about the company as I researched, asked opinions from senior ecommerce executives and have been trying to understand the impact that the Chinese behemoth will have on ecommerce. Let me be frank – everything changes, it really is as simple as that.

The reality of Alibaba

I spent a few days reading the epic and first real look at Alibaba – its SEC IPO documentation. I have always thought that Amazon was a very difficult company to try and compartmentalise (the amount of disruptive businesses inside Amazon is small in comparison to Alibaba). In terms of business functionality Alibaba can be seen as the following:

  1. Amazon Marketplace
  2. Paypal
  3. UPS
  4. Amazon Webservices
  5. Fidelity investments (this is to be seen as comparison to Alibaba’s Yu’e Bao fund)
  6. Amazon’s MVNO for mobile phone contracts (which will be operational from June)

All of the above together is equal to Alibaba. There is no easy way to explain the scale that is seen at Alibaba.

The thing that makes Alibaba astounding is the size that they have. The scale that Alibaba has is partly due to the size of their home market (China) and the aggressive nature that they have defended their businesses.
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Etsy buys Grand St, Amazon test logistics network – eCommerce stories of the week

Target sees product subscriptions as a big push to counter the ‘Amazon Effect’, Birchbox announces $60M Series B investment, Wal-Mart will turn the electronic receipt into a sales tool, Russians flocking to Taobao, Etsy buys Grand St, Amazon test it’s own logistics network and much more

This past week is one that influences ecommerce greatly. Amazon posted its Q1 results and has in the process finally come clean about one of their great challenges. Shipping/ logistics costs are becoming increasingly seen as a large balance sheet problem. Let me be clear – for any ecommerce business – the costs for shipping items to customers is a large challenge. From a business point of view – businesses can either put the shipping costs into the profit margins on products or pass the shipping costs on to the customers. Amazon has for years taken the costs through its Amazon Prime business but clearly the Seattle based business is looking for a way in which they can distribute some of that costs to other sellers (marketplace) or platforms (owning the last mile).

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Alibaba to enter the US?, Vente-Privee Seeks $11 Billion Revenue & Gilt to go public in Q3 – eCommerce stories of the week

Amazon’s Junglee Ties Up with Quikr, China’s Suning approved for international express delivery service, Alibaba to enter the US?,  Vente-Privee Seeks $11 Billion Revenue, Gilt to go public in Q3 and much more..

This past week felt like a long list of announcements about ecommerce companies going public in the latter part of the year. Gilt, Alibaba, Jumei (not to be confused with Jumia) all are expected to list in the US before the end of the year. Alibaba is going to be the big story that will change ecommerce globally (we have already seen the first move) but the others are all having to go public to raise additional funding to grow their businesses. Alibaba’s pending launch into the US ecommerce market via 11 Main is a very interesting story. Details are very sketchy which makes me believe that this is the first big story that has Alibaba driving the storyline. Let me be clear Alibaba is going to disrupt B2C ecommerce in markets where there are not a clear number 1.

Ecommerce in India is seemingly becoming a 3 horse race. Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon.in are all trying to capture the large opportunity that is Indian ecommerce.

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eBay invests into Snapdeal, Google ups the importance of commerce and Rakuten has big plans for Europe – eCommerce stories of the week

eBay invests into Snapdeal, Lazada’s big bet on Southeast Asia, How online shopping is helping Nigeria fix its Internet reputation, Tencent to invest in JD.com?, Copycat Business Model Generates Genuine Global Success for Start-Up Incubator, Google ups the importance of commerce, Rakuten has big plans for Europe and much more.

There are 2 stories that has dominated the ecommerce landscape in the last week and they both have eBay in them. eBay lead a massive round of funding for Snapdeal and pretty much told the world that they will be acquiring Snapdeal in the coming months / years and Carl Icahn has been pressing the eBay board for a split with Paypal. The Icahn story has become something akin to a mud wrestling battle between the 2 parties and I think it is pretty poor form for this to be playing out in the public domain. Sure, as an investor in a public company  it is important to hold the management and directors accountable for their actions but this mudslinging is not doing any party any favors.

The talent exodus continues at fab.com. I wonder how many of the staff in hindsight would have taken employment from fab.com if they knew the rocky road that they would be on down the line? It is interesting to note that the only senior management staff member that is around is the CEO Jason Goldberg.

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Alipay and Stripe make a deal, Amazon to become a publisher? – eCommerce stories of the week

The week for ecommerce was a quiet one in terms of news but some news stories are going to be driving the ecommerce landscape in the next 18 months. The one company not involved with the Alibaba IPO, Alipay struck a deal with Stripe, the new hot payments startup. Alipay is the company that is going to drive the Alibaba behemoth long term and this partnership with Stripe is massive. It is the first time that I can think of a Chinese payments company makinga deal with a US focused payments startup. This story validates something that I have been thinking about – PayPal is no longer the hot digital payments business. I am fully aware of the past history between eBay and Alibaba but the fact that Alipay has partnered with Stripe speaks volumes.

What is the real story behind the Amazon vs Hachette fight? Amazon supposedly wants better pricing for ebooks and wants to charge publishers for services related to special, ebooks etc. There has been a lot of stories around this but I think that is not the real battle that Amazon is fighting. In the UK, Amazon wants to be able to print books that are no longer available from publishers. Holistically, this makes sense as in the UK and US markets Amazon is one of the biggest book sellers. If Amazon will be able to do this (long term I think it it will happen) right now is another question, it seems unlikely but the process has started and Amazon has placed the book industry on notice again.

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