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JD.com has reported a record-breaking US$24.7bn during the 18-day shopping festival. This year the ecommerce giant has provided shoppers with the 'boundaryless retail' experience, benefiting from its technology and retail partnerships.

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JD.com has reported a record-breaking US$24.7bn during the 18-day shopping festival. This year the ecommerce giant has provided shoppers with the 'boundaryless retail' experience, benefiting from its technology and retail partnerships.

Pop up stores and experience centres

1,400 brands showcased their products and interacted with Chinese shoppers during the festival in JD’s pop-up stores and experience centres. Shoppers could sample foods, trying on clothes and testing home appliances before making a purchase online. The pop up shops, which spanned 30 cities, received over 43 million visits.

Daojia delivery from physical stores

Besides buying online, shoppers were also able to buy products from bricks and mortar retailers on Daojia’s platform and get the purchases delivered to their homes. Orders to Walmart stores via JD Daojia, for example, quadrupled during the 6.18 sales period from the same period a year earlier.

Augmented reality facilitated shopping

JD’s AR Styling Station, a function in the JD mobile app, enabled shoppers to test the new looks without physically trying on the products. 52,000 boxes of Johnson & Johnson’s 1 Day Acuvue Moist lenses were sold in one day during the festival.

Behind the numbers, it was JD.com's superior supply chain that made sure 90% of orders were delivered on the same or next day, despite the spike in order volume. The sale this year has shown us the potential of retail in the future.

Amazon to more than double number of products available in Indian market.

Expansion of product range makes service more attractive

Encouraged by the initial success of the Prime program, Amazon has announced plans to offer more than 25 million products via the service, up from 11 million products previously.  The retailer will also expand its video services to include more locally produced content and introduce Amazon Prime Music.

Broad appeal of Prime service

Under Prime, Amazon offers fast delivery, additional discounts and video streaming to members. This combination of benefits is clearly appealing as the retailer has seen subscription to its membership service rise steadily, across 300 plus cities.

By expanding the Prime program, the retailer is confident this will be a key differentiator for market share versus local competitors.

Justifies price increase

In November 2017, the retailer increased the subscription price for Prime to INR 999 (US$15.70) a year from INR 499 (US$7.85). Akshay Sahi, head of Amazon Prime in India said, “With increased selection, we feel that Prime is worth that (price). The benefits we’re providing have reached a significant value and customers have had enough time to try that programme.”

Though Amazon declined to share the number of Prime subscribers, it said that about 30% of all orders on Amazon India come from Prime subscribers. Prime customers are known to spend more on Amazon than non-Prime subscribers, to buy products they weren’t buying earlier, and tend to reduce their spending on other platforms.

 

 

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Singles' Day is fast approaching, we review Alibaba's plans for 11.11 ahead of the events' six years anniversary.

The spectacle...

Alibaba's annual Global Shopping Festival, 11.11, will bring together shoppers, retailers, suppliers and financial institutions from around the world to experience Alibaba's vision on the future of retail. The retailer's latest strategy, New Retail, aims to blend online, offline and big data to reinvent retail.

To showcase this concept during the event, Alibaba will collaborate with 52 shopping malls to set up 60 New Retail concept pop-up stores across 12 cities in China. See our Hema Fresh report to see an example. The 24-hour online sale itself will be available across Alibaba's marketplaces, and feature over 140,000 brands and 15 million product listings globally.

Image source: alizila.com

Initiatives supporting main event

Alibaba are running several different initiatives prior to the 11.11 festival. Tmall, for example, are broadcasting an interactive fashion show, with models and celebrities showcasing a range of different items. During the fashion show, viewers will also be able to make real-time purchases from their mobile phones.

Performance driven by experience and insight

New Retail experiences such as facial-recognition payment, will be made available in converted 'smart stores' across nearly 100,000 stores in 31 provinces and 334 cities in China. Pop-up stores for cosmetics, for example, will offer experiences through augmented reality for make-up and lipstick trials.

Coverage to drive wider appeal

Alibaba will utilise media and entertainment to drive online engagement, with celebrities, well-known singers and movie stars to feature during the Singles' Day countdown. This will be broadcasted live on satellite TV channels Zhejiang TV, Shenzhen TV and Beijing TV. To drive further appeal, there will be an AR game on Mobile Taobao App called Catch the Cat and red envelopes will be shared amongst consumers through various games.

Connecting consumers across China

Alibaba is accelerating the shopper journey for consumers in China through connectivity. Consumers will be able to experience Alibaba's New Retail concept during 11.11 at community stores like Rural Taobao service centres and neighbourhood convenience stores. Longer term, Alibaba is planning to launch a new smaller format store in Shanghai, based on the Hema Fresh model. Smaller formats require less capital and can be expanded more rapidly and could prove to be a more cost effective solution.

Alibaba Group’s chief marketing officer, Chris Tung said, this year’s event “brings consumers around the world a step closer to realising the aspirational life where entertainment and retail become one. [...] regardless of their physical location, consumers will be able to participate in more experiences than ever before this year, all showing the reality of New Retail. We start today but this is a festival with nearly two weeks of celebration and so many different ways to participate.'

In previous years, Alibaba has used Singles' Day to test the capability of new innovations, and it seems that this year will prove to be no different. New Retail aims to offer consumers a better experience - perhaps they are close to achieving what retail might look like in the future.

Amazon has finally entered Southeast Asia with its launch of Amazon Prime Now in Singapore.

First country to launch Prime Now before Prime

Singapore is the first country where Amazon has brought Prime Now, before introducing its flagship offering Prime. The service is usually exclusive to members of Amazon Prime but will be available to Singapore shoppers that don't have a Prime membership for a limited period of time.

Since Amazon first launched its Prime Now service in New York in December 2014, the service has been rolled out to 45 metropolitan areas in nine countries.

In Asia, Prime Now was launched in Japan in 2015 with the service available in Tokyo and Osaka. The next year, Prime Now was launched in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad in India.

There is a variety of Prime products that Amazon can introduce into Singapore, including its smart devices such as Alexa and Echo.

Aiming to offer 20,000 products

Amazon aims to supply over 20,000 unique items to the Singapore market. Right now, a wide range of products are already available on the app,  including groceries, household and home essentials, electronics products, toys, and more. Frozen meat and seafood and chilled beverages are also on the list.

Fast delivery supported by the largest urban fulfilment Centre

There will be two delivery options for Singapore customers. For shopping bills of S$40 or more, two-hour delivery anywhere in Singapore will be free and for orders below S$40 there will be a delivery charge of S$5.99. Amazon will also have an option for one-hour delivery with an additional charge of S$9.99. Delivery times in Singapore will be from 10am to 10pm, seven days a week. Two-hour delivery is available across all delivery areas, whereas one-hour delivery is only available in selected postal codes.

Amazon has built a warehouse at the Mapletree Logistics Hub off Toh Guan Road East. Spanning some 100,000 square feet, the company says this is the largest urban Prime Now fulfilment centre in the world. Amazon also says it’s working with local partners on both the inventory and delivery. 

Dave Clark, Amazon's SVP Worldwide Operations, said "We think this is a way to get closer to Singaporean customers. We think that the two-hour and one-hour slots available to customers is a differentiator in speed and gives them (customers) an opportunity to really get things at another level of urgency and speed. We are going to have the best prices and will have a phenomenal selection of goods that we have put together from hundreds of local suppliers along with the access we have to the global supply-chain we operate in all other marketplaces - if you think about Amazon it's always been about selection, low prices and speed. That's what this is all about."

It is yet to be seen how successful the launch is in the competitive market. The ecommerce companies such as RedMart, the grocery arm of Lazada and the bricks and mortar retailers such as NTUC FairPrice have both pre-empted the entry of Amazon and upped their game.

 

Want to grow your business with Amazon? Join us at IGD Amazon Vendor Leadership Day in London on 20 September.

Shirley Zhu, Programme Director: Shirley Zhu leads IGD’s research programme in the South-East Asia region from our Singapore office. She has extensive research experience in the FMCG industry and has helped many multinational and local clients achieve their strategic objectives. Contact Shirley at [email protected] for further insight on the region.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Datacentre the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

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