Monthly Archives: August 2014

Wayfair’s business success of nearly $1 Billion worth of Sofas, Patio Chairs and other products: A closer look!

Daniel Posted On - August 28, 2014

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Wayfair, one of the most popular E-Commerce sites dealing with home furnishings has a remarkable record of selling sofas, patio chairs and cat playgrounds costing nearly $1billion. It also has 1,600 employees, which has made it incredibly big in physical growth.

An unbelievable record shows in a single year they have sold a huge number of products apart from 10 million tables, sofas, patio chairs, cat playgrounds etc. When compared with other e-commerce sites, Wayfair netted an estimated $18 million on $915 million in 2013, up 55% from the year before. It has a wide network of selling goods to customers at various levels across the U.S., Canada, Germany and the U.K.

Would you believe your eyes if you come across a record that says every month more than 11 million people–mostly women within the age group of 35 to 65 years visit Wayfair.com to check out its incredible stock of all sorts of house wares items? No doubt this is hundred times larger than any other online directory. Not only that, Wayfair offers free shipping for every order over $49.

The driving force behind the enterprise resulting into this great success lies in fulfilling orders–with a 98% success rate that constantly target towards further up gradation. Wayfair manages 7,000 vendors and a difficult to perceive huge supply chain at various levels, to achieve a perfection point so that all the customers have a virtually frictionless shopping experience.

Wayfair is not only a competent retailer but it is also an excellent data miner. It continuously caters to gathering and processing information about its customers to effectively interact with them, which helps them to understand their wishful thinking and requirements. It also provides important facts regarding customer’s likes and dislikes and many other details which are utilized in personalizing their home pages and turn search into a form of entertainment. Niraj Shah the co-founder of Wayfair thinks the unique selling point of this company can possibly be the factor that they offer the perfect product.

They also have a unique system that works with higher efficiency level than you can expect. The process is, the suppliers initially upload data on current stock to Wayfair servers. The algorithm sifts through the data, looking for red flags that indicates any laps in service like delays in a vendor’s inventory update and storing information on what’s in stock and where it is.

Since in this way all the information is upgraded with 100% accuracy, whenever a customer browses a page, the algorithm checks to see whether an item is still available and how long shipping might take.

And if you place an order, immediately it gets informed the supplier. The system then takes the charge of deciding about the shipment of the item and other related issues. You can easily check the status of your order through the customer’s Track My Order page, once the process is on.

Although Wayfair has reached such an enviable state of success still it is relentlessly trying to learn more about its shoppers and potential customers. The software track every visitor who ever browse through their site. Shah said they want to know more about their existing and potential customers and that is why they often encourage you to sign up for an account, sometimes offering a 10% discount code in exchange for your name and e-mail.

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Sears offers a more flexible shopping experience!

Daniel Posted On - August 28, 2014

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Can you imagine a situation when you can choose to get your orders at the store most convenient to you irrespective of which brand site you place the order with? Sears Holdings Corp. is actually making its buy online, pick up in store options like that so that it offers you maximum possible flexibility to the customers.

If you place an order on Sears.com or Kmart.com it will now provide you an open option to select and pick up the orders at the Sears or Kmart store whichever is most convenient to you. It will not matter at all if it is not the store brand you placed your order with.

Imran Jooma, executive vice president of Sears Holdings said the change is implemented to help consumers shop on their own terms. This enables you to easily place an order with Sears.com and pick it up from in the Kmart store. However it can also just be the reverse.

Jooma also added, that leveraging the breadth of both Sears and Kmart’s online and in-store networks denotes more convenience for members which no doubt  offers an even wider brand-name product selection to the fans of both the stores.

All Sears and Kmart stores across the nation are eligible. Not only that, Sears Holding Corp. is No. 5 in Internet Retailer’s 2014 Top 500 Guide. According to a record of Feb. 1, Sears Holdings Corp. operated 1,135 Kmart discount and superstores in the United States, 768 full-line Sears mall stores and 60 Sears specialty stores, such as Sears Essentials and Sears Auto Centers.

Presently, in this new and flexible scenario you can enjoy the liberty of selecting the store you want to pick up your web order during the ordering process. They will send you a confirmation via e-mail when the order becomes ready for picking up. Customers who elect to pick up their web orders in a store don’t need to pay for shipping. Once the customers arrive at the store, either they can retrieve their orders from a merchandise pickup location or they can also go for the choice when a store employee brings the order to their vehicle.

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3 golden rules about Amazon Product Detail Page!

Daniel Posted On - August 27, 2014

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Amazon has a unique feature – its product pages are organized by products instead of sellers. Interestingly Amazon highlights products from different sellers, whereas Google or eBay, shopper search results display multiple sellers who deals with the same product ranges. By comparing different websites you will easily come to understand how Amazon organizes product information on product pages.

This study will also help you to understand why the number of Amazon Marketplace sellers grew at a rate of 65% year over year for 2014. No doubt it will also throw light on the reason why more online retailers prefer selling on Amazon.A stunning record showing Amazon Prime customers alone spend approximately $1,340 per year and account for 56 percent of total U.S. product sales, definitely has a root somewhere.Every Amazon seller should know that unique selling proposition which will also guide them to sell more effectively on Amazon.

Once you take a close look on an eBay’s product search, you will notice the same product can be listed multiple times as separate listings from different sellers. Google also sums up different sellers selling the same product on comparison pages which mainly highlights the seller details including price and shipping rates. Google and eBay both display the product specifications on their product pages but they mostly rotate on retailer details. But Amazon on contrary focuses more on products than the retailer information.

If you are an Amazon seller you should go through the following tips to develop Amazon Product Detail Page which will be a big aid to increase sales.

1. Amazon has a system that all the products are organized by product identifiers. Each product on Amazon has its own product page, which compiles the same products from different sellers. Each product page condenses sellers who sell the same product based on the product identifier.

However, unique product identifier is different from Amazon’s unique identification number for products, or ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). Therefore every product has a separate UPC which is different from ASIN.

To get the best result, an Amazon seller should follow the rules:

• Label every product perfectly so it’s matching to the right product page.
• Be aware, that most of the times your products may not get their own product pages as it is a huge market place. So they will be matched to existing ASIN pages.
• Provide maximum possible product information to Amazon as you can.
• Gather more knowledge about how to compete on Amazon’s buy box.

2. Amazon’s product pages don’t provide details for parent products – every product Amazon sells is a child product. So don’t add unnecessary details about parent products.

Relevant suggestions:
• Focus on optimizing product information for your child products only
• When it comes to setting up variation themes, keep in mind that child products don’t need to vary on just one attribute.
• There is no need to include any child product information for parent products.

3. Product Information on Product Pages is shared. Product details on Amazon product pages are compiled by Amazon from all of the sellers. All of them are listing a specific UPC on Amazon. Amazon decides which product attributes are most relevant for each product page from the available product information supplied by the sellers and accordingly advertise those details on the product page.

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eBay is teaming up with Sotheby’s for live online auctions!

Daniel Posted On - August 27, 2014

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EBay Inc. has tied up a knot with Sotheby’s the auction house, and will start offering live online auctions for various exclusive items like jewelry, watches, prints, wines and photographs. They are already started accepting online bids and claims to have significant mobile traffic also.

The online marketplace announced that soon it will launch a feature on its site which will read something like “tailored for collectors of rare, unique and premium art and collectibles, as well as first-time buyers.” Their new partner Sotheby’s is going to anchor that part of the eBay site, and will also operate a new live auction feature and real-time biddings from anywhere in the world.

Sotheby’s said that the number of its “lots”, which can be a single or a group of items, purchased by online bidders increased 36% year over year in 2013, and that online bidders competed for 17% of the lots sold by Sotheby’s in 2013. Additionally, mobile traffic accounts for 25% of the total traffic to the Sotheby’s web site.

Bruno Vinciguerra, Sotheby’s chief operating officer said a perfect combination of the growth of the art market, new generation technology and their shared strengths has made the present time the ripe moment for launching this exciting new online opportunity. He also added that they have taken this decision of joining with eBay to make their sales more accessible to the broadest possible audience around the world.

Sotheby’s and eBay both speculated global online art sales could reach $13 billion annually by 2020. This is to be noted that EBay already operates its own “Collectibles” online store that sells not only fine art but baseball cards, antiques and coins.

However these two companies are not the only players in this field. Invaluable LLC, can be taken as the first example. It is a Boston-based firm that operates the Invaluable.com online auction site and also sells online auction software and services. They mostly focus on the sale of fine art, antiques and similar collectibles on its auction site. Amazon.com Inc., one of the biggest retailers in every respect also operates an online store where consumers can shop for fine art from some 4,500 artists and 150 galleries and dealers.

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Google Shopping Feed Specifications – Updates to Stock

Shrikar Khare Posted On - August 26, 2014

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Very recently Google has announced about their decision to update the Shopping feed specifications. The Google Shopping Specifications is the required format for inventory submission on Google. This will be implemented from 30th September which will include changes to availability and landing pages. The basic mission behind this updating is to add and revise attributes and update policies to further improve the experience for shoppers. But some of these updates require changes to your current product data.So before you submit your product listing acquire knowledge about those change factors in the new feed specifications.

Here are the Google Shopping feed changes:

• To ensure online shopping via all mobile phones works well, you can now provide a separate mobile landing page via the ‘mobile link’ attribute.

• Google is expanding their support to merchant-defined bundles. Many consumer products are sold in custom bundles, such as a camera with a lens and a bag. The new format will henceforth include the ‘is bundle’ attribute, which should be used when submitting merchant-defined bundles.

• Google is also simplifying the ‘availability’ attribute by merging ‘in stock’ with ‘available for order’ and removing ‘available for order’. All items that can be shipped in a timely manner can now simply use the ‘in stock’ value. Additionally, an ‘availability date’ attribute is also being offered which you can use to let shoppers know when pre-ordered products will be available for delivery.

• The website has refreshed their apparel articles to provide more examples and clearer guidance on all things apparel. New values are also added to ‘age group’ and two new size attributes are introduced to allow an even more detailed apparel description and filtering with ‘size system’ and ‘size type’ options.

• The new image quality recommendations will now include more details and tips regardingsubmiting high quality images that are more effective in drawing users’ attention to your products.

• To display all product data in the most effective way, the feed specification will be more explicit about the number of characters can be used for most attributes.

• The existing destination URL policy is replaced with the new landing page content policy. This refined policy comes with more background details, additional examples and explanations as well as an implementation guideline for submitting landing page URLs.

Important points about new Google Shopping Feed Specification

You can start submitting all of the new attributes in your product data immediately. But first you need to study all the instructions and changes so that your data is formatted correctly for all the new attributes, otherwise your item might get rejected during feed processing if it is done incorrectly. Reviewing the warnings on the Data Feed summary section of your Merchant Center account, or the API dashboard (if you use the Content API), will guide you in this regard.

• If you provide a mobile landing page link in the new ‘mobile link’ attribute, the same enforcement rules as for the ‘link’ attribute apply. For more details on mobile page rendering and app download requirements, you can refer to the new landing page content policy.

• For ‘availability’ the value ‘available for order’ will be replaced with ‘in stock’. The ‘in stock’ value should be used if an item can be purchased and will be delivered in a timely manner. The ‘available for order’ value will not be accepted from September 30 onwards.

• Most attributes are currently coming with specifications about character limits, which will help to display product information in the most effective way. Attribute submissions that exceed the character limit might result in offer disapprovals.

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ASOS has started rolling its business once again after fire!

Steve Burns Posted On - August 20, 2014

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One of the most popular online clothes retailer ASOS lost around one-fifth of its stock in a fire at its warehouse in Barnsley, Yorkshire. The unfortunate incident temporarily suspended them to take orders through their website. But now it has again started its transactions at its main global distribution centre.

The fire which broke out at the warehouse on 31 May, about 22:00 BST could be a more worst incident as Barnsley warehouse is the firm’s major global distribution centre. And ASOS revealed about 70% of its total stock of £159m was held at the site.

But according to the company spokesmen it could not create that much loss as none of the technology, automation or structure of the building had been affected by the fire. Moreover, the organization was fully insured for loss of stock and business interruption they claimed.

The accident took place on a Friday after which the company temporarily closed its website, and reopened it at 2am on Monday morning only. No doubt it proves their efficiently in managing the crisis with due initiative.

However it was also discussed that they are already experienced in handling such situations as there is a history of fire in their warehouse at Hemel Hempstead which was damaged by explosions at the Buncefield fuel depot in 2005.

Although the previous Buncefield fire was treated as merely an accident, the recent Buncefield incident is suspected as deliberate by South Yorkshire police depending on their initial investigations with the fire service.

It was a massive fire for which more than 60 firefighters fought their level best to control it and also evacuated over 500 people from the five-storey building. But strangely it happened just two weeks after ASOS stated in early June that it might miss its forecast about the full year profits.

At that juncture, ASOS pointed out its finger towards the strength of the pound and made it liable for negatively affecting overseas sales which also forced them to launch a series of promotions they said.

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Newegg takes a new step by initiating Bitcoin payments!

Steve Burns Posted On - August 20, 2014

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Electronics retailer Newegg has started accepting payments in the Bitcoin virtual currency, to satisfy its tech-savvy customers. No doubt it comes with the dual benefit cost saving that also provides better international sales support.

Soren Mills, chief marketing officer of Newegg, North America said their customers have been asking for Bitcoin as a payment option for a long time and they are happy to open this payment option to them which will possibly cater to a huge number of demands.

Newegg has a partnership with BitPaya Bitcoin transaction processor and currently accepting Bitcoin payments through them.

This could help Bitcoin move towards crypto-incompressible technology with a bit of a checkered past into just another way to buy stuff. At least that is what Expedia, the travel site assumed when they initiated Bitcoin payment in June. It is also expected that Apple’s App Store will reverse a Bitcoin app ban and California will also take an immediate action to legalize alternative currencies this month.

Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, author of the California bill said, it will be impractical to ignore the growing use of cash alternatives in an era of evolving payment methods, like Amazon Coins to Starbucks Stars.

Initially Bitcoin was not accepted very easily by the consumers as it is not backed by any physical material like gold or by any country’s promise of stability. Additionally, Bitcoin also has a technological novelty which points to extra element of complication.

Bitcoin transactions are logged publicly and verified through a computationally complicated process known as a public ledger. It provides protection against an owner of bitcoins spending the same value more than once and the process of verifying those transactions is called bitcoin mining.

Newegg was already selling computing equipment to bitcoin a miner which is close to the process.

Mills said that their customers are among some of the earliest Bitcoin miners and are enthusiastic proponents of the crypto-currency, so by adopting Bitcoin as a payment method they are responding to their customers’ diverse needs in a different way.

Bitcoin’s value has risen considerably, within a year. In late 2013, a single bitcoin worth less than $100 and now it has a price near $620. Such volatility may give birth to an unpredictable mechanism to store one’s financial worth, but there is a chance that, this unevenness could diminish if Bitcoin becomes a mainstream way to pay for goods and services.

Retailers do not want to take the risk of this volatility of Bitcoin payment. Here comes BitPay. They offer instant services to the Bitcoins customers to convert it into traditional currency while carrying out a transaction, for a service charge.

Newegg in its turn, has announced on their website they take the Bitcoin exchange-rate risk, so that the customers get the best rate on the market, and which also ensures you get a payment you can count on, every time.

Newegg has also described the payment process on its site. It says, if a customer has digital wallet software installed, he or she can complete an order by clicking the “Pay with Bitcoin” button. It is also mentioned that if the customer’s digital wallet is stored in a smartphone, a QR code can be scanned on the Bitcoin Payment page to complete the transaction. And if the customer’s digital wallet is hosted on the web, the customer is supposed to click the “View Address” link to display the digital wallet address and send the amount due through Bitcoin.

Mills also stated that Newegg is also looking at the other advantages in Bitcoin dealing. It costs less than a credit-card transaction, though it was never been the only criterion for taking this step. He did not forget to include bitcoin payment support should help the company spread its business beyond North America. This will definitely boost the global expansion strategy of Newegg and at the same time it will draw attention of Newegg’s new international customers.

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Soon mobile marketing will be the guiding force in retail

Steve Burns Posted On - August 20, 2014

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Modern retail trade always rotates around the driving factor of every business that is the consumer. So every retailer is concentrating on creating the best possible Shopping experience for the customers which is the key factor to sustain in the present day’s challenging retail landscape. No doubt building a strong base that allows for continuous optimization of operations and a plan for future growth opportunities leads you to the target.

Technological advancements have an important role on influencing the retail landscape. It has been analyzed that smartphones have such an impact on retail market that they are forcing retailers to keep prices competitive and websites active. And everyone will agree today’s e-commerce explosion largely depends on increasing use of phones and tablets for Web surfing and shopping.

According to a recent study, it has been found, more than half of all adult cell phone owners use their device for shopping or at least for deciding upon a shopping decision. You can instantly check the product reviews and compare prices on your phones which enables you to have a direct access to the world’s information on nearly every retail product, that in return keep the retailers under pressure to keep their prices competitive and their Web presence active.

So quite naturally the mobile landscape is altering the future of our marketing campaigns to a great extent. Automatically the mobile revolution has taken the all round shape with the announcement of Amazon’s Fire phone. The popularity of mobile devices has taken the retail world by storm and empowered customers to find coupons, price check and read reviews without leaving the store.

The future of Mobile Marketing therefore is going to be the most significant factor in shaping retail market. Here are the supportive facts that is going to establish it as a truth:
• 1.4 billion smart phones were in use in 2013
• 1 in 4 searches are performed on a mobile device
• Mobile ad revenue will more than double in 2015 to $24.5 billion

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Switch over to new Google Shopping Campaigns to be a winner

Steve Burns Posted On - August 20, 2014

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Product Listing Ads are being upgraded in Google Shopping Campaign within a short span of time. If you are an advertiser you must consider the following points before you switch on to the new campaign format.

• Most of the advertisers have already switched over to the new campaign type to test their ad groups and Google’s new tools without wasting time. The reason for this hurry is, they want to derive the benefit of familiarizing themselves with the new inventory format and management system to earn a competitive advantage. On the other hand Google’s they also want to try out the new tools like the Bulk Uploader, which may help to increase sales and exposure on Google search. Apart from this, there are few more additional aspects. First, Google’s inventory labels are also changing with the new campaign. As a result the custom ad group labels (AdWords_Label) you are presently using are not being translated over to the new campaign. Moreover the new system is limiting you to 5 labels with Shopping Campaigns. To get the best result you need to analyze your campaign and identify which custom labels you are interested to maintain now.

Google Shopping campaigns has modified the system of submitting inventory. Google updated its product format requirements for mobile and availability specifications. Apart from this, how product ads in AdWords are created and structured is also changed. Therefore lack of experience with campaign break out, will lead you to wasting ad spend on ad groups and campaigns. Even who has come to understand the new structure very well, will need to re-check the existing Product Listing Ad structure including brushing up your planning for a higher return.

• There is a great confusion regarding what will happen to the existing Product Ad information or format when the new Google Shopping Campaigns will be on, around the end of August. Nobody knows where these data will go, and whether it will be at all available after the replacement. Automatically every one is under a mist about the visibility of the current ads. If they exist then also it is not clear how it will be translated over. Like any other seller on Google, you also might have these questions deep in your mind which right now is not possible to get rid off.

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Amazon is awaiting drones to be legalized by the FAA!

Steve Burns Posted On - August 20, 2014

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Amazon.com Inc. is no more interested to wait any further for the formal approval of commercial use of drones by Federal Aviation Administration. It is a small, unmanned aircraft.

Amazon being the leader according to the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has already taken an aggressive decision by submitting a letter to the FAA, asking them to grant Amazon “expedited operational authorization” to test the use of drones for commercial purposes. Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, officially signed the letter.

Amazon looks forward to test its drones outside; already it has been running tests in advance with the small aircraft inside its research and development lab in Seattle. In this context it can be mentioned that Congress, in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, forwarded an instruction to FAA regarding integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the national airway by 2015. This also empowered them to authorize drone use.

Amazon claimed, over the past five months, they have achieved to develop eighth- and ninth-generation drones that can travel more than 50 miles per hour and carry packages up to five pounds. According to Amazon this weight limit covers more than 86% of products sold on Amazon.com.

However Amazon’s testing has been limited to various indoor locations and locations outside of the United States. It was mentioned in the letter that Amazon would prefer to keep the focus, jobs, and investment of this important research and development initiative in the United States by conducting private research and development operations outdoors near Seattle.

Initially FAA requested for comments on granting exemptions for commercial drone flights before its regulations are complete. And Amazon forwarded the letter in response to that. The FAA on the other hand said, the request was in response to requests from photo and video production companies.

Amazon is hopeful to use the drones for its Amazon Prime Air service, which will likely to deliver packages to consumers in 30 minutes or less. Previously the company announced plans for the drone service in late 2013. Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO wrote a letter to shareholders saying the company was testing the fifth and sixth generation of drones, with the design of the seventh and eighth in schedule.

During those days of this unique announcement, the FAA was not very enthusiastic about it. They said completing rules and regulations for the commercial use of unmanned aircraft would take several years.

Although Amazon did not mention more about the recent letter, this much was gathered that they have express their expectation in this letter by mentioning, soon a time will come when seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today. They also pinpointed about the enormous benefits it will bring to the consumers across the nation.

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Rakuten has conceived big business plans for Singapore

Steve Burns Posted On - August 14, 2014

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Recently Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten, the largest online retail store of Japan has disclosed about its mega plan for the local version of its online shopping site which was also christened as Rakuten and launched in January last.

Mr Mikitani told The Business Times last week that as they are aiming high, they are thinking of developing more products on their local website. To achieve this they are also targeting to improve brand awareness, and concentrating on increasing their membership base fast.

Mr Mikitani, is also the chairman of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, was in town during the orchestra’s world tour for the Singapore leg. His revelation about the company’s mission indicated though Singapore – Rakuten Inc previously bought local start-up Viki for an estimated US$200 million (S$252 million), soon a situation is going to come when Singapore will buy things from it.

Rakuten started with more than 120 Japanese and local merchants when it first waded into Singapore’s online shopping scene. Currently, they have 150 merchants and planning to double that by the end of this year. No doubt the number of members for its local site has trebled since its soft launch in December.

Mr Mikitani, therefore, did not forget to mention about their happiness over its success as it is still in the early stage with huge potential of growth.

Rakuten has a unique business strategy for global expansion which is based on a two-layered set-up. One is a localized engine which is built on top of another standardized global platform.

The outcome of this strategy is a store in Singapore, that offers products priced in Singapore dollars with a mix of Japanese and local retailers. You will find “collagen”, “Gundam” and “Shiseido” together on its bar of trending items. Japanese wagyu ribeye slices are also displayed next to Bosch electric kettles.

Last year record shows, Rakuten earned 518.6 billion yen (S$6.41 billion) as their revenue, the bulk of which was realized from Japan.

Apart from Japan, Rakuten is also proceeding towards markets where other players like the United States, France, Germany and Brazil are entrenched.

However, Mr Mikitani did not pay much attention about the factor regarding competition and rivalries as he believes Rakuten’s merchant- centric approach is its unique point of strength making it special when compared to other companies in similar trade.

He also added that at Rakuten, they want themselves to be tagged as the conductors and do not just want to use the merchants as a product source. On the contrary, they want to bring them in front of the customer as they are the actual players.

He also highlighted that Rakuten always gives a sense of security to the user. If anyone buys from small merchants, they take care of that consumer. Therefore you can easily feel the difference in the shopping experience on this site which is obviously so special from buying something through the gigantic sites.

Initially Rakuten’s Singapore site at the start of the year was not showing any galloping growth rate, but presently it has a remarkable success which the company is always ready to focus on top.

Rakuten also arranged for a three-day showcase of more than 300 products from some 40 merchants, including a gigantic Rakuten shopping bag installation sits on Orchard Road.

The shopping bag represented nothing but Rakuten’s overwhelming ambitions for Singapore. Mr Mikitani said they have set their goal to create a global e-commerce platform, where Singaporeans can also look forward to buy various products from all over the world, instead of the Singapore site only.

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Samsung and Barnes & Noble is Creating Co-Branded Tablets

Steve Burns Posted On - August 14, 2014

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As announced in June, Barnes & Noble is now ready to team up with Samsung to develop a new co-branded Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.

Barnes & Noble is also going to arrange a press conference on August 20th 2014 which is highlighting a publicity campaign as “join us as the best of both worlds come together.” This event is going to take place at Barnes & Noble’s Union Square store in New York City.

Interestingly they did not mention about the Tab 4 nook or did not even declare about any surprise being awaited in this meet. But Barnes & Noble had already brought one thing in forefront that the new tablet would come in early August. But most probably it is going to deferred a little bit which is likely to slipped to later in the month. It is also a known factor that the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will be a 7-inch device and will essentially be Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 with Barnes & Noble’s Android-based Nook software on it.

The Galaxy Tab 4 features a 7-inch display with 1280-by-800 resolution, a 3 megapixel front-facing camera and a 1.3MP rear shooter. It also has 8GB of onboard storage, microSD slot for another 32GB, and a 1.2GHZ quad-core processor.

Record shows Samsung originally sold the Galaxy Tab 4 for $200, but right now you can pick it up on Amazon and at Best Buy for $20 less.

Although a lot of information about the Galaxy Tab 4 is already in the air, there is no clear cut idea about its price. Still there are curious questions and confusions regarding this price factor. Will Barnes & Noble sell the tablet at a lower price point than the original Galaxy Tab 4 or will it be the same cost? If the pricing remains the same it can be a bit more challenging for a Nook tablet with Barnes & Noble custom software instead of a standard KitKat-flavored Galaxy Tab 4.

There is confusion about the exact time also as it is not yet mentioned when the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will go on sale. But a close speculation says, it is expected to start immediately after the press announcement on August 20.

However, there is enough enthusiasm about the launch as it is the first Samsung-Barnes & Noble tablet resulting from a partnership the pair announced in June after making lot of changes in their decisions. Barnes & Noble has flip-flopped in recent months over its device building plans. At first in June 2013, the company announced it would start working with third-party manufacturers to create Nook devices. But it quickly changed its resolution by saying they would make their own device in August. Then again in February, Barnes & Noble expressed their wish to work with “several world-class hardware partners” to produce a new Nook device. And finally they announced about this Samsung partnership in June.

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Amazon is Preparing Itself to Fight Hard in the Retail Market

Steve Burns Posted On - August 8, 2014

the leading American marketplace
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If you can’t beat it, join it. And you probably won’t beat it.

Recently, the attendees at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago got a message like this while attending a workshop entitled “Amazon and Me.”

It was a crowded chamber full of people selling retail as well as wholesale goods through the Amazon.com Inc. marketplace, excepting a hand full of people who raised their hands to answer the question thrown to the crowd to specify who do not sell through amazon.com

Just after this, two Amazon experts drove the crowd’s attention deep into the Amazon’s e-commerce cash machine, which showcased, last year it has generated a 26% year-over-year increase in North American revenue. Not only that, it beats the 17% year-over-year increase in U.S. e-commerce spending last year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

But obviously the experts during their first two sessions of workshop, did not present a comprehensive study covering the entire operation of Amazon. Amazon is the most secretive company you will ever work with, it helps retailers sell on some 20 online marketplaces, including the one operated by Amazon.

But what makes it stand out among all is, its astonishing capacity to keep growing at a faster rate than any other online shopping across the world.

Wingo also observed that may be by subsidizing free shipping and expanding its fulfillment operation it has reached that level of growth. According to Wingo and Colin Sebastian, a longtime Amazon observer and e-commerce analyst who works for Robert W. Baird and Co., the e-retailer already operates in more than 100 warehouses around the world and maintains nearly 50 million square feet of fulfillment space in North America which sound incredible. Wingo further observed that, Amazon’s growth also stems from its strategy to enable other merchants to sell on its marketplace. At this point one should note that though the retailer’s marketplace was originally started with books, later it has moved to toys and now includes some 2 million sellers of a variety of products, as per the figures provided by the retailer only.

Sebastian, while speaking during a session called “Amazon under the Hood: Where’s it’s Investing”, said Amazon also accepts low-profit margins on items it sells itself commonly known as the “first-party retail sales”.

According to Sebastian, Amazon’s stock price has risen as profit margins have fallen but Wall Street has not punished Amazon for its declining profit margins in recent years. He thinks this has motivated CEO Jeff Bezos to make further investments in fulfillment and delivery and other technology designed to keep consumers “locked in” with the retailer, even at the cost of short-term profits.

While analyzing all these factors, he also touched the exclusive service of Amazon Prime which he thinks has a great scope of expansion. He said presently, Prime probably reaches to about 50 million consumers, which only includes the prime members and their families and the free membership holders a special facility, Amazon has awarded to students and other groups. And so far Amazon has only an estimated 10% of its products available for Prime shipping which indicates it is still in its beginning stage.

Sebastian feels, few other Amazon’s technical efforts are also still in their early days like The Kiva robotic workers that Amazon is deploying in its warehouses and the drone delivery devices that were widely ridiculed when Bezos described them on the “60 Minutes” news program.

But although the Amazon engineers are regularly taking care of these two, the retailer is also proceeding to hire nearly 350 data engineers, according to online job listings.

The recruiting efforts of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other e-retail rivals are being washed away when compared to its magnitude. Sebastian concluded by saying Amazon is no doubt preparing itself for an amazing battle.

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Retailers: How you can know you have hit a great business idea?

Daniel Posted On - August 5, 2014

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With the technological advancements our communication systems have reached a level more than our expectations. And it has resulted into a small world providing wider scope for every business owners. No doubt this has also given birth of more challenging market with sever competitions.

To sustain in this competitive world, all the entrepreneurs are scratching their heads and trying to evolve new business ideas which can easily hit the market and bring success faster. Innovating new business ideas is not a difficult task for many people but whether it will really click in the market and bring profit is not that easy to ascertain. Then what are the key factors that can identify a business concept to be superb which has every possibility to reach the target?

So retailers, how you can know you have hit a great business idea? Here are few common features which can promptly help you to understand if a business concept is good enough to be successful.

First it should be based on the basic concept of solving a problem. According to Wade Gilchrist, startup consultant and host at TechStartRadio.com, there should be a demand in the market for a particular product or service for which you need to provide an effective solution. Shireen Shermak, CEO of venture capital and startup firm Launch Angels also echoed the same thing by saying one needs to solve an easily articulated problem that a large group would like to have solved. She also emphasized creating a solution when there is no problem, can never going to create a big business whatever amount of marketing is done for it.

The second point is, there should be an easily identifiable and measurable potential market for your business as Eka has specified. Greg Isenberg, a 25-year-old award-winning serial entrepreneur, founder of Wall Street Survivor and CEO of mobile video app 5by.com, has added another market related analysis that the idea should be replicated to other markets also.

As per Shermak , the existence of competitors is also a positive sign that you are on the right track and your business concept could be of real worth. But what Gilchrist has said is extremely important if your business idea can withstand free competition it is going to bring you desired result.

In the modern era every thing is moving fast. So your business also needs to keep pace with the changing technological environment which can develop quickly and spread fast.

And last but not the least is, while you conceptualize a new business idea try to workout something which you really love to do. It is difficult to prosper in a business which is not close to your heart.

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Retailers focus on web, mobile and store for business success

Daniel Posted On - August 4, 2014

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Today’s market has a special feature – it changes very rapidly. The consumers have a high level of expectations and always tend to swift. In this market scenario, if retailers want to survive the cut throat competition they need to serve the consumers as they want to shop. eBay CEO John Donahoe has recently commented like that. He also said that collaboration between online and offline players will be a key to success.

Although e-bay happens to be the leader in introducing millions of consumers to online shopping, while addressing the attendees at the 10th annual Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago, the CEO delivered this message where he stressed on all types of shopping processes along in stead of highlighting the Internet marketing.

According to Donahoe, consumers, these days check out products and buy them in many ways. Sometimes a consumer uses Smartphone and buys a commodity and next day only the same person purchases a product on a PC in a relaxed time of his work. People also love to go for window shopping to feel the products and the ambience of a shop and quite often they also buy another thing on a tablet computer while watching a TV show at night. Therefore all the channels are to be taken into serious consideration. Though the consumers don’t care about the channels nor do they understand the merchant vocabularies, they only want to enjoy shopping.

Speaking to an audience of thousands of retailers and e-commerce industry executives, Donahoe said, “We think in channel terms. We use a merchant vocabulary. Consumers don’t care about channels. Consumers just want to shop.”

Donahoe, has proved himself to be a very successful CEO of e-Bay and has revitalized the organization a lot since he shouldered this responsibility in 2008 after leaving Meg Whitman. In presence of thousands of retailers and E-Commerce industry executives he transparently commented that being a web based company they might have certain limitations and fail to fulfill all types of needs of a customer. He also explained how they are trying to overcome this difficulty by tying up with bricks-and-mortar retailers. In this respect, he did not forget to make a negative hint towards Amazon.com, their biggest rival who are unable to do this like eBay as per his opinion.

He narrated various innovative ventures e-Bay has already taken to lead the consumers to retail stores basically to blend both the processes of online as well as offline shopping to get the optimal result.

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