The Global eCommerce Newsletter 07.05.16


Rakuten gets into agriculture tech
Right after withdrawing from Europe and Southeast Asia, Rakuten has invested in organic farming at home in Japan. Telefarm, a seven-year-old agriculture tech company, operates a platform that promotes organic farming in Japan. In recent years, Rakuten has also invested in a range of U.S. companies including Lyft, Pinterest, Viber, and Ebates.

Jack Ma says Alibaba wants to more than double its GMV to one trillion dollars by 2020
Alibaba Group’s goal is to become the equivalent of the world’s fifth-richest country in four years. To achieve this goal, Alibaba will have more than double the $463 billion gross merchandise value it made last fiscal year. Alibaba’s strategy revolves around its cloud computing and big data unit. Jack Ma claimed that everything it does now is to gather more data. Globally, besides Southeast Asia, Alibaba is also eyeing India and tries to establish a foothold in the U.S. //Can generating lots of $ make a company great?

Nordstrom postpones an e-commerce fulfillment center
Nordstrom has postponed plans for an e-commerce fulfillment center in central California until at least 2020. The Seattle-based company reported online sales of $661 million in Q1 2016 earnings report, up 10.7% from last year. Online sales now account for 20.7% of Nordstrom’s overall sales. However, the company says that e-commerce growth is contributing to lower profit margins. //solely relying on third-party providers adds up to variable costs.

Line’s beauty and fashion portal rolls out its Persian carpet
LINE, the tech giant well-known for its popular messaging app, launched a fashion, beauty and lifestyle news portal in Iran. “[LINE] has entered [the country] from an angle that leverages both their tech and social media expertise while addressing a deep demand they have discovered amongst the female population, in particular.” 60% of the 39 million Iranian women are under 30. In despite of the Islamic dress code, Europe’s biggest luxury brands are eying the second biggest market in the Middle East. It is estimated that the country’s beauty and cosmetics industry is worth $4 billion.

Ikea Australia to test online store – finally
Ikea will start testing an online store in Australia by the end of 2016. Meanwhile, the company is developing a single global e-commerce platform to be rolled out within the next two years. Ikea currently sells online in 13 countries. It generated USD$1.13 billion in online sales last year, 3% of its global sales.

Amazon Indonesia testing water with $600m
Amazon is planning an investment of $600 million in the Indonesian market without giving a specific launch date.


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