Global Ecommerce News from June 22 to July 10

QVC has bought the remaining shares in its rival Home Shopping Network (HSN) for $2.1 Billion to consolidate the TV shopping industry.  We believe that this is yet another reaction to Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods Market. We also analyze the impact on ecommerce after this record acquisition by Amazon.

A look around the ecommerce globe, with selected highlights:

  • Amazon threatened to kill its Whole Foods deal if the grocer started a bidding war
    … or if the M&A talks leaked to the press. Amazon has long had a reputation as a hard-ball negotiator. It turns out its negotiations with Whole Foods leading up to its $13.7 billion acquisition agreement were no different, according to an SEC filing outlining a timeline of the talks between the two companies. Read more at Recode
  • The competition in digital speaker-assistants is getting more intense, as Alibaba . unfurled an Amazon Echo-like device and fellow Chinese internet giants Tencent and Baidu prepare to develop their own. Alibaba’s “Tmall Genie X1” will go for 499 yuan ($73) to the first 1,000 people during a one-month trial, coming in below Apple’s $349 HomePod and the roughly $180 Echo. Read more at Digital Commerce 360

  • Why Walmart-Bonobos Is A Bigger Deal Than Amazon-Whole Foods. “These are not small moves made by Walmart over last one-and-a-half years. If acquiring wasn’t a big enough shot across the bow that it is a different game in Bentonville, the three recent acquisitions they have already made is a pretty big testament that they are giving authority to change,” Knox concludes. Read more at Forbes
  • From Seed to IPO — 9 learnings by an early Delivery Hero investor. For Point Nine the adventure started in 2010, when Point Nine, operating as Team Europe Ventures Fund at the time, invested in Lieferheld’s first financing round, a seed round of €800k. Back then, this was considered to be a large seed round — times have changed! In 2011, Point Nine participated in Delivery Hero’s seed round and in some of its later rounds. In 2012, Delivery Hero and Lieferheld joined forces to build the global leader in the food ordering space. Read more at Medium
  • Bonobos customers are mercilessly trolling the brand on Facebook about its sale to Walmart. On the day of the news, people rushed to the brand’s Facebook page to vent their disapproval. Weeks later, the anger has continued, in the form of a flood of irate and sarcastic comments left on anything shared by Bonobos on their page. Read more at Quartz
  • Loot Crate became the nation's fastest-growing start-up, then it laid off over a quarter of its staff. On its ascent to becoming the nation’s fastest-growing start-up, Loot Crate Inc. fostered a workplace in which employees warred with Nerf guns, proudly brandished Captain America socks and chanted the company’s name like a rally cry. But by last summer, when the Los Angeles firm landed on the cover of Inc. magazine for its stupendous expansion, the enthusiasm had been zapped. Read more at The Los Angeles Times
  • Alibaba Ups Lazada Stake to 83%, Cites Confidence in South East Asia. Alibaba Group said Wednesday it will invest about $1 billion to lift its stake in Lazada Group to around 83% from the current 51%, citing confidence in the growth potential of Southeast Asian markets and Lazada’s business. Read more at Alizila
  • How the Growth of Ecommerce Is Shifting Retail Jobs. Online shopping accounts for only 8.4 percent of all retail sales in the United States, but it has had an outsize effect on the retail workforce. The hundreds of thousands of jobs created by new online firms have not absorbed the job losses at traditional retailers. At the same time, the new jobs are concentrated in a handful of large cities and tech hubs. Read more at The New York Times
  • Social media hasn’t turned out to be the bastion of sales that brands and tech companies had hoped. But one brand that has made numerous digital moves recently is partnering with Facebook-owned photo sharing app Instagram to see if the platform can work as an official sales channel. But the brand is promising a seamless shopping experience for some of its products through Instagram. Read more at RetailWire
  • To foretell where is going to expand in Indonesia, follow the cell phone towers. Wider mobile coverage means more consumers starting to shop online, so the Chinese ecommerce company tracks their construction to decide where to market its web store and set up delivery centers. Read more at DealStreet Asia

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Hendrik Laubscher

Hendrik Laubscher has a decade's worth experience in ecommerce. He contributes to a variety of publications and is fascinated by all things ecommerce (marketplaces, emerging markets and cross border global ecommerce). He lives in South Africa but travels globally to experience ecommerce in locations worldwide.