The head of Future Group, one of India's largest and most established retailers, admits he can't keep up with web sites like Snapdeal and Flipkart when it comes to spending money to entice shoppers to buy online.
Private investors have poured USD2.3 billion into India's e-commerce companies so far this year, according to consulting firm Technopak, giving them financial firepower to overwhelm shoppers with bargains and deals that brick-and-mortar retailers like Future Group, which runs a host of chains including Future Retail Ltd and Future Lifestyle Fashions, cannot match.
Singles' Day – so named because the date Nov. 11 has four singles (11/11) – was started as an in-joke between university students, but has morphed into China's equivalent of Cyber Monday. Spurred by Alibaba and its network of online retailers, the day has grown from USD7 million in sales in 2009 to over USD5.7 billion last year for Jack Ma's company.
Alibaba's Single's Day sales are expected to hit a new record this year driven by China's burgeoning internet population and a growing number of retailers participating in the event, say analysts.
Held on 11 November, Single's Day – also known as 11/11 – was initially created by young Chinese to celebrate or lament being single, but it has evolved into the biggest 24-hour online shopping event in the world.
Tokyo-based Rakuten Inc has earmarked THB100 million (USD3.1m) for expansion of its e-commerce business in Thailand over the next three years.
The move comes after its Tarad.com e-marketplace showed rapid growth since 2010 after Rakuten paid USD43.4 million in 2009 to acquire 67 percent of Thailand's Tarad Co, owner of Tarad.com.
Just when shopping was getting interesting, the Indian government is getting ready to play spoilsport. A day after Flipkart experienced outrage over failed transactions on its Big Billion Day sale, reports said that the poster boy of Indian e-commerce is likely to face government scrutiny on complaints of predatory pricing.
Zara recently opened an online store in South Korea, which offers online shoppers the same full range of merchandise as that found in high street stores.
The company said items sold online are priced the same as those found in Zara's stores, and customers can choose home delivery or have their purchases sent to a store of their choosing for pick up. New products will be featured twice per week.
Under-fire online fashion retailer Asos is facing growing concerns from its suppliers – some of UK's leading clothing brands – about the discounts it is offering on their products.
Asos relies heavily on selling products from fashion brands including New Look, Karen Millen and Reiss, although it also sells own-brand lines.
It is believed that some of the leading brands are frustrated with the discounts Asos has offered on their clothes, particularly in the run-up to Christmas last year, and have threatened to pull out.
Major online shopping mall operator Rakuten Inc. is finalising negotiations to acquire major US cashback shopping site operator Ebates Inc., informed sources said on Saturday.
Rakuten aims to expand its overseas operations, mainly in the United States, through the acquisition of Ebates, the sources said. The deal is estimated to exceed USD1 billion, the sources said.
Sir Philip Green's Topshop and Miss Selfridge brands are to push into China with an agreement to launch on the ShangPin.com fashion retail website next month. Sir Philip has long held the ambition of taking Topshop into China and already has two stores in Hong Kong.
The retail billionaire said: "As we continue to grow our global expansion, this will be a step forward using the power of China's online reach and therefore selling into one of the world's most exciting consumer markets."
When two young graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi in 2007 launched Flipkart, an Amazon-inspired online book store, few Indians had ever bought anything other than airline tickets over the internet.
As a pioneer in the business, Flipkart had to wrestle with obstacles ranging from customers' reluctance to give credit card details online – or even a lack of credit cards at all – to suspicions that goods would never arrive.