E-commerce and logistics set for growth in Sub Saharan Africa

Sunday, 22nd June 2014

Over the next 10 years, online retail will continue to gain popularity in both developed and emerging markets and as a result, logistics companies are set to play a key role in providing vital supply chain management solutions that are able to evolve with consumers’ changing shopping habits.

"The study explores future scenarios with alternative views of what e-commerce globally could look like for consumers and businesses in the near future, depending of various economic factors. The different future projections are based on a detailed analysis of the most influential factors effecting economies – from energy and raw material prices to technological, political and social factors, to retail and consumption patterns. E-tailing – the sale of goods and services through the Internet – has exploded globally, especially in emerging countries and despite the various possible future scenarios , it is clear e-tailing will continue to boom."

“Currently, e-commerce already makes up 8% of the overall trading volume in Europe. Depending on the scenario, this share could rise up to 40% in developed countries and up to 30% in today’s emerging markets."

“While e-tailing can facilitate the transaction of the changing consumer trends, the delivery of the product needs to be considered. Many retailers put significant focus to attract customers, but more effort needs to be paid to facilitating flawless delivery to customers. Even more so when deliveries begin being measured in minutes, as opposed to hours and days. This will require logistics to adapt, as well as deliver competitive advantages, such as offering same day delivery and flexible returns.”

“In the future, logistics will take over the role as an enabler for online retailers even more so than today. As a logistics company, we have a good overview on companies in various industries in almost all countries of the world. In Africa, we are continually noticing the rise of e-tailing on the continent and we are increasingly becoming an advisor to these businesses and partner for success, as opposed to a just a traditional service provider."

More info here.

The Complete List of Google Ranking Factors - Infographic

Friday, 20th June 2014


Source Getelastic.com


Italian Senator Tweets

Friday, 20th June 2014

It was with great amusement, that I read in the Guardian newspaper recently about the Italian Senator who has been asked to resign because he tweeted after the football in Brazil that the English are “pretentious pricks’

For the full story follow this link: http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jun/15/italian-politician-maurizio-gasparri-twitter-english

I thought that perhaps he was thinking about the actual footballers and I could also think of a few footballers who might just fit the label of “pretentious” … so let’s think Ronaldo and Beckham surely pretentious and what about José Mourinho  and perhaps also John Terry and while I am thinking that Italian guy Mario Barwuah Balotelli.


Then suddenly I start to realise that it can’t be just about footballers because this level of pretentiousness transcends the essential “Englishness” in the original message. As for the being “pricks” I must confess that I am not qualified to comment.

But while being amused this does have a serious aspect to the fact that the deputy speaker in the Italian Senate can make such sweeping inflammatory and negative statements about a population of (just England) about 53.3 million people.

Can all of us be “pretentious pricks” or is this just a terrible example how national stereotypes are used to justify small petty prejudices? Can I suggest that ALL Romanians are coming to the UK to take our jobs or to claim benefits, can I suggest that all Italians are heading to the UK to have their children and benefit from health tourism? There might be a few but I would suggest not really.

Perhaps we need to consider what does pretentious mean – one dictionary definition is to be “making claims of great importance and merit that are not founded”. Hmmm, I hear people say that sounds like a certain Mr  Maurizio Gasparri. As for being a “prick” I am not qualified to say but I am sure that there a lot of people out there in the big wide world, including lots of Italians, who are thinking what a “prick”.

This got me thinking about the Talking About Taboos Project funded through the European Commission. A small group of partners have been conducting some grass roots research to try and identify any commonalities in the types of xenophobia that seems to be on the rise across the EU.

Our Polish Partner has suggested that society is becoming, according to the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman more liquid (Liquid Life, 2005). If this concept is applied to Mr Gasparri the suggestion is that he is invoking forms of stereotypes (which according to Zygmunt Bauman are always fake) in order to add some meaning and certainties to life. If this was the case perhaps the tweets of Mr  Maurizio Gasparri are just an expression of his inability to deal with the complexities caused by the quickly changing (or liquid) place that the world has become. But surely such a senior politician could not be guilty of such a misunderstanding and inability to comprehend the changing world?

Then there is one other possible conclusion that people might suggest is an explanation. Most sensible people know that tweets/internet mixed late at night after indulging in another form of “liquid” which some of my Italian friends call “social oil” is not a good mix. I mean any senior politician who could be guilty of “liquid” fuelled tweets late at night and who would think that their options actually count for something …. well would that not just make them a pretentious prick?

SMEs to miss out GBP 7.5 bln yearly by not offering alternative payments - report

Thursday, 19th June 2014

Only 42% of UK SMEs currently offer customers the option of paying by card, recent findings indicate.

"According to a research from global payment solutions provider Barclaycard, SMEs are losing out on GBP 7.5 billion each year by not offering customers alternative payments. Despite three-quarters (74.5%) of all retail transactions across the UK now being carried out via cards, three in five (58%) SMEs are not currently able to take card payments."

"Of these, a quarter admits this has resulted in lost sales opportunities. At present, only four out of ten (42%) offer customers the option of paying by credit or debit card. Of the 58% that don’t, over a quarter (28%) choose not to because they believe this would entail significant cost, and one in ten (11%) think it will be too complicated and wouldn’t know where to start."

More info here.

Echelon 2014: Where is e-commerce headed? Redmart Co-founder reveals

Thursday, 19th June 2014

"Echelon is the biggest tech conference in Southeast Asia, which took place a few days ago in Singapore, and RedMart is one of the top e-commerce companies in the region in online groceries, with US$12M raised so far, 200 employees in a bit less than three years."

"E-commerce is eating the world… and there’s still room for disruption"

"As Roger Egan stresses, e-commerce beat brick and mortar on every point, from price (no space to rent or idle employees), product range (no physical limitation to ware houses) and of course the experience (no queues, no heavy bags for groceries)."

Source e27.co

"And it’s a vicious circle. Once online shopping starts in an industry, there’s no going back, as better prices/range/experiences keep people online, increase cost of maintenance of shops with less revenues."

"Southeast Asia is quite an untapped US$330 billion market with less than one per cent of shopping actually taking place online. Little wonder that companies like Rocket Internet, Alibaba or Rakuten all invest here."

"First, you can see the field of e-commerce as a game of platforms. These two pictures show how different it works for:

  • B2C e-commerce (less control on experience, on stock availability) such as Amazon and RedMart or Lazada in Southeast Asia
  • Traditional marketplaces (lot of selection, no customer experience) like Tmall, Rakuten in Asia
  • Asset Light Instant Delivery Marketplaces like FoodPanda, Instacart, Uber, eBay. Now, who partners with retailers and have personal shoppers who buy the stuff and get it delivered in an hour or a day
  • Subscription based e-commerce such as BellaBox, Dollar Shave Club — highly convenient if you have the purchasing power
  • C2C platforms like Taobao
  • Private Label and value added services such as Zalora, Warby Parker, Bonobos (you send back what you don’t want)
  • Daily Deals such as Gilt, Groupon
  • Price comparison engines — mySupermarket, Pinterest, VroomVroomVroom, mogujie.com — where you select from many, keep only the best
  • Fulfillment/Delivery such DHL, or recent alliance of SingPost and Alibaba, Ta-Q-Bin
  • e-commerce software platform to ensure the last mile delivery.

Recent e-commerce trends in the industry includes:

  • From “the everything store” (Amazon, Alibaba, JD.com) fighting with big retailers such as Walmart or Tesco, teaming up with delivery and added services, and a few being out of the scope (Bonobos: let’s do everything ourselves)
  • Blurring lines between logistics and e-commerce companies (the site is the easy part), between retailer and manufacturers as well (what future for P&G or Unilever?)"

"Roger Egan played the game of predictions and gave a few cool insights and bets that we share here:

  • The great e-commerce convergence: B2C and marketplace converge (purchasing power of B2C + fast growth of marketplace) as seen with Amazon buying Zappos, Diapers.
  • The entire control on supply chain and logistics win: The site is easy, the supply chain is hard. It’s hard not to think about how Apple made a closed garden, but one which works.
  • Tech companies and e-commerce companies converge, especially if we take into account the recent moves of Google Express, Alibaba in Singpost, Apple into Beats, Uber into same-day delivery ambitions.
  • Content, community and commerce converge, with Pinterest being an obvious case (and winner), where pictures can be shared and links back efficiently to e-commerce websites (you can now even have e-mail alerts when the price of one of your pins drop)
  • Ecosystem wins, with a bigger value than the sum of its part.
  • Retailers will become manufacturers: now that they master the distribution, why wouldn’t they be tempted to build the things they sell? P&G and Unilever may well be next on the list of big disruptions
  • Convenience and gratification are key: drone-delivery, 3D printed replacement parts, will increase brand loyalty.

These trends should be a tool for you to use and ask yourself where do you position yourself and potential lines of future disruption."

More info here.

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