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Alibaba Buys Chinese Ecommerce Business for $2B, Walmart’s Digital Healthcare, and Cook & Boardman’s New Site

Alibaba Buys Chinese Ecommerce Site for $2B

Alibaba’s market presence is about to get even bigger, as the ecommerce giant is set to acquire Kaola, a cross-border ecommerce business unit, for $2 billion. Kaola sells imported products in China such as consumer electronics, sports gear, and clothes. Next to JD Worldwide and Tmall Global, Kaola is one of the largest Chinese ecommerce sites focused on imported goods. China is among the biggest ecommerce markets in the world, with sales estimated as being three times greater than U.S. ecommerce sales. “With Kaola, we will further elevate import service and experience for Chinese consumers,” says Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group.

What stood out to us?

Singles Day just got bigger.


Walmart Enters World of Digital Healthcare

It may have taken a while, but the world’s biggest retail chain has finally entered the world of digital healthcare. Walmart has rolled out WalmartHealth.com, a digital healthcare site that provides consumers web tools to book medical appointments to see a physician, a dentist, a mental health expert or an eye doctor. The site also allows for certain other services such as immunizations and hearing tests to be scheduled as well. The medical services offered on WalmartHealth are fittingly less expensive than scheduling with a regular healthcare organizations, with some appointments costing half as much. While a solid foundation, the new site has yet to offer some modern digital healthcare conveniences like telehealth visits, but they are expected to be added to WalmartHealth’s offerings.

What stood out to us?

Price transparency and convenience. #sold


Cook & Boardman Launches Ecommerce Site

The Cook & Boardman Group, a distributor of commercial doors, frames, and related hardware, has a brand-new streamlined ecommerce site. The site, cookandboardman.com, acts as a single location for shoppers looking for products from each of the company’s 14 corporate locations. The new site also includes a customer portal where shoppers can easily manage their account and pay invoices. “We have a large segment of customers that prefer to purchase via a portal as opposed to through a salesperson,” says Bob Settle, marketing consultant for Cook & Boardman. “The new site gives us an opportunity to create customized digital user experiences.”

What stood out to us?

A good start to opening the door to sales and customer self-service.


In the headlines

  • Run Brooks, Run: Running apparel and shoe merchant Brooks Running launched same-day shipping in 10 U.S. cities.
  • What’s Updog?: Target’s same-day curbside pickup service Drive Up is now available in every state.
  • Hu-bounty: Huboo, a U.K. startup that operates a multi-channel fulfillment service for ecommerce businesses, has raised over $1M in seed funding.
  • Earth Says Thank You: Asia ecommerce giant Flipkart pledges to reduce single-use plastic packaging in India.

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