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Impact of Coronavirus on Ecommerce, Amazon’s Cashierless Grocery Store, and Walmart+ Revealed

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Impact of Coronavirus on Ecommerce

The 2019-20 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues to have ramifications on a global scale, and one area of impact is ecommerce. Notably, retail ecommerce is facing supply and shipping challenges across the globe due to China halting production of most consumer goods, including phones, clothing, and automobiles. China, the disease’s country of origin, is expected to have a significantly diminished forecast of ecommerce sales. For example, eMarketer predicted in December 2019 that China would total $2.328 trillion in retail ecommerce sales in 2020, but now that number will most likely substantially change. However, groceries is  one area of ecommerce in China that is booming, as homebound consumers turn to online grocery deliveries. Chinese delivery platform, for example, saw online grocery sales grow 215% year over year during a 10-day period between late January and early February.

What stood out to us? Ugh! #cough.

Grocery store produce

Amazon Opens Full-Size Cashierless Grocery Store

Five years in the making, the world’s leader in ecommerce has opened its first full-size, cashierless grocery store: Amazon Go Grocery. Located in Seattle, WA, shoppers walk in the store,  scan a QR code from their Amazon mobile app at a turnstile, select their groceries, and then walk out. There are no cashiers in Go Grocery, although there are a couple dozen staff members to stock shelves and answer questions. The store is 10,400 square feet and stocks roughly 5,000 items, including fresh produce, meats and alcohol. “We’re not trying to be Whole Foods. We’re not trying to replace them,” says Cameron Janes, vice president of Amazon’s physical retail division. “I think what we’re trying to do here — and with all of our physical stores — is really work backwards from the customer, and deliver some differentiation.”

What stood out to us? Work backwards from the customer. #smart

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Prime Competitor Walmart+ Revealed

Over the past 18 months, Walmart has been working on a paid membership service to rival Amazon Prime called Walmart+. The membership service, set to begin public tests this March, will reportedly include “certain perks that Amazon cannot match,” but details on the service have yet to be unveiled. One detail that is known though is that Walmart+ may allow subscribers to use text messages to place orders. The services named competitor, Amazon Prime, costs $119 per year and offers perks such as unlimited one-day shipping, and Amazon’s catalog of movies and TV shows. There are 150 million Prime members globally.

What stood out to us? Does this include streaming content or are we talking Redbox delivery?

In the headlines

  • Never Stop Improving: Lowe’s has redesigned its website to fend off rivals such as Home Depot.
  • Digital Allowance: Venmo is prototyping a debit card for teenagers.
  • Top 10 Club: Thanks to services like same-day delivery, Target has cracked the top 10 list of U.S. ecommerce retailers.
  • Loyal Commerce: Online handbag retailer Dagne Dover now offers free shipping and returns for its products to drive customer loyalty.

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