Welcome to this week’s round-up where we take a look at an investigation into eBay’s latest acquisition proposal, Alibaba’s EU hub, a UK Amazon Go store location and more!
Is eBay trying to kill competition for the used auto industry?
eBay is revving up to acquire Motors.co.uk in a bid to take on Auto Trader as an alternative ad site for cars.
The proposed acquisition is, however, now under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as the move could result in ‘substantial lessening‘ of competition in this sector. This is because if the deal proceeds, the acquisition would see Motors.co.uk joining eBay’s other businesses, eBay Motors and Gumtree Motors.
Together the group would offer more than 620,000 car listings across the sites, and reach over 10m unique site visitors. This would beat out Auto Trader, which is the current largest listing site in the UK with around 500,000 listings. Just earlier this year though, the current owner of Motors.co.uk, Cox Automotive, entered a joint venture with Auto Trader to create a new online service called Dealer Auction. This is an auction-based service which has received clearance from the CMA on the deal last month.
Alibaba is making a move into the EU e-commerce market through Belgium
Chinese tech giant, Alibaba, has announced plans to open a new e-commerce trade hub in Belgium as part of a pledge to help import $200bn worth of goods from across the world to China over the next five years.
The new hub will be set up on Alibaba’s Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) and will aim to promote inclusive trade. Alibaba and the Belgian government have committed to co-building the platform, which is said will facilitate ‘greater and more equitable access to cross-border trade opportunities‘. Speaking of the benefits of eWTP, Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba said: “We strongly believe that under the eWTP, we will open up the huge potential for European businesses to reap the benefits of global cross-border trade, especially into the China market where the demand for European goods is high.”
London’s West End may be the location for the UK’s first Amazon Go store
The hunt for the first Amazon Go store to open outside of the US is underway and rumour has it, it may be located in central London. Amazon has reportedly set its sights on one of Europe’s busiest shopping districts near London’s Oxford Circus. This would be a flagship for the city as it will be the first Amazon cashierless grocery store in the UK.
It’s been reported that Amazon is planning to ramp up the number of Amazon Go stores over the next few years, with an aim for around 3,000 stores to be rolled out by 2021. This is going to help Amazon’s push into brick-and-mortar retail along with other physical store moves, like the 4-star shop and the Whole Foods stores.
Rakuten France is launching the Club R Everywhere loyalty program
Rakuten France has launched a new loyalty program, Club R Everywhere, an extended version of its pre-existing loyalty program Rakuten Club. The club allows Rakuten customers to get a 5% discount on purchases from partner brands like Nike and Monoprix. France is Rakuten’s second largest market after Japan, ahead of the US and Germany, making the club a logical move for the eCommerce giant.
The current loyalty program, Rakuten Club, was globally launched two years ago and offers customers Rakuten Super Points, which can only be used at Rakuten; these points are earned by buying and selling through Rakuten. Using these points, customers can get discounts on products or services. The loyalty program has 1.2bn subscribers, of which, 1.2m are in France.
Club R Everywhere, extends the loyalty program to 130 external brands that have partnered up with them. This is where the discounts at Nike and Monoprix etc. come into play. They are aiming to have 400 brands connected to the program by the end of 2019. “Since the launch of Club Everywhere a week ago, Nike, Hotels.com and Yves Rocher have been the most successful brands”, Fabien Versavau, CEO of Rakuten France, said.
Amazon Go coming to airports could be what all travellers need… along with being a great plan for Amazon
Amazon is looking to bring its Amazon Go stores to airports, which could allow travellers to grab a quick snack and drink whilst waiting for their flight without risking missing it or having to sprint to the gate.
The Amazon Go store design, which involves simply scanning your phone to get access and then just grabbing what you want and leaving, is perfect for the busy airport environment. The move will make life a lot easier for passengers who don’t want to risk missing their flight for some food. In turn, it is expected that items will sell out quickly as the demand for instant snacks and drinks whilst waiting for a flight is presumably quite high.
Having Amazon Go stores in airports will also allow for brands to boost their awareness by having products in these stores as many people will end up having the products from all over the world. As of right now, this is currently only being looked at for US airports. Given the inevitable success of this, they will most likely expand to other airports worldwide.
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