E-Commerce Briefing: Singles Day 2018, Walmart, Russia and Air Freight
This is the second edition of the E-Commerce Briefing, a weekly summary of the top news in e-commerce! Read the first edition here.
Alibaba’s 2018 Singles Day breaks new records
Alibaba, China’s e-commerce giant, made it a yearly habit of trampling e-commerce records. Alibaba alone had sold $25.3 billion worth of merchandise in 24 hours for the 2017 edition, dwarfing the online sales of mighty Black Friday by a 5-to-1 ratio.
This year’s edition, which took place last Sunday, reached a new record of $30.8 billion. The growth rate, however, is notably slower than it was in the past: 27%, as opposed to 39% the year before. Whether the slowdown is due to a more stagnant Chinese economy or an increased e-commerce competition, it remains impressive nonetheless.
Walmart beats growth estimates, e-commerce stronger than ever
Walmart released their latest earnings on Thursday, and it beat analyst prediction. There is a lot of focus on Walmart at the moment as more and more people anticipate a match with Amazon for worldwide retail hegemony (nothing less).
The battle between Walmart and Amazon has two main battlefields: fresh food, where Amazon is trying to catch up on Walmart with the acquisition of Whole Foods last year; and e-commerce, where Walmart fights to stay relevant. On the latest, Walmart says it expects to grow its online sales by 40% in 2018. Will it be enough to remain relevant?
Russia is flexing its (rather tiny) e-commerce muscles
Internet penetration in Russia is only 61% in 2017 (less than Armenia, 62%, Chile, 66% or Khazakstan, 77%). 47% of these users, however, are active e-commerce shoppers. The total value of e-commerce transactions in Russia is forecasted to reach €18.02 billion in 2018, a 13% increase over last year.
Many of these transactions are cross-border; indeed, 14% of Russian e-shoppers only buy from foreign websites and the website that has the most Russian visitors is no other than Alibaba.
The impact of e-commerce on air traffic and airports
Global air freight volumes increased by 9.1% in 2017. This growth naturally calls for more pilots and planes. Boeing and Airbus are taking these matters into their own hands to avoid a shortage of either.
What’s concerning though, is airport congestion and the lack of logistics infrastructure near international airports. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK, in New York) is one example: more than half of the cargo facilities are more than 40 years old and struggling under the ever-growing volume of parcels.
This article by SupplyChainDive goes on to list the runway requirements for aspiring airport tycoons looking to make up for the shortage in new, cargo-ready facilities.