E-Commerce Briefing: Google Shopping, Chinese waste and Asos troubles
In France, Google Shopping turns into a marketplace
Google Shopping has been around since 2002 and evolved a lot since its early forms. It lets online shoppers compare offers and prices of different online vendors for a variety of products.
Apparently, France will be the training ground for Google Shopping’s boldest move yet: its transformation into an online marketplace. In some screenshots revealed by a French retailer, we see a beta interface with Add to cart call-to-actions – effectively changing Google Shopping from a place to browse to a place to buy.
According to LSA, the full launch will happen in early 2019 with partners like Auchan, Fnac-Darty, and Boulanger. Google will only handle the payments while the retailers will stay responsible for shipments and logistics.
China is tackling e-commerce waste
The Chinese government is addressing a harmful side effect of the e-commerce boom: the explosion of logistics-related waste. In a country where 2 billion packages were delivered in the days following this year’s Singles Day, Greenpeace said that less than 10% of the packing materials are getting recycled.
In a note issued by the State Post Bureau, officials committed to pushing for the use of reusable materials. Chinese E-Commerce companies are seemingly taking their parts; Alibaba-owned logistics firm Cainaio claims to have developed the most lightweight packing technology, leading to a 15% decrease in the use of packing materials.
Asos is having a bad time
UK-based apparel retailer Asos is taking a hit. After years of steady growth, the company issued a profit-warning to its investors, which was immediately followed by a 41% plunge in shares value.
Asos said it suffered from an extremely poor month of November due to increased price competition in the apparel market, the Brexit, and warm weather. As the retail market struggles overall, traditional players are trying to find solace online and intensify promotional efforts. Online retailers long seemed immune to cyclical slowdowns, but this may no longer be the case.