Ecommerce & Marketplaces Newsletter – Nov 10th, 2023
In our lead story, Sangeet Paul Choudary challenges one to think beyond super apps. While all super-app ambitions start from an underlying desire to seat yourself at the center of the ecosystem, Sangeet stresses the importance of a far more systemic approach to map out your ecosystem and identify the key business models within it that provide you greatest strategic leverage and where you have a right to execute through ownership of the key control points. The pace of clean energy spending has accelerated to more than $1 trillion annually, and this figure may continue to grow. Peter Evans joins an exciting webinar by Bloomberg Intelligence along with Christian van Maaren, CEO of Excess Materials Exchange, and hosted by Rob Barnett, Senior Energy Analyst, and Alon Olsha, Senior Analyst, Metals & Mining at Bloomberg Intelligence, to look at how circular economy enables a more rapid energy transition. According to the a16z Marketplace 100: 2023 report, the marketplace economy is growing rapidly, with the top 100 marketplaces generating over $2 trillion in GMV in 2022. Visible VC blog provides a fantastic guide for Marketplace Founders on fundraising by looking at trends marketplace founders should be aware of, 25 marketplace metrics to track, and most importantly, what marketplace VCs look for in their investments. In the Forbes Council post, Andrew Maffettone, CEO and Founder of BlueTuskr, a full-service digital marketing company for e-commerce sellers, explains why comparing your ecommerce metrics to what they were in 2020 might be futile. Instead, it would be best to compare your key metrics year-to-year, at most. The best approach would be to examine conversions, average order values, repeat customer rates, and other key performance indicators quarterly. Pimberly’s holiday season guide dives into the heart of the festive frenzy, offering insights and strategies to ensure your brand not only partakes in the cheer but also thrives. From tapping into the latest shopping trends to mastering the digital marketplace surge, it unwraps the secrets to a prosperous retail holiday season. The key takeaway is that understanding consumer behavior, optimizing supply chains, and innovating holiday marketing is crucial. Read this and other great stories in this week’s edition.
Notable news from the past week
Why Your Super-app Strategy Will (Most Likely) Fail
Everyone wants to build a super-app. Yet, almost every super-app will fail. You don’t get to be a super-app just because you have a lot of users on your core app and you now decide to bundle multiple services into the same interface. You gain the right to be a super-app by, one gaining the primary right to customer relationship in a certain category (or in very rare cases, across categories), and second by gaining the right to mediate all other services (in that category) through your interface. That may sound similar to pushing multiple services through an app interface. But they are not the same thing! And that’s why, most super-apps will fail to get anywhere close to the success of the ‘OG’ super-app that they all claim to emulate – WeChat.
Marketplace Founder’s Guide to Fundraising in 2023 + The VCs Investing
The digital age has ushered in the rise of marketplace startups, changing the way we buy, sell, and interact. A marketplace now can take many forms but always connects buyers and sellers, facilitating transactions. These platforms can be vertical (specific to one industry), horizontal (across multiple industries), global, or localized.
From Airbnb and Uber to niche platforms that cater to specific audiences, marketplaces have transformed industries. However, beyond creating a functioning platform, it’s essential for founders to build startups that resonate with investors. According to the a16z Marketplace 100: 2023 report, the marketplace economy is growing rapidly, with the top 100 marketplaces generating over $2 trillion in GMV in 2022.
The pace of clean energy spending has accelerated to more than $1 trillion annually, and this figure may continue to grow as governments push for emissions reductions and net-zero strategies. Peter Evans joins an exciting webinar by Bloomberg Intelligence along with Christian van Maaren, CEO of Excess Materials Exchange, and hosted by Rob Barnett, Senior Energy Analyst, and Alon Olsha, Senior Analyst, Metals & Mining at Bloomberg Intelligence, to look at how circular economy enables a more rapid energy transition.The so-called energy transition could require a significant boost critical minerals needed to facilitate the adoption of wind, solar, electric vehicles and other new energy technologies – and we note that recycling and the so-called circular economy may help to ease some of the constraints on raw materials needed to power the transition.
Stop Comparing Your E-Commerce Metrics To What They Were In 2020
I get it, you wish your e-commerce business were selling the way it did in 2020, when U.S. e-commerce revenue surged 28%, and in 2021, when it surged 22%. But those days are gone, even though they left their mark. Why did the Covid-19 e-commerce boom happen? And what does it mean for the future of the industry and for retailers? Let’s take a look. During the height of the pandemic, many consumers had no choice but to shop online. E-commerce companies of all stripes saw a major increase as a result. However, when extraordinary business gains are caused by an external factor, those same gains can dry up as soon as that external factor is no longer a factor. In fact, a return to e-commerce normalcy was hinted at as far back as early February 2021, when overall online spending intentions in many categories had dropped, though not necessarily to pre-Covid levels.
Let’s begin with the basics, right? What’s the D2C marketing strategy or direct-to-consumer retail strategy that every popular retail brand is suddenly raving about? The direct-to-consumer strategy involves direct selling to the customers without getting any middlemen (read distributors or wholesalers) involved. L’Oreal launched a D2C offering called Color and Co that offered personalized hair dye kits to its consumers. The consumers could receive live online consultations from professionals on the colors and packages and order a customized product that would be delivered in their footsteps. Similarly, Nike built a D2C sales program to sell its products online to consumers directly. Nike witnessed record-high sales during Black Friday and saw its digital sales increase by 84%.
Our latest blog post dives into the heart of this festive frenzy, offering insights and strategies to ensure your brand not only partakes in the cheer but also thrives. From tapping into the latest shopping trends to mastering the digital marketplace surge, we unwrap the secrets to a prosperous retail holiday season. As the leaves turn and the air chills, the holiday retail season beckons—a period pulsating with the promise of twinkling lights and ringing registers. It’s that time of year when consumer spirits are at a high and shopping lists lengthen. This creates a bustling marketplace ripe with opportunities for both seasoned retailers and vibrant start-ups in this upcoming season. Thus, you have the opportunity to paint every sale with the joy of giving as businesses large and small gear up for the most pivotal chapter in their annual narrative.
Alibaba’s e-commerce business unit is on the hunt for software partners to test generative artificial intelligence (AI) use cases on its large language models. Accessible via a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs), called Aidge, the AI models are trained on data insights gathered from across the Chinese tech giant’s global e-commerce operations. More than 15 APIs now are available with the pilot launch of Aidge on Monday, for independent software vendors (ISVs) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors to develop and test use cases. The APIs span several commerce-related applications including consumer insight, content localization, design, and customer service, announced Alibaba International Digital Commerce Group during the launch in Singapore.
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