Tag Archives: retail

World’s Largest Online Retail Shopping Event: 11/11 Singles Day

Once again the world’s biggest shopping event has occurred. And, no, it’s not Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. By far, the biggest shopping day of the year was on November 11, Singles’ Day, in China. (The holiday originally began in 1993 as a celebration for people who are single, chosen because of the connection between singles and the number ‘1’. November 11 now serves as an occasion for single people to party – and shop!)

This year, sales reached more than $8.6 billion in the first hour and passed 2016’s total sales by noon! By the end of the day the gross merchandise value tally was more than $25.3 billion, an increase of 39% from 2016 sales! Even more impressive though is that a whopping 90% of sales were completed from mobile devices (compared to 82% in 2016). At its peak, Alipay processed 256,000 transactions per second.

Singles’ Day is by far the largest shopping and entertainment festival in the world. Consider that it is 18 times bigger than Amazon Prime Day, and 2.5 times bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. This year there were more than 15 million products from 140,000 top brands and companies. Top countries selling to China included Japan, U.S., Australia, Germany, and South Korea.

Singles’ Day has become an event on its own, including celebrities, fashion shows, TV galas, virtual reality, and augmented reality shopping. Companies engaged in a “Catch the Cat” augmented-reality game that engaged customers and offered discounts. There were other games as well, including an interactive trivia game on Tmall and Taobao apps. In addition, Alibaba offered viewers a televised gala that featured international stars including Pharrell Williams, Nicole Kidman, Jessie J, Maria Sharapova, LeBron James, and Zhang Ziyi.

Why is it so important for global brands to enter this shopping day? Consider that there are roughly 300 million middle-class shoppers in China, rising to an estimated 500 million in the next 10-15 years. While Singles Day may have originally started for lonely Chinese consumers, the shopping day now is seen as critical to driving China’s – and the world – economy.

If you are not familiar with Singles Day, there are a number of Web sources with information about the event and Alibaba, including the following:

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Most students will not have previously heard of China’s Single Day. Discuss the shopping holiday and its importance in China.
  2. This is likely the first time students have heard about Singles Day. There are a number of videos that can help explain the event:
    1. What is 11/11?  https://youtu.be/bRv9qG75x2c
    2. Singles Day: https://youtu.be/uDDy50RP67A
    3. An American at Alibaba: https://youtu.be/7ZxM_HaEWBI
    4. News reports: https://youtu.be/gwGGrLpUkdg
    5. What is Alibaba: https://youtu.be/gk69hV6LEgI
  1. Discuss how this holiday compares to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S.
  2. How should U.S.-based companies participate in Singles Day?

Source: Brandchannel.com (2017, Nov. 13). Alibaba’s 2017 11.11 global shopping festival passes $25B.

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Home Delivery – Inside of the Doorway

Consumers are used to ordering goods online and then having packages waiting on the doorstep when they get home. It’s convenient, but sometimes it’s messy when packages are exposed to rain or snow, or when the neighbor dog plays hide-and-seek with the package, or if someone targets the house for a convenient theft while we’re at work. Sure, we can ask the neighbor to keep an eye out, but what if the neighbor isn’t home, or misses the action? While the costs of package theft has not been measured, one can assume the expense of stolen packages adds up for the shippers – and for the buyers.

Ecommerce companies have been working on solutions. Jet.com (owned by Walmart) is using a smart lock made by Latch to provide one-time home entry by using a code. And now Amazon has gotten into the game with Amazon Key – a $250 service that includes a smart camera made by Amazon coupled with a smart door lock made by Yale or Kwikset.

When the delivery arrives, the lock verifies that the driver is at the correct address and at the correct time. Amazon Key then starts recording video, unlocks the door, and records the entire delivery. It can even grant access to the home to other services such as Merry Maids (housecleaning) and Rover.com (dog walking).

Amazon key is currently available in 37 cities and is open to Prime members (who already pay $99/year for fast shipping and other services).

What will you have delivered?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss some of the problems that consumers have with delivery of packages.
  2. Show links and videos of Amazon Key:

Link: https://www.amazon.com/b?&node=17285120011&ref_=pe_3455630_258731250_em_ecg_bor_bs_ann_func

Kit: https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Key-Home-Kit-compatible/dp/B00KCYQGXE

  1. Also show Latch’s solution:

https://www.latch.com/

  1. How does this service benefit consumers?
  2. Poll students: Would they use this service for deliveries? Why or why not?
  3. How should these services be marketed? Who is the ideal customer?

 

Source: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, other news sources

 

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Cereal Cafes

Remember when Mom would tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Did you ignore her? You shouldn’t have, because, well, she’s right. And, now breakfast at cereal cafes can be eaten at all times of the day, all around the world. Whether you are hungry in New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Lisbon, Dubai, or other places across the globe, odds are that you can locate a café that sells American breakfast cereals.

In the past few years, there are dozens of cafes that specialize in selling cereal for a price between $3.00 and $9.00 a bowl. The cafes usual offer dozens of different brands, fruits, candy topping, syrups, different kinds of milk, and more. This is way more than the average American is used to seeing in their home kitchens!

At Pop Cereal Café (Lisbon), a popular cereal combination bowl has a mix of Froot Loops, Rice Krispies, mini marshmallows, dried strawberries, topped with strawberry syrup, waffle cookie, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum.

No word on how long the sugar rush lasts though.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Show several of the cereal cafes:

http://www.cerealkillercafe.co.uk/menus/

http://kelloggsnyc.com/

http://www.cereality.com/

  1. For cereal cafes, who is the target market? Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  2. Next, have each team develop their own menu for a cereal café.
  3. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Associated Press

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