Infosys rolls out digital commerce platform Equinox

  • Bengaluru-headquartered Information Technology services and consulting major Infosys announced the launch of its omnichannel commerce platform Equinox for business-to-business and business-to-consumer buyers.
  • The Infosys Equinox platform will help businesses transform digital commerce across marketing, merchandizing, ecommerce, store operations, supply chain and customer service through its multiple offerings.
  • Infosys Equinox is currently being used by global enterprises in retail, consumer products and goods, telecom, manufacturing, automotive and media industry.
[Via]

Meesho files criminal complaints against fraudulent users

  • Social commerce platform Meesho has filed criminal complaints against fraudulent users who have sent unconsented orders to their customers, cofounder Vidit Aatrey wrote on microblogging platform Twitter on Wednesday.
  • Meesho has filed complaints in both Kolkata and Bangalore, it announced in a blog post.
  • The SoftBank-backed company that raised $300 million in April at a valuation of $2.1 billion has been under the scanner after news outlet Entrackr in July reported about unconsented orders arriving at customer’s doorstep from Meesho.
[Via]

Amazon, Flipkart and Cocaine. Wait, say that again?

From Drones flitting outside to robots sliding inside warehouses, online retailers are always chasing that edge when it comes to logistics. But it can be more than operations or a backyard hygiene-factor. 
The more one can shorten this order-delivery gap, the more addictive one becomes for the customers and, hence, more of a revenue-magnet too.
Professor Adam R Winstock, founder and CEO of Global Drug Survey reveals on the sidelines of a recent study that there is a smart reinforcement psychology at work here and that is what pushes big online retailers to reduce the time between purchase and delivery.
It’s like taking drugs – because a drug turns more addictive as the speed of the onset of effect after consumption goes up.
Ordering and getting something late vs. getting it fast is akin to smoking vs. injecting (coz the transfer to brain is in less than 5 seconds).
Quite a crack!

HT Media Invests $4.4 Million In UK Based Koovs

HT Media is set to acquire 8.31% stake in online fashion retailer Koovs for $4.4 million, reports Medianama. The media firm will be buying 12 million equity shares in the UK based company at GBP 0.25 each.

The all cash deal is expected to close by the end of next month.

In April, Koovs had announced that it raised gross proceeds of £21.9million (Rs 212 crore) through the issue of 87,600,000 New Ordinary Shares at a price of 25 pence per Ordinary Share.

The company had then also announced that it will  raise up an additional £8.1million at 25 pence per Ordinary Share prior to 30 June 2016.

E-commerce Firms Pay Developers 2x More Than IT Cos

The rush to join startups has multiple reasons and being given twice the salary, well who wont? According to a report, developers employed in e-commerce firms enjoy twice the salary and monetary benefits in comparison to their counterparts in the IT Services & Software companies across the nation, .

The India Mobile Talent 2016 Report says that the Indian market is dominated by Android mobile developers who comprise over 70% of the total pool.

The study found that Bengaluru continues to be India’s most popular destination, hosting 25% the total talent pool, followed by Delhi NCR (17%) and Hyderabad (10%), positioning South India as a leading hub for mobile talent.

“Mobile developers are active participants in specialized communities like GitHub and Stack Overflow where they learn from peers, collaborate on projects, and demonstrate skills. Additionally, over 30% of India’s mobile talent pool can be discovered on Klout and 47% of them maintain at least 3 Social Profiles, giving companies a really strong reason to actively tap into these communities,” Vijay Sharma, Co-founder & CEO of Belong.

Highlights from the India Mobile Talent Landscape Report 2016:

People Insights

  • Majority of mobile developers bring 2-5 years of work experience
  • Demand trumps supply with the median tenure in a company for mobile developers across all experience levels being just 1.5 Years
  • Bengaluru emerges as the best place to hire leadership talent. 71% of talent in Delhi has under 5 years of experience while 40% of the talent in Bengaluru has over 5 years of experience
  • Contrary to popular presumptions, regional universities trump top tier national universities, with a majority of the mobile talent hailing from universities such as Visvesvaraya Technological University, Anna University, University of Pune, and not the IITs
  • Github, Stackoverflow emerge as top niche networks to find mobile developers

Industry Insights

  • Samsung, Amazon and Accenture feature among top employers of mobile talent in India
  • While IT Services companies are the dominant employers in the mobile talent space, 53% of the talent they lose joins companies in Computer Software and Computer Hardware. 37% is picked up by companies in the Internet, Saas and E-commerce segments.

Geo Insights

  • Together, tech hubs Bangalore and NCR contribute the lion’s share of the country’s mobile developer talent. While Bangalore holds the definitive lead for both Android and iOS talent, at 28% and 20% respectively, NCR follows close at nearly 18% for both categories
  • Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Indore, Cochin and Chandigarh contribute to 10% of India’s mobile talent workforce. Ahmedabad tops the list of emerging cities, with 4.5% of the total mobile developer workforce, with much of its inflow and outflow happening between the nearby cities of Pune and Mumbai
  • Given the large concentration of well-funded e-commerce and Internet companies in Bangalore and NCR, companies like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and Zomato have emerged as top employers of mobile talent in these cities.

Tiger Global Cuts Its Stake In Amazon

Tiger Global has cut its shares in US based e-commerce firm Amazon by 67%, according to a regulatory filing.

Apart from Amazon, Tiger Global has also reduced its stake in Chinese e-tailer JD, Alibaba and Apple.

In Amazon, Tiger Global has reduced its shares to 1.04 million which is worth $619 million, down from 3.19 million shares worth $2.16 billion as of December 31.

Tiger Global had acquired stake in Amazon by upto 2.44 million shares but lost 22% in the first three months of 2016, as the company’s shares dipped by 12%. Amazon’s shares later rose high and also touched its all time high price at $720.6 on May 12. [source]

In Apple, the venture capital firm reduced its shares by 25% while in Alibaba it dissolved its entire stake.

Note: Tiger Global is also an investor in rival firm Flipkart which has recently witnessed a number of markdowns by its investors and is also restructuring its business model.

Gujarat Government To Impose Entry Tax On E-Commerce Goods

Recently Gujarat Government passed a bill to levy entry tax on goods purchased through e-commerce portals.

The State Government intends to provide a level playing field for traders and retailers in the state, as the online discounted good was affecting the local trade.

Clarifying the need for the bill, State Finance Minister Saurabh Patel, said, “Due to the recent development in the field of online purchase, web-based software applications or through tele-shopping platforms, which does not attract any tax under the present Act, local businesses were adversely affected.”

The e-commerce players already pay tax in the origin state and along with this, it will be a double taxation for the companies.

On one hand while Central Government is easing policies and boosting e-commerce startups, state governments like UP, Uttarakhand are taking steps which will only enhance the ambiguity of the ecosystem and in no way help the companies to grow. 

[source]

Flipkart Hunts Out The Fraud Sellers And Blacklists 250

Flipkart has blacklisted 250 sellers on its platform after the e-commerce player found them to be selling substandard products.

The ecommerce player launched an initiative ‘mystery shopping’ six months ago and its staff and employees from a leading consultancy firm have been shopping from the portal under this initiative. They helped in identifying the sellers, as they would select products of low quality and send pictures to an email id which would be processed by Flipkart’s security team.

Out of 85,000 sellers, Flipkart has received feedback of over 600 sellers. and taken action against 500 sellers. It has also blacklisted 40-50% of the sellers, said the company.

The sellers have been identified selling poor quality products, or defaulting on deliveries, or making wrong packaging or price labelling They will now be trained for delivery, packaging etc.

[source]

 

Flipkart Vs Uttarakhand Government [Over 10% Entry Tax On Goods]

Flipkart through its logistics arm EKart, has filed a writ in the high court of Uttarakhand, against the state.

Uttarakhand has imposed a 10% tax on the good purchased from e-commerce while the standard rate of entry tax is 5%. The e-commerce giant has called the move “discriminatory”.

Uttarakhand imposed the tax in December but Maharashtra, Bihar and Karnataka already have an entry tax on e-commerce purchases while other states are in the planning stage.

[source]

 

Jabong Gets An Additional $20 Million Fund From Global Fashion Group

E-commerce fashion company Jabong has got an additional fund of $20 million from Global Fashion Group (GFG).

The e-commerce company is currently running in losses though the company had recently stated that its growth in 2014-2015 was at 98%, which is nearly 20% more than its closest rival.

“GFG has raised over $1.5 billion in capital in its history and its Board remains unanimously committed to all regions it operates in, including India. Jabong has made a number of recent senior management hires and has also recently witnessed record operating performance. These facts, which are supported by public filings on our current investment rate, are clearly evident of GFG’s commitment to growing Jabong,” Jabong said in the email to ET.

Voonik Acquihires Getsty, A Personal Shopping Platform For Men

Fashion marketplace for women, Voonik is set to launch its men’s fashion app and so has acquihired Getsty, a curator of personalised fashion for men to speed up the setting up of its new division.

Getsty, a Bangalore based personal shopping site for men was co-founded by two IIT-Kanpur graduates, Saurabh Acharya & Ashish Khandelwal.

voonik founders

Getsty created a personal shopping experience for men, by connecting them to stylists. Through a simple questionnaire, customers could create their profile on Getsty, on the basis of which their personal stylist would send them a set of 8-10 clothes most appropriate for them. Customers could keep whatever they liked and return the rest of the clothes.

The acquihiring will help Voonik to leverage its existing customer base, its supplier network and its recommendation engine to speed up its own men’s offering.

Voonik CEO and Co-Founder Sujayath Ali said, “Our customers have given us the confidence that there is a huge market for personalisation and affordable fashion. With 5 million plus installs, we already have highest engagement in shopping apps and have grown 2600% Y-O-Y in FY15-16. Our customers have consistently demanded a men’s range on Voonik, so that the men in their families could also have as much fun shopping as they do. With this huge demand already in place and the lack of good fashion apps for men, I feel there is a large untapped market for this product.”

Last year, Voonik had acquihired TrialKart, a mobile platform that provides a virtual dressing room experience to shoppers.

LeEco Brings LeEco Day In India; Lets You Buy Le1s Smartphone Without Registration

LeEco has announced the launch of its global brand property LeEco Day in India on the e-commerce platform – Flipkart. This shopping bonanza with Rs 8 -crore worth of prizes and exciting offers will be held on February 25th (Thursday).

Globally, LeEco’s online sales from its annual ‘Fans Festival’ topped CNY1.7 billion ($270 million), making it one of China’s largest e-commerce event.

LeEco’s Atul Jain , COO Smart Electronics Business, said, “ We are humbled by the consumers’ response to our Superphones in the flash sales . We recognize that there is a huge pent up demand for our flagship killer – Le 1s and the super-premium Le Max , which has been the prime motivator for us to come up with this LeEco Day . We are confident that this innovative shopping carnival will witness unprecedented popularity among consumers.”

Starting LeEco Day , Le1s smartphone will be available on Flipkart without consumers having to go through the registration process.

Buyers of LeEco’s Superphones can expect a content ecosystem to be uploaded into its android-based EUI system in the 2nd quarter of this year since the company has already signed contracts with Eros and Yupp TV.

Read our review of Le1s.

Myntra Plans To Enter US Market And Curb Its Losses

Flipkart owned Myntra after reporting a loss of Rs 740 crore is planning to foray into the US market and has set up a subsidiary of Myntra Inc.

The e-commerce player plans to achieve profitability by 2017 and thus is looking for opportunities. Myntra had reported losses of Rs 173 crore in FY14.

Chief executive officer, Ananth Narayanan also said that Myntra does not aim to be a a discount-led platform but a mass premium player and thus with the help of technology, the firm is figuring out what discount can be given to which product considering its price and demand.

Earlier the company said that it had clocked $800 million in annualized GMV in January 2016, taking it closer to the target of reaching $1 billion GMV by FY 2016-2017.

[source]

Amazon And Walmart To Invest More Than Rs 2000 Crore In Indian Retail Market

Aiming to build a larger network and gain a market share, Walmart Stores and Amazon is planning to invest more than Rs 2000 crore in the market.

Amazon seller services that is the online e-commerce platform will receive an investment of Rs 1,696 crore from Amazon. On the other hand, Walmart Stores which plans to open close to 50 stores will invest Rs 360 crore.

Amazon India in the past year has expanded the capacity of its centres threefold and nearly 90% of the sellers is using the company’s logistics.

Walmart’s Stores which addresses the smaller retailers had a sales decline last year to Rs 2,992.7 crore. The retail giant now plans to expand and open 70 stores in the next five years.

[source]

E-commerce Players Stops Shipping Expensive Products To UP

E-commerce players including Amazon, Flipkart have stopped shipping products that value more than Rs 5000 to Uttar Pradesh.

online-shopping

The reason is that the state Government about six months ago, set a new law that has mandated online buyers  to file a VAT declaration along with the registration number of the vehicle which is bringing the product within the state borders, if the product exceeds Rs 5,000 in value. This has obviously brought in reluctance thus almost ending the shipping of expensive items to the consumers.

The online retailers have claimed that more than 60% of the sales is generated from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. To combat this law, many firms are setting up seller base and warehouses within the state.

[source]

Fashion E-Tailor, Yepme Launches First Offline Store In Gurgaon

Yepme, has opened its first store at DT City Centre Mall, Gurgaon and has moved to brick and mortar retailing.

yepme

The store aims to develop a connection between its customers and the retail brand, its products and brand culture. Customers can try them on to understand their best fit and buy their products from the store or online and get it delivered at their doorstep. And, there is no price difference between the offline and online stores.

Vivek Gaur, CEO and Co-founder Yepme, said “The brand is taking a step to get closer to our customer, as customers can now experience the touch & feel of the product and the diverse range of the fresh fashion collection for both men and women. They can also try their best fit to make an intelligent purchase online or at the store. We are excited to see the response at the store and take customer interaction to the next level.”