Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Svensk e-handel 2013: Ny DIBS rapport

Svensk E-handel 2013 är en årlig analys av e-handelsmarknaden som genomförts sedan 2007. Rapporten bygger på intervjuer med 4000 konsumenter i Sverige, Danmark, Finland och Norge om handeln på nätet och i mobilen.

Årets rapport visar att e-handeln blivit en självklar del av vardagen och att konsumenterna tagit med sig sitt vanliga köpmönster ut på nätet i både datorn, surfplattan och mobilen.

E-handel definieras i rapporten som försäljning av varor och tjänster över internet oavsett om köpet sker via datorn eller mobilt. Exempel på tjänster är resor, biljetter, appar, matkassar, musik och streamingtjänster.

E-handel via mobiler och surfplattor har haft ett mycket starkt genombrott. Bara under det senaste året har 733 000 svenska konsumenter börjat handla mobilt och tillväxten sker främst utanför storstäderna.

Kraven från konsumenterna visar sig tydligt, hela 40 procent har avbrutit ett köp på grund av att nätbutiken inte var mobilanpassad. Att erbjuda rätt betalsätt är också en viktig faktor för att konsumenten skall fullfölja köpet.
Ladda hem rapporten gratis här.

Amazon Prime Air Concept

Amazon announced yesterday that it is developing a drone delivery service called Prime Air that will aim to get packages into customer’s hands within 30 minutes. They are planning to launch as soon as FAA regulations are lifted — as early as 2015. Amazon states that safety will be their top priority. Check out the video below for more information.


Monday, November 18, 2013

E-handelns dag: 29 November

Fredagen den 29 november lanserar e-handelskoncernen CDON "e-handelns dag" för första gången i Sverige för att markera starten på årets julhandel online. I ett pressmeddelande förklarar CDON Groups VD Paul Fischbein och Zalandos regionschef för Norden Michael Lindskog, att nätaktörerna ser fram emot att få presentera fina erbjudanden för konsumenterna denna första e-handelns dag.

I USA äger “Cyber Monday” rum första måndagen efter Thanksgiving, i år för nionde gången i ordningen. Fenomenet “Cyber Monday” finns redan i stora delar av Europa, bland annat i Tyskland, Frankrike och Portugal. I England går det under benämningen ”Mega Monday”. Kinas version av “Cyber Monday” ägde i år rum den 11 november, och experter uppskattar att det under denna 24-timmarsperiod gjordes transaktioner online till ett värde över 8,2 miljarder dollar. Denna siffra kan jämföras med omsättningen under Cyber Monday i USA 2012, som uppgick till ca 1,46 miljarder dollar.

CDON refererar till HUI´s senaste e-barometerrapport som förutspår att julhandeln på nätet kommer att slå nya rekord i år. Anledningen för detta är enl. HUI att fler och fler har upptäckt fördelarna med att handla på nätet och att många är också beredda att göra större delen av sina julklappsinköp online. Att beställa julklappar på nätet är bekvämt jämfört med att ge sig ut i julstressen och köa i butiker och överfyllda köpcentra.

Onlinehandelns baksida

Amazon's Global Locations
Om tomten ska hinna med alla onlinebeställningar krävs många plockare och packare hos landets e-handlare. Enbart den amerikanska näthandlaren Amazon har aviserat att man kommer att visstidsanställa minst 60.000 lagerarbetare för att klara årets julrush. Amazon har idag ca 40 logistikcentra i världen med ca. 20.000 anställda som jobbar under devisen: „Work hard, have fun, make history“

Men i ett reportage från tyska tv-kanalen ARD beskrivs lagerarbete hos Amazons tyska logistikcentra som rena slarvarbete. Där anställer man via bemanningsföretag tiotusentals personer från olika länder. Reportaget berättade om vilseledande anställningsavtal, låga löner, usel inkvartering, slavliknande arbetsvillkor och en förnedrande tillvaro där de anställda dygnet runt bevakas av uniformerade säkerhetsvakter som har anknytning till högerextrema och nynazistiska grupper.
Efter massiv kritik från den tyska regeringen lovade Amazon att se över avtalen med bemanningsföretagen och arbetsvilkoren.

Även den franska journalisten Jean-Baptiste Mallet ger i sin nya bok "De Amazonia"en dyster bild av arbetsvillkoren hos Amazon. Under en månad lyckades han att jobba som plockare på Amazon´s lager i Montelimar och fick stressa varje natt genom det gigantiska lagret. Styrd av en handnavigator som visade vägen till rätt artikel i hyllorna sprang han ca 20 km varje natt. Arbetet övervakades i realtid av förmannen om plockmålet 120-130 artiklar per timme uppfylldes.

Hur det ser ut för inhyrda plock-& packare i de svenska logistikcentralen inför årets julhandel vore ett intressant spaningsuppdrag. Enl. en ny kunskapssammanställning från Göteborgs universitet, som Arbetsmiljöverket beställt löper bemanningsanställda högre risk att utsättas för psykosocial ohälsa än andra grupper på arbetsmarknaden. En viktig förklaring till detta är att inhyrda inte känner sig trygga i sin anställning. Detta trots att de som jobbar på bemanningsföretag i Sverige kan vara tillsvidare (”fast”) anställda till skillnad från i många andra länder.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Årets julklapp 2013

HUI Research har utsett en produkt till Årets Julklapp sedan 1988. Produkterna har genom åren varit stora som små, billiga som dyra, men Årets Julklapp har alltid givit upphov till diskussion. Förra årets julklapp var hörlurarna.

För att en produkt ska kunna bli utsedd till Årets Julklapp ska ett eller flera av följande kriterier uppfyllas:
• Produkten ska vara en nyhet eller ha fått ett nyväckt intresse för året
• Produkten ska svara för ett högt försäljningsvärde eller säljas i stort antal
• Produkten ska representera den tid vi lever i

En produkt som uppfyller alla tre kriterier är robotdammsugaren. Den är inte ny, Electrolux lanserade redan 1999 sin Trilobite, som då kostade 20 tkr. Men priset för en robotdammsugare har sjunkit till 2000-4000 tkr. Marknadsledaren iRobot har sold ca. 10 miljoner Roomba dammsugarrobotar i hela världen.
Hushållsrobotar ligger i tiden. I december börjar andra säsongen av tv-serien Äkta Människor som väcker debatt om vårt förhållande till intelligenta maskiner.

Årets Julklapp 2013 släpps tisdagen den 19 november.

För mer robotinfo besök systerbloggen Robotland.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

25M SEK for new trading research at Lund University

A new interdisciplinary center at Lund University will become a hotspot for Swedish retail research. The Centre for Trading Research will investigate new concepts and models for multi-channel retailing, e-commerce, payment, logistics and customer trends. The Centre is a center of excellence and will help develop and improve knowledge transfer between academia and commerce companies and employees. The center is financed by the Swedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council with 25 million SEK.

The Swedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council is one of Sweden’s largest financiers of research in the area of wholesale and retail. The main purpose it to develop and strengthening the academic retail and wholesale research. The aim is also to increase the knowledge of wholesale and retail, for the benefit of companies, employees, customers and society.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Swedish virtual fitting room wins retail award

Global online fashion and beauty retailer ASOS and Swedish Virtusize was awarded the Retail Technology Initiative Of the Year Award 2013l in Paris this week for its virtual fitting room. The solution works by enabling customers to compare the specific measurements of an item they already own with one they are considering buying. By displaying and overlaying silhouettes of the two items, customers can compare sizes and choose which one would fit them best. Virtusize is based in Sweden and its Fit Visualiser solution is already in operation with more than 23 online retailers in Scandinavia, Germany and Austria, including Nelly.com, Stylebop.com and WeSC.”
ASOS offers over 60,000 branded and own label product lines across womens wear, mens wear, footwear, accessories, jewellery and beauty with approximately 1,500 new product lines being introduced each week.

Friday, September 27, 2013

New DIY concepts: Plotagon - movie making for everyone

Plotagon is a new tool that lets anyone create an animated movie directly from a written screenplay. Write your story, choose actors, environments and music. Press play and your movie is done. Watch the movie. Share it with the world.
Plotagon is a Swedish company created around the idea that everyone has a story to tell. Founded by Christopher Kingdon in 2010 and funded by private investors, Plotagon aims to make it easy for people to create movies and share them with the world. The company’s dedicated team of designers, developers, artists and animators has created an intuitive and engaging software that lets anyone create a movie just by writing a story. The software was released as a beta version for the public to try in August 2013.
Check out the "How it works" movie below.

New DIY concepts: Sandwichbike

Credit: Sandwichbike
In 2006 Bleijh industrial design studio presented the first Sandwichbikes concept. Inspired by the concept of flat packing and home assembly made popular by companies like IKEA Bleijh finally made a bike out of two wooden plates.
In the years following this concept was presented around the world. The attention was always high and the people’s reactions very positive.
After a long time of looking for the right partners with the same vision, in 2011 the right people were found. Since then the preparation and engineering was started to bring Sandwichbikes to production.
The Pedalfactory will be the organization who will be responsible for the realisation and sales of the Sandwichbike. The Sandwichbike will be available for pre-order within the next few weeks. The price of a Sandwichbike starts at € 799,-.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Packrobot - a new parcel delivery solution


PackRobot is a new self-service parcel delivery solution, which uses the latest technology and is the most cost-efficient model on the market. The PackRobot, developed by Estonian Cleveron can be implemented both indoors and outdoors. PackRobot uses a 3D lift system to deliver parcels from different sections in the machine to one sliding door. The one door system brings out the best ergonomics – all activities are done in one place so that customers and couriers don’t have to move around. The door is located at optimal height for all customers - including children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
The PackRobot includes a multiload system for couriers, which enables to insert similar size parcels into different slots at the same time, thus making the loading system much faster and easier. PackRobot makes the best use of limited floor space (only 2,2 m2 needed) and uses the height for its advantage. The client can determine the number and size of the slots in the machine and change them in the course of operation. The PackRobot is easily expandable and can fit up to 720 parcels.
Watch the promo video below.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Internet Future Scenarios

Credit: Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young, a global leader in assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services, has presented a scenario study entitled How will consumers communicate in 2020?
The scenarios based on two core uncertainties -  security and privacy and degree of Internet integration into our daily lives - cover four divergent and challenging scenarios:

  • Full Speed Ahead scenario (self-regulation and uniform standards)
  • Roller Coaster scenario (high speed innovation, no rules)
  • Speed Limit Control scenario (stringent rules and regulations, more expensive, less user-friendly)
  • Gear Down scenario (lost of trust in the Internet)

The report ends with an example asking "How will people shop for groceries in 2020?" and projects the scenario findings into a 2020 shopping environment. In the full speed ahead scenario the virtual assistant Moby takes care of food recommendation, purchase and delivery, while in the gear down scenario consumers are shopping more offline.

Compare also with a similar scenario study about the future of the Internet developed by The Internet Society in 2009.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Swedish Consumer Report 2013

Credit: Konsumentverket, KO

The Swedish Consumer Report 2013 (Konsumentrapporten) is the first of its kind for the Swedish Consumer Agency, Konsumentverket, KO,  and was commissioned by the Government. The objective is to highlight markets that create problems for consumers and describe the most important conditions that enable consumers to act. The report is primarily based on consumer perceptions of how easy or difficult it is to be a consumer in 45 markets. KO has investigated consumer perceptions using a specifically designed survey – the so-called Consumer Market Survey (kmu). The results provide a comparative picture of consumer experiences across a wide range of markets; for example when buying a holiday, taking a car to be fixed or when hiring a tradesman. The comparison is made on the basis of factors such as access to information, choice and the extent to which consumers have trust in the laws that protect them from being cheated.

Problematic consumer markets

Most markets have both their strengths and weaknesses. Of course, a positive assessment of the level of choice within a market does not imply that the trustworthiness of advertising and marketing is high.
There are also markets that characterise themselves by their low ranking scores in several areas – whether it concerns formal complaints, the ease of comparing products, trustworthiness of businesses or the range and choice available.
The markets judged to pose the most problems for consumers are telecommunications services (internet, television, landline and mobile contracts), insurance (life, home and vehicle insurance), banking and financial services (investments/pensions, personal loans/credit, mortgages and current accounts), travel by rail and local public transport, electricity, tradesmen, vehicle maintenance services, estate agents, clothing and footwear and second-hand cars.

Opportunities for business

The Consumer Report highlights opportunities for businesses to improve consumer conditions, thereby also becoming more attractive to consumers. In some cases a combined initiative by both the public and private sectors may be needed to improve an entire branch.

Highly recommended source for in-depth analysis of Swedish consumer markets and development of competitive multi-channel concepts.


Facebook 2013, Q1 results


Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) today reported financial results for the first quarter, which ended March 31, 2013.

  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 665 million on average for March 2013, an increase of 26% year-over-year. 
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.11 billion as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 23% year-over-year. 
  • Mobile MAUs were 751 million as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 54% year-over-year.
  • Revenue for the first quarter totaled $1.46 billion, an increase of 38%, compared with $1.06 billion in the first quarter of 2012. 
  • Revenue from advertising was $1.25 billion, representing 85% of total revenue and a 43% increase from the same quarter last year. 
  • Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 30% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2013. 
  • Payments and other fees revenue was $213 million for the first quarter of 2013. 

High profit margins for Swedish C2C companies

According to a new study of Swedish Retail Research Institute (HUI) based on data from C2C market place Blocket, the Swedish market for second hand goods increased 4 percent in Q3 2012 compared with Q3 2011. Excluding vehicles the market increased with 7 percent. Second hand fashion increased with 23 percent, while furniture was the largest category with 22 percent of all private classified advertisements.

While more and more Swedish consumers recognize second hand marketplaces to buy and sell second hand items or to check before buying new products, Swedish C2C companies continue to cash in big money.

High profit margins 

The leader in Swedish C2C is Blocket.se, founded in 1996 by Henrik Nordström. Blocket.se has over 4.5 million unique visitors a week (KIA-index), and has become a cash machine for its owner, Norwegian Schibsted.
In 2011, Blocket.se generated 621 million SEK in revenue, a growth with 17 percent compared with 2010. Net income of 230 million SEK represents a profit margin of 38 percent. In 2011 Blocket employed 57 people at a cost of 1,1 million SEK each.

Competitor Tradera.com, founded in 1999, has over 2,5 million members and about one million listings. Tradera was  acquired by eBay Inc. in 2006 for 365 million SEK. Originally based completely on private auctions today visitors can purchase both new and second hand items through auctions as well as fixed price listings.
In 2011, e-Bay Sweden generated 159 million SEK in revenue, a 4,32 percent decrease compared with 2010. The net income of 22 million SEK represents a profit margin of 22 percent.  In 2011 Tradera employed 47 people at a cost of 1,1 million SEK each.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

eBay India e-Commerce

On an average day on eBay India: 
  • A mobile accessory sells every 1 minutes
  • A health or beauty product sells every 1 minute
  • A piece of home or kitchen product sells every 1 minute
  • A mobile handset sells every 2 minutes
  • A portable storage device sells every 2 minutes
  • A coin or a note sells every 2 minutes
  • A piece of apparel sells every 2 minutes
  • A car or bike accessory sells every 3 minutes
  • A piece of jewellery sells every 3 minutes
  • A watch sells every 5 minutes
  • A book or magazine sells every 5 minutes
  • A stamp sells every 5 minutes
  • A fitness & sports item sells every 7 minutes
  • A toy sells every 9 minutes
  • A home appliance sells every 9 minutes
  • A tablet sells every 12 minutes
  • A digital camera sells every 13 minutes
  • A pair of footwear sells every 14 minutes
  • A laptop sells every 17 minutes
  • A handbag sells every 22 minutes
  • A pair of sunglasses sells every 23 minutes
  • A TV sells every 26 minutes
  • A MP3 player sells every 29 minutes
With more than 100 million active users globally (as of Q4 2011), eBay is the world's largest online marketplace, where practically anyone can buy and sell practically anything. Founded in 1995, eBay connects a diverse and passionate community of individual buyers and sellers, as well as small businesses. Their collective impact on ecommerce is staggering: In 2011, the total value of goods sold on eBay was $68.6 billion -- more than $2,100 every second. 

Swedish e-Commerce scenarios

E-commerce growth in Sweden will be evident to trade, contractors, building owners and consumers according to a new study of the HUI Research Institute commissioned by GS1 Sweden. Calculating three different scenarios for e-commerce growth HUI researchers expects e-commerce's share to increase significantly from 5 to 13 percent in five years.
Food, furniture and building materials is expected to increase the most.

Consumers are the biggest winners when e-commerce is growing, as they get more choice and more deals to choose from. Physical commerce will continue to be the primary way to shop, but we will see a structural change, says Lena Larsson, CEO of HUI Research.
The acceptance rate of the consumers to get the wrong item or not being able to track the delivery will be low. Being able to scan bar codes in stores and order the item in the online store is quite possible today but the supply is limited.


GS1 is an international not-for-profit association with Member Organisations in over 100 countries.
GS1 is dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors. The GS1 system of standards is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

German multi-channel study

According to a new multi-channel study of the German ECC Cologne Institute in cooperation with Hybris the influence of online stores on retail outlets is increasing.
Credit: ECC/Hybris
German consumers rely increasingly on search engines and online stores before purchasing at retail outlets. Almost 58 percent of German consumers search directly in the online shop of the selected supplier. Austrian consumers use online stores for the selected supplier (74.4%) while in Switzerland in addition to these online shops (60.2%) also use search engines (51.1%)  before consulting a retail outlet.
The graph shows the impact of different channels on purchase behavior. 32,1 percent of purchase in physical shops are prepared by search in online shops and account for 50,2 percent of physical store revenue.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Impact of E-Commerce’s on shopping malls

Torp Shopping Mall, Uddevalla
In his paper "Electronic Commerce’s Impact on Malls" Tobias Rönnberg Halvorsen, department of Real Estate and Construction Management at the Centre for Banking and Finance, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, in Stockholm investigates the impact of e-commerce on shopping malls and how shopping malls should adapt to e-commerce in the future.
The author describes the the expansion of malls in Sweden where the number of malls has doubled in the last 15 years. In 2011 Swedish malls had revenues of over 622 billion SEK which approximately corresponds to 30 per cent of the entire retail market. Parallel to this development, Swedish e-commerce established itself on the market in the mid 90’s and started growing at the beginning of the new millennium. In 2003, e-commerce constituted about 1 per cent of the Swedish retail market. In 2011 the figure was 5 per cent. Even during the latest financial crisis e-commerce has continued to grow. According to the author e-commerce does not affect malls to any greater extent so far, because e-commerce is still a relatively small part of the retail market. But this might change over time if e-commerce will continue to grow. Malls should therefore start planning for a response and identify Internet and e-commerce as a complement and business opportunity.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eco-minded retail concepts

Credit: Unpacked
Unpackaged was founded in 2006 by Catherine Conway in the belief that there is a better way to sell products, so our customers can do the right thing – for themselves and for the environment. Catherine set up Unpackaged because she wanted to refill her groceries using her own containers. The dream was to set up a beautiful shop that made it really easy for customers to come & refill all their daily essentials. The Islington shop opened in November 2007.

Credit: Beyond Retro
Beyond Retro offers the leading selection of handpicked vintage clothing to style conscious shoppers. Beyond Retro is originally from London, the chain opened its first store on Cheshire Street in east London 2002. In the autumn of 2011 Beyond Retro opened the its largest store in Dalston, USA.
Beyond Retro Sweden has three stores in Stockholm and one store in Gothenburg. The first store opened at Södermalm, Stockholm in 2005.




Credit: Lush
Lush is a cosmetics company headquartered in Poole, Dorset in the United Kingdom. The company was founded by Mark and Mo Constantine and opened the first store in Poole under the name Cosmetic House Limited in 1994. The current name Lush was adopted in 1995. Lush has now 830 stores in 51 countries. Lush produces and sells a variety of handmade products, including soaps, shower gels, shampoos and hair conditioners, bath bombs, bubble bars, hand and body lotions and face masks. Lush uses fruit and vegetables, essential oils, synthetic ingredients, honey and beeswax in their products. In addition to not using animal fats in their products, they are also against animal testing and perform tests with volunteers instead.

Credit: Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market is a publicly traded foods supermarket chain based in Austin, Texas which emphasizes "natural and organic products." The company has been ranked among the most socially responsible businesses and placed fourth on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of Top 25 Green Power Partners. The company aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers. High standards permeate all aspects of the  company and quality is a state of mind at Whole Foods Market.








Monday, March 25, 2013

Trendspotting from JWT

The eighth annual “10 Trends Report” from JWT Intelligence, one of the world's best-known marketing communications agency, forecasts the following 10 trends that might drive consumer behavior in the coming year and beyond. These trends are: 
  • Play As a Competitive Advantage
  • The Super Stress Era
  • Intelligent Objects
  • Predictive Personalization
  • The Mobile Fingerprint
  • Sensory Explosion
  • Everything Is Retail
  • Peer Power
  • Going Private in Public
  • Health & Happiness: Hand in Hand

Check out the video below and find out what JWT expects in store for 2013. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

50 Quadcopter Dance Ensemble

Credit: AEC
The Quadcopter Dance Ensemble is the hottest international sensation in professional event & show business. It’s a swarm of up to 50 LED-equipped quadcopters that fly in formation and perform cool feats of airborne choreography. The accompanying lighting and sound effects create an extraordinary aesthetic experience. The Quadcopter Dance Ensemble was one of the featured attractions at the 2012 voestalpine Klangwolke. An audience of 90,000+ gathered along the Danube in Linz to witness a world record: the first outdoor flight by a formation of 50 quadcopters. The Quadcopter Dance Ensemble can be booked for shows, product presentations and events. Check out the video below for a demo show. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Robotic retailing concept for super easy men's shopping

Hointer, a new venture by former Amazon.com executive Nadia Shouraboura, relies on robotics and a smartphone app to sell more than 150 styles of men’s jeans. Designer jeans hang from metal racks attached to the ceiling, their QR code tags easily accessible. Shoppers use smartphones to scan what they like, and a robotic system in the back delivers items to their dressing rooms, where they can then send for different sizes and colors via the Internet. Check out the video below for a demo. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Consumption and happiness in Sweden

According to the Consumption report 2012, published by Centre for Consumer Science at School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, there is a correlation between happiness and consumption. The more a person consumes, the happier he or she will become. Based on analysis of the Swedish households’ expenditures in 2011 the report shows that there is a correlation between the individual’s subjective well-being and his or her level of consumption, whether we understand this happiness as real or not. Above all there are three forms of consumption that contribute to happiness: experiential consumption (e.g. air journeys), pro-social consumption (e.g. gifts and charity) and finally food consumption.

The Swedish households had expenditures of SEK 1620 billions in 2011. The households’ expenditures increased with 2.2 percent compared to 2010 and increased 26 percent compared to 2001.

•Expenditure groups that increased the most between 2001 and 2011 were: communication services (+102%), purchases by non-resident households in Sweden (+73%), furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house (+ 64%), leisure time and culture (+58%), clothing and footwear (+42%).

Multi-sensor communication

The First Digital Olfaction Society World Congress 2013 will be held in Berlin in April 11-12, 2013 and will aim to open up toward a subject with large scientific and industrial potential, called the olfaction digital science.

Digitizing smells is a new complex concept with the goal to transfer any odorous source into a digital media.

Japanese company Chaku Perfume is developing a new communication service calles "Chat Perf", which can transmit smells via Internet.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Google retail store plans and visions

Rumors - market signals - visions

Credit: Google Glass
Rumors, speculations and predictions about new products or strategic actions of leading companies is a highly entertaining form of communication in social media, sometimes swapping over till business media. Especially rumors about listed companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google have a large audience of fans, analysts and investors. Often started by professional news hunters, former journalists and bloggers, who claim to have well placed "sources" within a company, rumors can be false, deliberately false aimed to spread disinformation, speculation only, or first signs of a emerging change. For professional business analysts rumors are part of the information flow that have to be handled with open minded but critical care following core principles of evaluating information sources.
The latest example is the rumor about Google´s plan to open retail stores. It was started Februari 18 by  "rumor blogger" Seth Weintraub, a former Global IT director and journalist, now editor at " 9to5Google, who refers to "an extremely reliable source" confirming that "Google is in the process of building stand-alone retail stores in the U.S. and hopes to have the first flagship Google Stores open for the holidays in major metropolitan areas." The "news" was published by WSJ referring to 9to5Google and fueled social media to create new blogposts, comments, and #googlestore retweets. February 18, WSJ, confirmed that "Google Works on Plan for Retail Stores", referring to "people familiar with the matter." It was also claimed that Google is "studying Apple Inc.'s playbook for building a consumer-electronics brand."
Professional analysts started immediately searching around the globe of other signs of evidence. Analysts at investment banker Morgan Stanley reports various Google job postings seek engineers to “Develop, test, and deploy Retail Point of Sale systems” (POS), requiring skills such as “Experience spanning any of the top tier platforms including: IBM, NCR, Retalix”, various retail POS systems.

The MS analysts envision Google retail stores as an opportunity for Google to create a new "try before you buy" channel for current and future gadgets such as Google Glass. Google has recently started to invite app developers to become Glass Explores and to pre-order a Glass Explorer Edition for $1500 plus tax and attend a special pick-up experience, in person, in New York, San Francisco or Los Angles. The first version of the new eyewear, known as the Explorer Edition, is expected to be on sale by the end of 2014. For a glimpse of eyewear apps check out the new promotion video.

Google retail experiments

Credit: Searchengineland
The fact, that Google opened Chrome Zone retail outlets in London in 2011 hosted within existing Dixons Retail outlets PC World and Currys, has been mentioned as sign that Google has identified the need of physical retail channels  to generate more hardware revenues.  The UK stores sell Chromebooks, netbooks that run the Chrome OS, as well as their accessories. In a statement released by the Google UK Head of Consumer Marketing Arvind Desikan, it was revealed that the London and Essex stores were only the first installments of "mini-shops" to be spread out internationally in the coming years.

The Google hardware portfolio 

Credit: Google Nexus
A driving force behind the retail store idea is the increased hardware portfolio, that Google has developed as platforms for its Android operating systems. The Google Nexus is a line of mobile devices using the Android operating system produced by Google in conjunction with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners like HTC, Samsung and LG. Google has sold Android-powered smartphones and tablets through its website since 2011. 
In June 2012 Google unveiled the Nexus 7 tablet computer developed with Asus and in October 2012 the Nexus 10 tablet manufactured by Samsung, was revealed. 
Credit: Google, Chromebook
Google Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system designed to work exclusively with web applications. It was announced in July 7, 2009 and made an open source project, called Chromium OS, in November 2009. The first Chromebooks for sale, by Acer and Samsung, were announced in May 2011 and began shipping on 15 June 2011 through online channels, including Amazon and Best Buy in the U.S., and in some European countries. In addition to laptop models, a desktop version, called a Chromebox, was introduced in May 2012. In early 2013 Lenovo, Hewlett Packard and Google itself entered the market.

Motorola Mobility

Credit: Motorola Mobility
Google´s hardware portfolio expanded with the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which builds smartphones and tablets. Google generate about 10% of it's revenues from the Motorola business through two segments. The Mobile segment designs, manufactures, sells and services wireless mobile devices, with integrated software and accessory products. The Home segment designs, manufactures, sells, installs and services set-top boxes for digital and Internet protocol (IP) video, satellite and terrestrial broadcast networks, and Internet protocol television (IPTV) distribution systems, broadband access network infrastructure platforms, and associated software solutions to cable TV and telecommunication service providers. According to a GIGAOM May 2012 report referring Goldman Sachs the Motorola deal was critical for Google to battle both Apple’s iPad as well as Amazon’s Kindle Android based Fire tablet. The report says that Google gains no benefit from the Fire, however, as Amazon has created its own browser and curates an app store specific to the device. And although Google is the default search engine on the top-selling iPad, it actually pays Apple for that privilege, which offsets Google’s revenue from ads on Apple’s tablet. With the Motorola mobile platform, Chrome OS and Android  Google should have a strong concept to compete against Apple and Microsoft platforms in the near future. But to attract consumers for its own Chrome OS and Android based hardware, Google will need to invest in its own retail store chain.

Google retail concepts 

Credit: Google indoor map
As leading search engine Google has a unique insight i global retail trends, consumer behavior, purchasing patterns, ad revenues and emerging multi-channel retail concepts. Supporting global retail with new marketing and sales services to strengthen competitiveness is Google's core business idea. Location based services and indoor navigation are promising new growth markets. In November 2011, Google announced a retail program for inside product tracking—with initial trials from Home Depot, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, IKE, Japan’s Mitsukoshi plus the Mall of America. The Google program, initially limited to Android phones, works by getting detailed floor plans from the retailer. Once the system detects the consumer has entered that address, it defaults to that map and then uses in-store tracking to show the customer’s location compared with product aisles. The Google Maps Floorplan Marker allows users (i.e., business owners) to provide feedback about how accurate the Google Indoor Location service is for their venue. The app guides the user where to go inside the venue and do some WiFi scanning (and even Cell ID sniffing). This process collects the necessary data that Google needs to improve its indoor location service. Google is hoping these business users will help Google calibrate the Z-level (floor level) positioning challenge.

  Google parcel pickup station

Credit: Google BufferBox
In November 2012 Google acquired BufferBox, a Canadian startup company from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, offering users a temporary parcel pickup station for packages ordered online. The acquisition is seen as a step to compete with Amazon's Locker service. In December 2012, Google’s Head of Shopping, Sameer Samat, said in an interview with AllThingsD the company has no plans on being a retailer. Google is only helping other retailers to become more competitive.

Google retail store Dublin

Credit: Camenzind Evolution Ltd, Google HQ Dublin
In Februari 2012 Blomberg reported about Google plans to open a retail store at its European headquarters in Dublin's Montevetro office block. Based on the plans, it appears Google is considering opening a store that would span about 1,300 square feet. The plans were approved by the Dublin City Council on January 23. The Google Store would be open to the public and sell unspecified Google merchandise, Google's Irish unit said in a local planning application. Located in the Montevetro office block on Dublin's Barrow Street, the store would have about 123 square meters (1,323 square feet) of space, including an added mezzanine floor designed to draw attention from passersby. Google's Dublin office is its largest location outside of the U.S., according to the filing. It purchased the Montevetro site in April for about 100 million euros from Real Estate Opportunities Plc.

Google studying Apple Inc. 

In the February 18, WSJ article it is said that Google is also "studying Apple Inc.'s playbook for building a consumer-electronics brand." Well, that´s no surprise, who in retail isn´t studying Apple´s  success story. Apple Store is one important component of the Apple playbook. The Apple Store is a chain of retail stores owned and operated by Apple Inc. The first two Apple Stores opened on May 19 2001 in Tysons Corner and the same day in Glendale, California at Glendale Galleria. As of August 2012, Apple had approximately 395 stores worldwide, with global sales of US$16 billion in merchandise in 2011, and they lead the United States retail market in terms of sales per unit area. According to CEO Tim Cook Apple retail stores generate average annual revenue in excess of $50m. Apple spent $865 million building up retail stores last fiscal year, and expects to spend another $850 million in fiscal 2013 to open between 30 and 35 new stores.  Check out the video with Steve Jobs explaining the store concept of the first ever Apple Retail Store in Tysons Corner, VA. 

Google Store Vision

Credit: Camenzind, Google Tel Aviv
Assume Google will open retail stores in the world, what would they look like? Who would  they partner with to build a "consumer-electronics brand"?
One source of inspiration could be their own office environment, conceptualized and designed by Camenzind Evolution Ltd, a leading workplace innovators. The company has created and built some of the most innovative office spaces globally in recent years. For Google their have designed offices in Dublin, Stockholm, Zürich, Moscow and recently in Tel Aviv.  Based on the Google office design principles Google retail stores could become  innovative and inspiring shopping place where customers can experience Google culture, products and services. Imagine to enter a Google Store
  • "were the design cultivates an energized and inspiring shopping environment that is relaxed but focused, and buzzing with activities. 
  • that "emphasises the importance of the individual customer and maintaining a small-company ambience throughout company growth". 
  • that "offers strong visual and more aesthetically enjoyable and entertaining qualities to stimulate creativity, innovation and collaboration."
  • that "provides a great choice of distinctive emotional and visual experiences and activities." 
Let´s hope Google can use it´s resources and power to empower people all over the world.  


Friday, February 22, 2013

An integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-commerce in the EU

The European Commission describes in their Green Paper on "An integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-commerce in the EU" E-commerce as "widely acknowledged as a key contributor to economic growth and increasing employment levels across the European Union."  The Commission's Communication on ecommerce and online services identifies the delivery of goods purchased online as one of the top five priorities to boost e-commerce by 2015 and its importance has been reiterated by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Delivery is indeed critical as it has a substantial impact on facilitating e-commerce trade and is a key element for building trust between sellers and buyers.

For more information and consultation documents, please visit the EC public consultation website.

Seven out of ten Swedes purchase online

Statistics Sweden, SCB, Investments, R&D and IT Unit has released its new report about "Use of computers and the Internet by private persons
According to SCB a total of 6.6 million people had access to a computer in their home in 2012. This is equivalent to 94 percent of people between the ages of 16 and 74, which is unchanged from 2011. Almost as many people also had access to the Internet, which is a small increase from last year.

Eight out of ten people use the Internet everyday
80 percent of Swedes use the Internet almost every day, which has not changed since 2011. However, this proportion has risen from 57 percent daily users in 2005. The proportion of people that have never used the Internet has fallen from 12 percent in 2005 to 5 percent in 2012.
Seven out of ten purchase online
Credit: SCB
Approximately 74 percent of those between the ages 16 and 74 purchased online between April 2011 and March 2012. Between the ages of 16-54 years bought over 80 percent anything over the Internet during the period. Approximately half of those between the ages of 16 and 74 bought travel tickets, for example train or flight tickets and almost as many bought tickets to events during the same period. 
The age group of the maximum extent email was the 25-34 year olds, where nearly nine out of ten did so (87 percent). In the oldest age group, 65-74 year olds, it was 40 percent there.

Six out of ten people have connected to the Internet with a smartphone
Many Swedes connect to the Internet outside the home with a mobile internet connection. The most common device used with this connection is a smartphone or mobile telephone, which is used by 59 percent of the population. Problems relating to broadband Internet reception of low speeds with mobile Internet connections are relatively common, with 30 percent of the population having experienced this during the first quarter 
of 2012.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

iZettle Chip & PIN reader

Credit: iZettle

Swedish iZettle, the social payments company, has introduced a new member to the iZettle family: a brand new Chip & PIN reader. This reader allows the user to accept all major cards and is perfect for small and growing businesses that need to process high transaction volumes. iZettle made things simple, so users will use the same great iZettle app as before, but with this reader customers will confirm the purchase with PIN instead of signature. Of course, the Chip & Signature reader will still work just as before. For now our Chip & PIN reader will be available for purchase in Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
The iZettle service was first launched in Sweden in the summer of 2011 and is now available to individuals and small businesses across Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, The United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. Over the coming months, iZettle will bring secure and easy payments to more people, continuing the mission to empower entrepreneurs and democratise card payments in more countries around Europe and the world.

New e-commerce books

Australian e-commerce entrepreneurs Nathan and Tessa Harnett describe in their new book— Retail Rebellion: How to Create Your Own Online Empire, their own journey into online marketing.
Now they run eight e-commerce sites, and have over six years of online and offline retail business experience. Nathan is a former air-traffic controller who switched to e-commerce as a career in 2005.
Retail Rebellion explains how online entrepreneurs can use free services like Google's Keyword Tool to conduct market research, homing in on existing products to sell for which there is already plenty of demand but weak competitors.
Sourcing attractive products, setting up an online shop, building website traffic, creating buzz with social media, fulfilling orders, managing inventory,  are basic steps for successful online retailing. The Harnetts distill their own trial-and-error experiences setting up a series of successful online shopping sites such as Vurge Jewellery dedicated to providing high quality modern jewellery at extremely affordable prices.


From the same authors comes The Retail Rebellion Product Sourcing Guide. Topics covered include: What platforms to use to source suppliers; How to evaluate suppliers; How to pay suppliers (and how not to); Shipping and Logistics; What to do when things go wrong; and more!

Check out Tessa´s slideshare presentation ar PeSA and Sydney Online Retailers Conference here.

Amazon patent: Secondary market for digital objects


A patent allows Amazon dealing with used e-books, videos and music files. The implementation would rock the media industry.
An electronic marketplace for used digital objects is disclosed. Digital objects including e-books, audio, video, computer applications, etc., purchased from an original vendor by a user are stored in a user's personalized data store. Content in a personalized data store may be accessible to the user via transfer such as moving, streaming, or download. When the user no longer desires to retain the right to access the now-used digital content, the user may move the used digital content to another user's personalized data store when permissible and the used digital content is deleted from the originating user's personalized data store. When a digital object exceeds a threshold number of moves or downloads, the ability to move may be deemed impermissible and suspended or terminated. Additionally or alternatively, a collection of objects may be assembled from individual digital objects stored in the personalized data stores of different users, and moved to a user's personalized data store.

Robots in retail

Credit: Mercadona

The largest supermarket chain and food distributor in Spain, Mercadona, with more than 1,400 supermarkets and a 13.5 percent share of Spain’s total food retail space, has commissioned Finnish robotics specialist Cimcorp Oy (known as Cimcorp) to design and implement a fully automated, robotic order picking system for fresh produce.
Mercadona is investing in new warehouse technology at its Guadix distribution centre. To achieve improved efficiency and customer satisfaction, Mercadona has awarded Cimcorp the contract to supply the automation system for full-crate picking. The scope of supply includes order-picking robots for fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as for meat products. The total material flow will be controlled by Cimcorp’s warehouse management software, WCS. Cimcorp will also take care of the installation and start up. The system, which will start opera-tion once the construction of the new logistics building is finished at the end of 2013, is based on Cimcorp’s order processing island concept. The island is self-sufficient, taking care of goods reception; put-away; location of stored items; retrieval planning; picking of crates; sorting and preparation of crates into discrete orders; and loading of the orders onto transport units ready for delivery.
Check out the CIMCORP Automation Island 3D animation of a gauntry system below.

Cimcorp Oy, founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Ulvila, Finland, manufactures and supplies gantry robot systems for intralogistics in Europe, Asia, and North America. The company offers MultiPick systems, which is used for order picking and distribution of plastic crates and trays in food and beverage, and mail processing and distribution industries. The company was formerly known as Swisslog Oy (Cimcorp Oy is a former subsidiary of Swisslog Holding AG) changed its name to Cimcorp Oy in 2004.

Monday, February 18, 2013

New eCommerce jobs

European e-commerce is growing – rapidly. The e-commerce landscape in Europe continues to evolve, with Germany, the UK, and France leading the way. Innovative Scandinavia with disruptive players like CDON, SpotifyMinecraft  and traditional retail giants like IKEA and HM explore and develop new business concepts and e-commerce jobs for next generation of e-tailers. Below are some examples of jobs e-Commerce job profiles.

Head of E Commerce - UK
You will be expected to be the lead contributor to the E-commerce & Online function strategy; by developing, managing and delivering a wide range of E-commerce activities and initiatives. These will be within defined strategies and policy frameworks in order to enable the company to achieve sales, profit and market share targets. You must also be able to demonstrate excellent man-management skills.

Multi-Channel Business Analyst - UK
You will work with business and IT colleagues to identify systems and process changes or developments to improve the company’s performance and capabilities. You will also document and communicate requirements to internal and external IT service providers to ensure the effective implementation of new or amended solutions.

Website Merchandising Manager - UK
You will be responsible for the development and co-ordinated implementation of a customer-driven online merchandising strategy. 

Ecommerce Manager - UK
You will be responsible for driving qualified leads to a website and ensure the customer journey supports conversion and further more the commercial goals of the business.  You will be collaborative in your approach to work as you support the sales and marketing teams both in the UK and internationally.  Business level English is required with fluency in French very advantageous to your application.  

E-handelsanalytiker  Sweden 
Till vår nya stora e-handelssatsning söker vi en erfaren e-handelsanalytiker som ska analysera våra kunders aktiviteter för att säkerställa bästa kundupplevelse och hög omsättning på sajten. Som e-handelsanalytiker ska du kunna kommunicera resultat till både personer inom företaget samt externa samarbetspartners. Rollen som e-handelsanalytiker tillhör vårt e-handelsteam och innebär att du som specialist har viktig roll att fylla i utvecklingen av vår e-handelsplattform. 

Affiliate manager Sweden 
Du kommer att identifiera och rekrytera nya affiliates på den globala marknaden. I dina arbetsuppgifter ingår det även att öka aktiviteten i företagets befintliga användarbas, genom till exempel ”best practice” och daglig kunddialog. Du kommer även arbeta med att öka företagets digitala produktportfölj genom att identifiera lovande informationsprodukter. Vidare kommer du arbeta med att öka marknadskännedomen om företaget i till exempel internationella bloggar och nätverk. 

CRM-analytiker - Sweden 
Som CRM-analytiker är ditt främsta ansvar att se till att vi skickar ut rätt information till rätt kund vid rätt tidpunkt. Du kommer att vara ansvarig för CRM-processen som börjar med att du använder vår kund- och transaktionsdatabas samt även extern data för att hitta rätt segment eller målgrupp att bearbeta.

Digital Marketing Manager - Denmark
Din opgave bliver at sikre at Karnov Groups E-commerce platform driver en central del af vores omsætning. Du skal bidrage til at skabe Skandinaviens mest effektive online markedsføring. I jobbet skal du både have det store strategiske overblik samt evne at producere og levere så alle tiltag bliver effektueret. Du kommer til at arbejde tæt sammen kollegerne fra salg, kundeservice, IT, vores redaktion, m.v. Du rapporterer til vores Chief Marketing Officer.

Project Manager/PM/eCommerce/E-commerce - Norway: 
You will be responsible for planning, delivering and monitoring of technical eCommerce B2B, B2C and B2E projects. Key responsibilities: Interface with all areas of the project.

Jobssites in Denmark, Sweden, NorwayUK, Europe, USA
Jobindex: E-design. E-commerce, E-communication, E-marketing, "E-media technologies", Community Management, eCommerce, Mobile, Online Marketing, Social Media, Web Analytics

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tesco goes the virtual reality way in UK

Credit: RedDotSquare
Supermarket Tesco is the first UK retailer to integrate the technology of virtual reality company Red Dot Square into their existing systems and ways of working. They will use it to drive efficiencies and identify sales opportunities in its UK and Ireland stores. Red Dot Square’s technology connects with industry standard shelf planning software to create a 3D environment with photo realistic products sat on shelving within a full store or category aisle. This provides a more accurate view of what shoppers will actually see in different stores.

Tesco is to use virtual reality technology to plan how their category ranges appear on shelves. With the new approach Tesco will no longer require physical product specimens from each of their supplier manufacturers. This will cut the planning process enabling significant time savings for their colleagues and suppliers.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Swedish sports e-tailer dubbled sales

Credit: Sportamore
Swedish e-tailer Sportamore has doubled sales in 2012. But operating profit is still negative.

Sportamore, based out of Stockholm, is an online reseller of sports related equipment. The company, which was founded in 2009 and opened its online store in May of 2010, has today established itself as a leading Swedish online vendor in sports clothing and equipment. Sportamore offers over 10,000 products from more than 450 different brands representing more than 30 different sports.
In 2012 sales increased by 25 percent to SEK 153.3 million. Operating income improved slightly but stayed at SEK -14.9 million (-17.8).
The company oppened opened three new markets in Denmark, Finland and Norway in the last quarter 2012 offering customers shopping at local domains, in their own language and with their own currency. According th CEO John Ryding, the company is still in an initial test phase and will continue its expansion plans. Financial statement 2012 (In Swedish)


Friday, February 01, 2013

Return management in fashion e--commerce

Swedish researcher Klas Hjort at the Swedish School of TextilesUniversity of Borås has investigated the effects on a fashion e-commerce organisation, which is underprioritising or neglecting return managment (RM) in general and consumer returns specifically. 
The returns management (RM) process has traditionally been seen as a value recovery process, which has resulted in an efficiency focus in the returns flow. 
In his thesis "On Aligning Returns Management with the E-commerce Strategy to Increase Effectiveness" he shows based on single-case study and through a real-life experiment, performed with the case organisation nelly.com, that the consumer returns rates are not only influenced by the product itself. They represent a complex problem that has its reasons and causes, whereby the product (size, fit, quality, et cetera) together with consumer buying and returning behaviour ultimately have a combined effect on the organisation. The results from the thesis are based on previous research and rest heavily on the research performed since the start of the research journey. 
Consumer returns form part of the value creation in e-commerce and therefore returns management is a strategic part of the business as such. Handling consumer returns in a traditional or efficient returns system without knowing the reason for return and the state of the returned item is nothing other than gambling with resources. 
The proposed returns information system (RIS) framework in the thesis addresses this issue and facilitates the downstream application of the gatekeeping activity, near or at the end-user location; managerial attention is required at the strategic process level to build a proper returns system that is partly, and quite likely, decentralised. Products, suppliers, customers and internal processes cause consumer returns and therefore a returns manager needs to address these with other functions and SC partners. 
This result is partly new and the proposed alignment of RM as a strategic process is new in the sense that RM is part of value creation. This thesis empirically supports the conclusion that “one size fits all” is outdated and does not fit with e-commerce business. The results imply that managers need to gain a profound understanding of consumers’ buying behaviour and also to create differentiated delivery and returns processes to be able to grow within the existing customer segments and possibly to attract new or non-customers who are out of reach at present. Seeing the RM process as strategic in e-commerce, as proposed in the thesis, facilitates the development of the process to become both effective and efficient. Returns management has the potential for revenue creation and cost reduction.

Dissertation to be defended in public on 15th of February 2013.