Inside the company’s automated warehouse in China Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is challenging Amazon by promising fast deliveries from China to anywhere in the world. WSJ visits Alibaba’s largest automated warehouse to see how robots and a vast logistics network are helping it expand globally. Composite: Clément Bürge
In less than six months, Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma’s Ant IPO, which could have been the world’s largest, was scuttled and his companies brought in line by regulators. The U.S. is also taking aim at big tech, but here’s how China moves faster. Photo illustration: Sharon Shi
Promo code sites have become big business, with digital coupons surpassing paper for the first time in 2020. Major deal sites make millions based almost entirely on commissions from each sale. They don’t sell shopper data and it’s not a scam. In fact, big companies like PayPal and Rakuten are buying up deal sites for billions.
From Honey to Slickdeals, Rakuten Rewards to Brad’s Deals, CNBC asked the major sites what it takes to find deals that are real and why the business model works. With the huge boost in online shopping during the pandemic, deal-finding sites have become a major business. In 2020, Inmar Intelligence found that digital coupons surpassed printed coupons for the first time ever. Also in recent years, behemoths like Goldman Sachs and PayPal have paid hundreds of millions – or even billions – for sites like Slickdeals and Honey that automatically curate coupon codes or offer shoppers cash back for making purchases through their sites.
Even banks like Capital One are getting into the game. The business model is not a scam. All major deal sites say they don’t sell shopper data. Instead, each sale generates a commission for the deal site and for the middleman known as the affiliate marketer – a company that connects the vast world of retailers with deal sites. With nearly 2,000 businesses in the daily deal site space, it’s a crowded industry filled with legitimate businesses as well as plenty of sites that are riddled with ads and expired coupon codes. That’s because regardless of whether a coupon code works, the site that provided the code will get commission for that sale. When the deals are legitimate, however, it can mean big money for shoppers, retailers, and the deal sites.
From Honey to Slickdeals, Rakuten Rewards to Brad’s Deals, CNBC asked the major deal sites, and shoppers, what it takes to find deals that are real and why the business model works. Watch the video to learn how saving consumers’ money makes big bucks for companies in the vast world of online deal hunting.
The pandemic has upended the way people buy—online retail has soared as high-street shops and malls close. Brands are now racing to exploit one of the most important weapons in the battle for buyers: their customers’ data.
Read special report on the future of shopping here: https://econ.st/2Q8XQC2
Ghost kitchens are kitchens designed for delivery-only businesses, without dine-in areas or customer facing storefronts. The pandemic has ravaged dine-in eateries, and companies that have focused on delivery could come out on top if the current trends continue. Watch the full video to see why ghost kitchens are taking over the restaurant industry.
Here are some of the top Ghost Kitchens:
With a $10 million dollar investment from Google Ventures, Kitchen United has been one of the leanest (and fastest-growing) startups in the space. Founder Jim Collins has turned down hundreds of millions of investment dollars to focus on growing more organically. Currently, Kitchen United plans on conquering the global restaurant space — with 5,000 kitchens planned in the next four years.
All in all, Kitchen United offers a turn-key, light-capital model, delivering a complete, code-safe kitchen replete with appliances and cooking implements. All that’s left to do is to…cook.
The fastest-growing and most investor-friendly ghost kitchen startup, CloudKitchens, has already taken in over $400 million from investors. $150 million interestingly invested by its founder (former Uber superstar) Travis Kalanick. Like Kitchen United, CloudKitchens offers fully-equipped kitchens (branded as “smart kitchens”) for the delivery-only model. Honestly, you can’t ignore a project that Travis is a part of.
Another not-so-surprising entry into the ghost kitchen space is DoorDash, which has already premiered locations in San Francisco and Redwood City. Currently, DoorDash’s model is focused on catering to high-delivery areas for established brands like Chic-Fil-A, but we’re sure they have plans in the works for new locations, as well.
For the time being, DoorDash Kitchens is still in the experimentation phase, with only a few locations. And, like others on this list, it provides everything a restauranteur would need for a single monthly fee.
For the moment, we’ll set aside the possible conflicts associated with Uber’s ex co-founder Travis Kalanick — who’s also operating CloudKitchens. We’re sure that bridge will need crossing at some point if Uber expands its operations. For the time being, the ridesharing company has been keeping a low profile in the ghost kitchen space. To date, it has been testing ghost kitchens in a few markets, though it remains curiously reluctant to share the delicious details pertaining to its Paris operations.
Virtual Kitchen Co.
Another new entry is Virtual Kitchen Co. — which already operates several successful ghost kitchens. They plan to open 15 more kitchens over the next few years, driven by $15 million dollar Series A. Again, Virtual Kitchen Co. offers a similar pricing structure: Restaurants can pay a monthly fee for everything.
The one small difference here is that Virtual Kitchen Co. seems to be targeting existing restaurants that want to enter the delivery space.
Since the beginning of this century, Amazon has emerged as a pre-eminent giant of retail. How? by creating an expectation among consumers that next day, or even same day, delivery is not only possible but basically routine for a dizzying array of consumer products. Millions of Amazon Prime customers all over the world have now come to expect this astonishingly swift service on countless items as standard, and this has put great swathes of the traditional retail landscape in trouble. So today, we’re going to look at how Amazon delivers packages so fast. Let’s pick a typical Amazon product as an example. Say you need a bicycle pump. How will Amazon get that bike pump delivered to your door, the very next day? How Amazon Delivers Packages So FastSHOW LESS
TikTok is becoming a popular forum for Gen-Z and Millennials to learn about entrepreneurship and making money. To find out more, WSJ spoke with three TikTokers who are attracting large audiences that support their thriving online businesses.
Amazon is the world’s biggest retailer, and its CEO Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man, for one very good reason. His company is better than anyone else, ever, at giving people what they want, quickly. Amazon acquired its undisputed status as heavyweight champion of the retail universe thanks largely to its lightning-fast delivery times.
The astonishing feat of ferrying hundreds of millions of items, from guitar strings to saucepans to car parts, directly to your door, inside 24 hours, is nothing short of a modern logistical miracle. So how does Amazon do it? A super-smart army of slave robots, for one. Ingenious, if occasionally unscrupulous, management practices are part of the answer too.
And the modern-day voodoo of deep-learning AI – all of which are made flesh in the most advanced stockrooms the world has ever seen. So join us today, as we button up our hi-vis jacket and journey inside Amazon’s smart warehouses.
Walmart’s potential deal with TikTok may not only change the retail giant, it could reshape how Americans shop online. Video commerce, which allows users to shop while they watch viral videos, is already wildly popular in other countries.
Illo: Mike Cheslik for the Wall Street Journal