Category Archives: Retail

Online Shopping: Alibaba Challenges Amazon (WSJ)

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

Covid-19: The Economist ‘Global Normalcy Index’

Across much of the world, covid-19 restrictions are starting to ease. The Economist has crunched the data to calculate how close countries are to pre-pandemic levels of normality—but will life ever be the same again? Read more here: https://econ.st/3AG9siz

Analysis: How Coca-Cola Leads Beverage Market

With more than 1.9 billion drinks served every day Coca-Cola is one of the world’s largest beverage companies. From its humble beginnings selling a single product at a drugstore for 5 cents a glass, the company now has a roster of 200 brands that includes Coke, Fanta, and Sprite. But with health and wellness trends on the rise, the company has been forced to pivot. So after 135-years in business, can the soft drink giant stay on top? And what will the secular decline of sugar-sweetened beverages in the U.S. mean for the future of Coca-Cola?

Analysis: How Electricity Bills Have Risen Over Time

Retail energy companies compete with local utilities to give U.S. consumers more choice. But in nearly every state where they operate, retailers have charged more than regulated incumbents, meaning you may be paying more for your electricity than your neighbors. Here’s why. Photo Illustration: Jacob Reynolds

E-Commerce: How China Reined In Ant & Alibaba

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

Online Shopping: ‘Digital Coupon Codes’ – Making Curators Millions (Video)

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.

Analysis: Why Mercedes-Benz Is No Longer An ‘Aspirational Brand’

Mercedes-Benz is perhaps the biggest name in luxury cars globally, and for countless buyers around the world, it is a car brand to aspire to own. The German automaker has a reputation for superb build quality, excellent engineering, and the bragging rights that its founder Carl Benz invented the first production automobile.

Today, Mercedes-Benz faces a new class of challenges as Tesla has become the aspirational brand for younger consumers. There is a slew of other EV hopefuls vying for the next generation’s aspirational vehicle’s mantle. Automakers have had to sink billions into new technologies and contend with a new crop of competitors in the critical Chinese market and around the world.

Video Profile: How Danny Meyer Built ‘Shake Shack’

It’s hard to think of a bigger restaurant success story over the last decade than Shake Shack. The high-end burger chain began as a hot dog cart in 2001 in New York City’s Madison Square Park by famed restaurateur Danny Meyer. The menu was handwritten written by Meyer on a single sheet of paper in about 10 minutes and is about 85 percent the same today.

But there’s so much more to this story. Like for three years after 9/11 that hot dog cart paid the bills at the crown jewel of Meyer’s restaurant empire, Eleven Madison Park. Or how he wasted over a million developing a line of French fries only to throw them away out of pure pride. If Danny Meyer is the heart and soul of Shake Shack, its longtime CEO Randy Garutti is the engine that powers it. Here’s how they built Shake Shack.

Future Shopping: Online Retail & Personal Data

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