Woolworths, eBay blur lines between online and offline retail
In an attempt to attract new customers while increasing traffic and sales, Woolworths recently extended its click-and-collect venture with online retailer eBay that began in February.
With consumers able to purchase products on eBay and pick them up at Woolworths supermarkets or BIG W stores, the lines between online and offline retail have become even tougher to differentiate. It gives buyers an extra advantage over standard online retailers by giving the option of having it delivered to your home or post office, while also giving entrepreneurs a chance to boost their reach and introduce an additional revenue stream.
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Merchant Development Director of eBay, Hamish Moline said, “The online retail industry is growing faster than ever. Last year, Australians spent $16.4 billion in this sector alone. As it continues to expand, the traditional retail model is evolving and the lines between online and offline blurring. Consumers now expect a more bespoke experience that meets their needs.
“The new service creates a brand new avenue for our sellers, driving traffic and encouraging a rise in sales that could change the face of business all over the country. Not only that, it’s a service we hope will revolutionise the way Australians shop, enabling a new and convenient way to get things they need and want every day.”
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This process, known as Simply Collect, cuts back the price of delivering and returning products, while also generating additional sales. Studies show between 30 and 40 per cent of online shoppers make additional purchases in the store while they’re there to collect online orders. It now makes up between 20 to 50 per cent of online sales in Woolworths, BIG W stores liquor stores and home improvement stores, where customers spend an average of $40 when picking up online orders.
After initially being launched in 90 stores throughout NSW and Tasmania, Simply Collect has quickly increased its popularity. It now has over 1200 users after having 250 just two months ago. An eBay survey found that although one in five online shoppers made a purchase at least once a week, almost half of them were unable to receive personal deliveries at their place of employment. This creates the inconvenience of being forced to either redirect packages or take time off work to receive their product.
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With this new, convenient option, there is an increase in purchase frequency predicted for over two million eBay customers. As online sales continue to rise in major markets across the world and the expectations of shoppers always increasing, companies are forced to find ways to provide more convenient and innovative ways to attract customers. Collaborations such as Simply Collect are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to do this.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.