As Recode notes, on the back of Zulily’s acquisition by QVC, ecommerce is hard:
But the deal has not been received in a celebratory manner by the e-commerce industry at large because a lot of investors and entrepreneurs were hoping Zulily would prove so much more about how to fend off Amazon.
Literally, pure-play ecommerce is now just Amazon if we exclude marketplaces like Alibaba, Ebay and Rakuten. Has the boat sailed on pure-play B2C ecommerce? Perhaps, but maybe Xiaomi and others that remain online only or go direct to consumers can make it. Interesting to me are those etailers that are leveraging lean supply chains (read little to zero inventory). I think these type of companies can prove otherwise. What do you think?
Watch the space.
One could look at Rocket Internet – the maligned German startup incubator – and be impressed that it’s only second to Alibaba in Asia’s fast growing ecommerce market. In Asia, Rocket Internet’s data shows strong growth including such as Zalora and Foodpanda – aimed at emerging nations where ecommerce is nascent.
Rocket’s Lazada which runs in seven Asian nations, saw its shoppers spend EUR 71 million (US$91.4 million) in the six months that make up H1 2014. That’s a modest average of US$500,000 per day according to their IPO document.
Regardless of which ecommerce operations last the course, Rocket’s expertise gained from these plus their more established investments like Zalando positions them right up there with the best operators in all ecommerce.
But the question for rocket is and the question many pure play ecommerce outfits must consider is; what happens when you saturate market? Where does the growth from? That’s where physical bricks and mortar have the edge and it’s perhaps why we will see more than just perhaps Amazon following up with their physical stores.
Modcloth just announced more layoffs.
Just to be clear, whilst physical retailing is also harder than ever, pure-play ecommerce is getting harder.