What’s next for image and voice search?

Adăugat de pe 18 Mai 2018, 0 comentarii
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Search Engine Watch is trying to see where we are now in the field of online image and voice search and what are the trends. Here are the most important points from the article.

Forward-thinking businesses are already using this new form of machine learning AI image recognition to allow users to search for products using pictures to find the same or similar looks and outfits they stock. However, does this mean intelligent image search is the next big thing?

Google (as well as others) has recently started integrating features to enable users to shop for products captured with a smartphone. While image search will have its practical uses, the current siloed implementations in smart devices are likely to have a very limited impact on general search behavior for now.

While basic applications of image search can be used to identify what products are available, the technology will continue to evolve, becoming faster and more accurate, leading to more sophisticated, varied applications and use cases. Despite the advances in image search and its current implementation, voice is likely to remain the preferred way to request information on demand in the future. We are likely to see image-based search complement voice, allowing for a richer way of interacting with AI assistants.

Comparing voice search to image search is like comparing a computer keyboard to a mouse. They each have their own place in a world where search and discovery will be predominantly underpinned through interactions with virtual assistants.

However, Google’s success to date as a traditional search engine has come from the ability to retrieve the most relevant and concise results with both speed and precision. Its core strength in organizing information and their recent shift to being an AI first business will pose a serious challenge to Amazon’s early lead.

Read the article at Search Engine Watch


 

Carrefour relaunches website, Walmart buys Flipkart, Pegas launches Ape Rider bike sharing scheme

Adăugat de pe 18 Mai 2018, 0 comentarii
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Carrefour Romania rebrands the website and launches the marketplace

Carrefour Romania has made a rebranding of the online store, the old site www.carrefour-online.ro being transformed into www.carrefour.ro/supermarket. The new online supermarket delivers to customers in Bucharest and neighboring areas, in two hours: food, beverages, detergents, cosmetics, or baby care products.

On this occasion, Carrefour also introduces a Marketplace platform, the first such platform of a food retailer in Romania, called Carrefour and Partners, where for the time being there are available around 140,000 products in different categories.

Read more at Retail & FMCG


Walmart buys Flipkart, India’s biggest online retailer

Global retail giant Walmart has paid $16bn (£11.8bn) for a majority stake in Flipkart, India’s biggest online retailer, making this the world’s largest ever e-commerce acquisition. Walmart, best known for its grocery stores, discount department stores and hypermarkets, is ubiquitous in the US. But its sales have barely grown offline and its online sales account for just a little more than 3% of its business in the US.

Flipkart, founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (no relation), is India’s biggest e-commerce company and has had high-profile investors including Microsoft, Tencent and Softbank.

Read more at BBC


DPD starts delivery in letterbox

Delivery company DPD is expanding its logistic services with ParcelLetter service. With this new service, it will be able to deliver small packages, letters and other shipped materials into the mailbox, states Dutch logistic news site logisitiek.nl. Deliveries in the new service do not, like other DPD-delivery services, require a signature.

Consumers can benefit from the DPD track-and-trace system to follow their sending via the standard Predict service DPD offers. With this service, DPD aims at sendings that do not necessarily require a deliverer to ring at the receiver’s door. For now, ParcelLetter will be a pilot in the Netherlands. In short notice, DPD will offer the service to other European countries as well.

Read more at Cross Border Magazine


Pegas launches smart bike sharing service Ape Rider

Pegas Workshops launched in Bucharest the most innovative bike sharing system in Romania, Ape Rider. The mobile rental system with mobile applications has no predefined parking lots and is part of the global trend of smart bike sharing. The investment in Ape Rider amounts to EUR 3 million, and includes special bicycle production for bike sharing, the cost of the software application, the integrated anti-theft system, project team costs, and Ape Rider’s logistics.

The Ape Rider app is currently available in Google Play and the App Store. After installing it, the user needs to register using a bank card, and place a RON 69 deposit. The amount is refunded once the application is removed. Next, a map of available bicycles and virtual bike parking lots are uploaded to your phone.

Read more at Business Review


PayU launches the MCP service, to support Romanian online stores

PayU launches the Multi Currency Pricing (MCP) service, a solution developed to help Romanian online stores grow their customers’ portfolio abroad more easily, by making it possible to pay in foreign currency at a fixed and constant price. With this new service, before the purchase is made, the customer knows how much he/she will pay in the currency of their bank account or of their card. Currently, the MCP service supports three currencies: euros, dollars and pounds, and will be extended to other currencies.

The currency conversion takes place on the PayU payment page, before the order is paid. This increases the convenience of the acquisition process and the chances that the transaction will be completed.

Read more on the GPeC blog


 

Amazon creates new jobs in Romania, Instagram offers financial tools, we learned about GDPR at GPeC Live

Adăugat de pe 11 Mai 2018, 0 comentarii
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Amazon opens new R&D center in Bucharest, to create 650 new jobs

Amazon and Amazon Web Services (AWS) inaugurated its new HQ and research and development facility in Bucharest, creating 650 new jobs in the technology and corporate fields. The new R&D facility in the Romanian capital will work on several technologies, including for home assistant Alexa and for the AWS infrastructure. The e-commerce giant already has 1,000 employees in Romania and has invested over EUR 100 million in the past 13 years.

The Bucharest office is located in the northern part of the city and covers over 13,000 sqm on five floors. It includes a new engineering center and one for technology development, including for the testing and language solutions development for Alexa.

Read more at Business Review


Instagram is making it easier for customers to talk to businesses and book appointments

Instagram is unveiling new features to help enterprises run their businesses on the platform. The tools, which include messaging options and booking integrations, aim to make it easier to run a company on Instagram. It’s all free, which may attract more businesses to the platform and create future advertising clients for Instagram and parent company Facebook.

It also makes it more of a threat to Snapchat as both companies try to appeal to marketers. Snapchat now allows shopping, app installations and other actions through sponsored photo filters, called lenses.

Read more at CNBC.com


Irina Scarlat, ex-Lead Marketing Manager Uber, named Country Manager at Revolut

Revolut, the fintech company that recently became a “unicorn” after obtaining a Series C investment round of USD 250 million, has recruited Irina Scarlat, ex-Lead Marketing Manager at Uber, to lead their operations in Romania. Irina Scarlat has over seven years of experience in technology, marketing and project and team management. In the last two years she’s been the head of Uber’s marketing team in Romania, where she defined local strategy and was actively involved in various strategic initiatives at a regional level. Among her achievements are the launch of Uber in three new cities, the tenfold increase in the number of users and developing the marketing team from scratch.

Scarlat’s main objective as Country Manager at Revolut will be to develop the Romanian market and increase the service’s user base from the current 25,000 to over 100,000 at the end of the year.

> Do you want to try Revolut? Register for free and install the app!

Read more at Business Review


GPEC LIVE What we learned from Bogdan Manolea about GDPR in e-commerce and online shopping

The second edition of GPeC Live, an online bi-weekly show broadcasted on the Facebook GPeC page, brought together Bogdan Manolea (co-founder TRUSTED.ro) and Andrei Radu (GPeC CEO). Bogdan talked about:

  • GDPR in ecommerce;
  • the most important law issues in ecommerce;
  • good practice in world ecommerce;
  • how to win and maintain the customer’s trust in your online store.

Bogdan also explained briefly the GDPR audit that online stores that join the GPeC Competition will receive.

Below is the video recording of the show. You can also read the answers to users’ questions.

GPeC-LIVE

GDPR pentru magazinele online

Publicată de GPeC – The Most Important E-Commerce Event in CEE pe 10 Mai 2018


 

E-commerce Market Report 2017: Romanians purchased online 2.8 billion euro worth of products (UPDATE with infographic)

Adăugat de pe 10 Ianuarie 2018, 0 comentarii

GPeC - cel mai important eveniment de e-commerce si cea mai mare comunitate a magazinelor onlineAccording to figures and estimates of the main players in the Romanian e-commerce, together with GPeC (all sources are mentioned at the end of the report), the value of online shopping reached 2.8 billion euros in 2017, at least 40% more than in 2016 (when the total gross was of 1.8 to 2 billion euros). It means that Romanians spent an average of 7.67 million euros every day in 2017, for online shopping.

The 2.8 billion euros refer strictly to e-tail, to physical (tangible) products that were ordered online and it doesn’t include services, utility bills, air tickets, holidays, hotel bookings, show tickets, downloadable content etc. If we added those, the total amount of online purchases would increase considerably.

GPeC Romanian E-Commerce Market 2017

E-commerce share of total retail: 5.6%

The increase of approx. 40% year over year, recorded by the Romanian e-commerce market, is one of the highest in the European Union. The value of the e-commerce market in the total retail market is around 5.6%, up from 4% in 2016. However, the percentage is still small compared to the developed countries, but it shows the huge potential for growth of the Romanian e-commerce market.

Andrei Radu CEO & Founder GPeC“2017 was a spectacular year for the Romanian online trade, registering a significant increase of approx. 40% compared to 2016 and thus reaching the threshold of 2.8 billion euros only in e-tail, without services. It is a huge leap that shows us the increasing appetite of Romanians for online shopping and especially the potential for accelerated growth of local e-commerce”, said Andrei Radu, Founder & CEO at GPeC. “Even if Romania has not reached yet the level of other mature markets in Europe, we must not neglect the rhythm and the growth potential that can lead us to a market of over 5 billion euros by 2020,” he added.

For 13 years, GPeC is the most important e-commerce event in Romania, which, among other things, centralizes data and publishes every year the official report of the Romanian e-commerce market. Here are the main figures and statistics for the last year.

Over 11 million Internet users and a mobile Internet penetration rate of 85%

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the population of Romania has declined from 19.4 million inhabitants in 2016 to 19.1 million in 2017. More than 11 million of them are Internet users, according to the latest report of the National Institute of Statistics, for the first semester of 2017.

Internet penetration rate increased slightly compared to 2016, with ANCOM statistics showing that there are 4.6 million fixed broadband internet connections (+ 6% compared to 2016) and 16.6 million broadband mobile internet connections (+ 13% compared to 2016). Thus, the penetration rate of the fixed Internet per 100 households is approx. 55%, and mobile internet penetration per 100 inhabitants is 85%.

44% of urban internet users shopped online at least once a month

iSense Solutions Research CompanyIn April 2017, GPeC and the market research company iSense Solutions conducted a survey among Internet users, on a sample of 1,012 respondents – a representative sample at the urban level by age, gender, size of the locality and region.

According to the study, 44% of urban internet users shopped online at least once a month, and 62% of them are 18-34.

Online buyers visited 9 stores last year, on average with a frequency of 3-4 times a week, while non-buyers visited 5 online stores within 12 months, with a lower frequency (1 per week). In other words, online stores are visited quite often even by those who have not purchased something yet.

The main reasons of those who did not buy online are, in order: mistrust in the products displayed on the website; lack of possibility to see and test the products before the purchase; mistrust in the quality of online shops and the obligation for payment of additional shipping charges.

On the other hand, online shoppers prefer shopping online because: they save time; the supply of products is richer; they can easily compare products; it is cheaper and more convenient online.

Simona Kijonkova @GPeC RED - Regional Expansion Debate

Over 7,000 online stores in Romania

The number of online stores increased significantly from approx. 5,000 stores in 2016 to over 7,000 online stores in 2017. According to eMAG officials, the trend of growth will continue in 2018 and the number of online merchants will double to around 14,000 – 15,000.

According to the latest research, there are already about 25,000 .ro e-shops that have an “add to cart” tool, so they can be considered as online stores – but their low traffic makes them insignificant in Romania. Thus, only 7,000 stores are sufficiently relevant in terms of traffic and orders.

The main product categories sold in 2017 and the average order values

The top categories of products sold online in 2017 (excluding e-tail) are, in decreasing volume order: Electro-IT & C products (e.g. PC and PC components, notebooks, tablets, mobile phones, electronics and home appliances etc.); Fashion & Beauty products (clothing, footwear, accessories, cosmetics, perfumes, watches, etc.); home deco products, books and children’s products (from toys to children’s items such as trolleys, clothing, consumables etc.).

The ranking is similar to the year 2016, but according to estimates of the main players, the Fashion vertical is growing faster and will surpass the Electro-IT&C products in approx. 5 years, becoming the main category of products traded online in terms of generated volume. Also, the Home&Deco product line has a tremendous growth potential.

An important conclusion of 2017 is the increased value of online purchases, explained by increases of wages in the country and, therefore, consumers purchasing better quality products. Also, the number of products purchased during one visit on the website increased and, implicitly, the average value of transactions increased.

As for the Electro-IT&C segment, the average basket value increased from 669 lei in 2016 to over 800 lei in 2017, with some peak moments during the year (e.g. Black Friday) when the value was near or even exceeded 1,000 lei.

Significant increases in the average basket value were also recorded in the Fashion segment, from 161 lei in 2016 to 250-300 lei in 2017, with some peak moments during the year and the type of products (brand products – where values ​​are higher vs. non-brand producs – where values are lower).

In the Home & Deco category, the average transaction value is similar to the 2016, of approx. 480 lei.

In the case of online bookstores, the average value of the basket varies between 80 and 100 lei, slightly increasing compared to 2016. Only in the case of children’s articles, the average transaction value is on a descending trend for more than 3 years and continued to decline slightly in 2017, from 203 lei to 195-200 lei.

GPeC SUMMIT Panel Debate Noiembrie 2017

70% of e-shops’ traffic is generated by mobile phones

“Mobile” continued to be the main trend of 2017, and the trend will continue in 2018. The main online Romanian stores have seen significant increases in traffic generated by mobile devices: approx. 70% of site visits are from mobiles, 20% higher than in 2016.

The Millennials generation is the one that pushes the percentage higher, most of the young people getting acquainted with the internet directly on their mobile phone and rarely on desktop devices.

For online stores that have dedicated mobile apps, the conversion rate generated by mobile devices has already exceeded the desktop. But in the case of online mobile shops, where visits are initiated in the browser, the mobile conversion rate is still half the desktop.

More and more Romanian online stores have grasped the trend and optimized their websites for mobile devices, but poor optimization of the mobile theme that generates higher loading times remains the main challenge of most domestic online stores.

The low price, the reputation of the store and the shortest delivery time – the main factors in purchasing

According to the GPeC and iSense Solutions study, the main factors in making the buying decision are, in order: the lowest price; brand reputation; delivery time as short as possible; the clarity and quality of the information on the site; site usability (ease of navigation and purchase and site aesthetics); loyalty policy of the online store.

An online buyer made an average of 8.7 purchases over the past year – up from 2016, when the average was 8.4 acquisitions, but also from 2015, when the figure was 8.2 acquisitions per year.

Card payments increased, but pay on delivery is still king

The preferred method of payment for Romanians remains the pay on delivery (approx. 85%). However, according to the information provided by mobilPay and PayU processors, the percentage of online card payments has increased significantly, from approx. 8% in 2016 to 12-14% in 2017. The difference of 1-2 percent up to 100% is given by other payment methods such as online banking, micro-payments via SMS etc.

According to estimates, the total amount of online card payments exceeded 1.2 billion euros in 2017, up from 2016, when it was 745 million euros (source: RomCard).

Florinel Chis Director Executiv ARMO

200 million euros sales, recorded exclusively for Black Friday 2017

According to the ARMO (Romanian Online Store Association), during the Black Friday weekend (November 17-19, 2017), Romanians bought products worth over 200 million euros, 35% more than the 130 million euros recorded in 2016. Black Friday increases are significant year over year: 75 million euros for Black Friday 2014, 100 million euros for Black Friday 2015, 130 million euros for Black Friday 2016, more than 200 million euros for Black Friday 2017.

More and more online stores choose to have Black Friday campaigns (often run under different names) throughout the year. According to them, regardless of the name under which the discount campaigns are conducted, the sales increase by approx. 25-30%.

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The sources of figures and market estimates published in this report are: ANCOMARMOBreeze MobileeMAGGPeCNational Statistics InstituteiSense SolutionsmobilPayPayURomCardUnited Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

This report can be quoted with the source GPeC (and a link back to www.gpec.ro).

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GPeC is the most important E-Commerce event and is the largest community of online stores in Romania. With a 13-year tradition, GPeC is the perfect mix of Conferences, Workshops, Exhibition, Intensive Courses, Statistics, Community and, in particular, the Online Stores Competition, with the precise role of contributing to the development of the e-commerce market.

Entries to GPeC 2017 Online Stores Competition start March 2018, and GPeC SUMMIT Spring Edition (3 Days of Conference, Workshops, Exhibition) will be held in April 2018. All details will be published soon at www.gpec.ro.

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