Weekly News: Elefant.ro launches a marketplace, Auchan launches online shop, Alibaba launches Smile-to-Pay

Elefant.ro opens a marketplace

Elefant Online, the mother company of Elefant.ro, launched a local software company called Mammoth Software, whose mission will be to manage the future online marketplace, says ZF.ro. This move has been announced this spring by the company’s CEO, Dan Vidrașcu. The firm also provides the necessary development of the platforms elefant.ro and elefant.md.

In the future marketplace, the suppliers will set the price, while the retailer will receive a commission for every transaction. According to data from the Official Journal, the retailer recently raised capital worth 44,800 lei, through a new stock infusion.

Drone delivery starts in Reykjavík

On-demand drone delivery service is now available in the northernmost capital in the world. Customers in Reykjavík (Iceland) can have food and consumer goods delivered by an autonomous drone system. Packages will be carried across the city’s bay to cut 20 minutes off usual delivery times. Iceland’s largest online marketplace, AHA, has partnered with drone technology company Flytrex to launch the service.

This is a big step toward eventually being able to drop packages off at customers’ doorsteps, but for now, there’s still a catch. The Icelandic Transport Authority (Icetra) granted Flytrex and AHA approval to use autonomous drones to deliver food and consumer products from shops and restaurants on one side of Reykjavík to a designated location across the city.

Read more at ZDnet

Auchan penetrates online.ro

The French hypermarket group Auchan will open its first online shop on the Romanian market by the end of this year. The website is under construction and the firm is looking to hire, using the LinkedIN professional platform.

The French group is not the only one to take a big step in e-grocery: Mega Image will open its first online shop this year, planning to sell produce on a market that has Carrefour-online.ro and Lidl also thinks to make the same move soon.

Read more at Ecompedia.ro

Romanians buy clothes at night, instead of sleeping

Romanians bought fashion products during the night worth 282 lei on average, in the first semester. Fashion Days surveyed customers from Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary and found out that they place orders on the smartphone mainly after midnight and that they bought: classic shoes, sports shoes, dresses, jackets, watches and accessories, bags, children clothes and home deco products.

The majority of orders placed during the night(41,69%) were made between 00:00 – 01:00 and most transactions were made from Bucharest (43%), Timișoara and Cluj-Napoca.

Citește la Agora.ro

Alibaba debuts ‘smile to pay’ facial recognition payments at KFC in China

Alibaba’s Ant Financial affiliate launched the ‘smile to pay’ service in Hangzhou, the location of the company’s global HQ, where it is being trialled with KFC. The payment process doesn’t require a smartphone, assuming that the customer has already signed up for the Alipay app and enabled facial recognition. A 3D camera located at the point-of-sale scans the customer’s face to verify their identity, while there is a phone number verification option for additional security.

KFC was an obvious first adopter since Alibaba is an investor in Yum China, which operates the brand and other fast food franchises including Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in China.

Read more at TechCrunch