ISSUE NO. 54 – MAY 2018
Groupon Adds American Express to Groupon+
CardLinx member Groupon adds American Express to its flagship card-linking platform Groupon+. Groupon+ is now available on the three largest payment networks, Visa, Mastercard and American Express. The success Groupon has seen with Groupon+ is due to its secret sauce: card-linking. With offers linked to an enrolled payment card on Groupon, consumers have flocked to Groupon+, which has over 2.7 registered cards as of the end of 2017 and has nearly doubled consumer and merchant participation in the first half of 2018.
Groupon’s shift to card-linking is starting to pay off as consumers and merchants are seeing the benefits of a seamless offer process. As the only digital marketing product that closes the loop between marketing campaign spend and a resulting transaction from the campaign, retailers and local businesses are starting to see their digital advertising spend in card-linking pay off. Consumers on the other hand are adopting to the Groupon+ platform and enjoying the ease of opt-in offers.
Japan's Recruit Buys Jobs Website Glassdoor for $1.2 Billion
CardLinx member Recruit buys jobs website Glassdoor for $1.2 billion in cash. Recruit, one of the largest companies in Japan, operates in numerous business sectors including HR technology, media and advertising, and staffing. Through its Media & Solutions segment, Recruit focuses on sales promotions, including online-to-offline sales and offers. Recruit has sales of over $17 billion in fiscal year 2016 with overseas sales contributing 40% of total revenue.
Yahoo! Japan Brings Yahoo! Wallet Offline with QR Codes
CardLinx member Yahoo! Japan recently announced a new initiative to bring their prominent and highly profitable e-commerce marketplace offline. In their recent quarterly earnings call, Yahoo! Japan’s CEO Kentaro Kawabe announced plans to become the leader in mobile payments and retail transactions in Japan by bringing Yahoo! Wallet into brick-and-mortar stores. With 90% penetration in the Japanese market, Yahoo! Japan has reinforced their e-commerce business, which had JPY 1.4 trillion (US$12.9 billion) in transaction volume in 2017. In order to grow and expand their reach, consumers will be able to use their Yahoo! Wallet app in-store to pay for purchases using a QR code. Starting in June, consumers will be able to show their QR code via smartphone at checkout at convenience stores or other retailers with large POS systems. The rollout for acceptance at smaller stores will start in the fall of this year. Providing both offline and online consumer use of Yahoo! Wallet is an important part of Yahoo! Japan’s growth plan.
Yahoo! Japan’s entry into in-store purchases is part of the trend of e-commerce companies entering traditional retail from Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods to online eyeglass company Warby Parker opening physical stores. This is a continuing retail trend of companies integrating their physical and digital properties to provide a cohesive branding experience for consumers.
Walmart Strikes a $16 Billion Deal with Flipkart
US retail giant Walmart announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 77% stake in Indian e-commerce company Flipkart for $16 billion. The February 2018 E-Linx announced CardLinx member Rakuten’s partnership with Walmart for grocery delivery in Japan. In four short years, Walmart has watched Amazon and Flipkart’s shares of unique website visitors in India flipflop with Amazon’s increasing website traffic from 11% in 2014 to 47% in January 2018 compared to Flipkart’s stagnating popularity from 38% in 2014 to 36% in January 2018.
As we have reported earlier, pressure to compete online has motivated traditional brick-and-mortar companies to either create their own online platforms or buy other companies to compete with e-commerce companies. The leverage e-commerce companies have over traditional retailers remain their deep knowledge of consumer behavior, tracking not only purchases, but webpage visits, product reviews and entertainment preferences. All this data has given e-commerce companies like Amazon a big advantage in acquiring and maintaining customers.