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Hope everyone is safe and staying home! As our friends from China are in recovery mode, this is a very positive message that there is a path not so far away towards recovery and back to normal (whatever the new normal will be). 

Companies from many sectors are working together to help us through this crisis producing & shipping mask and ventilators (LVMH, Apple, TESLA to name a few…even Lamborghini is producing masks). Countries like Germany are treating COVID patient from other countries! Solidarity is on and that’s great to see!

In the meantime, here is some important e-commerce news of last week:

–          Ikea acquires AI imaging startup Geomagical Labs

–          DoorDash move into grocery delivery

–          China’s Pinduoduo raises $1.1 billion to grow in a time of crisis

–          E-commerce DTC brands like Warby Parker, Allbirds also entering a challenging time

–          Nike China Ecommerce approach & COVID learnings 

Ikea acquires AI imaging startup Geomagical Labs to supercharge room visualisations

IKEA temporarily closed all U.S. stores due to COVID19 and many more in across the globe. Like many companies, this is a time of disruption and the importance of online sales is growing exponentially by the day.

Ikea was one of the companies which entered “late” in the e-commerce war and left other players such as Wayfair to take important market share online. Back in 2017, the company purchased Task Rabbit, it was the first major move from the company to push into online sales! Why? Because it got access at that time to +60K independent workers who could deliver, install & repair Ikea furniture’s & appliances. Now the company has made another major move acquiring Geomagical Labs, an AI imaging startup which will help Ikea to supercharge its room visualization. At a time where online sales are going to be critical for customer conversion and experience, this move makes a lot of sense!

THIS is the story of the startup Ikea has just bought.

 DoorDash now delivers from over 1,800 convenience stores nationwide

DoorDash is and will be one of the winners from the COVID pandemic. The company is living the opportunity of the decade and this is why they are expanding the business. Doordash announced today it’s expanding beyond food to also deliver from convenience stores, like 7-Eleven, Wawa, Circle K, Casey’s General Store and others. They will partner with 1,800 convenience store locations across the U.S. in order to provide easy access to household essentials like toilet paper, cleaning supplies and over-the-counter medicine, as well as hot and cold foods, drinks, snacks and more.

Check out THIS article about DoorDash.

 China’s Pinduoduo raises $1.1 billion in private share placement

Chinese e-commerce firm Pinduoduo said on Tuesday last week it had raised $1.1 billion in a private share placement that will enable its further expansion and allow it to capture “additional opportunities” during the times of uncertainty. This is quite interesting, even as the company is in a difficult situation due to the COVID19, they are aggressively raising money to diversify in this time of crisis, if you can do it, in the coming weeks and months, there will be many opportunities to invest in great deals (no matter your industry, “time of crisis = time of opportunity”!

Learn more about Pinduoduo’s huge success HERE.

 Rude awakening ahead for e-commerce brands like Warby Parker and Allbirds

While many think that all online sales companies will be the winner from the crisis we are in, some recent study and also data I see in the market shows a decrease of sales for many Digitally Born companies. Recent data from e-marketers shows that many of the famous Direct to Consumer companies such as Casper, WarbyParker, Away will suffer from this crisis as well due to 2 major elements: 1) As unemployment numbers are exploding across the globe, consumers continue to shift from nice-to-have products to must-have products, with many DTC brands falling under the nonessential category. 2) Disruptions in the supply chain are happening in all major markets with major delayed, I just ordered Nespresso caps this week and it will take 10 days instead of 2 normally. That will mean slower shipping times, which is normally a distinguishing factor for DTCs brands.

All you need to know about this rude awakening can be found HERE.

 E-commerce Helped Nike Mitigate Lost Sales In China

Encouraging story and article on the Nike experience going through COVID19 in China and how the brand is taking the learning and applying it to other regions. Nike is one of the companies that has invested strongly in e-commerce capabilities for the past years and have a very strong infrastructure and team in place, not everyone can switch to e-commerce effectively if they haven’t done that in the last years.  Interesting also to see what we can expect following the crisis, one dimension which will be important is: Discounts to get out of their home and buy in the physical world as many brands will be hugely impacted. If you were planning to buy some non-essential products, you probably want to wait until the crisis pass to get some great discount!

Read the story of NIKE and The Not-Lost Sales HERE.

 Thought of the week:

NFL New England Patriots Team private jet shipping 1.7M masks from China to US

I love this story as it shows an important fact and change of mindset that we all need to take following this Covid19 crisis!

We are not short in resources, skills, talents, ideas, production and transportation capabilities!

We have to re-purpose existing capabilities, skills & infrastructure to serve the needs of today & tomorrow (and we are starting to see many great examples of this happening across industries across the globe).

THIS article is really worth reading.

 Stay home, Take care

Cheers

Nabil

Nabil Malouli is VP, Global E-commerce for DHL Supply Chain where he leads the innovation, strategy and product development of its e-commerce fulfilment and last-mile solutions.

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