Category Platform Strategies

Why JD.com’s Biggest Threat is WeChat

Marketplaces, like platforms in general, create winner-takes-all dynamics by virtue of the network effects that create an ever growing gravitation towards the biggest entities. As online retail goes more and more towards marketplaces everywhere, this dynamic gets more prevalent as well. This holds equally opportunities and strategic pitfalls for online retailers as well. Case in […]

Amazon, the Ultimate Platform Company, Is Eating the World

Amazon is now worth two Walmarts, via Recode: On the 20th anniversary of Amazon’s IPO, Amazon’s market cap stands at $459 billion before the market opens for trading. Walmart’s? $228 billion. A good time as any to read this excellent TechCrunch piece on how Amazon operates by Zack Kanter, co-founder of Stedi: Amazon is the […]

Echo Show: Amazon Is Building an OS for the Home & A Social Network to Hold It Together

Today, Amazon unveiled the new Echo flagship device. The Echo Show is the first Echo device to sport a multitouch screen To put this in context, before we go any further, here are some numbers from a recent eMarketer study: This year, 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a […]

China’s No. 4 Pinduoduo (PDD) Is Already a Social Commerce Giant

China has a new e-commerce startup ‘unicorn’ that is putting social commerce back on the map, in a big way. Pinduoduo, or PDD, raised $100 million in February, bringing the valuation of the company to $1.5 billion. (PDD raised its first round in 2015.) Business of Fashion / Bloomberg has a long portrait of the […]

Zalando Vizions

How Zalando Is Transforming Its Main App Into a True Platform With “Zalando Build”

At Vizions, Zalando’s conference on the topic of platforms (see photo above), we talked with Marc Lamik, Head of Product for Innovation & Partnerships at Zalando, about Zalando’s next platform initiative. This week, Zalando is unveiling the company’s next platform move; and this one’s going right into the heart of the business. (Mobile order share […]

How China Post’s Ule Is Building the World’s Largest Retail Network

“Ule“, which translated roughly as “happy post”, is an e-commerce joint venture by, mainly, the China Post. Ule is many things: It shows how China needs online retail to bring rural and urban regions together. (And to let the rural regions prosper too.) It shows what postal services can build. It may, at first, look […]

Who -Besides Alibaba- Can Challenge Amazon’s Tech Driven Online Retail Position?

In and of itself not that significant but for the larger picture, and to get another look at Amazon’s modus operandi and overall strong starting position, look at this: Amazon makes it cheaper to host Alexa skills on AWS | ZDNet:​ These new promotional credits are designed to cover any additional cloud storage and computing […]