Gemma Houghton

Google Faces Further Blow In Europe

Global Marketing News – 29th February 2016

Google faces further blow in Europe

France has announced that it wants Google to pay 1.6 billion Euros, equivalent to 1.76 billion US dollars, in back taxes.

Google stands accused of using legal loopholes to minimise the amount of tax they have to pay, something that France says is wrong and is now challenging.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai will be going to Paris next week to meet with the French economics minister, presumably to discuss the issue and negotiate a deal.

It is not the first time that Google has found itself in trouble in France. It has also been embroiled in a battle with the French privacy watchdog CNIL, over the “right to be forgotten” law.

Australian retailers fail to provide good mobile experience

Research by Episerver has revealed that many Australian retailers are failing to provide a good enough mobile experience to their customers.

The study examined the mobile offerings of Australia’s top 20 retailers and found that the average Australian retailers’ score was just 34%, significantly lower than all other countries studied.

Around half of the Australian retailers didn’t have both iOS and Android apps, something that is undoubtedly holding them back in an increasingly mobile-centric era.

A whopping 96% of Australians have a smartphone, with two-thirds reporting that they had bought something using a mobile app.

Almost half, 46%, said they would be put off from buying from a company that had a poor mobile experience.

A spokesperson from Episerver commented on the findings, saying: “Given the boom in mobile and tablet adoption across the region, it’s a shame to see so many Australian retailers still not maximising the use of these technologies to benefit their businesses.”

Ecommerce sites Rakuten and Gmarket form Japanese-Korean partnership

The Japanese ecommerce site Rakuten and the South Korean ecommerce site Gmarket have formed a partnership to encourage cross-border ecommerce between the two countries.

Under the agreement, Gmarket will open a store on Rakuten to reach Japanese customers, and Rakuten will open a store on Gmarket to reach South Korean customers.

Gmarket will offer 200 women’s fashion items and 100 cosmetic items in Japan, whilst Rakuten will offer products from its 44,000 merchants to customers in South Korea.

Online shopping is popular in both Japan and South Korea. The Japanese ecommerce market is worth 136 billion US dollars and has a digital buyer penetration rate of 80%, whilst the South Korean ecommerce market is worth 22 billion US dollars and has a digital buyer penetration rate of 75%.

Sony Music to expand in Africa

The music company Sony has pledged to expand its presence in Africa.

It has just opened an office in Nigeria and is in the process of registering its business in Kenya.

A Sony spokesperson commented on the expansion, saying: “As the region continues to grow, we see significant opportunities to market the incredible local talent in Africa to the rest of the world.”

Sony is not the only music company to turn its attention to the promising African market.

Universal Music Group has also said it intends to focus its international expansion efforts on Africa over the next few years.

Cute delivery robots deployed in London

And finally, Starship Technology has announced that its cute delivery robots have completed their testing phase and will be deployed on the streets of London by the end of the month.

The small, wheeled robots weigh 9kg and can carry a similar weight. They travel at 6.5km/h and can travel around 30 minutes away from their base.

They can avoid collisions with people and obstacles, and can go up and down curbs.

The robot’s body is locked during transit and can only be opened and emptied by the recipient using their smartphone.

To deter thieves and the overly curious, the robot is fitted with 9 cameras that will take a picture of anyone trying to interfere with it, and is also equipped with a speaker and microphone.

Webcertain’s global marketing news bulletins are daily 5-minute videos, providing marketers with the latest international digital marketing news in an easy-to-digest format.

Gemma Houghton

Gemma Houghton

Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Gemma has been working in international search for 6 years and leads Webcertain's marketing team. As well as managing Webcertain’s global online and offline marketing activities, she also organises and programs WebCertain's International Search Summit, a search marketing conference focusing on international and multilingual online marketing and contributes regularly to the Webcertain blog. She has also spoken at conferences such as SES and SasCon and writes regularly for State of Digital. Gemma holds a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a BA Joint Honors Degree in French and German.

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