24 April 2015 – Global Marketing News
Baidu announces launch of Baidu Mall
China’s leading search engine Baidu has announced that it is entering the world of ecommerce and will soon be launching Baidu Mall.
Baidu Mall will be an ecommerce platform for China and is expected to launch to consumers in June of this year, with retailers being able to create their online stores from May.
Retailers will be able to list their products on the platform, and will also be able to design how their store will look.
Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, with a market share of around 60%.
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Majority of rural Indians don’t understand or trust the internet
The majority of people in rural India who avoid using the internet do so because they either don’t know how to use the internet or don’t trust it.
This finding, based on research by Accenture, suggests that simply providing rural Indians with education about the internet would be enough to get them online and engaging in activities such as online shopping.
Over a third of rural Indians who did not engage in ecommerce said that they would consider doing so if they were simply told how to do so. Almost 30% said that they could be persuaded by learning from family and friends how easy it was.
Figures from E-Marketer show that uptake of ecommerce in India is still extremely low. Only 8% of the population research products online and only 6% buy online.
Unilever wants to increase global online sales by 40%
Unilever has said that it wants to increase its global online sales by 40% this year.
The company is changing its strategy to focus more on ecommerce and digital than it has done before. It has only recently started in the ecommerce market, having traditionally sold its products through retailers but is now changing tack to sell directly to customers.
It has had a good start to the year, with revenue increasing globally by 3% year-on-year. Growth has been especially strong in emerging markets like India and China, unlike Europe where sales have struggled.
Unilever is not the only fast-moving consumer goods company aiming to increase its ecommerce sales this year, Mondelez, Diageo and AB InBev have also stated their intentions to boost their digital sales.
Alibaba fined 800,000 yuan
The Chinese ecommerce platform Alibaba has been fined 800,000 yuan, equivalent to almost 130,000 US dollars, by the Chinese price bureau.
The fine was imposed after it was discovered that third-party sellers on the platform had been breaking rules and regulations governing the pricing of products during promotional events.
Alibaba confirmed the fine, saying that: “[We have] been fined 500,000 yuan ($81,000) for matters related to Singles’ Day pricing by third-party sellers on our Tmall marketplace in 2013 and 2014, and 300,000 yuan ($48,000) for pricing in other promotions in 2013 and 2015.”
This is not the first time that Alibaba has been under the spotlight for alleged mispractices. In 2011, multiple Alibaba employees were arrested for working with criminals to defraud customers. The company has also received criticism for not doing enough to combat the large number of counterfeit products on its site.
Google Street View now includes Loch Ness
And finally, Google has updated Street View to include images from Loch Ness.
Loch Ness enjoys a high level of popularity online, with more searches than Buckingham Palace.
Users can now view images from the surface of the Loch, which stretches for 23 miles, and can also view some underwater images too.
The Loch was added to Street View on the 81st anniversary of the now infamous hoaxed photograph of the Loch Ness monster.
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