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Insight around the world – France, EU, Turkey and China


What do a bus shelter, a waiting room or a Parisien taxi have in common? All these places recently became ephemeral shops. The famous, French fashion retailer, Comptoir des Cotonniers launched a system of temporary boutiques around the city. Those “boutiques” are, in fact, based on posters equipped with flash code to cause impulse buying among its clients.

Launched on 28 May, the concept of “fast shopping” is based on large posters representing photos of different products of the brand (clothes, shoes…) deployed in various places where consumers can take the time to look at them: Metro stations, building facades, bags and t-shirts are now designated stores. The brand has even placed one “boutique” on the Champs-Elysées avenue. Posters will be accompanied by QR codes that consumers can capture with their phone, after having previously downloaded the Powatag application, to place an order which can be delivered to their home within 48 hours. This fast shopping experiment is based on Tesco’s approach, which enabled people in Seoul to shop on posters in the subway.

“We are delighted to offer the unique experience – The Fast Shopping – to our clients. This is a true revolution in the world of retail and marketing, and even urban display, which becomes a distributor. Like many other digital innovations, it will transform our world,” said Valérie Dassier, ecommerce, CRM & Customer Director at Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse Tam Tam.

The project launch was supported by a national media plan. From 28 May to 17 June, thousands of posters bloomed in Paris and in other French cities. Fast Shopping shops also opened on the web, in women’s fashion press and in the Uber cars (private taxi). In total, more than 10,000 of the new store concept have been deployed throughout the country.


The global online food retail market is in the infancy of its existence. Countries like the UK and the US have produced impressive examples of successful e-grocery formats like Ocado and FreshDirect but at the same time, most grocers across the globe are still in the midst of figuring out how to build their online channels.

In the EU, less than 8% of all consumers buy their groceries online. The UK and France are the two countries with the most developed e-grocery markets in Europe, valued at €7.8bn and €6.7bn respectively. The Netherlands and Germany are the two smallest online grocery markets covered in our ‘State of Online Grocery Retail in Europe’ study. They are valued at €0.29bn and €1.45bn respectively.

While the Netherlands is held back by the existence of one dominant player (, the German market overall lacks players with well-developed e-grocery business concepts. This is expected to change in the near future with the launch of Amazon’s grocery format AmazonFresh in the second half of 2014. This makes Germany the first market in Europe for AmazonFresh.

It has already established several distribution centres and prepared a fleet of delivery trucks to roll out its online operations. IGD argues that Amazon is interested in gaining a large market share in a strategic European country, which it will do by scaling up its activities and obtaining proof of concept. For now, profits will be less of a focus for the company enabling it to offer competitive prices as it moves towards becoming a key player in the online grocery market.

Amazon has already shaken up the US e-grocery market, which, with a value of over $15.4bn, is by far the largest market in the world. The AmazonFresh subsidiary was launched in 2007 and by 2012, it generated $60m in sales, operating in Seattle alone. In 2013, it opened its operations in Los Angeles and San Francisco; it has already announced its plans for further expansion in 20 cities across the US. Walmart entered the e-grocery business in 2011 using its stores as warehouses to supply consumers that ordered groceries online. Given their access to vast resources, industry experience and their competitive nature, both AmazonFresh and Walmart are expected to disturb the e-grocery market in the US as well as in Europe.


Turkey is fast becoming an important part of the ecommerce world, now ranking among the world leaders in B2C ecommerce. Although the country has undergone unprecedented times, the economy is really showing signs of recovery, much of which is due to Turkey’s thriving retail industry and high levels of disposable income. This growth is only expected to continue as Hepsiburada, the country’s largest online retailer, takes on the big global online retail brands to put Turkey on the retail map. Working with ThoughtWorks, Hepsiburada is building a new marketplace with an engaging store-front for its seven million regular members and 19 million visitors a month.

The new marketplace will give online customers instant access to more than 600,000 products, ranging from computer and sports accessories to the latest books and cosmetics. It’s also open to other smaller merchants, which means that there are opportunities for other retailers within Turkey. Based on user feedback, the Hepsiburada marketplace will deliver real value to customers by offering higher selection and availability of stock across the company’s extensive portfolio of products.

“Thanks to ThoughtWorks we will soon have a marketplace that Turkey’s consumers will want, and more importantly, will return to on a regular basis. No doubt this can only further contribute to our thriving retail economy and our nation’s overall success over the coming years,” says Emre Ekmekçi, President of Business Development, Hepsiburada. Behind the project is a small team, running one of Europe’s fastest growing ecommerce sites that contributes enormously to the nation’s wealth and retail success. Hepsiburada is making a strong improvement to the economy and consumers’ lives, meaning that Turkey’s future within retail looks very positive.

A mobile marketplace is also in development to accompany the desktop experience, with Hepsiburada also focusing resources on securing partnerships with leading brands, suppliers and manufacturers to further enhance the online experience and the number of products available to customers.


The balance of power between consumers and retailers has irrevocably changed. Today’s digitally empowered consumer requires retailers to provide commerce anywhere: the ability to browse, compare, purchase and return goods when they want and through whichever touch point – store, online, via mobile – they choose, no matter where their shopping journey starts, reveals Oracle’s recent global study into the ‘New Retail Democracy’.

Chinese responses to the study provide insight into shopping experiences in the country with the highest consumer sentiment globally and retail sales growth expected to reach 13.4% in 2014.

Access to knowledge is becoming a priority with 53% of Chinese respondents acknowledging that access to product location and availability information is key to providing a better shopping experience. A further 51% identify with access as a connected shopping journey that ties touch points including stores with returns and service as providing the most value to their shopping experience.

Availability matters to Chinese consumers. 96% want to understand it when they shop, while 82% think availability is more important than price. A further 49% of respondents are more likely to be loyal to a retailer that demonstrates product availability, while 32% are inclined to spend more. If a product is not available, 91% will source an item elsewhere.

Some 89% of respondents want retailers to individualise interactions and are willing to share personal information with retailers to help them to better target promotions, offer more valuable product suggestions and deliver content relevant to their interests.

Chinese consumers have a voracious appetite for technology with 97% stating it is important for retailers to adopt new technologies to improve their shopping experiences. In the last year, for the first time, 64% made purchases on a PC or tablet, 64% on a smartphone, 60% used click and collect, 30% purchased through a social networking site and 18% via a link in an online magazine, with all responses higher than global averages.

These findings reveal retailers must focus on three key strategies to provide commerce anywhere. Firstly, access is key to empowering consumers and retail assistants with information to manage their experience. Secondly, investing wisely in technology helps retailers to deliver commerce anywhere more effectively. Finally, retailers must utilise every touch point to encourage consumers to share information and use this to individualise their interaction appropriately.

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