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Insight around the world (IRM55)

Insight around the world (IRM55)

Insight around the world (IRM55)


Mexico is one of the fastest-growing markets for B2C ecommerce. It has expanded over 400% in the past five years with Euromonitor predicting that online shopping sales will increase 150% by 2018. Oban Digital took a closer look at Mexico in its recent expert report – Mexico: Undressing the Spanish Mexican fashion retail market. Like any new market there are particular cultural nuances of doing business online in Mexico that should inform your strategy.

Spanglish is key to product searches. Modern Mexican users searching online use a blend of American and Spanish languages. Even in a country, where only 12.9% of the population speak English, English terms hold a great deal of search influence for Mexicans. Spanglish terms though – which have higher search volume – can actually demand a lower cost-per-click cost than less-widely used English or Spanish equivalents

When it comes to onsite localisation, retailers need to ensure that sizes and measurements are all correctly converted. Mexico, for example, uses the same dress sizes as the US, but different shoe sizes.

Less experienced Mexican online consumers have secure payment concerns and can be discouraged from buying online. Payment options which don’t require the user to input their credit card details are therefore important to offer.

Mexico has the second largest proportion of social media account holders in Latin America, behind Brazil.

The following three key Mexican events should be in your campaign diary: 29 May to 1 June Hot Sale event – this internet shopping event is a recent invention which sees participation from the majority of Mexico’s major e-retailers; 13 to 16 November is the time for El Buen Fin sales – ‘the good end’ is an annual nationwide shopping event introduced in 2011, coinciding with Mexico’s Revolution Day holiday; 31 October to 2 November is Día de Muertos – Day of the Dead is associated with a wider holiday in Mexico that celebrates the memory of departed loved-ones. The Mexican Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce and Tourism Services reported sales of approximately $1,500m in 2012.


I caught up recently with two Italian retailers working to create an omnichannel experience for their customers. Speaking at the Oracle Retail Industry Forum (ORIF), they shared an interesting perspective of where the market currently stands.

The Italian ecommerce market is worth €13bn and saw 17% growth last year but Italian shoppers do not yet “get the power of the internet,” says Roberto Merlini, Group Marketing & eCommerce Director of maternity and baby goods retailer Prénatal. While the number of orders placed online is increasing (+34%), with physical products driving the market growth, the average basket value has dropped 4% as shoppers seek out low prices and promotions. Prénatal’s Italian ecommerce site has a turnover of €10m with an average basket value of €70 as shoppers research items such as pushchairs in store and then purchase them online.

Mobile commerce is also on the rise in Italy with 9% of online orders coming from smartphones. In 2013, it was responsible for just €610m so has seen a 100% growth rate. Prénatal’s own traffic has swapped from 16% of site visitors using tablet, 47% on desktop and 37% on smartphones in 2014 to 16% on tablets, 32% from desktop and 53% from smartphones in 2015. The company has witnessed a faster transition from desktop to mobile than anticipated with “customers moving faster than the company.”

Prénatal, which operates mobile and desktop sites in three other European countries, will be launching a new responsive site in November.

Matteo Molon, Head of eCommerce, Calzedonia Group, which owns the Intimissimi lingerie brand, told delegates that it too is seeing an increasing number of visits from mobile devices not just in Italy but across Europe; mobile phones account for half of its traffic with site visits increasing by 124% and mobile sales up 397%.

The Pick and Pay cash-on-delivery service, which Intimissimi operates in Italy, still accounts for “above 30%” of orders.

All of the Group’s brands will be fully online in Q1 2016 with the company working towards omnichannel integration across its 4,000 stores worldwide, the majority of which are franchised.

For retailers looking to move into the Italian market, Merlini advises that they get to know the customer and then re-run all of the data again because of the pace of change in the country. For those in the fast fashion market he warns that Primark will be opening shops in Italy in 2016 and he believes “they will wreck whoever is around them.”


1 October 2015 was the date for the EMV liability shift in the United States. Commonly known as chip and PIN, it is designed to improve card-present security. However, it is likely to cause a major shift in credit card fraud to card-not-present (CNP) transactions for large and small internet retailers in the UK and Europe.

Countries adopting EMV technology for physical card security all put considerable dents in the rates of lost, stolen and counterfeit card fraud. However, its adoption in the UK wasn’t the total fraud cure that some industry insiders had hoped. Figures from the UK Card Association show how the UK experienced a 79% rise in CNP fraud in the first 3 years of EMV introduction. Fraudsters turned online to exploit the surge of ecommerce, instigating an equally booming CNP crime wave that sidestepped many of the security benefits of EMV.

With the USA slow to adopt EMV, the recent rollout means it’s still too early to measure the global repercussions on ecommerce fraud. However, as the last major market to adopt EMV, fraudsters have fewer places to turn for ‘easy’ fraud wins and will target lucrative, established online markets in Europe with renewed vigour. Larger online retailers will likely be a top target, but are more likely to have the resources to employ capable defence. Smaller ecommerce merchants could suffer if they don’t implement best practice processes and monitor their transactions closely.

Fraud prevention technologies are essential to fighting this rising threat especially with European ecommerce expected to continue to grow with rates approaching 20% per year. With so much commerce now online, CNP fraud will not just be a problem for newly on-board US retailers. Identifying global trends and following best practice strategies is the most effective way for online retailers to keep their losses to a minimum and prevent renewed threats in the months and years ahead.


Most online retailers invest a great deal of time and effort into drafting their web terms, ensuring that they are robust and that they protect the retailer as far as possible within the boundaries of the law.

However, even when retailers have the most beautifully crafted web terms going, the outcome of a recent case before the European courts may mean that all the good work will come undone if the terms are not presented in a particular way.

The case of Jaouad v CarsOnTheWeb before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) considered the issue of whether a clause in a standard online “click wrap” agreement was effective on the basis that the retailer’s web terms did not open automatically when a purchaser accepted them by clicking the relevant acceptance box before making a purchase. The terms were only visible to the purchaser (who was buying a car) by clicking through to another window. A dispute regarding the purchase then arose and the ECJ had to decide whether these web terms constituted a “communication by electronic means which produces a durable record of the agreement”.

The claimant argued that the web page containing the retailer’s terms did not open automatically. Instead, a box with the indication “click here to open the conditions of delivery and payment in a new window” had to be clicked on and, therefore, this did not constitute the aforementioned “communication by electronic means which produces a durable record of the agreement”.

In a nutshell, the ECJ essentially held that web terms will be valid where a method is used which makes it possible for customers to print and save the text of those terms before the conclusion of the contract.

Although this appears a minor point on the face of it, by not taking a relatively small but important step, e-tailers could quite easily find that their terms are invalid (e.g. finding themselves litigating in foreign and unfamiliar courts if things go wrong following a sale).

A key take-away in light of this recent case is, therefore, for e-tailers to re-visit the mechanics by which their web terms are accepted, making tweaks as necessary to avoid arguments over enforceability.

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