What a week! Not only were markets extremely volatile, many companies and industries continue to undergo fascinating change. Major change is coming in the media space if Snap, Twitter, and Spotify’s recent investor / product presentations were any indication. And beyond that…the boom in NFTs (non-fungible [crypto]tokens) is wild in its own right.
This felt necessary not only because the Paper Portfolio launched with a (largest) 7% position in Sea but because Capital Flywheels had not seen a company as exciting and mis-priced as Sea since…Shopify in 2016, Apple in 2014, or Facebook in 2012.… Read the rest “Sea – Monster in the Making”
#1 Shopify continues to “Arm the Rebels” with a Walmart partnership
Starting today, Shopify merchants across the U.S. will be able to apply to sell through Walmart.com. If approved, they’ll be able to connect their Shopify store to their Walmart Seller Account, enabling them to quickly and easily sync their product catalog and create product listings on Walmart.com.
Starbucks – After decades championing “the third place“, Starbucks has been experimenting with newer store formats. Initially the company moved upmarket with their Reserve/Roastery formats. This one is from the Seattle location:
According to Wikipedia, Ali Baba opens the mouth of a treasure cave using the magical phrase “open sesame” in the story of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”.
In similar ways, our Alibaba has been making incredible progress in opening a multitude of modern treasure caves…
Caves such as…
Single’s Day. Just a few days ago, Alibaba announced >$38 billion of GMV for their Single’s Day shopping festival (note that the RMB has weakened over the past year, which further obscures the incredible growth in riches they continue to find in this Single’s Day cave).… Read the rest “Open Sesame”
I have just a couple of links below centered around e-commerce that I found highly interesting and think worth your time.
I think the narrative around Amazon is starting to shift, not just from a regulatory perspective, but from a dominance perspective. Betting against Amazon has been a loser’s bet, but I think betting that Amazon needs to evolve is a clear one.… Read the rest “Amazon’s Shifting Narrative”
Today, Alibaba and Amazon are likely household names and for good reason. Both of them are giants straddling a number of industries and likely touch close to 2 billion consumers annually. Both of them also tend to be trendsetters that determine the evolution of markets / industries (or at least in thought).
When people think about ecommerce today, they likely think about ecommerce along the lines of C2C (consumer-to-consumer), B2C (business-to-consumer), or B2B (business-to-business) – in other words, classification by type of buyers and sellers.
As detailed in my recent post, Amazon has built up quite a formidable competitive advantage through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Not just on the demand side, which every happy Prime subscriber is already familiar with, but also on the supply side.
In that post I concluded the following:
Fulfillment is clearly beneficial on the demand side, but has a lot of supply side advantages as well.
Amazon has clearly become an absolute juggernaut. There are likely only a handful of companies today that have the resource and scale to compete with Amazon directly. But most of the companies that do have the resources to compete generally don’t operate ecommerce platforms, leaving the field mostly wide open for Amazon to continue to grow unabated.
I wish I had spent more time analyzing Amazon in earnest years ago. But late is better than never. I’ll console myself with the fact that e-commerce penetration in the US is still <10% of all retail sales…and relative to that statistic, even the word “late” seems a bit premature.
Having spent a number of months learning more about Amazon’s history, assets, business model(s), and philosophy, one thing I’ve realized is that Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) affords the company immense advantages on the supply side that I think are largely glossed over in mainstream media and investor dialogue.… Read the rest “Supply Side Advantages of Fulfillment (by Amazon)”
Lately, there’s been no shortage of positive coverage on Amazon – and for good reasons. The vast majority of retail is struggling with declining same-store-sales, yet, Amazon continues to post a torrid pace of growth despite its size. In FY16, Amazon grew North America segment sales by 25%, and that growth came at the expense of the rest of the retail industry.… Read the rest “Amazon’s Capital Market Dependence”