Thursday, February 26, 2015

Carrefour Targeting French Ecommerce Company To Boost Its Ecommerce Strategy

Carrefour's CEO has clearly set Ecommerce as one of its top priority within the next few years. Carrefour has been struggling with its Ecommerce strategy. Lars Olofsson set a partnership back in 2011 with French Emerchant Pixmania, to manage Carrefour's Ecommerce website. Obviously, this partnership was not as successful as expected. And Carrefour decided to take back its Ecommerce website. Now, some websites are chatting about Carrefour being interested by

But will this move really give a lift to Carrefour online? What is for sure, is that its French competitor Casino is far ahead now. Its Ecommerce website Cdiscount is one of the leading Emerchant in France, competing head to head with Amazon, and has also an international presence in countries like Brazil. Rueducommerce for sure owns a great experience in Ecommerce, but it is by far not even a challenger now in the Ecommerce competition. Furthermore, for a company like Carrefour, which counts for 60% of its sales abroad, Rueducommerce may help on the local market, but will be far from having an impact on the total revenues of the company. Maybe this move would be the first step towards a round of merger and purchases of local Internet retailers, in order to strengthen the Internet presence of Carrefour worldwide.

Nevertheless, the Internet strategy of Carrefour remains unknown, but I believe that Carrefour will be one of the most active brick&mortar retailer in the Ecommerce sphere in 2015.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How To Improve Your PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint presentations has become the most common way to present new concepts and projects in the office world. Even sometimes, I have seen companies using Powerpoint as a support tool to set up analysis.

There are several ways to use PowerPoint. Obviously, you may not use Steve Jobs' techniques in your everyday work, but I believe the information you will find in this video are quite interesting.

But one of the lessons also the video points out, is that it is not mandatory to use Powerpoint to introduce a project to someone. You should then use Powerpoint presentations with caution, even though you master the software.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sales is what you buy. Demand is what you want. Growth comes from bringing the two together.

Interesting article as always of the Harvard Business Review. 
It reminds me of my customer decision making process, which I highly appreciated, and that gave me the love of customer relationship management. 
The article highlights two main ideas.

The difference between demand and sales
Of course, while working on category management plan or to forecast the outcomes of a new project, you need to set up some goals, backed up by data. Most of the time, you extrapolate data from sales figures. But as the article underline, sales data are slim to have the big picture. It does not take into account the impact  out of stocks, suboptimal assortment, pricing inefficiencies, difficult POS experiences, misaligned brands, and redundant innovation. The whole environment have an impact on sales.
Sales data provide you with figures that are difficult to take clearly due to all the factors that may alter one customer decision.

On the other hand demand data is also difficult to reach as we touch to the whole complexity of human emotions and complex decision making process. You need to have tools like brand mapping, that are difficult to transfert into figures. It is like working with your left and then your right brain. Easier said than done.

You need both information though to make the right answer. Same thing with the Direct Profit by Products analyze which can't be the single way to pick a product range, you need to understand all the strategical aspect of your demand, in order to make the right choice to suit your customers.

Working together with the different stakeholders
The second part of the article that I like is about integrating all marketing data. Indeed, there are three main actors that own a part of the information needed:
- Suppliers own customer data
- Retailers own shopper data
- Media own watchers data

It is the essence of category management: suppliers and retailers working together to leverage all these data in order to have the best respond to the demand. As the amount of data available is growing and becoming more precise, there is a lot of potential to unfold.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

What Is Going On In The Retail Business In France Right Now

I don't know if much International retail experts are paying a close attention to what is going on in the retail world in France, but it is fascinating. Indeed, France is as I have said several times, a land of retailing. The land where International tycoons such as Carrefour, Auchan or Casino have thriven before going abroad. A land where independant retailers are blossoming and succeeding with Intermarché & Leclerc.

Economical situation in France has been tough the past few years, but despite this economical slow down, retailers have been able to maintain every year growth, even if it was minimal. But after couple of years of growth gained by opening new stores, massive promotions and lowering prices, retailers have come to a complicated situation.

And this is the reason why they have started to restructure the market, by allying each others. Carrefour is allied with Cora, Casino with Intermarché, and Auchan with Super U. 

Hence, you have now 4 groups(with Leclerc) that accounts between 20 to 25% each of the market shares. What is unsusual in the approach, is that in other countries with high concentration of retailers, most of the time, it is based on buyouts, or mergers. But here, it is based on joint venture of the purchases.

Indeed, those alliances were made to have a higher power of negociation with suppliers, in order to maximize their purchases, and hence, earn more profitability to fight now, with 4 powers from equal sizes.

Obviously, the first annual negociations with this spectrum are going on right now, and it is tough to see how the situation will unfold. But it will be to me obviously one of the most interesting topic to follow in the world of retailing: How those alliances will last in time? Who will really win? Will there be new forces coming up from those alliances? Will it help the market to raise? Will this strategy be copied in other countries?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Should You Do One Thing At A Time?

This is a traditionnal cliché: Men are supposed not to be able to do multiple tasks at one time, but women can. Also, a lot of people believes that they are able to juggle with a lot of different tasks at a time, and are good and efficient with it.

I have two pieces you to show. First, this very interesting Ted video about multi tasking:
It gives you the results of a study made on Italian judges that are used to juggle with a massive number of cases. They have checked on a period of time of 104 weeks how the way some were using multitasking could affect their efficiency. Results are shown bellow.

Obviously, we tend most of the time to think at different things at the same time. In our nowdays world, on our computer, we always have the possibility to be distracted, or to have different tasks in front of us. Our brains are like computers, and having to think at different thinks at the same time impact our RAM, and hence, slower the whole processor. This is one of the key to the GTD idea.

But I have always been more attracted by mono tasking than by multi tasking.

What about you?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The New Leader face of Retailing Jack Ma Talks In Davos

Jack Ma has obvioulsy become one of the hottest name in retailing last year, with its successful IPO.

Jack Ma has revolutionized the way people shop in China. But more than anything, Jack Ma is a really inspiring business leader. His vision on what a CEO should be, how he perceives ethic and responsability are just a great example of how people should conduct business.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Some Feedback About Costco Entering The Chinese Market

Not so long ago, the second largest retailer in the world Costco decided to enter China in a very innovative way: It set up a partnership with Chinese Ecommerce giant Alibaba, to open an Internet store.

I found this approach very interesting, and was eager to find out how this approach performed. And it seems that it is a tremendous success. Indeed, in a 3 month period, they sold for $6,4 million

Costco set up a store on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's Tmall Global platform, where it is offering its Kirkland Signature products and other items. Chinese consumers can receive the goods within five to 20 days of purchase. Costco is using its base in Taiwan to support operations and leveraging its new Chinese partnership for inventory storage.

I believe what is interesting in the test is that it allowed Costco to test the market without the bargaining of investing in real estate. Still, this is only a first step. I don't believe that Costco's activities in China would be viable without settling warehouses, which is its core business. Neither do I believe that this test will allow Costco to grow enough to have enough leverage on the purchasing to secure low prices. It just allows the company to have a strong Internet presence, which the company most of the time lack (online 3% of its sells are online, which also represents a high potential of growth). 

As Costco entered late in the market, where US companies like Walmart is struggling, I really hope that this strategy will pay off. It will be interesting how the story unfold.