Global Macro Themes for 2019: Navigating The Risks
to remind you that Fitch Solutions' Global Macro Themes for 2019: Navigating The Risks webinar is being held on Thursday at 14:30 London / 09:30 New York.
There are still some spaces left but they will be offered on a first come, first served basis. So if you would like to join please register now to avoid disappointment.
In the webinar we will discuss the following topics:
Trends in global growth in 2019
Constraints for policymakers and how these will evolve
Risks of unexpected leadership changes
Potential for changes in inflation trends
Convergence in monetary policy
The effects of trade protectionism
US growth slowdown and the trajectory of US interest rates
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Leila Scott Webinars Co-Ordinator
2019 Insights & Predictions in Customer Engagement
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Amazon and Alibaba continue to expand into Western Europe—Amazon with hopes of capturing a greater European consumer base, and Alibaba selling luxury European goods to its tens of millions of consumers in China.
Here's why marketers in Western Europe are paying attention to these digital giants:
Amazon's Prime Positioning
Amazon’s mastery of ecommerce—a broad and growing range of products; a user-friendly website; a developed recommendation engine; and reliable and efficient delivery—has made it one of the biggest online retailers in Europe. The company’s reach and logistics position it as the key competitor for retailers in the region.
Widespread and consistent use of Amazon is now the norm in Western Europe. According to a July 2018 report from Periscope by McKinsey, 47% of consumers in Germany noted frequently shopping with Amazon, as did 30% of consumers in Italy. And more than one-fifth (22%) of UK consumers considered themselves to be loyal Amazon shoppers.
Prime is at the core of Amazon’s European expansion. Periscope by McKinsey found that more than half of internet users in Italy, Germany and the UK have a Prime account.
Amazon’s next strategic maneuver is in voice technology. “As more and more consumers use Alexa for purchasing, Amazon will be a primary beneficiary,” said Karin von Abrams, senior analyst at eMarketer. “Amazon Echo is already the leading voice-enabled speaker in most advanced markets.”
Unlike Amazon, Alibaba doesn’t sell its own products, but instead functions as a platform for third parties and brands. The company has dual European objectives: to encourage top European brands to sell in China, and to establish and grow a consumer base within Europe.
To those ends, Alibaba has focused more of its efforts on AliExpress—its B2C retail platform—as well as its mobile payment service, AliPay.
"AliPay empowers local merchants to better target and connect with their Chinese consumers [as they] increasingly vacation overseas,” said Alba Ruiz, the company’s business development manager for Spain and Portugal.
This untapped ecommerce potential plays a big role in the company's future. "While its current consumer base is primarily Chinese, it’s possible that this payment option will gain ground in Europe, too, if it has major advantages over regional alternatives,” von Abrams said.
A Competitive Edge
Growing competition from these digital giants hasn't gone unnoticed. In an H1 2018 study from SLI Systems, retailers worldwide were asked whether (and to what extent) they considered Walmart/Jet.com, Amazon and Alibaba to be more or less threatening to their digital businesses vs. Q1 2017. The survey found that four times the number of respondents said they do worry about competition from Amazon, compared with 10% that consider Alibaba a threat.
Nearly as many respondents (39%) noted that competition from Alibaba "does not apply" because of its differing business model.
"Only recently has [Alibaba] begun to experiment with a retail offering for shoppers outside China—and it’s way behind Amazon in developing a logistics network, market share and even brand awareness among European shoppers,” von Abrams said. “Bearing that in mind, it’s not surprising that many retailers in Europe don’t consider Alibaba a threat just yet.”
A brand’s ethics and social responsibility can influence purchasing decisions and loyalty for many millennials—a generation transitioning into their prime spending years.
“Millennials are very aware of when something feels inauthentic or forced, and we know this based on the ways they want to be targeted or what they want to see in ads. They are looking for, and respond to, things that almost can’t be inauthentic,” said Joline McGoldrick, senior vice president of Data Insights and Research at VidMob.
In a recent survey by RetailMeNot, two thirds of millennial consumers said more brands should take a public stand on important social values. And over half said that even if they disagree with a company’s position, that wouldn’t impact their likelihood to purchase from that brand.
Nike is one such brand, which ran an ad late last year featuring Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who sparked controversy by kneeling during the national anthem. There were consumers who cut the brand's logos off their socks, or even burned their sneakers. But there were also those who purchased Nike products in support.
A Quinnipiac University study cited by the Washington Post in September 2018, revealed that 18- to- 34-year-olds approved of Nike's decision to feature Kaepernick by a 67% to 21% margin. What's more, 34% of millennials were more likely to purchase Nike products following the brand's campaign, according to a November 2018 survey from ROTH Capital Partners.
Interested in reading more about millennials? eMarketer PRO subscribers can check out our report “Millennials 2019” publishing in February. Not sure if your company subscribes? You can find out here.