SparkOptimus News Highlights – Week 16

At SparkOptimus, we try to highlight the most important news and background stories in digital, e-commerce and retail. Here is our selection of last week’s news:

Another strong year for U.S. e-commerce, with web sales of top 500 merchants outgrowing total retail in 2014. The total e-commerce growth for the number one in the Global Retail E-Commerce Index was 15,4%, comparable to 14,8% in Canada. Once again, Amazon.com is the top-ranked retailer, although other companies are making their way to the top. Last Tuesday, e-commerce software firm Shopify filed for IPO. Peer-to-peer shop Etsy went public on Thursday and doubled its opening price on the first day of trading. More e-commerce IPOs can be expected, as the focus on Internet of Everywhere (IoE) is increasing: “E-tailers will benefit from having everyone online, as it will allow them to reach consumers from further around the world.” Zuckerberg is hinting on expanding the Internet.org project beyond developing countries in India, Zambia and Colombia to Europe. Google’s Project Loon, bringing internet through hot air balloons, is also progressing with trials exceeding expectations so far. Next to Loon, Google invested in Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which aims to spread internet connectivity worldwide by sending hundreds of tiny satellites into space. The scope of Musk’s plan is however bigger than the Earth: he wants to fund an entire Mars colonization mission, while building a transmission system between the two planets in the next 12-15 years. That should give him more than enough time to optimize the landing of the SpaceX rockets.