SparkOptimus News Highlights – Week 9

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:

HBR released an overview of the digital economy status of countries worldwide. At the top of their digital evolution index we find the usual suspects like Singapore; where one fifth of the residents is spending half of their monthly budget online. Or what about Sweden, with 35% of consumers buying goods online in 2014 at least once a month. More surprisingly was the digital status of the Dutch economy: praised for its evolution in the past and highly ranked overall, but currently stalling out and marked as the country with the slowest digital advancement. Foreign competition is rushing: China’s e-commerce is expected to hit 1 trillion by 2019, Brazil is forecasted to grow to $40.8 billion and India is aiming for 50 percent growth for the next years. Part of India’s growth is caused by the ever growing number of software startups, making India currently the 4th largest startup hub in the world.

One of their most interesting startups is Grofers, offering on-demand delivery within 90 minutes for smaller e-commerce shops, challenging the ongoing last mile issue. Although the concept is new to India, the U.S. is already looking at a next step: Magic announced  this Monday an on-demand delivery plan where they will deliver you anything — as long as you’re willing to pay for it. And of course Uber is joining, with a new food delivery trial in Barcelona, after gaining experience by delivering kittens and on-demand manicures.

They have however one major disadvantage in winning the battle for the last mile; they use cars.