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Huge tech acquisitions to drive e-commerce strategy in 2018

January 19, 2018Michael Henley

At the start of this new year, it’s evident that prominent companies in the tech world are working to revamp a few of their digital strategies, particularly in e-commerce. This transformation has been taking place in the form of substantial tech acquisitions to drive e-commerce strategy, as well as through the establishment of some critical partnerships.

The merger between large companies and effective e-commerce platforms can be a promising one. To get a better sense of how significant these interactions can be, let’s take a more in-depth look into what companies like Grab are hoping to achieve from developing these online payment platform relationships.

Grab, Uber’s Southeast Asia rival executes substantial tech acquisitions to drive e-commerce strategy

Grab, a rival to Uber based in Southeast Asia, kicked off 2018 with a big announcement: the acquisition of India-based startup iKaaz. This is a considerable move to develop further the mobile payment platform they’ve been working on since last year’s $100 million acquisition of Kudo, an Indonesian startup used to improve Grab’s offline network capabilities.

Grab, huge tech acquisitions to drive e-commerce strategy in 2018

Regarding e-commerce strategy, this is crucial for Grab; with Southeast Asia’s overall population of over 600 million consumers, the region’s ride-hailing industry is expected to soar an incredible 300% (from 5 billion to 20.1 billion per year) by 2025. Given this astonishing forecast, Grab has almost no choice but to rise to the occasion and vastly grow its online payment infrastructure. This is also another great example of the many opportunities mobile apps can provide for your business.

Currently, Grab has only been processing its fare payments with credit card, so this cornerstone acquisition will further expand their opportunities in payment options. Specifically, it will finally (and effectively) bring their company to the mobile platform. iKaaz has proven to hold great product knowledge, promoting an impressive point of sale and mobile payment experience in its platforms. This should better show you how this integration will greatly serve to catch Grab up with Uber, its primary competition in the territory.

Instacart’s Unata acquisition and the future of online grocery shopping

Additionally, Instacart has released other exciting news in the realm of huge tech acquisitions to drive e-commerce strategy. Over the last few years, the company has been a driving force in the mission to take grocery sales, allowing for the order and delivery of grocery goods straight to your door. They’ve been growing rapidly, expanding to almost 200 markets just last year, so its recent announcement to acquire Toronto-based Unata just feels like a natural next step in its journey.

Unata is a platform that allows grocery stores from all around the area to create digital tools geared to support their e-commerce strategies. Instacart is similar in its mission, but more so emphasizes these online transactions were having scale while Unata is more focused on the specific retail capabilities within the online grocery platform. Most notable of these capabilities is the ordering of products with coupons, the ability to track where your purchase is and when it will arrive, and active deal promotion within the digital space.

Instacart, representing the huge tech acquisitions to drive e-commerce strategy in 2018

With this integration, Instacart can better achieve its initial goal of enabling customers to have the most positive online shopping experience. Using the best technology they can get their hands on, and in this case that technology is Unata’s platform, this acquisition should serve to bolster Instacart’s mission progress and take the company to the next level in sales reach. And it’s looking to be a sure bet, with Unata expected to provide digital storefronts to well over 1,000 grocery store locations.

With the future of the face-to-face retail industry recently in question, it is undoubtedly in retail companies’ best interest to optimize their scalability through expansion of e-commerce capabilities. In fact, retail giants like Target and Kroger are also making similar moves to Instacart, acquiring smaller online platform entities to strengthen their respective efforts in overall sales reach.

How you can make the best choice for your startup’s future acquisitions

In the spirit of substantial tech acquisitions to drive e-commerce strategy, it’s also important to examine how your company can be best equipped to integrate with others in the future.

Just recently, cloud-based collaboration company Slack announced the addition of a remarkable new feature to its software capabilities. Previously, Slack has offered smaller companies the unique ability to share all files and communications effortlessly on one platform. It even provides a shared platform, wherein two companies can share a channel of communication.

However, Slack is taking it up a notch. The company now plans to roll out a new private channel function within the software, allowing for multiple companies to share a private channel to discuss some of the more sensitive business matters (such as acquisitions) with only the relevant parties involved. This is a feature we’re particularly excited for at Luminos Labs, since we routinely use Slack to keep track of our day-to-day communications internally. For this reason, it’s safe to say that we can also attest to its multipurpose uses and overall reliability.

The next step: taking your business to the next level in e-commerce strategy

For years Luminos Labs has been a proud partner of Episerver, a software company that, like some of the companies mentioned previously, provides incredibly online capabilities for businesses everywhere.

If you’re looking to learn more about how integration with online platforms and tools can drive e-commerce strategy for your business, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember that there’s no cost or expectations associated with initial consultations.

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