Square surpasses revenue expectations, Amazon continues their fight on multiple fronts, and Alibaba builds their war chest as they continue to push into the U.S. Here are this week's top stories in commerce.
In Square’s first earnings call, they surprised investors by beating revenue expectations. With plenty of negative news in Silicon Valley in recent months, it’s great to see a tech company moving in the right direction. It’s not going to be an easy road for Square, but they continue to move quickly and work hard to innovate. The also grew revenue by 47% year-over-year, which isn’t too bad.
Not surprisingly, Amazon continues to make moves into brick-and-mortar retail. It doesn’t appear they’re moving as quickly as originally thought, but moving nonetheless. It’s also not surprising they’re using their stores as more of an Apple-like showroom. They’re not just looking to sell books, but devices and gain insights about consumer behavior. Amazon already knows as much about online shoppers as anyone in the world, now they’re looking to do the same in the “real world.”
The machine keeps rolling. Amazon is taking huge steps in building their logistics capabilities and jets are the flavor of the week. Until now, Amazon has mostly relied on partners to move freight by air. By leasing a fleet of jets, Amazon will be able to control a portion of their own air freight needs and learn even more about how to drive efficiency into the supply chain.
Alibaba is taking advantage of cheap cash as they go on the hunt for even more investment. With several investments in the past few years (Zulily, OpenSky and most recently Groupon), look for them to make more buys in the U.S.