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E-commerce Industry News – Week of Aug 1, 2022

Hi r/ecommerce – I'm Paul and I follow the e-commerce industry pretty closely for my Shopifreaks E-commerce Newsletter. Here's a summary recap of this week's stories, which I cover in depth in the newsletter:

  1. STAT OF THE WEEK: The average social media user spends 894 hours and 15 minutes on social media in a year. That equates to over 5 weeks. — According to SimplicityDX. (This means that Americans spend more time in a year on social media than they do on vacation!)
  2. Amazon is partnering with select stores including PacSun, GNC, Superdry, and Diesel to offer same-day Prime deliveries in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Seattle, and Washington D.C. The company is basically becoming a retail facilitator as opposed to a marketplace or direct retailer. Soon Amazon will be able to power a retail business’s point-of-sale, payments, website (via hosting on AWS and commerce capabilities through Buy with Prime), as well as handle their fulfillment and last-mile delivery.
  3. Amazon reported $8.7B in ad revenue for the most recent quarter, up 18% from the same period last year. This makes Amazon the third largest digital ads network, after Google and Facebook. Walmart is currently playing catch up. It brought in $2.1B revenue from advertising last year, but reported a 30% uptick in ad revenue last quarter.
  4. Shopify cut 10% of its workforce, or roughly 1000 employees. Most layoffs will occur in the recruiting, support, and sales units. Impacted employees will receive 16 weeks of severance pay, plus one added week for every year at the company. Shopify is also providing career coaching and a kickstart allowance to replace company laptops, as well as removing any equity cliffs and extending medical benefits.
  5. Best Buy unveiled its first “digital-first, small format” store — a 5,000 sq.ft. retail space that offers a curated showroom of products across popular categories. So, RadioShack? (Well, before RadioShack became some weird crypto exchange.) The new stores are much smaller than their 38,500 sq.ft. usual big box stores and will not carry full-size home appliances like their big stores.
  6. Viber, the messaging app owned by Rakuten, is launching Payments on Viber, a new service that will let users set up digital wallets tied to their Viber accounts. The new Payments wallets link to bank accounts and Visa / Mastercard cards and can be used to make bill payments, buy products, and transfer money between users. Peer-to-peer transfers will be free, and payments to businesses will have some fees attached.
  7. Wix launched a new AI-powered editor that simplifies the design process for DIYers and professional web developers. The new builder combines Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) features with its classic Wix Editor, offering new themes, section layout suggestions for design optimization, as well as a faster edit tool for content management.
  8. A new study by Logik.io evaluated the effectiveness of 250 e-commerce shopping channels built by B2B manufacturers. They found that only 20% offer buyers the ability to purchase products from their site, 86% offered no upselling, cross-selling, add-ons, or complementary products, and 57% of platforms took shoppers three or more steps to find a product detail page. This is why in recent years multiple companies have been rising to the occasion to streamline the B2B shopping experience and carve out a slice of the growing B2B pie.
  9. Amazon is raising the price of its Prime subscription across Europe in September by up to 43% a year.
    UK: 20% increase from £79 to £95
    France: 43% increase from €49 per year to €69.90
    Spain: 39% increase from €36 to €49.90
    Italy: 39% increase from €36 to €49.90
    Germany: 30% increase from €69 to €89.90
  10. Roku is launching a new app that will allow Shopify merchants to build, buy, and measure TV streaming advertising campaigns, making it the first app available in the Shopify App Store that will allow SMBs to access TV advertising.
  11. Amazon is shutting down its personal file storage service to focus on photo and video storage. Amazon Drive customers will have until Dec 31, 2023 to save their stored files elsewhere. Their photos and videos will automatically transfer to Amazon Photos.
  12. Adobe believes that Amazon Prime Day sales will become a benchmark for spending during the remainder of the year. This year’s Prime Day event generated a total of $34.3B across two days, of which about 42% were for orders less than $20.
  13. osCommerce, one of the original open source shopping carts founded in 2000 in Germany, released a new v4 after many years of neglect. The new version is based on True Loaded, software owned by the Holbi Group who acquired osCommerce last year, and includes new design templates, multiple sales channels, a visual editor, CMS, advanced stock and product management features, and an open API.
  14. Amazon Prime launched localized versions of its streaming service in Indonesia, Thailand, and The Philippines, in an attempt to boost its subscriber base in the three key Southeast Asian markets.
  15. Apple subscription services were up 12% to more than $19B as demand for content across news, fitness, and gaming boost revenues. There are now 860M paid subscriptions in place, up more than 160M across the last 12 months.
  16. Virgin Money, the UK-based bank founded by Richard Branson in 1995, is entering the BNPL space with a new offering called Virgin Money Slyce, a credit card that allows customers to spread payments over a few months, with installment fees added if they repay in nine months or longer. The product is is fully regulated and can be used to build credit scores and spend in different currencies abroad with no foreign exchange fee or extra charges.
  17. Plus 13 seed rounds, IPOs, and acquisitions of interest including Portage's $1B structured equity fund.

I hope you find this news recap helpful. See you next week!

-PAUL

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