E-commerce Industry News – Week of Sep 26th, 2022

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

  1. STAT OF THE WEEK: Online videos in 2022 will make up more than 82% of all consumer Internet traffic — a 15% increase from 2017.
  2. ONE, a fintech backed by Walmart, will introduce checking accounts to thousands of Walmart employees and a small percentage of its online customers for beta testing in the coming weeks. Walmart ONE first took shape with the acquisitions of Even Responsible Finance and One Finance earlier this year. ONE plans to make the accounts available to all of Walmart’s 1.6M employees within a year before rolling out services more broadly. It also hopes to expand its offerings to loans and investments.
  3. Major delivery companies like FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Amazon struggled to keep up during the pandemic with the increased demand for home delivery, so they reacted the best way they could, by increasing the number of warehouse facilities, workers, and drivers. However now those same companies are experiencing the opposite of last year’s problem — too much delivery capacity. Those delivery firms above can now handle 110M holiday packages per day, but that could potentially outpace demand by 18M packages per day this year.
  4. BigCommerce today announced its launch on Google Cloud Marketplace, powered by, making it easier for global enterprise customers to modernize their ecommerce platform to expand audience reach and drive business growth. With BigCommerce, enterprises on Google Cloud will have direct access to prebuilt integrations with essential Google Cloud products and Google Cloud Marketplace partner apps and services that help propel omnichannel growth, fast time-to-value and low TCO, while providing a pathway to retire their Google Cloud committed spend.
  5. Meta released a new ad type that enables brands to collaborate with local retail partners that sell their product in order to maximize direct response on their ads on Facebook and Instagram. With these new “Collaborative Ads”, the brand can promote its products and then redirect to a partner in the consumers’ local region. To run a Collaborative Ad, brands first need to find a participating business in each region that sells their products, which can be done via Meta’s retailer directory or sales team.
  6. Apple Pay Later, the company’s BNPL feature, was supposed to arrive alongside iOS 16, but that hasn’t happened yet, even though the operating system is here. I first reported on Apple Pay Later in Aug 2021. At the time, Apple was partnering with Affirm’s PayBright subsidiary to launch a BNPL platform in Canada, while simultaneously developing their own BNPL feature into Apple Pay. A footnote on Apple’s website states that the feature will arrive “in a future update” which may be later this year. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts that the feature may not arrive until iOS 16.4 in 2023. He wrote, “I’m hearing there have been fairly significant technical and engineering challenges in rolling out the service, leading to delays.”
  7. Conversational commerce, or cCommerce, allows customers to interact with merchants through chat apps and then complete purchases without ever leaving the messaging interface. Last month I reported that Jio Platforms was bringing grocery shopping to WhatsApp in what they said was a global-first end-to-end shopping experience on the platform. Rev Reddy of AIthority shared some insights into why conversational commerce hasn’t taken off (yet). Those reasons include SMS not being utilized well by brands yet, D2C only recently taking off, confusion around the medium being used for customer service vs sales, SMS solutions not being marketer-focused, and e-commerce platforms not prioritizing the medium in their tech stack.
  8. Shopee, the Singapore-based e-commerce marketplace, has lost around $170B of market value since its Oct 2021 high, and is now laying off thousands of employees in an attempt to preserve cash and mitigate its inability to raise new funds. In a 1,000-word memo sent to Shopee employees last week, billionaire founder and CEO Forrest Li outlined drastic cost-cutting measures the company will be taking including capping flights to economy class fares, hotels to $150/night, meal expenses to $30/day, and utilizing the most economical service option for local ride booking or taxi services. The new rules apply to every team member, including himself and the entire leadership team.
  9. Spotify announced that starting now, U.S. subscribers will be able to purchase and listen to more than 300k audiobook titles. Initially users will have to pay a separate fee for each book, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a subscription plan is off the table forever. Neither is an ad supported model for audiobooks. The biggest advantage for Spotify to enter this market is their existing consumer penetration. Spotify is already used by 450M people, with 188M being premium subscribers. However the biggest obstacle they may face is the high cost of audiobooks with their per-book model. For example, Dave Grohl’s The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music will cost you $25.90, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone will cost $32.90.
  10. Just two weeks after launching its online marketplace in the US, the website Temu became the most widely used Android shopping app, ranked first among shopping apps in the Google Play Store, followed by Amazon and Shein, which some say could be an early indication of how well American customers view the store. I say, let’s wait until these customers receive their products from China in 3 weeks, and then we can take a look at the ranking! And that’s not to insinuate that Temu sells garbage products. I just think that we’re still missing a big piece of the ranking puzzle — which is receiving the product itself — before consumers can judge accordingly.
  11. Wix announced an integration with Semrush to allow Wix users to access their SEO keyword data directly through the dashboard, giving them insight that can help them improve their search ranking and identify which keywords to target. The integration will be offered at no additional charge to Wix users, however, there will be upgrades available through a paid Semrush membership.
  12. France is planning to impose a minimum delivery fee of €3 for online book orders of less than €35 to level the playing field for independent bookstores who are struggling to compete with Amazon. A 2014 French law already prohibits free book deliveries, but Amazon and Fnac have circumvented this by charging 1 cent per delivery, whereas local bookstores typically charge up to €7 for shipping a book.
  13. Speaking of books, Amazon is finally updating its e-book return policy to now block automatic returns on e-books that are more than 10% read, following decisions with the Authors Guild. Currently, customers can return e-books online anytime within seven days of purchase no matter how much content has been consumed (including the entire book) — a policy that’s been abused to the detriment of authors.
  14. Revolut announced its expansion into Mexico and Brazil, with a plan to hire 250 new employees in both countries by 2025. The push to grow in Latin America follows the launch of the Revolut LiteApp that went live in Ecuador and Chile earlier this year.
  15. A software bug caused Amazon to overstate corporate employees’ raise packages, and many employees who just got promoted are finding out that their raise packages won’t actually be as high as they thought. The glitch caused Amazon to overstate bonuses for recently-promoted employees by relying on older, higher stock prices for Amazon shares. Can you imagine if an employee turned down another job offer because they saw their fake bonus!?
  16. Square has launched its first integration with Afterpay in Canada, offering BNPL functionality to sellers using their e-commerce products. Coincidentally, Affirm also announced at practically the same time that they are also expanding to Canada.
  17. Amazon Air has greatly reduced its overall rate of expansion since March in response to a slowdown in e-commerce sales figures. Total Amazon Air flight activity grew by 3.8% between Aug 2021 and Mar 2022, compared to 14.3% during the previous six months.
  18. Meta introduced a new Facebook Reels API that allows developers to integrate a “Share to Reels” feature as an attempt to bring greater user-accessibility to their short-form video product. Meta said that this one-button feature will remove friction for users previously using 3rd party platforms and then uploading at a later time to Facebook. In June, meta launched a similar API for Instagram Reels.
  19. The grocery chain Wegmans announced that its discontinuing its Scan app, a self-checkout app that allows customers to scan groceries as they shop and pay with a swipe of their phone at the end, because of an unexpectedly large amount of product loss. The company didn’t say whether they could tell if the losses were a result of customers intentionally stealing items or accidentally forgetting to scan them — but their silence speaks volumes!
  20. 46 US states, led by new York, are seeking to revive the anti-competition case to break up Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The 2020 lawsuit, which was squashed due to a legal stipulation around the timing of the court filing, claimed that the 2012 acquisition of Instagram and 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp have had a negative effect on the US economy and its technology marketplace.
  21. Months after laying off 10% of its staff and seeing its valuation drop by 85%, Klarna is looking at further job cuts. The company will focus less on growth and have fewer workers by year’s end.
  22. Plus 23 seed rounds, IPOs, and acquisitions of interest including OpenStore's $32M round led by Lux Capital, which values the company at $970M. So close to unicorn!

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


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