Merchants Fight Against Chargeback, The Collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, and More News

Hey there, eCommerce folks! How are you this fine Friday afternoon? This week, we come to you with a brand-new set of eCommerce news, so make sure to grab your fave beverage and dive into today’s News Digest. Oh, and don’t forget to catch up on last week’s news if you haven’t already. Let’s go.

Today’s news is 1792 words.

Merchants Fight Against Chargeback

During the COVID pandemic, as eCommerce surged, there was a notable increase in chargeback claims. Customers increasingly sought refunds directly through their payment providers, bypassing merchant customer services. Despite this trend, merchants’ approaches to handling and disputing chargebacks have not kept pace with these changes.

Riskified, a company specializing in fraud prevention and risk intelligence, recently released a report titled “Chargeback Challenges and What You Can Do About Them: Global Insights 2024.” 

The report, which surveyed over 300 eCommerce chargeback managers globally, highlights the rising issue of chargebacks and the exploitation of the system by some shoppers for fraudulent refunds.

The report reveals that 76% of chargeback managers have observed steady or increasing numbers of chargebacks annually, with a significant portion attributed to “friendly fraud.” This type of fraud is challenging to contest, with over 73% of those surveyed reporting that at least 20% of chargebacks are due to first-party fraud.

The study also found that many merchants choose not to dispute a large number of chargebacks, with nearly 60% leaving at least 40% of them uncontested. 

Furthermore, over 65% of merchants expressed a desire for AI and automated solutions to aid in chargeback management, aiming to recoup lost revenue and improve efficiency.

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

As online shopping continues to grow, so does the challenge of dealing with chargebacks, which can erode profit margins and disrupt business operations. The findings from Riskified’s report underline several key implications for eCommerce businesses:

  • The findings indicate that a considerable volume of chargebacks is overwhelming many merchants, resulting in a large portion of disputes going uncontested. This practice not only forfeits revenue but may also damage the merchant’s reputation with payment processors.
  • To prevent chargebacks at the source, eCommerce sellers should also focus on improving their customer service and return policies. 

Overall, the rise in chargebacks during and after the pandemic highlights the urgent need for eCommerce sellers to adapt and strengthen their approach to fraud prevention, dispute management, and customer service. 

By doing so, they can protect their revenues, enhance customer trust, and secure their position in a competitive online marketplace.

MORE: How to handle eBay chargeback

Big Retailer News

How will the Collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge Affect eCommerce Sellers?

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, caused by a container ship collision on March 26, could potentially drive up ocean freight shipping rates for both local and international businesses. The incident has necessitated the diversion of ships to other East Coast ports and increased reliance on rail and truck transport.

Following the collapse, the Port of Baltimore, a major U.S. East Coast cargo hub, closed up, prompting Baltimore’s Mayor Brandon Scott to declare a State of Emergency for at least 30 days. In 2023, the port had a record year, importing $55.2 billion and exporting $80 billion in cargo, according to Governor Wes Moore.

Experts like Judah Levine from Freightos and Satish Jindel from ShipMatrix anticipate minor delays and slight cost increases due to diversions to ports like New York, Norfolk, and Philadelphia. Although Baltimore processes a smaller cargo volume compared to these alternatives, the rerouting could lead to congestion and subsequent delays. Despite the expected slowdown, experts do not foresee major supply chain disruptions.

The bridge collapse also impacts freight rates, particularly for routes between Asia and the U.S. East Coast, as well as Europe and the U.S., which might see an increase due to potential congestion and longer wait times. Current freight rates are already significantly higher than 2019 levels, partly due to previous diversions caused by geopolitical tensions.

Companies like UPS have issued service alerts, warning of possible reroutes to alternative ports, anticipated congestion along the U.S. East Coast, and potential additional costs and delays for shipments. Exporters may also face higher rates as they consider truck or rail options for rerouting shipments to neighboring ports.

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

The need to divert shipments to other ports or rely more heavily on rail and trucking services means eCommerce sellers must reassess and possibly reconfigure their logistics and distribution strategies. This could involve identifying new shipping partners, negotiating rates, or adjusting delivery timelines.

MORE: 7 best international shipping companies

Etsy and Walmart Ready for the Solar Eclipse

eCommerce sellers, this might just be the last moment for you to stock up before the solar eclipse takes place on April 8, 2024. With less than two weeks away, everyone is scrambling to buy protective eyeglasses, and not only that — people are ready to show off with their solar eclipse merchandise.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, according to NASA, the next solar eclipse will be here to greet us only in 2044, which is why this is such a big topic on everyone’s lips. 

Walmart and Etsy have already invested in items ranging from clothing, glasses, and binoculars to chairs, telescopes, and food. The internet has gone crazy over solar eclipse swag, and you still have a few more moments to deliver the much-needed merchandise.

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

eCommerce sellers should quickly stock up and get ready to sell some solar eclipse merch before the opportunity passes up. To make the most of this opportunity, sellers should consider several strategies:

  1. Diversify product offerings:
    Beyond the essential eclipse glasses, consider offering a range of products that appeal to different interests and age groups, such as T-shirts, hats, commemorative items, and educational materials for children.
  2. Marketing and promotions:
    Use social media, email newsletters, and other marketing channels to create buzz around your eclipse-themed products. 
  3. Educational content:
    Engage your customers with informative content about the eclipse, including safe viewing practices, interesting facts, and how to make the experience memorable. 
  4. Partnerships:
    Collaborate with influencers, local schools, and science organizations to promote your products. 

And most importantly, don’t pass up the opportunity to check out the solar eclipse yourself.

MORE: Creatopy: Trending Ads Design Tool

Also in the News 

  • GEICO can be shopped through Amazon. Coverager.
  • Teya announces business account launch. FFNews.

International Retailer News

Alibaba’s European SME’s Approach

Watch out eCommerce sellers; it looks like Alibaba is putting in effort to expand in the European market, particularly capturing the attention of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany and the UK. 

Their approach has been incredibly effective, with a significant 14% boost in German SME buyers in just the past six months. Similarly, British SMEs are increasingly looking towards Alibaba to meet their procurement needs, highlighting a shift towards digital sourcing platforms.

The buzz around Alibaba was particularly noticeable during their annual March Expo, an online trade show that attracted a strong turnout from SMEs in Germany and the UK. Far more than just altering purchasing patterns, it’s a response to the critical demand for streamlined, cost-effective procurement solutions amid economic challenges and disruptions in the supply chain.

Alibaba’s efforts to make cross-border sourcing easier are clearly resonating, with more and more B2B buyers from Germany and the UK joining the platform. The shift to digital procurement channels signifies more than just Alibaba showcasing its capabilities; it’s part of a larger trend observed across the industry, including giants like Amazon. 

Alibaba’s research reveals that over half of the SMEs in these countries have now turned to online B2B marketplaces for their procurement needs.

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

This development not only showcases Alibaba’s push into the European market but also highlights the changing procurement habits among SMEs, with a significant tilt towards digital platforms for sourcing. 

For eCommerce sellers, this shift signals a clear direction toward where the market is heading, encouraging them to embrace Alibaba’s ecosystem to connect with a wider network of SME buyers across Europe.

MORE: Alibaba review

Apple’s Baidu AI Integration

Apple is embracing Chinese ingenuity by integrating Baidu’s cutting-edge generative AI technology, Ernie Bot, into its upcoming iPhone 16 and other major releases for the Chinese market this year. 

While Apple plans to use its proprietary AI model in markets outside China, it’s opting for Baidu’s locally developed technology within the mainland, underlining the tech giant’s strategy to navigate the regulatory landscape there.

The decision came after Apple explored discussions with several Chinese entities, including Alibaba Group and an AI company linked with Tsinghua University, demonstrating the thorough search for a compatible AI partnership within China. Baidu, under the leadership of CEO Robin Li, has positioned itself at the forefront of AI innovation, recently boosting its shares by as much as 6% following the news.

The collaboration was announced amidst Apple CEO Tim Cook’s visit to China, where he reaffirmed Apple’s commitment to the country both as a key market and a manufacturing hub. 

Cook’s visit has been marked by the opening of a new Apple store in Shanghai and discussions with Chinese suppliers, highlighting their significant contributions to Apple’s environmental goals.

Amidst growing competition in China, with iPhone sales experiencing a dip, this partnership with Baidu aims to bolster the company’s presence and competitiveness in the Chinese market. 

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

Apple’s approach to adopting Baidu’s AI for its China releases while sticking to its proprietary AI elsewhere reflects a tactical navigation of China’s regulatory environment. 

eCommerce sellers should take note of this approach, understanding the importance of compliance and adaptation in their operations and expansions, especially in markets with strict regulatory frameworks.

Also in the News 

  • Would buyer fees be good for eBay sellers? eCommerce Bytes.
  • EU investigates Apple, Meta, Google under new law. News18.


For everyone 

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Amazon Prime Day preparation, sponsored products, sponsored brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. 

Learn more: Amazon.

For US sellers

Various dates: Tinuiti’s webinars on marketing, TikTok, and more.

Learn more: Tinuiti

For UK sellers

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Amazon Prime Day preparation, sponsored products, sponsored brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. 

Learn more: Amazon.


Adaline Lefe Mary John

Adaline Lefe Mary John

A great researcher and creator, Adaline is responsible for planning and managing content for all our websites. She has over 10 years of experience in creating and managing content.

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