TikTok Shop Live in the US, USPS Streamlining Processes and More News
Welcome back to another Friday News Digest. Has your week been just as good as ours? This Friday, TikTok is dominating the headlines yet again. If you missed last week’s updates, be sure to catch up; it’s a topic you won’t want to miss. As for this week, there’s a lot of fresh information that will be of interest to you… let’s dive in.
Today’s news is 1521 words and takes 6 minutes to read.
TikTok Shop Live in the US
On 12 September 2023, TikTok unveiled its latest game-changing feature: TikTok Shop. This exciting eCommerce addition promises to revolutionize how users interact with the popular social platform. Aimed at its 150 million U.S. users, TikTok Shop introduces a range of enticing features, including live video shopping, shop ads, affiliate programs, and a dedicated shop tab, providing a seamless and engaging shopping experience.
For TikTok creators, this development is a game-changer. It opens up new avenues for income generation, allowing them to connect products directly within their videos and even join affiliate programs to earn commissions.
Not only does this empower content creators, but it also paves the way for brands to promote and sell their products effortlessly. TikTok has streamlined the process by enabling users and brands to integrate their Woocommerce, Salesforce, and BigCommerce stores. Furthermore, a fulfillment service ensures hassle-free selling, sparing brands from logistical challenges.
However, this exciting leap into eCommerce does come with a potential pitfall. TikTok has grappled with counterfeit and low-quality products on its platform, and the introduction of TikTok Shop may worsen this issue. While the new features promise boundless opportunities, users must remain cautious about the authenticity and quality of the items they encounter.
As TikTok continues to evolve, the balance between empowering creators and maintaining product quality will be a critical challenge. So, the big question is: Are you ready to shop (or sell) on TikTok? It’s an enticing prospect, but one that warrants careful consideration in this evolving digital landscape.
Apart from TikTok Shop, there’s many other popular eCommerce platforms that you could try out this year. Make sure to take a look at our recently updated article on the Top 10 eCommerce Sites in the World.
Big Retailer News
USPS Streamlining Processes
The US Postal Service is streamlining the process of ordering packaging supplies online, offering customers the convenience of purchasing them through the USPS Click-N-Ship online postage portal. These supplies are available for free with Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express International, and Priority Mail International packages.
After selecting a label and adding it to their Click-N-Ship cart, customers can easily include USPS shipping supplies in their order, simplifying the process. Orders for these supplies will be processed within one business day and come with a confirmation email containing tracking information. Shipping options range from USPS Ground Advantage service, which delivers within 2-5 business days, to Priority Mail service for faster delivery in 1-3 business days. The USPS aims to reduce customer transaction complexity by making these supplies accessible through Click-N-Ship.
This initiative from the US Postal Service is a game-changer for individuals and businesses alike. By integrating packaging supplies seamlessly into the online-postage portal, the USPS is enhancing convenience and efficiency in the shipping process. Customers can now avoid the hassle of separately sourcing these materials, making it easier and more cost-effective to meet their shipping needs.
With quick order processing and shipping options, USPS is further enhancing its service and responsiveness to customer demands in the competitive shipping landscape.
What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?
The convenience of ordering packaging supplies directly through the USPS Click-N-Ship portal simplifies what can often be a tedious process of sourcing and managing shipping materials. This feature saves both time and effort, allowing sellers to focus on other aspects of their business, such as inventory management and customer service.
Splitit’s Pay After Delivery Service
US-based installment service Splitit has expanded its Pay After Delivery service to AliExpress shoppers in the US. This announcement comes following the successful rollout of the service in several European countries, including Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, and Australia.
With the Pay After Delivery service, AliExpress shoppers can pay for goods after their delivery, enhancing the customer experience and building merchant loyalty.
With their recent developments, Splitit aims to revolutionize the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) space with its merchant-branded Instalments-as-a-Service platform. The company has secured a $50 million growth commitment from private equity firm Motive Partners to accelerate its growth and strategic plans. In collaboration with payment solutions provider Atlantic-Pacific Processing Systems (APPS), Splitit offers an integrated card-based installment payments solution for ISOs, ISVs, and payment facilitators.
Additionally, a partnership with Visa allows Splitit to offer merchants a payment installment solution integrated into their credit card process. SplititExpress, launched in April, enables lightning-fast checkouts in under two seconds and supports installment payments via GPay and ApplePay. The company’s relentless innovation and expansion efforts are reshaping the BNPL landscape.
What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?
The integration of Splitit’s Pay After Delivery and BNPL services into platforms like AliExpress offers eCommerce sellers several advantages, including increased customer trust and potentially higher average order values. With features like lightning-fast checkouts and multiple payment options including GPay and ApplePay, sellers can enhance the customer experience, reduce cart abandonment, and encourage repeat purchases.
Also in the News
- Supply Chain by Amazon. Read more: Retail Touch Points.
- Is eBay overcharging sellers? Read more: eCommerce Bytes
International Retailer News
Revolutionary eCommerce Ecosystem for B2B Entrepreneurs
Alibaba unveiled a suite of innovative products at their Co-Create conference in Las Vegas on September 7, 2023. These offerings aim to simplify sourcing, communication, and delivery processes for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) globally. Stephan Kuo, President of Alibaba North America, emphasized their commitment to serving small businesses, with 70% of US buyers on the platform being SMEs.
Real world examples highlighted the challenges faced by SMEs in identifying suppliers and navigating logistics. Ron Williams, creator of RW Total Body Bar, shared his experience of discovering Alibaba when searching for potential suppliers for his innovative home workout bar. Similarly, Suzan Hernandez, founder and CEO of MamaP, faced unexpected hurdles when trying to import bamboo toothbrushes, highlighting the complexity of sourcing.
Alibaba introduced several tools to address these challenges, including Smart Assistant, Upgraded Image Search, and enhancements to the Request for Quotation (RFQ) process. The platform also offers VR showrooms, live streams, and real-time translation in 17 languages to bridge cross-cultural barriers.
Alibaba’s ultimate vision is to foster enduring connections between suppliers and buyers, recognizing that this partnership is more than just transactional; it’s a mutually invested relationship shaping the future of global eCommerce.
Alibaba’s commitment to empowering SMEs and providing innovative solutions underscores its role as a catalyst for entrepreneurship in the ever-evolving world of B2B eCommerce.
What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?
By offering these tools and features, Alibaba is making it easier for eCommerce sellers to find reliable suppliers, assess product quality, and negotiate terms. In essence, Alibaba is leveling the playing field, making global sourcing accessible not just for big players but also for small and midsize enterprises. Therefore, eCommerce sellers stand to gain a more streamlined, less risky, and more transparent supply chain, all of which can contribute to a stronger, more sustainable business model.
Opportunities for European Retailers?
Asia’s eCommerce landscape is experiencing a seismic shift, with JCB cardholders’ international online spending surging by 52% from 2021 to 2022. This trend opens up a substantial opportunity for European retailers, as Asian consumers display a growing appetite for purchasing goods from foreign businesses online.
The Japanese credit card company’s report, titled “Click into Place: Unpacking Card Abandonment,” delves into these online spending trends in Asia, offering valuable insights and data to empower businesses to boost their eCommerce sales. The report highlights the remarkable growth in cross-border eCommerce, with India leading the charge with a staggering five-fold increase, followed closely by Indonesia and Vietnam, where cross-border eCommerce more than doubled in just two years.
However, Asia’s eCommerce industry faces a significant challenge in the form of high cart abandonment rates, exceeding 84% in March 2023, compared to the global average of around 70%. To tap into the region’s potential, retailers must address customer pain points, such as complicated checkouts and unexpected payment processes. Additionally, understanding customer psychology and catering to local preferences, especially in mobile commerce, is crucial for reducing cart abandonment.
What does this mean for eCommerce sellers?
As the eCommerce payments market expands, merchants should focus on competitive pricing, effective remarketing strategies, non-intrusive exit-intent pop-ups, and building customer trust through reviews and security guarantees. This transformative shift in Asia’s eCommerce landscape signals a promising future for international online commerce and presents an invitation for businesses worldwide to ride this wave of growth.
Top tip: To successfully expand their reach globally, retailers need to invest in tools and services that facilitate international shipping. By leveraging the insights and recommendations from articles focused on international shipping tips, sellers can better position themselves for success in the global market.
Also in the News
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
October 5: The 15 Minute Breakdown. 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.