The Webretailer News Digest for August 8, 2022

Fans of the Roomba — and cleanliness — will have a wider range of cheaper options on Amazon soon. The retail giant began the process to acquire iRobot last week in a $1.7 billion deal reminiscent of their previous buyouts of eero and Ring. 

A press release regarding the acquisition states that the deal is an all-cash transaction at $61 per share. And of course, they’ll still have to go through the closing checklist with shareholder votes and approval from regulatory committees.

Amazon’s SVP of Amazon Devices Dave Limp stated on the acquisition, “Customers love iRobot products—and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier more enjoyable.”

As most people know, the iRobot product line includes a wide range of cleaning technologies. But the company also has a lot to offer in the fields of navigation and mapping. Roombas have to map out your space and furniture to work properly, after all.

It will be interesting to see how Amazon intends to use iRobot technologies. Obviously, there will be a lot of opportunities to create more consumer cleaning robots. But more intriguing is seeing how Amazon will integrate the technology into their own logistics processes and how they’ll use iRobot’s extensive data collection.

The company recently put out a 10-year overview of its robotics integrations, so there’s certainly a lot of potential with the acquisition.

PayPal paid a $90M restructuring bill last quarter


A slew of news outlets reported back in May that PayPal is cutting back on staff and closing its offices in San Francisco. Fast forward a couple of months to last week, and we now have some data on exactly how much the restructuring has cost the payments processing company so far.

According to the company’s latest quarterly report, restructuring costs totaled $90 million in a bid to appease investors and adjust to the changing structure of the eCommerce sector. And they expect another $15 million in the coming months. 

The cuts and office closures will end up saving PayPal $260 million through the end of its fiscal year. All the while, the company is also shifting its management structure as they recently hired a new Chief Financial Officer and are on the lookout for a new Chief Product Officer.

For now, the company must deal with many of the same issues as many other eCommerce businesses. Supply chain and inflation is affecting them like everyone else. We’ll keep an eye on more moves in the near structure as the company adjusts to the changing landscape.

eBay’s gross merchandise volume falls again, company cites issues in Europe

Last week, eBay released its quarterly numbers, and as always we’re on the lookout for industry trends. An interesting observation from their numbers reported by many outlets was eBay’s fall in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV).

This quarter, the value of all goods sold on the site dropped eighteen percent to $18.55 billion. And the company expects it will drop even more in the next few months. Chief Financial Officer Stephen Priest cited European markets and their proximity to the war in Ukraine as a key reason for the continuing GMV decline. 

However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing as their overall earnings beat expectations from many analysts. It seems the company’s focus on ‘focus categories’ like jewelry and trading cards is helping drive earnings up. 

For the moment, it looks like the company is adjusting well to global economic trends. And for eCommerce companies, it shows that popular niche product bases can carry a company through a tough time. 

Etsy going ‘mobile-only’ for Labor Day sales

This week, Etsy reached out to sellers to get them to start marking down prices for the platform’s annual Labor Day sale. But the event will have some changes this year. 

Etsy will only market the Labor Day Sale to Etsy mobile users, and it’s narrowing access to shoppers only in the US and Canada. In addition, sellers must discount prices by at least 15% off from August 31 to September 4 and by at least 25% off on September 5th and 6th. Previously, it was a twenty percent discount requirement for the entire event.

The company also encouraged sellers to set up additional sales attractions like Favorited item discounts, Abandoned cart discounts, and Thank You coupons. Mark your calendars and visit your favorite Etsy stores during the sale to take advantage of the offers. 

Gadget launches feature to accelerate eCommerce scaling

Scaling can be difficult for any company, but for eCommerce companies, it can be a labyrinth to navigate that takes longer than anyone wants. 

Fortunately, the productivity platform Gadget released a new feature last week that will enable eCommerce companies to scale their application development by leaps and bounds. And at a fraction of the cost, they say.

Connection is a feature that allows developers to integrate customized features into eCommerce APIs. It connects instantly to over 1.7 million Shopify stores and doesn’t require any coding to deploy. 

The company is touting this solution as a game changer for Shopify sellers as it will save developers weeks of work just to connect their applications. 

Crunchyroll adds another eCommerce portal for anime products

The anime sector may not be the first thing discussed when talking about eCommerce. But according to Grand View Research, the market has a value of over $24 billion as of 2021 and is expected to grow another 9.7% by 2030.

And as one of the leading providers of anime products and content Crunchyroll is at the forefront of the growth in this industry. Adding to that growth, the company announced the purchase of the online anime superstore Right Stuf this week.

Neither company disclosed the figure attached to the deal, but it will definitely expand Crunchyroll’s eCommerce product line. 

Speaking about the deal, Crunchyroll President Rahul Purini said, “For years, Right Stuf has been an important part of anime fandom with products, services, and a shopping experience that super-serves anime collectors. We are excited to bring Crunchyroll and Right Stuf together and offer fans even more of what they love as one company.”


Jake Pool

Jake Pool

A content writer in the SaaS, FinTech, and eCommerce spaces, Jake Pool has written hundreds of articles and reviews for dozens of corporate blogs and online publications. With four years under his wing, readers can expect many more informative articles in the future.

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