The Webretailer News Digest for November 4, 2022

Happy November again if you’re subscribed to our #TuesdayTips email newsletter! If not, why haven’t you signed up already? But Happy November to you too! This Tuesday, we’ll have tips on how you can drive your revenue 🚀 on Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

Today’s newsletter is 1,100 words and takes 4 minutes to read.

Amazon partners with Parafin to offer merchants cash advances

Amazon announced this week that they’re offering “a new financing solution” to eligible merchants. US-based growth capital firm Parafin will provide cash advances that ties payments to a portion of future sales, along with a fixed capital fee. 

According to the release, sellers will be able to access the capital “in a matter of days with transparent and capped rates, no fixed term, no personal guarantee, no credit checks or excessive paperwork, and no late fees.”

cash advances

When? And how much can I get?

The program is expansive and offers eligible businesses advances ranging from $500 to $10 million. Some businesses on the marketplace already have access — you probably received an email — but it won’t be ready for everyone until early 2023. 

Remember, you have to pay back advances

Amazon says they’re offering a flexible payment schedule that is “determined by a fixed percentage of the seller’s Gross Merchandise Sales (GMS) until the funding is paid off.” 

However, there’s no interest on the advance — just the fee — and there are no minimum payments required. With payments tied to GMS, businesses will make payments when they’re making sales, and not pay so much when things are slow. 

The bottom line and final quote

Although Amazon probably would have released this program regardless of their overall performance, the timing is solid. They’re only offering it to select merchants before Black Friday — most likely top sellers. And that will ensure those sellers have enough capital to put products on the market as the company is forecasting a slow holiday season

“Amazon is committed to providing convenient and flexible access to capital for our sellers, regardless of their size,” Tai Koottatep, Amazon WW B2B Payments & Lending.

Big Retailer News

eBay to continue partnership with Pitney Bowes for international shipping

The eBay Global Shipping Program will hold steady on its partnership with Pitney Bowes for cross-border logistics services between the US and the UK. The company announced this week that  “Pitney Bowes will continue to be a partner, offering a range of ecommerce logistics services to support eBay International Shipping going forward.”

But what about their EIS global shipping program?

Back in September, eBay announced they have a new global shipping program during their seller conference. However, their partnership with Pitney Bowes goes back to 2014, so the company decided to continue things. It’s a smart move considering the level of tech and services from the shipping provider.

Final Quote

“As our partnership enters its second decade, Pitney Bowes is excited to be a part of eBay’s renewed vision to make international selling as simple and seamless as domestic delivery for eBay Sellers and buyers around the globe.”

Gregg Zegras, President of Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes.

Search by image feature launched on Etsy

Etsy is moving forward with modern technology on the platform with a new feature that allows users to search via an image. The company announced that iOS can now take a picture or upload an image and find something similar on the platform in a matter of seconds.

No keywords necessary

Etsy’s product lead on buyer-facing mobile applications, Han Cho stated that they “saw encouraging results in the early testing.” And now, they launched the beta test for iOS users. 

The developers at Etsy built the application with no third-party help, so it’s a solid proprietary technology for the platform. It links users to over 100 million products even when they can’t think of a word for what they want to buy. 

Final thoughts

Image technology is the way large retailers will move forward and creates another avenue to draw customers back to their platform. Similar technology from providers like Google Lens and CamFind are emerging, so we can expect more to become available in the eCommerce space soon.

Also in the News:

  • Disney is testing eCommerce links via Disney+ by offering users first crack at new toys. Bloomberg (paywall).
  • Squarespace subsidiary Tock launches an eCommerce wine shop. PRNewswire.

International Retailer and Logistics News

Singles’ Day pre sales are healthy, but may slow soon

The South China Morning Post reported that Singles’ Day presales from Alibaba are strong. Back in September, the mega retailer announced it would extend its pre-sales event to curb slowing spending, and it looks like the move paid off. 

A look at the numbers

Alibaba stated they broke $13.8 million in gross merchandise value in an hour upon opening the sales. With that much value, many brands broke 100 million yuan within one second and Haier even broke 1 billion yuan within 5 minutes. 

Unfortunately, it won’t last

The fact remains that growth is slowing in China. Although the numbers can be shady, the reported increase in retail sales slowed from 5.4% in August to 2.5% in September. 

The early sales may have drawn in customers, but things will continue to decline all the way through November 11th.

Logistics provider Ryder expands on eCommerce with acquisition of Dotcom Distribution

Fleet management and supply chain solutions provider Ryder announced it acquired Dotcom Distribution this week. The company is looking to expand its “e-fulfillment network” with the acquisition that will add multiple brand names and a 400,000 square-foot fulfillment center in New Jersey.

What’s next for Dotcom Distribution?

Their management team isn’t going away. The announcement stated that the company’s entire operations team — 100 employees — will remain with Ryder and ensure a solid transition. 

Final quote

“We chose Ryder for its nearly 90 years of logistics expertise, its sophisticated fulfillment, distribution, and transportation network, and commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation – all of which deliver the speed-to-market, scalability, and elevated brand experience that our customers expect.”

Dotcom Distribution CEO, Maria Haggerty.

Also in the News

  • Ecommerce lending startup Lemonero launches in the Netherlands.  eCommerce News EU.


For everyone 

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Prime Day Preparation, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. Amazon.

For US sellers

November 10: How to Continually Improve Your Streaming Advertising with Incrementality. Tinuiti.

For UK sellers

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Prime Day Preparation, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. Amazon.


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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