The Webretailer News Digest July 18, 2022
Amazon overview: Prime Day final numbers and drone deployment concerns
Prime Day dominated the news last week. According to Amazon, it was the largest in company history with over $12 billion spent netted members over $1.7 billion in savings. Sales were up 8.1% over 2021 beating the 7.7% year-over-year increase from last year.
Prime Day Highlights
The company stated the event also gave an enormous boost to small and medium-sized businesses. Amazon’s Prime Day tactics to push customers to shop with marketplace sellers during the event clearly worked as growth for these merchants surpassed Amazon retail. Overall, they brought in over $3 billion on 100 million small business items included in the Support Small Businesses to Win Big sweepstakes.
If you want some perspective on how fast things were flying off the metaphorical shelves last week, Amazon reported customers were purchasing over 100k items per minute. Most of the shopping took place between 9a and 10a PST on July 12th. And the top selling categories were Home, Consumer Electronics, and Amazon devices.
The US did most of the heavy lifting for Prime Day purchasing as Amazon stated that US Prime customers purchase over 60k items per minute. And they like to wait until the last minute, as the peak of their shopping was between 8p and 9p PST on July 13th. Home, Household Essentials, and Consumer Electronics were the top selling category for Americans.
One last fun fact was the US trend towards summer items. They purchased over 1 million swimsuits and over 1.2 million pairs of sunglasses.
Prime Day Summary
We’re still waiting on sales figures regarding live streams, but Amazon stated that Prime Day streams attracted major attention with over 100M views from thousands of participating streamers. Needless to say, the event was a huge overall success for the company and its merchants.
Amazon will look at ways to top this year’s Prime Day numbers. And if the company has its way, drones will be a big part of the event.
This week, they announced another expansion of their drone test program to customers in College Station, Texas. There are some concerns from residents about the program, but Amazon and the city council are working to address everything to conduct a smooth test.
eBay to extend shipping handling time
If you’re not familiar, handling time is the timeframe in which sellers have to ship a purchased item. And although the situation is still unfolding, it seems eBay intends to extend its handling time from 30 days to 40 days.
The company recently made changes to the platform that allows sellers to specify a 40-day handling time. However, the company’s Presale Policy still states that sellers must ship within 30 days of purchase. This practice allows merchants to presale highly sought items like collectibles and consoles that have a publicized release date.
This had many wondering whether the change was an error. But according to an eBay moderator on the seller discussion boards, the policy will update to reflect the changes on the platform.
The response has been a mixed bag from many merchants, but we’ll see how things unfold in the future.
Etsy allows users to browse seller videos with Explore tab
Shoppers on the Etsy platform typically have to go to a seller’s listing or shop before they’ll see a video. But with the new Explore tab, shoppers will now have a portal for browsing seller videos before clicking on a shop.
The tab allows sellers to upload videos within four categories:
- How I make this item
- How to use my item
- About me and my shop
- Memes and skits
The videos can run anywhere from two seconds to three minutes, and the company already provides metrics that allow merchants to measure how their videos are doing.
At the moment, this feature is only available to iOS users in the US, but the company has plans to expand the feature soon.
Auctane expands to the UK
Shipping solution provider Auctane — formerly Stamps.com — announced last week their expansion into the UK. Merchants there can use the company’s ShipEngine solution to speed up their shipping needs.
The API gives third-party logistics providers, retailers, and eCommerce platforms shipping capabilities through a wide range of shipping brands the company purchased over the years — ShipEngine, Endicia, and GlobalPost, to name a few. The platform also helps with shipping management and order fulfillment.
Beyond the UK, the company intends to move into France and Germany by the end of the year.
Small Indonesian cities to get an eCommerce boost
Supply chains can wreak havoc on the wallets of consumers who live further away from distribution centers. This is certainly true for people living in smaller Indonesian cities further away from Jakarta who end up paying more for items.
But startup distribution network KitaBeli intends to change things. The company recently netted $20 million in funding and intends to put that money towards expansion into these small cities and adding more product categories.
According to the company, they’ve grown 10x in the past 6 months and are up to 400 employees. And with every city, they open a new warehouse to ensure solid delivery times and add more jobs.
Co-founder and CEO Prateek Chaturvedi stated, “Our system works to minimize the days of inventory for each item. By reducing the amount of stock in the warehouse, we are able to reduce the space required as well, which reduces the cost.”
Deutsche Bank developing BNPL solution
With companies like Klarna, PayPal, Sezzle, and more offering Buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) options, it seems banks don’t want to be left behind. Deutsche Bank announced last week that it intends to develop a BNPL solution with Vienna-based fintech company Credi2.
The program will have Deutsche Bank pay merchants the moment an item ships, and the bank has pilot projects ready to go for later this year. Credi2 co-CEO Christian Waldheim stated, “With Deutsche Bank and Credi2, a major international bank and fintech are working together successfully. Through our white-label solution, banks, merchants, and marketplaces can offer our modern and flexible payment solution under their own brand — this ensures customer loyalty and increases sales.”