The Webretailer News Digest June 20, 2022

Walmart and Roku announced an eCommerce partnership today that could shake up the industry. In a first-time move, customers will be able to purchase items from Walmart exclusively on the go-to streaming platform.

We’ve already seen the QR code ads on other streaming platforms like Firestick. But the announcement states this partnership “will change the way customers interact and shop TV and video content” and offer direct purchasing from an ad.

Walmart’s Chief Marketing Office stated that the partnership intends to remove a step in the buying process and offer a seamless checkout experience. This makes sense, as the company is masterful in adapting its selling processes to the desires of its customers — you don’t become one of the top retailers in the world without this mastery.

With Roku’s advertising tech stack, Walmart can target, optimize, and measure their campaigns and know exactly what to do to make them successful. Ultimately, we agree that this pilot program could be a new trend that will grow. 

The process is as simple as clicking ‘OK’ twice on your remote to confirm payment and shipping details. Peter Hamilton, Head of TV Commerce at Roku, stated, “We’re making shopping on TV as easy as it is on social.”

Expect the companies to come up with more campaigns and develop their eCommerce partnership in the coming months.

Live Shopping for Collectibles Launches on eBay

Live Shopping

Late last week, eBay announced the launch of a new live shopping feature exclusively for collectibles. The feature isn’t available to all sellers, and potential bidders must use the eBay mobile app to access it.

We mentioned Etsy’s dive into live shopping on Friday’s news, but not to be left behind, eBay announced their live shop features only two days later. The company says the platform “lets enthusiasts discover, chat and purchase instantly, from anywhere in the world.”

Although the technology is still in beta, the company intends to entice customers with a combination of entertainment and the option to purchase collectibles instantly. According to eBay VP of Collectibles, Electronics and Home, Dawn Block, “eBay Live will deliver a more streamlined, entertaining and sophisticated way for [they are] community to connect, buy and sell.”

As reported on June 10th, the company recently opened its 31,000 sq ft security facility specifically for high-value items and collectibles. It makes sense they would make a push to draw in more customers for purchasing and storage in the sector. 

TikTok Shop isn’t going as planned in the UK

The London-based Financial Times is digging deep into TikTok Shop. The organization interviewed influencers who say they’re dropping out of the eCommerce program and claim the program has them promoting cheap products for low pay and long hours. 

This is the first time ByteDance launched the program outside of Asia, which is said to be a major component of its current high valuation. But according to FT, the program is suffering as a high number of staff are quitting amidst claims the company is enforcing an aggressive work culture.

With their dropshipping model not going to plan and workers leaving, the future of the project is up in the air. The remaining employees said that the company will need to better understand the British market and listen to their feedback if they want to salvage things.

Alibaba combines logistics with an eCommerce platform in Pakistan

Online purchasing in Pakistan is getting its first push from the largest eCommerce company in the world. Alibaba logistics operator Cainiao announced (translate to read link content) that it is launching auto-distribution centers in Lahore and Karachi. 

The move combines with Alibaba’s purchase of Daraz — Pakistan’s preferred eCommerce platform — in 2018. With the addition of the distribution centers, the company will use both Cainiao, Daraz, and its sibling company Lazada to serve Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, and other countries in the region.

With their smart distribution centers, the company will cut manual labor by 50% and double human productivity. And soon, the company will use Cainiao to expand operations further into Europe and Southeast Asia.

Publicis announces the launch of retail media platform

Back in May, we reported Publicis acquired Profitero and had made other investments into an eCommerce-focused tech stack. Last week, the Boston-based company announced the launch of CitrusAd, powered by Epsilon.

The company says it’s an “industry-first self-serve retail media platform” that brings both on and off-site capabilities all in one interface. Publicis stated retailers can maximize their monetization on the platform and scale their marketing efforts.

Speaking about the launch, Chairman of the Management Board of Publicis Groupe, Arthur Sadoun, stated, “With the launch of CitrusAd, powered by Epsilon, Publicis Groupe is leading the new generation of identity-led retail media. We are pushing the boundaries of retail media platforms, empowering brands to connect with real people across the full customer journey and make investment decisions that are informed by real-time measurement and validated by transactions.”

“618” festival ends with positive numbers for eCommerce retailers in China

If you’re not familiar, China’s “618” festival is the second-largest shopping festival in the world behind “Single’s Day” (November 11th) — also Chinese. Both festivals make Prime Day seem tiny when comparing revenue numbers. 

Many in the finance world speculated that this year’s event wouldn’t go well, as China is dealing with the fallout from COVID-19. Alibaba and JD.com offered big promotions and discounts as they do every year. But even with the positive numbers reported, JD.com actually posted its slowest “618” growth ever, so expectations weren’t high.

But yesterday, Chinese retail data services provider Syntun released solid numbers for the event. Both traditional and live streaming eCommerce platforms netted 695.9 billion RMB (103.6 billion USD) in GMV throughout the festival. 

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