The Webretailer News June 3, 2022
Walmart eCommerce Chief gives stores new label: “Shoppable Fulfillment Center”
In his first interview in the role, Walmart’s Chief eCommerce Officer Tom Ward made revealing statements about the company’s push toward the eCommerce space. Ward said that the company will embrace changes in the retail industry brought on by the pandemic and that Walmart each brick-and-mortar location will become “a shoppable fulfillment center.”
The messaging is in alignment with many of the moves the company made over the past two years to boost its eCommerce sales. Walmart invested in a drone delivery program along with a food delivery program that works direct-to-customer (D2C). They are also offering fulfillment for third-party sellers starting soon.
These actions are a clear signal that the retail giant is working hard to take back its ‘world’s largest retailer’ title from Amazon.
With 4,700 locations across the US, Walmart has 90% of the population within a 10-mile radius of their stores. That fact alone gives the company the ability to create a fulfillment network for all its products. “And if the store acts as the fulfillment center, we can send those items the shortest distance in the fastest time,” Ward said.
Now that the company has many elements of its overall plan in motion, the company is looking at ways to build a better customer experience, expand its product line, and increase its delivery route network.
Etsy shifts Star Seller program
There’s good news for Etsy sellers looking to get into the platform’s Star Seller program. Etsy is updating the requirements for entry in a move that will give sellers a better chance for acceptance.
The company took seller feedback into consideration and implemented three changes they say will “address key pain points and make Star Seller more achievable for sellers who provide excellent customer service.”
Here are the changes:
Previously, the rating criteria only considered 5-star reviews. Starting July 1st, it will change to a 4.8-star rating average based on a three-month review period.
Etsy requires Star Sellers to respond to customer messages within 24 hours, but their sellers were having a problem sorting through their messages. To ease this issue, they’re improving the messaging system and allowing messages from the same buyer to combine into a single thread.
Last, Etsy is lowering the order minimum in their Star Seller review period in a bid to help lower volume sellers gain entry — if they provide excellent customer service.
Overall, the changes seem to be well-received. But we’ll have to wait and see how many sellers gain entry into the program in the coming months.
Amazon FBA fees increase for sales to Mexico and Canada
On June 30, Amazon sellers based in the US will have to pay more for using FBA to fulfill orders for customers in Mexico and Canada. Their Remote Fulfillment with FBA service will have a price increase, and the company is adjusting dimensional weight rate calculations “to better align with the standard FBA rate structure.”
Many sellers received emails or saw notifications on their seller news feed where Amazon stated they would auto-enroll them for the service. This could be a pain point for some sellers who don’t want to deal with potential international returns. If you’re an Amazon seller who doesn’t want to take part, you’ll need to opt out manually.
Best Buy’s online sales drop more than overall sales
Q1 ended on May 1st for Best Buy with revenue down 8.5% from the same quarter a year ago. But those of us in the eCommerce world is focusing more on what declining online sales might mean for the company. They’ve seen a 12% dip since the start of the fiscal year.
However, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry had some perspective on the announcement of the numbers. She pointed out that Best Buy’s online sales represent 31% of their domestic revenue, which is still double their pre-pandemic levels despite the drop since last year. Also, the company is seeing revenue increases from chat and virtual phone interactions.
India’s ONDC makes moves to dethrone Amazon and Walmart
If you’re not familiar with ONDC, it’s the Open Network for Digital Commerce launched by the Indian government in April. The platform works to give smaller eCommerce sellers the platform they need to compete with large retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
Recently, India has started working with the banks and key figures they need to scale the network and push things forward. They want to set up a series of ‘buyer platforms’ that will allow customers to place orders over the ONDC.
The network is a top priority for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, so we should see more developments coming from ONDC in the coming months.
Provi and SevenFifty complete integration
Provi and SevenFifty are working on expanding their alcohol and beverage marketplace with the completion of their first phase of integration. The two companies are combining their portfolio data into one marketplace that will serve every tier within the industry.
By the end of the year, buyers will have a single login experience with access to their content services and sales tools. “With this integration, we will now be able to offer over 1,200 distributor portfolios and over 700,000 products with pricing information on Provi, which creates a better experience for buyers nationwide,” said Provi founder and CEO Taylor Katzman.
Payoneer partners with Optty to expand Buy now, pay later services
Singapore-based Optty is now in 59 markets around the world and has payment gateways that could allow BNPL services to operate just like credit cards and digital wallets. To gain access to this network of services, BNPL provider Payoneer is partnering with the company.
Payoneer’s President and GM of Merchant Services, Keren Levy, said, “With Optty, our merchants and marketplaces increase their global reach while offering customers the choice of their preferred payment options, localizing buyers’ experiences with their brands.”
The move puts Payoneer in a pool of other BNPL services already on Optty, including Klarna, Scalapay, Zip, Afterpay, and many more.