With recent updates to major social media platforms, it's clear there is a major shift in focus for the ability for consumers to shop in-app instead...
June E-Commerce News Wrap-Up
Sellers focused on infrastructure investments as companies looked for ways to automate processes, decentralize teams, and fight supply chain issues.
What a month! With extreme heatwaves, vaccination rollouts, and the summer season in full swing, much is happening within retail and e-commerce. As June officially ends and we start looking forward to Q3, we are taking a moment to recognize all that went on in the last month. Let's dive in!
Investment in Social Commerce
The push for Social Commerce integration isn't slowing down. As recently as last week, Facebook's CEO Mark Zucker announced e-commerce updates are coming to shops on WhatsApp, Facebook Marketplace, Shops Ads, and Instagram Visual Search, all of which are Facebook products. Other social media platforms are making changes to their platform to fit the growing social commerce demand. Pinterest recently created a new feature that allows consumers to shop from multiple stores but checkout via the Pinterest UI. On top of that, TikTok has officially partnered with Amazon and is planning to create a better social shopping experience. Not only are these changes beneficial for the platforms, but they're beneficial for e-commerce sellers too. As social commerce becomes more advanced and accessible for consumers and sellers, we can only expect more from these leading platforms to attempt to "go viral."
Not only are businesses trying to make a better experience for customers on social media, but they are trying to improve the checkout experience. Many marketplaces and individual selling platforms are now offering alternative payment methods, such as crypto. ZoidPay, an e-commerce firm focused on the mass adoption of cryptocurrency, is working hard to make it easier for sellers to integrate crypto payment options into the checkout process. CoinTelegraph reports, "A recent global survey by Mastercard showed that 67% of millennials were more open to using cryptocurrency today than they were a year ago." The demand is real, but the fear of a safe and secure checkout is also present. Zoidpay's CEO Eduard One says, "At ZoidPay, the focus from the start has been on building a platform that's easy and safe to use, both for the consumer and the retailer..." We are excited to see the ways cryptocurrency integrates into the everyday e-commerce experience.
Just when we thought there couldn't be more ways to implement robots, e-commerce and logistics companies have found them! This month, multiple carriers announced their decisions to adopt more robotic assistance to keep up with shipping demand. FedEx announced earlier in June that they will team up with Nuro, an American Robotics company focused on zero-occupant delivery vehicles, to advance their Last Mile Logistics. FedEx's press release stated a multi-year, multi-state contract with Nuro, highlighting vehicle testing in the Houston area later this year. DHL has also jumped on the robot bandwagon, partnering with Locus Robotics to improve its supply chain. DHL plans to have 2,000 new warehouse robots by 2022. Each supply chain company is pushing to be at the top of their industry and are supplement robots to help get them there.
Despite the continuous re-opening of in-store shopping experiences, customers are still choosing to shop online. Of course, it is no surprise big selling platforms like Amazon and Walmart continue to see significant demand, but apparently, selling on these platforms is no longer a requirement to succeed in e-commerce. In mid-June, The Wall Street Journal reported that not being on Amazon can actually be a massive benefit for e-commerce sellers. With companies like Google and Facebook committing to helping out "mom-and-pop" stores, "their efforts have gained speed and urgency with the pandemic battering many traditional retailers." While the benefits of using a large selling platform like Amazon are clear - it provides massive reach and "rates among the top U.S. companies in consumer surveys of brand popularity" - it's exciting to see e-commerce upstarts and independent sellers making waves.
Despite seeing growth in big and small e-commerce companies last month, there are concerns as we advance. The Entrepreneur recently reported how companies need to adjust to meet demand in a largely saturated market. It's vital that companies stay on top of automation processes, decentralized teams, and of course, any supply chain issues. As the focus continues to be on the future of e-commerce, it's essential to plan for the problems before they arise. Though we can't 100% say what is next in the e-commerce industry, this summer has a common theme: infrastructure investments are key, and everyone is working their hardest to make the process easier for sellers and shoppers alike.