Amazon saw huge profits in its most recent earnings report. This comes even after the company say three months earlier it would likely spend all of its current profits on coronavirus-related costs. Even so, the company saw record sales and continues to skyrocket. But tensions with third-party sellers still remain a pressure point.
Same-day delivery of food and alcohol has become expected for many consumers. This means third-party delivery services have to get even more creative in retaining and gaining new users. Besides consolidating, the latest strategy for companies like DoorDash and Postmates is to go back to the drawing board and offer non-food items.
Over months of lockdown, many Facebook users have turned to the social media platform to communicate with the people in the next street, or even the next house. For ultra-small local businesses, usually run by a single individual or a few partners, these same groups have become a haven to communicate with customers, advertise their services and even run the business. For the customers themselves, often unable to travel to neighborhoods further afield, they’re a useful tool to connect with recommendations in their immediate area or support local businesses they know to be struggling.
During Snap's second quarter earnings yesterday, CEO Evan Spiegel called out e-commerce advertising as one of the company's bright spots during the quarter, as consumers are spending more money online during the coronavirus. Snap's revenue overall grew 17% year-over-year, to $454 million. But, even before the pandemic, Snapchat was heavily focused on wooing new e-commerce advertisers, particularly with new ad formats.
Since launching Instagram Checkout a year and a half ago, which allows customers to buy products from participating retailers' websites, Instagram has made it a priority to get more well-known retailers using the feature. Now, the next step on the app's to-do list is to make shopping more visible on Instagram. That was signaled by the launch of a new Shop tab in Instagram Explore last week. But Instagram still has a ways to go until users think of it as a shopping destination first and foremost.
Instagram has become a vital and affordable tool for local mom and pop shops, especially when it comes to live updates on hours of operation, product availability and reopening plans. With the pandemic’s quickly-evolving nature, the platform's casual posting nature better lends itself to this info than Google. Meanwhile Google's small business information is often outdated or incorrect.
The unit economics and ethics of VC-backed delivery apps have been questioned for years. However, the pandemic has brought these issues into focus and lent an alternative crop of services the chance to step in and partner with local restaurants. Platforms like Slice, Seated and Chowbus hope to reduce fees for owners while making online takeout ordering a more sustainable model.
When PPP entered high demand, Etsy was well positioned. In the month of April alone, the marketplace sold about 12 million fabric face masks, to a total cost of $133 million. The core Etsy marketplace, meanwhile, grew 79% year-over-year. The question remains whether or not it can continue this growth once things begin to subside.
BigCommerce filed its S-1 earlier this week, providing a little more visibility into how its business works. Since 2009, BigCommerce has provided digital commerce services for merchants. It touts customers including Woolrich, Camelbak, Clarks and Gillette. While it's true that digital commerce is accelerating at an unprecedented clip, the platform faces stiff competition from companies like Shopify.
Groupon used to be the darling of online retail. Now it's struggling to survive. What went wrong? It was a series of failed pivots, along with the fact that its core offering is no longer in demand. The question remains whether or not it can resurrect business.
QR codes have found little success since coming on the scene decades ago. With the onset of the pandemic, the encrypted prints appear to be coming back in fashion as retailers grapple with contactless marketing and payment solutions. Is this the time QR codes finally enter the mainstream?
Uber is considering acquiring Postmates, according to news reports. This is likely a move by Uber to get more marketshare. But Postmates presents some interesting possibilities. For one, the courier app has partnered with non-food companies, like Old Navy. Which is to say that Postmates presents an opportunity to grow Uber's delivery presence in directions beyond just food.
Platforms like Google and Amazon have made new moves to crack down on fake product listings. This isn't a new problem, but that both are taking it on now show that they're trying better foster brand trust. The question remains whether or not these moves are enough for companies to feel protected from bad actors.
Amazon long-running goal to dominate fashion is seeing a new attempt during the pandemic. With the electronics-focused Prime Day still months away, the "Big Style Sale" could provide a much-needed stimulus for sellers whose categories suffered throughout the quarantine.
Resale platform Mercari is letting sellers offer two-hour courier service via Postmates. Mercari Now, which it developed before the pandemic, allows users to accept local orders without packing and shipping them via parcel, said CEO John Lagerling. Mercari joins other companies investing in new same-day delivery services -- and Postmates has remained a popular business partner.
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