After a record-year of sales for its merchants, Shopify is overhauling its merchant platform, dubbing it Online Store 2.0. In an interview, Vanessa Lee, Shopify’s director of product for storefronts, spoke to Modern Retail about the e-commerce company's updated storefront tools and how it hopes to give brands more room for customization.
Etsy is making a play for Brazil with its latest acquisition of the online marketplace Elo7. Latin America is a weak-spot for Etsy, and it's the latest signal, as Etsy seeks to build a "house of brands," that it is increasingly on acquisitions — rather than partnerships — for new customer acquisition.
Autonomous trucking might help Amazon with driver recruitment. The technology isn't just for the relatively pie-in-the-sky future of a fully driverless truck, but also for shorter-term demands, where certain parts of the trucking process can be automated in order to make the industry more attractive to drivers.
Increasingly, link-in-bio companies are building digital storefronts, where anyone who clicks a link in bio can toggle through various products that a creator has for sale. It's a shift that not only helps the link services stay relevant but also represents the latest example of e-commerce and product discovery moving to social media.
Despite offering competing sales, retailers are struggling to put a dent in Amazon's Prime Day momentum. Multi-category big box retailers like Walmart and Target, as well as Wayfair and Best Buy, all ran sales that overlapped with Amazon's June 21 to 22 Prime Day. Still, early data in app downloads and web traffic shows that these retailers are still seeing a modest uptick in shoppers relative to Amazon.
Amazon is known for its in-house electronics products. But this year, it gave its private-label products in its other categories an extra push. That underscores the extent to which Amazon is pushing specifically its non-electronics products -- which, unlike electronics, might inspire more frequent repeat purchases -- into consumers’ lives.
Visual search is witnessing a resurgence in interest that retailers may find difficult to ignore. On the one hand, social media and web giants are pushing visual search to the forefront of their platforms. Meanwhile, many retailers are opting to incorporate the feature directly into their existing apps, either individually or with the help of specialist tech startups.
Instagram and Shopify appear to be entering the affiliate commissions race. It's a sign that the two companies are trying to disrupt Amazon’s dominance over product affiliate links.
The recently-introduced Inform bills are essentially disclosure measures, stating that third-party marketplaces have to vet the bank information, government IDs, tax documents and other records pertaining to what the bill classifies as “high-volume third-part sellers.” Here's how these proposed laws could upend the e-commerce ecosystem.
Over the last year, influencer-created videos have increasingly popped up on Amazon product pages. With these videos, Amazon is trying to bring some of the cues from social platforms onto its own site -- and rather than have its influencers only recommend products on YouTube or TikTok, and just link back to Amazon, now Amazon is trying to bring more content natively onto its platform.
In early May, Instacart quietly added a new feature called “Product Library,” which lets brands whose products are bought and sold on Instacart edit how their products appear on the platform. The Product Library update might be small, but it showcases the extent to which Instacart, as it becomes an increasingly ad-focused company, has tried to make itself more friendly to brands.
As the Amazon acquisition boom continues, a growing number of companies are beginning to consider how -- and whether -- to turn the products they acquire into recognizable brands even off of Amazon. But question of how present the actual name of the rollup company should be in the minds of consumers also remains up in the air. “At this point, we have delivered products to one out of every ten households in America, but they have no idea that we’ve done that,” said Josh Silberstein, founder and co-CEO of Thrasio.
As DTC brands continue to look for new customer acquisition channels, Pinterest is becoming a bigger part of their shoppable content playbook. The social platform, which has been increasingly building out e-commerce capabilities, has partnered with several digitally-native brands on a shopping event featuring exclusive products.
While Amazon's Dash Replenishment might be the largest program in what remains a niche industry, a growing number of startups are pitching auto-replenishment systems to brands -- and to stand out, they’re making their case not on just the economic benefits of convincing customers to set auto reorders, but also on the potential consumer usage data that they can source.
One of the biggest storylines of this year’s Prime Day is inventory problems. Toward the end of May, third-party sellers began reporting that their inventory maximums had dropped suddenly -- meaning, essentially, that Amazon would only accept a reduced amount of inventory into its warehouses.
At the Modern Retail Summit, retail marketers will discuss everything from the Amazon effect to new infrastructure to the shift in the direct-to-consumer world.Book Passes