Walmart is testing ways to keep consumers ordering groceries online long after the pandemic. As grocery sales slow down, the retailer is partnering with tech startup HomeValet to install smart coolers on customers' porches.
Increasingly, when consumers stumble across a pair of a pants or a two-sided cereal bowl that catch their eye on Instagram or TikTok, they’ll have to go to a Linktree or a Linkin.bio page to buy it -- and that has turned those startups into a new kind of storefront for the social media era. According to Linktree, e-commerce-related traffic has been consistently doubling month over month.
For a decade, Shopify has been slowly growing, describing itself as a quiet no-nonsense back-end tool to help merchants grow their businesses. And over the last year it's become an empire. Now, as Shopify has create more programs to bring in new merchants, the company has become a new e-commerce default -- and it has big plans to expand beyond mere DTC brands.
Shopify announced that it would be banning two online stores affiliated with President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Stripe has reportedly stopped processing payments for the Trump campaign. Rarely do political calls for action extend to e-commerce marketplaces or software providers. But recent actions signal that may start to change.
Big CPG continues to experiment with subscription services. This week, Coca Cola relaunched its Insiders Club program after pausing it during the pandemic. The program lets a select number of subscribers receive monthly boxes of exclusive items. The move highlights a bigger trend within food and beverage.
The resale industry has been one of the biggest winners in 2020, culminating in resale app Poshmark filing to go public. Poshmark's S-1, which was published on Thursday, reveals that the startup was actually able to turn its first profit of $8.1 million during the first nine months of 2020 -- a rarity among consumer startups looking to go public. But Poshmark still faces a number of challenges ahead in its quest to become a public company. Here's our detailed look into the company's just-released financials.
Shipping delays are getting worse and worse for e-commerce businesses right now, and Etsy shops are no exception. In recent days, Etsy forums have been flooded with sellers looking for advice from one another on how to deal with shipping delays. "USPS delays are killing my plants and killing my business in turn," one seller said on Wednesday, writing that packages were often taking 10-14 days -- and sometimes up to four weeks -- to ship. As third-party sellers on a rapidly growing e-commerce platform, Etsy sellers only have so many options to try to address shipping delays.
Right now, retailers are focused on getting items to customers in time for the holidays. But come January, they'll have a new headache to contend with: processing all of the items that ultimately get returned. Some research has shown that items bought online are more likely to be returned than those bought in store, with online apparel having some of the highest return rates. Given that people are expected to do more of their holiday shopping online this year in lieu of visiting a store, retailers are also bracing for the likely scenario that people will want to make more returns this year than ever before. To prepare, they are trying to give customers as many ways as possible to make returns.
Carriers like FedEx and UPS have been warning for months to expect holiday shipping delays. But now, they are taking more drastic steps by imposing some limits on the number of packages it will pick up per day from companies. The package pickup limits are being imposed on major retailers like Nike and Macy's, down to startups like aperitif brand Haus. Retail executives told Modern Retail that while they expected some delays, they felt like carriers haven't given them enough notice, and are leaving them out to dry during their busiest time of year.
Alcohol delivery platforms continue to acquire customers, especially as millions of Americans face a second wave of pandemic lockdowns. This Thanksgiving was no different. Aside from its standard sales boost, this year Drizly's white glove service saw record consumer interest.
The often dreaded office holiday party is on hold this year, and many employers are looking for alternatives to celebrate remotely and reward workers. Virtual gifting, like e-commerce, is on the rise to meet this demand. Startup Loop & Tie and 1800-Flowers.com's new SmartGift portal, aimed at business customers, are trying to capitalize on the growing phenomenon.
In order to prevent Amazon from clawing away more of their business, shipping carriers are trying to forge deeper partnerships with other platforms that work closely with retailers and e-commerce companies. That's evidenced by FedEx's latest acquisition, announced last week. The logistics carrier is acquiring ShopRunner, a marketplace that offers its members free two-day shipping and returns on products from more than 100 retailers.
Cyber week is becoming Cyber November, according to B-to-B vendors that power e-commerce merchants. This holiday season, companies that build SMBs' online stores, which include Shopify, BigCommerce and Adobe's Magento, are all seeing record sales among merchants. Here's how e-commerce platforms fared over this holiday shopping weekend blitz.
As Facebook is seeking to become more of a commerce platform, it's also increasingly interested in acquiring services to assist the e-commerce and retail companies it is trying to court. That's evidenced by Facebook's latest acquisition, announced on Monday. The social media giant announced its intent to acquire Kustomer, a customer service platform that counts Birkenstock and Glossier among its customers.
As shoppers become more dependent on e-commerce, a growing number are beginning to look online even for Christmas trees. A small handful of DTC-style brands, like Walddie, have cropped up to offer delivery-focused tree sales. Even big players like Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s are stepping into the market, selling Christmas trees not just in their physical stores but also online. Digital Christmas tree are on the rise -- but ultimately, the Christmas tree business might show the limits of online ordering despite this banner year for e-commerce.
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