October eCommerce news roundup

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October, the month of ghosts, ghouls, buying extra Halloween candy for yourself and the following not-to-be-missed eCommerce news.

Expandly investment

We don’t often put ourselves top of the pops, but this month is an exception. We were super happy to announce that we’d closed a £580,000 funding round, led by Mercia Fund Managers. Alan Wilson (our CEO, who was super-super happy) said: “This investment is a huge step in the Expandly journey for us, our investors and our customers. We’ll be using the funds to develop the team, advance the product and accelerate our growth. It’s an exciting time in the eCommerce industry, and we’re ready to take advantage.”

London Calling

Amazon‘s first UK pop up shop graced London this month. Amazon Fashion opened its doors on London’s Baker Street between 23 – 27 October, showcasing a different trend each day. Events included denim customisation with Pepe Jeans, beauty trends with Vogue, yoga with Deliciously Ella and live music. Brands on sale covered Amazon’s own labels, as well as Calvin Klein, New Look, and more. Rumours have also been ignited as Amazon reportedly used this jolly to scour the UK high streets for appropriate Amazon Go locations.

Bricks and More

Speaking of getting physical, Shopify opened its first bricks and mortar experience space, providing in-person help and support to online sellers and budding entrepreneurs. The permanent space, called Shopify LA, is hosting Shopify staff and entrepreneurs and offering workshops, talks, product previews, and classes.

Major Magento reporting for service

Adobe has unveiled a major update to Magento, much to the delight of SME eCommerce merchants across the globe. The changes will “drive stronger customer engagement and make every experience shoppable” according to Mark Lavelle. The latest release incorporates analytics, drag-and-drop page builders and the Mobile Optimization Initiative. Magento is also inviting early birds to take part in the Magento Payments trial before its official release in 2019, by emailing [email protected]

It’s been a bad day, please don’t take a picture

Amazon had a somewhat troubling month this October. First, eBay accuses Amazon of poaching its customers using the eBay messaging system. Then they were hit by accusations of fake and paid-for reviews. And then they revealed that Amazon Prime signups were slowing down. But, with the latest research suggesting that Amazon accounts for 2.1% of all consumer spending in the States, and Q3 results showing a 29% sales increase to $56.6 billion, we don’t think they’re that worried.

This is Halloween

In the spirit of Halloween, Etsy wore black. Or so that’s what people thought. Ety’s famous gold stars took on the shade of black this month but, as it turned out, not in readiness for the annual ghostly celebrations. The black stars are all part of an initiative to make the site easier to view for customers with disabilities.

As seen on Google

ASOS has integrated with Google Assitant – enabling UK and US shoppers to say “Hey Google, talk to ASOS”. Fashion-savvy shoppers will then be put through to Enki to complete their ASOS voice shopping journey. We told you voice-shopping was gonna be big.

You used to call me on my cell phone

But not anymore. eBay has launched an instant-sell mobile phone service, where sellers can sell their mobile phone and receive eBay vouchers in return, at the click of a button. Offering up to 40% higher value than trade-in, this is expected to attract an increase in traffic to the online marketplace, delighting online sellers everywhere.

Holidays are coming

Etsy released its holiday trends marketplace insight report. Warm minimalism, bright nostalgia and winter pastels are in, unpreparedness, outdated photos and slow shipping are out. Oh, and October is officially engagement ring October – we’re still waiting…

Results day

Shopify announced its Q3 results, which included a 58% year-on-year revenue growth of $270.1 million. Highlights of the quarter included the new App Store, Shopify AR and Fraud Protect. PayPal was also popping the champagne, as it revealed a 14% revenue growth to $3.68 billion, alongside new partnerships with American Express and Walmart.

Because I got…

High-lighting October for Shopify was the legalisation of recreational marijuana sales in Canada. Despite an average of over 100 transactions per minute, Shopify stores experienced no outages, thanks to months of planning by the shopping cart.

Happy birthday Amazon.co.uk

Celebrating in a slightly more sober state was Amazon.co.uk, who commemorated its 20th birthday with Ed Sheeran, Harry Potter and The Da Vinci Code – some of their best sellers over the last 7,336 days. As part of the celebrations, the UK public voted the most influential toy of the last two decades as the Tamagotchi, and skinny jeans as the most adopted fashion item. Those joining in the fun also said that online shopping saves them an average of 4 hours 42 minutes each week.

In other news

New research shows that 85% of online browsing and buying occurs beyond Amazon, yet only 25% of US brands sell beyond the marketplace giant; Etsy‘s testing ‘Super Seller’ badges; eBay acquired Motors.co.uk; Worldpay extends real-time payouts to over 50 countries; eCommerce Foundation acquired Scamadviser; and, importantly, Etsy has updated its slime categories.

And finally

Congratulations to Creme Brulee, the 17-year-old Shetland pony from Surrey, crowned the Face of Amazon Pets, 2018.

Here’s to a nice* November

*Santa’s watching

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