April – the month of chocolate, chocolate, more chocolate and the following not-to-be-missed eCommerce news.
Big Amazon updates
Amazon has released not one, not two but fifty new seller tools this year – helping you to manage and grow your online business. Since January 1st Amazon has been investing its dollars and pounds into enhancements including better brand analytics, the waiver of certain FBA fees, a Sell Across the World workflow for international expansion and new Seller University content. Thank you Amazon.
Xero‘s new invoicing experience was unleashed to all this April – bringing with it a simpler interface and more intuitive functions. Initial users have been praising the automatic save function, machine-learning suggested account codes and the ability to show and hide entry fields. If you haven’t checked it out – get looking, it’s pretty good.
WooCommerce 3.6 is out and it’s looking good! With new features including performance improvements and “product blocks”, users of the eCommerce platform will be able to offer their customers a faster and more engaging store. Update to check it out.
eBay is adopting a “new and localised” approach to empowering its online sellers – using it’s new “eBay Upfront” initiative to get close and personal. eBay is currently touring the states, meeting local sellers to listen to what they have to say and impart some useful guidance and insights. But be quick – tickets are selling out fast.
Congratulations are in order for BigCommerce, who this month achieved ISO 27001:2017 – the prestigious certification for information security management systems. It means that BigCommerce has the “full spectrum” of best-practice security methods in place – encompassing risk, compliance and governance. BigCommerce users can be confident that their data is secured and that the security practices used are reliable and robust. Champagne ordered.
Delivery in T-
Royal Mail is continuing to up its game, launching earlier customer notifications that provide delivery time estimation the day before delivery. This gives customers more time to plan their day or alternative delivery arrangements – maximising the online delivery experience. It also puts Royal Mail ahead of its competition, who can currently only predict on-day delivery times.
Amazon has been in the spotlight this month and not in a good way. Reports on the volume of fake five-star reviews on the Amazon platform have been flooding the media, with Which? claiming that thousands of unverified five-star reviews are misleading shopping and giving unknown brands more attention than household names. Over in Italy, a preliminary investigation into Amazon’s possible abuse of a dominant position was commenced, while over in China, Amazon announced its withdrawal from the eCommerce market altogether. And, back in the UK, Amazon was again criticised for its practice of bundling reviews together.
But it wasn’t all bad – Amazon has also been announced as the number one choice of shopping destination for Generation Z. You win some; you lose some.
Hermes is running a pilot project using city trams for logistics. Using a combination of trams and e-bikes, Hermes hopes that the pilot will lead to better delivery services in hard-to-reach places, where access by car or van is limited, and reduced traffic in inner-cities.
Girl, put that record on
eBay has teamed up with Record Store Day to promote local independently owned record stores. Music enthusiasts can buy music online knowing that they’re supporting a real brick and mortar independent music shop.
Amazon referral fee changes
Amazon’s referral fees are changing with both reductions and increases for online sellers using the platform. Changes from 5 June 2019 include:
– Baby products, beauty, health & personal care and grocery referral fees will reduce to 8% on items under £10.
– Furniture sales above £175 will attract a reduced referral fee of 10%.
– Jewellery and watch sales above £225 will attract a reduced referral fee of 5%.
– A per-item minimum referral fee of £0.25 will be introduced for all categories except groceries and media.
In other news…
PayPal updated User Agreement to exclude PayPal fees from any refunds made, Amazon‘s cutting delivery times even further, ASOS added a “fair use” section to its returns policy, eBay had a “solid first quarter” and Amazon has a key to your garage.
Tie-dye is back man – according to Etsy‘s spring trends.