May – the month of bank holidays, sun, rain, everything in between and the following not-to-be-missed eCommerce news.
It just keeps getting better
May was the month for some big Expandly Xero eCommerce integration updates. Following ongoing customer feedback from eCommerce accountants, bookkeepers and business owners, the Expandly multi-channel management’s Xero eCommerce integration now includes:
– Linking payment methods within sales channel(s) to different bank accounts;
– Sending orders to Xero’s tracking categories;
– Directing orders to asset (suspense) accounts;
– Batching invoices according to currency, sales channel and tax method;
– Splitting invoices according to tracking category, tax rate and product;
– Linking for Xero’s inventory tracking tool;
– Sending orders to the approved section (as well as the draft and paid sections); and
The headline-grabbing news of the eCommerce world this May was the announcement of a Linnworks price increase. The somewhat hefty price increase was announced to new and existing customers on 22 May and customers weren’t happy. Since then, the multi-channel management platform has backtracked slightly, allowing customers to stay on their user-based plan with no price increase for two years and no price increase more than 20% for the third year. What happens after that, who knows.
If you’re searching for a Linnworks alternative, take a read of our handy multi-channel management comparison guide.
The Royal Mail has been busy in the UK this month, releasing two significant announcements for online retailers (and their customers). Back in August 2018, the Royal Mail began a trial of parcel postboxes across the UK. Following the huge success of the trial, 1,400 will now be rolled out across the UK – making deliveries even easier for eCommerce businesses.
But that’s not all. A £1.8 billion five-year investment has also been announced that will see:
– The introduction of a second delivery for parcels;
– Three new fully automated parcel hubs; and
– The collection of returns from people’s homes.
Christmas has come early.
eBay Spring Seller Update
May signals the time for the eBay Spring Seller Update – and it didn’t disappoint. With plenty of updates to announce, our favourites included:
– New growth tools, including universal access to Promoted Listings, offers to buyers and volume pricing listings.
– Improved inventory optimisation through category and item specifics changes.
– Better seller protections, protecting you and your information.
– Updated tools including easy relisting, order number tracking and final value fee cap.
See the full update here.
As if home delivery, garage delivery and locker delivery wasn’t enough, Amazon has also launched Counter – a series of staffed pick-up points in popular retailers across the UK and Italy. Available for One Day and Standard shipping, Amazon Prime shoppers can select a pick-up location of their choice (including home and fashion store Next) to collect their items from. If you’re interested in becoming a pick-up point yourself, get in touch with Amazon.
Going, going, gone
eBay and LiveAuctioneers have joined forces in a new partnership that will see the launch of a “Buy it Now” after-sale venue that eBay customers and LiveAuctioneer customers can access. With prices ranging from $50 to $200,000, this will be an interesting platform to watch.
RefundRetriever has increased its refund retrieving offerings to include Amazon. Amazon FBA sellers can now use RefundRetriever to ensure that their full FBA inventory is accounted for, and any refunds due (e.g. for lost or damaged inventory) are claimed.
Start baking the house-warming muffins – Shopify has opened its latest set of digs. The new office is set in the heart of Toronto and includes a free-to-use public events lounge as well as plenty of perks for Shopify employees themselves. The additional space will help Shopify in its quest to employee 1,500 employees by 2022.
One is the magic number
Amazon has upped the delivery stakes again. As the rest of the world is starting to catch up with Amazon’s two-day free delivery offering, Amazon announces plans to reduce the standard Prime shipping to one-day free shipping. No wonder they’re opening up an additional air hub in 2021, offering FBA sellers reduced storage fees for maintaining suggested inventory levels and getting employees to set up their own delivery companies.
Speaking of Amazon shipping, UK sellers can now charge more for deliveries to outlying areas of the UK – useful for those using couriers who charge more for this service.
SMBs in the spotlight
The eCommerce world loves promoting SMBs, and this month was no exception. Amazon announced Mississippi, Nebraska, Maine and Texas as the top ten states with the fastest-growing SMBs selling in Amazon stores. While eBay revealed the launch of its high street concept store in Wolverhampton, UK, as part of its Retail Revival program
Xero was definitely on cloud nine this month as they announced strong growth in their full year results, particularly in the UK. The Americas team in Denver were also flying high, winning a Top Workplaces 2019 honour from the Denver Post – congratulations.
Migrating to Magento Commerce 2
Support for Magento Commerce 1 is scheduled to end in June 2020 – that’s only a year away. Keen to help Magento users migrate to Magento Commerce 2, Magento commissioned Stax to run a study on the benefits of migrating. The results, available this month, showed that companies migrating to Commerce 2 experienced increased average order values, conversion rates and site traffic – in other words, get migrating now.
In other news
Etsy reported another strong quarter of growth, Xero Standard and Premium monthly subscriptions have increased by £2.00 and £2.50 for UK users, UPS has added 122 countries to its US shipping destinations, and Etsy releases a new delivery sales tool.