October – the month of tricks, treats, too many sweets and the following not-to-be-missed eCommerce news.
As always, we love to kick off celebrating the month’s winners – and this month, there are champagne corks all over the place. A specific October well done to:
? Winners of the eBay for Business Award 2019
? AllHappyCustomers, the face of eBay’s new advertising campaign
? Finalists of the Amazon US Small Business Spotlight awards
? Winners of the Northern eCommerce Awards
UK parcel carrier Yodel introduced a new international service to more than 200 countries and territories for parcels up to 320kg. With full customer support and end-to-end tracking, this could be a great way to take your eCommerce business global. Find out more about this new service here.
Speaking of going global, Shopify has upgraded its worldwide network infrastructure, making it 39% faster for customers everywhere. And, not to be left out, Etsy is working on its own international postal solutions – more to be announced soon.
Alexa, where’s my parcel?
Royal Mail updated its customer app with a number of convenience-boosting features. Users can now use an augmented reality parcel sizer to calculate the correct postage cost for packages and parcels. Once that correctly stamped parcel has left the building, you can track its delivery by asking Alexa. The future is here.
1 million merchants
Shopify reached the big six zeros, now powering over one million merchants worldwide. This impressive feat has contributed $183 billion to the global economy between 2016-2018 and supported 1.4 million full-time jobs.
But Shopify wants even more zeros. In an attempt to help e-retailers become bigger and better, Shopify launched the Experts Marketplace – a place to connect with skilled agencies and freelancers who can take your business higher.
Pick me up
Amazon added thousands of new free package pickup locations across the US, as part of their Counter service. These staffed pickup points allow customers to collect their items at a time, location and store convenient to them.
This is totally your colour
Earlier this year, Magento announced its intentions to supercharge its platform with enterprise-grade capabilities for SMBs. This month, it was announced that they are ahead of plan and will be shortly opening an early access program for merchants to test their new product recommendation feature.
And if it’s not your colour?
Amazon launched Amazon Renewed in Australia – an official program for selling and buying certified refurbished products. Currently, renewed products span mobile phones, computers, tablets and audio products from brands including Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Lenovo, HP and Dell.
Starting in November 2019, eBay and PayPal are changing the way Internet Sales Tax is being collected. In states where eBay must collect tax from buyers, the order total will reflect the gross order amount, including tax. This tax will be automatically deducted for remittance to the tax authority, and a record will be available on the Seller Hub Order page.
Full details are here.
Shopify merchants can now create Microsoft Search Network campaigns from their Shopify Marketing dashboard. Simply click “create campaign” to set up, optimise and track the results of your Microsoft ads.
Halloween lasted all month long for eBay, who experienced a nightmare of a month. Technical issues, missing sales data, blocked listings, unavailable sizes, and an out-of-date Seller Hub.
In other nightmare eBay news, Packlink prices for eBay labels increased on 16 October by an average 7p.
Small business, big mind
Amazon launched the Amazon Small Business Academy – an educational initiative helping entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed online. The first seminar was held this month in Mississippi, and the follow-up courses will launch across North America in 2020. This year alone, Amazon has released more than 150 tools and services for SMEs, helping them to sell more than 250 million items to 70 million unique customers.
The end of an era
Magento announced its end of support date for Magento Commerce 2.2.x as 31 December 2019. Customers still using the old version of Magento should upgrade as soon as possible to Magento Commerce 2.3.
Those still using Magento 1, will stop receiving security updates from June 2020 onwards.
In other news
Etsy‘s revenue is up, eBay‘s customer numbers have increased, Amazon‘s sales are booming, UK online sales now represent 19.1% of all retail sales, Amazon launched Amazon.sg in Singapore, Presta got a new checkout, Etsy shop stats have got a new look, and our eCommerce blog talked about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, SEO and Christmas posting dates.
And when it all gets too much…
Join Amazon on the gin.
Expandly’s multi-channel management software makes selling online simple. Combine your sales channel(s), shipping carriers, and Xero accounting to make the holiday season less of a hassle.