September – the month of back to school, is it too early to put the heating on, why are there Christmas decorations out already and the following not-to-be-missed eCommerce news.
Mysterious goings on where a’happening over at camp Etsy this month. Users experienced a crash in search result numbers for the same search terms, following an Etsy update. Etsy was quick to look into the situation, describing it as an issue “shrouded in mystery”. Those pesky meddling kids.
More than 7,000 eCommerce websites have reportedly been infected with card-skimming malware. Magento users are being advised to use the free Magento security scanning tool to check patches and security practices.
One trillion dollars
They did it. Albeit second, but they did it. This month eCommerce marketplace mega giant Amazon reached the $1 trillion mark, just weeks after Apple got there first. These two are the first companies to ever be valued at over $1 trillion by Wall Street. Bezos is now worth a cool £167 billion, having journeyed Amazon from humble books and CDs to, well, everything.
This month Amazon opened up about it electronic friends. Rather than replacing employees, Amazon praises its robot army for helping employees. The Amazon robots move at a speed of 5.5km per hour and can lift 340kgs, allowing human employees to process orders faster.
eBay has evolved its eBay Authenticate programme to include luxury watches. Buyers can browse new, pre-loved and vintage watches all verified by third-party experts. eBay is already a leader in the secondary watch market (an estimated $5 billion industry), and this move is set to increase its lead. To have your handbags or watches authenticated by eBay, find out more information here.
Put down the pen
Over in the UK, Christmas is synonymous with writing to Santa having the Argos catalogue firmly by your side. Now, the UK retailer has partnered with Google to launch a voice shopping service, that lets buyers reserve their Christmas list with Google Home. Argos is the first UK retailer to offer a Google Assistant shopping service, and we expect more to follow shortly. If your eCommerce website is not optimised for voice search – now is the time.
Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree
Speaking of Christmas, Amazon will be delivering pine-fresh Christmas tree this year to its Prime customers. Wreaths, garlands and seven-foot trees will be available within ten days of T-I-M-B-E-R to US customers.
The UK government backtracked on its plans to cut tax for self-employed workers. Last year the government announced plans to scrap Class 2 National Insurance contributions, equating to £153 per year. And this month they retracted.
And that’s, a fact
The Royal Mail plunged into the new school year with two very interesting reports.
First up, international selling. 52% of UK SMEs sell to customers outside of the UK. That’s a 12% increase from last year but, indicates that 48% of sellers are missing out by focusing their efforts domestically. If you’re interested in selling on international sales channel(s) (such as Wish.com) contact one of our team, and then read the Royal Mail’s handy pointers here.
Next up, online shopping. Online shopping in the UK is rising by 9% year-on-year. 87% of retail purchases are made online in the UK, with an average £34 spent per transaction. Laptops are still the preferred evening method for online splurging but at all other times mobile is king.
Down, down, down, down, down
Xero experienced a seven and a half hour technical outage on 12 September, and accountants didn’t know what to do with themselves for seven and a half hours. Xero was quick to apologise, but the reasons remain a mystery.
Why this platforms automatic
eBay rolled out its new mobile valuation tool, in celebration of the iPhone 9. And then, over in Germany, it launched Catch – a new mobile shopping app for young shoppers hungry for competitive prices. And then back in the UK, it launched new automatic returns process.
And speaking of auto(matic)s, Google also announced a partnership with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to bring the Google Assistant to a vehicle near you.
Shopify has unlocked augmented reality (or AR for friends) for small businesses. Using Apple’s AR Quick Look, merchants can create 3D models of their products for shoppers to view in Safari without the need for a separate app or headset. Viewing products in AR brings customers closer to the thought of owning and allows a try-before-you-buy experience that reduces returns. To get started, visit here.
Welcome to my store
Amazon launched Amazon Storefronts in the US – a place for online shoppers to shop from small to medium-sized businesses. A collection of over one million curated products from nearly 20,000 merchants, the platform will also feature videos and stories, a store of the week and exclusive collections. Accompanying the launch will be Amazon’s first ever national TV commercial.
That wasn’t the only Amazon launch this month. Amazon 4-star opened in New York’s SoHo, promising digital price tags on items from its website that have received four stars and above, and is reportedly opening up to 3,000 Amazon Go cashierless stores by 2021, demonstrating that even the biggest eCommerce giant out there places importance on multichannel selling.
Check this out
In June, PayPal launched PayPal Checkout with Smart Payment Buttons in America. It gives consumers more choice in how they pay and fewer clicks to get there, hopefully leading to increased conversions. Now, they’re rolling the service out globally.
Instagram users can now tag products in the Instagram Stories, allowing viewers to click straight through to your store. BigCommerce and Shopify were among the first to jump on the bandwagon and announce their Instagram stories compatibility. More than 400 million accounts view Instagram Stories each day and one-third of the most-viewed stories come from businesses.
Snapchat users were also treated to an eCommerce treat. The latest update will allow users to snap a product or barcode and, if recognised, be taken to the item (or similar) on the Amazon app.
Happy birthday to ya
Google turned 20 years old this September, and both Chrome and Android turned 10. Cake galore at Google HQ.