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HomeeCommerceThe Webretailer Information Digest for July 29, 2022

The Webretailer Information Digest for July 29, 2022


Target is refusing to be left behind by Amazon and Walmart in the eCommerce space. This week, the retailer announced it’s adding three more sortation centers to the six already in operation as part of its “stores-as-hubs” strategy.

If you’re not familiar, here’s how the strategy works: Like Walmart, Target is using its system of brick-and-mortar stores as fulfillment centers for online orders. 

But by adding sortation centers, Target intends to remove their stores from the sorting and packing part of the fulfillment process. Instead, Target delivery trucks pick up items from local stores and bring them to a sortation center for processing. Then, third-party drivers deliver the packages directly to the customer. 

The company began testing this process back in 2020 when the first sortation center opened in Minneapolis. And with its success, the company now has five more in operation and will soon open two more near Chicago and one in Denver.

Target COO John Mulligan said about the openings, “Our goal is to meet the guests where they are, when they want, how they want. And so if they do want us to ship something to their home, we want to make that as efficient as possible.”

Ultimately, the company is shooting for higher profitability with its online sales. The strategy seems to be working so far, but we’ll monitor things as they progress through the rest of the year.

Amazon supports cross-border sellers with Seller Wallet

Seller wallet

Cross-border merchants on the Amazon marketplace have a reason to celebrate. The retail giant is rolling out a new Seller Wallet that will allow them to manage payouts with ease. 

They already launched the program with a select number of sellers. But the announcement launches a further expansion of the program over the next few months as they continue to gather feedback. 

A Seller Wallet is free to open and doesn’t charge maintenance fees. However, Amazon will charge volume-based currency conversions and international transfer fees. 

In the future, the company hopes to add additional features including exchange rate tools and third-party payments. But for the moment, they’ll focus on making the product available to everyone as it’s currently invitation-only. 

Etsy to close Hudson, NY and San Francisco offices

The headline reads a little dire, but consider this information to be good news and a potential trend for the future of workplaces. This week, Etsy announced it is closing its offices in San Francisco and Hudson, NY to develop the way the company works. 

Fortunately, the move won’t negatively affect jobs as the company isn’t laying off any of its workforces. Etsy stated they’re closing the offices to reduce waste by getting rid of the office space employees are no longer using. 

In the past year, the company gave its staff the option to work fully at home or at the office, and employees also had the option to choose a ‘flex’ schedule that blends both options. Obviously, most of the staff opted to not come into the office. 

The policy led to success in recruitment and retention for the company. In fact, Etsy expanded its workforce by 50% since before the pandemic — during the Great Resignation no less!

Shopify to lay off ten percent of the workforce

Making the headlines this week across many news channels is Shopify’s decision to lay off around 10% of its employees. The company stated that they made a bet that the staggering eCommerce growth seen during the pandemic would continue. But that bet, according to Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke, “didn’t pay off.”

He added, “What we see now is the mix reverting to roughly where pre-Covid data would have suggested it should be at this point. Still growing steadily, but it wasn’t a meaningful 5-year leap ahead.”

The company is offering generous severance packages and help to the cut employees. They also announced they’re offering free Shopify accounts for anyone who wants to go the entrepreneurial path. 

Unfortunately, many others in the eCommerce space made the same bet during the pandemic and over-expanded. This lapse in judgment won’t sink Shopify, but it’s never good when people lose their jobs — especially when the writing was on the wall

Vinted announces intention to acquire Rebelle

If you’re not familiar with these two companies, here’s a quick overview: Lithuanian-based Vinted and German-based Rebelle are both online secondhand fashion marketplaces. 

This week, Vinted made a public offer of 30.2 million euros — €1.35 per share — for a 90% stake in Rebelle. And the offer received a lot of positive notes from Rebelle’s shareholders which prompted a public response from the company. 

In that response, a Rebelle committee made up of 65% of the shareholders stated they believe the company can continue alone. But going alone would mean mergers, consolidations, and acquisitions in the future anyway. Therefore, they recommended that Rebelle accept the offer. 

With that, it looks like the takeover will go down. Vinted stated they intend on combining the two companies, so they’re not planning any job cuts. And Rebelle has until August 19th to decide.

Although it used to be a leading Chinese auction site, eBay-acquired eachnet.com is shutting down after 23 years. Competition is getting fierce in the eCommerce world. And unfortunately, that means not everyone will survive.

Based in Shanghai, eachnet.com once controlled around seventy percent of China’s consumer online sales market. And in 2002, eBay paid $30 million for a 33% stake in the company.

Since then, industry giants like Alibaba and JD.com came along and changed the way consumers spent their money. eachnet.com’s fall reflects exactly how the online sales landscape evolved over the past 20 years. 

As of August 12th, the company’s servers and stores will shut down for good.

Webinars

For everyone

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Prime Day Preparation, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. Amazon.

For US sellers

August 4: A Performance-Based Approach to Amazon DSP. Tinuiti.

August 2: Don’t let technology hold you back. DigitalCommerce360.

For UK sellers

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Prime Day Preparation, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. Amazon.

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