Amazon announced their new portal that features Amazon Storefronts – a place for customers to shop a curated collection of products created by nearly 20,000 U.S. small businesses selling on Amazon. At launch, customers can search for businesses that are Family-focused, Artisans, Innovator-Makers and Women-owned Businesses. Storefronts are mini websites that have been around since 2017 for brands who register with Amazon’s Brand Registry 2.0 but they were found based on brand and product searches not on their own. It’s unclear how a business is selected to be featured here. I wonder if this is just going to become another way for Amazon to demand that small businesses pay more and more to be shown to their audience.
eBay actually went to bat for their sellers by lobbying in support of simpler tax standards for small businesses. The Wayfair decision in June that states that businesses are responsible for local and state taxes in every state they sell in, still left a lot of unaddressed questions. eBay asked for a ban on retroactive tax collection, a phased implementation of future policy, and for remote sellers with less than 10 million dollars in revenue to be exempted. I wholeheartedly support this but wonder if the same people who were clueless about how Facebook makes money can understand technology and modern logistics well enough to know how to mold effective policy.
WooCommerce, a WordPress e-commerce plugin, now allows listings to push out to Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Google. Shopify, and BigCommerce have already had this functionality for a while. A solopreneur can now operate on multiple platforms at once from their own central interface on their own website. Back end inventory management across platforms used to be the domain of expensive specialty software but the bulk of this functionality can now be absorbed by e-commerce platform software. Private labelers and brand owners can unify on one site or operate several niche sites that all lead to marketplaces. The brochure site used to be the standard for a business but with the lowering of the price point, a functional e-commerce site is the new bar for a brand.
Instagram is expanding their shopping offerings. Shopping in Stories, which was launched in Beta in June, is now rolling out globally. When watching Stories from your favorite brands, if you see something you love, you can quickly tap on that product to buy it. One-third of the most-viewed stories are from businesses. Instagram has also added a Shopping channel in Explore that will be personalized. When users want to shop for fun, they’ll see a channel dedicated to posts from the brands they follow and other similar brands. Brands that master this are those that have a compelling store and can tell it well with media. Product development used to be about solving a problem, now it evolves into telling a story.
Jet is “not dead yet”. Their website traffic has plummeted since being acquired by Walmart but they are trying to rebuild themselves into a destination for urban millennials and have even worked out an exclusive deal with Nike. Business owners that sell brands that synch with Jet’s new marketing plan will benefit from taking the time and effort to sell on that platform.
Macy’s has partnered with Facebook to expand it’s e-commerce experience. The store will add augmented reality mirrors and almost 150 e-commerce brands to their specialty store, The Market @ Macy’s which is in 9 locations nationally. These brands that are popular on Facebook will now be carried in store. I do not know exactly how these brands were selected but can see how this type of partnership can both draw shoppers into stores and make Facebook advertising and growth an even more vital part of building a brand. Mastering Facebook marketing is a vital skill in brand launch.
Retailers are already seeing that they will have a tough time hiring temporary holiday help. This applies to e-commerce as well as physical retailers. Hourly wages are going up and they are even offering benefits. With a need for over 250,000 new jobs just during Q4 this will slow e-commerce delivery times even more and force companies that are doing well to pay more to their front line staff. For small business owners looking for a revenue bump in fourth quarter, do both sell products and work for a retailer or shipper!
We sit down with the experts in the industry
Rob from Payoneer is going to show us how to save money on your international shipments.
We sit down with the experts in the industry