Game of E-Commerce Thrones Weekly Update – June 1- June 5 Edition
Everyone in e-commerce land this week either was in Chicago for the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) or SMX in Seattle. Pinterest pre-announced buyable pins which was exciting because now we have Google, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest building marketplace offerings. More details on Pinterest’s buy buttons later in this week’s report.
Alibaba’s news this week was all about India where they are increasing their focus:
- Early in the week, AliPay had an outage that caused some customer concerns in China.
- Alibaba has a new focus on reducing counterfeit goods as detailed here by the WSJ ($).
- A lot of people don’t realize how big Alibaba is in Russia and Brazil – AliExpress is the number one e-commerce site in both regions. This week Alibaba announced they are opening an office in Moscow to expand its Russian dominance.
- Amazon announced another effort to make it easy and affordable for buyers: free shipping without a minimum on thousands of low price items (even for non-Prime users).
- In fulfillment center news, Amazon started collecting tax in Ohio and announced both a data center and plans for fulfillment center(s).
- Also, Amazon announced a grand opening of the Kenosha FC near Milwaukee. The picture of Amazon employees with the ‘Racing Sausages’ is great.
- Next week, Apple has their developer conference called WWDC, no other news this week.
- eBay was the cover story for the latest IR magazine and thus a hot topic at IRCE. The cover story is title: “Can Devin Wenig make eBay cool again” and is a must-read for anyone in the eBay ecosystem.
- eBay announced the expansion of its Valet program into the apparel category. eBay Valet sends someone to you (or you ship to them), get your items and post them for sale on eBay.
- No facebook e-commerce news this week.
- A Google executive was at SMX and provided more details about the buy-button program.
- An ex-Google executive from the Google Shopping Express team has moved to Uber and gave an interesting interview that basically throws Google under the bus.
Other news of interest (contenders and the 5 battlefields of changing consumer behavior)
- As mentioned in the header, Pinterest confirmed they are working on buy-buttons (previously leaked by Re/Code back in Feb). Here’s what their mock-up looks like. The buy buttons will launch later this month on the Pinterest iOS app only. It’s not clear now Pinterest plans to monetize these, most likely there will be an Alibaba-like program where you have a small take rate (2-4%) to cover payments and a CPM or CPC promotional component on top. Pinterest has a great video site here. Pro tip: once the iOS app launches, you can use the hashtag: #PinItToBuyIt.
- One topic we’ve been following all year is what’s going on with Millennials. TechCrunch had an interesting piece on why Millennials are destroying banks that is a bit of a harbinger for retailers.
This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, Executive Chairman and Co-founder, ChannelAdvisor.