The most powerful statement this week came from Target “On an average day in April, we fulfilled more orders than last year’s Cyber Monday”. Think about that!
Target said that online sales grew 141% this quarter! Walmart reported +71% online sales growth…
That’s what we call exponential growth!
With momentum comes announcement and this week was nothing short of surprising and exciting!
– Facebook moving “seriously” to ecommerce
– Shopify entering ecommerce financial services
– Target Digital Sales growing +141%
– Walmart grows ecom by 71% and closes Jet.com
– Paypal enters physical transactions with QR Code
– Amazon launches food delivery in India and postpones Prime Day to fall
– Content Square lands $190 Million in Series D
Facebook debuts Shops e-commerce initiative to support small businesses
The big news of the week is “Shop by Facebook”!! FB is making a clear intent this time to fight into the ecommerce ring!!
The largest social network in China (wechat) has done this effectively for years but I never understood why Facebook was not making a move into ecommerce and leverage its 3 billion users on its family of businesses Instagram, FB & Whatsapp! Maybe they are printing enough money with the ad business? Anyway, this might be the time now and it’s the right time. The Shop function will merge a seller’s social media profile with shoppable product pages for free, basically, brands can easily sell products through Facebook and Instagram storefronts, Stories, and ads (purchases through direct messaging and live broadcasts will be coming soon as well).
Techcrunch reported that nearly 1 million businesses have signed up for Facebook Shops already. In times of COVID, small businesses need help to sell their products online and the exposure that FB can give them is unique and highly valuable.
FB stock rose 6% on announcement. Deutsche Bank said that this could drive as much as $30 billion in revenue, while Morgan Stanley said it could make Facebook an ecommerce competitor to Amazon and Google (I don’t think it would disrupt Amazon in any way but could impact Google Shopping as it would be a similar value proposition).
Shopify to launch its own take on the business bank account
Shopify is launching its own business bank account. Merchants will be able to make deposits, withdraw funds, pay bills and track transactions through a no-monthly-fee, no-minimum-balance account. This is not the first e-commerce company expanding into financial services but this is a major move for dominance in the space.
The service will also include a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ feature, allowing merchants to give their customers the option to split their payments into four equal installments, with no interest or additional fees. At a time of economic crisis this could help merchants and customers.
Shopify merchants can now process cryptocurrency via CoinPayments.
Target Used Its Stores to Fulfill 80% of Online Orders in Q1
With Digital Sales growing +141% for Q1 2020, Target is definitely seeing a strong momentum for its online sales. Target is, in my opinion, the organization that is the most effective at combining the offline & online world. Their strategy of putting their stores at the center of the fulfillment strategy in order to serve a truly omnichannel strategy, is showing strong results!
Walmart is shutting down Jet after spending $3 billion on it in 2016
While Walmart.com sales grew 71% in Q1 2020, Walmart said it will discontinue Jet.com, which it acquired for $3 Billion in 2016…! Would you close a business that you bought for $3 Billion? Well probably most of the companies wouldn’t do this but in the case of Walmart, it makes sense in my opinion.
The Jet.com division lost 2 Billion last year and grew 10% in Q1 2020. 10% in the times of Covid is probably the worst growth performance of any ecommerce player so it clearly shows that the brand has not gained momentum.
When Walmart bought Jet.com in 2016, it was to accelerate its ecommerce penetration & strategy which it did to a certain extend but still too slow to truly compete with Amazon.
PayPal Rolls Out QR Code Payments for a Touch Free Way to Buy and Sell In-Person
Bye Bye Cash money!!! The pioneer of digital payment is launching contactless QR code technology for digital payment in the offline world. The new In-App enables touch free in-person payments in an era of social distancing, think about payments you do when you buy food at the market – well you are probably not going to any market at this point but hopefully soon. Using the QR code functionality in the PayPal app is a quick and safe way to complete a transaction in-person utilizing a PayPal wallet, eliminating the need to handle cash. This is a technology that is also widely used in China by Wechat and in Latin America by Mercado Pago.
Amazon launches food delivery in India and postpones prime day to the fall
Amazon is joining India’s online food delivery market with Amazon Food as top local players Swiggy and Zomato reduce their workforce to steer through the coronavirus pandemic and months after Uber Eats’ exit from the nation. The company has invested more than $6.5 billion in India. A originally planned to launch the service in India last year, which it then moved to March but pushed it further amid the nationwide stay-at-home order the Indian government issued in late March. As competitors are weakened by the crisis, Amazon is doubling down on growth strategy!
Amazon also announced this week that they are pushing Prime Day from July to the fall, the WSJ reports. You don’t really want to boost your volume when you are already at record capacity so it does make a lot of sense.
StartUp of the week: Contentsquare
Contentsquare Lands $190 Million Series D Led By BlackRock
We hear every day that data is the new oil, well in the world of ecommerce, the data is measured by the analytics and insights that you can obtain on customers behaviors while they browse your website. Customer data, Customer behavior, Customer insights = Conversion & sales growth!
Contentsquare, a cloud-based platform that helps businesses create better customer experiences on the web, mobile and apps, closed on a $190 million Series D round of funding on Tuesday.
ContentSquare technology analyzes customer behaviors via web, mobile and app interactions, then provides recommendations focused on increased revenue, engagement and growth, helping businesses figure out how to improve their digital results. This is a fascinating technology which makes you realize that sometimes, technology & powerful analytics tools can predict your behavior better than you would yourself.
VP, Global Ecommerce Lead
DHL Supply Chain