News Cart for May 22nd

Hey there!

What a week for eCommerce. From Shopify’s massive virtual event announcing a slew of new features to Facebook rolling out Facebook Shops, and, of course, headlines from Amazon, we’ve got a lot to cover in today’s ECF News Cart.

Both Shopify and Facebook launched new features to help businesses be more flexible when selling online. The two tech giants paired up to create a better multi-channel shopping experience for customers and a more integrated business management platform for merchants.

Enjoy this week’s roundup!

– Andrew

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In the News

Shopify Announces Merchant Banking, Product Financing & More

  • Merchants have immediate access to new tools like Shopify Balance (a business banking solution), native installment options with Shop Pay, store functionally improvements, and much more.
  • Shopify announced its commitment to investing $1B into its Shopify Fulfillment Network over the next five years.
  • New purchase orders functionality lets merchants order, track, and receive inventory from their suppliers

Facebook and Instagram Roll Out Shops, Turning Business Profiles into Storefronts

  • Brands can upload products to a single customized online store that customers can access through Facebook or Instagram, or discover through ads.
  • Integrates with third-party platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce and Woocommerce for easier management
  • Customers can direct message businesses to ask them questions, get support, track deliveries, and more—similar to how you might ask a store associate for help in a brick-and-mortar store

Amazon Is Said To Be In Talks To Buy J.C. Penney

  • “There is an Amazon team in Plano as we speak,” according to the WWD report. “There is a dialogue and I’m told it has a lot to do with Amazon eager to expand its apparel business.
  • J.C. Penney shares dropped another 23% before stopping on Monday.

AMC’s stock soars after report Amazon held merger talks

  • AMC’s business and stock price had been hit extremely hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Acquisition could further monetize existing titles and help market Amazon Studios to a broader audience

Pepsi Launches DTC Sites for Pandemic Shoppers

  • Consumers can order a variety of snacks and beverages from PepsiCo’s two new DTC websites, PantryShop.com and Snacks.com, to be delivered straight to their door.
  • Extremely difficult to determine how big a bag of Cheetos is online 😉

Walmart Says It Will Discontinue Jet, Which It Acquired for $3 Billion in 2016

  • The announcement comes after an estimated eCommerce loss of $2B in 2019 
  • Despite several restructuring attempts, Jet.com was unable to take off as expected despite Walmart’s online sales being up 74% in Q1.

eCommerce Up Big at Retail’s Expense 

  • Retail sales plunge a record 16.4% in April, far worse than predicted
  • Clothing stores took a major hit with a 78.8% drop
  • Some sources reporting eCommerce’s market share jumped from ~16% in 2019 to as much as 27% this year

Apple, Google Release Technology For Pandemic Apps

  • Leverages bluetooth to alert owner when they’ve been near someone who later tests positive for COVID-19
  • Twenty-two countries and several U.S. states are planning on leveraging the software
  • The identities of app users will be protected by encryption and anonymous identifier beacons that change continuously

Twitter tells employees they can work from home ‘forever’

  • Twitter says that, with a few exceptions, their offices won’t open before September.
  • CEO Jack Dorsey said in Twitter’s Q4 2019 earning call in February that he hopes to see a more distributed workforce outside San Francisco: “Our concentration in San Francisco is not serving us any longer”

Other Interesting Things

From Rock to Ring – Watch as someone makes a ring from scratch, including mining, smelting and purifying their own silver from the land they own.  Pretty impressive and a good reminder of how spoiled we are in 2020 to have 99.9% of what we own made for us. 

Create a Profitable Online Blog – If you’ve been wanting to ramp up your own successful blog Steve Chou and Toni Anderson, two successful bloggers and friends of mine, have built a killer course to help you build momentum.  (Not an affiliate link)

Top Forum Discussions

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