The Webretailer News Digest for September 2, 2022

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Happy September everyone! 

For all web retailers out there, you know what that means… The holiday season is upon us, and Cyber Monday — or now Cyber weekend — will be here before you know it.

Apparently, smart consumers are already seeking the best deals on holiday retail purchases. According to a recently released Google survey, “In June 2021, 31% of US shoppers reported already having started their holiday shopping.”

Did that send shockwaves down your spine and create feelings of dread? 

Don’t worry and snap out of it! To help prepare online retailers for the coming sales onslaught, Google hosted its annual Think Retail on air 2022 event this week. 

The event focused on Google Ads mainly, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of solid tips and feature announcements to help online sellers optimize their processes and maximize revenue.

Tips regarding Google Merchant Center dominated the event. Google reminded sellers it is possible to list both online and in-store inventory at no cost. And sellers should include promotional numbers within the details of their Google listings. From there, the Merchant Center can measure KPIs and tell you if your promotions are successful. 

Here were the key takeaways — including a useful Holiday shopping timeline — from the event:

  1. Sellers are shopping earlier this year.
  1. Inventory and supply chain issues will make the holiday season both longer and flatter for sales.
  1. Cater to and seek omnichannel buyers.

To get the most from their useful information, be sure to watch all the presentations from the event — registration is required.

Top Retailer News

Etsy allows buyers to post video reviews

This week, Etsy responded to seller feedback regarding their new video review feature released in mid-August. But before we break down current events, let’s look at what the feature does and recap how things rolled out.

How does it work?

With an Etsy video review, buyers can record and post a review for up to 30 seconds with audio — only on iOS devices currently. Etsy is presenting the feature as an opportunity for sellers, as buyers can provide positive feedback on your products and potentially highlight features sellers may have missed on their listing.

The feature has officially gone through three phases:

  1. In June, the company announced it started testing the new feature.
  2. Video reviews launched on August 17th.
  3. This week, Etsy addressed seller feedback.

What’s new?

Since the release, sellers have posed many questions about the video review feature and have shown concern about monitoring and responses to inappropriate feedback. Specifically, they voiced concerns about Etsy’s video removal policy for feedback that violates their guidelines. 

Currently, the policy states the company will remove a flagged video within 7-10 days — a righteous cause for concern. To this, Etsy responded by stating, “While our policy states that a flagged photo or video will be reviewed within 7-10 days, our priority is to review reports as quickly as possible – typically, agents review reports within 24 hours.” 

The company also removed sellers’ ability to moderate or ‘hide’ videos or photos on the platform.

Etsy’s Response:

“We are updating our policies and process for how sellers flag video and photo reviews to increase review transparency for buyers. We will continue to remove reported reviews that violate our policies, but will not otherwise remove or hide reviews. This is not only the trend across the industry, but we think it will increase transparency and trust in both the Etsy marketplace and your shop. If you have concerns that particular reviews violate Etsy’s policies, please report them for our review.”

Video reviews could become a trend in eCommerce marketplaces, so we’ll continue to monitor how this all plays out for Etsy.

eBay wants more recreational vehicles on the platform

eBay made a statement this week when they announced a long-term contract with recreational vehicle customer relationship platform Rollick. The company clearly wants to bring more boats, RVs, and power sports vehicles onto the eBay Motors platform.

For the past six months, the two companies partook in a pilot program that connected tens of thousands of eBay Motors users with Rollick dealers. And clearly, the pilot program was a success. The companies will continue this partnership that allows dealers to use ‘unique digital retailing elements’ they list as:

  • Financing
  • Special Offers
  • Trade-in Estimates

Plus, eBay Motors will maximize the leadership potential for Rollick dealers by driving traffic to their pages from the marketing sectors of the site. 

The move stacks with eBay’s shift to prioritize ‘focus categories’ that include eBay Motors. Last week, the company announced its intention to acquire auto parts compatibility platform myFitment. 

Also in the News:

  • Best Buy’s online sales drop nearly 15%. CNBC.

International eCommerce

Meta moving into the Indian marketplace with the launch of JioMart on WhatsApp

A new eCommerce move from Meta this week let Amazon, Walmart, and Microsoft know they won’t be left behind in India. 

Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms are collaborating with Meta to launch JioMart on WhatsApp after over two years of testing. The integration allows Indian customers to browse through JioMart’s entire grocery catalog on the platform. From there, they can make a payment with a rail UPI (unified payments interface) and never leave WhatsApp. 

This system comes after WhatsApp recently received approval to add 60 million users to their UPI service, bringing the total to 100 million. And they have over half a billion WhatsApp users in the country. That certainly creates a significant opportunity to create a large customer base quickly.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated about the partnership:

“Excited to launch our partnership with JioMart in India. This is our first-ever end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp — people can now buy groceries from JioMart right in a chat. Business messaging is an area with real momentum and chat-based experiences like this will be the go-to way people and businesses communicate in the years to come.”

Mexico ranks as the top mobile-centric eCommerce market in North America

A recent survey from Cybersource revealed some interesting information about customers in Mexico in their “2022 Global Digital Shopping Playbook: Mexico Edition” If you’re a web merchant selling in Mexico, it would be wise to examine your store’s mobile-friendliness and make sure everything is up to speed.

Here are the key highlights from the report:

  • 97% of Mexico’s internet users access it from a smartphone.
  • Over 70% of the country’s eCommerce users have goods shipped to their doorstep. 
  • Over 45% of users in the country used a smartphone at some point during their buying journey.
  • Mexican eCommerce retailers offer price and inventory matching at levels above countries like Brazil and the US. They also have more prevalent details listed on their site.

Also in the News  – International

  • Signifyd and VTEX partner in a bid to protect eCommerce in Latin America. Businesswire.

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

September 6: How to Uplevel Your Amazon Strategy. Tinuiti.

September 8: How to Boost Amazon Performance with Compelling Creative. Tinuiti.

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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