ecommerce lately: august 2018

Online sellers know how important it is to stay in tune with ecommerce industry news, and with Ecommerce Lately, it’s never been easier!

We’ve highlighted the most important stories in the month of August, so you can stay in-the-know.

 

Walmart Ditched Associate Delivery Program After Six Months

Walmart will no longer offer associate home-delivery for online orders. Walmart quietly ended their delivery program just six months after it began when associate buy-in wasn’t in the cards.

Drivers expressed concerns including liability for accidents, lost or damaged products, compensation as low as $2 per package, and lack of overtime payments. Walmart even ended partnerships with Uber and Lyft due to drivers having difficulty juggling fares and packages.

 

Kroger Launches Direct-to-Consumer Ecommerce Platform

Kroger Co. has launched a direct-to-consumer ecommerce platform, called Kroger Ship, to four markets: Nashville, Louisville, Houston, and Cincinnati, with additional markets to come in the following months.

Kroger Ship offers over 50,000 grocery and household items, along with 4,500 products from the Our Brands line. The standard shipping charge is $4.99, but free shipping is available for orders over $35.

 

Walmart and JD.com Invest $500 Million in a Chinese Online Delivery Company

Walmart and JD.com invested $500 million in Chinese online grocery delivery company Dada-JD Daojia in its latest round of financing. Dada-JD Daojia delivers goods from various partners, including local supermarkets, to over 20 million monthly active users through a location-based smartphone app.

The company was formed in the merger of JD Daojia, JD.com’s online-to-offline business, and Dada Nexus, a large crowd-sourcing delivery platform in China.

 

Walmart is Teaming Up with One of the World’s Biggest Ecommerce Companies to Take Direct Aim at Amazon

Walmart and Rakuten have teamed up to take direct shot at Amazon by selling ebooks, audiobooks, and ereaders for the first time. Walmart eBooks will give shoppers access to ereaders made by Kobo, a division of Rakuten and one of Amazon’s biggest competitors, both in stores and online at Walmart.com.

Customers will have access to Kobo’s library of nearly six million titles through a co-branded Walmart-Kobo app. The partnership allows Walmart break into the US ebook market, which is largely dominated by Amazon.

 

eBay Strengthens Search Functionality for Auto Parts

Marketplace competition and user experience has pushed eBay to improve search options for auto parts. The “Shop by Diagram” feature allows users to search for auto parts visually using interactive diagrams, mimicking the processes of shopping in a physical auto store.

The customer selects the car they’re searching for, then chooses a vehicle system (like breaks or suspension), and eBay displays a diagram with all original equipment and aftermarket parts available.

 

Amazon Offers Businesses 30 Days Invoice

Earlier this month, Amazon rolled out a new payment policy for business customers that has merchants worried about capital.

Previously, qualified businesses had the benefit of a 30-day pay period only when shopping on the Amazon Business marketplace. Amazon’s new “Pay by Invoice” program gives businesses the extended 30-day pay period on the general marketplace as well, thus creating a cash flow problem for sellers who are used to getting paid within a two-week period.

Lengthening the payment cycle could create a cash shortage for smaller businesses who need those payments to replenish inventory and fund business operations.

 

Walmart Files Patents for At-Home Virtual Reality Shopping

Walmart has filed two patents for a virtual reality shopping program. The system allows users to shop in a virtual Walmart store from home using a VR headset and sensory gloves.

Once an order is placed, it is routed to a fulfillment center with robots. The robots select the items off the shelf and ready them for shipping.

The new program is great for those who take advantage of Grocery Pickup and grocery-delivery services, but Walmart has not yet specified how they would get VR equipment to customers.

 

From virtual reality shopping to same-day grocery delivery, merchants are embracing technology to provide the best user experience possible for their customers.

What do you think these updates mean for you as both a business owner and consumer? Let us know in the comments!

 

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