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7 Ecommerce Updates You Probably Missed in 2020

Sifting through the news cycle of 2020 to find important ecommerce takeaways hasn't exactly been easy. Meanwhile, the world of ecommerce has seen some transformational changes as online shopping increased. These ten stats are a must-read for any marketer looking to grow their brand's online footprint.

1. Pixlee and TurnTo Launch First-Ever Customer-Powered Commerce Partnership

Right now, brands are struggling to create scalable and diverse content that represents all their customers. Customer-Powered Commerce places customers at the core of brand storytelling and content. With the new Pixlee and TurnTo partnership, brands are able to combine the power of diverse visual customer content with compelling text reviews and ratings. This proven combination puts the customer at the center of branding and content for a measurable lift in revenue, brand affinity, and customer engagement.

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Morphe seamlessly integrates its customer reviews with UGC with TurnTo and Pixlee.

2. Shopify and Walmart Form a Partnership

Shopify allows users to create their own store website and sell directly to consumers, unhindered by the typical rules and policies of other online marketplaces. Not only have Shopify shares risen by a staggering 159% in 2020, but growing partnerships with major brands, now forced to rethink retailing as trends change, have proven to be exceptionally beneficial for both parties. In mid-June, Walmart announced its Shopify partnership aimed to streamline online retail through the introduction of a third party Walmart marketplace, composed of Shopify sellers. While Shopify sellers can self-select into this platform and boost their own successes, Walmart no longer needs to spend money and resources identifying sellers itself. Additionally, Shopify merchants will likely be incorporated into Walmart’s physical brand when in-store shopping reemerges in the future, creating mutual synergy for both companies.

3. Nordstrom is Consolidating Merchandise to Save More & Serve Better

Nordstrom, like many other brands, is taking drastic measures to curb losses brought forth by the ongoing pandemic. One creative tactic they're using involves classifying merchandise and enabling buyers to buy via multiple formats. For example, if a full-price product at Nordstrom’s full-line store is not selling well, executives can then transfer it to the Nordstorm Rack discount store to boost the Rack business and in turn, boost sales.

Key Takeaway: Small yet innovative retailing strategies such as these can empower lower-level executives to drive major decisions, ensure greater customer loyalty, and boost sales in the process.

4. Walmart Plans to Launch "Walmart+" -

According to research, "The U.S. online sales grew 76% in June, reaching $73.2 billion."Pandemic or not, there's no doubt that ecommerce is a highly-competitive field. In order to compete with Amazon, Walmart plans to launch a new subscription - 'Walmart+' - at $98/year (as opposed to Amazon Prime, which is available at $119 per year):

Similar to Amazon's Prime services – this service includes perks such as same-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise, discounts on fuel at Walmart gas stations, and early access to product deals, to name a few. Clearly, the company is going all-out and one-upping Amazon by leveraging its vast network of brick and mortar stores - 4,753 U.S. retail stores as opposed to Amazon's 26 stores.

5. Curbside Pickups Paves the Path for Speed & Efficiency

“If you are waiting under two minutes, you’re four times more likely to come back to do curbside pickup." - Jeff Baskin, EVP of global sales and marketing, Radius Networks.

Touch-free experiences are critical right now. Companies such as Radius Networks are offering 'Click-and-collect' and curbside pickup options, allowing customers to shop for groceries in a safe capacity, without going inside the store.

In fact, data suggests that this kind of a contactless protocol ranks number one on many customers' lists with respect to safety while shopping. Key Takeaway: The ingenious use of location-based technology is empowering customers to shop efficiently without waiting in line to pay their bills or worry about out-of-stock items.

6. Walmart:  A Cashier-less Store Checkout

In an effort to speed up checkout times and decrease cashier interaction, Walmart is conducting a pilot at its Fayetteville, Arkansas store where it will remove cashiers and conveyor belts at checkout lines. If successful, this concept may see widespread adoption among other locations. While touch-free payment systems were already in play, this new initiative can boost sales and customer satisfaction, while maintaining social distancing norms in the ongoing pandemic - a win-win for all.

7. Buy On Google is Open – and Commission Free

Choosing to sell through a third-party can be tricky for brands – on one hand, products are more easily discoverable, but typically, seller fees reduce margins. With Buy On Google, brands can sell without losing the commission fee that other marketplaces would charge. As many brands shift to selling only online, this new feature could create a frictionless experience for brands.

Ultimately, 2020 has been a year unlike any other, especially for ecommerce. As this year continues, brands will need to embrace change and stay abreast of changes and updates like the ones outlined here.

Ashwini is passionate about business, entrepreneurship, ecommerce, emerging technology and digital marketing. She is working with Acquire as a digital marketing expert. She is a free soul and adventurous scholar who spends her free time with herself, loved ones, music, as well as watching & playing sports. She is ocean-addicted and on roads being a thrill-seeking traveler to get new experiences as she looks at life as our very own work of art.

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Pixlee TurnTo welcomes contributed content from leading marketers, influencers and ecommerce experts.

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