Marketplace talk: March's ecommerce news

Ana Scarabelli
10 April 2024
TikTok disputes, Amazon UK, Allegro expansion, AI listings, fonQ-NADUVI merger, Gen Z habits, Zalando, Walmart, French environmental legislation.
Challenges in US growth include TikTok disputes, Amazon UK's feature, Allegro's expansion, AI listings, fonQ-NADUVI merger, Gen Z habits, Zalando, Walmart, and France's fashion law

🇺🇸 TikTok's US growth hits a roadblock amid various challenges

TikTok's once unstoppable growth in the US is facing its first major hurdle, impacted by several factors including a licensing dispute with Universal Music Group (UMG), increasing competition from Instagram Reels, and looming regulatory threats. 


The platform, which boasts 170 million US users, has seen a notable decline in its core demographic's engagement, alongside a stagnation in user growth. This development is partly attributed to life transitions among Gen Z users, such as starting full-time jobs, which reduce their app usage time. Negotiations with UMG have hit a snag, leading to the removal of popular tracks from artists like Taylor Swift and Drake from TikTok, further complicating the app's content appeal. 


Moreover, the threat of a US ban looms large, with recent legislation proposing that ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, must divest its US operations or face a ban. This regulatory pressure is compounded by TikTok's struggle to replicate its global ecommerce success in the US, where its shopping features have yet to be well-received by the user base, adding to the platform's list of challenges in maintaining its growth trajectory and ad revenue.



🇬🇧 Amazon Business boosts UK SEMs with new purchasing feature

Amazon Business has introduced a 'Prefer Small and Medium Enterprises' feature in the UK, aimed at encouraging procurement from SMEs. This initiative is designed to spotlight businesses with fewer than 250 employees and under 50 million euros in revenue, helping them gain visibility and grow through larger orders from enterprise customers. SMEs, vital to the British economy for their substantial contribution to employment and turnover, range from regional suppliers to family-owned ventures on Amazon Business.


The feature responds to SMEs' demand for support in expanding their online presence and taps into the significant increase in procurement from SMEs by Amazon's enterprise customers. Additionally, it aligns with strategic procurement goals of diversifying supplier bases and meeting new legislative directives focused on SME engagement.



🤖 Amazon is enhancing seller experience with generative AI for listings

Amazon is rolling out a new AI tool enabling sellers to create product listings from webpage URLs, simplifying the process by auto-generating content from brand sites. This feature builds on Amazon's ongoing integration of AI to enhance the seller experience, promising an efficient method for producing quality listings. 


It will soon expand to U.S. sellers, reflecting Amazon's commitment to leveraging advanced technology for marketplace improvements. Amazon’s move underscores its leading position in ecommerce innovation, leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) and foundational models accessible through Amazon Bedrock. 


AI image and content generators are valuable tools for sellers. They can assist with enhancing productivity, generating new ideas, and maintaining consistency in design and content creation - which would not have been possible without the help of this technology. This keeps sellers more efficient with quicker turnarounds and allows them to stay focused on providing a better customer experience. Embracing AI now will ensure businesses stay ahead of the trending curve and provide faster ROI.


ShaunaShauna Pannone 
PreSales Solution Director


🇸🇰 Allegro strengthens its European footprint by launching in Slovakia

Allegro, a leading ecommerce platform in Poland, has expanded into Slovakia with its site, following its presence in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Croatia. This expansion offers Slovak shoppers access to a massive selection of listings, significantly more than local competitors. 


With plans to extend further into Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia, Allegro aims to facilitate cross-border trade for Polish businesses, leveraging its substantial growth and international ambitions after a successful IPO and revenue boost during the pandemic.


Allegro will offer Brands a platform within the top 3 verticals in the Slovenian market showing a digit growth: Hobby & Leisure, Electronics and Fashion, and together with that, actively contribute to an expected increase of 5.6% of the Slovenian ecommerce market in 2024.


raulRaul Peña 
Senior Channel Partner Manager



🛋️ fonQ and NADUVI merge to innovate Home & Living ecommerce

In a strategic move to enhance the Home & Living ecommerce sector, fonQ and NADUVI have announced their merger, aiming to blend fonQ's customer-centric brand with NADUVI's innovative direct-to-consumer logistics model. 


Itai Gross, a seasoned leader with a background in both companies, takes the helm as CEO, promising to drive forward the newly merged entity with a focus on expanding their offerings and refining the customer journey. This merger marks a pivotal step in the competitive market, with both fonQ and NADUVI looking to leverage their combined strengths to offer a seamless shopping experience for Home & Living enthusiasts.


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🛍️ Gen Z's ecommerce dependence shapes shopping in Southeast Asia

Nearly 70% of Gen Zs in the Southeast Asia region consider ecommerce platforms a key entry point for their shopping journey. In addition, a majority of these users (73%) completed purchases on these platforms, even after exploring social commerce, as per Shopee's study. This preference is attributed to a wider product selection, quality, and convenient payment methods. 


Gen Z values detailed product insights and seamless transaction experiences, indicating ecommerce's critical role in their shopping behavior amidst growing online shopping popularity. 


Catering to the increasing demand for simple, bite-sized content, Shopee is introducing Shopee Video, the platform’s newest feature that allows shoppers to follow and watch their favorite creators, available in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. Shopee also announced that it is increasingly rolling out its Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment option for shoppers.



🧡 Zalando: Evolving into a comprehensive ecommerce ecosystem

Facing a decline in revenue for two consecutive years, Zalando is redefining its business model to become a comprehensive ecommerce ecosystem. With a focus on expanding beyond direct consumer sales, Zalando is enhancing its B2B services, supporting sales partners, and investing in the ZEOS initiative to provide fulfillment solutions and services to other ecommerce entities. 


Despite the downturn in revenue to €10.1 billion in 2023, Zalando's profit significantly increased, indicating a successful pivot towards a more diversified business approach. This strategic evolution aims to position Zalando as a key player in shaping the future of the European fashion and lifestyle ecommerce landscape.



📩 Walmart's sustainable shift: From plastic to paper in ecommerce

Walmart has successfully implemented its initiative to eliminate single-use plastic envelopes for ecommerce shipments, transitioning to recyclable paper alternatives. This significant environmental move, aligning with a pledge made in June 2023, has led to the reduction of approximately 2,000 tons of plastic waste, affecting some 65 million mailed packages annually across the U.S. 


The retailer's effort to minimize packaging waste extends beyond just replacing plastic; it's also exploring "right-sizing" packaging strategies, including custom-fitting boxes to reduce unnecessary material use. As part of this sustainable push, Walmart is also encouraging customers to choose paper over plastic for pickup orders and introducing "bagless deliveries" in areas with single-use bag bans, further solidifying its commitment to reducing its environmental footprint.

🇫🇷 France leads with legislation to tackle fast fashion pollution

In a pioneering legislative move, France's lower house has voted for measures to reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion, targeting especially the influx of low-cost textiles predominantly from China. This initiative positions France as the first country to legislatively address fast fashion's ecological damage. The proposed laws include advertising bans for the cheapest textiles and an environmental surcharge on such items, set to progressively increase from €5 to €10 by 2030. 


Highlighting fast fashion's significant role in greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution, the legislation also mandates producers to disclose the environmental footprint of their products. This step reflects France's dedication to environmental sustainability amidst the growing concerns over the fast fashion industry's practices.


France is taking a stand against fast fashion's environmental mess. They're hitting the cheap stuff with extra fees and making producers disclose their environmental impact. This is just a start to a big move for a greener future.


HugoHugo Denoyelle 
Account Executive France



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Published on 10 April 2024
Ana Scarabelli
Ana Clara Scarabelli is a Social Media Specialist at ChannelEngine. Ana is passionate about communication, branding, and marketing. She has a background in Journalism, coupled with content marketing experience.
Ana Scarabelli