Marketplace Talk: January's ecommerce news

The first Marketplace Talk edition of 2024 ⭐ Get a last glimpse of January's ecommerce news with the help of ChannelEngine experts!
FedEx launches 'fdx' for end-to-end ecommerce. B2B digital commerce resilient. Singapore sees AI surge. TikTok targets $17.5B in US ecommerce. US online sales grow 7%. Challenges in grocery ecommerce. AI influences $199B in 2023 holiday sales. Amazon UK pledges Buy Box equality.

🖥️ FedEx's foray into ecommerce with Fdx

FedEx is gearing up to enter the ecommerce arena with the launch of its new data-driven commerce platform, ‘fdx’. The platform aims to provide online merchants with end-to-end ecommerce solutions, emphasizing a custom post-purchase experience.


Fdx combines existing FedEx commerce tools with new features, including a custom post-purchase experience, enhancing brands' ability to manage supply chains, connect with customers, and streamline deliveries.


In the face of growing competition with Amazon, FedEx positions itself as a provider of digital capabilities and insights to businesses, enabling them to retain control over their customer experience.

📈 B2B Ecommerce | Navigating growth amid challenges

B2B ecommerce is poised for growth in 2024 despite challenges faced in 2023, including high interest rates, supply chain issues, and economic uncertainties.


While overall sales for manufacturers and distributors remained flat in 2023, B2B sales experienced a 15% growth in 2022. The B2B ecommerce market is expected to rebound in 2024, contributing to the expansion of business sales overall.


The growth of B2B digital commerce remains a constant, showcasing resilience even in the midst of economic uncertainties.



AI adoption surges in Singapore ecommerce

Singapore's ecommerce sector is on the verge of mass AI adoption, with 42% having fully implemented AI, and an additional 38% experimenting, according to a Salesforce report. The report indicates that Singapore's ecommerce industry is one of the world's fastest-growing, with a projected revenue growth of USD 3.5 billion between 2023 and 2028.


Despite the benefits of AI, challenges such as poor data integration and harmonization pose hurdles to widespread implementation.


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⚡️ TikTok's ambitious US ecommerce expansion

TikTok aims for a significant expansion in the U.S. ecommerce sector, targeting a size of around $17.5 billion in 2024. This ambitious goal positions TikTok as a formidable competitor to Amazon.


TikTok Shop's strategy combines online entertainment with convenient shopping experiences, encouraging impulse purchases. The platform leverages its social media influence and viral content to attract and retain customers.


As TikTok transitions toward monetizing its ecommerce features, it introduces increased fees for merchants, signaling a strategic move to capture a larger share of the U.S. ecommerce market.


Read more about How LIVE is supercharging the growth of social commerce


📈 Nonstore retail sales grow 7.0% in December

US consumers drive healthy December 2023 sales, with nonstore (online) sales growing 7.0% year over year. The Q4 2023 and full-year growth rates are 8.4% and 8.0%, respectively, down from 12.8% in 2022. Digital Commerce 360's analysis indicates a 3.9% growth in the ecommerce addressable portion of total retail sales in 2023, excluding specific sectors.


The National Retail Federation views December results positively, noting resilient consumer spending throughout 2023. Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz highlights a successful holiday season, emphasizing the impact of a healthy labor market despite inflation concerns.


"November ecommerce sales were above expectations with a growth of 8.2% YoY, also December was solid with a 7% growth. We are seeing more marketplaces and social commerce platforms launch and grow than ever before. This data shows positive growth at year-end despite the concerns of a weakening consumer in a turbulent economic year. I expect 2024 to start slow due to this Q4 consumer spending, but towards the tail end of 2024 we should see more exponential sales growth again.''


JordiJordi Vermeer
VP of Revenue North America



🛒 US grocery ecommerce struggles in 2023

The US grocery ecommerce market faced challenges in 2023, reporting a 1.2% decline in total sales at $95.8 billion. Order frequency dropped by 6%, but average order value (AOV) increased by 3%. Despite hurdles, AOV for delivery rose by 3%, pick-up by 2.6%, and "ship-to-home" by 1.7%. 


The online channel's share of total grocery spending decreased to 12.5%. This means that regional grocers need strategic shifts for improved customer engagement and loyalty in the face of market competition.


“These annual results show that 2023 was very challenging for grocery retailing as higher prices chipped away at household purchasing power even though inflation has slowed considerably since its peak in 2022,” explains David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click.



🤖 AI continues to shape ecommerce

The influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on online orders and ecommerce trends remains significant. A mere 3% of organizations lack AI plans, showcasing the widespread adoption of this transformative technology. 


According to a new report from Salesforce, AI played a pivotal role during the holiday season in 2023, influencing over 17% of all orders in November and December, translating to a staggering $199 billion. Cyber Week stood out with an impressive $51 billion in online sales directly influenced by AI, underscoring its growing impact on consumer behavior and purchasing decisions. 

Amazon UK: Buy Box equality for sellers

Amazon UK pledges to level the playing field for online sellers regarding the coveted Buy Box. From now on, Prime eligibility will no longer be a decisive criterion for Featured Offer allocation. This marks a shift in the competitive landscape, as Amazon traditionally favored Prime-related fulfillment services for Buy Box prominence.


The upcoming update to Featured Offer criteria in May 2024 aims to ensure non-discrimination and equal treatment of sellers and Amazon retail, emphasizing a commitment to fairness in marketplace dynamics. While Prime eligibility won't be a direct factor in Buy Box selection, Amazon acknowledges the enduring significance of free and fast delivery in customer preferences. 


Additionally, Amazon reassures the CMA that it abstains from using rival sellers' marketplace data, addressing concerns about its market dominance and potential unfair advantages.


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