May 2023 E-commerce Insights: Mid-Month News Review

Welcome to the first part of our E-commerce Press Review for May 2023! In this edition, we’ll explore the latest trends, news, and insights in the world of e-commerce. With the industry continuously evolving, it’s essential to stay informed on emerging developments and best practices. Don’t miss out on the second part of our May 2023 review, where we will dive even deeper into the e-commerce landscape, featuring exclusive insights and expert opinions. So, without further ado, let’s jump into the first half of this month’s e-commerce highlights!

#1 Amazon Introduces Mandatory Product Attributes for Enhanced Shopping Experience

In a move designed to streamline the shopping experience, Amazon has announced that sellers will be required to include three new product attributes for specific categories starting June 6, 2023. 

The affected product types and their required attributes are as follows:

  • Color name: backpacks, underpants, bras, aprons, keychains, and costume outfits
  • Size name: leotards, scarves, and sunglasses
  • Product description: light fixtures, art supplies, hardware handles, kitchen items, artificial plants, wireless accessories, home furniture and decor, and office products

Sellers must provide valid attribute information for all new listings in these categories; otherwise, the products will not be added to the catalog. However, active listings will not require these new attributes.

Read more here.

#2 Revamped eBay UK Program Offers Affordable, Eco-Friendly Car Parts

eBay UK has brought new life to its “Certified Recycling” initiative for pre-owned car parts, presenting an economical and green solution for vehicle owners. The company’s latest research shows that UK motorists saved an impressive £99 million last year by selecting pre-owned parts and accessories instead of new ones.

eBay’s announcement highlights the dependability of “Certified Recycled” components, which come from businesses approved by the Vehicle Recyclers Association (VRA). These sellers are subject to annual audits to ensure that all parts come from end-of-life vehicles and meet strict identification, recording, testing, and grading standards.

Key findings from eBay UK’s research include:

  • 16.1% of drivers often buy recycled parts to save money
  • 14% choose pre-owned items to lower carbon emissions
  • 10% favor purchasing recycled parts from professional service centers

Censuswide conducted the consumer research for eBay between January 9 and 11, 2023, surveying 1,535 car owners or drivers in the UK aged 16 and above.

Read more here.

#3 Rakuten Revives Big Give Week Offering Unparalleled Discounts and Rewards

Rakuten, the renowned shopping platform famous for Cash Back and rewards, has recently announced the highly anticipated return of Big Give Week, its flagship annual shopping event. From May 8 to 15, members can take advantage of exceptional deals and earn up to 15% Cash Back on a wide variety of products and services.

During this event, shoppers can find great offers on an array of items, such as clothing from Banana Republic and UNIQLO, footwear by Crocs, skincare essentials from Clinique and Dermstore, home organization solutions from The Container Store, and even travel deals through Tripadvisor. The Big Give Week lineup also includes a host of other popular brands and services, ensuring there is something for everyone.

As a one-stop shopping destination for savings and rewards, Rakuten is perfect for those looking to make the most of their money across different categories, including fashion, health, home, electronics, travel, dining, and more. This Big Give Week event allows customers to earn Cash Back on everything they need to enjoy the warm weather season, whether they’re focusing on home improvement, summer fashion, or planning a vacation.

Read more here.

#4 Shein Faces Criticism Amid IPO Preparations and Efforts to Improve Public Perception

Chinese fast-fashion brand Shein has encountered allegations of labor violations and environmentally unsustainable practices while preparing for a potential initial public offering (IPO) in the US later this year. Bipartisan lawmakers have urged the SEC to investigate claims of mistreatment of Uyghurs, a marginalized group in China. However, Shein denies these allegations, asserting their commitment to human rights and adherence to local laws and regulations.

In an effort to change its public image, Shein has highlighted initiatives such as an incubator program for emerging designers and increased investment in thermal digital transfer and supply chain technologies to reduce waste. Despite these efforts, critics argue that the company’s fast-fashion model inherently relies on cheap production, rendering their attempts at sustainability insufficient.

As Shein’s IPO approaches, the brand’s ability to shift public perception remains to be seen.

Read more here.

#5 Online Grocery Prices Rise by 9.3% Year-on-Year in April

Online grocery prices in April were 9.3% higher than the same month last year, despite most categories tracked by the Adobe Digital Price Index experiencing price declines. The persistent inflation in the online grocery sector reflects the continued demand for the convenience of online shopping.

Although the rate of price increases in the online grocery category has slowed over the past seven months, it still faces the steepest price hikes among the categories tracked by Adobe. In March, Adobe reported a 10.8% increase in online grocery sales, amounting to $86.8 billion.

Overall, online prices fell by 1.8% in April compared to April 2022, with some of the largest online categories, such as electronics, experiencing double-digit drops. April marked the eighth consecutive month of overall price declines in a year-over-year comparison, with 11 out of the 18 product categories tracked by Adobe witnessing year-over-year price drops.

Read more here.

#6 Shopify’s CEO Advising Retail Startups to Target Micro-Influencers for Better Engagement

In a recent interview for CNBC’s Small Business Playbook event, Finkelstein emphasized the importance of focusing on micro-influencers instead of big-name influencers for retail startups. He explained that micro-influencers, with their smaller but deeply engaged communities, can be a more cost-effective and efficient way to grow a new business.

Finkelstein, who co-founded the loose-leaf tea side hustle Firebelly Tea, highlighted that the creator economy is changing how business success is achieved. The old “Field of Dreams” model is no longer sufficient, and a great product alone does not guarantee success. He advised small business owners to seek out influencers with high engagement in their niche market, even if they have a smaller number of followers.

Using his own experience with Firebelly Tea, Finkelstein revealed that tracking micro-influencers’ responsiveness to tweets and comments, as well as their posting frequency, can lead to valuable opportunities in sub-Reddits or Discord groups that competitors may be overlooking, ultimately changing the course of a business.

Read more here.