The Webretailer News Digest May 16, 2022

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After investing over $50 billion over the past two years, Walmart’s fulfillment services branch is taking off. It’s an Amazon FBA direct competitor where third-party sellers are finding a marketplace that has a lot of room to grow.

But sellers on the platform have found a void in the lack of tools available on Walmart’s seller platform. They’ve instead turned to Amazon Seller Tools to figure out key information points for their business, though the metrics have nothing to do with what’s happening on Walmart.com.

Founder and CEO of Wallysmarter.com, Ralph Harris, said on the topic, “Third-Party Sellers have been completely blind as to keyword search volumes or product sales estimates on Walmart.com.”

That’s why his company launched its own proprietary set of Walmart Seller Tools. On Wallysmart.com, Walmart sellers can pay for access to research their database of 75 million products and 12 million keywords sourced from Walmart.com. The kit even includes a Chrome extension that shows a live view of Walmart’s site with search results and accurate sales estimates.

With over six million third-party Amazon sellers and just over 100k in 2021, eCommerce sellers are seeing a tremendous opportunity in Walmart.com. And with tools like WallySmarter.com available, we may see even more jumping ship this year.

Sellers on Amazon UK to have unbranded packaging

This week, Amazon automatically enrolled sellers using Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfilment (MCF) in a pilot program that ships products without Amazon branding for off-site orders. The move is part of Amazon’s push to make its logistics services more friendly to merchants.

The service is available free and removes all Amazon branding on packaging materials when shipping — tape, polybags, and boxes. However, Amazon limited the program to “non-apparel and footwear that do not exceed 45.72 x 35.56 x 20.32 cm and/or 9 kg.”

The program puts the UK seller network in alignment with the US and has had the option of “MCF blank box order fulfillment” since 2020. It also adds to the tools available to off-site merchants who can now offer Amazon Prime on their sites as of last month.

Amazon UK sellers can review the percentage of their orders that ship without Amazon branding on their seller dashboard.

Promenade releases eCommerce platform builder for beverage stores and breweries

Originally known as BloomNation — an eCommerce platform for florists — Promenade is fully diving into the food and beverage market.

The company shifted in 2020 to integrate its Promenade SaaS platform and launched its back-office system for restaurants last year. And this week, they expanded to include an eCommerce platform for beverage stores and restaurants that includes site-building and delivery.

The company said it launched its product in response to high demand coupled with complaints that third-party providers are charging too much and eating into profits. Companies will now have the ability to create a branded website that’s SEO optimized for delivery and online orders.

J.P. Morgan offers a debt facility of $300 million to Wayflyer

As a provider of analytics and financing solutions for eCommerce businesses, Wayflyer is already up to $1.6bn in valuation since its founding in 2019. But the company shows no signs of stopping and financial powerhouse J.P Morgan seems to agree.

This week, Wayflyer secured $300 million in debt financing from J.P. Morgan, which the company will use to offer more competitive rates and increase its market share. The company already supports over 300k eCommerce businesses. And with this round of funding, their high-growth trend is all but guaranteed to continue.

On the debt facility news, Wayflyer CEO and Co-Founder Aidan Corbett stated, “With eCommerce revenues set to hit 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022, the need for competitively priced funding solutions is greater than ever.”

Loop and Happy Returns join forces for eCommerce returns support

Loop has been a key service for Shopify eCommerce sellers since 2017. The company makes the returns process for online businesses fast and easy by giving sellers the option to offer exchanges over returns.

But now things will streamline even more for Shopify sellers as Loop announced a partnership with Happy Returns by PayPal last week. The partnership enables customers from over 1,200 Loop brands to return or exchange their items at over 5,000 Happy Returns locations.

Shoppers can simply go to the Happy Returns website to get a QR code and then return the items — via the QR code — at a Staples retail store. All returns get approved in real-time and a refund or exchange starts immediately.

Sequoia and Think Investments led round raises $35 million for GoKwik

eCommerce sellers in India are gaining more access to services that will help them reduce fraud, increase conversions, and manage efficiency through GoKwik. With over 250 brands and over 5,000 merchants already in its portfolio, the company is making its mark and looking to expand.

And with VC firms like Sequoia and Think Investments taking notice, it looks like their goals are coming to fruition. Last week, they received $35 million in funding they say they’ll invest in new products and technology for its growing customer base.

Coupling this investment with the $15 million it received last November, it seems things are looking up for GoKwik. They expect to receive more investments after they make their push into Southeast Asia in the coming year.

Other News:  $26,000 found in safe sold on eBay – buyer keeps it!

A question of morality is brewing online regarding a legally acquired safe sold on eBay. A California man sold the safe on the online auction site because he didn’t know the combination to open the door. But the buyer was rewarded with over $20k in cash after he was able to open the safe with brute force.

He refuses to give the seller any of the money. And the question as to whether he has an obligation to give back at least some back is being posited by many. The buyer at least wrote a positive review in the seller’s store.

What would you do in this situation?

Speaking to a local news station, the seller stated, “I made a mistake, you know, that’s what it boils down to, and it cost me dearly. I shook it and I didn’t feel anything inside of it, so I figured, well, maybe it’s just a locked safe, you know. So I put it on eBay. I told my friend, ‘I won the stupidest idiot in the world award the other day, you know – I gave away a safe with $26,000 in it.’”

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