2019 was a big year for ecommerce technology vendors. And for good reason: 65% of retailers choose to use a vendor when implementing new technology, according to Digital Commerce 360’s 2019 Technology Survey of 160 e-retailers conducted in August. That’s up from 35% a year earlier.
To further grow sales and meet the ever-evolving needs of online retailers, some vendors enhanced their offerings in 2019 while others made headway in new technologies.
Canadian ecommerce platform provider Shopify Inc. branched out beyond platforms to help retailers get orders into consumers’ hands more quickly.
In June, it announced plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years to set up a network of fulfillment centers in the U.S. to help merchants using its ecommerce platform deliver products to shoppers more quickly and cheaply and to better compete with Amazon. A Shopify spokeswoman says the company has negotiated low rates with warehouses and shipping companies for its merchant customers.
The Shopify Fulfillment Network is a geographically dispersed network of fulfillment centers that uses machine learning to predict the closest fulfillment centers and optimal inventory quantities per location to ensure fast, low-cost delivery.
The vendor works with more than 820,000 merchants in 175 countries, and the Shopify Fulfillment Network seeks to provide the “best shipping and fulfillment rates” for its merchants, says a company spokeswoman. That may lead it to rethink the typical fulfillment approach by leveraging the vast number of merchants it works with to combine packages from various Shopify merchants to lower shipping fees for both consumers and merchants. Storing items from different merchants in warehouses also could provide Shopify with another revenue stream.
Shopify is working with logistics firms to offer the service to merchants of all sizes that are shipping from warehouses in seven states: Nevada, California, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
In May, Adobe Systems Inc. released several updates to its Magento ecommerce platform.
Adobe, which bought Magento in June 2018 for $1.68 billion, is adding Amazon.com Inc. integrations and Google Shopping ad tools, among other features.
The Magento Amazon Sales Channel allows Magento merchants to more easily sell on Amazon by integrating their product catalog with the marketplace and enabling merchants to manage their Amazon listings from their Magento dashboard.
Adobe also added integrations with Google advertising to Magento. Google Shopping Ads Channel for Magento Commerce integrates with Google Merchant Center and Google Ads so merchants can manage their Google Ad campaigns from their Magento account.
Adobe also added payment acceptance capabilities to the Magento PWA Studio. The progressive web app studio, announced in October, helps merchants and developers create PWAs. A PWA is a set of design and technology standards that offer the look and feel of an app, but in a mobile website. Now, the PWA studio integrates with PayPal Inc.-owned Braintree for merchants to accept debit and credit card transactions.
Lingerie retailer Adore Me is taking a more hands-off approach when it comes to email marketing. And it’s smitten with the results so far. Adore Me handed over the reins to its email marketing campaigns to digital marketing vendor Optimove’s artificial intelligence-powered algorithm about four years ago and is producing notable results from the technology.
The algorithm combines the lingerie retailer’s shopper history and website behavioral data, as well as its product data to determine the emails it sends to various groups of shoppers. For example, if a consumer adds a product to her shopping cart but doesn’t check out, the algorithm draws on the behavioral patterns of the retailer’s customer base to determine whether she’s more likely to buy after receiving an email that directs her to a similar product at a lower price or with a coupon code.
Adore Me partly attributes a 15% year-over-year revenue jump to Optimove-driven campaigns in its first year of use in 2016. That email sales growth helped the retailer reach an Digital Commerce 360-estimated $117.5 million in online sales last year, up from $42.9 million in 2015, the year before it began using the technology.
With 81% of retailers planning to increase their spending on ecommerce technology in 2020, according to the Digital Commerce 360 survey, vendors will undoubtedly release new offerings throughout 2020 to capitalize on that increased spending. In short, vendor news is unlikely to slow down anytime soon.
Stephanie Crets contributed to this articleFavorite