Dutch E-commerce platform Moteefe, on which retailers sell customised products, has successfully completed an investment round of $11 million. The platform caters to more than 5,000 retailers and with the investment, the platform will continue its international expansion and respond to changes in the global retail landscape. The CEO of Moteefe, Mathijs Eefting, has said “We have moved beyond our original goal to help anyone set up a store and sell globally. We now are able to support innovative retailers of all sizes to respond to entirely new ecommerce demands and opportunities.”
Along with Moteefe, the coronavirus crisis and the demand it has put on E-commerce has caused many businesses across Europe to secure investments this year, including E-commerce platform ‘Pattern’ last month, European fulfilment platform ‘Byrd’ in July and Dutch fashion platform ‘Otrium’ in May.
In order to reflect the UK’s 2% digital service tax which was introduced in April, tech giant Google has announced that it will increase its advertising costs for UK retailers by 2%. From 1 November, online retailers who use Google Ads or YouTube to promote their products will be charged an extra 2% when creating an advert. A spokesperson for Google has said “Digital service taxes increase the cost of digital advertising. Typically, these kinds of cost increases are borne by customers and, like other companies affected by this tax, we will be adding a fee to our invoices, from November.”
By implementing a 2% increase in seller fees, Google is following in the footsteps of Amazon – in August, J&P reported that Amazon are planning to increase seller fees in the UK including referral fees, Fulfilment by Amazon fees monthly storage feeds by 2%.
So far this year, E-commerce giant Amazon has hired over 3,000 staff for fulfilment centres across the UK. It has now announced that by the end of 2020 it will hire 7,000 new employees across 50 sites in the UK, bringing the total of employees hired this year to 10,000. These employees will not just be warehouse staff – engineers, HR and IT professionals will also join the workforce. Amazon’s vice president of European customer fulfilment has said “The new roles will help us continue to meet customer demand and support small and medium sized businesses selling on Amazon.”
Last month, J&P reported that Amazon will be opening a fourth fulfilment centre in the East Midlands, creating 1,000 new jobs. This is just one of the ways in which Amazon is working to expand its workforce whilst helping small and medium businesses looking to expand across the UK.
Yesterday, the world’s largest E-commerce platform opened an online-only Whole Foods store, also known as a “dark store”. The store opened in Brooklyn to begin fulfilling grocery orders for Amazon customers throughout the city, however, it is only open for online operations and will not be open to the public. The format of the new “dark store” is different to that of both Whole Foods and Amazon Go convenience stores, and is designed to help Amazon expand their online grocery operations without the risk of staff and customers being exposed to coronavirus.
It was only a week ago that Amazon opened its first full-size ‘Amazon Fresh’ grocery in Los Angeles, which is different from Whole Foods and Amazon Go stores in the sense that it will be stocked with a wider range of products and brands.
E-commerce: 15% of UK retailers are now hiring specifically for roles to expand E-commerce operations
According to research carried out by Barclays Corporate Banking into more than 300 retail companies, UK retailers are looking specifically to hire new staff in response to the major increase in online sales witnessed during lockdown. The research found that 15% of UK retailers have created roles specifically to help them with expanding their E-commerce operations. It was also found that 26% of the retailers studied thought the pandemic accelerated a “technological revolution” in retail, and 94% stated that they feel optimistic about growth opportunities in the coming years.
With the effects of the coronavirus crisis, it makes sense that retailers are looking to expand their E-commerce operations. With the rise in online sales, retailers can definitely benefit by hiring more staff specifically to process these sales.
One of Germany’s most successful E-commerce platforms, Otto.de, has said that it is planning its own subsidiary which will handle all payment functions. This is in response to the fact that new dealers are joining the platform every day, and it is expected that by the end of the year there will be over 1,000. Otto’s CEO, Marc Opelt, has said “For us, setting up our own payment service provider is the next big and logical step on the path of our transformation from an online retailer to a platform operator.”
Otto having its own payment subsidiary will mean that third-party retailers using the platform will be able to easily accept and process payments from customers. Although Otto is currently the third most popular platform behind Amazon and eBay, the introduction of its own payment service will put it ahead of the E-commerce game in Germany.