Shopify expands Instagram sales channel for merchants- eCommerce news roundup

Grow Your Sales on Instagram with Shoppable Instagram Posts

instagram-shoppable

Source: Shopify

According to the latest Shopify product announcement, the eCommerce giant has introduced additional features for merchants using Instagram marketing. Recently, extensive case studies show that more and more Shopify merchants are using social media to engage with an audience that is self selecting and frequently online to increase their sales.

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms with over 500 million active users flicking through eye-catching images and short video clips every day. Shopify merchants looking to grow their business, especially in industries like beauty, fashion, jewelry, furniture, health, etc - stand to gain a lot by incorporating Instagram into their marketing strategy.

The Shoppable Instagram Posts function shows Shopify’s dedication to improving their sales channels to help Shopify merchants boost profits.  Shopify believes Instagram is an untapped realm for mobile eCommerce for its merchants.

Giving their merchants access to new ways to sell directly on the Instagram platform brings customers in contact with stores and products they might never have seen otherwise. The highly visual, engaging nature of the platform makes it easy to get the attention of consumers, and the new integration removes friction from the process of translating that attention into purchases.

So, how does it work? Merchants can tag products on their Instagram posts which allows customers to simply tap on the tagged image to view products, creating an accelerated buyer’s journey straight from the first encounter to the checkout page.

Shopify merchants can add the Instagram sales channel to their store at no additional cost. Since the start of the program, companies like ORO LA have increased their revenue by 29.3%. To learn more about how they achieved this remarkable income growth, read their case study  - ORO Los Angeles Shopify Case Study.

 

Amazon App Now Available for International Shopping

amazon-app-international

Source: Apple Store

In other eCommerce news, the Amazon app has been upgraded and is now available for international shopping.

Amazon’s mission to be the go-to eCommerce platform worldwide advances with the new update to both its mobile website and shopping app.

Customers can now browse and purchase a selection of products in their own country. They will be able to do so with over 25 world currencies available and can complete their transaction in English, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese. More languages and currencies are expected in the near future to increase Amazons’ global reach.

In the practical sense, Amazon users will only see products that can be shipped to their country of residence. Amazon released a statement after the launch, saying - “This makes it easier than ever for customers to get the best of Amazon and shop with ease in their local currency. Customers can choose from different shipping options and delivery speeds, depending on how quickly they want their package to arrive.”

In the past, Amazon users, especially in European countries, have found it hard to sort through which products can be shipped to them. The app upgrade is expected to make their shopping experience simpler and easier for a wide range of international customers. The platform now lists over 45 million products to choose from and ships to more than 100 countries.

To start using this feature, install the Amazon Shopping app, go into your settings, choose the ‘Country & Language’ option and click on ‘International Shopping’ from the listed countries. It also allows you to set your preferred language and currency as the app default.


Introducing Stripe Billing

Stripe Billing recurring payments

Source: Stripe


Earlier this month, Stripe Billing was launched as a new suite of tools to support companies in their efforts to optimize and automate their business models. Stripe Billing is an upgrade to Stripe Subscriptions which adds new levels of functionality for merchants.

Based on feedback from many of their customers, Stripe Subscriptions was not enough to handle changing business models, especially in the case where a company needs more than just simple subscription management. The new Stripe Billing is designed to tackle recurring billing issues and provide businesses with the right tools to offer better customer experience.

Stripe customer Sylvan Boucard, who is the Product Manager at Meetup sang its praises after using Stripe Billing. He said, “Expanding into offerings for businesses not only demanded new product features and capabilities but also foundational changes to Meetup’s billing infrastructure. Stripe’s open API and simple, user-friendly interface made it easy for the entire team.”

Stripe Billing will also allow businesses to automate payment collection by sending branded invoices to their customers from within the Stripe dashboard.

Considering nearly a quarter of churn is a result of expired cards or missed payments, Stripe Billing will fix this problem by automatically updating customer’s card details which will save them the time of entering them repeatedly. This cuts back on buying friction by reducing data entry time and effort across the board. Whenever a new card is reissued to customers, the data will automatically be synced with information received by Stripes financial/banking partners.

To learn more about Stripe Billing, check out their guide for step-by-step instructions.


Walmart is Selling its Largest UK Business Chainwalmart-sells-asda

Source: The National


The prevailing big news in the UK eCommerce sector is the sale of Walmart’s biggest UK grocery chain, ASDA, to Sainsbury’s.

Walmart outlined a huge shift in their company’s international strategy with this deal which involves losing a large stake of ASDA to retain 42% ownership with a mouth-watering £3 billion ($4.1 billion) in cash exchange.

Walmart is also re-arranging its trading position internationally. For example, they have scaled down operations in Brazil with experts saying Walmart has their eyes on India and wants to gain a majority stake in the eCommerce mammoth, Flipkart.

Walmart’s international businesses bring in about a third of their revenue and they wish to grow their income scope and presence on the world stage by revamping underperforming units. Their UK and Brazil factions have been struggling in recent years and selling these divisions will give the company room to expand in other markets.

Sainsbury’s merger with ASDA will make them the largest retailer in the UK by market share and allow them to surpass Tesco in the current standing.