1. Stamps.com terminates exclusive deal with USPS
Stamps.com on Thursday said that it was terminating its exclusive partnership deal with USPS. Citing Amazon’s track record of disrupting an industry, CEO of Stamps.com Ken McBride said on Thursday that his company is setting its corporate strategy assuming Amazon will be a global player in shipping. Shares of Stamps.com tumbled by 57% on Friday, to close $100 below Thursday’s closing price. “Amazon is the powerhouse, the gorilla in e-commerce. And so we need to work with Amazon and really everybody needs to work with Amazon,” McBride said. “What they’ve done is they’ve built their network from scratch, and they’ve built it in the last few years, and they’ve built it with e-commerce in mind. And a lot of the other carriers have networks that are much older.”
2. Amazon beats Google in Q4 2018 Smart Speaker Shipments
According to a report by Strategy Analytics, the shipments of smart speakers in Q4 2018 grew 95% from 22.6 million units in Q3 to 38.5 million units in Q4. Amazon and Google were the winners, followed by Alibaba, Baidu, Xiaomi and Apple. Amazon saw a 91% increase in its Echo device shipments and Google saw a 123% increase in its Home device shipments. Although Apple saw a 45% growth in Q4 compared to Q3, its overall market share declined slightly. The global smart speaker market is estimated to be worth $30 Billion in the next 5 years.
3. eCommerce Shipping in Germany in 2018
A study by ParcelLab looked at what services the largest 100 online stores in Germany offer their customers when it came to shipping and returns. The following were key findings from the report:
- Only 10% of online retailers give an exact delivery date
- 13% offer free shipping
- 90% of the top online retailers let customers return their items free of charge
- 79% of the top 100 online retailers use DHL to deliver their goods
- The most popular alternative delivery option is delivery to a parcel locker
- 40 percent offer express delivery, while only 11 percent offer same-day-delivery
4. Showfields raises $9M
Showfields, which helps online brands move offline, has announced that it has raised $9M in seed funding. “Our thesis was simple: Make the process of becoming physical as easy as becoming digital,” co-founder and CEO Tal Zvi Nathanel told Techcrunch. Nathanel was also quoted as saying that the spaces can be designed around different goals — one brand might focus on driving sales, while another might simply want to grow consumer awareness. In each case, Showfields will also provide data so they can see how the space is performing.
5. Wayfair earnings call Q4 2018 – Key points (Click here for the full story)
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Wayfair reported:
- eCommerce revenue of $1.996 billion, up 40.7% from $1.419 billion a year earlier.
- Net revenue of $2.014 billion, a 40.0% increase from $1.439 billion a year earlier.
- Net loss of $143.8 million, compared with a loss of $72.8 million a year earlier.
- Repeat customers placed 66.4% of orders compared with 62.4% a year earlier.
- Average order value was $227 compared with $229 a year earlier.
For the year, Wayfair reported:
- eCommerce revenue of $6.718 billion, up 44.7% from $4.643 billion a year earlier.
- Net revenue of $6.779 billion, up 43.6% from $4.720 billion a year earlier.
- Net loss of $504.1 million, compared with a loss of $244.6 million a year earlier.
6. Nike loses $1.2B in market cap
Nike’s stock was down about 1% on Thursday, just ten minutes into trading, which equated to a loss of about $1.2B on paper. This tumble-down happened after a sneaker worn by basketball star Zion Williamson split in half 33 seconds into a game.
7. Consumer goods brand Tide looks to expand physical footprint
Detergent brand Tide is looking to make a major push into the brick-and-mortar space with its Tide Cleaners Store concept, with more than 2000 locations across the US by the end of 2020. In addition to 24-hour free-standing stores, Tide operates standalone stores and drop-boxes inside urban locations such as offices, apartments, and storefronts.