Home » Latest News » E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Apr 15): U.S. Leads Global E-commerce Penetration, TikTok Enhances Ad Safety

E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Apr 15): U.S. Leads Global E-commerce Penetration, TikTok Enhances Ad Safety

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U.S. Dominates E-commerce Penetration

In 2024, the U.S. is projected to lead global e-commerce penetration at 87%, the highest worldwide, far surpassing most European nations. The global e-commerce market reached a total of $3.15 trillion in 2023, with half of this volume generated by China and the U.S. alone. However, the U.S. boasts more than double the e-commerce penetration rate of China. By 2024, the number of online shoppers in the U.S. is expected to exceed 270 million, thanks to an additional 20 million consumers turning to shopping apps, with projections to surpass 330 million by the end of the decade.

TikTok’s New Ad Safety Features

On April 11, TikTok introduced new advertising safety measures and expanded its collaborations with third-party ad monitoring providers. The platform has implemented “category exclusion” settings that allow advertisers to prevent their ads from appearing alongside content categories like gambling, violent video games, combat sports, and youth content, thus maintaining brand integrity. Additionally, TikTok has enhanced its partnerships with verification firms such as Double Verify and Integral Ad Science, offering advertisers more robust tools to measure their campaign effectiveness.

Walmart Enhances Distribution with Autonomous Tech

Following Amazon’s lead, Walmart announced on April 12 a new partnership with American startup Fox Robotics to augment its distribution centers with automated operations. This collaboration has introduced 19 autonomous forklifts at Walmart’s high-tech Florida distribution center. After a 16-month trial, this technology, along with Walmart’s earlier ventures in automated sorting and retrieval systems, is set to expand across additional centers, potentially transforming logistics operations.

Macy’s Take-Private Battle Continues

Macy’s ongoing corporate struggle has reached a new stage as CEO Tony Spring tries to steer the nearly 166-year-old retailer amidst a take-private attempt by activist investors Arkhouse Management. After settling a proxy fight, Macy’s board will now include two new directors proposed by Arkhouse, potentially influencing the company’s future direction. Despite rejecting Arkhouse’s initial buyout offer, Macy’s remains under pressure as the investors continue pushing for acquisition, emphasizing a strategic shift towards real estate assets. This situation underscores the broader challenges facing traditional department stores in adapting to the rapidly evolving retail landscape.


Amazon’s Robotic and AI Investments in Europe

Amazon has committed to investing 700 million euros in robotics and AI within its innovation lab in Italy. This lab, central to Amazon’s electromechanical integration and sustainable packaging efforts since 2017, will oversee the installation of over 1,000 new robots across European fulfillment centers by the end of 2024. These advanced systems are designed to enhance operational efficiency and safety, significantly speeding up order processing and delivery across the continent.

Otto’s Market Growth Through Partnerships

German e-commerce platform Otto has seen significant growth through third-party collaborations, prompting further expansion into the European market. Despite an 8% drop in revenue to 4.2 billion euros in fiscal year 2023, Otto’s gross merchandise volume rose by 2% to 6.5 billion euros, thanks to a 33% increase in marketplace partners. This expansion strategy includes broadening its market to additional European countries and diversifying its product offerings to include items like dietary supplements and energy technology that align with high-quality and sustainability standards.

Mobile shopping has taken a dominant position in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s retail scene, with a significant 83.4% of all online purchases made via mobile devices. This trend is supported by data from the eCommerce Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which surveyed over 1,700 consumers and 1,000 online stores. Their findings highlight that nearly 60% of consumers made between two to five online purchases in the last three months, with 7.4% of shoppers even exceeding ten purchases. The preference for mobile platforms suggests a robust consumer confidence in mobile shopping, contrasting with only 20.5% of purchases made on international websites, indicating strong potential for local e-commerce growth.


US-Japan Collaboration in AI Research

The United States and Japan are bolstering their technological ties with new collaborative AI research initiatives focusing on life sciences and workplace development. Spearheaded by top universities such as the University of Washington, Tsukuba, Carnegie Mellon, and Keio, these partnerships aim to advance multimodal learning and embodied AI. Supported by a substantial $110 million funding from both private sectors, including Nvidia and Amazon, these efforts highlight a shared commitment to ethical and technological leadership in AI, potentially setting new international standards in the field.

New York Attracts Tech Talent

New York City has emerged as a prime destination for tech workers seeking new opportunities, according to a recent report. The city’s ability to attract a diverse tech workforce is attributed to its dynamic cultural scene, robust tech ecosystem, and proactive city policies fostering innovation. Despite high living costs, New York’s appeal lies in its extensive networking opportunities and the presence of major tech companies, positioning it as a competitive tech hub on the global stage.

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