Home » Latest News » E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Apr 23): Amazon’s Search Surge, Shein Partners with Flexport

E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Apr 23): Amazon’s Search Surge, Shein Partners with Flexport



Amazon Experiences Surge in Search Volume

Amazon’s U.S. site recorded a notable increase in search volume of 29.2% in March 2024 compared to the previous year, showing a continuous upward trend from February’s over 25% increase. This surge in search activity, particularly in seasonal categories, highlights a shift towards Amazon for seasonal shopping needs. The gardening category witnessed the highest rise at nearly 50%, indicating a strong consumer interest in outdoor and home improvement products. Meanwhile, the toys and games category grew by 33% after the Easter holidays, aligning its growth with the site-wide average for the first time in months. However, the grocery segment showed signs of slowing down, with searches only making up 4.4% of total traffic, slightly down from about 4.5% in March 2023, possibly due to food inflation driving consumers back to physical stores.

Price Sensitivity in the Amazon Camera Market

Jungle Scout’s latest report reveals significant price sensitivity in the Amazon camera and photography market, where a price increase of over 20% led to a 41% slump in sales. Some brands, however, have navigated these challenges successfully, avoiding major sales declines. This market sensitivity necessitates that brands adopt flexible sales strategies, such as bundling products with accessories at attractive discount prices, and actively promoting these deals through targeted marketing campaigns to capture price-conscious consumers. Brands also need to leverage strategic keyword placements in advertisements to enhance visibility and drive sales in this competitive market.


Shein and Flexport Forge a Strategic Partnership

Fast fashion leader Shein has strategically partnered with logistics giant Flexport to optimize its U.S. supply chain operations. As part of the deal, Flexport will serve as the preferred logistics provider for Shein’s U.S. marketplace, integrating comprehensive services from inventory management to delivery. This alliance aims to expedite Shein’s market expansion and enhance delivery reliability across the United States. Sellers using Shein’s platform will benefit from streamlined operations with automated order processing and reduced manual intervention, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in inventory and order fulfillment.

Boost in Australian Online Spending

Over the past six months, a 12% growth in Australia’s online spending has been driven by platforms such as Amazon, Shein, and Temu, according to Roy Morgan. The period from March 2023 to March 2024 saw Australia’s online non-food spending hit around sixty billion AUD, with a significant thirty-two billion AUD recorded in just six months. This growth substantially outpaces that of offline retail spending in the same period. Amazon particularly stood out with a 17% increase in sales, reflecting its expanding customer base in Australia. Additionally, Chinese low-cost platforms Shein and Temu have become increasingly prominent, capturing significant market share and contributing to the broader shift towards online shopping.

Alibaba’s Potential Investment in South Korean E-commerce

Alibaba Group is reportedly in talks to invest 100 billion KRW ($72.4 million) in Ably, a leading South Korean online fashion platform. This investment would mark Alibaba’s first foray into the South Korean e-commerce market, targeting a platform known for its strong appeal among female shoppers. Ably, which launched in 2018, has quickly risen to prominence with transaction volumes exceeding 1 trillion KRW in 2020, and its current valuation stands at around 2 trillion KRW. Alibaba’s move could significantly enhance Ably’s competitive position against local and international competitors.

Zando Announces New International E-commerce Division

South African online fashion giant Zando has launched Zando Global, a new division aimed at competing with international e-commerce platforms like Temu and Shein. Zando Global will offer South African consumers alternatives to international ordering, featuring physical pickup points, streamlined order tracking, and an extensive range of over 200,000 products. This initiative is designed to reassure consumers concerned about product quality, delivery reliability, and the returns process, providing a seamless and secure shopping experience.

PayPal Dominates German Online Payments

PayPal continues to be the preferred online payment method among German consumers, accounting for 27.7% of all online purchases in 2023, according to the ‘Online Payment 2024’ study by EHI. Although its market share slightly declined from about 30% the previous year, it remains a key player in the payments sector. Alternative payment methods such as “buy now, pay later” services are gaining traction, almost doubling their market share to 3.9%, indicating a shift in consumer payment preferences. This trend is backed by increasing flexibility in payment options and the growing popularity of installment payments, particularly among younger demographics.

Salesupply Introduces Hybrid AI Bot for Enhanced Customer Service

Salesupply has launched a hybrid AI chatbot aimed at reducing customer service costs while improving user experience for online sellers. This chatbot, capable of handling both pre-sale inquiries and post-sale support, can intelligently interact with customers through text and voice, guiding them with product suggestions and support. Designed to integrate seamlessly with online sellers’ operations, this AI tool allows customers to switch to human customer service agents whenever needed, combining the efficiency of AI with the personal touch of human interaction.


Generative AI Attracts Major Funding in 2023

In 2023, funding for generative AI technologies reached a staggering $25.2 billion, according to a report from Stanford University. This marks a significant increase, with investments primarily concentrated in AI infrastructure and customer support applications. Major contributions included Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in OpenAI and other substantial funding rounds for AI firms. The U.S. led these investments, significantly outpacing other countries, highlighting its dominant position in the global AI market.

SAP Debuts AI-Driven Supply Chain Solutions at Hannover Messe 2024

At Hannover Messe 2024, SAP unveiled new AI-driven supply chain solutions tailored for manufacturers. These solutions, which include the AI assistant tool Joule, leverage advanced data analytics to improve efficiency across manufacturing processes. Joule assists in product design and supply chain management by providing actionable insights, thus enhancing operational efficiency and enabling manufacturers to respond more swiftly to market changes and supply chain disruptions.

AI Assists Nestlé in Developing Resilient Coffee Plants

Nestlé is utilizing AI to enhance the resilience of arabica coffee plants against disease and drought. By mapping the genomic structure of coffee plants, Nestlé’s scientists aim to identify and breed new coffee varieties that can withstand environmental stresses. This research is critical as climate change poses increasing threats to global coffee production, and Nestlé’s efforts could ensure the sustainability of coffee cultivation by enhancing plant resistance to adverse conditions.

AI Developers Implement New Safety Measures to Combat Child Exploitation

AI developers have agreed to implement new safety measures to prevent the exploitation of children, addressing the challenges posed by generative AI technologies. These measures focus on enhancing the security and ethical considerations in AI development, ensuring that AI models do not contribute to harmful activities. The initiative reflects a broader commitment within the tech industry to address significant social issues proactively and responsibly, reinforcing the need for stringent ethical standards in AI development and deployment.

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