Home » Latest News » E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Jun 6): YouTube and Coupang Partnership, Brazilian Import Tax Changes

E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Jun 6): YouTube and Coupang Partnership, Brazilian Import Tax Changes

Aerial view of Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge, San Paulo


According to Parcel Monitor’s latest report, the US e-commerce logistics sector saw notable improvements in 2023. Dispute rates dropped by 3.6 percentage points to 6.4%, and on-time delivery rates remained stable at 98%. The success rate of first-time deliveries increased by 12.2% to 97%. The average domestic shipping time reduced by 24%, reaching 2.56 days, and further decreased to 2.32 days in Q1 2024. Despite economic challenges, US retail e-commerce sales are projected to grow by 10.5% in 2024.

Walmart Launches New Job Training Programs and Bonuses

Walmart has introduced new training programs and certifications to fill high-demand roles such as HVAC technicians, opticians, and software engineers. The retail giant is also offering bonuses of up to $1,000 per year to retain hourly store workers. Earlier this year, Walmart announced that store managers could earn over $400,000 annually, including bonuses. The company has invested $9 billion in modernizing over 1,400 stores, representing a significant portion of its US locations. Despite raising its minimum wage in January 2023, Walmart faces criticism for the median annual compensation of $27,642 for its employees, which falls below the poverty line for a family of four.


YouTube and Coupang Partnership: Enhancing Creator Revenue

YouTube has teamed up with South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang to enable creators to earn more through shopping features. Korean creators can now tag products in their videos for direct purchase by viewers, earning a commission on sales. A new online store feature for Korean creators, developed with Cafe24, is set to launch this month. YouTube has overtaken KakaoTalk as the most-used social media platform in South Korea. In 2023, shopping-related video watch time on YouTube exceeded 30 billion hours, a 25% increase from the previous year.

Amazon’s Struggles in South Africa: Declining Interest

Amazon’s South African site has seen a sharp decline in interest since its launch a month ago. Google Trends data shows that searches for “Amazon.co.za” and related terms surged initially but quickly dropped to pre-launch levels. Factors contributing to this decline include limited product selection, lack of popular items, and no price advantage over local platforms like Takealot. Additionally, the absence of Prime services at launch hampered Amazon’s competitiveness. Local competitors have effectively countered Amazon’s entry with similar delivery services.

Brazil Imposes New Import Tax on Low-Value Goods

Brazil’s House of Representatives has approved a proposal to impose a 20% tax on goods purchased from overseas platforms like Shopee and AliExpress that are valued below $50. This replaces the previous exemption for such items. Combined with existing state-level taxes, the total tax rate could reach approximately 44.5%. The new tax policy will apply to all packages arriving after the law is enacted, even those ordered before its implementation. The change aims to address concerns over tax evasion and support local retailers.

India’s E-commerce Challenges: High COD Return Rates

In India, cash on delivery (COD) remains a popular payment method, accounting for 60%-65% of e-commerce transactions. However, 25%-30% of these orders fail to be delivered successfully (RTO). In contrast, prepaid orders have a failure rate of only 2%-3%. The high RTO rate is due to customers frequently canceling COD orders, ongoing searches for better deals, and logistical issues. This trend poses significant financial challenges for e-commerce platforms, especially small DTC brands.

Post-Brexit Trade Decline for UK Brands

Since Brexit, UK brands and retailers have experienced a significant drop in international sales to the EU, losing £5.9 billion. Non-food exports, particularly clothing and footwear, were hit hardest, with sales falling from £7.4 billion in 2019 to £2.7 billion in 2023. Increased trade complexities, higher logistics costs, and the need to register EU trade entities have pressured UK businesses. Despite the EU’s growing online retail market, Brexit-related challenges have hindered UK exporters’ competitiveness.

UK Retailers Struggle with Delivery Transparency

A study by Salesupply and ParcelLab revealed that 50% of the top 100 UK online retailers do not provide delivery information on their order pages, affecting customer satisfaction. Nearly 40% of retailers failed to deliver orders on time, and 45% did not offer tracking services. While 55% provided tracking information from courier partners, only 20% consistently charged for delivery. The study highlighted the need for UK retailers to improve service levels and customer communication to meet expectations.


Microsoft’s $620M Inflection Deal Under FTC Investigation

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Microsoft’s $620 million deal with AI startup Inflection, focusing on potential impacts on market competition. The deal, struck in March, included Microsoft acquiring most of Inflection’s staff, with co-founders Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan joining Microsoft. The FTC is probing whether Microsoft sidestepped antitrust reporting rules and effectively gained control over the startup. Both companies have received subpoenas, and if Microsoft is found to have avoided proper reporting, the deal could be halted. This investigation adds to ongoing probes into Microsoft’s partnerships with OpenAI and other AI investments.

Greylock Leads $36 Million Financing for Cybersecurity Startup Seven AI

Greylock Partners has led a $36 million funding round for Seven AI, a cybersecurity startup. This investment highlights the growing interest and investment in AI-driven cybersecurity solutions. Seven AI focuses on using artificial intelligence to enhance cybersecurity measures, providing advanced threat detection and response capabilities. The funding will be used to expand the company’s product offerings and scale its operations. This investment reflects a broader trend of increasing venture capital interest in AI and cybersecurity sectors.

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