Home » Latest News » E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (May 19): Walmart’s New Chinese Sellers, Singapore Data Platform Atlan

E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (May 19): Walmart’s New Chinese Sellers, Singapore Data Platform Atlan

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Momentum Commerce reports a 15.3% year-over-year increase in Amazon US search volume for April 2024, with beauty and personal care leading at 27.5%. Seasonal categories like yard and garden (twenty six point three percent) and home improvement tools (25.25%) also saw notable growth. Health and home categories rose by 25.5%, potentially becoming top search categories the coming year. In contrast, food groceries, baby products, and toys showed slower growth. Food inflation easing and declining birth rates are possible reasons for reduced demand in these areas. These trends indicate a shift in consumer priorities towards more lifestyle and health-oriented purchases.

US Startups: Expanding Internationally

American DTC brands like Manscaped, Pepper Bras, and Beachwaver are expanding globally. Manscaped entered the UK, Europe, Africa, and Asia, partnering with major retailers like Tesco. Pepper Bras targets the UK and Australia, offering free shipping for orders above specific thresholds. While some brands succeed, others face challenges like Parade and Labucq, dealing with logistics and tariff issues in their international ventures. These companies highlight both the opportunities and obstacles in global market penetration, emphasizing the need for strategic planning and adaptability.

Walmart: Surpassing Earnings Expectations

Walmart’s Q1 2025 financial results show a six percent revenue increase to one hundred and sixty one billion dollars and a net profit jump to $5.1 billion. Global e-commerce sales rose by 21%, with the US contributing a 22% increase. Walmart Connect’s ad business grew by 24%, driven by a 50% rise in marketplace seller ad sales. The company anticipates continued growth, forecasting a 3.5%-4.5% increase in net sales for Q2. Walmart’s strong performance underscores its effective omnichannel retail strategy and robust market presence.


eBay France: Launching eBay Buyback

eBay France introduced eBay Buyback, enabling users to sell electronic devices directly to refurbishers. The service simplifies selling unused electronics like smartphones and laptops, offering automatic buyback quotes and free shipping labels. This initiative aims to boost the circulation of refurbished goods and maintain consumer purchasing power. eBay plans to expand this service to new product categories. By promoting sustainability, eBay Buyback also aligns with the growing consumer preference for eco-friendly options.

Alibaba: Strong International Growth

Alibaba’s Q4 FY2024 report highlights a 45% increase in international business revenue, driven by AliExpress Choice. The company’s annual revenue reached ¥941.2 billion, with a 12% adjusted EBITA growth. AliExpress Choice contributed significantly, with 70% of total orders and improved global delivery rates. The platform now holds strong positions in markets like Spain and South Korea. Alibaba’s strategic focus on logistics and customer satisfaction has been key to its rapid international expansion.

Jumia: Streamlining Nigerian Operations

African e-commerce leader Jumia announced plans to consolidate its Nigerian warehouses to cut costs and enhance growth. Q1 operating losses reduced significantly from $28.4 million to $8.3 million due to cost-cutting and improved margins. Jumia aims to expand its business to more Nigerian cities, leveraging partnerships like the BNPL option with Newedge (Easybuy) to drive consumer spending. The consolidation is expected to optimize operational efficiency and improve delivery times, enhancing customer experience.

Walmart: Rise of Chinese Sellers

In April, 73% of new Walmart Marketplace sellers were from China, surpassing the previous record of sixty seven percent in March. This influx reflects Walmart’s strategy to diversify its online seller base, similar to Amazon’s approach. Despite most US-sold goods being American-made, the online marketplace is increasingly dominated by Chinese sellers. This trend mirrors the growth patterns seen on platforms like Temu and AliExpress. The growing presence of Chinese sellers may lead to more competitive pricing and diverse product offerings for consumers.

Shöpping Expands to Germany

Austrian online marketplace Shöpping is set to launch in Germany by the end of this year, allowing Austrian sellers to reach a larger audience. Founded in 2017 by the Austrian national postal service, Shöpping has grown to host over 3.5 million items. This marks the company’s first international expansion, anticipated to occur in Q4. German customers will have access to a wide range of products including electronics, fashion, and regional delicacies. The expansion aims to meet the increasing demand from German consumers for Austrian products.

TikTok Shop to Launch in Continental Europe

TikTok plans to introduce its e-commerce platform in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain this summer. This expansion follows the initial launches in Asia, the UK, and the US, despite some setbacks in the UK. With over 15 million global sellers and a target GMV of $50 billion for this year, TikTok Shop aims to enhance its presence in Europe. The platform is also considering the introduction of fulfillment services, similar to those in the UK. This move reflects TikTok’s strategy to integrate shopping directly into its social media experience.


Google and OpenAI Shift Focus to Consumer AI Agents

Google and OpenAI are developing AI agents that shift the focus from static text interfaces to interactive tools. Google’s Project Astra and OpenAI’s new ChatGPT model emphasize real-time interaction and multimodal capabilities. These advancements are powered by Google’s Gemini 1.5 Pro and OpenAI’s GPT-4o, respectively. The aim is to integrate AI into daily consumer tasks, enhancing accessibility and functionality. This shift towards consumer-focused AI underscores the competition between leading AI developers to capture user data and drive future innovations.

US Officials Warn China Over AI Misuse

US and Chinese officials recently met in Geneva to discuss AI, focusing on the potential misuse of the technology by China. Concerns were raised about China’s use of AI for biometric surveillance and the evasion of US export restrictions on AI chips. The discussions emphasized the importance of trustworthy AI and maintaining open communication on AI risks. The US delegation included representatives from the White House, State Department, and Department of Commerce, highlighting the significance of sustainable AI development. This dialogue is part of broader efforts to build a global consensus on AI ethics and safety.

Singapore Data Platform Atlan Raises $105M

Singapore-based Atlan has secured $105 million in a Series C funding round, led by GIC, Snowflake, and others. The data governance platform aims to help businesses manage and utilize AI-ready data effectively. Atlan’s revenue surged sevenfold in the past two years, driven by a 400% growth in enterprise sales. The platform integrates with tools like Slack and Snowflake, enhancing data accessibility and governance. Customers such as Ralph Lauren and Unilever use Atlan to improve data-driven decision-making. The funding will support further development and expansion of Atlan’s data infrastructure capabilities.

New Falcon AI Model Challenges Meta’s Llama 3

The Technology Innovation Institute (TII) has released Falcon 2, a new AI model claiming to outperform Meta’s Llama 3. With 11 billion parameters, Falcon 2 offers a base version and one optimized for visual workloads. It supports multimodal capabilities, handling both text and images, making it suitable for industries like healthcare and finance. Falcon 2’s smaller size allows it to run efficiently on a single GPU, promoting cost-effective scalability. TII plans to enhance Falcon 2 with a Mixture of Experts approach, improving accuracy and decision-making capabilities. The model remains open source, ensuring broad accessibility for developers.

Congress Unveils AI Regulation Roadmap

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and a bipartisan group have released a 31-page roadmap for AI regulation. The plan calls for a $32 billion investment in AI research and development and aims to address urgent AI threats. Critics argue that the document lacks specifics on protecting consumers from AI harms. The roadmap is part of broader legislative efforts to manage AI’s rapid advancement and ensure ethical standards. Despite mixed reactions, the initiative marks a significant step towards comprehensive AI governance in the US.

CoreWeave Raises $7.5 Billion in Debt for AI Computing Push

CoreWeave, a specialized cloud provider for AI workloads, has secured $7.5 billion in debt to expand its AI computing capabilities. This significant funding boost will enable CoreWeave to enhance its infrastructure and support the growing demand for AI-driven applications. The company aims to leverage this investment to provide scalable and efficient cloud solutions tailored for intensive AI tasks. This move highlights the increasing need for robust computing power in the AI sector, as more organizations adopt AI technologies for various applications. CoreWeave’s strategic focus on AI-specific cloud services positions it as a key player in the rapidly evolving AI infrastructure market.

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