This Week in eCommerce, July 19, 2021

Brittany Blackman
Jul 16, 2021

Instagram Pivots Away from PhotoSharing

Instagram has announced that their main platform objective has shifted quite a bit, causing a bit of outrage from users. With the insurmountable rise of video-sharing platforms like TikTok, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, recently announced that his app is pivoting away from being primarily a photo-sharing app. 

Mosseri went into detail about the new objective, describing some upcoming changes and experiments that Instagram will be doing. These changes include showing users recommendations for topics they’re not following and making video more immersive by offering a full-screen experience (Features which virtually no one asked for). Instagram began a shift many moons ago to more influencer-focused content. They started by axing the chronological feed, which immediately irritated users.

The company claimed that posts that were “more tailored to the user” would appear at the top of the feed. Clearly this ended up being a tool to push posts with the most engagement, AKA big brands and influencers. Instagram has made it crystal clear they no longer desire to be thought of as the “square photo-sharing app,” as Mosseri puts it, but instead as a general entertainment app driven by algorithms and videos. Just like TikTok and Facebook. The issue with this is that the market is already saturated with video-sharing platforms, and Instagram actually had its own niche with photo sharing, that it’s interesting that they would pivot away from a market that they owned. It’s understandable that focusing on video/shoppable content would be at the forefront of Instagram’s agenda, because there’s some serious cash there. But will it cause users to flock in the opposite direction?

Instacart Names Facebook Exec as New Ceo

Grocery delivery app Instacart announced it has hired the head of Facebook’s app, Fidji Simo, as its new CEO. The move positions her to be the first outsider to lead the $39 billion (with a B) start-up.In a letter to the Instacart community announcing the news, Instacart’s cofounder Apoorva Mehta said Simo was “at Facebook during its transition from a private company to the public market and understands what it takes to lead and scale a transformational company.”

Simo has been at Facebook since joining in a product marketing role a decade ago in 2011. She worked her way up by improving Facebook’s main app, which she’s been in charge of since March 2019. She played a major role in the company’s initiatives to bring more video content to the Facebook app by way of autoplaying videos, livestreaming and the Facebook Watch video streaming product. And it’s no secret that introducing video and livestreaming was the catalyst that made the platform the cash cow that it is.Simo, 35, originally from France, is one of the highest-ranking female executives at Facebook after COO Sheryl Sandberg and Chief Business Officer Marne Levine. Simo’s exit will create a vacancy at the head of Facebook’s main social network, a position that is closely aligned with the heads of Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. 

Simo will succeed Instacart founder Apoorva Mehta on Aug. 2. Mehta will transition to executive chairman of the board. 

Amazon Partners with BigCommerce to Ease Fulfillment

To ease retailers’ eCommerce operations, open SaaS e-commerce platform BigCommerce has fully integrated with Amazon’s Multi-Channel Fulfillment. The main objective here is to streamline sellers’ online order fulfillment using Amazon’s trusty fulfillment services.Per MarketWatch, BigCommerce merchants will now have access to Amazon’s top-of-the-line fulfillment network, operational expertise, fast ship speeds and lower fulfillment costs with competitive rates. Key benefits include:

  • Fast shipping: Merchants can now fulfill orders seven days a week including 1-day, 2-day and 3-5 business day delivery.
  • Upfront delivery promises: To improve sales conversion, merchants can display delivery promises at checkout providing customers with insight into when they will receive their order.
  • Competitive pricing: With MCF, merchants only pay for fulfillment and storage with no peak surcharges. Fulfillment fees are fully inclusive of pick, pack and ship.
  • Simplified operations: Automatic inventory placement gives merchants the power to get products closer to customers and scale to meet seasonal spikes without increasing fixed costs.
  • Customized shipping price rules: Merchants have full control over the cost of shipping for customers, and are able to replace the Amazon rate with flat rate or free shipping options (e.g., Free shipping on orders over $49).
  • Fully trackable orders: To keep customers informed at every stage of shipping, merchants are able to easily share shipment confirmation and tracking details for any carrier.

Incorporating its tools within Amazon’s platform, allows BigCommerce to give businesses a competitive edge and a simple, efficient online shopping experience for their customers.

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