Attracting the Small E-Commerce Business

January 23, 2020


Over 99% of the U.S.’s 28.7 million firms are small businesses. Of these, many are considered small e-commerce businesses because they are third-party resellers using online platforms like Amazon, EBay and Etsy. Amazon, by far, is the leader here. In the third quarter of 2019, 53% of paid units on Amazon were sold by third-party sellers. In 2018, nearly three-quarters of Amazon seller businesses had between just one and five employees.

Targeting Small E-commerce Businesses

Small parcel providers are looking to get a piece of this small e-commerce business market in a number of ways including new solutions and partnerships. The latest comes from UPS which announced that it will offer free plug-ins to make UPS tools and services seamlessly available within four e-commerce platforms commonly used on websites: WooCommerce, PrestaShop, OpenCart and Magento.

According to UPS’ press release, the UPS plug-ins allow merchants with UPS accounts to access their negotiated rates and integrate a wide range of UPS delivery services into their preferred platform. Additionally, small-to-medium sized businesses can open a UPS account within the plug-in and receive access to discounts of up to 55% off Daily rates.

Plug-ins featured include:

  • Label printing within the e-commerce platforms, including for multi-order batches.
  • Control over shipping rates displayed to e-shoppers.
  • Presentation of accurate, scheduled delivery times to e-shoppers during checkout.
  • Access to real-time tracking information.

Indeed, it’s about making it easier for businesses catering to online platforms. Online platforms, B2C and B2B, are growing more and more in importance, the reasons, according to a UPS white paper are:

  • Globalization
  • The rise in frictionless retail
  • On-demand delivery
  • Greater consumer expectations

UPS’ announcement feeds into its recently launched Digital Access Program. Announced in October 2019, the program helps e-commerce platforms provide a “comprehensive suite of order management, fulfillment and delivery services to simplify logistics complexity.” The program also includes collaborations with e-commerce companies that specialize in demand generation, order management, web hosting, shipping and returns.

FedEx has similar agreements in place, although perhaps not as succinctly packaged and marketed as UPS, but both companies are looking to tap into a market that Amazon has embraced with its own logistics services.  How competitive FedEx and UPS can be without compromising profitability remains to be seen but for now, small-to-medium sized businesses are basking in this focus by small parcel as well as other logistics providers.  However, the problem facing these small e-commerce businesses will be how to evaluate their ever growing logistics and transportation options.

 

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Attracting the Small E-Commerce Business

January 23, 2020


Over 99% of the U.S.’s 28.7 million firms are small businesses. Of these, many are considered small e-commerce businesses because they are third-party resellers using online platforms like Amazon, EBay and Etsy. Amazon, by far, is the leader here. In the third quarter of 2019, 53% of paid units on Amazon were sold by third-party sellers. In 2018, nearly three-quarters of Amazon seller businesses had between just one and five employees.

Targeting Small E-commerce Businesses

Small parcel providers are looking to get a piece of this small e-commerce business market in a number of ways including new solutions and partnerships. The latest comes from UPS which announced that it will offer free plug-ins to make UPS tools and services seamlessly available within four e-commerce platforms commonly used on websites: WooCommerce, PrestaShop, OpenCart and Magento. According to UPS’ press release, the UPS plug-ins allow merchants with UPS accounts to access their negotiated rates and integrate a wide range of UPS delivery services into their preferred platform. Additionally, small-to-medium sized businesses can open a UPS account within the plug-in and receive access to discounts of up to 55% off Daily rates. Plug-ins featured include:
  • Label printing within the e-commerce platforms, including for multi-order batches.
  • Control over shipping rates displayed to e-shoppers.
  • Presentation of accurate, scheduled delivery times to e-shoppers during checkout.
  • Access to real-time tracking information.
Indeed, it’s about making it easier for businesses catering to online platforms. Online platforms, B2C and B2B, are growing more and more in importance, the reasons, according to a UPS white paper are:
  • Globalization
  • The rise in frictionless retail
  • On-demand delivery
  • Greater consumer expectations
UPS’ announcement feeds into its recently launched Digital Access Program. Announced in October 2019, the program helps e-commerce platforms provide a “comprehensive suite of order management, fulfillment and delivery services to simplify logistics complexity.” The program also includes collaborations with e-commerce companies that specialize in demand generation, order management, web hosting, shipping and returns. FedEx has similar agreements in place, although perhaps not as succinctly packaged and marketed as UPS, but both companies are looking to tap into a market that Amazon has embraced with its own logistics services.  How competitive FedEx and UPS can be without compromising profitability remains to be seen but for now, small-to-medium sized businesses are basking in this focus by small parcel as well as other logistics providers.  However, the problem facing these small e-commerce businesses will be how to evaluate their ever growing logistics and transportation options.  

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