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Commerce chronicles: Apr 1, 2024

Apr 01, 2024 - Alyssa Wolfe
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Apr 1 Commerce Chronicles | Chewy, Dropshop, Beast Games and more

Chewy to open veterinary clinics, SilkRoad Shipping deploys first “smart” shipping containers, Dropshop lets online shoppers pay with tasks and worldwide ecommerce sales set to hit over $6 trillion dollars this year. Plus, MrBeast teams up with Amazon and TikTok updates commerce features.

In this week’s news, learn about Chewy’s vet clinics, how IoT works with shipping containers and paying for ecommerce purhcases by performing simple tasks. Plus, MrBeast’s ecommerce partnerships and how TikTok is improving commerce features. Visit our blog every Monday for a roundup of the latest commerce news.

Pet ecommerce giant Chewy ventures into veterinary medicine with first clinic opening soon in South Florida

Chewy, a popular ecommerce pet retailer, recognizes the power of the global pet care market, which is expected to grow from $320 billion to $500 billion by 2023.1 In December 2023, the brand announced it would launch its first vet clinic location in South Florida early this year, with more to follow throughout 2024. Set to open soon, the inaugural clinic will operate under the brand name “Chewy Vet Care” and offer routine appointments, urgent care and surgery.2

Chewy Vet Care will be powered by a custom-built open platform, catering to both Chewy Vet Care and third-party partner practices. President Mita Malhotra emphasizes the unique in-practice and post-visit experience, designed in collaboration with veterinarians and customers, featuring modern technology for seamless interactions. The service complements Chewy Health's existing offerings, including pet pharmacy, tele-triage service, insurance plans, ecommerce products and customer service, providing comprehensive and convenient pet care solutions. “With Chewy Vet Care, we are leveraging all the B2C and B2B pet health and wellness offerings that Chewy has spent years building and bundling them for use within our own ecosystem,” Malhotra said. 

Silk Road Shipping deploys first “smart” containers

Silk Road Shipping, China's pioneering cross-border ecommerce express container shipping alliance, recently achieved a significant milestone by deploying smart containers equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) technology and satellite-based navigation systems for the first time. Seven of these innovative containers were loaded onto the SITC Dalian vessel in Xiamen port, destined for Haiphong, Vietnam. With embedded microchips, these containers offer real-time tracking capabilities, allowing shippers and liner operators to monitor their movement, customs inspections and loading status.

In an article, Silk Road Shipping's General Manager, Li Nan, spoke about importance of such technological advancements in meeting the growing demand for supply chain logistics and cross-border ecommerce, highlighting the alliance's role in facilitating trade along the Belt and Road initiative.3 Since its establishment in 2018, the alliance, which includes major players like Cosco and SITC Container Lines, has expanded significantly, with 116 routes covering 106 ports since February, reflecting its commitment to enhancing efficiency and transparency in global trade operations.

Dropshop lets online shoppers pay with “tasks”

Dropshop, an innovative ecommerce platform, is redefining online shopping by merging brand exploration with discounted purchases.4 Customers can acquire products for free by completing various tasks and accumulating credits through activities like games, streaming services, and free trials. Tasks may involve a nominal fee or be entirely cost-free, with each completed task reducing the product price. Once enough credits are amassed, customers can exchange them for desired items from a vast selection provided by over 100,000 manufacturers and nearly 500 brands.

The platform's appeal lies in its diverse range of tasks, allowing users to earn credits through engagement with specific products, services or enjoyable activities, transforming the shopping experience into a rewarding and entertaining endeavor. Dropshop's founder, “We are thrilled to introduce Dropshop to the world,” said Ari Kassman, founder of Dropshop. “We believe that shopping should be a rewarded experience. Paying with tasks will revolutionize how people shop. It's that simple - with Dropshop, people get more and spend less.”


Worldwide ecommerce sales set to break $6 trillion and make one-fifth of retail sales

Worldwide retail ecommerce sales are projected to reach $6.334 trillion in 2024, comprising 20.1% of total retail sales.5 However, ecommerce growth is expected to slow over the next three years, with Latin America experiencing the fastest growth rate at 15.8%, while Western Europe lags behind at 6.4%. China is anticipated to dominate the ecommerce market, accounting for over half of global sales, followed by the US and the UK. The continued ecommerce growth gives retailers an opportunity to extend their reach beyond traditional brick-and-mortar stores, tapping into a global customer base. It enables brands to provide convenient, personalized shopping experiences tailored to individual preferences, driving customer loyalty and satisfaction. By leveraging ecommerce platforms, retailers can streamline operations, optimize inventory management and reduce overhead costs, leading to improved profitability.

Beast Games coming to Prime Video

MrBeast (aka Jimmy Donaldson) is launching a reality competition series on Amazon Prime Video, featuring 1,000 contestants vying for a $5 million cash prize, marking the largest single prize in television and streaming history.6 With this deal, MrBeast has successfully partnered with ecommerce giants like Shopify and Amazon and sold everything from MrBeast-branded socks and burgers to his snack line, Feastables.

The show, premiering exclusively on Prime Video, has garnered high praise and anticipation from Amazon MGM Studios executives for its ambitious scale and potential global impact. “My goal is to make the greatest show possible and prove YouTubers and creators can succeed on other platforms,” said MrBeast in an Amazon news release. “Amazon gave me the creative control I need to try and make it happen. I hope to make the YouTube community proud.” MrBeast will serve as host and executive producer.

TikTok’s updates commerce features to help drive commerce “everywhere”

TikTok is intensifying its focus on ecommerce, focusing on success metrics to drive product discovery and sales.7 Recent updates include extending Shop Ads within the TikTok Shop Tab, introducing Video Shopping Ads globally with new formats and simplifying the onboarding process for merchants through partnerships with ecommerce platforms like Shopify. TikTok's data shows significantly higher return on ad spend (ROAS) compared to other media channels, with online retail ROAS being 3.5 times more efficient than YouTube and offline conversions being 1.9 times more efficient than various online channels. These updates align with TikTok's goal of becoming a leading commerce destination, with recent initiatives including first-party measurement capabilities and testing of shoppable video content. These efforts aim to make commerce ubiquitous across the platform, providing opportunities for brands and retailers to engage with TikTok's vast user base and drive business growth.

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