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You're reading a web archive of Shopifreaks - the Internet's #1 newsletter following the e-commerce industry.

What’s more valuable to an online seller in 2022 — their e-commerce platform or their ad network?

Can a government sponsored e-commerce network outperform and out-innovate big tech companies like Walmart and Amazon?

Can Meta win by default at their own self-proclaimed game or will other metaverse contenders bring stiff competition to the space?

In this week’s 67th Edition of the Shopifreaks newsletter, I shed insight on these questions and more. Thanks for being a subscriber. 

Stat of the Week

The share of Internet users who shopped online DOUBLED and TRIPLED in some developing countries during the pandemic. United Arab Emirates rose from 27% in 2019 to 63% in 2020. Bahrain went from 15% to 45%. Uzbekistan from 4% to 11%. Of the 66 countries covered, online shopping remains the lowest in El Salvador at 1%. — According to UNCTAD. –> [RETWEET IT

1. The world’s largest advertising company just launched an e-commerce platform

WPP, the largest advertising company in the world based out of Britain, has launched their own end-to-end e-commerce platform to handle the sales, logistics, and delivery of products sold by its clients. 

The company entered into this leg of the business during the pandemic, when it started setting up D2C sites for its clients while their brick-and-mortar shops were shut down, and now they’re looking to expand this offering.

WPP’s new e-commerce platform, Everymile, will handle the entire process from marketing and sales to product delivery, and will work on a revenue share model to ensure that the platform is focused on delivering mutually beneficial results for customers.

This is fascinating, and I’m excited about this. Here’s why: 

Merchants on Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and other e-commerce platforms have one big collective challenge… advertising!

Earlier this year, in Shopify’s Future of E-commerce Trends 2022 Report, Shopify said that the biggest challenge facing e-commerce today is the cost of customer acquisition, which is set to rise in the face of increased DTC competition and the increasing cost of advertising. 

Prior to that trends report, I discussed Shopify’s two big challenges of not having a central destination where shoppers begin their search for products and lack of an advertising end of their business. 

E-commerce logistics is becoming a commodity. There are a LOT of options for merchants on the market. However advertising is a much more coveted element of the business. 

So I find it fascinating that WPP is essentially cutting out the middle man for their clients and bringing the e-commerce portion of their customer journeys in-house. It gives WPP direct control over their platform tech and offers new revenue channels (ie: SaaS subscriptions, merchant processing fees, etc) that would otherwise go to 3rd party providers like Shopify. 

This is no different than Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok (social advertising channels) attempting to cut out the middleman through their internal Shops features. 

Keeping e-commerce in-house also prevents those 3rd party platforms from interfering with WPP’s advertising revenue via their partnerships and integrations that may compete with WPP’s core offering.

Building an e-commerce platform is easier today than building an advertising network, especially with headless commerce options and open integrations. And now it seems that the advertising networks themselves want to siphon off a piece of that business. 

A bold move by WPP that could offer big upside to the company. 

2. India battles US Big Tech

This Friday, India will soft launch its much anticipated Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a government sponsored not-for-profit platform that will allow buyers and sellers to connect and transact with each other online, no matter what other application they use.