Welcome to our latest eCommerce and logistics news roundup!

This week, let’s take a look at how long Amazon Prime Day 2020 will last, Shopify’s integrations with Apple Business Chat, and Alibaba’s ambitious new English-language portal.

Amazon Prime Day 2020 to Span July 15 - July 16

Amazon Prime Day is slated to return once again in July - though this time, the annual discount bonanza will run for 48 hours, specifically from 12am PST on Monday, July 15 until 12am PST on Tuesday, July 17.

The two-day sales extravaganza will feature steep discounts on many Amazon-branded products while many third-party sellers are also expected to get in on the event by offering discounts and special deals of their own.

Amazon Prime Day, open to all Prime members, first launched in 2015. The previous 2018 iteration of the event lasted for 36 hours.

Easyship’s Take: The extended Amazon Prime Day 2020 offers online merchants using Amazon a great opportunity to position to get in on the action.

Although Amazon’s products will be discounted and draw much attention from buyers, sellers should take advantage of the increased traffic and public interest by running sales and special deals of their own. Doing so can help to potentially boost sales by capturing at least a portion of the additional traffic to Amazon’s marketplace.

Shopify Adds Apple Business Chat, Apple Pay Support

Shopify has announced that it’s adding support for Apple Business Chat for all 800,000+ of its merchants to Shopify Ping, its free messaging platform that allows sellers to directly communicate with their customers.

According to a blog post announcing the new Shopify integration: “With Shopify Ping, merchants can manage all of the Apple Business Chat interactions together with its other chat traffic in a single place. This means that small merchants have access to the same rich set of customer interaction tools as some of the biggest merchants on the planet, enabling them to provide a more sophisticated level of service, something that has often been out of reach for smaller businesses without deep pockets.”

In addition to this new tool, customers will also be able to pay directly with Apple Pay inside the chat client.

Easyship’s Take: This is a tool that every Shopify merchant should take advantage of.

Statistically, customers who actively engage in conversation with the brands they’re looking to purchase from are almost three times more likely to complete their purchase. Live chat can also work to build trust between customers and online merchants as well as increase the chances that a one-time customer will be converted into a loyal, repeat customer.

So, by actively engaging with customers using the Apple Business Chat integration, online merchants can potentially boost their sales and build increased trust with their customers. Live chat is also a great way to cut cart abandonment rates, further boosting revenues for companies who use it frequently.

Alibaba Looks to Double Tmall Global Brands with New English-Language Website

Chinese eCommerce titan Alibaba launched a new English-language site for its Tmall Global market, currently available in 77 countries. The move is reportedly designed to double the number of international brands on the platform over the next three years to 40,000.

In a statement, the company said the move is aimed at making Tmall Global more accessible to niche brands and SMBs on a global scale.

Tmall Global, launched in 2014, serves as a platform for overseas brands looking to sell to Chinese consumers.

Easyship’s Take: The launch of Alibaba’s new English-language website offers an intriguing prospect for online merchants looking to ship to China.

The country boasts a huge and fast-growing eCommerce market thanks in large part to its massive and increasingly wealthy population and rising Internet penetration, making it a prime opportunity for online merchants looking for lucrative cross-border opportunities. Alibaba, China’s largest eCommerce company, offers the perfect leverage for global brands to break into the growing Chinese market.

Hurdles remain, however. The U.S.-China trade war, punctuated by increased tariffs between the two countries and the United States’ planned UPU withdrawal, present major challenges for eCommerce businesses engaged in trade between the two countries.

Still, the prospect of tapping into China’s robust eCommerce market using Alibaba’s Tmall Global marketplace is something too good to pass up. Online merchants from around the world looking to sell to China should definitely explore selling on Tmall Global to take advantage of China’s large and growing eCommerce market.