Welcome to another eCommerce and logistics news roundup from Easyship!

This week, we’re taking a look at some key updates for a number of major eCommerce platforms, including Shopify’s decision to open business for CBD retailers in the U.S., Amazon’s new cash payment option for online orders and where eBay is taking its Managed Payment option outside the U.S. for the first time. Plus, we'll examine the new U.S.-UPU deal.

Let’s take a closer look!

Shopify Opens for CBD Retailers in U.S.

Shopify has opened its virtual doors for U.S. online merchants in the fast-growing CBD and hemp industries.

The Ottawa-based eCommerce platform is already broadly used in Canada for recreational cannabis sales. Now, online merchants who sell CBD and hemp products in more than 40 states in the U.S. can access Shopify’s shipping, marketing, payment and online store design tools.

“We aren’t really getting into the CBD business, CBD is getting into the retail business,” said Loren Padelford, vice president and general manager of Shopify Plus.

Easyship’s Take: This is very positive news for U.S.-based online merchants in the CBD and hemp industries. Those looking to sell online should definitely seriously consider setting up an online store on Shopify to access its eCommerce tools and tap into the country’s booming CBD market.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our guide to shipping CBD oil too!

Amazon Partners with Western Union Launches Cash Payment Option for Online Orders

Amazon has partnered with Western Union to unveil a new cash payment option for online orders in the United States.

Online shoppers looking to pay with cash should select the PayCode option at checkout, after which they’ll receive a QR code and have 24 hours to pay at one of 15,000 participating Western Union locations. Refunds will also be available at participating Western Union locations across the U.S.

PayCode, currently available in 19 other countries, launched earlier in 2019 and is now available in the United States as of September 18.

Easyship’s Take: Amazon’s new cash payment option for U.S. customers is something that online merchants should consider embracing. While the practice of paying cash for online orders isn’t especially common in the country, having it available as a payment option can be an effective way to reach customers who are wary of using their credit and debit cards online, especially when high-volume selling periods like Amazon Prime Day roll around.

eBay Launches Managed Payments in Germany

eBay has also rolled out Managed Payments to its first market outside the U.S., specifically to Germany. With Managed Payments, eBay manages the end-to-end payments experience for any transaction made on the site and was introduced in September 2018 for a select group of merchants in the U.S. The eCommerce platform is currently in the process of inviting more merchants into the program as it expands into Germany.

“Managed payments will significantly simplify the customer experience for both buyers and sellers on eBay. This is particularly important in a market like Germany where customers place a high value on a convenient and seamless shopping experience, including a preference for a variety of payment options.

“Managed payments is one of the key pillars of our ongoing evolution to create a more managed marketplace – with the other two key pillars being the further expansion of the eBay catalogue to structure our data better and make it easier for buyers to find what they are looking for and the development of Managed Delivery to provide shoppers faster and more reliable delivery of items,” said Eben Sermon, Vice President of eBay Germany.

Easyship’s Take: This is positive news for online merchants who sell and ship to Germany on eBay. Managed Payments can help to make the customer experience more seamless, efficient and improved overall. Buyers can receive more flexibility and choice for payment options while online merchants can benefit not only from increased payment options, but also a centralized hub to conduct business and generally lower selling costs overall.

Remember to check out our eCommerce guide for selling and shipping to Germany on our blog here too!

UPU Reaches Deal with Trump Administration to Keep U.S. in Organization

Finally, the U.S. has reached a deal with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to remain in the organization after months of negotiations and speculation that it may withdraw.

Under the compromise, the United States will remain in the UPU and be allowed to raise prices for incoming parcels less than 4.4 lbs. in exchange for contributing to the organization's pension fund. Other nations, starting in July 2020, will be granted the authority to adjust prices on parcels inbound from the U.S. and elsewhere.

Easyship's Take: These changes will likely result in higher postal service prices worldwide, particularly for smaller parcels. U.S. importers and domestic companies doing business with international customers will probably see at least some impact in terms of higher prices.

Private couriers such as DHL, UPS and FedEx may also stand to benefit by being able to offer more a more competitive pricing structure for international shipments compared to postal services like the USPS.

Fortunately, Easyship partners with all of these carriers and many others around the world. No matter what happens going forward, we've got you covered by offering access to dozens of shipping solutions worldwide at pre-negotiated rates!

Enjoy our news updates? Tune in again in two weeks and be sure to sign up for Easyship today to access our global network of 250+ shipping solutions with rates discounted up to 70 percent!