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Amazon-banned Chinese sellers flock to Walmart

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Where do you go if the #1 e-commerce marketplace bans you? To the second-largest marketplace, it turns out.

What’s happened: Last year, Amazon shut down over 50,000 Chinese seller accounts. Walmart had already opened its marketplace to non-US sellers in early 2021, causing many banned Chinese sellers to flock there. Approximately 1 in 7 of the Walmart marketplace’s sellers were Chinese by the year’s end.

Don’t underestimate Walmart:  Walmart owns 6.6% of the US e-commerce market, according to Statista. This isn’t as high as Amazon (41%), but it’s not low either.

Walmart has its own “FBA” version: It’s called “Walmart Fulfillment Services” (or WFS) and it looks like many Chinese sellers use it to improve shipping times.

Apparently, Walmart isn’t bothered about review manipulation: According to Bloomberg sources, Chinese sellers are already using their Amazon review tactics on Walmart to improve product rankings and Walmart isn’t bothered by this. But of course, Walmart denied this (what else did we expect?)

Is Walmart a viable acquisition channel? Judging by their market share and the number of Chinese sellers who went there, ‘yes’ is a safe answer. Especially if you’re a non-US seller trying to get beyond Amazon.


APPLE

Apple announces unlisted apps, custom email domains, and record advertising revenue

Apple has been busy the past week.

The company reported quarterly earnings, with “services” up 24% year-on-year to $19.5 billion. Not bad for a company mostly known for selling great hardware. Here’s what else they’ve got:

Unlisted apps can now be shared via a separate link. Currently, you need to submit a request form to use this feature.

iOS 15.4 beta is expanding support for custom email domains. Users can create up to five custom domains. You’ll need a $0.99 iCloud+ storage plan to do this. We don’t know about you, but this sounds like a better deal than Google’s recent announcement on discontinuing the legacy G Suite.


SPONSORED BY DRIP

Tool check in: Is your marketing stack up to your 2022 goals?

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Luke Skywalker’s blue lightsaber…Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak…

Your favorite heroes rely on powerful tools to accomplish great things. Shouldn’t you?

Take Drip, for example.

Haute Hijab made $600K in 2021 using Drip’s automated abandoned cart workflows alone. That’s pretty epic.

Drip:

  • Integrates with a ton of third party apps including Shopify, Stripe, and Facebook ads. There’s no code or dev, so transitioning to Drip isn’t painful or time consuming
  • Sends hyper-personalized and relevant emails and SMS campaigns to customers at the right time, so you don’t have to
  • Shows you exactly how much revenue is coming from specific emails and workflows so you can repeat what works and optimize what doesn’t

Drip even has a top-notch learning center to make sure you’re getting the most out of your campaigns.

Is it time to get your marketing toolkit to hero status?

Try Drip for two weeks without a credit card!


MARKETING

How to use memes to grow your startup

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If we told you that memes are the most powerful, most underrated, and most misunderstood item in a startup founders toolkit, you’d probably laugh for 10 minutes straight.

Yet this is how Toby Howell started this Twitter thread. And as funny as it sounds, maybe after reading what he has to say, you might change your mind.

Why are memes good?

They’re great at showcasing four things that a startup needs:

  • Positioning
  • Progress
  • Community
  • Credibility

Let’s dive deeper into this idea.

1) Positioning: A great way to position your startup is through contrast. Think about the early days of Apple. Nowadays it’s taken for granted, but they’ve positioned themselves against a whole industry. Apple vs normal computers. Same with Tesla when they first launched. Tesla vs combustion engine cars.

Contrast yourself against the wider market.

An example is this meme of Wes Anderson at Cannes.

2) Progress: Showing your growth gives people a sneak peek into your story and invites them behind the scenes.

A meme can help you achieve this, and a great example is this “How it started vs How it’s going” meme by MKBHD.

3) Community: Often memes become a shared symbol of a community. A language that demonstrates belonging.

One way to do this is by tying your brand to an object, so that object becomes a meme. Here’s a great example.

4) Credibility: In the early days of a company, credibility is essential in getting customers, media coverage, and investors to care about what you’re building.

You can hack credibility with memes. Nikita’s app turned the very process of gaining traction into a meme itself.


SPONSORED BY GROVIA

Who’s really holding your customers away from your business?

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Out there, there’s a publisher, creator or influencer that has an audience of potential buyers that fit your brand perfectly.

The question is… Where exactly? How do you find these money-making partnerships?

Grovia is the answer.

Their Concierge service identifies high profile partners with an audience of ready-to-buy prospects tailored for your brand.

They identify them. Qualify them. And help you manage these partnerships at scale.

Unlock new profitable partnerships.


THE CREW’S INSIGHTS

Content marketing-powered e-commerce sales

Content marketing is one of the top acquisition channels by e-commerce founders that came out in our recent Insights deep dive.

And we found that there are three kinds of content that worked well for e-commerce stores.

They are:

Stories: There are different kinds of stories you can tell.

NOVO Watch, a hand-made maker of watches for men that generates $16k/month, told a story about how their products are made. This video is an example.

Pearls of Joy ($200k/mo), instead, used stories to fight the common customers’ belief that DTC means low quality. They did that by showing customers their buying and creation process.

Personal stories: The founders of VADE Nutrition ($500k/mo), a brand that sells plant-based protein, started sharing videos about their personal fitness stories.

“We’ve found that our followers love to have insight into Megan and myself and what we’re doing.”

Lifestyle content: Huckberry, a company we previously analyzed, is a master at this. Their e-commerce brand is almost entirely content-powered, and lifestyle content is a big portion of it. Their Instagram content is highly lifestyle-focused.

But not only that, their emails and blog posts document their outdoor lifestyle too. For an example, check this article about one-bag travels.


FROM THE CREW

You can win a business worth up to US$ 25,000 next Monday

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We are in the final stretch of the US$ 25,000 business giveaway entry period!

If you’re still wondering what type of business you can get by winning the giveaway, here are 4 of our favorite available deals up to US$ 25,000 from the Flippa Marketplace:

To enter the raffle, you have until Friday (Feb. 4th) to get at least 1 referral with your unique referral link.

The more you share your link, the better your chances; each successful referral means one entry.

The lucky winner will be announced next Monday (Feb. 7th). Good luck!


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

MARKETING: Learn how Affirm creates social media ads that appeal to people’s most common desires, how they position themselves for sellers, and how “powered by” marketing is a quick win. All revealed tomorrow in our deep dive for Insights. Read the free preview here.*

PPC: A reminder from Google. Data collected before Sep.1, 2020, that doesn’t meet current thresholds for the search terms report will be removed on Feb.1, 2022. That’s tomorrow, so do your backups.

E-COMMERCE: Consumers are spending more again. Like Mastercard, Visa’s quarterly earnings report smashed revenue expectations.

ADVERTISING: Podcast ads spending surges in 2021, according to a report.

GOOGLE: Are they playing bait-and-switch? Google has changed its legacy G Suite page, hinting that there might actually be some free stuff left before July 2022.

TIKTOK: You probably didn’t expect this, but book sales are soaring because of TikTok.

ADVERTISING: Google’s proposed Topics API is off to a shaky start.

*This is a sponsored post.


BRAIN TEASER

What is as big as you are and yet does not weigh anything?

You can find the solution here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

NFTs are marketing idiot magnets

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That is, according to Mark Ritson, another marketer.

According to Ritson, the fact that something is non-fungible does not imply that it is irreplaceable. And therein lies the main issue (among many).

Although Ritson considers NFTs to be useless (in their current form), he believes they’re useful for filtering out marketing idiots.

According to him, NFTs can help you differentiate between marketers who know what they’re doing and marketers who are trending, underqualified tech-heads who are “not worth a chair.”

Do you agree?

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