Hey there!

I’m in the final throws of preparations for ECF Live 2020 but couldn’t skip the News Cart with so much happening this week.

Shopify will be keeping transaction fees on refunds, Trump cracks down on counterfeits and in completely unrelated news Chinese sellers take the crown as the #1 force on Amazon.

Also Yotpo’s recent acquisition, Amazon’s big news and will this money-losing DTC IPO fare better than WeWork?

If you’re headed to San Antonio for ECF Live safe travels!  I’m looking forward to seeing you soon.

– Andrew

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In the News

Shopify Will No Longer Refund Processing Fees for Return Payments (ECF members-only link)

  • Shopify says such refunds were a “mistake” that it’s now correcting to align with its terms of service
  • Company to stop refunding processing fees on returns after March 1, 2020
  • Shopify Payments to charge a 1% cross-border fee for payment transactions outside the U.S.

Trump Administration Cracks Down on Counterfeits

  • Law enforcement officials will “pursue civil fines and other penalties” against online counterfeit sellers, according to DHS report
  • Report gives officials greater power to examine shipments in U.S. warehouses and fulfillment centers
  • Intended to “shift the burden” from government to eCommerce platforms for monitoring

Chinese Outnumber U.S. Sellers on Amazon (hat tip to ECF member Rex Bledsoe)

  • 49% of the top 10,000 Amazon.com sellers are based in China; 47% are based in the U.S.
  • Their growth has been rapid:  Chinese sellers represented only 38% of top sellers a year ago
  • U.S.-based sellers also outnumbered by Chinese sellers in the top 50,000 and top 100,000

Yotpo Acquires SMSBump 

  • Acquisition adds SMS marketing to Yotpo’s suite of capabilities
  • Brands can request reviews and photos or videos via SMS, and can notify customers of loyalty programs, status updates or referral promotions

Amazon Smashes 4th Quarter Earnings Expectations

  • Earnings for Q4 2019 were 60% above analysts expectations
  • One day and same-day shipments quadrupled year-over-year, potentially contributing to increased revenues
  • Cloud business revenue was up 34%, total revenues by 21%.  Shipping expenses up 43%.

Casper IPO to Raise Up to $159 Million

  • Projected valuation between $750 million and just over $1 billion
  • S-1 filing showed net losses of $67 million on $312 million in net revenues for the first nine months of 2019
  • Filing comes in the midst of many reconsidering money-losing DTC business models

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