Amazon Now Letting Some Merchants Sell From Their Own Websites…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

May 2, 2022New and Noteworthy0 comments

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1— Amazon is expanding their fast shipping guarantee to other online businesses.

Amazon is expanding its Buy With Prime service to now allow select Amazon merchants to sell their listed merchandise directly from their own websites. With this new feature, those customers can make Amazon’s payments and fulfillment services available at checkout. Shoppers will get the option of using their Amazon Prime membership for quick, no-charge delivery and other benefits. The move is being made to take on its biggest competitor, Shopify. For now, the tool will be invitation only and will have an undisclosed fee attached. Participating merchants will display the Prime logo and expected delivery date on eligible products in their own online store, offer a simple, convenient checkout experience using Amazon Pay, and leverage Amazon’s fulfillment network to deliver orders. Amazon will also manage free returns for eligible orders. (Source: Bloomberg)

Why this is important for your business:

For an ecommerce company, this is Amazon giving you the chance to have your cake and eat it too. If accepted into the program you can sell your products right from your own site instead of Amazon’s which means that customers may not be enticed by competitors’ offerings or ads.

2— DIY repairs for iPhones are here.

Apple has released their self-service repair kit in the United States for iPhones 12,13 and third generation iPhone SE. Apple warns that the self-service repair is for somewhat experienced technicians rather than any iPhone user experiencing troubles. However, when comparing the DIY costs to the professional repair, the value isn’t much different. There are also some concerns from those for and against DIY repairs on the true value of this initiative. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Despite the concerns, this gives you and your employees more options for repairs. I expect to see a number of phone repair shops take Apple up on these offerings and compete on price so that you’re not forced to only deal with one company. So the next time you need service done for your iPhone, you won’t automatically need to go to the Apple Store.

3— Tape storage has persisted amidst technological advances.

Tape storage— specifically Linear Tape-Open (LTO)— has seen enormous growth this year in sales. This is due to many large data companies wanting to keep their information safe from cyber-attacks. This type of storage prohibits any access to information unless physically holding the tapes which has become vital in fighting off malicious software. In addition, LTOs are much cheaper and have a longer shelf life. LTOs are a secondary measure rather than an immediate backup for large amounts of data. (Source: PC Gamer)

Why this is important for your business:

See that? Sometimes old-school still works!

4— This digital wallet for small and medium sized businesses intends to eliminate paper logs.

WEX, a financial tech company, has launched a digital payment platform—Flume—to expedite payments for small and medium businesses. The platform aims to help companies eliminate the need for manual account payable and accounts receivable processes. The digital wallet is launching now to existing WEX users and new users. The company hopes that Flume will replace paper banking systems for small and medium business owners. (Source: Business Wire)

Why this is important for your business:

According to the company’s co-founder, most SMBs still rely on paper-based processes to power their businesses, which has served them well for decades, but looking ahead to the next ten years, current workflows can’t keep up amid skyrocketing demand. “Most tools on the market today are built for more modern, technology-enabled companies, leaving many of these physically-grounded businesses out of focus,” he says. “That’s why we built Flume. Flume puts the power of customized, accessible software in their hands so they can stay focused on growth and not the paperwork.”

5— Buy Now Pay Later apps are catching on.

Buy Now Pay Later apps (BNPL) have taken over the ecommerce market and have been proven to be more popular than onetime payment shopping in recent years. Additionally, shoppers who use these apps tend to spend more than those who don’t, especially during the last two years. Although many have felt discouraged by the fees and interest rates that come with late payments, BNPL still supersedes one-time payment among younger shoppers. (Source: Digital Commerce 360)

Why this is important for your business:

The government is taking a closer look at some of the practices of the companies offering BNPL products because interest rates and fees can be high if shoppers don’t pay their bills on time and disclosures are inconsistent. But if you make sure your customers are aware of the downsides, using a BNPL service can make a difference on your sales, particularly if you’re in retail and selling larger ticket items like furniture or appliances.

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