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The news: Checkout provider Bold Commerce and fintech company PayPal announced an integration that will allow brands and retailers to adopt both companies’ services together. PayPal said it’s a move to expand in the headless commerce market, which describes solutions that allow merchants to operate stores without a front-end layer.
How will it work? The companies described the integration this way:
Brands and retailers can use Bold Commerce’s headless checkout suite with the PayPal Commerce platform.
This brings together payments and checkout in a “single pre-integrated solution.”
Merchants can launch sales beyond their own website by integrating checkout in places like blogs, social, and QR codes on packaging.
Through a single service, brands and retailers can accept payment options including PayPal, Venmo and PayPal Pay Later solutions, as well as credit and debit cards.
Key quote from PayPal VP and Global Head of Channel Partnership David Bruce: “Payment choice and flexibility have always been a critical part of a successful commerce experience – but it’s only one part of the equation. Retailers today need to also offer a tailored checkout experience to help drive increased conversion. It’s a powerful combination for a composable checkout to plug into any tech stack.
What it means for ecommerce: The partnership highlights several key trends playing out in the market today:
Headless commerce: In a past generation, retailers built monolithic ecommerce systems with a host of interconnected parts. The cloud and API-driven architecture is ushering in a new paradigm where brands and retailers can separate out different components, and select what best fits their needs. The market is moving toward this, especially in the enterprise segment that long required custom-built systems for scale and category needs. The entrance of PayPal signals that longtime ecommerce platforms are building for this shift. Meanwhile, Bold Commerce itself has 9,000 brands and retailers on its platform, including Vera Bradley, Staples Canada, Pepsi, and Mars. This follows a move by Shopify to launch composable product suite Commerce Components with a focus on checkout earlier in January.
Checkout anywhere: Content brought commerce to platforms beyond ecommerce stores, enabling ads on social platforms and brand placement in posts. More recently, more of that content has become shoppable, allowing users to browse and start a purchase right within a piece of media. A solution like the Bold Commerce and PayPal integration takes another step, embedding the ability to finish a purchase by checking out right inside that content. It shows how ecommerce is becoming more embedded in the experience of the internet, as opposed to existing on specific stores and marketplaces.Fighting cart abandonment: The ability to check out through media is enticing to ecommerce leaders because they want to reduce the touchpoints and time between a person showing interest in an item and completing a sale. Bold Commerce found over half (53%) of consumers abandon checkout before making a buy. This is a long-standing issue, but signals that perhaps there is another technical step being taken. It’s one thing to make checkout easier; It’s another to bring it directly to the point of discovery.
Trending in Operations
The cuts amount to 4% of the ecommerce platform's workforce.
eBay is set to become the latest ecommerce platform to conduct layoffs.
The company announced plans on Tuesday to lay off 500 employees, which amounts to about 4% of its workforce. Layoffs were set to take place over the next 24 hours, the company said Tuesday evening.
In an SEC filing, CEO Jamie Iannone said the decision to make layoffs came after consideration of the macroeconomic environment and where the company could best invest for the long-term.
Iannone said the moves “are designed to strengthen our ability to deliver better end-to-end experiences for our customers and to support more innovation and scale across our platform.”
“Importantly, this shift gives us additional space to invest and create new roles in high-potential areas — new technologies, customer innovations and key markets — and to continue to adapt and flex with the changing macro, ecommerce and technology landscape,” Iannone wrote. “We’re also simplifying our structure to make decisions more effectively and with more speed.”
eBay is one of the oldest ecommerce platforms, and remains an active marketplace for both new and resale items. The San Francisco-based company has yet to report results for the fourth quarter of 2022. In the third quarter, the company said gross merchandise volume was down 11%, and revenue was down 5% year-over-year.
Yet the company has also continued to invest. In 2022, it acquired collectibles platform TCGPlayer and myFitment, which provides parts and accessories for automotive and powersports. It also opened a secure vault for trading cards, and launched livestreaming.
eBay is also seeing a boost from advertising, with revenue driven by promoted listings up 19% in the third quarter.
With the layoffs, eBay joins other tech companies that provide the infrastructure of ecommerce in making layoffs. Amazon, Shopify, Salesforce, BigCommerce and Wayfair have all recently announced layoffs. Technology giants like Meta, Google and Microsoft have also made job cuts.
It comes as inflation is weighing on consumers’ discretionary spending, and the return to more in-person shopping throughout 2022 led to a correction following aggressive hiring during the pandemic.