In August, coverage of e-commerce continued its incremental gains month-over-month this year, registering a 2% increase in coverage volume from Jul’21 – growing from 158,167 stories to 161,378 stories. That’s more than double the coverage volume that the topic was receiving prior to the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020. E-commerce ranked #6 in the most-cited terms among the top conversations in technology in August, which is the same position it has held since April. Year-over-year, it was up 22% in coverage volume (from 131,884 stories) and moved up one spot in the rankings (from #7 in Aug’20).
So, what were some of the major coverage drivers for e-commerce in August? The biggest global players in e-commerce were dominant in the news.
First off, in a major setback to e-commerce giants, India’s Supreme Court allowed an antitrust probe into Flipkart and Amazon to move forward. The companies will have to answer intricate questions about their business and agreements as part of a probe by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over alleged anti-competitive practices. Both companies were denied any relief by the Supreme Court that dismissed the pleas by the companies on August 9 to quash the probe.
Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba broke new ground by launching an NFT auction site for artists and game developers. The company opened a marketplace for trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its auction platform, saying it expects artists, musicians, writers and game developers to sell NFTs of their work on the “Blockchain Digital Copyright and Asset-Trade” marketplace. On the downside, Alibaba also received negative coverage after it announced that it missed its quarterly revenue estimates amidst slowing e-commerce growth and regulatory crackdown. Alibaba said it missed Q1 revenue estimates with smaller players such as JD.Com Inc and Pinduoduo eating into its market share.
Walmart also took a bit of a beating when it announced its Q2 results, which showed why Walmart’s e-commerce growth is cooling off while Amazon is still on fire. Last year, Walmart’s US e-commerce sales grew 97% in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2019, the fastest rate on record for the world’s largest retailer. But in Q2, that breakneck slowed to a crawl.
Check back for our September snapshot to see who’s making e-commerce news next month!