Stripe Expands into 5 New European Countries

Online payment giant Stripe has launched its services in 5 new European countries as a part of its European expansion plan.

As Stripe is rolled out in Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta this week, its services are now available at 39 countries, 29 of which are in Europe. Businesses in these countries now get access to Stripe’s entire product stack including Stripe Connect for running multi-sided market places, Billing for subscriptions and recurring payments, Radar for fraud detection and prevention, Sigma for analytics, and more to launch, run, and scale their business globally.

Stripe’s European growth was accelerated to meet the need for financial infrastructure due to the overnight shift of businesses from offline only operation to online operation in the wake of COVID-19.

Matt Henderson, Stripe’s business lead in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) said “We are excited about bringing Stripe to even more European countries, making payment acceptance and money movement faster and less complicated for everyone. We are nearing our goal of making Stripe universally available to businesses across the continent.”

UK Online Grocery Sector to Grow by 33%

The online grocery sales in the UK are expected to grow by 33% in 2020 up to an estimated value of 16.8 billion from 12.7 billion in 2019, according to recent research by Mintel.

The phenomenal growth follows a slowing growth of four consecutive years since 2015 reaching the historical low of 2.9% growth in 2019.

Nick Carroll, associate director of retail research at Mintel, said: “Over the course of just a few months, COVID-19 has had a seismic impact on Britain’s grocery sector.”

The first quarter of 2020 has seen a significant boost in online grocery services as customers started to limit their contacts with outside, avoid visiting stores due to COVID-19 pandemic, and shop groceries online. The changes in people’s shopping behaviour after the COVID-19 outbreak is expected to last long. The pandemic opened up online grocery shopping to a large number of customers who may not have tried online grocery shopping before.

Facebook Unveils Facebook Shops Social Commerce Platform

Facebook made a major new push into eCommerce by launching Shops, a social commerce platform that allows businesses to set up online storefronts on Facebook and Instagram.

The launch of Shops comes at a time when a lot of small businesses get online for the first time and businesses with limited online presence shifted primary focus to online due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The online stores on Shops could be powered by third-party services including WooCommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce.

Both Facebook and Instagram already supported a degree of eCommerce but the new Shops service will enable businesses to create full-fledged online stores. Businesses can feature their products in shops, advertise them to users, and communicate with the customers using social messaging services. Allowing businesses to create storefronts for free, Facebook expects to generate revenue through Facebook advertising as businesses would run ads for their shops using Facebook Ads.