Amazon.com Inc. has acquired e-commerce technology startup Veeqo Ltd., CNBC reported today.
Amazon confirmed the acquisition in a statement. “We’re excited Veeqo has joined Amazon,” the company said. “We plan to continue investing in new features and improvements to help Veeqo serve sellers globally from its home in Wales, facilitate growth for sellers’ multi-channel businesses, and enhance the experience of their customers.”
UK-based Veeqo provides a cloud service that helps online retailers manage their business operations. The startup’s service mainly targets retailers that sell their merchandise through not one but multiple online platforms, such as Amazon and Shopify.
Selling merchandise through multiple platforms can involve a great deal of duplicate work. If a retailer sells a certain product on three different e-commerce marketplaces, and the price of the product changes, the new pricing has to be separately added to each of the three e-commerce marketplaces. Other day-to-day business tasks can also involve duplicate work.
Veeqo’s cloud service enables retailers to centrally perform tasks such as inventory management across all online channels through which they sell their merchandise. According to the startup, its service reduces manual work for a retailer’s employees and thereby increases operational efficiency.
One set of features provided by Veeqo helps with inventory management. Retailers can track inventory levels, determine when stock is running low and order new merchandise from suppliers. If a retailer has a presence in multiple markets, it can use Veeqo to coordinate what merchandise shipment should be routed to which location.
Veeqo also provides features for managing customer orders, as well as returns and refunds. A built-in analytics tool predicts future customer demand to help retailers ensure that they have a sufficient amount of merchandise in stock.
A few months before today’s news that Amazon has acquired Veeqo, the online retail and cloud computing giant released new data about its e-commerce business. Amazon disclosed that about 2 million third-party sellers offer their products on its e-commerce marketplace. With Veeqo’s service, the company can help simplify operations for third-party sellers that offer their products not only on its marketplace but also on other platforms such as Shopify.
Third-party sellers play a central role in Amazon’s e-commerce strategy. They accounted for about 60% of Amazon’s online sales last year. Small and midsized businesses in the US sold more than 3.8 billion products through the company’s e-commerce marketplace during the 12 months ended Aug. 31, up from 3.4 billion the prior year.
Amazon could also use Veeqo’s features for managing sales across multiple e-commerce platforms to advance its Multi-Channel Fulfillment program. That program allows retailers to use Amazon’s logistics network to ship products they sell through other e-commerce platforms.
Veeqo is the second e-commerce technology startup that Amazon has acquired in so many years. Early last year, the company acquired Selz, a startup with a platform that helps online retailers with tasks such as website development and managing ad campaigns.
Amazon’s cloud unit, Amazon Web Services Inc., also offers multiple solutions for retailers. Among those solutions is the Amazon Personalize service that AWS launched in 2019. The service uses machine learning to help companies with tasks such as generating shopping recommendations.
AWS counts a long list of major retailers among its customers, including Best Buy Co. Inc. and J Sainsbury plc, the second-largest supermarket chain in the UK Best Buy recently named AWS as its preferred cloud provider as part of an initiative to upgrade its technology capabilities.