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This week's top 5 cultural insights and e-commerce trends: 08 February 2019

Business · 3 min read

AOB: 08 February 2019

What are the big stories in commerce? And what do they mean for your business? AOB helps you stay ahead of the curve – here are this week’s top five cultural insights and e-commerce trends from around the world.

Free delivery in the US

The rising demands of American consumers mean they are now prioritizing free delivery for their online orders, but they’re also happy to switch retailers if the right options aren’t available. New research from the National Retail Federation showed a 29% cart abandonment rate if free shipping wasn’t available. Furthermore, 75% of Americans expect free shipping even on small orders under US$50. So, if you’re exporting to the US, it’s important to make sure your delivery options reflect demand to avoid losing customers to the competition.

Read our article to find out how offering a wide range of delivery options can give your business the competitive edge you’re looking for. 

The future of furniture?

In a bid to be more environmentally friendly, IKEA – the world’s largest furniture retailer – is planning to pilot a furniture-renting scheme in Switzerland. The idea is to promote the reuse, repair and recycling of products, rather than immediately buying a replacement when something breaks and sending the original to landfill. The company is also looking to develop a ‘spare parts business’ to help customers mend out-of-stock items, prolonging the lives of wardrobes and kitchen cabinets everywhere. If successful, IKEA’s scheme could pave the way for smaller retailers to rent out their own products, as well as upcycling and reselling them upon return.  

India prefers homegrown in personal care

While Colgate claims a 50% share of the overall Indian toothpaste market, its venture into natural dental care has been less successful here due to the country’s overwhelming preference for homegrown products. Patanjali, founded by Indian yoga guru Buba Ramdev, is India’s original herbal toothpaste brand promoting ayurvedic properties, denting Colgate’s market share by 190 basis points. Market-wide, personal care products labeled as ‘natural’ in India are seeing huge growth at 20-25% year-on-year, so if your brand is ready to rival the local traders, there’s still a lot of opportunity left to seize.

For more tips on trading with India, check out our country guide.

Same-day Italian shoppers

As you might imagine, Italians have high expectations when it comes to the quality of their groceries, but convenience is crucial to consumers too. That’s why Lidl are launching same-day delivery here, partnering with the Italian supermarket service Supermercato24 to reach new customers who prefer shopping online. While the e-grocery sector in Italy is still small and the personal touch of an in-store shopping experience highly valued, there have been promising signs of growth over the past few years.

Make sure to consider various delivery options when expanding your brand in the Italian arena, and read our country guide for more export tips.

Try before you buy

Prescription glasses and sunglasses retailer Warby Parker has added a VR feature to its iOS app, allowing customers (with the iPhone X or later) to virtually try on their glasses before they buy. There is also a screenshot function, so you can share pictures with your friends, family or personal stylist for a second opinion on potential purchases. Warby Parker was built on the ‘try on at home’ model, allowing shoppers to order five pairs at once and send the unwanted frames back, but this move should help the company see fewer returns.

Could your brand benefit from VR? Take a look at our article on the future of cyber sales to see how new technology can improve your business.

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