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AOB: 05 April 2019

Business · 4 min read

AOB: 05 April 2019

This week, AOB brings you the top five commerce trends – from personalization to hotel partnerships and sustainable diapers to technologically advanced whisky. Read on to make sure your brand benefits.

New whisky on the block

Innovation is abounding in the whisky business, as William Grant & Sons have incorporated blockchain technology into their latest offering. The tech, provided by partner arc-net, makes the new Alisa Bay whisky extremely difficult for counterfeiters to replicate and also offers consumers a way to track the bottle “from source to store.”

The whisky bottle comes labeled with a QR code, which consumers can scan and access a whole array of information – from the cask type, to the date the liquor was bottled. The brand can also utilize the tech to determine where and how well the product is selling. Haven’t quite got your head around what blockchain is yet? Don’t worry, here’s our simple guide on how to prepare for a blockchain future.

Two strikes and you’re out

Highlighting the importance of excellent customer service, 39% of consumers will look to switch brands after only two bad experiences, according to new research by Thunderhead. In fact, 38% of those surveyed in the US and UK have stopped buying from a brand altogether due to poor service in the past year.

The main frustration is experiencing a disjointed purchase process – and, with 35% saying they would pay more for seamless online shopping, this presents an opportunity for your brand to get it right. Read our article for tips on how to boost your online sales and keep your customers loyal. 

Luxury consumers want sustainable goods

What comes to mind when you think of luxury? Fur? Extravagance? Excess? Well, it might be time to change your mind, as a McKinsey & Company study has revealed that 70% of consumers across 25 countries are paying premium prices for eco-friendly garments, hailing a “new era of sustainability in fashion.” The trend even goes as far as, previously unfashionable, reusable cloth diapers with environmentally aware parents shelling out big money for the latest designs to put on their babies’ bottoms.

If you’re in fashion, it’s important to note how increasingly important it is to be transparent about your supply chain – and to ensure your suppliers won’t damage your brand’s reputation through unsustainable practices. Listen to our podcast, The Business of Fashion, for more industry insights from those in the know.

Muji launches new hotel in Tokyo

Anyone who’s been to a nice hotel knows that you can buy the towels, bathrobes, umbrella, etc. as a very authentic souvenir of your stay (or at least that if you ‘accidentally’ take them home, you’ll be seeing an extra charge on your card). But what if your next hotel room was filled with branded products you could try out and then order to your room to take home with you? Well, Muji have done just that with their new hotel in Tokyo, which spotlights Muji products that guests can then order from the store right to their room.

If your brand is looking for a new, innovative way to sell, why not take inspiration from Muji and look to partner with local Airbnbs or independent hotels in return for promoting their business to your customers? And, of course, if guests want their new purchases sent directly home, DHL Express is always on hand as a shipping partner in over 220 countries and territories worldwide.

Shopping: it’s getting personal

A new study by The Harris Poll has shown that 37% of consumers in the US, Canada and the UK will stop buying from brands that don’t offer a personalized experience. And, to add to the problem, only 43% of brands think they need to improve their personalization offering – while 73% of consumers think that brands need to up their game in this area.

So, even if you think your business is excelling when it comes to personalization, it’s worth considering these things that consumers are looking for: sending exclusive, personalized discount codes; customer recognition across all channels; sending recommendations based on recently viewed or purchased items; and sending reminders to buy items left in their online shopping cart. Digitally native vertical brands (DNVBs) are leading the way here. Read our articleto see how your business can emulate their success.

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