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This week's top 5 cultural insights and e-commerce trends: 24 May 2019.

Business · 4 min read

AOB: 24 May 2019

Unexpected snack solutions and TV shows with purchasing power, plus how to treat yourself responsibly, and a power couple in sustainability – here's the business news you need this week.

Edible crickets as a healthy snack alternative

The individual snack sector – valued at US$33 billion back in 2017 – is seeing some serious growth, especially when it comes to healthier options. And, in amongst all these brands, it’s a company in Maine, USA, that’s standing out – thanks to its range of sweet and savory edible insects, especially their cricket insect snacks. Entosense are plugging a gap that many didn’t even think existed, to the tune of an estimated US$1 million in sales over 2019. Their high-protein – and apparently delicious – Mini-Kickers Flavored Crickets have a wide range of flavors on offer, and retail at around US$6 per pack.

There has been so much demand for Entosense’s products that they plan to double their sales staff this year, showing the importance of agility for businesses to handle any additional challenge that comes with the perks of success. To find out how you can upscale your business as smoothly as possible, have a read through how to manage rapid business growth

NBC encourages in-channel purchases with ShoppableTV

With an estimated 55% of Americans purchasing products discovered on social media, there’s growing momentum behind the term ‘retailment’ – and NBCUniversal is keen to cash in. As people begin to expect real-time shopping within entertainment content, the channel has launched ShoppableTV – which allows viewers to make purchases within television shows. Providing a seamless shopping experience, ShoppableTV will allow viewers to buy products on channels including NBC, Bravo, Telemundo, USA Network, CNBC Prime and E!. To complete the purchase, viewers can simply scan the on-screen QR codes with their mobile devices during ‘on-air shoppable moments’.

Josh Feldman, Executive VP of NBC, explains that, "With ShoppableTV, NBCUniversal is transcending the legacy business practices of television and driving business outcomes by creating an on-air real-time commerce experience."Within six minutes of launch, they saw tens of thousands of scans – and six figures in sales. If there was ever a time to begin thinking about selling on different platforms, it’s now. Get yourself started by reading our article on 9 things you need to know about selling on social.

It’s alright to indulge in retail therapy, study shows

Retail therapy – it’s all in the name. Despite times of economic uncertainty, and the global decline of high street sales, indulgent consumption continues to be a big part of human behavior. New research by Dr. Satoko Suzuki, an associate professor of marketing at Japan's Hitotsubashi University, is aiming to show that it’s not just alright to treat yourself, it’s encouraged. Dr. Suzuki says, “Both situationally and behaviorally, it is becoming easier to indulge on an everyday basis.” In fact, her research concluded that there are four types of motivations that can lead to people indulging – relieving negative emotions, maintaining or elevating positive emotions, celebrations, and when they come into a little extra money – like a bonus.

While mainstream deep-dives into retail therapy often center around the risk of overspending, this research has proved that indulgent consumption can also be preventative – i.e. if small indulgences become part of everyday emotional regulation, there’s less of an opportunity for people overdoing their spending. For more on the power of retail therapy, and how you can get consumers to indulge with you, especially when online shopping, read our 22 Golden Rules of e-commerce.

Google and Current Global launch sustainable fashion pilot

In an effort to enable fashion brands to make more sustainable sourcing decisions, Google have announced that they’re working with consultancy Current Global – using cloud-based and machine learning tools to shine a light on the furthest parts of the fashion supply chain. Announced at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the partnership will see Google and Current Global work with fashion brands including Stella McCartney, known for its ethical eco-luxury items, experts, NGOs and industry bodies to create an open, industry-wide tool that reduces the environmental footprint of fashion and ensures more responsible sourcing decisions.

Beginning its research with cotton and viscose – each chosen due to the scale of their production, data availability, and impact considerations – the goal is to determine the impact of producing these raw materials, as well as compare the impacts of these in different regions where they are produced. Supply chain transparency is becoming increasingly important, as customers become more and more aware of the impact that manufacturing is having on the environment. For more industry insights from those in the know, listen to our podcast, The Business of Fashion.

Drop everything: how streetwear is reinventing the product launch

Are the days of drip-feeding new products to an invested consumer over? Well, they could be – and that’s why big streetwear brands are doing battle to come up with more interesting ways of getting their new season fashion products out there.

Adidas and Fred Perry chose their own spins on the scavenger hunt, while Converse and Nike chose to reward loyal customers in a new way – by proving they’d already bought previous models of the shoes. Plus, Nike and Adidas went head-to-head (for the umpteenth time) in harnessing new tech – with Nike teaming up with HQ Trivia, and Adidas selecting Snapchat and Coachella to drop a fashion collaboration with Childish Gambino. It's important for brands to stay relevant and innovative, so find out how you can stay cutting edge through technology in our innovation masterclass.

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