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This week's top 5 cultural insights and e-commerce trends: 02 August 2019

Business · 4 min read

AOB: 02 August 2019

B2B blockchain payments, shoppable ads, the rise of e-commerce in Russia and how consumers are using their voices – it could only be this week's AOB.

Visa B2B Connect takes the pain out of international payments

With experts predicting that the cross-border payments industry could be worth $2 trillion by 2020, Visa are trying to make the process more streamlined, via its blockchain-powered Visa B2B Connect platform. Processing payments directly with Visa's partners in a single day, instead of having to go via out-of-network financial institutions, means businesses can monitor their payments throughout the transaction, as well as highlight any problems.

Virkam Modi, VP and Head of Visa Direct Global Platform, said: “One of our main goals when it comes to providing additional ease and speed for both the users and the institutions that use Visa Direct for cross-border payments is to ensure they are not dealing with the complexities in the payment process behind the scenes.” Choosing a payment system for your business can be difficult, so it pays to do your research. And, if you're looking to go global, do yourself a favor by making sure you're ready.

All mouth and no (expensive) trousers

Paysafe study on voice-activated systems has revealed that while smart home devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are growing in popularity, 57% of those surveyed would only use voice for cheaper goods, rather than pricier purchases.

Low-value items, such as streaming subscriptions or on-demand videos, are the most popular sectors for voice-activated shopping, and could offer an indication as to where companies should be spending their marketing budgets on voice. A study by Sumo Heavy back in June revealed that only one in five shoppers have used voice to make a purchase, so while there's plenty of scope to grow, it's still a market that's finding its feet. And while cyber sales is an ever-changing market, staying ahead of the competition is crucial – so if voice is the platform for you, shout it from the rooftops.

Contobox's shoppable ads put purchases at your fingertips

In today's maturing digital market, every space is now a shop window – which is why the rise in shoppable ads, especially on social, is no surprise. Now, interactive ad platform Contobox have created a format that, during early campaigns, saw a massive 33% increase in interactions – with brands such as Hallmark, CVS, and even Walmart choosing to use the tech to their advantage.

Early results saw users spending 21% more time interacting with the ads, while users were 4.5 times more likely to begin browsing products within the ad itself, rather than clicking through to the brand's website. Our guide on how to increase revenue on your e-commerce site should help you to boost your success rate.

From Russia, with cash

Following research by East-West Digital News, the e-commerce market in Russia is predicted to hit US$19.77bn in 2019, and a whopping US$50bn in 2023. While Chinese retailers are currently dominating the market, new players from Turkey, as well as the Western world, are keen to get involved.

We covered the shifting trend towards the BRIC nations last year – as well as the N-11 group – and a country with a population of 143m and a 71% e-wallet usage between 18 to 55 is always going to have potential. Keep your eye on this one, as it could be about to get lucrative.

Amazon's record-profit streak comes to an end (with a Q2 US$2.6bn profit)

Even the threat of antitrust actions, not to mention protests from employees, activists and shoppers against the company on July's Prime Day, couldn't stop Amazon making a hefty profit in Q2. But with public sentiment turning against them, this is an opportunity for smaller companies to step up and steal market share.

While taking on the retail giants can be daunting, it's important to know what your business is (and what it isn't) so you can take full advantage. Whether you're a DNVB with a noticeable niche, or a sustainable brand with a compelling story, you'll find all the advice you could possibly need, right here on Discover.

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