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This week's top 5 cultural insights and e-commerce trends: 27 September 2019

Business · 4 min read

AOB: 27 September 2019

This week, AOB has its ears open for voice-activated shopping, Microsoft tools up to take on Amazon, and consumers are already shopping for the festive season. Delve into the details below to find out more.

Luxury shoppers are looking for more

In a survey of more than 3,000 luxury and lifestyle shoppers across France, the UAE and the UK, Attraqt has found that the online shopping experience is leaving more than 20% of those surveyed frustrated – with a lack of product details, and the prevalence of irrelevant search results the key factors.

Director of Customer Experience, Jon Stephens, noted that “Luxury brands must act now to ensure that they evolve product inspiration and discovery into something a bit less stuffy, and much more immersive, personal, and frictionless across all channels,” and in an area that's driven by the purchasing power of Gen Y and Gen Z – as we covered in our Luxury Trends Report – the need for a smooth, painless e-commerce customer experience could be the difference between a cart being abandoned or a purchase being made...

Pre-emptive, personalized purchasing? Perfect

One of the hottest e-commerce trends, automated, customer-led personalization is allowing customers to hand control of their shopping to their personal data. It's much less creepy than it sounds, however, and is merely another way to streamline the purchasing journey.

By allowing customers to set up their own pre-emptive shopping rules, such as weather-related suncream purchases, they no longer have to spend time looking for alternatives. Or, if a product drops below a certain price, as Tesco and IFTT have allowed for, it can mean a little treat can be automatically added to their basket at a price the customer is more than happy with. Whether it takes off fully remains to be seen, but it's a smart use of data nonetheless – and another handy way to increase site revenue if it's used correctly...

Voicing concern for the high street

Voice shopping is increasing in popularity, and showing no signs of quietening down – that's according to research by Capgemini that suggests 70% of people will gradually use voice assistants to replace visits to a store or bank in the next three years.

As expected, Google, Apple and Amazon lead the way, but smaller players are making big money too. In fact, just this week, Haptik acquired conversational commerce platform Buzzo.ai – saying in a statement that they're ready to enable "...the next generation of advanced AI solutions for enterprises globally across customer care and commerce". Whether it's voice search or a chatbot, reacting to your customers there and then can be key – so, how will you keep the conversation going with your customers?

The sharpest tool in the box

Microsoft is looking to take on Amazon in the e-commerce space with a new tool to help businesses manage their brands online. It’s called Dynamics 365 Commerce, and is a result of customer feedback from a year and half ago, where they were asked what – in their current offering – could be improved.

It’s promising to see an industry Goliath listen to their customers, and act on it to help them listen and learn from their own. Which, in fact, is almost an application of the new tool’s function itself, as Dynamics 365 Commerce will allow businesses to derive insights from customers and turn them into action, enabling better decisions to engage with, and get a greater value for, customers. Connecting data together and applying intelligence can help get a deeper understanding of your business, and is vital for those that do not have a physical presence to help create a relationship with customers and convert them into buyers.

Shoppers to dig deep into pockets this December

Summer may have just ended – in the Northern Hemisphere at least – but the crosshairs are already on the Christmas rush as shoppers are expected to spend 5% more than last year, according to a new survey from The Harris Poll and OpenX, with 50% of consumers already looking for items on wish lists.

While more money will be spent this year, it will be done in different ways to previous years. Tim Cadogan, chairman and CEO for Open X, expects 53% of all holiday shopping to be done digitally, with 20% of purchases expected to happen on mobile devices. Shopping habits shifting like this are unsurprising as they marry up with the stats, with more than half of shoppers in the survey saying they spend more than three hours a day on their mobile devices. We’ve reported in previous AOBs how shopping is being made easier on mobile, with the likes of Instagram introducing in-app checkouts. What’s interesting is the impact it could have on big shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with the number of consumers planning to shop online vs. in store being almost identical.

Is your e-commerce site optimized for the best mobile experience? Crosscheck your site with our m-commerce guide to ready your business for the busiest time of year.

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