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This week's top 5 cultural insights and e-commerce trends: 04 October 2019

Business · 4 min read

AOB: 4 October 2019

This week's e-commerce treasure trove, AOB is back with the latest business news that you should know about. Including reasons to celebrate this Hallowe'en, a new way to pay, and a t-shirt made from milk. Delicious!

Making money in your sleep (and from everyone else's)

Dreaming of a new way to pump up your profits? Well, a more comfortable life could be yours by moving into the luxury sleep industry – at least, according to a report by McKinseyGenerating an estimated US$30bn and US$45bn in 2018, the sector – which includes mattresses, bed linens, and even cuddling robots to help get a good night sleep – the category is growing all the time, and could be worth as much as US$76.7bn globally by 2020. If you're losing sleep over how to break into the luxury market, and don't know where to start, we went in-depth with our Luxury Commerce Trends Report  earlier this year. 

A scarily good prediction for the USA's Halloween retailers

A report from the National Retail Federation has revealed that instead of ghosting stores, shoppers will be spending a bewitchingly good US$8.8bn on celebrating this year's festivities – close to the record US$9.1bn of 2017. While sales are down on last year's US$9bn, it's still a monstrous amount of money, and stores will no doubt need more than a skeleton crew to deal with the demand. Seasonal business is big business, and Christmas is just around the corner. If you're looking for advice, check out our guide to preparing your SME for Christmas.

Rent the Runway on borrowed time?

After hundreds of customer complaints, Rent the Runway has frozen new subscriptions while it works out its latest wardrobe malfunction. Reporting 100% growth year-on-year, the company recently received a US$1bn valuation – but after issues over the summer, it has promised to double its customer service team to deal with the rising number of issues that have arisen due to its huge expansion.

Trust in the brand may be falling, but with such a huge customer base, there's plenty of opportunity to turn it around. Whether it's a short-term hit or long-term dressing down remains to be seen.

A first-of-its-kind B2B payment system

Choosing the right method of payment can be a minefield for SMEs, but there's a new solution that could be about to take the world by storm. Aiming to remove the barriers between SME buyers and sellers, Splitit are"...addressing the inefficiencies and friction these two groups face when they conduct business."

Allowing manufacturers and suppliers to offer their buyers an interest-free, instalment credit solution, they're hoping to revolutionize the multi-trillion-dollar B2B payments sector through innovation that's been previously lacking. The company's CEO, Gil Don, said in a press release that “With Splitit’s patent portfolio for credit card-based transaction financing, we can finally get beyond antiquated invoices, purchase orders, credit verification, factoring, payment/collection systems and overstaffed accounts receivable departments."

Milking it for all it's worth

Yet another amazing Kickstarter for our collection, this time with an unusual twist. Los Angeles startup Mi Terro have created the world's first shirt made from recycled plastic, cork and milk waste, aiming to provide a useful outlet for the 128 million tons of milk that is dumped every year around the world by creating durable, lightweight clothing.

Retailing at US$59 per shirt, could be this be the cream of the 2019 fashion crop? After all, style is a matter of taste... Anyway, if you're looking for upcycling innovation, check out our interview with Aviationtag on how they turn decommissioned planes into unique pieces of airborne history – as well as a useful way to find lost keys.

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