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This week's top 5 cultural insights and e-commerce trends: 11 October 2019

Business · 4 min read

AOB: 11 October 2019

This week’s e-commerce roundup looks at plastic-based fashion, Christmas shopping trends, and the rapid growth of the Southeast Asian internet economy. Read on!

Farm life goes digital

Farming may be associated with a traditional way of life, but US start-up Barn2Door is bringing it into the 21st century by developing e-commerce software for farmers. Founded in 2015, the company has farm clients across 40 states. “I feel a deep conviction about helping to improve access to clean, sustainable foods that are locally produced,” CEO Janelle Maiocco said. Following a recent round of investment, Barn2Door has now raised more than US$4.5 million to continue building on their digital technology that connects farms with customers. Learn how your business can successfully navigate the e-commerce market with our 22 Golden Rules of E-commerce guide. 

Swim in the ocean – while helping to save it

With Extinction Rebellion holding demonstrations across the globe this week, single-use plastic is under the spotlight once again. But Cape Town sustainable clothing brand GiLo Lifestyle is putting this waste to good use. It takes discarded plastic bottles found on beaches in India, China, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand, and turns them into ethical clothing such as men’s board shorts. Almost 20 bottles are used to make one pair of shorts, with the plastic combining with spandex to create a durable, seamless and waterproof product. Surf’s up!

Gifting goes green

Though it may only be October, it won’t be long before signs of the holiday season start creeping into the stores. And this year, customers are looking to make sustainable choices in their purchasing decisions. A recent survey from Accenture revealed that vintage clothing sales will increase, driven by consumers’ desire to support a sustainable apparel ecosystem. Similarly, half of those surveyed said they would be happy to wait longer for their online delivery to arrive if it meant it did so via a greener method. See how we at DHL are making changes to go green and reach our goal of zero emissionsSo, as you start preparing for retail's busiest season, read on to learn how a partnership with DHL can help you reduce your carbon footprint.

Sell on TikTok

It’s no longer just for cat videos and karaoke fails… Tik Tok, the popular short video app so beloved of Gen Z teens the world over, is now taking tentative steps into the in-app purchasing world. It has introduced an algorithm-backed reverse image search tool that enables users to find products they have seen in a video, and then purchase them through the app. Currently the function is only available on the Chinese version of the app, but may expand internationally if successful. The move is an example of how AI can enable businesses to capitalize on their customer base – in Tik Tok’s case, an estimated 320 million daily users.

Southeast Asia’s e-commerce boom

The global rise of e-commerce is seeing particularly impressive growth in Southeast Asia, as shown in a new report. The internet economy there will reach US$100 billion by the end of this year, representing a 39% leap from last year. The e-Conomy SEA 2019 report attributes this growth to the increase in online users in the region, which is estimated to be around 360 million currently – almost four times more than 2015.

“Southeast Asia has an incredibly exciting digital economy, as consumers are turning to digital to complete millions of tasks daily, resulting in unprecedented growth,” said Google SEA managing director, Stephanie Davis.

Within the region’s internet sector, e-commerce is the fastest-growing area – currently valued at US$38 billion and expected to rise to US$150 billion by 2025. So, how can you tap into this lucrative market? Read our guide to doing business with the emerging ‘Tiger Economies’.

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