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This week's top 5 cultural insights and e-commerce trends: 25 October 2019

Business · 4 min read

AOB: 25 October 2019

A striking new startup, the reality of reviews and people loving Monday more. Welcome to this week's AOB.

New to e-commerce? No problem.

There’s a rising star in e-commerce who is making global selling and shipping simple, all you need to know about how to do it is, well, next to nothing. New face on the block, Elliot, is a New York startup successfully playing catch up on its competitors. It offers mobile-first, digital storefronts that include checkout optimization across every channel, built-in translation and currency conversion – providing the possibility to sell and ship on a global scale to over 130 countries.

With the coding catered for by Elliot, this should be an enticing offering for startups and social selling hobbyists to grow their businesses to an international level. Without the grind of learning how to build a website, or paying out for someone who can do it for you, you won’t have to worry about losing your brand’s personality. And, as you’re able to optimize the output, you own the journey to your customer the way you’d like it. Find out further tips on how to best optimize your e-commerce business through our article here

Global parcel volume set to rise.

Global parcel volume reached 87 billion in 2018, and this figure is estimated to grow to 200 billion by 2025. Last year, 9.3 billion parcel shipments were generated by European countries, with the UK and Germany evenly sharing 7 billion shipments between them – according to Pitney Bowes Shipping Index – and DHL Express is one of the top five last mile carriers in each of these markets.

Countries like France, Italy, Norway and Sweden are beginning to share the spotlight with the ‘big shippers’ – UK and Germany – as each market is experiencing export growth. Most notably, so is Italy, which is strengthening its B2C parcel growth – thanks to rising investments by the government to modernize its digital infrastructure. So, there are many signs to suggest there’s no better time to start selling into markets that have been historically small.

Time to deck the digital halls.

Smartphone shopping is on the rise. No surprise there, but AdColony's survey does highlight the importance of getting a mobile strategy in place for the festive season. Four out of five consumers said they have bought gifts on their mobile devices, with clothing, home foods and books being the top three most common purchases.

Smartphones are, however, finding a use beyond just buying items, with survey respondents saying they use them for researching competitors’ prices (55%), signing up for discounts (46%), taking a picture for future reference (45%) and looking up product reviews (44%). There are many facets to fend against in the festive season, and bricks and mortar brands are already on the case by including more shopping features across social channels to compete with the big online retailers. So, it pays to be prepared this year. Find out more on how to ensure you're well prepared for the holiday season through our useful tips here

Online reviews are real. True or false?

We mention above that smartphones are being used in store to check product reviews online, but can you trust them all? A recent article in The Guardian UK poses the ever-growing question of what is real or fake online. They tell of one customer who ordered an item on Amazon because it had excellent reviews and positive feedback. When it arrived, however, the performance didn’t align with the abundance of five stars. More to their surprise though, was the $20 voucher in exchange for a five-star review.

This bribe is not an isolated case, but Amazon are tackling the problem of inauthentic scam reviews. Last year they prevented more than 13 million attempts to leave 'inauthentic' reviews, and took action against 5 million seller accounts looking to manipulate reviews. They do claim 99% of reviews are genuine, but customers will need to treat reviews with more skepticism on the marketplace. Giants like Amazon can take the hit, but it’s important for smaller businesses to maintain valid sources for their reviews. After all, brand perception is everything. Read through our tips that provide advice on how to improve consumer perception of your brand. 

Happy Monday.

A new study by Deloitte shows that Cyber Monday has surpassed Black Friday as the preferred day for deals around the holiday season. Due mainly to online shopping gaining ground year on year, and Gen Z (65%) being the main audience more reliant on online shopping for discounts, closely followed by millennials (61%), Gen X (49%), baby boomers (47%) and seniors (44%).

For the latter audiences in the list, it makes perfect sense for the shift to shop online, with Black Friday often requiring a late-night line to the store in all sorts of weather, which isn’t as enticing as a scroll through a smartphone from the comfort of your sofa for those Cyber Monday deals.

The study also found that, despite shopping online, simplicity seems to win when it comes to delivery. 62% of shoppers are saying they expect to use a standard delivery option, despite more fanciful options being offered by companies, meaning it might be worth solving the last mile with a simpler offering.

Steve Whittingham
Steve Whittingham Discover Content Author

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