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Top five business & e-commerce trends: 13 March 2020

Business · 3 min read

Any Other Business: 13 March 2020

Delivering in the age of coronavirus, a shot in the arm for Belgian e-commerce, and how AR is changing social sales – this week’s AOB has arrived.

Contactless Delivery becomes an option in wake of COVID-19

Delivery start-ups in the U.S. have been adding ‘non-contact delivery’ options for concerned customers as they look to avoid the spread of the coronavirus infection by adding an option where customers can choose to have their orders left at the door1. After those affected by the virus topped 100,000 for the first time, companies are doing all they can to ease their customers’ minds.

The move by companies such as Postmates and Instacart, who have seen sales surge by up to 1000% over the last week, is likely to be copied by more brands in the coming weeks, as shopping habits change as people look to avoid infection from contact with those infected. And, while our guide to last-mile delivery may not include tips on how to stay safe from coronavirus, it’s a useful resource to have when facing some of the other challenges of urban delivery including urbanization and flexible delivery.

 

Rent the Runway launches new subscription model

We’re no strangers to the Subscription Economy – and one company that’s been doing subscription plans better than most is Rent the Runway, who have announced this week that they’ve added a third plan to their range. After feedback from customers who wanted a more ‘middle-of-the-road’ option, the brand took steps to accommodate their desires, launching the US$135/month ‘2 Swap plan’.

The company has also been taking steps to reassure people about the risks of contracting COVID-19 from its clothes, sending a memo to its customers around its cleaning process – and that there’s no evidence it can be transmitted from the fabrics.

Belgian e-commerce is on the rise

After an increase of 17% – or €8.2bn – in 2019, e-commerce in Belgium is looking increasingly prosperous, with cross-border sales accounting for a quarter of purchases2. Although the number of online stores is increasing, however, less than 1,000 stores are responsible for 87% of the revenue – though it’s important to note that small online stores grew by 33%.

Another interesting piece of information to come out of the study is that Bancontact – a personal card-reader – followed by debit cards, is the most popular payment method in Belgium – but spending is 72% higher when customers pay with credit card. Having payment methods your customers are comfortable using is one of our 10 Ways to Reduce Cart Abandonment – but what are the others?

Ankorstore B2B marketplace enters fourth market

After success in Spain and Belgium, the French B2B stationery company has crossed the border into Germany, aiming to offer a B2C-style experience to retailers in the country4. With a target of reaching over 800,000 businesses, Ankorstore are offering not only access to thousands of brands, but the ability to pay after 60 days, a low minimum order value, and the opportunity to test products before ordering in bulk.

We released our guide to Office Supplies last year – and with the sector predicted to grow by 2.3% by 2023, now could be the perfect time to check it out.

AR in social media – impossible to ignore?

Snapchat and Facebook are leading the charge as social media companies are monetizing their users’ love for AR – and although the tech is in the relatively early stages, it’s expected to generate global revenue of US$13bn by 2022.

Selling on Social is an ever-changing beast, with Instagram and Facebook changing rules on selling frequently, and it pays to stay on top of what’s trending, if only so you know how to combat it! While an engaged, active fan base might be better than a single flashy post, the two can combine to great effect.

 

Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons Discover content team

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