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This week's top 5 e-commerce trends: 9 July 2021

Business · 3 min read

Any Other Business: 9 July 2021

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world including European attitudes to shopping online post-pandemic and a new vinyl record club from Amazon.

The shift to e-commerce is here to stay

Despite now being able to do their shopping in physical stores, 74% of European consumers1 say they will continue shopping online to the same extent as they have during the pandemic.

The good news for e-commerce retailers comes in a report from Checkout.com called ‘the New State of Retail’ which gauged the opinions of over 10,000 consumers.

Understandably, e-commerce peaked during last year’s lockdowns, with 96% of consumers in Europe doing their shopping online. That was an increase of 36% on the previous year. But, while shoppers were forced to change their habits back then, it now seems the majority will be adopting them permanently.

The report wasn’t all good news for e-commerce though. 43% of online retailers said they were unprepared for last year’s surge in cross-border e-commerce and couldn’t take full advantage. If cross-border e-commerce is set to become the norm, they’ll want to take steps to avoid missing further opportunities.

Another big figure in the report was the 80% of consumers who will be expecting to use new payment methods like Buy Now Pay Later, crypto and digital wallets.

If you’re an online retailer, discover which new payment methods can boost your conversion rates here.

Study shows shoppers put off by uninspiring e-commerce websites

In a recent study by iPaper and Epinion, 57% of consumers say a lack of inspiration or a poor shopping experience stops them from using some e-commerce websites.

And even more significantly, only 29% of consumers in Europe say online retailer stores actually inspire them.
The study included over 6,000 shoppers across the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Italy and Sweden. One conclusion was that online retailers need to create more inspirational content2 aimed at the majority of shoppers who are just browsing their website – rather than the small percentage who are actively looking to buy. This is confirmed by another statistic from the study: that 67% of consumers want to be inspired when shopping online.

But how do you achieve this inspiration? Jesper Lykke Nielsen, Director of Digital Business at Epinion offers this advice: “True inspiration should be built on emotional engagement and a personalized shopping experience. By focusing on these two pillars, retailers can drive long-term customer loyalty.”

One thing is for sure: in European e-commerce, just showing your products is no longer enough.

Amazon’s throwback to the golden age of vinyl

When CDs arrived in the 1980s, vinyl records3 looked set to die out. Recently though, they’ve been enjoying a resurgence, with new devotees appreciating the warmer, more authentic sound.

Amazon is looking to add to vinyl’s growing popularity with its Vinyl of the Month Club subscription service. As with the record clubs of old, Amazon sends subscribers one classic album per billing period. The records are from the 1960s and 70s, by artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to Pink Floyd to The Clash. Subscribers can skip a month, return an unwanted album for free, or cancel without penalty.

Amazon’s new venture is part of a subscription economy that’s thriving right now. But that doesn’t mean success is certain. Before you rush to take advantage, get to know this area better with our guide to subscription marketing.
As for the Vinyl of the Month Club, it’s currently only available to US customers. But if it takes off, we could all soon be enjoying a new golden age of vinyl.

How major EU food companies are helping sustainable eating

Nestlé and Tyson Foods have joined a range of European supermarkets, and food and environmental scientists to form Foundation Earth. The new non-profit venture will explore using eco-scores on food and drink labels throughout Europe.

Foundation Earth’s food and drink labels will score a product’s environmental credentials using a traffic-light system. The product’s rating will take into account farming, processing, packaging and transport. While its environmental impact will be assessed according to carbon, water usage, water pollution and biodiversity loss.

The growth of plant-based diets in Europe implies there is definitely an appetite for eco-conscious eating. However, the current difficulty in identifying more sustainable4 food and drink options is a barrier for many people. Eco-score labels could be a way of removing that barrier, especially if a standardized system is developed.

Whether or not you’re in the food and drink sector, another powerful way of benefitting the environment is by switching to greener packaging. We explain why this also makes good business sense here.

The top 10 online stores. And a way to help yours to success.

Here are the top 10 online stores5 in Europe for 2020, taken from the latest Retail Index Top 100. It shows companies’ European headquarters and their annual online turnover in billions of Euros.

  1. Amazon (Luxembourg) 27.89

  2. Otto (Germany) 12.06

  3. John Lewis (UK) 7.46

  4. Apple (Ireland) 5.63

  5. Zalando (Germany) 5.39

  6. Tesco (UK) 4.41

  7. E. Leclerc (France) 3

  8. Metro Group (Germany) 2.92

  9. Shop Direct (UK) 2.65

  10. Marks & Spencer (UK) 2.5

 

So how does your online store end up on a list of successful businesses?

Whether you’re in the domestic market or cross-border e-commerce, you’ll have hundreds or even thousands of direct competitors online. And online shoppers are used to switching between lots of stores, with a click or a tap. How do you give yourself a better chance of coming out on top?

One important tool is competitor analysis. What are your competitors offering? Who are their customers? What are their weaknesses? What about delivery options?

In fact, competitor analysis is a key part of e-commerce business strategy. To find out how to conduct yours, see our step-by-step guide.

1 - Ecommerce News Europe, June 2021

2 - Ecommerce News Europe, July 2021

3 - E-commerce Times, June 2021

4 - Canvas 8, June 2021

5 - Ecommerce News Europe

Garry Mockeridge
Garry Mockeridge Discover content team

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