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This week's top 5 e-commerce trends: 30 July 2021

Business · 3 min read

Any Other Business: 30 July 2021

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world including the plastic-free grocery startup, and how consumers are more forgiving of chatbots than humans.

Positive customer experience the path to more sales

A new market study of US- and UK-based consumers has found that the majority of shoppers today view customer experience as one of the most important factors when making purchasing decisions. In fact, one in three consumers say they have considered “breaking up” with a brand in the past due to poor CX1.

The survey – from Sitel Group2 – dived into the specific attributes consumers associate with a positive customer experience and found “helpful and friendly staff” (69%), “fast response to questions” (53%), and “an easy-to-use website” (51%) rated the most highly amongst respondents when examining the e-commerce customer journey.

For all the tips to deliver a better user experience to your e-commerce customers – and boost your sales – check out our customer service guides.  

Forget the opticians, take out your iPhone instead

Warby Parker3, the American online retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses has released Virtual Vision Test, a new app that will allow customers to take an eye test via their iPhones.

For US$15, the app gives users a five-minute questionnaire about their current eye health. They must then position their iPhone ten feet from them, where the app proceeds to show a range of letters that the user reads aloud while wearing their current prescription glasses or lenses. Once their voice and data are recorded, it gets sent to a doctor for review – and the user will receive their prescription.

The new service comes as demand for telemedicine (the use of telecommunications to provide healthcare advice) rapidly picks up pace – boosted, in part, by the pandemic. It’s forecast that the telehealth market size will reach US$559.52 billion by 20274.

Grocery store commits to no plastic

An innovative startup from Germany is helping consumers make eco-friendly choices when shopping for groceries. Gerne Ohne5 – which translates to “Gladly Without” – is a zero-waste, online grocery store which prides itself on being plastic-free. Instead, customers receive their deliveries in glasses which are then returned to Gerne Ohne for cleaning and reuse. In addition, all produce is sourced from organic suppliers.

The new store comes as consumers become increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their day-to-day decisions. In fact, 61% say they have made a conscious effort to avoid single-use plastic as part of their commitment to sustainability6. Amidst this shift, e-commerce businesses that offer customers greener packaging options will make a positive impression.

Bring on the bots

As more and more online companies integrate chatbots into their customer services, new research7 from the University of Göttingen8 has found that consumers are warming to the technology – but only in certain scenarios.

Interestingly, the study found that people are more forgiving of chatbot customer service errors than they are human ones. “If their issue isn't resolved, disclosing that they were talking with a chatbot makes it easier for the consumer to understand the root cause of the error," says the study’s first author Nika Mozafari9. However, if the customer’s issue is particularly important or critical, they prefer to speak to a real person to resolve it, and brands that don’t offer this risk damaging their relationship with customers. 

Selling to UK consumers? Next-day delivery may just win you that sale…

A new survey has revealed that 45% of British consumers say that next-day delivery would make them more likely to shop with a merchant10. Despite this, 1 in 3 (34%) of online retailers don’t offer this option at checkout, even though 73% think they are offering enough delivery options.

The survey also found that free shipping is a big incentive to customers – 58% of respondents say that free delivery would make them more likely to shop with a retailer. They are also more willing to wait longer for their purchases if delivery is free, with 40% even saying they would wait up to a week.

In addition to delivery options, the payment services you offer customers at checkout could be the difference between winning or losing a sale. Find out which ones are right for your business with our exclusive guide to the new ways to pay.

1 - Sitel Group survey, Ecommerce Times, July 2021

2 - Sitel Group

3 - Warby Parker

4 - Globe Newswire, May 2021

5 - Gerne Ohne

6 - Deloitte survey, 2021

7 - University of Göttingen research, Canvas8, July 2021

8 - University of Göttingen

9 - Nika Mozafari, EurekAlert, July 2021

10 - Parcelhub survey, Ecommerce News Europe, July 2021

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson Discover content team

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