Any other business: 29 May 2020

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from across the world including a new shopping app for Gen Z, Facebook’s highly anticipated move into the e-commerce sector, and how boxes of clothes are offering a lifeline to thousands of factory workers in Bangladesh.

Join the party – from your sofa

A new app is hoping to make online shopping a more social experience. Squadded Shopping Party1 – which is aimed at UK-based 15- to 25-year-olds – will let networks of friends shop together on popular fashion e-commerce sites. The plug-in takes users to a platform where their friends can see their product wish-lists and offer opinions through voting or commentating.

Founded by a former L’Oréal brand manager, the app hopes to boost sales for partner brands by making space for the peer opinions that are so valued by Gen Z and can influence their decision making.

Has Amazon got a competition?

In response to the boom in e-commerce during the pandemic, Facebook has accelerated the launch of its new mobile-first, online shopping platform, Facebook Shops2. The service will allow sellers to create digital storefronts on Facebook or Instagram, where customers can browse products, message sellers and, in some cases, buy from them directly through a new checkout feature. The social media giant – whose userbase currently stands at no less than 2.6 billion people – is hoping to use the browsing and purchasing data of Facebook Shop’s customers to improve its advertising service and charge more for it.

The launch comes at a time when online shopping is experiencing rapid growth, and nearly half of global consumers say they will not return to shops for ‘some time’ or ‘a long time’ after lockdown eases3. Read more about how brands are adapting to the new e-commerce landscape in our special series on Pandemic Culture.

P&G makes shopping personal

As the pandemic pushes the world online, traditional bricks-and-mortar brands are thinking innovatively to retain customers’ business. FMCG giant Procter and Gamble (P&G) is hoping to replicate its in-store experience online with the launch of Show Me My Home4. The campaign simulates the household environment virtually for shoppers so they can browse popular products by room, and has been built using consumer insights and behavioral data. 

P&G has partnered with South-East Asian e-commerce platform Shopee5 to run the experiential retail service, which will be available via a dedicated P&G microsite on Shopee’s platform.

Is your e-commerce business’s online presence up to scratch? Our Golden Rules of E-commerce article is packed full of valuable tips to get you ahead.

A box of hope

When Europe went into lockdown, high street retailers cancelled $2billion worth of clothes orders almost overnight. This left factory workers in many third-world countries out of work and struggling to survive in countries without a government safety net.

Fashion lovers looking for ethical clothing or who want to do their bit to help those affected can look to a new initiative, Lost Stock6. The sustainable project hopes to save some of the mountains of unsold clothes left after UK retailers pulled out of their contracts. Customers can purchase a box of clothes worth £70 for half price after filling in a questionnaire about their size and taste in clothes. The money raised will go to help clothing workers in Bangladesh who have lost their jobs – each box will support the worker and their family in their food and hygiene requirements for a week.

Targeting the Insta generation

Target7 is the latest retailer to venture into social commerce by making its products available through Instagram Checkout8. Customers browsing @Target and @TargetStyle accounts on Instagram can buy items directly through the platform without leaving the app.

Instagram’s in-app checkout debuted in March 2019 and gives brands – from large to SMEs – the opportunity to tap into its market of 1 billion users. Find out more about why and how your business should be selling on social with our detailed guide. 

1 – Squadded Shopping Party

2 – Facebook Shops

3 – Global Web Index

4 – Show Me My Home, Inside FMCG 

5 – Shopee

6 – Lost Stock

7 – Target

8 – Instagram Checkout