Any Other Business: 23 October 2020

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
linkedin sharing button
Smart Share Buttons Icon Share

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world including how artificial intelligence (AI) is helping brands connect better with customers, and why your product’s packaging can be an important sales tool.

Smart AI helps brands up their text game

A young startup has developed an AI-supported text messaging service for businesses to improve communications between brands and customers.

Tone1 was created by two US-based entrepreneurs who previously owned a bicycle startup and found that they closed more high-value sales when they engaged customers in text message conversations.

Tone aims to help e-commerce businesses with their texting services, using software to assist a dedicated team of human agents in finding the answers to queries quickly and efficiently. To ensure customers have a smooth and consistent experience, specific Tone agents are assigned to specific brands so that customers are able to speak to the same person all the way through.

The app integrates with key e-commerce platforms like Shopify2 and Magento3, and already has a client base of more than 1,000 brands – some who have seen as much as a 26% increase in revenue since using it4.

The future is here: learn how AI could give your business a boost with our exclusive download that tells you all about AI uses. 

Is your website up to scratch?

According to a new survey5, 40% of consumers struggle to do simple tasks on retail websites, and more than half (62%) who have trouble completing a transaction online will simply abandon their cart.

Only 26% of respondents who encountered a problem on a retailer’s website said they would contact customer service, with 52% saying they would instead leave to shop with a competitor.

Don’t let this happen to your e-commerce business! Ensure users have a good customer journey and stay happy with our top tips for website optimization.

Why product packaging could be the key to brand loyalty

How much thought have you put into your product’s packaging? New research suggests that it can influence the connection people have with the product.

Dr. Gaurav Jain, assistant professor of marketing at the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer6, ran several studies and found that when people spend time reading information on packaging, it makes them perceive their choices to be informed and worthwhile.

"When people are making [purchasing] decisions, marketers and designers need to remember that if we can make an individual spend some time in that choosing process, it's more likely people will stick with the option they chose over time”, he said7.  

Find out how packaging can be used as a great marketing opportunity with our guide that goes through everything from unboxing to personal messaging: everything you need to know.

King of the flat packs turns green

At a time when consumers are increasingly expecting brands to be more environmentally responsible and eco-friendly, IKEA8 has launched a new scheme that allows customers to resell or recycle its furnishings.

As of Black Friday (November 27), customers in the UK and Ireland can submit an online form that will allow them to exchange their furniture for store vouchers – the value of which will be determined by the condition of the products, with those of the highest quality earning the customer 50% of the original price. Furnishings selected for resale will be sold in IKEA’s recycled-only store in Sweden, whilst other pieces will be donated to worthy causes.

From Rio, with love: art fans invited to special online fair

The annual ArtRio fair9 will hold part of this year’s event online, joining many other brands and events that have had to pivot to a digital model due to the pandemic. 

The main fair will be held in person but will be supported by an online program featuring talks, guided tours and performances. Online ‘visitors’ will be able to access 72 different galleries, where they can view a video tour of the work and see details about each piece including the artist’s name and the price.

The online event will run until the end of October and is free to access.

1 - Tone

2 - Shopify

3 - Magento

4 - Tech Crunch, October 2020

5 - goMoxie survey, Retail Dive, October 2020

6 - Lally School of Management at Rensselaer

7 - Dr. Guarav Jain, Canvas8, October 2020

8 - IKEA

9 - ArtRio, The Art Newspaper, October 2020