Any Other Business: 27 November 2020

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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presents and stationery

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce trends from around the world including a new ‘anti-Covid’ fashion collection, and why this year’s Singles’ Day sales indicate a very lucrative Christmas lies ahead for sellers.

Chinese dragon

Peak online shopping season kicks off with record sales

China’s Singles’ Day 2020 – which is held annually on 11 November – achieved record online shopping sales this year.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group1 said a frenzy of online consumer spending during its own Singles’ Day festival exceeded US$56bn by midday, with the order rate hitting a staggering peak of 583,000 purchases per second2. This surpasses last year’s record of US$38bn by the same point in the day.

Elsewhere, another of the country’s biggest e-commerce sites, JD.com3, recorded US$30.3bn worth of sales by nine minutes after midnight on the day.

Singles’ Day marks the start of the peak holiday season for e-commerce businesses. Ensure your business is ready for the festive rush with our dedicated checklist.

e-commerce icons

B2B e-commerce that you can trust

With an estimated 90% of B2B purchases worldwide made with invoice payments4, streamlining is an issue that could help companies (and customers) around the globe. Luckily for us, Payer5 – a Swedish fintech company – might have the answer, with a brand new, as yet unnamed product that lets B2B e-commerce merchants verify new customers.

 Currently beta testing in Sweden until February next year, the product “…solves the conversion and onboarding of customers for merchants, as well as recognizes recurring customers at checkout,” according to company CEO, Peter Berge. Payment systems are nothing new at Discover, of course, check out our article on the best choice for your business.

arts and crafts items

Pandemic leads to a bumper year for Etsy

Online marketplace Etsy6 released its third quarter financial results at the end of October, revealing worldwide sales were up 128% on the previous year7.

The e-commerce site, home to 3.7 million active sellers, has benefited from 2020’s unprecedented circumstances. Consumers stuck at home during the pandemic drove up sales of craft materials as they shopped online, whilst handmade re-usable masks accounted for 11% of the company’s total third quarter sales.

On the back of this strong sales quarter, the company is gearing up for a bumper festive season, with searches for Christmas decorations up on last year8.

woman wearing jacket

Fashion designer launches Covid-era collection

Designer Phillip Lim9 has become the latest within the fashion e-commerce sector to experiment with using virus-resistant textiles in their designs.

At a time when consumers are concerned about hygiene safety, Lim has launched a collection called ‘Live Free', combining the comfort of athleisure wear with an anti-bacterial add-on. The clothes are made using Fuze, a sustainable textile application that prevents the spread of odour, disease and other forms of bacteria. Prices range between US$65 for a t-shirt and US$550 for a triple-layer parka.

Lim was inspired to create the collection by the current uncertainties brought about by the pandemic. “We need to address the situation. What would make people feel good, what would give people peace of mind? To feel free again, to be able to live free. We took that for granted”, he explained10.

mobile phone in shopping cart

Shopify’s US customer base remains strong

New data has unveiled insights into Shopify’s reach around the world. As of this month, there are 1.49 million live Shopify11 websites globally12. Over 1 million (73%) of these stores are hosted in the US, whilst the UK has the second-largest share with almost 59,000 Shopify e-commerce websites (3.9%). Australia, Canada and Germany round off the top five markets.

Shopify, launched in 2004, is best known as an e-commerce platform that helps businesses create their own online stores. In early 2020, the company launched 'Shop', an app that better serves how customers like to shop by consolidating all sellers into one marketplace for customers to browse and buy from – much like Amazon.

Should you be selling on Shopify? Discover which online marketplaces are best suited to help your business reach new customers with our exclusive guide.

1 - Alibaba Group

2 - China’s Singles’ Day figures, Aljazeera, November 2020                       

3 - JD.com

4 - Ecommerce News

5 - Payer

6 - Etsy

7 & 8 - Etsy’s sales figures, Forbes, November 2020  

9 - Phillip Lim

10 - Phillip Lim, Canvas8, November 2020

11 - Shopify

12 - Shopify data, Ecommerce News Europe, November 2020