Any Other Business: 4 December 2020

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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medicine and stethoscope

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world including Amazon’s new pharmaceutical platform, and which product Aussies have been snapping up online during the pandemic.  

Amazon PillPack

Amazon launches online pharmacy

Amazon has added yet another string to its bow with a move into the online healthcare space. The e-commerce giant has recently launched Amazon Pharmacy1 in the US, which sells heavily discounted medicines. Customers can create a secure pharmacy profile to add their insurance information, manage prescriptions, and choose payment options before checking out. Amazon Prime members can buy medications at a discount when paying for them without insurance, saving them up to 80% on generic drugs and 40% on brand name medications. Amazon has also acquired PillPack, that allows Amazon Pharmacy to provide medication in packets rather than bottles as a way to manage prescriptions through various means, giving buyers the opportunity to choose what they prefer.

Prescription medicines have traditionally been slower than other products to move into e-commerce, but consumers are likely to be tempted by the convenience of ordering from Amazon. Morgan Stanley2 predicts the scheme will be a success. "The recurring nature of pharmacy, and relatively small package size, should integrate well into Amazon's existing logistics orders to increase gross profit dollars per shipment," it said3.

Learn more about the exciting growth of the medical e-commerce sector and how you can become a part of it here.

Christmas packaging

No second chances for e-tailers who deliver late

New research from packaging supplier DS Smith4 has revealed that British consumers may buy an extra 145 million Christmas presents online this year – taking the UK total to above 1 billion for the first time5.

On-time deliveries are still a high priority for consumers – 44% said they are unlikely to buy from a retailer again if their package turns up late, whilst 27% said they would cancel an order if they learn that their gift is going to arrive late. Therefore it's important for buyers to be able to track their package and choose shipping options.

Make sure your e-commerce business is prepared for the holiday rush with our exclusive Christmas checklist.  

wine in glasses on a barrel

Locked-down Aussies turn to online wine

Australian wine directory The Wine Collective6 is expanding its digital offering to keep up with increased demand brought about by the pandemic. The e-commerce site is adding 10,000 premium international suppliers to its platform, making it easier for consumers to buy fine wine personalized to their tastes.

The Wine Collective is investing heavily in digital curated customer experiences on the back of a bumper sales year. Store closures and consumers pivoting to online shopping helped its e-commerce channel enjoy year-on-year growth of 75%.

"This unique portfolio of products will be accessible to Australian audiences using technology never deployed in the wine industry before," said Lloyd Heinrich, CEO of The Wine Collective7. This includes a "world-first digital marketplace connection" with one of France's leading merchants, CVBG Bordeaux8, to stock premium wines from around the world.

water being poured out of a carton

Brand credibility important to eco-conscious consumers

A new study9 has unveiled the importance of consumers' overall perception of a brand in influencing the purchase of eco-friendly products.   

Past research has indicated that people hesitate to buy  'green' products because they perceive them as ineffective10. Yet, the new research has shown that if consumers trust that the company selling the product is morally conscious and engaged in prosocial behaviour to help their eco footprint, then they will have higher belief in their products' benefits.

"Following this line of reasoning, we identify two ways in which managers can increase the perceived performance of sustainable products: by associating sustainable benefits with the company rather than with its products and by emphasizing the societal benefits of sustainability," reads the study11.

DHL truck in London

From yellow to green: DHL’s latest sustainability move

DHL Supply Chain has begun operating the UK's first 16-tonne electric truck. The purpose-built vehicle is powered by four 200kWh batteries and has become part of DHL's fleet in London, making last-mile deliveries into the West End shopping district. It will recharge overnight ready for daily operations into the city center.

Ian Clough, Managing Director of Network Logistics and Transport at DHL Supply Chain UK said: “The Volvo FL Electric is the perfect solution to the challenges of urban logistics, allowing us to make deliveries in densely populated inner-city locations where air quality and noise pollution challenges are highest.”

The use of the eco-friendly vehicle is part of DHL Group's commitment to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050.

1 - Amazon Pharmacy

2 - Morgan Stanley

3 - Morgan Stanley quote, Financial Times, November 2020

4 - DS Smith

5 - DS Smith survey, Packaging News, November 2020

6 - The Wine Collective

7 - Lloyd Heinrich, Canvas8, November 2020

8 - CVBG

9 - When Sustainability is Not a Liability: The Halo Effect of Marketplace Morality, Wiley Online Library, September 2020

10 - Canvas8, November 2020

11 - Canvas8, November 2020