Any Other Business: 18 December 2020

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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DHL delivery men packing Covid vaccine cargo

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world including Cyber Monday’s booming sales, and why Ikea is finally saying goodbye to its print catalog.

DHL aircraft with cargo

DHL starts international COVID-19 vaccine distribution

In a historic moment, DHL has become part of the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout. At the start of the month, flights operated by DHL Express and DHL Global Forwarding touched down in Israel with the first batch of vaccines for citizens there. The move follows months of preparation by DHL, involving specialists from across its entire international network.

"The current crisis has shown how indispensable international logistics networks are for ensuring that societies have the necessary personal protective equipment and test kits to secure their health", said Travis Cobb, Head of Global Network Operations and Aviation at DHL Express1.

Thomas Mack, Head of Global Airfreight at DHL Global Forwarding added that the company was proud to play a role in this "silver lining" part of the pandemic. "With our extensive logistics expertise in the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector, paired with the commitment and passion of our people, we want to play our part in making the Corona pandemic history."

In addition to Israel, DHL has scheduled further flights to various countries for 2020 and beyond.

Cyber Monday in Neon lights

Next-day delivery in demand for Cyber Monday deals

US consumers spent around US$10.8 billion online by the end of Cyber Monday, a 15.1% increase over online sales last year, according to a report from Adobe2.

Mobile commerce accounted for 37% of all sales, whilst nearly half (45%) of consumers chose one-day shipping for their purchases as they looked for quick and easy delivery – something which e-commerce sellers should be sure to offer this festive season in order to attract last-minute shoppers. Discover more tips to help your business maximize sales in these final days before Christmas. 

Ikea shopping trolley in supermarket

Ikea says “adjö” to iconic catalog

Ikea3 has made the decision to stop printing its famous catalog after nearly 70 years. The Swedish furniture giant has made the move in response to its customers increasingly pivoting towards its digital channels and becoming more eco-friendly. Last year, the company's e-commerce sales increased by 45% worldwide, and the website welcomed over 4 billion visits from flat-pack bargain hunters4.

In 1951, founder Ingvar Kamprad himself put together the very first catalog, with 285,000 copies printed and distributed in the southern part of Sweden. At its peak in 2016, 200m copies in 32 different languages were distributed worldwide.

graphic of hands holding up mobile phones with whatsapp

WhatsApp ups its e-commerce game

WhatsApp5 has introduced a new shopping carts feature that will streamline the commerce experience for users, making it easier for them to shop on social media. Customers can browse a business's catalog through the app and add several items to the cart at once before sending the entire order in a single message, replacing the back-and-forth communication that needed to happen previously.

WhatsApp may predominantly be known as a messaging platform but it is becoming increasingly popular as a venue for small businesses around the world to sell their products. Every day, more than 175 million people across the world message one of the 50 million users who have a WhatsApp Business account6.

From Snapchat to LinkedIn, discover how your business could boost sales by selling on social.

person with paper bag on their head with thumbs up

New ways to reach beauty buyers

The closure of bricks and mortar stores during the pandemic has shifted the way shoppers buy beauty products. Without being able to test the products in store, consumers are instead turning to alternative sources to help them choose what brands to buy online. 

In a recent study of Millennial and Generation Z beauty and skincare shoppers, 74% said they are more likely to buy from a brand which includes customer reviews throughout its website; 62% from a website that has user-generated content, such as photos of real consumers using the products; and 44% if the product has been recommended by influencers or celebrities the consumer cares about7 – proof of the power of product reviews.

1 - Travis Cobb, Thomas Mack, DPDHL

2 - Adobe

2 - Adobe report, Retail Dive, December 2020

3 - Ikea

4 - Ikea statistics, E-commerce News Europe, December 2020

5 - WhatsApp

6 - WhatsApp statistics, The Verge, December 2020

7 - The Future of Beauty and Skincare E-commerce, Real Wire, November 2020