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Any Other Business: 22 January 2021

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 around the world including the countdown to a very lucrative Valentine’s Day, and why switching to greener packaging could help you win more customers. 

Love is in the air

With just over three weeks until the big day, now is the time to start planning your Valentine’s Day sales campaign, focusing on Valentine's gifts for him and her.

According to the National Retail Federation1 (NRF), in 2020, the average Valentine’s Day shopper in the US spent almost $2002. This year, the total Valentine’s spending is expected to exceed $25 billion in retail revenue, and, with the country still in the midst of the pandemic, many of those dollars will be spent online.

Our exclusive 2021 E-commerce Calendar will help you prepare for all the lucrative sales dates this year.  

Reopening of stores does little to hamper e-commerce’s growth

A new report by SearchNode3 has revealed the lasting impact of the pandemic on e-commerce businesses.

In the survey4 of 100 e-commerce decision-makers from Europe and North America, 50% of respondents said their online revenue increased by over 100% during the global lockdown of spring 2020. Interestingly, even after lockdowns eased and many bricks-and-mortar stores reopened, 86% of online retailers said their revenues maintained growth as people continued to shop online.

With consumers switching to online shopping, discover the 22 Golden Rules of E-commerce that will help your business thrive.

How eco-friendly is your packaging?

Eco-conscious packaging is set to be a high priority for consumers this year, with businesses also starting to understand the importance of being environmentally friendly.   

According to a new survey, over three quarters of consumers (78%) said they wish more brands used paper packaging instead of plastic packaging, whilst two thirds (68%) would be more likely to purchase from online retailers and brands that offer plastic-free packaging choices at checkout than online retailers who don’t5.

Ready to make the switch to greener packaging? Discover why it makes good business sense here

Russian e-commerce giant eyes up Europe

Wildberries6, the biggest e-commerce company in Russia, has stepped up its expansion efforts in Europe. Last year, it launched in Poland; now, it’s time for Germany, one of the world’s leading e-commerce markets, with plans in the works for further rollout in France, Italy and Spain.

The online marketplace was founded in Moscow in 2004 by a teacher on maternity leave who realized how difficult it was for new mothers to find time to shop for clothes at bricks-and-mortar stores. Today, Wildberries sells ~37,000 brands including clothing, cosmetics, electronics and books, processing around 750,000 orders on average a day7.

Is Facebook Ads losing its advertising crown?

Facebook has long been a go-to advertising platform for e-commerce brands wishing to reach new customers. However, new data surrounding last year’s Facebook ad boycott by companies frustrated with the platform’s handling of hate speech suggests it may not be as influential as previously thought.

Market research company Forrester8 examined 43 publicly traded companies that participated in the boycott last summer and found that in most cases, withdrawing advertising did not have a negative effect on sales. Only seven saw their revenue decrease in the third quarter as compared to Q2, whilst the other 36 companies' revenue increased quarter to quarter.

Sucharita Kodali, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, suggested that whilst advertising on Facebook has the “veneer of being cost effective” for e-commerce brands, "to this day, very few people have dissected what is truly incremental,”9 meaning Facebook advertising gets credit for online transactions that would have happened anyway.

1 - National Retail Federation

2 - NRF research, Digital Media Solutions, January 2021

3 - SearchNode

4 - SearchNode survey, Ecommerce News, January 2021

5 - Ranpak survey, Business Wire, January 2021

6 - Wildberries

7 - Wildberries, Wikipedia, January 2021

8 - Forrester

9 - Sucharita Kodali, Retail Dive, January 2021