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Any Other Business: 12 February 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 eBay’s record year and the new grocery service promising 15-minute delivery.

Innovative sustainable packaging opens new opportunities for online food sector

UK packaging company Mondi1 has unveiled its latest e-commerce product, and there’s good news for those selling food and other perishable products.

BCoolBox is a recyclable packaging solution that uses thermo-insulation to keep items cool while in transit. The temperature-sensitive packaging’s unique design means it doesn’t require a cooling truck to chill items below 7 degrees for up to 24 hours.

“With this product innovation, food stays fresh from the store to the consumer or a pick-up station, and offers online retailers the opportunity to expand their geographical reach for deliveries”, Mondi explains2.

The arrival of BCoolBox has come at the perfect time, with the pandemic causing a surge in online food deliveries. During last year’s lockdown, 28% of Europeans living in urban areas used online shopping as their main channel for buying groceries, whilst 80% of those who used e-commerce for their groceries for the first time said they plan to continue doing so3.

Many companies unprepared for online transition

It’s no secret that the pandemic was the catalyst for an unprecedented rise in e-commerce sales across the world. Yet, whilst many bricks-and-mortar stores were able to pivot to online seamlessly, for others the transition has been more of a challenge.

New research by McKinsey5 has revealed that only 60% of consumer-goods companies say they are even moderately prepared to capture new e-commerce growth opportunities.

Concerns raised by top executives globally include fulfilment worries and the cost of introducing an online channel. Some brands – used to selling through intermediaries like retailers and online marketplaces – expressed worries about dealing with customers directly. As one respondee noted, “We are great at making things, and we are good at managing partners. But when it comes to selling directly to consumers, we don’t really know where to start.”

Well, fortunately we do. Our dedicated e-commerce library is packed full of guides and tips that will show you just how easy it is to learn how to sell online. Discover now.

Pandemic gives marketplace giant a record boost

eBay’s6 global gross merchandise volume reached $100.0 billion in 2020, up 16.9% from $85.51 billion in 20197. The online platform also revealed it added 11 million new customers last year, taking its total to 185 million.

Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) is emerging as an important channel for the company: nearly half of global GMV was transacted in eBay’s app, which was downloaded 50 million times in 2020. App purchases continue to grow faster than overall GMV.

From eBay to Etsy: discover which online marketplace you should be selling on with our dedicated guide.

New app sets the bar for speedy supermarket deliveries

A start-up from France is promising to deliver groceries to those living in Paris in just 15 minutes. Hungry – or just impatient – consumers can use the recently-launched Cajoo8 app to order essentials such as eggs, snacks, wine, and detergent to their doors almost instantly.

The e-commerce logistics company is able to offer the speedy service by placing its warehouses in the center of Paris, rather than the suburbs.

Investor XAnge9 believes that Cajoo’s unique value proposition will help it beat the competition and generate better margins. “No established brick-and-mortar retailer is able to offer such a quick delivery experience. Amazon Prime Now delivery can take up to two hours and pure-players like Deliveroo or Uber Eats are focusing on the food-delivery experience” the company said in a statement10.

Green is the new black for values-led Britons

Eco-conscious millennials and Gen Z-ers are fuelling a boom in sales of second-hand fashion in the UK. Research shows that half of 16-30 year-old Britons swapped, borrowed, and bought more second-hand clothes and other items in 2020 than 201911, in what is being called the rise of slow fashion.

Whilst tightened purse strings amidst the pandemic is arguably responsible for some of the growth, fashion psychologist Skakaila Forbes-Bell believes that the positive feeling of sustainable consumption plays a part too. “Without places to go, the goal of getting dressed has evolved from ‘how does this make me look’ to ‘how does this make me feel’,” she says12.

We’ve tipped second-hand fashion as a trending product category to watch in 2021. Find out what else made our list here.

1 - Mondi

2 - Mondi quote, Ecommerce News Europe, February 2021

3 - Ecommerce News Europe, February 2021

4 - McKinsey & Company, DTC e-commerce: How consumer brands can get it right, November 2020

5 - McKinsey & Company

6 - eBay

7 - eBay statistics, Digital Commerce 360, February 2021

8 - Cajoo, Ecommerce News Europe, February 2021

9 - XAnge

10 - XAnge statement, Ecommerce News Europe, February 2021

11 - Canvas8, February 2021

12 - Skakaila Forbes-Bell, Canvas8, February 2021