Any Other Business: 26 February 2021

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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graphics of pet products

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world including the booming pet care market, and why livestreaming may be the next big thing for small businesses.

various ceramic mugs on shelves

Wholesale moves online amidst pandemic

Abound1, an online wholesale marketplace that connects small retailers with independent brands, has seen sales surge in the past year after traditional trade shows closed because of the pandemic. Launched in 2019, it specializes in helping merchants find suppliers not available on Amazon. 

Since the start of 2020, the online marketplace has introduced more than 180,000 products from manufacturers and craftspeople, and seen monthly sales volume increase 20-fold. “The majority of Abound’s retailers use the ‘Not on Amazon’ filter to specifically find brands that are not selling to consumers via Amazon,” a spokeswoman for Abound said2. The marketplace website grants 60-day net payment terms for qualified buyers to make it “easier to try new products,” she added.

mountain scenery with a lake and cabin

European countries bag e-commerce index’s top spots

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development3 (UNCTAD) has released its annual B2C e-commerce index4 in which it ranks 152 countries on their readiness to engage in e-commerce. This year, eight of the top 10 countries are European, with Switzerland in the first place.

The index considers factors such as access to secure internet servers, reliability of postal services and infrastructure, and the portion of the population that uses mobile money services.

Audiences may be surprised to see that the two largest e-commerce markets in the world, China and the US, are nowhere to be found in the top 10. The UNCTAD explains that whilst the countries lead in several absolute measures, for some factors – such as internet penetration – they lag.

Discover the lucrative opportunities of doing business with your European neighbors, and how to take advantage of the growth of e-commerce with our exclusive country guides.

man hugging a dog

Pampered pooches drive up pet market spending

Our love for our four- (and two-) legged friends shows no sign of waning. A new survey5 has revealed that the health and wellbeing of their pets are at the top of owners’ priorities, with 86% of respondents saying that they are willing to spend more money on premium animal treats and accessories that meet these needs.     

The global pet care e-commerce market size was valued at $20.75 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.3% from 2020 to 20276.

Discover what other product categories are expected to do big business this year with our exclusive 2021 trend report.

woman smiling at computer screen

Mollie expands payment options for consumers

British e-commerce merchants looking to grow into Europe will be interested to learn about fintech start-up Mollie7. The payment service provider has launched in the UK, allowing retailers there to incorporate several EU payment methods into their online stores, meaning they can offer customers from the EU an array of flexible payment options.  

Mollie has partnerships with Klarna8, Magento9 and European payment gateways, helping UK merchants to trade competitively in the eurozone at a time when Brexit has posed some logistics and shipping challenges. “Establishing a presence quickly and efficiently is vital for reaching a wider addressable market, at a time when UK retail needs it most”, said Josh Guthrie, Mollie’s Head of UK10.

livestream camera and people

Pandemic increases demand for livestream commerce

Talkshoplive11, a livestream social-shopping network, has just raised another round of seed funding to help it meet increasing demand from merchants and customers, and expand its global reach.  

The platform, which facilitates transactions within videos, helps sellers create live shows, chat with consumers in real-time, and process orders. Currently, 3,000 small businesses are actively using the feature to sell to customers, who can purchase products featured in live videos using a "buy" button.

The livestream e-commerce market has been given a boost by the pandemic, as many retailers experiment with new, digital ways to reach consumers at home.

1 - Abound

2 - Abound quote, Digital Commerce 360, February 2021

3 - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

4 - UNCTAD index, Ecommerce News Europe, February 2021

5 - Kinship survey, Canvas8, February 2021

6 - Pet Care E-commerce Market Report, Grand View Research, July 2020

7 - Mollie

8 - Klarna

9 - Magento

10 - Josh Guthrie, Ecommerce News Europe, February 2021

11 - Talkshoplive