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Any Other Business: 19 March 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 PayPal’s flexible new payment solution, and how the restaurant sector is becoming increasingly digitalized.

New service lets Aussies “split” online payments

PayPal1 is set to launch a new “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) payment solution in Australia in June. Pay in 4 will be offered to consumers as an option at checkout in the PayPal wallet, allowing them to split eligible purchases from AUS$50 to AUS$1,500 over four equal, interest-free instalments.

Versions of PayPal Pay in 4 are already on offer in the UK and US markets, where they are particularly popular amongst the millennial generation, who favor more flexible payment options.

In 2019, Australia was ranked fourth out of the top global BNPL markets based on consumer usage, whilst the number of BNPL users in the country climbed 25%, year-on-year, to nearly 2 million users in June 20202.

Discover why the payment methods you offer your customers could make or break a sale – and which ones you should offer, in our exclusive report.

Chocoholics move online in search of their fix

Amidst the stress of the pandemic, it seems many of us turned to chocolate to get ourselves through it. UK-based Hotel Chocolat3 – which has a chain of stores and cafes – saw its sales increase despite high street lockdowns, as customers instead headed to the company’s website to get their hands on the sugary good stuff. 

Hotel Chocolat – which also sells on Amazon – added 600,000 new online customers in the UK in 20204. It also achieved growth in key new markets – sales in the US rose 47% in October, and in Japan, sales more than tripled as the brand opened 11 new outlets there, taking the total to 19.

Does the future of the restaurant industry lie online?

Amidst the pandemic, the restaurant sector has arguably been one of the hardest hit. But out of chaos often comes innovation…

In Moscow, KFC5 has introduced automated fast food ‘lockers’ which feature zero contact between customers and employees. Customers can order food in advance online or via the restaurant's app and then pick it up from one of the temperature-controlled lockers which they unlock using a code sent to their mobile phone.

As well as this new approach to KFC delivery, several fast-food chains around the world are currently trialling the use of such lockers for customers who order food online. The lockers keep food warm or cold whilst it awaits collection from customers or delivery workers. In some cases, the lockers can be opened by scanning a QR code; others have a pin pad or touch screen for customers to enter a code sent to them.

The restaurant sector’s move into automation comes as one report forecasts that digital sales will make up 54% of all restaurant sales by 20256

Are you selling to Ireland yet?

A new survey7 has revealed that two-thirds of consumers in Ireland spent more online in 2020 than they did in 2019. And almost six out of ten say they will continue to prioritize online shopping over in-store shopping this year. 

A separate report8 found that the pandemic influenced consumers there to support local businesses – 53% said they have prioritized e-commerce shopping with Irish SMEs since the start of the pandemic – although this balance has now swung back towards favoring international retailers.

2020: the year of e-commerce

Deutsche Post DHL Group saw its revenue increase by 5.5% in 2020, latest figures from the logistics leader have revealed9.

Shipment volumes grew significantly faster than expected in all regions, especially within B2C e-commerce. The group’s eCommerce Solutions division recorded particularly dynamic volume growth in multiple countries in Europe and the US in a year when the pandemic sent e-commerce rates soaring to record levels around the world.

Though nobody could have predicted Covid-19, DPDHL was able to cope with the surge in e-commerce due to long-term investment. “This success didn’t come from nowhere,” explained Frank Appel, the Group’s CEO10. “It is the result of years of hard work by our entire organization […] consistently aligning our company towards e-commerce and investing in our logistics network and digitalization.”

The global e-commerce revolution is happening right now – is your business ready? Learn how to make the most of every opportunity with our dedicated bank of e-commerce guides and tips.

1 - PayPal

2 - eMarketer, March 2021

3 - Hotel Chocolat

4 - The Guardian, March 2021

5 - KFC

6 - Canvas8, March 2021

7 & 8 - Ecommerce News Europe, March 2021

9 & 10 - Deutsche Post DHL Group Press Release, March 2021