#SmallBusinessAdvice

Any Other Business: 26 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 the world’s most expensive tweet, and how innovative 3D technology is helping fashion sellers reduce their returns rate.

jeans laid out

3D tech leads the fight back against online returns

Online returns have long been a pain for e-commerce sellers, particularly those within the apparel sector where returns rates can be as high as 30-40%1. Now, one startup is using innovative technology to tackle the problem.  

Europe-based 3DLook2 offers mobile body measuring and fit solutions using AI technology. The technology utilizes computer vision and 3D statistical modeling to measure the human body using just two customer photos, and then provides personalized fit and size recommendations based on the results.

With such accuracy, the technology reduces the need for online shoppers to buy an item in several sizes to try on at home before returning the ones that don’t fit. 3DLook says its solutions have helped e-retailers and fashion brands reduce their online returns by 30%, whilst increasing conversion rates fourfold3.

hands on a laptop

Stripe races ahead

Online payment platform Stripe4 has become the US’ most valuable start-up – thanks, in part, to the unprecedented growth of online shopping over the last year.

The company, whose software processes online payments for e-commerce businesses, added over 200,000 European companies to its platform and handled on average 5,000 requests per second during the pandemic5.

With online shopping here to stay, the popularity of digital payments is set to continue even after the pandemic has passed: forecasts expect 420 billion transactions worth US$7 trillion to shift from cash to cards by 2023 and increase to $48 trillion by 20306.

As shoppers are 70% more likely to finalize a purchase if their preferred payment method is displayed as an option7, you should be carefully considering the payment methods you offer at checkout.

bitcoin

How much would you pay for a Tweet?

Proving that almost anything can be sold online, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has just sold the first-ever published tweet as an NFT. The final bid was US$2.9 million8.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, refer to pieces of digital content linked to the blockchain, the digital ledger system underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Whilst cryptocurrencies are fungible – meaning they can be traded for another identical one – NFTs are unique and can’t be replaced with something else. NFTs can really be anything digital, though recently have been gaining buzz as a way to sell digital art.  

Jack Dorsey’s original tweet was published on the social media platform on March 21, 2006, and read “just setting up my twttr”. It was bought by Sina Estavi, the CEO of Malaysian blockchain service Bridge Oracle9 for the impressive sum, which Mr Dorsey has pledged to donate to charity.

stacked books

eBay goes green

eBay sellers are increasingly embracing the resale economy, according to a new survey by the online marketplace. In the survey, nearly three-quarters (72%) of merchants said buying used items has become more common in the past few years10. Many of these merchants are becoming more open to buying pre-owned items to replenish their own online stores – a move that rates well with eco-conscious consumers looking for sustainable purchasing options.

The survey also revealed some insights into how Covid-19 has impacted the resale e-commerce landscape. Nearly three quarters of UK eBay sellers who responded to the survey said they began selling second-hand items in 2020 to earn extra money, whilst 14% said they started selling used goods after losing their jobs amid the pandemic.

wooden utensils

Are you selling on Amazon yet?

Amazon’s unstoppable dominance of the e-commerce market shows no signs of slowing. The online marketplace giant has welcomed 295,000 new sellers worldwide so far this year – that’s over 3,700 sellers per day or even 155 per hour11. Almost 40% of these joined an Amazon marketplace in Europe, whilst the .com domain is responsible for more than a quarter of all new vendors.

These figures are perhaps unsurprising considering e-commerce’s exponential growth amidst the pandemic and store closures. If you’re thinking of making the switch to selling online, marketplaces are a great place to start – check out our guide to the leading marketplaces to find the right ones for your business.

1 - CNBC, January 2019

2 - 3DLook

3 - Ecommerce News Europe, March 2021

4 - Stripe

5 & 6 - Canvas8, March 2021

7 - 2Checkout blog, June 2020

8 - Forbes, March 2021

9 - Bridge Oracle

10 - Recommerce Report, ebayinc, March 2021

11 - Ecommerce News Europe, March 2021