Any Other Business: 30 April 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 how blockchain is helping the luxury goods market fight counterfeits, and the “three Cs” consumers want from their online returns experience.

digital board

Can blockchain beat the counterfeiters?

For those splashing the cash on high-end, luxury goods, authenticity is an understandable concern. Now, luxury brands including Louis Vuitton1, Cartier2 and Prada3 are joining forces to offer a blockchain solution to their customers looking for extra reassurance before purchasing.

Blockchain technology is a digital way to certify a transaction. Its adoption by the three brands will enable consumers to know whether a product is counterfeit or not by providing an encrypted certificate of guarantee to prove it is a genuine product.

The move comes as luxury brands are losing billions of dollars of revenue to counterfeits. The global trade in counterfeits – from luxury goods to consumer products and pharmaceuticals – is forecast to reach US$991 billion by 2022, almost double the level of 20134.

Cartier has already experimented with blockchain for its online product returns. Customers can take a photo of the product they’re returning and upload it on the blockchain to prove that its condition hasn’t been altered between the moment they’ve received it at home and the moment they’ve shipped it back to the brand. “It’s something simple but it means the trust between the two parties is enhanced,” Cartier CEO Cyrille Vigneron said5.

Could blockchain revolutionize the way you do business? Discover, with our exclusive guide: 10 ways blockchain can help your business.

hand holding a mobile phone

Need for speed draws customers to online marketplaces

In a recent survey of US online consumers, 26% said the speed and efficiency of one-click purchases and saved payment information are among the top reasons they buy on a marketplace versus a retailer’s website6. This easy user journey and experience is something that users remember – securing them as repeat customers.

New Amazon figures confirm this trend for no-fuss shopping. The world’s biggest online marketplace – which now has over 200 million Prime members globally – said customers complete half of all purchases on the platform in 15 minutes or less, and 28% buy their item(s) in three minutes or less7.

two women smiling at each other

Brands approach Mother’s Day with sensitivity

Etsy8 has joined a growing number of brands who have offered customers the option to ‘opt-out’ from Mother’s Day marketing, due to the sensitivity of the day for some.  

Mother’s Day in the US falls on Sunday 9 May and brands usually invest heavily in marketing to cash in on the sales driver. Yet, Etsy has emailed subscribers to invite them to opt-out of Mother’s Day comms via a simple click of a button. This personalized touch helps strengthen overall brand sentiment.

A spokesperson for the online craft marketplace said it has seen an “overwhelmingly positive response” from both buyers and sellers, and now plans to extend the option to Father’s Day as well.

woman holding open parcel

The three Cs consumers expect from the returns process

Recent consumer research9 has shed some light on what US consumers expect from the online returns process and after-sales service.

75% of respondents think that retailers should be doing more to improve their returns experiences. 66% said that they desire free returns, whilst 57% said they would reconsider shopping with a retailer in the future if they were charged a restocking fee after returning an item.

The survey also found that 53% of consumers want clear communications and visibility during the returns process (such as notification of the retailer receiving the return), whilst 50% want a convenient location to return the item(s) to, such as a local store.

“Our research shows that consumers’ perception of the returns experience often comes down to three Cs – cost, communication and convenience,” said Dan Nevin10, chief revenue officer at Doddle11, the e-commerce solutions provider that commissioned the research.

Ensure your e-commerce business is ticking off these three Cs with our guide to online returns.

dog smiling at camera

Consumers seek comfort for their four-legged friends

With people at home more, sales of pets boomed during the pandemic – but as offices open up again, owners are having to navigate new challenges.

In a bid to ease separation anxiety, people are turning to online pet subscription services and technology that will alleviate loneliness and boredom amongst their fluffy friends.

RelaxMyDog12, a streaming-platform that plays “doggy-tested” calming music and videos, saw an 18% rise in subscribers between early March and mid-April 202113. Elsewhere, online marketplace PetTech.co.uk14 has seen a 50% increase in demand for smart automatic pet feeders, which can be controlled via an app15. Pet cameras and two-way audio devices are also currently attracting heightened interest. 

Overall, the global pet e-commerce market is thriving – it was valued at USD$20.75 billion in 2019 and is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.3% from 2020 to 202716.

1 - Louis Vuitton

2 - Cartier

3 - Prada

4 & 5 - Digital Commerce 360, April 2021

6 & 7 - Digital Commerce 360, April 2021

8 - Etsy

9 & 10 - Doddle research, DC Velocity, March 2021

11 - Doddle

12 - RelaxMyDog

13 & 15 - Canvas8, April 2021

14 - PetTech.co.uk

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