Any Other Business: 07 January 2022

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 logistics and delivery trends your business should be prepared for this year, and how TikTok is looking to shake up the food delivery space.

Minimal abstract background for online food and grocery concept. Red empty shopping basket on pink background. 3d rendering illustration. Clipping path of each element included.

Ready for 2022?

Happy New Year to all our regular (and new) Discover readers! To kick off the first AOB of 2022, we’re sharing six logistics and delivery trends we think will shape the e-commerce industry this year – from sustainability to self-driving vehicles to warehouse robotics. Think of these insights as tips to help your business stay ahead in a competitive market and keep those increasingly demanding customers of yours happy.

You can read the full article here. Time to think big!

Colorful paper shopping bags in a trolley. Ideas about online shopping addiction. A shopping addict is someone who shops compulsively and who may feel like they have no control over their behavior.

Amazon UK introduces BNPL

As “buy now pay later” services rise in popularity, Amazon has partnered with Barclays1 bank to enable customers to pay for their purchases in instalments.

Instalments by Barclays allows Amazon UK customers to apply for a reusable credit account to spread the cost of purchases over £100 (US$135) across up to 48 months. Once an applicant has been approved, their credit account will be added to their wallet and available at checkout, meaning they can pay for future purchases without needing to reapply each time. The payment option covers millions of products on Amazon, including those from thousands of small and medium-sized businesses.

“Every day, we strive to innovate on behalf of our UK customers,” said Rob Levy, Head of Instalment Lending at Amazon UK2. “Instalments is one way we will offer customers flexible options, enabling them to choose to pay now or split the cost of larger purchases into budget-friendly monthly instalments. This is a simple and transparent service from Barclays that automates monthly payments, providing greater comfort for customers making bigger purchases.”

Did you know that shoppers are 70% more likely to finalize a purchase if their preferred payment method is displayed at checkout?3 Discover which ones your e-commerce business should be offering with our guide to the new ways to pay.

Anonimous delivery food service at home. Man courier delivered the order no name bag with food.

Fancy a #trending meal?

TikTok4 is cashing in on its role as the birthplace of viral food trends by launching TikTok Kitchen, a chain of delivery-only restaurants in the US. The short-video platform has partnered with Grubhub5 and Virtual Dining Concepts6 to bring the idea to life. The menu will feature fan favorites including baked feta pasta, which became the most-searched recipe on Google in 20217 following buzz on TikTok.

The service will make use of other restaurants’ existing kitchens to whip up the culinary delights, and will initially open in 300 locations across the US, with plans to expand to 1,000 by the end of the year.   

“Proceeds from sales will go to both support the creators who inspired the menu item, and to encourage and assist other creators to express themselves on the platform in keeping with TikTok’s mission to inspire creativity and bring joy to its users,” a statement from the company said8.

Layflat composition of fresh organic vegetables

Wonky carrots given second life

A B2B online marketplace which helps farmers sell “imperfect” produce to commercial buyers has just secured funding to improve its global supply chain. Full Harvest9 was founded as a sustainable solution to the “20% of all produce [that is] wasted at farm level simply due to cosmetic or surplus reasons.”10

The San Francisco-based company will use the money to grow its network of buyers and sellers, and improve its analytics capabilities for more detailed produce availability, pricing and forecasting.

“We are transforming a fragmented and opaque offline produce supply chain into a flexible, transparent, reliable solution,” CEO Christine Moseley said11.

The company, whose buyers include leading food and beverage brands such as Danone North America12, recently hit a sales milestone of more than 50 million pounds of produce sold.

The Robot arm picks up the box to Autonomous Robot transportation in warehouses, Warehouse automation concept. 3D illustration

2021 a lucrative year for online SMBs

Recent research from Sendlane13 has unveiled the successes – and concerns – of small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses in 2021. The marketing automation company surveyed 150 SMBs (those with less than 44 million euros in sales), and found that 92% saw their sales rise last year14. Most businesses (34%) had a sales increase of 10-20%, whilst a lucky 21% enjoyed an increase of at least 40%.

On the flip side, the research also highlighted some of the pain points experienced by SMBs, with 35% saying cyber fraud has been a concern. 67% think that consumers are tiring of marketing messages, whilst 39% highlighted the need to invest in personalized messaging to overcome this challenge.

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1 - Barclays

2 - Rob Levy, Barclays Press Release, December 2021

3 - 2Checkout blog, June 2020

4 - TikTok

5 - Grubhub

6 - Virtual Dining Concepts

7 - Year in Search 2021, Google Trends  

8 - TikTok statement, TechCrunch, December 2021

9 - Full Harvest

10 - Our Story, Full Harvest

11 - Christine Moseley, Digital Commerce 360, December 2021

12 - Danone North America

13 - Sendlane

14 - Sendlane survey, Ecommerce News Europe, December 2021