Any Other Business: 4 February 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 power of personalization, and the new Etsy partnership helping Airbnb hosts give guests a more memorable experience.

Automated emails and SMS pay off for e-commerce marketers

Automated generated emails are performing far better than promotional campaign emails in terms of generating sales, according to new research. Omnisend1, an e-commerce-focused marketing automation firm, analyzed 12 billion marketing emails sent by its 70,000-plus clients in 2021. It found that 34% of consumers who click on an automated email from a retailer will go on to make a purchase, compared to just 7% of those who click on email marketing campaign messages2.

“Automated messages perform so much better than scheduled promotional messages because they are behavior-based,” Greg Zakowicz, director of content at Omnisend, explains3. “They only send when the user takes an action.” Examples include emails reminding shoppers of abandoned carts or asking for feedback after a purchase.

The research also looked at the use of SMS and push notifications amongst retailers, finding their usage increased significantly in 2021 compared to 2020 – with positive results. Purchases attributed to SMS messages grew 106%, whilst those attributed to push notifications (those that pop up on a consumer’s device) increased 171%.

BigCommerce prepares for European expansion

SaaS platform BigCommerce4 has announced it is rolling out to Germany, Spain and Mexico. The move will enable B2B and B2C businesses there to grow internationally by integrating locally preferred payment methods into their online stores.

“Coupled with local support and translated resources to establish their brand, connect with customers and build trust, our solution primes businesses to enrich the online customer shopping experience and positions them to innovate in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace,” Meghan Stabler, BigCommerce’s Marketing VP said5.

Currently, BigCommerce powers over 60,000 online stores across 150 countries, who use its multi-currency e-commerce software to sell to cross-border shoppers.

Etsy x Airbnb

Online craft marketplace Etsy has partnered with Airbnb6 to help new and existing Airbnb hosts “create a five-star experience” for guests. Together they have curated “The Art of Hosting” – a collection of handmade, affordable homeware from sellers who are also Airbnb hosts. The range includes guestbooks, candles, throw blankets and furniture.  

“Etsy and Airbnb are passionate about empowering millions of entrepreneurs globally. By bringing our communities together, we’re making it even easier to earn extra income doing what you love, whether that’s handcrafting unique items or welcoming travelers into your home on a schedule that works for you,” a press release read7.

Personalization a top priority for e-tailers

A personalized shopping experience is important to online consumers – in fact, we’ve tipped it as one of the main trends e-commerce businesses should focus on this year. Meanwhile, Shopify’s new consumer behavior report, The Future of Commerce8, found that in 2022, “42% of brands plan to offer their customers personalized product recommendations through tools like quizzes, custom mobile apps, and first-party or third-party behavioral data.”

Despite this, the report warns that personalization isn’t a “magic bullet” for customer engagement; brands must continue to invest in community building.

BNPL expands to the B2B sector

As B2B e-commerce continues to grow, “buy now, pay later” payment services – common within the B2C retail sector – are expanding to meet the needs of B2B customers. 

The latest provider on the scene, Vartana9, has just launched a solution to provide flexible BNPL financing for mid- to late-stage B2B tech companies and their resellers. The platform uses real-time automated underwriting technology to approve customers instantly for purchases of up to US$250,000 in value, allowing them to complete transactions within a few minutes. The solution automates the payment plans – which range from 12 to 60 months – directly within vendors’ CRM systems, for a seamless checkout experience.  

“Buyers can solve budget constraints by paying on a schedule that works for them, while sellers get paid upfront and eliminate churn on deals,” says CEO Kush Kella10. Vartana claims the platform helps its clients book 30% more customers “without compromizing cash flow.”

“It’s truly a holistic approach to solve what sales reps need to get their customers to quickly close deals,” investor Nakul Mandan, founder of Audacious Ventures, adds11.

1 - Omnisend

2 - Omnisend research, Digital Commerce 360, January 2022

3 - Greg Zakowicz, Digital Commerce 360, January 2022

4 - BigCommerce

5 - Meghan Stabler, Business Wire, January 2022

6 - Airbnb

7 - Etsy statement, Ecommerce Bytes, September 2021

8 - The Future of Commerce 2022, Shopify, 2022

9 - Vartana

10 - Kush Kella, Digital Commerce 360, January 2022

11 - Nakul Mandan, TechCrunch, January 2022