Any Other Business: 18 March 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 automated marketing solution helping businesses recover lost customers, and how Twitter could soon be the next big shopping destination.

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Automated marketing solution targets AWOL customers

Tech start-up Aument1 is helping e-commerce businesses acquire and retain more customers through a solution which automates their marketing.

The platform – which is available to stores selling on Shopify – uses data science to help them send more personalized messages. Users are first presented with a “library” of customer actions, such as an abandoned shopping cart. Each one leads to a set of goals, such as communications channels, which can be personalized. The user then plugs in those actions and Aument will start running, and the automated message dispatched – in the above example, the customer may receive a message nudging them to return to their cart.  

By focusing on the action that needs to be done to drive more sales (rather than the sending part), co-founder Emilio Di Marco says the platform is delivering more relevant messages to customers; a solution that works smarter, not harder – ideal for small businesses with a limited marketing budget. “Few companies can take advantage of the data they have,” he says. “They can’t hire talented data scientists or growth marketers to put their data into relevant communications.”2

Each action has an attribution model behind it, so business owners can track the revenue coming back and the performance of the action. Currently, Aument is in the testing phase, with 20 active stores using its product.

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Tweet and shop

Twitter has become the latest social media platform to enter the e-commerce arena with the recent launch of Twitter Shops3. Currently in an experimental beta stage, the feature lets customers click a “View Shop” button above a merchant’s tweets to visit their shop on the platform and browse up to 50 products. Once they are ready to buy, they can click on their chosen product which will open an in-app browser where they can learn more about it and checkout on the merchant’s website.

“People are already talking about products on Twitter. We want Twitter Shops to be the home for merchants on Twitter where they can intentionally curate a catalog of products for their Twitter audience […] giving shoppers a point of action where a conversation can become a purchase. As we continue to test, we’ll explore how to make Shops more discoverable,” a statement from the company read4.

The feature, which is free to use, is the latest to join Twitter’s growing e-commerce portfolio. Last November, it partnered with US retail giant Walmart to pilot a new livestream shopping platform – attracting 2 million viewers.

Ready to tap into the lucrative potential of selling on social? Here’s some tips to get started.

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The BNPL company with a social responsibility mission

As the global “Buy Now, Pay Later” sector continues to accelerate, some critics warn it encourages consumers to get into debt. Yet, the latest company to enter the arena – Dutch-based in35 – insists its model is based on more sensible borrowing.

 “We differ in our social responsibility mission statement,” CEO Hans Langenhuizen says6. The fintech company – which was started in 2018 – allows consumers to pay for their purchases in three interest-free installments within 60 days, but unlike its competitors, it doesn’t make money from late fees. “Where companies [like Klarna] make a lot of money off people who don’t pay in time, we make money off people who do pay in time. That’s because of our advanced credit engine which prevents consumers from over crediting. If you can’t afford something, you can’t buy it with in3.”

“We noticed a demand [from consumers] to pay larger expenses in installments. But paying in installments has even more disadvantages for consumers, such as high interest rates and being documented in the national credit register. These products benefit from people who cannot afford to buy at one time. This is not sustainable from our business perspective.”

Merchants who have integrated in3 into their online checkouts have benefited as well, enjoying an increase in transactions and a higher average transaction value. in3 plans to use the new funding to expand in Europe.

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Gap between Amazon and Walmart widens online

Amazon’s control of the US e-commerce market continues. According to new data from PYMNTS7, nearly 60% of all online retail purchases in the US last year were made on Amazon – up from 28.1% in 2014. It means that of every dollar a US consumer spends, the retail giant takes a 3.6% share – compared to 3% for rival Walmart8.

Electronics & Appliances is still the leading product segment for the company in the US, generating US$108 billion in revenue last year, about 21% of its total sales. Only the Food & Beverage category is dominated by Walmart, which has 18.6% of the market compared to Amazon’s 1.9%, although the latter has made its grocery services – Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market – a central part of its growth strategy for the coming years.

mother's day card with flowers

And finally…

A reminder that British Mother’s Day 2022 is just around the corner – Sunday 27th March to be precise. Did you know that in 2021 retail spending on Mother’s Day in the UK surpassed 1.3 billion pounds?9 This year, there will be plenty more lucrative sales opportunities for e-commerce businesses to cash in.

These 22 golden rules of e-commerce will ensure your business is ready for the rush, and don’t forget to check out the other sales dates your business should be aware of this year with our exclusive e-commerce calendar.

1 - Aument

2 - Emilio Di Marco, Tech Crunch, March 2022

3 & 4 - Twitter Shops

5 - in3

6 - Verdict, March 2022

7 - PYMNTS, March 2022

8 - PYMNTS, March 2022

9 - Statista, published February 2022