Any Other Business: 01 April 2022

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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WhatsApp logo on two mobile phone screens

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world including WhatsApp’s new customer service role, and the start-up bringing a very Chinese shopping idea to Western consumers.

Hands typing on a laptop

E-commerce start-up rewards consumers for social shopping

Finnish shopping app Blidz1 has just completed a significant round of Seed funding to help it grow in Western markets. The platform combines e-commerce with gaming and social media elements to deliver users a unique shopping experience.

Consumers can shop from the company – which offers millions of brand-name consumer electronics, fashion and groceries – and then share their purchases on social media to incentivize their friends to do the same. The more people who come together to buy the product, the cheaper it becomes. Shoppers can unlock further deals by playing games on the platform.

This “community” shopping model is already popular in China, but has yet to catch on here –something which co-founder Lasse Diercks is confident will change. “Western online shopping is behind the curve on social adoption,” he said2. “Our goal is to liberate consumers from expensive and boring shopping experiences by letting them leverage their own activity and social networks to get the best value-for-money products anywhere.

Etsy logo in a magnifying glass

New feature gives Etsy sellers more control over their ad campaigns

Following user feedback, Etsy3 has upgraded its Ads dashboard to give sellers more in-depth feedback on the performance of their campaigns. The online marketplace – which specialises in handcrafted items – now allows merchants to see the click rate and ROAS (return on ad spend) for each of their listings, and then divert their ad spend accordingly.

“These more detailed stats can help you better understand which ads are bringing you the most traffic – and profit – so you can make the most of your advertising budget,” a statement from the company said4. “We’ve redesigned the page so you can see all these stats for each of the listings you’re advertising and added a toggle so you can quickly start or stop advertising a specific listing based on how it’s performing.”

Etsy Ads is a paid-for tool that helps sellers on the platform get their listings in front of more shoppers. Those using the feature benefit from the company promoting their listings throughout the site, including within Etsy Search and on the app. Users only have to pay once someone clicks on one of their ads, and can set a daily budget for this.

Whatsapp logo on mobile phone screen

Forget the phone, consumers want to WhatsApp customer service

Have you considered corresponding with your customers via WhatsApp? According to a new customer care report by Salesupply5, customers’ questions on WhatsApp more than tripled in 2021 compared to 2020. Overall, ticket volumes across all channels – email, phone, social media and chatbots – increased in 2021, although the latter received the lowest customer satisfaction score.

The higher ticket volumes come as 55% of consumers said they expect more from customer service compared to 20206, with the majority wanting their issue to be dealt with during their first contact with a brand.

apples in the back of a truck

How many miles did that apple really travel?

Consumers may think it’s better for the planet to buy home-grown and in-season produce when grocery shopping, but is that true? The Sustained Choice app7 has the answer.

Using the app’s barcode scanner, shoppers in the UK can find out how different products perform in seven key areas of environmental impact, including land and water use, ocean pollution, and GHG emissions, before deciding whether they want to buy. Each item is given a rating based on its eco-friendliness.

Sustainability is at its most valuable when it is visible, and our app puts that visibility directly into the hands of the consumer,” says co-founder Carl Olivier8. “Most of the other eco-labelling initiatives that are on trial at the moment are all very small-scale and focused on packaging. Where we think we’re going to differentiate is that we can also take the distribution side to consumers and make that at a much broader scale.”

The app – which launched in February – currently has over 190,000 UK grocery retail products in its database, and is in talks to get more accurate product information from brands.

grocery collection point

Omnichannel continues to grow

A recent study by Digital Commerce 3609 found that retailers who offer omnichannel services have better conversion rates than those who do not. The platform tracked leading omnichannel retailers’ sales patterns across 2021 and discovered that Buy Online, Pickup In Store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup had particularly high conversion rate increases over 2019, the latter growing in popularity during the pandemic when store closures and hygiene concerns made it a preference for consumers.  

These days, many retailers have both an online and bricks-and-mortar store, but with 87% of shoppers wanting a personalized and consistent experience across touchpoints10, the challenge for brands is to deliver just that. Discover how to make omnichannel work for your business with our dedicated guide.

1 - Blidz

2 - Lasse Diercks, Ecommerce News, March 2022

3 - Etsy

4 - Etsy, March 2022

5 & 6 - Ecommerce Customer Care Guide 2022, Salesupply

7 - Sustained Choice

8 - Carl Olivier, Canvas8, March 2022

9 - Digital Commerce 360, March 2022

10 - The Need for Unified Commerce, Kibo, 2019