Any Other Business: 22 April 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 Shopify’s move into the influencer marketing space, and how consumers are open to chatbots – on one condition.

Fashion meets the metaverse with wearable NFTs

Leading German fashion retailer About You1 is joining in with the NFT craze by launching a digital fashion platform called Hypewear2. The online store will sell limited weekly drops of exclusive digital designs created by “the biggest brands and hottest creators.”

Customers can upload a photo to Hypewear to have pieces tailored to their body in a virtual fitting, and then share their looks on social media.

“The metaverse opened up a new, exciting world for companies and fashion. At About You, we also aim to help shape it,” the company’s co-founder, Tarek Müller, explained3. “With Hypewear, we are bringing our brand into the digital world and enabling everyone to be a part of it from now on. It is our vision that all physical fashion pieces can also be used as digital assets one day. We want to become the destination for digital fashion and the mainstream wardrobe of the metaverse.”

Though Hypewear is aimed at NFT enthusiasts, no prior knowledge of cryptocurrency is required as payment is accepted in Euros and US dollars. All new customers will receive a free fashion NFT upon registration.

Chatbots are OK – but keep a person on standby

Considering a chatbot for your e-commerce business? Just make sure it eventually transfers to a live human. According to a survey by customer support brand Simplr4, 80% of US adults are more open to using a chatbot if they know they can easily and quickly transfer to a live person.

A seamless transfer to a human means consumers are 60% more likely to return to the brand in future – with any wait time over 47 seconds to have their issue resolved via chat considered by the majority to be "poor." 

The survey also highlighted generational differences in consumers’ perception of chatbots. "Those [businesses] that appeal to younger audiences can afford to be more 'chatbot forward' in their CX approach, while those who sell to Boomers need to make sure there is human assistance easily available," explained Daniel Rodriguez, Simplr’s CMO5.

Bol.com sets the bar for “green” trading

Dutch online retailer Bol.com6 has become the first e-commerce company to receive a Climate Neutral Certification. The certificate was awarded by Dutch consultant Climate Neutral Group7 (CNG) on account of Bol.com’s efforts to calculate and reduce its emissions in line with the Paris agreement.

"To reduce our own CO2 emissions, we have already taken steps to make our buildings, packaging, deliveries and returns more sustainable,” said Jori Ebskamp, the company’s CSR & sustainability lead8. “In the coming years, our focus will be on further reduction, in line with the conditions of CNG.”

Bol.com has close to 50,000 brands selling their own products on its platform, which the retailer also offsets – calculating emissions from the moment items arrive in its fulfilment centers until delivery.

"We [support them] in reducing their emissions, for example by sharing knowledge and offering logistics services that make their processes more sustainable. In addition, we now also offset their operational emissions. Because together with all our sales partners, we can really make an impact."

Shopify opens the door to the influencers

Shopify9 has acquired influencer marketing agency Dovetale10, marking a significant move into the creator space for the e-commerce platform.

Software start-up Dovetale helps brands manage their influencer marketing programs. The new partnership, “Dovetale by Shopify”, allows Shopify merchants to level up their affiliate program(s) by tracking everything from affiliate applications to commissions via an all-in-one, free tool.

“We really see creators as the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said Amir Kabbara, Shopify’s Director of Product11. “It is a top priority for us to really help these creators enter commerce and start monetizing.”

Take a moment to reflect this Earth Day

Take a moment to reflect this Earth Day

Friday 22nd April is Earth Day 2022. Across the world, individuals, communities and businesses will be taking part in activities to show their support for environmental protection. 

The importance of businesses demonstrating their participation comes as consumers are increasingly looking to brands to play their part in acting sustainability – particularly within the e-commerce sector. A global survey from Accenture12 found that the pandemic has shifted consumers’ attitudes towards sustainability – with 60% reporting they are buying more ethically and eco-friendly than they did before it started.

This Earth Day, take the time to consider your own e-commerce business’s sustainability practices. Our guide has tips to help you make the small – and large – changes that will really make a difference.

1 - About You

2 - Hypewear

3 - Tarek Müller, Fibre2Fashion.com, April 2022

4 - Simplr survey, PR Newswire, April 2022

5 - Daniel Rodriguez, PR Newswire, April 2022

6 - Bol.com

7 - Climate Neutral Group

8 - Jori Ebskamp, European Supermarket Magazine, April 2022

9 - Shopify

10 - Dovetale

11 - Amir Kabbara, Ecommerce News Europe, April 2022

12 - Accenture survey, BBC News, January 2020