Any Other Business: 26 August 2022

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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mushrooms in a brown box

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world, including the leading reason consumers subscribe to Amazon Prime, and the surprising material being used as an alternative to plastic packaging.

hand holding two mushrooms

Magical mushrooms enter the sustainable-packaging arena

Packaging is seen as one of the bad guys of the e-commerce sector, but out there, innovative companies are busy exploring sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics. Enter the fantastically-named The Magical Mushroom Company1.

The UK based start-up has raised significant funding for its plant-based packaging. It creates the biodegradable material by combining agricultural waste with mycelium, the root structure of a mushroom. This means the product breaks down naturally in the ground within 45 days, and can be added to food waste for disposal, or even mixed with seeds to grow wild flowers.

The company produces gift boxes, e-commerce packaging and padding, and has a client list that includes Seedlip and Lush.

“We have just eight years to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and businesses have a crucial role to play – but they need viable and cost-effective solutions that significantly reduce the carbon footprint across their entire supply chain,” the company’s CEO and founder, Paul Gilligan, said2. “The magic of mushrooms is only just being realized and we can’t wait to make it mainstream.” 

hand holding a mobile phone

Time to reconsider your marketing strategy?

In a recent survey by CRM platform Optimove3, 47% of consumers said they will unsubscribe from a retailer's promotional messages if they get too many.

Pini Yakuel4, CEO at Optimove, said: "Retail brands often turn up the frequency of marketing messages to drive more sales. These tactics can often drive consumers to the brink where they say to themselves, 'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore.' So, they unsubscribe.”

He added retailers wishing to overcome this problem should deliver more personalized messages, pointing out 71% of respondents said they are most receptive to promotional messages with “relevant” offers.

"To deliver relevant retail marketing messages, a retailer must know the customer – down to their specific preferences. If retail marketers know a consumer's likes and dislikes, customers will trust the brand," he explained.   

Discover 12 other ways your business can build customer trust with our exclusive guide.

man and woman talking

US overtakes Europe in B2B marketplace growth

The US is emerging as the global B2B marketplace capital, according to new research. Data from venture capital firm Point Nine Capital5 reveals there are now 400 B2B marketplaces in the country – compared to under 300 in Europe.

B2B marketplaces – once seen as the domain of B2C e-commerce – have grown substantially over the last few years. The increase has been largely driven by the pandemic nudging traditionally offline sales transactions online, and an influx of millennials in key decision-making roles.

Amazon Business6 remains the biggest player, with Digital Commerce 3607 estimating it will account for nearly one in every three (31.9%) B2B marketplace sales this year. 

hand using Sellotape on a package

Free shipping still the biggest lure for consumers

Did you know that free shipping is the leading reason Amazon Prime members signed up? In a recent PYMNTS survey8, the free benefit was cited by 64% of respondents as the main incentive for subscribing.

Other mentioned reasons were Amazon Prime Video access and more everyday savings, although these features’ influence were significantly lower than free shipping.   

The survey results follow research by Statista9 that found 50% of global consumers said free shipping is a “significant influence” when ordering products online (as of 2021.) So, is your e-commerce business offering this perk yet? And what other things should it be doing to entice consumers? Find out with our 22 golden rules of e-commerce.

American Flag on a building

$1 in every $5 spent online in the US

With inflation continuing to affect economies across the world, a recent PYMNTS survey7 has unveiled its impact on consumers.

More than half (53%) of those surveyed said their financial circumstances are worse this year than in 2021. Furthermore, credit card interest rates have noticeably increased for over half of consumers, meaning many are rethinking their spending through the payment method.

Of those in a lower income bracket, 17.7% said they think retailers “could do a better job of mitigating price increases on their customers.”

1 - The Magical Mushroom Company

2 - Paul Gilligan, EU-Startups, June 2022

3 - Optimove

4 - Pini Yakuel, Retail Dive, July 2022

5 & 7 - Digital Commerce 360, August 2022

6 - Amazon Business

8 - PYMNTS, August 2022

9 - Statista, June 2022

10 – Digital Commerce 360, August 2022