Any Other Business: 4 November 2022

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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man wearing VR headset


two avatars dressed in red

Retail meets the metaverse for supercharged customer experiences

Earlier this month, Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart1 trialed a dedicated metaverse offering as part of its Diwali sale. Flipverse offered “gamified, interactive and immersive” experiences to customers, allowing them to collect loyalty points from Flipkart and its partners as they shopped on the Android app. 

Via a 3D-enabled virtual environment, users could also create their own avatars and interact with select brands which offered experiences such as rewards and digital collectables. 

“The future growth of e-commerce will be influenced by the immersive technologies of today, and Metaverse is one of the significant revolutions in this arena with immense potential,” a Flipkart spokesperson said2. “The launch of Flipverse will continue to have an impact on innovative industries like e-commerce and enhance the customer experience while delivering a gamified and immersive shopping experience, especially in light of the adoption of the metaverse and web3 platforms by multiple brands in India.”

Flipkart is yet to comment on a long-term plan, with analysts noting the pilot was likely to gauge consumer response3. Watch this space…

hand holding a mobile phone

Want to cut down your returns rate? Try AR

Peak season is nearly here, but as many e-commerce businesses know, with record sales comes high returns rates. Could augmented reality be the answer?

Market research firm Alter Agents4 surveyed 4,000 consumers across the world and found that two-thirds of those who used AR technology to guide their shopping decision were less likely to return their purchase5.

Though much of the technology is in its infancy, embracing it is “directionally right” for retailers, industry analyst Andrew Lipsman told Bloomberg News6. “In the long term, it could be significant if it becomes useful to consumers and if it becomes a normal and routine part of how they shop.”

Discover more tips to reduce your returns rate with our dedicated guide.

tablet screen with merry Christmas written on it

It’s going to be a digital Christmas

Just in time for holiday season, digital gifting platform Givingli8 has completed a successful round of series A fundraising.

The start-up lets users text or email digital greetings to loved ones which they can customize with stickers, videos, photos and illustrations. They can also attach digital gift cards – from brand partners including Uber, Sephora and Nike – or physical gifts. Users even get reminders for friends’ and families’ birthdays.

The idea for Givingli came to founders Ben and Nicole Green when they were looking for wedding gifts for others. “We noticed there was no platform we would actually want to use,” Nicole explained9. “In combination, I recognized there was a gap in the market for a more genuine and authentic way for people to connect and celebrate one another in the digital age.”

Investor Alexis Ohanian saw the potential, too. “We’re doubling down on Givingli because they’ve continued to not just organically grow, but thrive – even during these uncertain times – by productizing kindness and connection. This is as much a social network as it is a gifting platform and it’s been valuable for all sides: artists who design the gifts, brands who are partners, and ultimately the gift givers and receivers who keep coming back and spreading the word.”10

mobile phone with logo on screen

Watch out Amazon…platform’s prices are almost too good to be true

A new online marketplace that allows Chinese vendors to sell their products directly to US consumers is attracting record numbers of buyers.  

Launched in early September, Temu10 is the first US storefront from Chinese e-commerce giant Pinduoduo11. By cutting out the middleman – that is, shipping directly from suppliers in China rather than US warehouses – the website and app is able to offer products at rock bottom prices. Unsurprisingly, consumers are snapping it up: just 8 weeks after launch, Temu ranked fifth in the US Apple App Store12.  

There are currently around 30,000 merchants on Temu, selling over 300,000 products13. In addition to discounts of up to 30%, customers can enjoy free shipping with no minimum purchase. The catch is that deliveries are slow – from 5-23 days – leading to the question of whether price will trump convenience for consumers. Time will tell…

DHL model truck on laptop

Is your business ready for the rush?

It’s November, which means it’s officially the month of the Peak Season double sales bonanza: Singles’ Day and Black Friday. It’s also the perfect time to remind you that DHL Discover has released its Peak Season Trends Report to help your business prepare. Featuring all the consumer trends you should be aware of, it’s your secret weapon to ensure your holiday sales campaign hits the right note. Dig in here. Happy selling!

1 - Flipkart

2 - Flipkart spokesperson, Indian Express, October 2022

3 - Indian Express, October 2022

5 - Alter Agents

6 - Alter Agents survey, Bloomberg UK, October 2022

7 - Andrew Lipsman, Bloomberg UK, October 2022

8 - Givingli

9 - Nicole Green, TechCrunch, November 2022

10 - Alexis Ohanian, TechCrunch, November 2022

11 - Temu

12 - Pinduoduo

13 - TechNode, October 2022