Are you selling to the US yet? According to data from the US Department of Commerce1, over 20% of consumer spending from January-March of this year occurred online. The growth means the country’s e-commerce market is approaching a US$1 trillion annual run rate.
Ready to tap into a lucrative market of over 330 million people? Discover what US online shoppers want from international brands with our exclusive country guide.
In a bid to attract more businesses, WhatsApp has added free, cloud-based application interface services to its platform. The new tool, WhatsApp Cloud API, integrates with businesses’ back-end systems to allow them to connect with more people and direct communications to SMS, other messaging apps or emails – although only to customers who have requested a message.
Speaking to an audience at parent company Meta’s recent “Conversations” event, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “any business or developer can easily access our service, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customize their experience and speed up their response time to customers by using our secure WhatsApp Cloud API hosted by Meta.”2
“The best business experiences meet people where they are. Already more than 1 billion users connect with a business account across our messaging services every week. They’re reaching out for help, to find products and services, and to buy anything from big-ticket items to everyday goods. I am excited to announce that we’re opening WhatsApp to any business of any size around the world with WhatsApp Cloud API.”
For omnichannel retailers, corresponding with customers across different channels can be a challenge. Enter Tidio3.
By leveraging a combination of live chat apps and AI-powered chatbots, the platform helps businesses scale and automate their customer service across channels. It means even small companies with few staff can still deliver high-quality customer service.
Tidio, which has just completed a successful Series B round of funding, integrates seamlessly with third-party services including Facebook, Instagram and email providers so customers’ interactions can be managed from a shared inbox. It’s this simplicity, says co-founder and CEO Tytus Gołas, that helps the company stand out from competitors: “Most of our clients get Tidio up and running within minutes and are seeing the value of our product within the same day.”4
The platform taps into a company’s website analytics to build automations such as sending a “Welcome back” message to a returning customer along with a discount code that incentivizes them to buy. Tidio’s software can also identify frequently asked questions within a company’s chatbots so the user can configure it to automate answers.
The cost to use Tidio’s services range from free to US$332.50 per month, depending on the number of users and extras within each plan – a worthwhile investment, says Gołas: “Our chatbots and sales generation features have a direct impact on return on investment and help increase sales and revenue – sometimes covering the entire cost of the Tidio subscription in one day.”
How much would you be willing to spend to ensure your four-legged friend looks the part? Luxury fashion house HUGO BOSS has teamed up with Kanine Pets World Limited to release a range of dog apparel and accessories. The five-year license will see two collections released under the BOSS brand each year, starting in August 2022 with the Fall/Winter collection.
"We are delighted to be part of the BOSS family and to collaborate with one of the most renowned and recognizable fashion houses in the world,” said Samuel Wong, CEO and CFO at the Kanine Group5. “HUGO BOSS Group’s recent record-breaking global campaigns and the significant continued focus on digital activation is a perfect match for Kanine as we strive to be the most relevant platform for premium dog products globally, offering amazing products to proud pet parents and their furry loved ones.”
Pet owners can get their hands on the premium products – which include jackets and branded collars – via the two companies’ e-commerce websites, as well as in selected department and pet stores.
YouTube is investing further into its livestreaming portfolio as it seeks to become more of a shopping destination. Adding to its current shoppable videos, the platform is set to introduce a feature that will allow two creators to co-host a single live shopping stream at the same time – effectively doubling the viewership of each event. Another planned feature is “live redirects” which will enable creators to divert their livestream audience over to a brand’s channel to continue watching – an attractive prospect for brands wishing to reach an already-engaged customer base.
“People come to YouTube every day to make decisions about what to buy, and 87% of viewers say that when they’re shopping or browsing on YouTube, they feel like they can make a faster decision about what to purchase because of all the information that we have in videos,” said YouTube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki6. “We have so much shopping activity that is already happening on YouTube, so we are making it even easier for viewers to discover and to buy.”