As Amazon continues to eat into Google’s share of the search market, the tech giant is fighting back with a wave of new shopping features designed to give a more inspiring experience.
Google users in the US will now be able to search for the word “shop” followed by the item they’re looking for, and be linked to a visual feed of products, research tools and nearby inventory. There is also a new “Shop the Look” feature – when a user is searching for, say, a winter jacket, the search engine will also show complementary pieces. A “trending products” feature is also available to help shoppers discover the latest models, styles and brands.
Furthermore, the company has announced it will pilot test a 3D shopping feature for shoes. Initially, it will run in partnership with a handful of well-known brands including Skechers, but will eventually roll out to SMEs.
“While some merchants have this kind of 3D imagery available, for many others — especially the smaller merchants — creating these types of 3D assets can be really expensive and time-consuming,” said Lilian Rincon, Senior Director of Product for Shopping at Google1. “We really think it has the potential to change the game for small merchants and we’re excited to get it out.”
Dutch payments solution Mollie2 has launched a new service offering online SMEs cash advances to buy excess inventory. Mollie Capital is currently available to Dutch and Belgian merchants who can apply within Mollie’s own software for loans of between 30,000 and 250,000 euros.
The fintech has already established itself in Europe as a leading facilitator of online payments for companies of all sizes. “As a payment service provider, we have a good overview of our customers’ income and can therefore offer these products easily and without hassle,” said Rogier Schoute, chief product officer at Mollie3.
Repayments are spread across a 6-month period, taken as a portion of daily sales through Mollie transactions. Fees stand at between 5-10% of the loaned amount. “We are more expensive than a normal bank, but that is a choice customers need to make. We can offer loans more easily and within one day, which is something many of our customers need,” Schoute added.
There’s a lot to remember when building a winning e-commerce website – from user-friendly navigation to offering the right payment options at checkout. But there’s an important thing many brands are overlooking: according to research by WebAim4, 98% of websites do not meet basic accessibility needs – something which has led 65% of disabled consumers to abandon their carts.
“Brands are so focused on designing websites that look beautiful from a brand perspective that the experience for someone who uses accessibility software is not being considered,” said Dom Hyans, head of strategy at Purple Goat5.
Hyans mentioned screen readers, text magnifiers and easy ways for a customer to contact the brand as key features to consider. There is also guidance available from the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative6 – an international standard designed to improve the accessibility of websites and apps.
“Disabled customers are extremely loyal, so it is in a brand’s interest to engage with them and not see them as a drain.”
No-one does Halloween quite like the Americans, and this year’s celebrations are set to be bigger than ever. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey7, participation in 2022 will return to pre-pandemic levels, with 69% of US consumers planning to celebrate the holiday later this month.
Total spending will reach a record US$10.6 billion – exceeding last year’s $10.1 billion – whilst the average spend on cards, costumes, candy and decorations will be US$100.45 per person.
“Halloween is an exciting time for many families, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the number of Americans who plan to celebrate the holiday this year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one.”8
Looking to attract those Halloween dollars? Ensure your customers visit your website over your competitors with our exclusive e-commerce guide.
Last week, DHL made aviation history when the first of its new fleet of fully-electric commuter planes completed its maiden flight at Washington, USA. The logistics leader has invested in 12 of the “Alice” planes from Eviation Aircraft as a pioneering step into a sustainable aviation future.
John Pearson, CEO at DHL Express, said: “Our compliments to Eviation on the successful first flight of Alice! Alice’s range and capacity makes it a unique sustainable solution for our global aviation network, supporting our aspiration to make a substantial contribution in reducing our carbon footprint and ultimately, achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”
1 - Lilian Rincon, TechCrunch, September 2022
2 - Mollie
3 - Rogier Schoute, Ecommerce News Europe, September 2022
4 - WebAim survey, Ecommerce News Europe, September 2022
5 - Dom Hyans, Ecommerce News Europe, September 2022
7 - National Retail Federation, September 2022
8 - Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation, September 2022