Small Business News: 3 November 2023

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover Content Team
3 min read
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This week’s SBN explores the reasons SMEs are hesitant to scale online, and how, this year, holiday spending is bouncing back.

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Holiday spending to surpass pre-pandemic levels for the first time

Deloitte has unveiled its 2023 holiday retail survey1, and there’s plenty for businesses to be optimistic about.

The survey of US consumers found 95% plan to purchase during the holiday season – an average of US$1,652 each. Despite this, they are still wary of inflation, so many (66%) are aiming to participate in the promotional Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend where they’ll get more for their dollars.

Other expected retail trends this year include an increase in spending on gift cards ($300 versus $217 in 2022), and a prioritization of free shipping – with 80% of respondents saying they are willing to meet the minimum purchase threshold to receive the feature.

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Second-hand retail the one to watch

Move over fast fashion, second-hand apparel is the big trend right now – and it’s set to grow.  

ThredUP2, the online thrift store which sells pre-loved clothes, recently released its 2023 Resale Report3. It projected the global second-hand market will nearly double to US$350 billion by 2027, whilst in the US, second-hand is growing faster than any other sales channel.

“Resale is starting to blossom globally,” the report noted. “While value continues to be a key driver that motivates consumers to think second-hand first, global climate issues have increased awareness of resale’s potential to reduce fashion’s impact on the environment. We are still in the earliest days of inventing how resale can reduce the ongoing production excess in the apparel industry, and I don't see a world where we're going back to the way it used to be.”

Beyond consumers’ sustainability concerns, a thredUP spokesperson also pointed to economic trends which mean shoppers are “feeling the pinch across their discretionary purchasing power.”4

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Etsy Payments expands to enable more global transactions

Just in time for peak season, marketplace Etsy is rolling out its payment service to further countries. Sellers who enroll in Etsy Payments can offer their buyers more payment methods “including PayPal, all major credit card networks, debit and bank card, Etsy Gift Cards, and Etsy Credits.” It also gives users better support should a dispute arise with a buyer.  

“With hundreds of thousands of transactions happening every day […] on Etsy, we are laser-focused on scaling our reach and providing world-class payments technology to enable safe, secure and seamless shopping experiences for everyone,” a press release read5.

“For sellers, Etsy Payments enables them to reach more potential customers and reduce friction at checkout – which increases the likelihood of conversion – while simplifying how they get paid.”

Etsy Payments has launched in over 40 countries since 2012; the new markets include Ukraine, India, Japan, Thailand, Argentina, Chile and Peru.

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70% of European SMEs lack confidence to scale online

E-commerce is booming, yet recent research found many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are unsure how to scale online.

The survey6 by online marketplace Amazon asked SME owners in Europe and the UK about their concerns with digitizing their operations. Though 82% recognize the benefits of adding an e-commerce channel, 73% said they’d first require guidance on utilizing a logistics support network, whilst 70% would need assistance on VAT and customs compliance. These owners are spending, on average, 10 hours a week looking into how they can scale up and manage more online sales.

If this sounds like your business, DHL’s Discover platform is here to help. It’s packed with all the guides, tools and international insights small businesses need to make a success of e-commerce and cross-border shipping. Dive in.

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And finally…

A reminder that this month holds not one but two massive sales dates for your e-commerce calendar. First up, China’s Singles’ Day on 11 November – officially the world’s biggest online shopping day – followed by Black Friday on the 24th.

Be sure to check out our dedicated guides for marketing, sales and logistics strategies to help your business cash in on every opportunity. Happy selling!

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