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This week's top 5 e-commerce trends: 8 October 2021

Business · 3 min read

Any Other Business: 8 October 2021

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world including how online businesses are planning to boost their holiday-season sales, and what DHL has just passed the one-million-deliveries mark for.

E-commerce businesses hope new products will entice holiday shoppers

It’s October which means the peak shopping season is fast approaching, and it seems there’s no such thing as too early when it comes to getting ready for the rush.

Packhelp’s Ecommerce Trend Report1 found that 73% of e-commerce businesses in Europe have already begun preparations for peak trading. Top of their agenda for driving extra sales over the holiday period are adding new products to their range (27% of businesses), growing social commerce (17.2%), and updating the online experience for customers (14.9%). Sellers are also prioritizing free shipping, discounts and special product add-ons to boost conversions.

Discover more tips to help your e-commerce business cash in big this peak trading season, with our exclusive guide.

Move over Alexa, Astro’s the new kid on the (Amazon) block

Amazon has added yet another string to its bow with the unveiling of Astro2, a domestic robot for home monitoring. The technology is a screen on wheels and can autonomously patrol the home, responding to voice commands via an integration with the company’s Alexa voice software. The household robot has embedded cameras to send livestream footage to users’ mobile apps from afar, allowing them to check in on a pet, for example. It also works as a mobile video chat platform – undoubtedly valuable for those working from home.

Devices executive Charlie Tritschler explained the origins of Astro’s development. “In one of the senior management meetings, we talked about, ‘Does anybody in the room think that in five, 10 years, you’re not going to have robots in your home? “And everybody’s like ‘Yeah, we are.’ So, we said, ‘Well, let’s get started.’”3

Whilst the device is still under development, some invited shoppers will be able to welcome an Astro into their households later this year, at a price of US$1000.

Etsy banks on interactive home to boost festive-season revenue

Online craft marketplace Etsy is spreading its wings in the augmented reality domain with the introduction of a virtual, shoppable house. Just in time for the busy holiday season, The Etsy House4 experience allows customers to take a tour of a digital home decorated with items from the marketplace such as furniture, artwork and holiday decor. When customers see something they like, they simply hover over the product in question for more information and a purchase link.

​​The Etsy House was created in partnership with The Boundary, a world-leading creative visualization studio, and hopes to incentivize customers to buy by letting them better visualize how a product looks within the home environment.

Cross-border shoppers worry their Christmas purchases won’t arrive in time

There’s good news for cross-border e-commerce sellers this holiday season. In a recent survey by Logistyx Technologies5, 55% of online shoppers from around the world said they would be open to buying holiday gifts from international sellers this year6. However, they have some reservations – almost half (48%) are concerned their cross-border purchases will not arrive in time. 

E-commerce businesses utilising cross-border shipping who wish to alleviate these worries should offer customers online tracking – 69% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that having access to this feature would influence whether they made a gift purchase from abroad, whilst 69% would appreciate receiving an estimated delivery time from sellers.

DHL reaches key milestone in vaccine rollout

DHL last month confirmed it has now shipped 1 billion vaccine doses to more than 160 countries in the fight against COVID-19.

Since the global vaccine campaign began in December 2020, the logistic leader’s vast network of supply chains has been working continuously to help as many people as possible get vaccinated. The company is well placed to join the rollout, with sophisticated shipping capabilities that can meet the sensitive temperature requirements of the vaccines.

“Making a meaningful difference is what drives us, and we are proud of our contribution”, says Thomas Ellmann, Vice President of Life Sciences & Healthcare, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation7. “The current COVID-19 situation clearly demonstrates how collaboration across governments and NGOs, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, and logistics companies is the only way to beat pandemics, both now and in the future.”

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1 - Ecommerce Trend Report 2021, Packhelp, Accessed October 2021

2 - Astro

3 - Charlie Tritschler quote, Digital Commerce 360, September 2021

4 - The Etsy House

5 - Logistyx Technologies

6 - Logistyx Technologies survey, October 2021

7 - Thomas Ellmann quote, DHL Press Release, September 2021  

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson Discover content team

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