Any Other Business: 14 April 2022

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
linkedin sharing button
Smart Share Buttons Icon Share
woman picking strawberries

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world including the online marketplace selling a very unique product range, and the social media platform beating Instagram and Facebook for brand promotion.

BNPL gives scooter brand a 50% sales boost

Online retailers debating whether to add a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) option at checkout may be swayed by the example of fluidfreeride1.

The US-based electric scooter brand sold its first scooter in 2019, and saw sales triple in 2020 as Covid-wary commuters sought socially distanced travel options. Yet, amidst this early success, the company was at first reluctant to integrate a BNPL service, despite its suitability for its price points – its five models of scooters can cost up to several thousand dollars.

“I believed that if you couldn’t afford a scooter, you shouldn’t buy one,” founder Julian Fernau explained2. “I’m German, and we’re not such a credit- and consumption-driven society compared with the US. So, yes, I shied away initially [from BNPL].”

Demand from customers soon changed his mind. “I spoke to customers and realized that not only were we losing out on sales, but we were also not delivering what [they] wanted. The decision took time, but it made sense to add Buy Now, Pay Later.”

Fluidfreeride chose Affirm3 as its BNPL service, and enjoyed a substantial uplift in sales almost immediately. In the months after, the company had a 20-25% increase in overall order numbers, whilst customers paying via Affirm had almost double the average order value compared to those paying other ways. The payment method now accounts for 20% of fluidfreeride’s sales.

Is BNPL right for your e-commerce business? Find out with our exclusive guide to the new ways to pay.  

The online marketplace with a “wild” twist

A new community marketplace dubbed “the Etsy of specialty food” has launched, selling wild foods harvested by foragers. The aptly named Foraged4 platform allows customers to buy sustainably sourced items including mushrooms, truffles and dried seaweed directly from foragers, farmers and makers.

“This is for heirloom and boutique foragers and farmers who want to sell food with a story,” co-founder Jack Hamrick said5. “I saw online farmers’ markets attempt it, but it frequently ends up like a subscription box and then fails. We have food artisans who are selling foods and complementary products that you can’t get anywhere else.”

Those wishing to sell on the marketplace are first vetted by Foraged staff who then onboard them and provide them with e-commerce tools. Launched in May 2021, it is growing 434% quarter over quarter, with customers ranging from culinary enthusiasts to Michelin star chefs.

“There are a lot of things out there that are hard to find, for example, sassafras leaves,” restauranteur and investor, Tom Colicchio6, explained. “I would go to Kentucky and get them, but with this website, I don’t have to travel, and it is easy to navigate.

YouTube comes out on top for brand promotion

Looking for new customers? According to a survey by influencer-marketing agency IZEA7, YouTube is consumers’ preferred social media platform for discovering new products – above Facebook and Instagram. This is attributed to its longer-form content which allows for more thorough product reviews.  

The survey of US adults also looked at their perception of influencers, and found 63% trusted influencer-sponsored posts more than those from celebrities. “Influencers are passionate about the content they create and possess subject matter expertise that has earned them a loyal following,” explained Ted Murphy, CEO of IZEA8. “That loyalty and authenticity translates into sales for brands that are incorporating influencers into their marketing strategy.”

Visa unveils latest innovation hub

As e-commerce in Africa continues to grow, global fintech leader Visa9 has opened an innovation studio in Kenya to develop payment and commerce solutions. It marks the company’s first in Africa, following successful posts in several other locations including Singapore and London.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is a fast-growing region with a tech-savvy population,” said senior vice president & head of Visa in Sub-Saharan Africa, Aida Diarra10. “As we continue to grow digital payments adoption in the region, our aspiration is to deepen our collaboration with clients and partners in developing solutions that are designed around the unique needs of Africa.”

Existing Visa innovation hubs have helped design products for the African market, including merchant acceptance solutions leveraging QR codes and Near Field Communication technology.

“As a brand built on technology, Visa has driven the major technology advancements that make electronic payments what they are today. We are confident that the innovation studio will continue that legacy and cement Sub-Saharan Africa’s position as a leader in creating out-of-the-box solutions to deal with our most pressing challenges as a region,” added Diarra.

Mother’s Day 2022, Part 2: the countdown is on

It may have been and gone in the UK, but there’s just under three weeks until several more countries celebrate this year’s Mother’s Day – so, is your business ready?

Sunday 8th May marks the big day in the US, Australia, and a handful of European countries. Shoppers will be heading online to find something special for their loved ones, so ensure your e-commerce website is ready for the rush with our essential tips.

For more sales opportunities, download our free e-commerce calendar. Only by being prepared can you cash in!

1 - fluidfreeride

2 - Julian Fernau, Digital Commerce 360, April 2022

3 - Affirm

4 - Foraged

5 - Jack Hamrick, TechCrunch, April 2022

6 - Tom Colicchio, TechCrunch, April 2022

7 - IZEA

8 - Canvas8, April 2022

9 - Visa

10 - Aida Diarra, TechCrunch, April 2022