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Any Other Business: 11 November 2022
Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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THIS WEEK’S AOB LOOKS AT THE LATEST E-COMMERCE NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, INCLUDING SINGLES’ DAY PREDICTIONS, AND THE PHOTO EDITING TOOL PROMISING TO BOOST YOUR PRODUCT LISTINGS.

Singles’ Day is here!

Today’s the day: the world’s biggest online shopping day is upon us! This year will be the fourteenth outing for the annual Singles’ Day sales bonanza, when record numbers of Chinese (and increasingly, global) shoppers will head online in search of deals.

Last year, sales exceeded US$139 billion1 – but this year, customer service will be prioritized, too, according to analysts. Leading player Alibaba – which maintains a 60% share of all China’s e-commerce sales2 – is investing in service and logistics, by extending its lowest-price guarantee period, and offering free returns to customers.

“Over the long run, brand positioning and customer acquisition probably have greater value for the brand than sales alone, increasingly making this the goal for Singles’ Day,” a Forbes report said3.

In next week’s AOB, we’ll be analyzing the key Singles’ Day 2022 trends and results which can help inform your business’s preparation for the next big event: Black Friday. Be sure to check back in then!

Shoppers will play it safe with gift cards this holiday season

Does your e-commerce business offer gift cards? You could be on to a winner...

A recent survey of US consumers found that 54% are either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to purchase gift cards or vouchers as holiday presents this year4. And the main reasons? “Convenience” (47%) and “gift recipient is hard to buy for” (29%) rated highly – features online businesses should consider when marketing their gift cards5.

Globally, the gift card market is growing rapidly, and is projected to be worth a whopping US$1.4 trillion by 2026 – up from US$767.4 billion in 20206.

Discover more tips to help your business cash in on gift buyers this Christmas with our dedicated gifting guide.

Payment giant adds BNPL crown to its achievements

PayPal7 has claimed the top spot of “Buy Now Pay Later” providers. In a recent earnings call, CEO Dan Schulman said that since its launch, over 25 million consumers have used the company’s BNPL services – including its “Pay in 3” installments plan – and over 280,000 online merchants display the option at checkout.

“As a result of this robust growth, we believe we have become the largest Buy Now Pay Later provider in the world,” Schulman said8.

But how long will it keep the lead? It faces strong competition from Apple, believes Global Data analyst, Maddy Irwin9.

“Apple is likely to have a competitive advantage over other BNPL providers, as it will be easy for existing Apple Pay and Apple Wallet users to adopt these services. Furthermore, Apple has a huge existing user base,” she said.

“Big Tech and large payment providers can seamlessly incorporate BNPL into their platforms whether they’re profitable or not forcing fintechs with unsustainable revenue models out of the market. For Visa and Apple, BNPL does not need to be profitable and is merely an incentive to keep existing customers in their ecosystems.”

Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, could a BNPL option incentivize your customers at checkout? Find out with our guide to the leading payment solutions.

Want to boost your sales? It’s all in the photos

As any e-commerce business knows, product photos can make or break a sale. That’s where French start-up PhotoRoom10 promises to help. The photo editing app offers a range of tools specifically designed for e-commerce vendors and small businesses.

Its hero feature allows users to remove or replace the background of a product image, for a more professional finish. And for those with multiple Amazon or eBay listings, the Batch Editor tool lets them edit and retouch hundreds of photos in seconds.

“PhotoRoom provides photo editing software powerful enough to create outstanding images yet simple enough to be used without any training,” a company statement said11. “Our mission: enable entrepreneurs and small businesses to compose images that stand out.”

Currently, PhotoRoom has 7 million monthly active users. Many of the tools are free, but to unlock all the features in the app costs a subscription fee of US$9.99 a month.

Festivities meet football

It’s going to be a decidedly sporty Christmas... Breaking with tradition, this year’s FIFA World Cup tournament is being held in November to combat host country Qatar’s scorching summer heat. So, where does that leave consumers’ festivities?

An IPA survey12 of UK adults found that 38% believe the World Cup will dominate the Christmas build-up this year, whilst 36% said that the event will give them inspiration for buying Christmas gifts.

So, whatever you’re planning for your holiday sales campaign, give it a football-y twist and you may just cash in!

1 - QUEUE.IT, October 2022

2 & 3 - Forbes, November 2022

4 - Statista, published October 2022

5 - Statista, published October 2022

6 - The Best Travel Gifts, September 2022

7 - PayPal

8 - Dan Schulman, PYMNTS, November 2022

9 - Maddy Irwin, Charged Retail, October 2022

10 & 11 - PhotoRoom

12 - IPA survey, July 2022