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This week's top 5 e-commerce trends: 6 May 2022

Small Business advice · 3 min read

Any Other Business: 6 May 2022

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world including how inflation is impacting eco-friendly spending, and why average ratings may not hold all the power after all.

“Next-generation” e-commerce platform helps omnichannel brands grow with ease

Many online businesses start out on an off-the-shelf e-commerce platform with ready-to-use tools and templates. But what happens when they outgrow it? Enter Moot1.

The UK-based start-up is an advanced, end-to-end platform which helps D2C brands scale and grow, whilst delivering a unified customer experience across their expanding sales channels. The service leverages advanced AI capabilities to allow businesses to monitor and run multiple stores, across multiple channels, from a central database that can be updated with activity in real time.  

Founder Nick Moutter was driven to create the solution after encountering challenges when building an online housewares brand. Whilst initially running it on Shopify, as it grew, he was unable to find a solution that could accurately manage selling across several platforms in a unified way – so built it himself, quickly discovering there was a big market for it.  

“We realized there was a huge demand in industry,” said Moutter, “especially among companies in the second stage of growth, where they are hitting the ceiling of Shopify and looking for more advanced solutions to scale.”2

“To scale a business, you need many more things, you need to adopt operations, warehousing, logistics, and most importantly, technology. So, what we have done is consolidate all of that […] It’s about unifying all of those different solutions that you need in order to scale an online store and make it a single proposition.”3

Following rapid growth, the company now works with 87 stores across 34 countries.

Product reviews: those at the top have the real sway

It’s no secret that reviews influence many online consumers’ purchasing decisions. But new research from the University of South Florida has found it’s the top reviews rather than average ratings that have the most impact4.  

“It's surprising, because as a researcher, a business, or a consumer, we typically believe that when we go to Amazon, the most important piece of information is the average rating," the study’s co-author, Dezhi Yin, said5. "[But] what we found was that when [participants] read some reviews, just a few can overturn the impact of average ratings."

"It's the text of the top reviews that made a difference. This swaying effect only happened for the text reviews. It's the concrete details that are driving this impact," although he added that if a product has a low average rating, consumers are unlikely to read its reviews at all.

As a result, the study’s authors emphasized the importance of retailers responding to any negative top reviews, to explain how the complaint has been resolved. 

Budget-weary consumers sacrifice “green” spending

As global inflation and the cost of living continue to rise, there are signs the sustainability sector is baring some of the impact.   

A Quantilope survey6 of UK consumers found that whilst a quarter of respondents said they want to shop more sustainability, lack of money is preventing more than half of them from doing so.

Amidst their tightening budgets, consumers are shifting some of the environmental responsibility on to brands: three-quarters said they expect brands to also actively do more about sustainability – with eco-friendly packaging highlighted as a big priority.    

Ready to make the switch to greener packaging? From bamboo to sheep’s wool, these are some of the innovative solutions you could consider.

Hyper-local rental platform moves into people’s homes

With the sharing economy booming, one start-up is taking the convenience of the model to the next level. Tulu7 offers on-demand rentals of home products and household items – from apartment buildings’ lobbies. It means occupants in need of, say, a vacuum, a printer, or even a PlayStation 5, can get what they need without leaving their building. 

The service is tapping into a fundamental shift in consumers’ consumption habits, says CEO, Yishai Lehavi8, “moving from this equation of ‘I want something, so I buy it,’ into the equation of ‘I need something, therefore, I use it.’ We’re accelerating this already existing mindset and saying that everything in our daily life can become such a service.”

Tulu was launched in 2019 and is currently available to 50,000 people in 15 cities across the world, including in the US, the UK and Israel, with plans to form partnerships with more landlords and brands. The product selections are customized per building’s needs, and made available to occupants 24/7 via an app on their smartphones.

“We really believe that in order for Tulu to succeed, it has to be huge, and it has to become a standard, and we are starting to see that happen,” explains Yael Shemer, the company’s Chief Customer Officer9. “When someone lives in a dorm that has Tulu, they are in the usage economy mindset. When they move to an apartment building that doesn’t have a Tulu, they are emailing their management requesting it. It is such an obvious thing, and we’re really excited about making this a standard and then just organically grow really fast.”

Ready for the gift hunters?

Did you know that the global gift industry is currently worth an estimated US$62 billion – with a forecast to hit US$68.45 billion by the end of 2024?9 With e-commerce booming, you can be sure a generous proportion of those sales will be made online.

But what can you do to ensure it’s your online store enticing gift hunters through its digital doors? From personalization to the art of gift wrapping, our e-commerce gifting guide has you covered.

1 - Moot

2 - Nick Moutter, TechCrunch, April 2022

3 - Nick Moutter, Econsultancy, August 2021

4 - Swayed by the reviews, Science Daily, April 2022

5 - Dezhi Yin, Science Daily, April 2022

6 - 2022 Consumer Trends in Sustainability, Quantilope, April 2022

7 - Tulu

8 - Yishai Lehavi, TechCrunch, April 2022

9 - Yael Shemer, TechCrunch, April 2022

10 - SaveMyCent, April 2022

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson Discover content team

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