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This week's top 5 e-commerce trends: 13 May 2022

Small Business advice · 3 min read

Any Other Business: 13 May 2022

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world, including Starbucks move into the crypto-sphere, and why UK businesses are missing the mark at checkout.

New initiative gives female digital entrepreneurs a boost

UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) has partnered with DHL to empower women in e-commerce. Together, they will run a scheme to help female business owners in developing countries overcome inequality with dedicated funding and upskilling.

The program will begin with a pilot activity to support two female-led businesses: a florist in Ecuador and a Cameroon-based home decor brand. Both will receive training and mentoring over the course of 12 months, as well as logistics guidance to reach new markets.   

“This collaboration with DHL enables us to continue the public-private dialogue and build more inclusive digital economies,” said Shamika N. Sirimanne, head of UNCTAD’s technology and logistics division1. “Women have a key role to play in e-commerce, hence enhancing their participation will have a huge development impact.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity to connect people and improve lives,” added Steven Pope, head of GoTrade at Deutsche Post DHL Group2. “The partnership with UNCTAD will increase our impact by enabling women-owned businesses to get better access to the global marketplace and become agents of change for their communities.”

Want an NFT with your cappuccino?

Coffee giant Starbucks has announced plans to join the NFT (non-fungible token) trend with its own line. The first series, due later this year, will be built into a loyalty scheme model, with a host of unique experiences and benefits for members.

“What if Starbucks could create a new, global digital community – a community defined by collaboration, experiences, and shared ownership?”, a blog entry on Starbucks’ website asks3.

"We plan to create a series of branded NFT collections, the ownership of which initiates community membership, and allows for access to exclusive experiences and perks. The themes of these collections will be born of Starbucks artistic expressions, both heritage and newly created, as well as through world-class collaborations with other innovators and like-minded brands."

With over 24 million active members currently part of the Starbucks loyalty scheme4, the new endeavour could become America’s most used crypto wallet. Watch this space…

Etsy’s growth continues

Have you considered selling on Etsy? The online marketplace recently announced its revenue in Q1 of this year was US$579.3 million – up 5.2% on the same period last year5.

With the global gift industry currently worth an estimated US$62 billion6, the arts-and-crafts platform is enjoying a generous share of that from those wanting to gift something with a “handmade” feel. Further results unveiled in a recent call between CEO Josh Silverman and investors include the addition of 7 million new buyers in the first quarter, taking the company’s total number of active buyers to 89 million in nearly 250 countries.

Want to tap into this customer base? Our guide to selling on Etsy – and the other leading online marketplaces – has tips to help you get started.  

New website cashes in on celebrity culture

Fans wanting to live like their favorite celebrities can get one step closer thanks to Us Weekly’s new e-commerce site. The American magazine’s recently launched platform, UsNow.com7, sells products from 35 celebrity-led brands across the fashion, wellness and beauty categories, whilst a “Get TheLook” page features shoppable styles worn by popular stars.

"UsNow connects Us Weekly's celebrity culture with the e-commerce demands of today's consumer," said a spokesperson from Accelerate360, Us Weekly's parent company8. "Shoppers draw inspiration from trending content online – and [can] engage in purchases at the moment of discovery."

Lack of payment options hampering UK’s SMBs

Offering the most popular local payment methods at checkout is key when opening an online store to a new country. But, according to research by fintech firm Mollie9, UK-based small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are trailing their European counterparts in this area10.  

The study highlighted the failure of many to integrate third-party software and capabilities into their e-commerce technology stack – leaving them unable to compete with global e-commerce giants.

The payments service provider is now working with many UK businesses to help them integrate custom-branded payment APIs at checkout so that overseas customers visiting their online store will be able to pay using their preferred method – a feature proven to convert sales and reduce cart abandonment rates.

Looking to expand your e-commerce business to new markets? Discover which payment methods you should be offering at checkout to attract buyers there with our exclusive country guides.

1 - Shamika N. Sirimanne, UNCTAD, April 2022

2 - Steven Pope, UNCTAD, April 2022

3 - Starbucks Stories & News, May 2022

4 - RIS news, July 2021  

5 - Digital Commerce, May 2022

6 - SaveMyCent, April 2022

7 - UsNow

8 -  Trey Holder, Biz Journals, April 2022

9 - Mollie

10 -, May 2022

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson Discover content team

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