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This week's top 5 e-commerce trends: 20 May 2022

Small Business advice · 3 min read

Any Other Business: 20 May 2022

This week’s AOB looks at the latest e-commerce news from around the world, including Disney’s new homeware line, and how Klarna is enabling in-store staff to flex their sales skills to online customers.

New Klarna app turns store staff into content creators

“Buy Now, Pay Later” service Klarna is helping omnichannel retailers deliver better customer service with a new suite of virtual shopping tools.

The merchant-facing app – Virtual Shopping for Klarna1 – allows in-store assistants to interact directly with customers browsing the brand’s products online, via streaming or video chat. They can demo products live and offer personalized recommendations – features Klarna says will drive customer loyalty and reduce returns.

“In the past, online shopping has been missing a key element: human interaction,” said the payment service’s CMO, David Sandström2. “With Virtual Shopping, we replicate the brick-and-mortar experience of receiving personalized advice from an in-store expert and bring it to the online realm. This will empower our partnered retailers around the world to bring their online stores to life and build customer relationships that last.”

The app is going live in 18 markets across North America and Europe, and already works with more than 300 brands. Retailers pay a one-time set-up fee to use the app. Sales reps can notify their availability to chat, such as during a store’s quiet time, and then log commission for sales made.

Facebook users return

Thinking of selling on Facebook? According to parent company Meta’s data3, the social media platform’s core app received a 4% rise in daily active users in Q1 – taking its global audience base to 1.96 billion. 50% of users’ time spent on Facebook is linked to video content, highlighting where brands wishing to engage with customers should focus their marketing.

Earlier this year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined several key areas of investment for Meta in 2022, including: a Reels feature to rival TikTok’s; the integration of greater AI to improve its Ads infrastructure; and the metaverse, which combines social media with virtual and augmented reality.

Disney enters the home décor market

Those wishing to add a little movie-style magic to their day-to-day lives will be excited by Disney’s new homewares line.

The film giant’s recently-launched e-commerce website, Disney Home4, sells products inspired by its most popular franchises – from Mickey Mouse-shaped mirrors to Star Wars-branded rugs – as well as “aspirational furniture" and "bespoke design pieces".

"As our homes are now more important than ever, we wanted to introduce a new homeware brand that brings iconic Disney storytelling into everyday living spaces," a Disney representative said5. "The product collections consistently evolve to complement every interior style and budget, but are united in their objective of bringing fun, joy, and escapism into people’s homes.”

The line – which is currently only available in Europe – comes as the global home décor market is forecast to reach US$939.7 billion by 20276, driven by the pandemic’s impact on the amount of time people spend at home.  

PayPal opens SME funding to additional European markets

PayPal Funding Pro7, the payment giant’s dedicated funding solution for SMEs, has now launched in France and the Netherlands, giving online sellers there quick and easy access to growth capital. Sellers with a PayPal business account in either of the countries can apply for a loan of up to €130,000 (if a new customer) or €160,000 (if an existing customer).

The service – which is already active in the US, Australia, the UK and Germany – tailors each loan per a business’s PayPal sales volume, with a minimum annual turnover of €12,000 required. The loan must then be repaid at a rate of 10-30% per sale, without a fixed term.

“This solution is in line with our desire to democratize small and medium-sized businesses’ access to opportunities previously reserved for larger companies,” a spokesperson from the payments service said8. “Based on the strong relationship that PayPal maintains with its professional customers, PayPal Funding Pro enables its customers to meet their development challenges.”

Don’t forget the dads!

A reminder that it is just over four weeks until Father’s Day in the UK and the US. The holiday will be celebrated on Sunday 19th June, so many shoppers will be heading online right now to look for that special something to gift their dads. The question is, how can you ensure it’s your e-commerce website they visit?  

From personalization to gift wrapping, our exclusive guide is full of tips to help your business nab a slice of the US$62 billion9 gift market this Father’s Day. Start preparing! 

 1 - Virtual Shopping for Klarna

2 - David Sandström, Yahoo! finance, May 2022

3 - Marketing Dive, April 2022

4 - Disney Home

5 - Dezeen, April 2022

6 - Market Data Forecast, January 2022

7 - PayPal Funding Pro

8 - PayPal spokesperson, Ecommerce News Europe, May 2022

9 - SaveMyCent, April 2022

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson Discover content team

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