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Weekly recap of eCommerce news - W21


The internet is a great, yet overwhelming source of information. Every week, we read the articles published on eCommerce blogs, journals, and websites. We then curate and sum up what's hot and what’s not in eCommerce, and link to the information that matters to you. 

Here’s the lowdown on some of the hot topics in the industry last week:

  • Advertising & Marketing Trends: influencer marketing
  • Privacy and security: data privacy rules and regulations as opportunities; understanding fingerprinting
  • Customer Service & Satisfaction: Amazon launches MYCE; the benefits of email automation; video live chat support for top-notch customer service; returns made easier with PayPal and Happy Returns
  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV): the benefits of subscription brands
  • Seamless CX: the invention of headless commerce; top-notch frontend experiences; winning landing page examples
  • Things to do and listen to: Digital Commerce 360’s series of events; Ezra Firestone’ podcast on ad spend
  • The eCommerce week in numbers: 30% online sales increase for the grocery sector

Marketing and Advertising

You have great products, offer a great customer experience and you’re now ready to reach out to your audiences. For those who think paid ads are rather impersonal and might get lost in the heaps of online ads being served to internet users daily, there’s another way. Surely you’ve heard of influencer marketing and have even tried it before. For a deeper dive into the topic, Joe Sinkwitz founder and CEO of Intellifluence comes back with part two of his series of articles on Influencer Marketing and why businesses should use it. In part one, he explained the ins and outs of influencer marketing. In this new article, he makes the case for influencer marketing as one of the most affordable ways to gain customer trust and build a solid relationship.

Privacy and Security

Anyone running an eCommerce business deals with customer concerns around privacy and security and the uncertainty created by the ever-changing rules and regulations around it. We came across a few articles this week that take a look at different ways to move forward in what looks like a future cookieless online world. 

Adam Chandler suggests that new rules and regulations around data privacy can be seen as opportunities rather than something to be feared. For an optimistic view on the matter and what brands can do to overcome the limitations imposed on online advertising, check out his article here.'

With third-party cookies becoming less and less cool, is fingerprinting a better option? Instead of having cookies following users around as they navigate the web, fingerprinting involves matching a few parameters about their browser and their device to track where they have been and what they've been looking at. As a marketer or advertiser, it’s essential to understand the process behind these tracking methods before you decide which ads network to use. Here’s a short read about fingerprinting and its pitfalls. 

Customer Service & Satisfaction 

In April this year, Amazon beta launched MYCE (Manage Your Customer Engagement), a service that allows registered brands to promote their products via e-mail campaigns directly to Amazon customers. To ensure their customers’ data protection, Amazon does not share their contacts but has created a platform that allows registered users to reach those customers and gain insights into a campaign’s performance. Read more about it in Marcia Kaplan’s piece for Practical Commerce or Ina Steiner’s piece on eCommerce Bytes.

If this doesn’t excite you because you want more direct contact with your customers, email automation is yet to be used to its full potential. Dana LaBate summed up the reasons why brands should use email automation in this article, in case anyone still needed convincing. 

While we’re on the topic of customer engagement, let’s talk about the latest tech innovation in customer support: video live chat support. Sales agents and customer support specialists can finally engage with their customers like they would in real life and show them the friendly faces behind the interface. Find out how live chat support can help your eCommerce business and your customers, and which platforms are best for you from this article.

Finally, knowing that customer satisfaction does not end with the purchase PayPal and Happy Returns teamed up for seamless return services. With the acquisition of Happy Returns last month, PayPal entered the business of post-purchase offerings, i.e undoing the online payments it has thus far helped retailers and consumers make. Happy Returns has more than 2,600 drop-off locations in every state in the continental U.S. and Washington, D.C., and a QR code system that allows customers to easily return purchases in less than one minute. Those of you based in the US and curious to know why retailers use Happy Returns and how teaming up with PayPal will change things on both ends, head over to this article.

Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

Subscription brands aren't the new kid on the block but they have become more prevalent in recent years. They are a great way to ensure LTV and build a strong brand that customers remain loyal to. If you’re contemplating updating your business model, this article will help you understand the benefits of the subscription model and decide whether it’s right for your brand.

Seamless CX 

Headless commerce was last week’s buzzword and guess what? Everyone is still talking about it. Kelly Goetsch is Chief Product Officer at headless commerce platform, commercetools, and inventor of headless commerce. In this interview, he explains what headless commerce is, how it came about and what brands need to know before considering headless commerce. 

For more on the freedom headless commerce offers in building a front-end experience and the need for it in the ever-changing eCommerce world, head over to this article

And speaking of awesome front ends, Cloudways collected some of the best landing pages out there last week. If you're looking for some inspo, check this out.

Things to do and listen to

Digital Commerce 360 has an amazing series of six events for retailers and B2B including panel discussions, Q&As, and presentations on a wide range of topics from fulfillment and supply chain, to social media and curbside pickup. If you missed the first session, you can read all about it here. The next session is on June 17, “Breaking the Barriers to B2B Ecommerce Success”, followed by a B2C retail event on July 29. Registration opens on June 2nd.

Ezra Firestone, founder of Smart Marketer and co-founder of BOOM! and Zipify is a man with a lot of eCommerce experience. In this podcast, he shares his views on ad spend and the reasons why you should allocate between 15-30% of revenue to advertising.  

The eCommerce week in numbers

For a while now, across the board industries have reported increases in online sales. This week’s growth report comes from U.S.’s online grocery sector which registered a 30% increase in sales in April 2021 compared to April 2020. If this is your cup of tea and want to learn more about it, here’s a breakdown.

This article was brought to you by Ana-Maria Carabelea

Ana-Maria is a content creator, copywriter and brand storyteller with extensive experience in eCommerce and the creative industries.

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